Microsoft has made the first Windows Insider build of the server OS available this week.
If the work towards the Spring 2018 update to Windows Server is similar to the work leading up to the release of Windows Server Version 1709, then testers can expect a new build about once per month.
According to Microsoft, this development cycle has a new distribution format that will make the testing process easier for testers. Each new Insider build of Windows Server will already be pre-keyed -- no need for a product key during setup -- and each version will be distributed in ISO and VHDX formats. That means the VHDX file can be used immediately with a Virtual Machine, or you can clean install on bare metal or in other Virtual Machines using the ISO version. The Windows Server team recommends a clean install for testing purposes and of course you should not put this anywhere near a production server.
This build of Windows Server, 17035, also contains the Technical Preview of Project Honolulu which is a flexible, lightweight browser-based customer-deployed platform and solution that allows the troubleshooting, configuration, and maintenance of Windows Server.
Two new features are part of this build:
- Storage Spaces Direct (S2D): This is part of the hyper-converged solution on Windows Server. It now supports Data Deduplication which is capable of reducing the data footprint in Windows Server by nearly 50%.
- Localhost or Loopback modes: They can now be used by developers needing access to any services running in containers on the host OS.
On the Project Honolulu side of this build, you will find these new options to test/use:
- Remote Desktop
- Windows 10 Client Management
- Switch Embedded Teaming (SET)
- Data Grid Performance Improvements
Microsoft removed LAPS in Service Mode when Project Honolulu is a Server service. It will continue to work on Windows 10 clients when Project Honolulu is installed.
Be sure to take note of the remaining release notes from Microsoft for important information about known issues with Windows Server and Project Honolulu in this build.