IT has been doing more and more in less time which is the prime objective of IT since years. New applications and devices are bringing in more value to the business. The approach of Windows Server 2016 is to combine cloud technologies to our traditional data centers to make effective and efficient utilization of resources along with serving innovation to consumers.

Many new features were introduced in Windows Server 2012 as well as Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V, but a lot of additions are made in Windows Server 2016 making it very significant after Windows Server 2016. There are a lot of noteworthy features in Windows Server 2016 along with new features of Hyper-V like Storage Resiliency, the combination of Hyper-V containers and Windows containers etc. making it more efficient.

Let’s glance through the new features of Hyper-V.

Production Checkpoints

Checkpoints, previously stated as snapshots were a part of Hyper-V from the very beginning. With this, the administrators can go back to an earlier point of a virtual machine without restoring a backup. However, they didn’t work very well with application servers. If it is not used properly, Hyper-V snapshots can cause severe damage to applications and databases.

Production checkpoints function on the same lines, except the power of the Volume Shadow Copy Services, is utilized. The process of creating or applying a checkpoint is similar to the process of restoring or creating a backup, enabling administrators to overlook corruption issues of checkpoints. Production checkpoints will be installed by default in Windows Server 2016. However, it still provides the choice to go back to the old checkpoint model if required.

Shielded VM’s

Shielded weapons serve the basic purpose of creating a fabric holding the designation of an owner of a VM. To make it clear, a VM will not run in another VM nor can it be moved to another fabric. Unauthorized access to VM contents can be prevented by encrypting these shielded VM’s.  BitLocker can be used to attain encryption. Hyper-V’s new version will support virtual TPM, enabling a VM to be BitLocker encrypted.

Storage Resiliency

The previous versions of Hyper-V were such that it could cause a VM to fail because of the temporary loss of storage connectivity. Failover clustering can be used by the admins to shift a failing VM to another cluster node, but that also requires storage connectivity. Failover can sometimes prove to be heavy-handedness. For eg. While deploying Hyper-V, many cluster nodes are connected to an iSCSI target which will undergo low bandwidth and alternate connection failures will become communal during periods of topmost activity. If a VM lost connectivity for even a single minute, a crash will occur. This storage resiliency feature is developed as it will help to detect temporary loss of connectivity to VM storage. Until the time the connectivity is re-established, the VM’s will be at a pause.

PowerShell Direct

PowerShell runs cmdlets and scripts on remote Windows server in various ways. The best method is via the Invoke-Command cmdlet.  An administrator would put the Invoke-Command cmdlet, tailed by the –ComputerName factor, remote machine’s credentials, and then the command which they wish to run.

It was conceivable to utilize the Invoke-Command cmdlet if one wants to operate a command on Hyper-V VM. This was possible with the earlier versions of Hyper-V. However, to perform this function, network connectivity is required for target VM. With Windows Server 2012 R2, admins were in a position to copy data into a VM even if network connectivity was available. With the Unavailability of network connectivity, the process of copying files would make use of the VMBus. The PowerShell Direct concept of Windows Server 2016 is built on this concept.

With Windows Server 2016, administrators have the authority to run PowerShell cmdlets or scripts on a VM remotely, even if no network exists and VM’s are not connected to a network. VMBus and the Invoke-Command cmdlet are the saviors in this case. To put in simple words, VMName parameter is replaced with cmdlet's ComputerName parameter.

These are just a few features mentioned above; many more are yet to come. On the storage and network verticals, many improvements and developments are made which will help in delivering virtualized workloads. Storage QoS, VM Cluster Resiliency, Storage Replica, Enhanced Deduplication, RDMA Improvements and much more work simultaneously to provide an optimized and much efficient Hyper-V environment.