Microsoft is set to release Windows Server 2016 to the public during its Ignite Conference September 26-30th. Windows Server 2016 is billed as 'cloud-ready' and has perhaps more new features for overall performance increases than any other version ever released. It promises new levels of security and increased flexibility as your company grows. The Network Team wants all of our customers to experience the product as soon as is possible.
We have created a limited time special offer to help you kick the tires of Windows 2016 before you dive all the way in. Here’s how it works:
- Purchase one instance of Server 2016 on your network
- Commit to a date to install the instance on your network before October 29, 2016. (You do not need to have it installed before October 29th. You just need to commit to a date before then.)
- TNT will provide you the labor and training for that instance at no cost.
There are some caveats1.
Windows Server 2016 has several flavors and colors to choose from. TNT will continue to do what we do best: help you pick the version that is right for you and create a plan to migrate to this version. Our certified engineers and even our president are taking ownership of migrating our internal network to Windows Server 2016, so we can share with you not only other customers’ experiences but our internal use stories as well.
The release of a new version of Windows Server is a good reminder that many older versions are either no longer supported by Microsoft, or soon won’t be. TNT recommends that by the end of the year, all users be on supported versions of the Windows Server, and make sure that all hardware and software utilized by users day in and day out be covered by our managed services and manufacturer’s warranty.
1TNT will install exactly one instance of Windows Server 2016 as a virtual machine. TNT will install it on a new machine if and only if there are no other operating systems on that machine. The follow technologies will be demoed:
- a Nano server (which is a new feature in Windows Server 2016 that, among other things, improves efficiency), running either locally or remotely
- a single containerized application
- management interfaces
TNT will join this server to the domain and create shares and remote access to it for administrators to “play” with. It is not intended to be used as a production device but as a learning tool.
Don’t miss out on this offer of free labor and training. Contact TNT today to register for the deal before it’s too late.
The Network Team partners with Cisco and Microsoft, more than any other two vendors. It is our opinion that the second half of 2016 looks to be a year with several “no brainer” offerings that deserve attention, including Microsoft Windows Server 2016 and Cisco Unified Communications.
Microsoft: Windows Server 2016 goes mainstream
TNT has installed the product and intends to go production with it nearly as soon as it becomes available to us, as partners. We have good reasons to look forward to the product. Here is a breakdown of what is new, written in English (not the language of the Microsoft website).
- Hyper-V is hyped up! The listed of features that are now included very much puts it on par with the needs of literally all Medium Sized businesses and smaller. There were many features on Hyper-V that, once setup, applied to every virtual server on the box. Not so now. There are nano-servers now, that do and sound just like their name specifies….they have a small compute footprint and do very specific things.
- Remote Desktop now offers fail over. For those of you who operate your businesses with a remote desktop connection to a server, you can have a fail over option. Today, that doesn’t exist.
- You can upgrade a cluster without shutting it down and breaking it first. Although we seldom discuss this with people, it is important to know that if you want to get an oil change, you don’t have to take out the motor. Well, with Windows 2012, you have to take apart the motor to change the oil. With Windows Server 2016, you don’t.
- File and Storage Services are upgraded. Features that used to come only with SANs and high end software are now a part of 2016. Replicating data elsewhere now offers more choices, and you can de-duplicate data like the big boy vendors who specialize in storage do.
- The best, if you bought software assurance (and most of you did, if you bought it from us), you can now get this upgrade for free, without the purchase of new hardware. If you have a 2012R2 Server, we can upgrade it to Windows Server 2016, nearly all the time. That is going to save you money. You own the software. You already have the hardware. Your investment now is the time for an engineer to do the upgrade and learn how to use it.
Cisco Unified Communications
TNT has operated on Cisco Unified Call Manager since our inception. The new release, Version 11.5, has upgrades that people have been requesting for a solid 5 years now. Here is what you can look forward to:
- SIP Call Preservation. Too often, when there is an issue with the SIP trunk you are using to make a call, the call is dead, and you need to hang up, redial, and sometimes reboot your phone. Annoying! Now, there is a call preservation management parameter that helps us tell Call Manager to simmer down and not end everything.
- The self-help portal for the users has more up-to-date guides on how to everything.
- Location awareness for phones. When you add a phone today, you have no idea where it physically resides on the network. The location awareness features let you know where the phone is. It even works with wireless phones.
- Multiple device messaging is supported. Got a desktop client and a client on your mobile phone? Now, all messaging is synced and shared.
- Better integration with Skype for Business. Remote call control now lets your SFB client control the Cisco IP Phone. LONG overdue.
- Windows 10 support for administering CUCM. LONG overdue.
- PIN for conferencing. Are you done with having a conference bridge that anyone can dial into? Now, you can have a PIN. There are more PIN related upgrades in CUCM, but this one has our attention the most!
Again, for most TNT clients, you already own the rights to this version of software. All you need to do is schedule time with Vitaliy to get your upgrade scheduled, and he will hold your hand through the requirements, down-time associated with the upgrade, and what to expect.
And, for most of you, there is no new hardware required to perform the upgrade. All you need are up to date Smartnet contracts on your call manager products, and we can begin the process.
Enjoy these services in 2016. You paid for them!
by: Jeff Gaura, President