Top 7 Hyper-V Features in Windows Server 2019

The year of 2018 welcomed the release of Windows Server 2019, which mainly focused on solving the issues surrounding hybrid clouds, failover clustering, security, storage, and application platforms. Today’s blog post discusses new Hyper-V features which can be found in Windows Server 2019, discovers how Hyper-V Backup can protect your data, and provides answers to the following questions:

What’s new in Windows Server 2019? – The main focus of Windows Server 2019 is to ensure the performance of hybrid cloud environments as well as datacenter infrastructures. This operating system (OS) allows you to enjoy the benefits of both on-premises and Azure Cloud environments.

What can Windows Server 2019 offer? – With the new feature set of Windows Server 2019, you can do the following:

  1. Enjoy the benefits of hybrid clouds with Microsoft Azure services.
  2. Increase your datacenter resilience with multiple security layers built into the OS.
  3. Create cloud-native applications and upgrade traditional apps using containers and micro-services.
  4. Transform a traditional datacenter into hyper-converged infrastructure to achieve a better performance.

Which Hyper-V features have been added to Windows Server 2019? – With Windows Server 2019, new Hyper-V features were introduced:

  • True two-node clusters
  • Storage Spaces Direct improvements
  • ReFS deduplication
  • Windows Admin Center
  • Shielded virtual machines
  • Container advancements
  • Encrypted networks

How can NAKIVO Backup & Replication protect your infrastructure? – NAKIVO Backup & Replication is a powerful yet affordable tool which offers multiple data protection options, including backup, backup copy, backup to cloud, replication, and site recovery.

New Hyper-V Features You Should Know About

Windows Server 2019 adopted the most effective features of its predecessor, Windows Server 2016, and greatly improved them to achieve even better results. Windows Server 2019 also presented a rich set of Hyper-V features which provide extended support for hybrid cloud deployments, hyper-converged infrastructure, and network security.

In today’s blog post, we are going to discuss how Windows Server 2019 has transformed Hyper-V functionality and what new Hyper-V features can do.

True two-node clusters

Previously, the File Share Witness could only exist on a physical file server or in the Azure Cloud. In Windows Server 2019, you can create two-node clusters, including Hyper-V clusters, using a USB flash drive as a file share witness. For example, if you have a four-node cluster, with two nodes at each site, and one node accidentally fails, a File Share witness can provide an additional vote in order to reach a quorum in a cluster. The upside of this approach is that the USB witness can function even without Internet connectivity or shared drives. Thus, true two-node technology can significantly simplify the process of determining quorum for a cluster.

Storage Spaces Direct improvements

Windows Server 2019 has greatly improved storage performance with the help of new functionality, which includes native support for persistent memory, nested resiliency for two-node infrastructures, and mirror-accelerated parity, among other features.

In Windows Server 2019, storage configuration maximums have also been improved.

Windows Server 2016 Windows Server 2019
Scale up to 1 petabyte (PB) of raw capacity per cluster Scale up to 4 petabytes (PB) of raw capacity per cluster
Create 32 volumes Create 64 volumes
Support volume sizes up to 32 TB Support volume sizes up to 64 TB

As a result, enhanced configuration maximums allow for increasing Hyper-V storage capacity and achieving better I/O performance.

ReFS deduplication

Another feature of Windows Server 2019 is ReFS deduplication, which allows you to enjoy the benefits of both data deduplication and the ReFS file system. By removing duplicated data blocks, you can ensure that only unique data is saved and storage space consumption is reduced.

Read more from our blog post to learn how data deduplication works in NAKIVO Backup & Replication.

Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center is a server management solution which allows you to easily manage your servers as well as hyper-converged infrastructure from a single pane of glass. Managing local and remote servers is simplified due to the use of familiar tools (PowerShell, Task Manager, Remote Desktop, etc.).

Windows Admin Center Interface (Hyper-V Features)

Previously, certain Hyper-V features could only be configured using PowerShell cmdlets. Windows Admin Center can now provide access to these features using simple and intuitive GUI. Moreover, Windows Admin Center can integrate with Azure services, thus allowing you to enjoy the benefits of hybrid cloud environments.

To see the product in action, you can download Windows Admin center for free.

Shielded Virtual Machines

Shielded virtual machines (VMs) were introduced in Windows Server 2016. The main purpose of this security feature is to ensure protection of Generation 2 Hyper-V VMs against unauthorized access. In Windows Server 2019, this Hyper-V feature can do even more.

First of all, Windows Server 2019 can provide shielded VM protection for Linux VMs. Moreover, you can troubleshoot your shielded VMs, for example, to restore failed network connectivity to your VM. Last but not least, you can start up and run shielded VMs remotely (for example, in branch offices with poor Internet connectivity). For this purpose, you need to enable the Host Guardian Service (HGS) in the branch office and configure fallback URLs which allows for falling back to the main datacenter in case the primary HGS server cannot be reached.

Container advancements

Windows Server 2019 supports both Windows and Linux containers, which can run on the same container host. Moreover, Windows Server 2019 includes built-in Kubernetes support, which can significantly improve container networking. Additional container improvements include integrated Windows authentication in containers, improved application compatibility, and reduced size of base container images. These Hyper-V features can increase the speed of container workflows, make containers more secure and reliable, and ensure the efficiency of container networking.

Encrypted networks

Virtual network encryption is another Hyper-V feature available in Windows Server 2019, which enables encryption of virtual network traffic between VMs. Each packet leaving a selected VM will be automatically encrypted when moving across network subnets. Along with Datagram Transport Layer Security, encrypted networks can help you protect your infrastructure against data tampering, network eavesdropping, or theft.

Backup Solution for Hyper-V