Microsoft has released more information about the new version of Windows Server, including a time-frame for release and a warning on prices.
"It is highly likely we will increase pricing for Windows Server Client Access Licensing (CAL). We will provide more details when available," Redmond warned.
Wes Miller, research VP with analyst firm Directions on Microsoft, said the price bump was to be expected with the new version of Server, and could be used to nudge more customer toward Azure.
"I think that - for organizations invested in Windows Server - this will just be another increase that most will absorb," Miller told El Reg.
"I expect that we may see some messaging from Microsoft emphasizing that moving workloads to Azure is one way to avoid this cost, since there is no concept of a Windows Server base CAL in Azure."
Redmond says Server 2019 will actually be landing in 2018, as its release to general availability is set for the second half of this year. Microsoft says the first builds of the new Server OS are already being pushed into the Windows Insider channel.
As you might expect, virtualization and cloud are going to play a big role in the upcoming server refresh.
Erin Chapple, director of program management for Windows Server, said that among the big features in Server 2019 will be improved container and converged infrastructure support. The new server will look to reduce the size of a Server Core base container image to less than 2GB (it's currently around 5GB) and will offer improved support for software-defined datacenter tools.
Linux is set to get some love from Microsoft in 2019, with the new Server getting support for Shielded VMs - the admin-proof security measure Microsoft rolled out for Hyper-V in Server 2016. Microsoft is also putting WSL into Server 2019, allowing admins to run Linux and Windows containers side by side.
Chapple talked up Server 2019's integration with Project Honolulu, the web-based tool it sees as a way for admins to control both Server and Azure machines through a single pane. The idea, says Microsoft, is to let companies manage hybrid cloud setups where Server and Azure services are operating side by side.
"With Windows Server 2019 and Project Honolulu, customers will be able to easily integrate Azure services such as Azure Backup, Azure File Sync, disaster recovery, and much more so they will be able to leverage these Azure services without disrupting their applications and infrastructure," writes Chapple. ®