New Windows Servers are like buses: None for ages, then two at once!

In-place upgrades arrive in Server 2019 and Semi-Annual, fonts sacrificed for containers


One of the previews is for the Windows Server vNext Long-Term Servicing Channel, aka Windows Server 2019. The other previews the Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel, the version that gets a release every six months but is only supported for 18 months.

Both previews receive “in-place OS upgrade” from Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, meaning you can upgrade to the previews without a fresh install of the OS. Plenty of IT pros of The Register’s acquaintance are leery of such upgrades, preferring to start again from scratch.

Microsoft’s known issues for this release include a warning that Domain Controllers mught not survive in-place upgrades “unless the NT Directory Service (NTDS) is stopped before initiating the upgrade. To ensure recoverability in the case of failure, back up any AD DC before performing an in-place OS upgrade.”

So such paranoia about in-place upgrades seems sensible.

Microsoft’s also proud of enhancements to Storage Spaces Direct, namely:

  • The Get-ClusterPerf cmdlet now includes self-diagnosis logic: if the cmdlet finds nothing to report, it now looks for common issues that would prevent performance history from working properly (for example, if its storage is missing) so that the cmdlet can provide clear error text.
  • New cmdlets, Start-ClusterPerformanceHistory and Stop-ClusterPerformanceHistory, that are provided in this build make it easy to remediate such issues by cleaning up and/or re-provisioning performance history.
  • New series, provided in this build, record how much Storage Spaces Direct data needs to repair/resync per server.

There’s also some trims to Server Core, the slimmer-for-containers version of Windows Server that has seen Microsoft change “non-critical font components into optional components (OC) in Windows Server Core editions, and then removed these OCs from Windows Server Core container images.”

“This change won’t affect the user experience of Windows Server Core, except that users now have the ability to enable or disable non-critical font components, like they can do for any other OC. For Server Core containers, only the default font, Arial, is supported; no other fonts are supported, and no others can be installed.” The effect of doing so is to shrink Windows Core to make it even smaller and therefore an even more lightweight environment in which to run containers.

A quick note: Arial only? Thank the Galactic Spirit Microsoft didn’t go for Comic Sans!

You can find both releases here. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022