Bridging the Gap: Server 2016 & DevOps

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Microsoft’s release of its new server operating system for 2016 promises to make the lives of developers easier. DevOps developers know that bridging the gap between server administration and development is difficult because the industry is new and hasn’t been fully adopted into IT culture. Luckily, Microsoft has made it a lot easier to develop and deploy applications.

Here are some of the advantages of the new server operating system.

Docker Integration
Docker integration is especially important for the enterprise. Docker containers take virtualization to the next level by adding a layer of security and allowing your applications to run in silos away from the operating system. These containers can be used for production, staging or development.

Each Docker container is separated from the other, so the developer can essentially silo one application from the other. For instance, separate a general employee lookup application from one that contains personal identifiable information for customers. These silos also help when separating development environments from production.

Nano Server Implementation
In some virtualized environments, all you need is a small instance that uses few resources. You might want to run some PowerShell implementations to automated systems across the network. PowerShell is powerful, but it doesn’t need a full operating system install with much memory or CPU usage. The DevOps developer can use Nano Server instances to run these automated scripts.

Nano Server only requires 512MB of disk space and as little as 256MB of memory. Plenty of room and resources to use PowerShell without any bulky background programs to interfere with your scripts. As a matter of fact, a Nano instance can be created with a PowerShell script.

Storage Spaces
As a developer, you probably know the hassles of maintaining a development environment. Not only that but usually the development environment gets the lowest budget and concern from IT. If you run out of disk space or need advanced disk configurations, it’s a fight to get it.

With Server 2016, you can take storage spaces a step further from the old Windows Server 2012 implementation. The Server 2016 instances can be used to create storage nodes that use the SMB3 protocol. While you might not need extensive storage capabilities for development, you still need a way to create a development environment that closely mimics production. You also need a staging environment that mirrors production, so you can use this technology to represent highly technical and advanced system settings to test your applications and scripts.

Better Hyper-V Management
Hyper-V was a hit on the previous Server 2012 operating system. It allowed developers and IT people create virtual machines on any server, and the Hyper-V dashboard gave you a complete snapshot and overview of each VM that ran on the network. Administrators and developers could rapidly deploy VMs in minutes.

Server 2016 focuses more on clustering for both VMs and storage space. You can upgrade VMs without any cluster downtime. This means that you can add a new operating system to a VM without interfering with other applications. As a DevOps administrator and developer, you can even deploy and upgrade these VMs using PowerShell included with the Server 2016 operating system.

Conclusion
As a DevOps developer, you have several hurdles to get your environments in check and to deploy your applications in as little time as possible. With Server 2016, you can more easily work with your custom applications, especially any automation scripts using PowerShell, which is a DevOps main tool. Server 2016 combines the right tools, infrastructure, software and security to work with applications that fully automate IT.

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