Microsoft today released Windows Server 2019 Insider Preview build 17744. The news comes right on schedule, as these things seem to happen every Tuesday at 10am Pacific Time. The last one was a week ago with build 17738.
There aren't any major front-facing features in this build, but there are some Hyper-V improvements:
For Windows Server 2019, Microsoft Hyper-V Server provides a robust, optimized enterprise-class virtualization platform that enables improved server utilization and reduced costs. This preview release of Microsoft Hyper-V Server includes various updates and fixes including:
- Installation no longer prompts for a product key. Microsoft Hyper-V Server is an enterprise hypervisor that is provided at no additional cost.
- Administrators are now properly prompted to change their passwords when initially signing in.
- Updated installation branding.
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2019 also includes additional features such as:
- Failover Clustering hardening. Failover Clustering no longer requires the use of NTLM.
- Server Message Block (SMB) hardening. SMB 1.0 is disabled by default.
- Windows Subsystem for Linux is built in.
- Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection is built in.
- .NET Framework 4.7 is built-in. (Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2016 included .NET Framework 4.6).
Finally, Microsoft Hyper-V Server can be fully managed by Windows Admin Center to provide a modern, remote management solution that integrates with Azure Backup, disaster recovery, and more.
There are also some known issues to be aware of:
- [NEW] After a system running Server Core is transitioned (transmogrified) to Server Datacenter–for example, by running the command dism /online /setedition:ServerDatacenterCor /ProductKey:product-key/AcceptEula–the operating system is not licensed. On an affected system, the administrator is not instructed to restart the system, and the operating system indicates that it is a retail channel version rather than a Generic Volume License Key (GVLK) version, even when the product key is a GVLK key. To make an affected system licensed, run the following command: cscript c:\Windows\System32\slmgr.vbs /ipkproduct-key.
[NEW] The Italian language (it-IT) text of the End-User License Agreement (EULA) for Hyper-V Server is formatted incorrectly.
The operating system has an unnecessary utility account for Windows Defender Application Guard.
Authentication that uses Public Key Cryptography User-to-User (PKU2U) to access an SMB volume can result in an error, STATUS_LOGON_FAILURE, due to an invalid private key in the certificate for a cluster-created user account (CSUSR) on each cluster node. This issue can cause cross-cluster migration in cluster sets to fail, as well as possibly cause global namespace mappings to fail, leading to virtual machines being unable to access storage.
The Base Filtering Engine service may consume an inordinate amount of memory after starting and stopping thousands of containers.
The Virtual Hard Disk Miniport Driver (Vhdmp.sys) may experience a bug check, SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (7e).
When a Windows Defender Application Guard container crashes, the resulting type of dump may be unexpected.
On recent preview builds, database applications might not be able to initialize a database and fail with a stack overflow or insufficient privileges when the database is located on an SMB volume.
Shielded VMs running Linux do not boot. The loader (LSVMLoad) waits for a passphrase for the boot partition.
Creating or modifying environment variables by using setx fails on a system running in a Nano Container (that is, Nano Server as a container image). On an affected system, setx requires a specific path in the registry, HKCU\Environment\, to exist by default. You can work around this issue by changing where the variable is stored in the registry, or you can add the expected registry path before executing setx commands. To specify that the variable be set for system-wide use in HKLM rather than in HKCU, the default, add the /M switch to a setx command. To instead add the expected registry path, run reg add HKCU\Environment before executing setx commands.
This build will expire on December 14, but Windows Server, version 1809 will be available before that. It's entirely likely that Microsoft will announce general availability of the new OS at its Ignite 2018 conference, which is in less than a month.
If you want to download the new build of Windows Server 2019, you can find it here. You can also download Windows Admin Center 1808, and Server Core App Compatibility FoD Preview build 17744.