Microsoft is driving deeper support into its upcoming Windows Server 2019 product for Linux virtual machines (VMs) to help bolster security and for Kubernetes to help the developer experience. The updated platform will also include broader support for hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI).
In a blog post, Erin Chapple, director of program management for Windows Server at Microsoft, wrote that the company’s Shielded VMs product would now support Linux VMs. The product currently is limited to support for Windows VMs.
Shielded VMs protect VMs from compromised or malicious administrators in the fabric, limiting VM admin access to secured content. They were first introduced for Windows Server 2016.
Linux VMs are most often just a VM running a Linux distribution as the guest operating system. However, in a different iteration they can also run on a server that is running a Windows OS instead of a Linux OS.
Microsoft is also extending its VMConnect product to boost troubleshooting of Shielded VMs for both Windows Server and Linux. The VMConnect product allows a user to connect to a VM in order to install or modify the guest OS.
Microsoft’s support for Kubernetes is also expanding with updates to compute, storage, and networking components of a cluster within the Server 2019 platform. These are on top of the current beta support for Kubernetes that began earlier this year.
Chapple also explained that the company was slashing Server Core container image sizes to boost performance. The move will see those images, which are used to construct applications within a container, cut by one-third from the current size of 5 gigabytes.
“This will reduce download time of the image by 72 percent, further optimizing the development time and performance,” Chapple wrote.
The company last year moved to make Server Core the recommended host for VMs and containers, along with plans to reduce image sizes by 50 percent.
Chapple also noted the addition of new features to its Windows Server Software Defined (WSSD) program, which is focused on the HCI space. The updates target additional scale, performance, reliability, and new management options through its Project Honolulu platform. That platform is a locally deployed, browser-based management tool allowing for on-premises control over Windows Server.
Microsoft initially entered the HCI space in late 2016 and last year rolled out its WSSD program to validate hardware systems that worked with Windows Server 2016. The WSSD program assists in the deployment of a software-defined data center.
The Windows Server 2019 product is set to launch later this year.