Windows Server 2016 Debuts at Microsoft Ignite Conference

Today's topics include the launch of Microsoft Windows Server 2016, the availability of the Docker Engine on Windows Server, a partnership to move the Adobe Creative Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Document Cloud to the Azure platform, and NetApp’s announcement of new all-flash storage systems for midrange clients.

Microsoft kicked off its Ignite 2016 conference in Atlanta on Sept. 26, and much like last year's event, enabling businesses to make digital transformations was a major theme.

As promised earlier this summer, Microsoft announced the official launch of Windows Server 2016, with general availability to occur in October. Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group, called the software "a major enhancement of Windows Server" during a keynote address.

"It's cloud-ready and incorporates a lot of the deep learning that we've had running our own cloud with Azure, including the core capabilities that you need to run a software-defined data center.” Customers can now download evaluation copies of Windows 2016 and System Center 2016.

For the most part, the Docker container phenomenon has been about Linux, with the majority of all deployments on Linux servers.

But that could soon be changing as Docker Inc. is announcing the general availability of Docker Engine on Windows Server 2016, alongside a new commercial support and distribution agreement with Microsoft. Docker containers rely on the host operating system for certain isolation and process elements in order to run.

On Linux, those elements have always been present as part of the operating system, but the same was not true for Windows, which has required several years of joint engineering effort between Docker Inc. and Microsoft. "It has been a two-year journey," said Scott Johnston, chief operating officer at Docker Inc.

"We announced in October 2014 that we would work collaboratively with Microsoft on the open-source Docker Engine, and we've spent the last two years on engineering, technical previews and public betas.”

Microsoft was busy at the Ignite 2016 conference as the company also announced a new strategic partnership with Adobe to move the Web application development software company's Marketing Cloud, Creative Cloud and Document Cloud to the Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure platform.

With this partnership, Adobe will make Microsoft Azure its "preferred cloud platform," for the Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Document Cloud, said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO of Adobe.

Adobe officials said Azure provides Adobe with a trusted, global cloud and a data platform designed for intelligent services, including machine learning and cognitive capabilities in Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite and SQL Server.

NetApp operates as if it is two storage companies rolled into one. In fact, it is. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, which continues to iterate its own ONTAP flash and hybrid storage products in parallel with its recently acquired SolidFire division, opened its annual Insight conference here Sept. 26 by introducing a phalanx of new and improved storage software packages that it contends manages business data equally efficiently across data centers and the cloud.

Sept. 26 was a big day in the Las Vegas sun for NetApp in unveiling new products. The company announced several new all-flash storage systems for its bread-and-butter midrange clientele that promise increased performance and density over its existing lineup.

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