Microsoft has used its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto to reveal the launch dates for the long-awaited Windows Server 2016 platform and associated System Centre 2016 management suite. The firm also gave more details about the Azure Stack platform and announced availability of Azure SQL Data Warehouse.
The company disclosed that Windows Server 2016 and System Centre 2016 will launch officially at the Ignite conference for IT leaders at the end of September.
Both products are currently in Technical Preview, and the latest releases, Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 and System Centre 2016 Technical Preview 5, were delivered to testers at the end of April.
Windows Server 2016 will introduce production support for running applications and services in containers for the first time on Windows Server, while System Centre adds greater support for mixed environments and hybrid cloud operations.
"This new version of the industry-leading OS you know and trust features new innovations like Windows Server and Hyper-V containers, Nano Server, and new security features to give you a platform to build and run your cloud-native apps and mission-critical apps," said Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president for cloud and enterprise at Microsoft.
Meanwhile, Microsoft said that Azure Stack, the firm's platform designed to let customers operate a private cloud that is closely compatible with the Azure public cloud, will be delivered as part of turnkey integrated systems supplied by hardware vendor partners.
Azure Stack is currently available in Technical Preview and is designed to deliver greater consistency between a customer's on-premise private cloud and Microsoft's public Azure cloud platforms to make it easier for enterprises to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy across the two.
Microsoft appears to have decided that the best way for customers to acquire this is by getting it pre-loaded and ready configured from a systems vendor. No availability date has yet been specified, however.
"We've been working with systems vendors on integrated systems for a while now and see this as the best approach to bring Azure innovation to customer data centres reliably and predictably. We are co-engineering these integrated systems with Dell, HPE and Lenovo to start," said Mark Jewett, senior director for cloud platform marketing at Microsoft.
Microsoft also announced general availability of Azure SQL Data Warehouse, a cloud-based data warehouse service that offers customers the ability to import from any data source and scale data storage to almost any capacity.
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