Windows server 2019 and other server OS's

Donna Johnson
Donna Johnson used Ask the Experts™
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We are looking to setup a few cache servers and aren't sure what OS would be best. Our network at present is mainly Windows 2012 r2 and a few 2008 r2 servers. We would like to use use the newest OS we can, as these are purchased through a special program that allows us a discount, but we haven't used 2019 and don't know if this would cause any issues with the older OS we have in use now. Any advice would be most appreciated.

Regards,
ABBEadmin
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DevAdminSystem Engineer | .NET Developer | Microsoft MVP | Technical Speaker

Commented:
the best thing is that you read the list of the features removed or planned for replacement in in versions of windows servers following Windows 2012 r2:

Windows Server 2016: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started/deprecated-features

Windows Server 1709: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started/removed-features-1709

Windows Server 1803: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started/windows-server-1803-removed-features

Windows Server 2019: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started-19/removed-features-19
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
What exactly is going to be cached? If it's web related maybe a *NIX or *BSD would be the better choice?
Donna JohnsonAsst. Systems Manager

Author

Commented:
I'm thinking of going that route but with a VM. So we could use the server for other uses as well. So I will still need to install a Windows OS on the box. The server will have to be used as a cache server due to the funding. I'm thinking of using them for WSUS updates and maybe web caching. This will be my first time using cache servers. So any advice on how to use them and software would be most helpful.

Regards,
ABBEadmin
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Technical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage
Commented:
Windows Server can be installed on the physical box with the Hyper-V Role enabled. That setup with a Windows Server Standard license allows for two guest virtual machines to be set up and activated with the same key.

A *NIX/*BSD VM can be set up without any impact to the host license. Depending on the physical setup of the server the VM could  be bound to a physical NIC port to allow for all Internet traffic to pass through it thus allowing for the cache if that's the goal.

WSUS can be installed and used to deliver updates. I suggest WSUS built-in to Windows Server 2019 to allow for full Windows 10 update compatibility and then to subscribe to http://patchmanagement.org for help with and notifications of patch impacts to production environments.
Donna JohnsonAsst. Systems Manager

Author

Commented:
Thanks! How much different is the setup and configuration for WSUS on Windows 2019? What software to you use for web caching?
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
WSUS is basically WSUS so if it's been done before nothing has really changed whether standalone or AD integrated using Group Policy for Client Side Targeting.

We don't do any cache on incoming HTTP/HTTPS since Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA) and its' successor Threat Management Gateway went away.

Is there a business reason to cache user's browsing and other such incoming data streams?

If bandwidth consumption is a problem then look to things like streaming audio, video, and even legit and/or illicit peer-to-peer sharing.

For Windows 10, make sure Group Policy has been set up to force Win10 to look to network peers to download updates with no WSUS present. That will help with the bandwidth on that side of things.

For servers, set Group Policy to notify but not download then either use a patch management solution or download the latest cumulative update (Server 2016/2019) and apply it to your servers on the go.
Donna JohnsonAsst. Systems Manager

Author

Commented:
No reason to cache user data. Just need the servers for other things and to get the funding it is required that are used as Cache servers. Thanks for all the info and for your help.

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