Why You’ll Love Hybrid Cloud on Server 2019
| technology | system admin - David Brown

Why You'll Love Hybrid Cloud on Server 2019

Previously, Windows servers centered around supporting IT infrastructure within a local data center. But now it does so much more. Windows Server 2019 allows IT managers to work hand-in-glove with Microsoft Azure cloud environments.

It’s an approach that lets systems administrators manage and update any server, anywhere. And through Windows Data Center and Server 2019, sysadmins have all the tools they need at their fingertips.

Let’s look at why you’ll embrace hybrid cloud on Microsoft Server 2019 sooner, rather than later.

How Does the Hybrid Cloud Work?

As the cloud has become more popular, businesses have been faced with the choice of moving all their IT resources to the cloud or leaving them in the data center. But the good thing is that it’s not an all-or-nothing dilemma.

Hybrid cloud computing means that you leave critical data or legacy solutions on premises while moving other elements to the cloud. Windows Server 2019 offers significant benefits for the management of such a hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Why You’ll Like Hybrid Cloud on Server 2019

One of the biggest advantages of using Server 2019 is the way you can control widely dispersed IT elements from a single pane of glass. Not so long ago, you had to log into each individual server to make changes that would then be repeated, server for server, across the network. But Microsoft has made management of the local data center easier through the years.

With Server 2019, you can now oversee all the servers in the cloud from the same window. It starts with the implementation of an instance of Windows Server 2019. You can install it on a physical server, as a virtual machine in a local datacenter, or on the cloud. But wherever it resides, Server 2019 provides the launching point for the management of both local and cloud resources.

Next you’ll need to install Windows Data Center on Server 2019. This gives you a browser-based single-pane-of-glass view of your hybrid cloud environment. Here’s a screenshot example showing Server 2019:

Now you just need to associate your Microsoft Azure cloud account with your Server 2019 instance. From there, you can access all kinds of hybrid cloud management tools, including Backup, File Sync, Monitor, Network, Update, and Security Center.

The benefits are clear. Microsoft has made it easier than ever to deploy, update, manage, secure, and otherwise tinker with all kinds of servers and cloud resources that you may have scattered across the globe.

Most organizations are going to hybrid cloud these days, and Microsoft is at the cutting edge of managing it all.

Azure Backup

With Azure Backup, you can replicate entire servers so that you’ll be ready for the worst case scenario. Plans for disaster recovery and business continuity (DR/BC) should never be neglected. You can protect single VMs or a multitude of them with a few clicks of the mouse.

Similar to the recovery points on your workstation, Azure Backup offers recovery points for your servers and your data.

Azure File Sync

Syncing your company’s files has never been easier than with Azure File Sync. File management may be the most common application for servers, and there seems to be no end to the accumulation of data in those servers. Azure File Sync solves several problems. First, it offers an easy way to replicate and distribute data on your local servers. Users at branch offices around the world can simply access the same cloud files you do.

File Sync is even smart enough to archive lesser-used files to the cloud and keep your “hot” files on the local servers. Sure, you can access File Sync through Azure account, but it’s always readily available through its integration with Windows Data Center on Server 2019.

Azure Update Management

Updating your Windows-based servers from Server 2019 is pretty easy, too. When you scroll down and click Update, ensuring that you are connected to your Azure account, you can manage all your Windows Update activities in one place. You can update machines with Server 2019, Server 2016 — anything that’s Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or later. And you can do them all from the same location on Windows Data Center.

Azure Network Adapter

We all know what VPNs are, and we know the importance of secure tunneling across the public internet. Azure Network Adapter is a secure point-to-site VPN connection from your Server 2019 to the Azure cloud. It’s an able substitute for the various VPN solutions we have all used to connect our servers to distant sites.

Windows Admin Center Manages It All

These are just some of the features on Windows Admin Center, a tool that integrates Server 2019 with both your on-premise infrastructure and your cloud computing IT elements. The menu items on the left of the screen allow you to dig down into all kinds of hybrid cloud management functions, far beyond the scope of the items listed above.

Just think of how servers were traditionally managed. You connected to a physical server using a telnet or SSH window. Then you would log in and query the equipment using a command line interface (CLI). Then you might make a simple change in configuration according to a change management plan. If you had 20 or 30 switches or routers to update, you would have to repeat the process 20 or 30 times until the project was done.

With Windows Admin Center, you can connect to traditional physical devices along with cloud solutions. Remote access and management of your hybrid cloud infrastructure is possible with a single window view.

How to Learn Hybrid Cloud Management on Server 2019

The Windows Server 2019 certification has not yet been released (as of this writing), but the skills measured may be similar to those identified in Microsoft’s description of the Server 2016 exam. Because the hybrid cloud is so popular, it makes sense for Microsoft to provide a tool (Windows Admin Center) and a platform (Windows Server 2019) that put everything together.

You can download an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2019. It’s a good way to get a head start on the certification, and if you’re certified in Server 2016, you’re probably well on your way. Also, check out CBT Nuggets trainer Garth Schulte’s Server 2019 Foundations training to start exploring the latest edition of Windows Server.

Final Thoughts

Most organizations are moving to hybrid cloud with good reason. It lets you keep critical IT elements in the safety of the local data center, while dispensing other bits to the cloud. Using Window Server 2019 and Windows Admin Center you can manage all of your hybrid cloud infrastructure effectively and efficiently.

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