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Windows Server 2019

Microsoft has GA released Windows Server 2019 on Oct. 2 as the successor of Windows Server 2016 (released Sep. '16).

There are some notable new features but in our industry the biggest news is that the Remote Desktop Services role will still be available.

Although it was rumored to disappear for a while it came back in insider-preview 17650. Of course many of the features relate to Azure but you can still run completely in your own datacenter if you prefer.

RDSH & RDP Improvements

  • Video redirection for built-in or attached video camera’s
    • Less bandwidth compared to USB camera redirection
    • Increased video framerate (max 30 fps)
    • Multiple camera’s
  • Video now always uses hardware acceleration
  • Video will continue to play smooth when moving the video window
  • Improved notifications
    • Printing messages
    • Outlook notifications
    • More to come...
  • RDS web client

Windows defender advanced threat protection

With this new release Microsoft has put a lot of focus on security, I believe its actually one of the biggest investments. One of the great new things there is that Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is now also available on the Server side.

Updates

Windows Server operating system releases under the Long Term Servicing Channel are supported by Microsoft for 10 years, five years of mainstream support and an added five years of extended support.

Performance

While doing research for this blog there was some confusion about the supported Microsoft Office versions on both Server 2016 and Server 2019. I’ve therefore tested both Microsoft Office version on both operating systems. Having Office 2016 on Server 2019 is not a supported scenario, but as a large part of our workloads are based on the office suite keeping the version the same helps identify performance differences in the OS Please note that different versions (365, ProPlus, etc) do not significantly differ in performance at the time of writing.

 

Test 1: Windows Server 2016 with Microsoft Office 2016:

Windows Server 2016 with Microsfot Office 2019

 

Test 2: Windows Server 2016 with Microsoft Office 2019:

Windows Server 2016 with Microsfot Office 2019

 

Test 3: Windows Server 2019 with Microsoft Office 2016:

Windows Server 2019 with Microsfot Office 2016

 

Test 4: Windows Server 2019 with Microsoft Office 2019:

Windows Server 2019 with Microsfot Office 2019

 

To summarize:

This table summarizes the charts above.

  • VSImax: The maximum amount of users that can comfortably work on an environment (Higher is better)
  • VSIbase: The performance of the system when there is little to no stress (Lower is better)
  • VSIavg: Average response time (Lower is better)
  VSImax VSIbaseline VSIavg
Test 1 - Server 2016 – Office 2016 183 Users 751ms 1678ms
Test 2 - Server 2016 – Office 2019 182 Users 772ms 1617ms
Test 3 - Server 2019 – Office 2016 180 Users 884ms 1849ms
Test 4 - Server 2019 – Office 2019 176 Users 891ms 1818ms

 

A comparison of CPU utilization:

Server 2016:

Server 2016

 

Server 2019:

Server 2019

 

Conclusion

While scalability of Windows Server 2019 can be compared to a fully updated Windows Server 2016 machine we can see that the baseline performance (the performance when there is little or no stress on the system) is a lower on Server 2019. This will result in a negative effect on user experience but its not a huge difference as we’ve seen recently with patches for Meltdown and Spectre, or mitigations for L1TF.
What is still interesting are the spikes we see in the Office 2019 related tests, we’ve seen these before on our Windows 10 – 1803 / Office 2019 test and we’ve not been able to identify what the exact root cause is. We know that when we remove Microsoft Outlook from the test that their gone, but our investigation continues.

 

Physical Infrastructure - TESTED  SUPPORTING INFRASTRUCTURE 
3x Dell PowerEdge R730 4x Dell PowerEdge R630
2x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU
E5-2670 v3 @ 2.30GHz Haswell
2x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU
E5-2620 v3 @ 2.40GHz Haswell
384 GB RAM  196 GB RAM
XenServer 7.6  Server 2016 with Hyper-V
Local SSD storage  Local SSD storage
BIOS: 2.6.0 / FW: 2.15.10.10  

 

Virtual infrastructure  
12x Launcher virtual machine
  • 2 vCPU
  • 4GB Memory
  • Windows 10
220x virtual users on
  • 6 vCPU
  • 50GB Memory
  • Server 2016 (Feb 18, fully updated)
  • Server 2019
1x VSIshare (File server)
  • 2 vCPU
  • 4GB Memory
  • Windows Server Core 2016
Software:
  • Login VSI 4.1.25
  • Microsoft Office 2016
  • Microsoft Office 2019

 


 

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About the company Login VSI

The company Login VSI provides end-user performance insights for virtualized desktop and server-based computing environments. Enterprise IT departments use flagship product Login VSI (for load testing) and new addition Login PI (for continuity testing) in all phases of their virtual desktop deployment—from planning to deployment to change management—to build and safeguard a good performance, a high availability, and (as a result) a good and consistent end-user experience. For more information about Login VSI or for a free test license contact us.

 

Tags: News, Microsoft, Windows

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