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Windows server futures

A blog post - https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/windowsserver/2018/03/29/windows-server-semi-annual-channel-update/ – has clarified Windows server futures.

 

Going forward the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) releases – Server 1803 is due very soon  - will concentrate on containers (applications and hosts) and fast innovation application scenarios. Releases will be every 6 months with an 18 month lifetime.

 

The Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) is for general purpose file servers, ‘traditional’ applications (whatever that means), infrastructure roles, software defined datacenter and Hyper-converged infrastructure. Releases will be every 2-3 years with the standard 5+5 lifecycle.

 

SAC will be Server Core only. if you want a GUI you need LSTC.

 

Innovations from SAC releases that occur between LSTC releases will be rolled into the next LSTC.

 

This clarification is useful and the differences between SAC and LSTC now make sense.

 

I’d recommend that you only use the SAC releases if you need them as they do introduce more churn into the environment given their short lifecycle. I wouldn’t ignore them –keep any eye on the releases as they become available as there might be a feature that makes your life much easier.

Windows Server 1709 download problem

Windows Server 1709 is the first semi-annual update for Windows Server 2016. Just to avoid consistency Microsoft have decided on different naming conventions for the Windows 10 and Windows Server semi-annual updates. The Windows 10 update can be applied over an existing instance of Windows 10 but the server update involves a complete new download. That’s where you might run into the Windows Server 1709 download problem.

 

Server 1709 is available through the software assurance channels and seems to download OK from there. Its also available to subscribers to MSDN – now renamed myvisualstudio.com for some inexplicable reason – and that’s where the problem comes in.

 

If you’re running a machine that doesn’t default to US English you’ll get a perpetual loading spinner when you try to access the download on MSDN. This is irrespective of browser – its been reported for Edge, IE, Chrome and Firefox.

 

The answer is to load up the US English language onto your machine and make it the default. May need a restart. You should then be able to download Server 1709.

 

Microsoft have finally, after over a week of posts from lots of people  finally acknowledged that there is a problem with this download – the other downloads I looked at seemed OK – but haven’t given any time frame for a fix. In the meantime the work around of changing your machine to US English solves the Windows server 1709 download problem.