What to know before upgrading to Windows Server 2019

Even though it’s only been one refresh cycle, the changes to the latest version of Windows Server are considerable. Microsoft makes the process of upgrading from Windows Server 2016 easy.

windows server 2019
Getty Images/Microsoft

IT generally requires a good reason to disrupt a smooth working environment, which is why some hardware sits deployed for decades. Even though Windows Server 2016 is relatively young, there’s a decent argument to be made for upgrading a Server 2016 environment to Server 2019, the most recent release.

There’s a longer span between Windows Server releases than the desktop version of the software because of slower migration habits on the server side, and this means bigger changes between releases. Windows Server 2016 was the first server OS built on the Windows 10 kernel, and some of the changes were rather rough. Windows Server 2019 is markedly faster, and it has a number of changes under the hood, from security to hybrid cloud integration. Here’s a rundown of what’s new and what are the most compelling arguments for upgrade.

In-place Windows Server 2019 upgrades

For a long as the desktop version of Windows has been on the market, it has allowed users the option to upgrade over the existing OS installation and migrate all apps. Microsoft aggressively pushed updates from Windows 7 and 8 to Windows 10.

Windows Server, though, has not had that option until now. You either got Windows Server with new hardware, or did a clean installation, where you install on a blank server or overwrite an existing operating system. And because Server 2019 is built on the 2016 code base, app compatibility is maintained.

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