New Windows Server Insider, SDK preview builds now available

A new Windows Server Insider build is now available – the first to arrive since early December. Ticking the build number up to 17074, the latest release does away with the requirement to enter a product key during setup. Instead, the build is considered "pre-keyed," Microsoft says.

Here's a look at what's new in Windows Server Insider build 17074:

  • Storage Spaces Direct (S2D)

    • In this preview build we continue to expand and simplify the hardware for Storage Spaces Direct. SCSI Enclosure Services (SES) is no longer required for Storage Spaces Direct to be compatible, this unlocks a breath of new hardware which was not capable of running S2D. Storage Spaces Direct now also supports Persistent Memory (aka. Storage Class Memory), this unlocks a new class of extremely low latency storage which is incredibly interesting in particular as a caching device. Storage Spaces Direct now also supports Direct-connect SATA devices to AHCI controller, again this will expand the hardware ecosystem compatible with S2D as well as unlock a new class of low cost hardware. In this preview we have also enabled the Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) Cache is enabled by default, which delivers an in-memory write-through cache that can dramatically boost VM performance.
  • Failover Clustering

    • In this preview we have introduced enhancements to Azure enlightened Failover Clusters, with enhanced eventing on host maintenance events and nodes about to be in host maintenance are excluded from placement. By making high availability software running inside of an Azure IaaS VM be aware of maintenance events of the host, it can help deliver the highest levels of availability for your applications.
  • Dedup support for ReFS and Storage Spaces Direct

There's also a single known issue to be aware of in this release:

  • Testing of the Windows core may fail because of a timeout while attempting to load the test libraries.

Windows Server Insider build 17074 is available for download from Microsoft, and the build is set to expire on July 2, 2018.

In addition to the new Windows Server Insider build, Microsoft has also released a new version of the Windows 10 SDK preview. You can read up on what's new with Windows 10 SDK preview build 17069, or download the updated SDK directly from Microsoft now.