General Objectives of the Article Discuss observations and what would be the best licensing channel options considering critical mission environments.
Introduction From Windows Server 2016, Microsoft has made available until the writing year of this article, 3 licensing channels of the Windows Server product family.
Looking in general, the items below analyze from the operational point of view the available licensing models to choose from the point of view.
LTSC - Long Term Service Channel The mode of licensing and support of products that many organizations are already used to. 5 years of dedicated support + 5 years of extended support. 5 years of dedicated support including support for new feature updates, functions, fault correction packages, improvements, and security with Microsoft through contract or loose call. Near the end of the 5-year period of dedicated support for a product version, a new product version is released. 5 years of extended support, with limited fixes support and support only for critical security features, without caller support with Microsoft. Products from the Windows Server, Windows 10, System Center, Office Server, Developer Tools families are available on this channel and virtually all others that are not "Product as a Service".
CBB - Current Branch for Business Focused on fast-released scenarios, served on the Semi Annual Channel model. 6 months of dedicated support + 6 months of extended support. Windows Server, System Center, Windows 10 family products are available on this channel and other products offered in the "Product as a Service" model.
LTSB - Long Term Service Branch Focused on scenarios that are not necessary or have limited possibilities for product updates, such as ATMs, Hospital Machines and embedded systems electronics. Update support has a longer delivery range, such as Windows 10 LTSB, updates are delivered at 2-year intervals, without immediate support for DirectX updates and other common resources for daily use, but unusual to limited scenarios. Products from the System Center, Windows 10 families are available on this channel and others to support embedded equipment solutions.
Notes Before Using Windows Server Core in Production
Before installing the Windows Server product in core mode, a careful observation of the licensing type is required, since depending on the "WorkLoad" that is allocated to the server, application, module, or system, the type of licensing can require applications for build updates that can operate, technically or financially the solution allocated on the server. A licensing version that requires constant updates not supported by the application can compromise the performance or availability of the application or solution, as well as vendor support. A large-period feature upgrade veto may not bring new features or support to essential application APIs. The best scenario is to align product usage with application teams to identify the best appropriate licensing version, analyzing the compliance of the current scenario. Taking into account experiences of operations production environments in critical missiles, services based on solutions such as Microsoft ADDS infrastructure services, Microsoft ADCS Subordinate (Non-Root), Microsoft DNS StandAlone, or Active Directory Based, when allocated to dedicated servers can take advantage of better control and less impact of "Server Core" installation mode with lower support period licensing and fast releases, CBB licensing, provided in High Availability. Implant products with larger scopes, even if they are infrastructure, and that have a higher level of knowledge, specialized companies for the provision of support, may not be good canditadas in the mode of rapid releases, but rather to the channel of longer support period, products such as the System Center family, recently Exchange Server,SharePoint Server, are examples, given the need for documentation and compatibility analysis in heterogeneous environments.
Another observation is that the "Server Core" installation mode targets a "Client->Server" consumption model, that is, the server allocates the active load, as expected, but the management tools are executed and allocated, installed, on the client machines of the administrators or remote management infrastructures. "WorkLoad"s, applications that require management via Microsoft RDP for the server that hosts it and that do not have remote-management consoles or that are unable to manage remotely, may not be good canditades to hosting on servers in mode " Server Core."
This is an open discussion channel share below the observations and options.