New Features of Windows Server 2016

With the release of the 2016 Windows Server rapidly approaching, you may be wondering what to look forward to, the changes that will be implemented, and how that will affect you. Here are some of the most exciting and revolutionary improvements to anticipate.

windowsThe new Nano Server offers a 93% smaller VHD, 80% fewer required reboots, and 92& fewer critical bulletins. It is designed to run Hyper-V, Hyper-V cluster, Scale-Out File Servers, and cloud service applications.

The new system offers support for containers, which enable isolation of applications from the underlying OS. This will improve the reliability and organization of the applications, including Windows Server Containers and Hyper-V Containers.

Docker support is also newly available. The open-source engine Docker is used for building, running, and maintaining containers such as were just mentioned (Windows Server and Hyper-V).

Hyper-V also is getting upgrades, which will allow the addition of a new Window Server 2016 node to a cluster, so that the cluster can run at the update’s speed before all of the nodes have been upgraded.

Storage replication of virtual hard disks is now a possibility at the block level, with the options of synchronous and asynchronous replication. Particularly in disaster situations, this replication can be a life-saving recovery method.

Another handy upgrade is the option to add and remove virtual memory and virtual network adapters without having to shut down the virtual machine. This greatly streamlines the process and expands mobility.

Overall you can expect lower attack rates, faster restarts, and the capability for running more VMs on the same hardware. The central goal in all these improvements is to make windows a “cloud OS.” There will be greater isolation and security for Hyper-V containers, but slightly less efficiency. On the plus side, a smaller amount of features provides for fewer patches and forced reboots.

This, of course, is a limited list of some of the most exciting updates. To view a more complete list or try out a preview, visit Microsoft’s website. Let us know in the comment section which improvements are the most exciting to you!

Minecraft Update for Duel-Wielding

minecraftMinecraft Update 1.9 now allows your character to fully utilize both arms. This might not sound like much, but it will dramatically enhance your method of playing. Now you can grasp a sword in one hand and a shield in the other or dig tunnels while placing a road. This will simplify the building process and allow for more efficient multi-tasking, eliminating the need to toggle between tools for simple tasks.

As you try this out for yourself, note that the system recognizes a main hand and an off-hand. The automatic setting is the right hand for the main and the left for the off-hand, but this can be switched under Skin Customization for those who favor playing left-handed.

This is useful in more than just combat situations, where it provides convenience and efficiency. A user can also utilize the dual wielding option during eating, mining, and building.

How does this work? On the bottom right side of the player avatar, you will find a slot with a shield outline, which represents the off-hand slot. Anything you place there should appear in your character’s left hand (on the default setting). For speedy use, press “F” to equip your left-hand and switch items out of your inventory into that hand.

You can use the item in your off-hand while your right hand is empty or unusable. The main hand always takes priority. Two actions cannot be completed simultaneously, as there is always a slight delay between using the first and second hand. While empty, the off-hand is invisible in first-person.

This update is exciting and useful. It does remain optional, as you can choose to ignore the addition of the off-hand and play as before. The choice stays up to the player to decide what is the most convenient and useful method to employ.