Windows Server 2016 | Too early for Production environments

Hi guys

Recently for a new hardware, we opted Windows Server 2016, which was suggested by the vendor and our logical thinking that we are already by the mid of 2018 and we should have a recent server OS.

Although we bought the OS, we didn’t use it until our recent Citrix deployment for a legacy application that is 20 years old, based on Oracle forms and reports (Developer 2000 6i)

Everything went as expected, but the printing. 1st of all we were expecting some misconfigurations from Citrix & came to conclusion that we will address the direct printing requirements from the legacy mini ERP by changing few stuffs here and there.

In order to make sure that no mistakes were been made during Citrix implementation causing such a hiccup, I decided to setup a lab environment (Actually the legacy application sources I have and the latest compiled are bearing different time stamps, hence I was skeptical about recompiling those forms after changing the printing routines…)

So I picked up a Windows 2012 R2 physical server, setup Citrix following the documents provided by our implementation partner, which had minutely detailed explanations with screenshots how to install and configure Citrix XenApp 7.15.xx

After setting up the store front, I accessed the published application and the default printer was the one I have as default in my laptop! This caused me more confusion, so I decided to recreate the exact setup once again using Windows Server 2016

I built a VirtualBox VM using evaluation version of Windows Server 2016 standard edition and patched it with May 2015 cumulative update before setting up Citrix. I was able to reproduce the printing issues once again & I decided to find out what was the real cause behind two different behavior between Windows Server 2012 & 2016!

Kept on searching for any kind of information & came across couple of TechNet discussions

 https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/d3bb9c96-d271-4eb4-b544-c2bcdc0f2e66/printer-redirection-server-2016?forum=winserverTS

 &

 https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/785cbcc6-4f0b-4d88-b12f-2b1d89b85a44/remoteapp-default-printer-redirection-not-working-in-server-2016?forum=winserverTS

I dug deep into the registries of both OS after a normal RDP to confirm that Windows Server 2016 retains local printer for the key “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows:Device” while Windows Server 2012 maps this key value with the default printer redirected from the client during a RDP session!

1

I couldn’t find a valid explanation or solution for Windows Server 2016, hence asked the implementer to redo the Citrix deployment using Windows Server 2012.

Now the topic cannot be justified just because we had some issues with an outdated legacy technology, should have more

Windows updates: I never experienced such kind of broken stuffs with Windows update that Windows Server 2016. It looks and breaks like Windows 10 & reminds me a BIG mobile phone than a real server OS

Windows Domain Administrator account has “Not enough privileges” to interact with desktop icons & more. This OS is almost 19 months old & Microsoft hasn’t fixed the above “bug” until date, so you could guess what kind of progress they might have had with this particular OS!

There could be more than what I have listed above with the OS that is still half baked. I am sure the printer related issue that I have narrated above MUST be another bug & future releases “may” address it.

So, unless you are true risk taker, I suggest to continue with Windows Server 2012 & only to use Windows Server 2012 in the test/development environments and to avoid straight away going with the OS for production deployments.

regards,

rajesh

 

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