SharePoint 2016 RTM Announced – General Release Early May 2016

I guess the rumors of March 14th and SharePoint 2016 were in fact true. Today marks another milestone we have been eagerly awaiting, the official Release to Manufacturing (RTM) of SharePoint Server 2016 is finally here! With its cloud-based infrastructure and user-centered approach, SharePoint 2016 will open amazing possibilities for a variety of audiences. IT pros have a cloud-inspired architecture, ready to take on heavier loads while administrators and developers have increased control and security. End users have enhanced communication and collaboration through easier access to people, content, and applications.

You can download a 180 day trial now of the RTM bits. Get your own sneak peak. I provide software requirements shortly as well.

Among some of the new features, I am especially excited about two: Hybrid and MinRole

Hybrid in SharePoint 2016, per Microsoft, “enables you to integrate your on-premises farm with Office 365 productivity experiences, allowing you to adopt the cloud at your own pace.” Hybrid site features, hybrid search and hybrid OneDrive for Business are just the beginning. As stated, hybrid allows provides a method to slowly adopt hybrid, not making them choose one over the other. I expect more hybrid features over SharePoint 2016’s life-cycle.

MinRole’s provide a simple method to build higher performance SharePoint farms. SharePoint tasks may be split onto specific servers, each server tailored by SharePoint for that specific role. In the RTM of SharePoint Server 2016, there are six predefined server roles: Front-end, Application, Distributed Cache, Search, Custom and Single-Server Farm. MinRole combined with virtual machines will make creating those blazing speed farms we always seek.

Compliance Features and Fast Site Collection Creation

Among many other innovative developments in SharePoint 2016, I am also intrigued by new Compliance and Site Collection features. Improved compliance features include the ability for administrators to set a deletion policy within user’s OneDrive for Business sites as well as in-place policy holds, allowing administrators the ability to freeze important information if required. The continued improvement in SharePoint’s CMS abilities are always welcomed by Enterprise deployments.

Fast Site Collection Creation is also a really cool feature that proports to greatly decrease the amount of time it will take to provision a new site collection. This is done by creating templates within our backend SQL databases, thus bringing site collection provisioning down to seconds instead of minutes. You can learn more about these improvements here.

The release of this new and improved SharePoint can mean a world of possibilities for the SharePoint community. As specified by Microsoft, their overall goal is to make a more modern SharePoint, one that is “more simple, mobile, intelligent, and secure.” To see the full press release visit, “SharePoint 2016 RTM and the Future of SharePoint event“.

Additional Information:

SharePoint Server 2016 will be generally available (GA) in the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) in early May. I can see many organizations being early adopters here as SharePoint 2016 has gone through more testing than any previous version of SharePoint. Think about it, SharePoint 2016 is a quasi-snapshot of SharePoint Online. Not the best analogy, but it works. Microsoft has been already running “SharePoint 2016” in production for a while now. It is ready.

The SharePoint Server 2016 System Requirements include: Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 as well as either Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1– (64-Bit) or SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2. The Project Server 2016 was also released within the SharePoint 2016 RTM, learn more at “What’s new for IT pros in Project Server 2016“.

Want even more? Join a Live, Online Event – The Future of SharePoint – May 4th, 2016

To further celebrate this SharePoint milestone, Microsoft is hosting a live, online event May 4th. Jeff Teper, CVP for OneDrive and SharePoint, will keynote the day by reviewing Microsoft’s vision and future plans for SharePoint, both on-premise and in the cloud. After the keynote will be additional sessions giving us sneak-peaks as to what is coming.

Let me just say, you do not want to miss this event. Register now. Why should you register? Please trust me, you want to see what is coming, I expect some really exciting news and demos.

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