Installing Windows Insider Preview Server

Today, Microsoft has released Windows Insider Preview Server.  If you’re not familiar with the Windows Insider Preview, it’s essentially a beta version of future releases of Windows.  Insiders will use these versions and provide feedback to Microsoft, enabling them to release a better final product to the masses.  A server version is big news because it will allow IT professionals to test the new versions of Windows Server before they are released on the stable channel, allowing them to be implemented into production more quickly.  If you’re entering the industry, it gives you a chance to cut your teeth on the latest Microsoft has to offer.

Installing

For my setup, I decided to install it in a virtual machine inside Hyper-V 2016.  I got to work creating the virtual machine and selecting the install media to boot it from.  For my virtual hardware, I configured it with 8 vCPUs, 16GB of RAM and 127GB of hard disk.  I started the VM and it boot straight from the ISO.

Serial Number Prompt

Just like the typical Windows installation, we are prompted to enter a product key.  Since this is the Insider Preview, we can just click on “I don’t have a product key”.  On the next screen, I chose “Windows Server 2016 Standard”.  Since this is core only, there are no options for a GUI installation.  The rest of the installation proceeds just like a normal Windows installation.

Configuration

When we log in for the first time, we are prompted to change the administrator password.  After that, we are greeted by the command prompt.  Typing in “sconfig” brings us the configuration menu.  We’ll need to set up a few things.

First, we will change the computer name from the default value.  After a quick reboot, we want to make sure our date and time are correct and configure a static IP on the network adapter.  This is the extent of the configuration that we will do on the new server.

Conclusion

As you can see, Windows Insider Preview Server installs just like any previous version of Server Core.  It is up to you to install any other roles and features.  It goes without saying that this is not recommended for production environments.

What are your experiences with Windows Insider Preview Server?  Share them in the comments.