What’s coming in the next on-premises version of SharePoint – SharePoint Server 2016

The next on-premises version of SharePoint is about a year away, but we got a sneak peek from Bill Baer, Senior Technical Product Manager and Microsoft Certified Master for SharePoint, at the Microsoft Ignite conference Wednesday morning. My main takeaway is that on-premise SharePoint is going to benefit in a big way from the experiences Microsoft has had supporting, maintaining, and updating SharePoint at the scale of the Office 365 – SharePoint Online environment. There are several new features to improve reliability, performance, and scalability. One that caught my attention was the goal to reduce the size of patches and execute them faster with zero downtime. That’s right, zero downtime. Updates should be transparent to users.

Another concept that will improve reliability and performance was MinRoles. As I understand, there will be four types of server roles in a SharePoint farm: Web Front End to handle user requests optimized to reduce latency, Application for backend jobs and optimized for throughput, Specialized Load, and Distributed Cache. The Web Front End and Application roles cannot be on the same server; if you put them on the same server, the server role will be a Specialized Role and not monitored for health by the SP Health Analyzer. Central Admin will display the role of each server in the farm and whether it is in compliance with the expected configuration.

Single-server farms using SQL Express are a thing of the past. You must use 64-bit SQL Server 2014 SP1 or SQL Server 201x. Other prerequisites include Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 10, and .Net 4.5.2.

Many of the old boundaries and limits are expanding. Content databases in SP2016 will be able to go in the TBs and each will be able to support up to 100k site collections. The ListView Threshold will increase from the current value of 5000. The default maximum file size will increase to 10GB from 50MB. The number of indexed items will grow twofold – to 500M items!

Durable Links will minimize the occurrence of broken links when you move files.

Finally, there will be lots of added analysis to help you understand how your users are using SharePoint. Microsoft has done a lot of A-B testing in SharePoint Online in an effort to simplify things. We all will benefit from the results.

This version claims to be the most durable SharePoint shipped to date. We can’t wait to try it out!

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