With the rise of server grade hardware for consumers, Microsoft is releasing a new edition of Windows that can efficiently handle large amounts of data. Dubbed as Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, the new edition of Windows is aimed for professionals and data scientists.
Rise of Server Grade Hardware
With processors like AMD Ryzen Threadripper and Intel’s Xeon platform for consumers, operating systems are having to handle more and more powerful hardware. The upcoming Volta lineup of GPU’s from Nvidia, AMD’s recently released Radeon Instinct and Radeon Vega, all are built around general GPU computing tasks, such as parallel processing, commonly used in AI or media rendering tasks.
At present, only Windows Sever is capable of handling such high computing powers and high storage. Even though the server and consumer OS shares the same kernel, feature wise, they are different. Windows 10 Pro for Workstations will be somewhere in between. It won’t entirely be Enterprise focused, since Windows 10 Enterprise is already there. It will be for consumers and small offices that have server grade hardware.
Considerable changes in Windows
Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is essentially aimed for these devices where there is a large number of logical processors, powerful GPU and a large amount of RAM. The new edition of Windows will be built around 4 key changes.
1. ReFS: Microsoft’s new file system provided by default in server operating systems will also be the default in Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. ReFS provides high resilience against data corruption. This is essential for devices housing data in the petabyte scale.
2. Optimization for large volumes: Windows 10 Pro for Workstations will support larger volumes than those in Pro and Enterprise editions. For larger volumes, read and write speeds will also receive a massive improvement. A part of the credit for this also goes to the ReFS. Also, the new edition of the OS will use non-volatile memory modules with persistent memory.
3. Better CPU utilization: Pro for Workstations will use Remote Direct Memory Access by using SMB direct so that network adapters are able to function at low latency without utilizing much of the CPU.
4. 2 TB RAM and 2 physical CPU support: And finally, the software company wants to expand the hardware in order to support Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. Processors like AMD Opteron or Intel Xeon are going to be compatible and with up to 2 TB of RAM and two physical CPUs, this edition of Windows is bound to reach high performance configurations.
This edition of Windows will be made available with Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update that is coming in the next month. Fall creator’s update will be bringing some performance enhancements in all editions of Windows 10 in general.
In terms of licensing, there is no word yet for this edition. Windows 10 Pro for Workstations will obviously available for large organizations via Volume Licensing. Since this edition is also aimed towards consumers, people will also be able to get this while building a new PC, or for their current PCs. This should be available for purchase as a disc or as an USB drive. However, the pricing in unknown. Those willing to buy it should expect at least 40% higher price tag that of the vanilla Windows 10 Pro.