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Windows Server Insider Preview build 20206 comes with these changes

In addition to the consumer release of Windows 10 build 20206, Microsoft has also released a new server build with the same version number to Insiders. Windows Server Insider Preview build 20206 brings a few improvements to the Storage Migration Services, and SMB protocol.

Build 20206 is from the Dev channel, so it includes changes that may or may not be included in the final release of Windows Server 21H1. It is a preview for the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release.

What’s New

File Services: SMB improvements

We’ve expanded the SMB 3.1.1 protocol in Windows Server vNext with a number of security and performance capabilities, including:

  • AES-256 – Windows Server now supports AES-256-GCM and AES-256-CCM cryptographic suites for SMB Encryption and Signing. Windows will automatically negotiate this more advanced cipher method when connecting to another computer that supports it, and can also be mandated through Group Policy. Windows Server still supports AES-128 for down-level compatibility.
  • Compression – You can now copy files over SMB with compression using the Robocopy /compress and Xcopy /compress If the destination computer supports SMB compression and the files being copied are compressible, you should see significant performance improvements. For more information and a demo of this behavior, visit the ITOps Talk Blog. Any patched Windows Server 2019 and Windows 10 computers already support compression; now you will have command-line tools to make use of it.
  • RDMA encryption – SMB Direct over RMDA networks now supports encryption. Previously, enabling SMB Encryption would disable direct data placement, making RDMA performance as slow as TCP. Now data is encrypted before placement, leading to relatively minor performance degradation while adding AES-256 protected packet privacy.
  • East-West storage encryption – Windows Server failover clusters now support granular control of encrypting and signing intra-node storage communications for Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) and the storage bus layer (SBL). This means that when using Storage Spaces Direct, you can decide to encrypt or sign east-west communications within the cluster itself for higher security.

Storage Migration Services improvements

Today marks our introduction of third generation of Storage Migration Service improvements, including:

  • AFS Tiering support preview – SMS now supports migrating data to a server configured with Azure File Sync cloud tiering, which allows you to overprovision storage while dehydrating data to Azure Files in the cloud. SMS now understands this scenario and can slow or pause transfers to allow AFS to catch up in it tiering to the cloud. This feature also makes changes to the SMS extension in Windows Admin Center, which will release separately to the feed at a later date. Please follow the Microsoft FileCab blog for updates.
  • Scenarios backported to Windows Server 2019 are included – Cluster, Samba-Linux migration support, Local security principal migration, and Inter-network migration were all added as backported features to Windows Server 2019 since its release. If you had not patched, you would not have access to them. They are now included out-of-the-box in Windows Server vNext.

You can find extra details in the official announcement.


Windows Server Insider Preview has finally received a bunch of new features with release of build 20201 on August 26, 2020. The key changes in build 20201 include: 

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