Software Defined Data Center and Software Defined Networking in Windows Server 2019

Applies to: Windows Server 2019, all versions


When you try to enable Storage Spaces Direct or you try to add a Windows Server 2019 server to an existing Storage Spaces Direct cluster, the following event is logged in the event log:

When you try to install a Network Controller Cluster by using the Install-NetworkController cmdlet, you receive the following error message:

More Information

We recommend that you deploy Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) features such as Software Defined Networking (SDN) or Storage Spaces Direct on hardware that is validated by the Windows Server Software-Defined (WSSD) program. Validated hardware will display a Windows Server 2019 Logo and have SDDC Additional Qualifications (AQs)

The first wave of hardware that is validated for Windows Server 2019 is expected to be available starting in mid-January 2019. Until then, you can use features such as the Network Controller or Storage Spaces Direct displays an advisory message and requires an additional step. This is typical and expected.

We will remove the advisory message through Windows Update when the first WSSD-validated hardware becomes available. If you are interested in upgrading existing WSSD environments to Windows Server 2019 before the availability of hardware in mid-January 2019, contact Microsoft Support for more details.

Required: Windows Server Logo + SDDC AQs

As is true for Windows Server 2016, systems and components that are listed in the Windows Server 2019 catalog and that have the SDDC AQs are required. If you run SDN or Storage Spaces Direct on such hardware, you are eligible for product support from Microsoft. There are more than 1,700 components that have the SDDC AQs for Windows Server 2016.

Why the two-phase launch?

Windows Server 2019 is the first version to skip the classic Release To Manufacturing (RTM) milestone and go directly to General Availability (GA). This change was motivated by the growing popularity of virtual machines and containers, and the growing trend to deploy in the cloud. But it also means that our hardware ecosystem did not have the opportunity to validate and certify systems or components before the release. Currently, OEMs are doing this.

Do I just have to wait?

You have the following options:

  • Use the Insider edition to evaluate Windows Server 2019. There is no advisory message or registry key required for the Insider edition.
  • If you have a tight project deadline, features such as SDN or Storage Spaces Direct are available for immediate deployment in Windows Server 2016. There are significant added capabilities and improvements in Windows Server 2019. However, the core functionality is comparable. There are more than 45 validated WSSD offers available today for Windows Server 2016.
  • If you meet the requirements in the “Required” section, such as using parts that have the Windows Server 2019 logo and the  SDDC AQs, you can deploy SDN or Storage Spaces Direct in Windows Server 2019 in a production environment even before the first WSSD-validated hardware ships in mid-January. You will be eligible for a free non-decremented case from Microsoft Product Support. For more details about how to upgrade existing WSSD environments to Windows Server 2019, contact Microsoft Support.