What kind of server channel are your running on: SAC or LTS?

  • Context:

I installed a SAC (Semi Annual Channel) based server and wanted to know what’s the difference with the LTS (Long Term Support) branch?

Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started-19/servicing-channels-19
There’s only 18 months support for the SAC channel.
There’s no upgrade path between branches, so you need to install from scratch when you want to move to a new branch.
That’s a big the deal.
I also wanted to have some code that would help me differentiate these 2 channels?

  • Solution:

I started to dig in google and the registry. I found this relevant info:

Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/desktop/legacy/hh846315(v=vs.85)

The WMI repository can help and contains the following:

Get-CimInstance -Property Caption -ClassName Win32_OperatingSystem |
Select -expand Caption

NB: Notice the year in the caption name before the edition (ex: Standard or Datacenter)
When the server is on a LTS channel, the year is specified whereas when on a SAC channel, it’s absent.

While there is a Get-ComputerInfo cmdlet, it doesn’t meet my needs. I wrote another function

The isExpired property is only valid for the SAC channel. I should modify the code accordingly in a further release.
If you run on the LTS channel, I would recommend that you use the official info on this site: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/search

Let’s see the above function in action:

On a Windows server 2016

On a Windows server 2019

On a Windows Server 1903

On a Windows Server 1709

Notice that this SAC channel is expired

On a Windows 2012 R2 Server

Again, the LTS channel have an expiry date specified on this site: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/search

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