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What’s new in Windows Server 2022

Microsoft officially launched Windows Server 2022 on August 18, 2021. Let’s dive right into all the new features that come with this latest edition.

Security

This latest version of Windows Server has a multi-layered approach to protecting your infrastructure against advanced threats.


Secured-core server

Utilizing certified hardware from your OEM partner, this feature uses a combination of drivers, firmware, and hardware to protect systems against highly sophisticated attacks. The extra protection is beneficial for mission-critical loads and in industries with high data sensitivity.

Hardware root-of-trust

Secure chips, such as Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM 2.0), store data to ensure that Server 2022 starts up with legitimate code and can be trusted.

Firmware protection

Most anti-viruses are unable to see firmware attacks. Server 2022 uses secured-core processors to verify boot procedures.

Image credit: Microsoft

Virtualization-based security (VBS)

To protect against crypto-mining attacks, Server 2022 makes use of virtualization-based security. This feature allows memory to be isolated and credentials stored in a virtual container that the operating system cannot directly access.

Image credit: Microsoft

Hypervisor-based code integrity (HVCI)

Closely tied into VBS, Server 2022 uses HVCI to check all kernel binaries and drivers before startup, ensuring that no unsigned files or drivers are loaded.

HTTPS and Transport Layer Security 1.3 enabled by default

Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.3 and secure HTTP are both enabled by default in Server 2022.
This improved security encrypts as much of the handshake between client and server as possible.

DNS-over-HTTPS

Encryption of domain name services over HTTPS prevents DNS data from being manipulated.

Image credit: Microsoft

Server Message Block (SMB): SMB AES-256 encryption

Server 2022 will automatically use this level of encryption when communicating with other machines that support this feature. AES-128 is also still available for backward compatibility.

Image credit: Microsoft

Server Message Block (SMB): East-West

Failover clustering in Server 2022 allows administrators to encrypt internal cluster communication.

Server Message Block (SMB): Direct and RDMA encryption

Direct memory access, and remote direct memory access, enable low latency workloads like SQL Server and Hyper-V to encrypt data before placement, providing packet-level security with minimal loss of performance.

Server Message Block (SMB): QUIC

Specific to Server 2022 Datacenter: Azure Edition allows remote users to connect over SMB to file servers without connecting to a virtual private network.

Image credit: Microsoft

Server Message Block (SMB): Compression

Both Windows 11 and Server 2022 remove the need for users to zip files to transfer data quickly.

Image credit: Microsoft

Azure hybrid capabilities

Connecting an on-premise data center with Azure is simplified by the built-in hybrid functionality.

Arc enabled Windows Servers

Machines running Server 2022 hosted on-premise or in other cloud providers can be managed like any other resources in Azure through Arc.

https://youtu.be/mJnmXBrU1ao
Video credit: Microsoft

Windows Admin Center

Improved functionality in the Admin Center allows for reporting and enabling of secure-core Server 2022 features.

Image credit: Microsoft

Automanage – Hotpatch

Another specific Server 2022 Datacenter: Azure Edition feature is Hotpatch. With this feature, Azure editions of Windows Server can install updates with no need for a reboot afterward.

Image credit: Microsoft


Application platform

Windows Containers enjoys significant improvements in Server 2022. Reducing image sizes by 40% have brought a 30% faster loading time and improved operating performance.
Other notable features are:

  • Support for Microsoft Distributed Transaction Control (MSDTC) and Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ).
  • Enhanced Kubernetes support.
  • Simplified .NET application containerization.
  • Support for 64TB RAM
  • Support for 2048 logical cores
  • Support for 64 physical processor sockets.

Other key features

Nested virtualization for AMD processors

AMD processors allow Server 2022 users to run Hyper-V inside a Hyper-V machine.

Image credit: Microsoft

Microsoft Edge browser

No longer shipping with Internet Explorer, Server 2022 comes with Edge in both Server Core and Desktop Experience.

Networking performance: UDP improvements

User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is now processed mainly by the network adapter in Server 2022. The CPU processed this in previous versions of Windows Server.

Networking performance: TCP improvements

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) in Server 2022 uses HyStart++ and RACK to provide smoother data flow with increased speed.

Hyper-V virtual switch improvements

Enhanced with Receive Segment Coalescing (RSC) to bundle packets and reduce CPU cycles, Server 2022 Hyper-V virtual switches enjoy the increased performance.

Storage: Migration Service

Moving storage has never been easier than with Serv
With SMS, you can migrate:

  • Users and groups
  • Between failover clusters
  • Between standalone servers and failover clusters.
  • Storage from a Linux server that uses Samba.
  • Shares into Azure with Azure File Sync.
  • To new networks such as Azure.
  • NetApp

Image credit: Microsoft

Storage: Adjustable repair speed

Storage spaces in Server 2022 allow improved control of resyncing data.
Administrators can choose between the performance advantage of allowing active workload or the data repair to take priority.

Image credit: Microsoft

Storage bus cache with Storage Spaces on standalone servers

Caching in Server 2022 allows binding SDDs and HDDs on standalone machines. The cache is created on the faster SDDs to provide a cost-effective, high-performance operating model.

Image credit: Microsoft


Conclusion

With so many incredible security, networking, and storage features added, Windows Server 2022 is the number one choice for any organization.


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