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Windows Server 2022: All Features and New Technologies Explained

written by posted on July 20, 2021

Windows Server 2022: All Features and New Technologies Explained

We’re excited to announce that Windows Server 2022 – the latest version of the Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) Windows server operating system is about to hit the market before the end of 2021. Since last year, Microsoft has been testing this Windows Server through its insider test program, and on March 2nd, the officials gave a sneak peek of what to expect in terms of features and new technologies.

According to Microsoft, “Windows Server 2022 is built on the solid foundation of Windows Server 2019 and brings many innovations on three key themes: security, Azure hybrid integration and management, and application platform. The Server also comes with new Windows Admin Center features, enabling users to maximize Azure cloud benefits, thanks to up-to-date VMs and minimized downtime.

Let’s expound on these transformative technologies, plus other vital features, including storage, Microsoft Edge browser, and nested virtualization.

Advanced Multi-Layer Security

From the preview, it’s safe to say that security has been Microsoft’s key focus in the development of Windows Server 2022. This is most likely in response to the rampant cybersecurity breaches that have been recorded in recent years. And Microsoft, being a global product and key target by cybercriminals, only saw it wise to provide “defence-in-depth protection against advanced threats” in its latest Server upgrade.

Below are the top security upgrades that will keep your organizational assets safe from the prying eyes of cyber threat actors:

Secured Core

If you operate in a data-sensitive industry and you need assurance when handling confidential data or protection against the most sophisticated attacks, Microsoft’s secured-core server has your cover. Below are the three critical pillars upon which this security infrastructure built:

Preventative Defense

The best way to proactively defend and seal all the loopholes that threat actors may try to exploit your system is to enable the secured-core functionality. Plus, this releases your IT and SecOps teams, allowing them to spend their time on other business-centric responsibilities.

Simplified Security

Windows Server systems have been configured to integrate effortlessly with the Windows Admin Center, enabling all the security features of Secured-core. What’s more, when you acquire hardware from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), you can rest assured it’ll come with all sets of drivers, firmware, and hardware that match the Secured-core standards.

Advanced Protection

You can always count on Secured-core servers for the most enhanced OS functionalities, firmware, and hardware protection. Generally, the Secured-core server protection capabilities are aimed to secure all the critical data and apps through:

  • Virtualization-based Security (VBS). VBS, supported by Secured-core servers, protects systems against all vulnerabilities that threat actors leverage in crypto mining attacks, thanks to the isolation it provides between sensitive parts of the OS like kernel from the rest of the system. VBS also protects the domain credentials for end-users.
  • Firmware Protection. The rise of firmware attacks on enterprise resources like Active Directory domain controllers has prompted Microsoft to introduce an advanced firmware protection solution on its latest Windows Server 2022. Consequently, Microsoft has optimized Secured-core systems to use processor support for Dynamic Root of Trust of Measurement (DRTM) technology and DMA protection to guard the security critical hypervisor from attacks.
  • Hardware root-of-trust. This complements the protection already enabled by security capabilities like BitLocker, which capitalizes on the Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM 2.0) and creates attestation-driven workflows to be incorporated into zero-trust security strategies.

Encryption

Advanced security protection can never be complete without end-to-end encryption. Microsoft understands that perfectly, and it has introduced several encryptions in its new release to reiterate its position in protecting user assets. These include:

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) – secures communication between any two endpoints by encrypting data.
  • DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) – encrypts DNS queries through the HTTPS protocol.
  • Server Message Block, SMB AES-256 Encryption – protects your systems when connecting to another WIndows-supported computer.
  • East-West SMB Encryption – controls internal activities inside a data center for advanced protection against threats.

Application Platform

Windows Server 2022 will come with several awesome application platform upgrades for Windows Containers. For instance, Microsoft hinted that it had reduced the Windows Container image size by up to 40%, leading to an improved startup time and performance.

Other improvements include the Windows Container experience with Kubernetes and app compatibility. As such, Windows Server 2022 will now support apps that depend on Azure Active Directory without domain joining the container host. Instead, you only need group Managed Service Accounts (gMSA). Furthermore, Windows Containers will support Microsoft Message Queueing (MSMQ) and Microsoft Distributed Transaction Control (MSDTC).

And when it comes to simplifying the Windows Container experience, Microsoft has introduced several enhancements. These include support for consistent network policy implementation, IPv6, and host-process containers for node configuration. In addition, the Windows Admin Center has also been updated to containerize .NET applications more effortlessly.

Last but not least, Windows Server support for Intel Ice Lake processors will also make it possible to support business-critical and large-scale apps like SQL Server that require up to 48TB memory space. This will improve application security by separating apps from each other with protected memory, thanks to confidential computing with Intel Secured Guard Extension.

Azure Hybrid Capabilities

If you’ve been looking to enhance your business agility and efficiency, Windows Server 2022 is about to help you realize that feat, thanks to its built-in capabilities. Below are the transformative hybrid capabilities to expect in the new release:

Azure Automanage – Hotpatch

Azure Automanage is a service for automating management tasks, including patching, thanks to its hotpatch capability. Hotpatching is a new tactic of installing updates on Windows and Linux VMs (that don’t require rebooting after installation) hosted on the latest Windows Server. For more details regarding Azure Automanage, be sure to check out this documentation.

Windows Admin Center

Microsoft also hinted that it had upgraded its Windows Admin Center by including several value-adding capabilities compatible with Windows Server 2022. In essence, the new capabilities will enable users to manage their Windows Server Vms from within the Azure portal and report on the current state of the above-discussed Secured-core features.

Azure Arc-Enabled Servers

The introduction of Azure Arc-enabled server in Windows Server 2022 means users will bring on-prem and multi-cloud Windows Servers to Azure. And the reward? The user experience managing native Azure VMs will improve tremendously.

Other Key Windows Server 2022 Features

SMB Compression

Besides the Windows Container image size, which has been reduced by up to 40%, Microsoft hinted that it had enhanced its Server Message Block, SMB in Windows Server 2022, allowing apps or users to compress files as they get transferred over a network. That means you no longer have to zip files manually to move them faster on slower, congested networks.

Microsoft Edge Browser

Microsoft has replaced its seasonal browser – Internet Explorer – with a more advanced Microsoft Edge. The new browser is built on Chromium open-source and backed by military-grade Microsoft security and innovation for enhanced user experience.

Nested Virtualization for AMD Processors

Microsoft users can now run Hyper-V inside a Hyper-V VM, thanks to the nested virtualization feature supported on Windows Server 2022 using AMD processors. Consequently, this exposes you to countless hardware choices for your environments.

Storage

Windows Server 2022 comes with several storage capabilities, including:

  • Adjustable storage repair speed gives users more control over the data resync process, providing availability and allowing you to service your clusters more efficiently and flexibly.
  • Storage migration service makes it trouble-free to migrate storage from more source locations to Azure or Windows Server.
  • Storage bus cache improves read and write performance while keeping operational expenses down and maintaining storage efficiency.

Coleman Technologies is Your Trusted Windows Server Support Partner!

Are you a British Columbia business looking for top-class Microsoft Windows Server support and services? If the answer is YES, Coleman Technologies can help! We’re a team of highly experienced and self-motivated Microsoft Solutions specialists who boast in helping small and mid-size businesses realize their growth goals and overcome technology challenges through customized IT support.

In our capacity as your reliable Windows Server support partner, we can help you devise a strategy for implementing and managing the upcoming new features announced by Microsoft for Windows Server 2022. So get in touch with our experts today for all your business-critical Windows Server support and management needs.

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