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Everything You Need to Know about Windows Server 2022

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On Sept. 1, Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Server 2022. If you’re always looking to be on the cutting edge, it’s an exciting chance to try new features and capabilities.

Of course, not everyone is an early adopter. If you’re still enjoying the systems already in place and not looking to upgrade yet, you’ll still want to review Microsoft’s plan to twilight Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2.

Regardless of which camp you fall into, staying up-to-date on the latest news is important when planning both your budgets and your long-term server development.

Whether you’re excited about Microsoft’s new option, or wondering how long your current setup will receive support, here’s everything you’ll want to know about Windows Server 2022.

Windows Server 2022 Versions

Windows Server 2022 is available as a Standard, a Datacenter, or a Datacenter Azure version, with many features common to all versions. If your organization needs Software-Defined Networking, unlimited Storage Replica, Storage Spaces Direct, or Inherited Activation, you’ll need to upgrade from Standard to the Datacenter version. 

Taking it a step further, Datacenter Azure enables cloud-friendly options such as Azure Extended Network and hotpatching. However, Datacenter Azure can’t be run on bare metal; it must be run “under client or Windows Server Hyper-V, on third party hypervisors, or within 3rd party Clouds.” 

Microsoft also designed Windows Server 2022 to be upgradable from Windows 2019, without uninstalling the older version.

Still, there are situations where a clean install is required, so you’ll want to make sure you back up all systems carefully and consult an expert before completing the upgrade.

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SMB Features

Server Message Block (SMB) receives a few upgrades with Windows Server 2022, starting with SMB Compression. Available on all versions, SMB Compression allows administrators, users, or applications to compress files during a network transfer. 

It increases CPU usage, but the compressed files transfer faster and consume less network bandwidth than typical transfers. In a robocopy demo, Microsoft showed how a 20GB file transfer could be sped up – from three minutes to 30 seconds.

The other upgrade, Server Message Block over QUIC, no longer uses TCP/IP and Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA), or TCP port 445. Instead, SMB over QUIC uses User Datagram Protocol (UDP), Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.3, and UDP port 443. 

So, what does that mean for you?

In short, these changes allow for fully secure end-to-end encrypted communication without a VPN connection.

Additionally, it’s extendable beyond Windows – to Android and, in the future, iOS and Linux. However, this option is only currently available on the Datacenter Azure version.

Advanced Security of Windows Server 2022

Windows Server 2022, by default, adopts TLS 1.3, along with “https” (a more secure method of transmitting website information). It also turns off the vulnerable 1.0 and 1.1 versions of TLS.

Microsoft also upgraded SMB to use AES-256-bit encryption, instead of the older AES-128-bit system, making sure your data is more secure than ever.

Although available in Windows 10 for some time, with Windows Server 2022, Microsoft introduces the first Secured-core implementation for servers. Secure-core improves security with several key features:

  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 
    • provides protected storage for sensitive keys and data.
    • verifies firmware running during start-up.
  • Dynamic Root of Trust of Measurement (DRTM) secures firmware in a hardware-based sandbox.
  • Virtualization-based Security (VBS) and Hybervisor-based Code Integrity (HVCI) isolates privileged portions of the operating system.

For those that upgrade to Windows 2022 Datacenter Azure, Microsoft makes management easier. For example, Azure Automanage features allow customers to migrate to Azure without network IP changes, as well as install updates on virtual machines without requiring a reboot (hotpatch).

Windows Server 2012 Twilight

Of course, the launch of Windows Server 2022 also signals the end of support for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2.

Microsoft currently plans to end support for all versions of Windows Server 2012 on October 10, 2023, so you’ll need to plan accordingly if you’re still using it.

However, if you move your workloads to Azure, you’ll be able to extend free security updates for an additional three years.

Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 can also enjoy an additional year of updates, if they’re migrated to Azure.

The Takeaways

Microsoft’s Windows Server 2022 offers many exciting features, but not all options are equally suited for every organization. You’ll need to choose which version of Windows Server 2022 is the right one for you.

As your business grows, your servers become increasingly complex and important to secure. The new security features offered by Microsoft help you do just that.

And, if you’re not ready to make the switch yet, you’ll need to make plans for when support for older options end.

Whether installing locally or in the cloud, Ideal Integrations can supply the expertise to analyze needs, clearly explain features, and properly configure options suitable for your organization.

Call us today at 412-349-6680 or fill out the form below for a free consultation for your future server needs.

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