In this post, we are going to discuss the new features of Windows Server 2022. Ever since Microsoft announced the newer Windows Server version, a lot of people are wondering about the new functionalities they will be introduced to in Windows Server 2022. The server OS is planned to be launched for the public by the end of 2021. However, the insider beta testers can preview the version of Windows Server 2022.
Windows Server 2022 is based on the solid base of Windows Server 2019. And this time, it is primarily focused on three key elements that include Security, Azure hybrid integration and management, and Application Platform. Furthermore, the Windows Server 2022 Datacenter Azure Edition assists you with utilizing the advantages of the cloud and reducing downtime. It has incorporated many more new features that will enhance security and overall performance.
What will the next Windows Server be?
The next Windows Server will be 2022 and is all set to release later this year. You can expect a lot of improvements and new functionalities in this new Windows Server, especially from the security front. Let us now describe the new features of Windows Server 2022.
Windows Server 2022 New Features
Here are the new features to look out for in Windows Server 2022:
- Azure Hybrid Capabilities
- Application platform
- Nested virtualization for AMD processors
- Microsoft Edge browser
Let us describe the above new features in Windows Server 2022.
Windows Server 2022 – What’s new?
Security has been the prime focus in the latest Windows builds, and so is the case with Windows Server 2022. It has combined security capabilities across Windows Server as well as supports multi-layer security to power an active defense mechanism against advanced threats and attacks. Here are the two key security features that you can look forward to in Windows Server 2022:
- Secure connectivity
- Secured-core server
A] Secure connectivity
Secure connectivity is a must and much needed for servers, especially in the modern world where every day there is some new cyberattack. To ensure the establishment of secure connections, here are the features that are incorporated in Windows Server 2022:
HTTPS and TLS 1.3 are enabled in Windows Server 2022 by default. The most recent version of the internet’s security protocol is Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.3. It ensures a secure communication channel between two endpoints by encrypting data. Now, by enabling HTPPS and TLS 1.3 inherently on Windows Server 2022, it makes sure that the data of clients who are connected to the server is secured. The older cryptographic mechanisms are dropped off and new security algorithms are used.
Secure DNS is another good enhanced feature that ensures secure connectivity. DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) is now supported by the DNS Client in Windows Server 2022. DoH ciphers DNS requests with the use of HTTPS protocol and keeps the traffic private, and that further enhances security. Also, eavesdropping can be prevented through it.
For Server Message Block (SMB) encryption and signing, AES-256-GCM and AES-256-CCM cryptographic suites are now supported in Windows Server. Strong encryption is a necessity in computing as adversaries keep finding new ways to break down security algorithms. The use of AES-256-GCM and AES-256-CCM suites ensures a greater level of encryption. Although, AES-128 for down-level compatibility is still supported.
For Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) and the Storage Bus Layer (SBL), there will be rigid and enhanced encryption and signing intra-node storage communications supported by Windows Server failover clusters. This basically means that the users can now encrypt or sign east-west communications within the cluster itself using Storage Spaces Direct.
In Windows Server 2022 Datacenter: Azure Edition and the supported Windows clients, SMB over QUIC in addition to TLS 1.3 is supported. It makes sure that the users and applications have secured access to data from edge file servers. Additionally, there is no longer a need for a VPN for mobile and telecommuter users to access their file servers over SMB while being on Windows.
B] Secured-core server
Secured core serve provides an extra layer of security against emerging threats and challenges. It is based on three main parameters which are as follow:
- Simplified Security
- Advanced Protection
- Preventative Defense
There will be no complexity in configuring the security features of secured core servers. You can easily configure Windows Server systems from the Windows Admin Center.
As secure core servers utilize the hardware, firmware, and operating system capabilities completely, there is enhanced protection against ongoing and future threats. It has a wide approach in areas that include:
- Hardware root-of-trust: Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM 2.0) ensures the usage of secure core servers. It provides hardware root-of-trust that increases the security level provided by capabilities like BitLocker.
- Firmware Protection: As the firmware runs with higher privilege and there are a lot of security vulnerabilities associated, improvement in firmware protection is the need of the hour. The features like Dynamic Root of Trust of Measurement (DRTM) technology, DMA protection, Secured-core systems can provide firmware protection.
- Virtualization-based security (VBS): VBS and hypervisor-based code integrity (HVCI) are supported by secured core servers
Secured core servers proactively prevent the system from adversaries.
Read: Windows 11 for Business and Enterprise New Features.
2] Azure Hybrid Capabilities
The built-in Azure hybrid capabilities in Windows Server 2022 enable you to use Azure more efficiently. Here are the new Azure hybrid integration and management features in the Windows Server 2022:
- Azure Arc enabled Windows Server is an enhanced feature to look forward to. If a hybrid machine is connected to Azure, the machine is served as a resource in Azure.
- New improvements to Windows Admin Center basically make the management of Windows Server 2022 efficient and easier.
- Hotpatch which is a part of Azure Automanage is now supported in Windows Server 2022. It is basically a new method that enables users to install updates on new Windows Server Azure Edition virtual machines (VMs). And, it doesn’t even need a restart after installation.
See: New Security Features in Windows 11.
3] Application platform
In Windows Server 2022, there are various platform enhancements for Windows Containers. One of the vast improvements is that the Windows Container image size is reduced by up to 40 percent. This will basically result in faster startup time and better overall performance.
It is now possible to run applications dependent upon Azure Active Directory with group Managed Services Accounts (gMSA). And, that doesn’t even require domain joining the container host. In addition, Windows Containers offer support for Microsoft Distributed Transaction Control (MSDTC) and Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ) now.
Windows Container experience with Kubernetes is also simplified, thanks to several enhancements. For example, host-process containers for node configuration, IPv6, and consistent network policy implementation with Calico.
Windows Server 2022’s support for Intel Ice Lake processors enables it to offer support to business-critical and large-scale applications. Also, Intel Secured Guard Extension (SGX) on Intel Ice Lake further enhances application security with protected memory.
Read: Windows Server 2022 Features removed or deprecated.
4] Nested virtualization for AMD processors
Windows Server 2022 now incorporates a nested virtualization feature using AMD processors. The nested virtualization function enables users to run Hyper-V inside of a Hyper-V virtual machine (VM). It provides more hardware choices for your environment.
Read: Windows Server 2022 Editions compared.
5] Microsoft Edge browser
Internet Explorer is now being replaced by Microsoft Edge in the new Windows Server 2022. The new Microsoft Edge is built on Chromium source code and has new and enhanced security functions. Users can now employ Microsoft Edge with Server Core or Server along with Desktop Experience installation options.
There are several new storage-related features in Windows Server 2022 which include:
- Storage Migration Service
- Adjustable storage repair speed
- Storage bus cache with Storage Spaces on standalone servers
- SMB compression
A] Storage Migration Service
The storage migration from source locations to Windows server or Azure is now become easier due to various enhancements to storage migration service. You can migrate local users and groups to the new server, migrate the storage to or from failover clusters as well as standalone servers and failover clusters, etc. It even allows migrating storage from a Linux server utilizing Samba.
B] Adjustable storage repair speed
A new feature called User adjustable storage repair speed in Storage Spaces Direct basically provides offers greater control over the data resync process. This results in an improvement in availability, flexibility, and efficiency.
C] Storage bus cache with Storage Spaces on standalone servers
For standalone servers, the storage bus cache is available now. The read and write performance is improved by it. However, the storage efficiency is maintained and operational costs are kept low.
D] SMB compression
There are improvements to SMB compression capabilities in Windows Server 2022. It eliminates the need to manually zipping files by enabling a user or application to compress files when they transfer over the network.
How to download Windows Server 2022 ISO
Visit microsoft.com here if you want to download and try Windows Server 2022. In addition to your trial experience of Windows Server 2022, you can more easily add and manage languages and Features on Demand with the new Languages and Optional Features ISO. Download this ISO. This ISO is only available on Windows Server 2022 and combines the previously separate Features on Demand and Language Packs ISOs, and can be used as a FOD and Language pack repository.
When will Windows Server 2022 be released?
Windows Server 2022 is set to be released by the end of 2021 as announced by Microsoft. However, if there are changes in the deployment plan, you will be notified soon. An insider preview for beta testers is available though.
So, you will be getting all these new and improved features in Windows Server 2022. One thing is for sure that Microsoft is really working on the enhancement of proactive security measures.