Windows Server 2022 offers the latest features to Microsoft customers and is considered the most secure version as compared to its previous counterparts. Due to the increasing cyber security threats and attacks, Microsoft has introduced the new Windows Server 2022 with upgraded security features. In addition to this, the Windows Server 2022 also offers users an enhanced version of the following:
- Windows Admin Center,
- Hybrid Cloud, etc.
In this article, we will discuss the new features of Windows Server 2022 and see how it is different from the Windows Server versions 2019 and 2016. We will also see what features Microsoft has removed from Windows Server 2022.
Windows Server 2022: Hardware Requirements
To install it, your system should have the following hardware requirements for Windows Server 2022:
- Processor: Your system should have a 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor compatible with the x64 architecture.
- RAM: To install Windows Server 2022, your system should have a minimum of 512 MB of RAM.
- Network: The NIC card on your system should be capable of supporting at least 1 GBPS bandwidth.
- Storage: At least 32 GB of disk space is required to install Windows Server 2022.
The different versions of Windows Server 2022
Microsoft has announced the following four versions of Windows Server 2022:
- Windows Server 2022 Standard
- Windows Server 2022 Essential
- Windows Server 2022 Data Center
- Windows Server 2022 Data Center Azure Edition
Let’s have a look at the following versions of Windows Server 2022.
1] Windows Server 2022 Standard Edition
The Standard edition is the basic version of Windows Server 2022. If you purchase this version of the Windows Server 2022, you will get only a single license that will work with two virtual machines and one Hyper-V.
2] Windows Server 2022 Essential Edition
Microsoft has developed the Windows Server 2022 Essential Edition, especially for small businesses and startups. It is an ideal solution for organizations with a maximum of 25 users and 50 devices.
3] Windows Server 2022 Data Center Edition
The Windows Server 2022 Data Center edition has features almost similar to the Standard edition except for some, like Protected VMs. This feature is not included in the Standard version of Windows Server 2022. The Protected VM feature lets users make their Virtual Machine firmware and startup data more secure. In addition to this, users can also use Bitlocker disk encryption on Windows Server 2022 Data Center edition.
Also, if you purchase the Data Center edition of Windows Server 2022, you will get an unlimited number of Hyper-V Virtual Machines.
4] Windows Server 2022 Data Center Azure Edition
The Windows Server 2022 Data Center Azure is a special edition developed by Microsoft. It offers some unique features that other versions of Windows Server 2022 do not have. You can run it either on Azure Virtual Machine or on an Azure HCI Stack Cluster.
One of the benefits of upgrading the older versions of Windows Server to Windows Server 2022 Data Center Azure edition is Hot Patch Feature which lets you install the updates without restarting the server.
Windows Server 2022 vs Windows Server 2019 vs Windows Server 2016
Below, we have described the features of Windows Server 2022 and compared them with the previous versions, 2016 and 2019.
The new Windows Server 2022 comes with storage enhancements. In order to eliminate the data management problems, Microsoft has introduced advanced storage to Windows Server 2022. Let’s have a look at some of the upgraded storage features of Windows Server 2022:
- Storage Migration Service
- Adjustable storage repair speed
- Faster repair and resynchronization
- SMB compression
1] Storage Migration Service
With Windows Server 2022, users can easily migrate the storage to Azure and to Windows Server. Some of the features that remain available for the users while running Storage Migration Server are:
- Migrate groups and local users to the new server.
- Migrate storage from a Linux server that uses Samba.
- Migrate to new networks.
- Synchronize the migrated data to Azure by using the Azure File Sync.
Windows Server 2019 also supports the Storage Migration Service, but Server 2022 has an updated version of Storage Migration Service. On the other hand, Windows Server 2016 does not have Storage Migration Service.
2] Adjustable storage repair speed
This is a new feature that Microsoft introduced in Windows Server 2022. With this feature, users will have more control over the data resync process. They can repair data copies or run active workloads, which helps them service their clusters more efficiently.
3] Faster repair and synchronization
The storage repair and resynchronization after the events like node reboots and disk failures have become faster in Windows Server 2022. Now, the time required to perform a repair by the server will have less variance so that you can be more sure of how long the entire process will take to get completed.
4] SMB compression
In Windows Server 2022, you need not use a third-party tool to compress files. The SMB compression feature lets you compress the files as they transfer over a network. This is a new feature that Microsoft has added to Windows Server 2022. You will not find it in Windows Servers 2016 and 2019.
In Windows Server 2019, Microsoft had introduced the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection feature. This feature is also known as ATP and uses machine learning algorithms to detect harmful behavior in order to protect an organization’s data from cyber attacks. Because of increasing cyber crimes and attacks, Microsoft has decided to upgrade security features and make Windows Server more secure than before. Now, coming to Windows Server 2016, security features like built-in Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, Shielded VMs for Windows Server and Linux, etc., are absent.
The Windows Server 2022 comes with an upgraded version of security. Following are the three major security enhancements that Microsoft has done in Windows Server 2022. These security features were not present in Windows Server 2016 and 2019.
- Hardware root-of-trust
- Firmware protection
- Virtual environment security
1] Hardware root-of-trust
The Windows Server 2022 requires TPM (Trusted Platform Module) 2.0 which provides users with a secure, hardware-based store for sensitive cryptographic keys and data. The Bitlocker drive encryption, which is one of the features of Windows Server 2022, also uses Hardware root-of-trust technology.
2] Firmware protection
In order to make Firmware more secure, Microsoft has introduced secure-core server processors. These processors use the DRTM (Dynamic Root of Trust for Measurement) technology to measure and verify the boot processes. In addition to this, CPUs also use DMA (Direct Memory Access) protection technology to isolate driver access to memory.
3] Virtual environment technology
The Secured-core servers support VBS (Virtualization-based Security), which uses hardware virtualization features to create and isolate the secure region of memory from the normal OS. This will help protect the users’ data from different vulnerabilities used in cryptocurrency mining attacks.
The above-mentioned security features make Windows Server 2022 more secure as compared to the older counterparts, Windows Server 2019 and 2016.
Windows Server 2022 uses the latest version of TLS (Transport Layer Security). TLS provides a more secure connection between two nodes. That’s why Windows Server 2022 offers users more secure network connectivity.
In Windows Server 2016, Microsoft had introduced TFO (TCP Fast Open) in order to reduce the amount of time required to establish a TCP connection. Moreover, to reduce the packet loss during the data transfer, Microsoft had improved TCP behavior in Windows Server 2016 by implementing the TCP Tail Loss Probe (TLP) and RACK.
Windows Server 2022 comes with an improved version of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) as compared to the previous counterparts. This improved TCP will help make network communication better than before. Windows Server 2022 uses TCP HyStart++ to minimize packet loss during connection startup. This technology is the most effective for high-speed internet connections. In addition to this, Microsoft has also introduced RACK technology in Windows Server 2022 to reduce RTOs (Retransmit TimeOuts).
The Windows Server 2022 offers a better networking experience to the users as compared to its previous versions.
When it comes to remote work, Cloud Management becomes the basic necessity. In Windows Server 2022, you will get better cloud management as compared to Windows Server 2016 and 2019.
Microsoft has made many improvements to Cloud Management. One of these improvements is the introduction of Hybrid Clouds in Windows Server 2022. The Hybrid Cloud technology offers on-demand app compatibility.
Windows Admin Center
Windows Server 2022 comes with an improved Windows Admin Center. The features that were unavailable in Windows Servers 2016 and 2019, like automatic Windows Admin Center updates, Event workspace for data tracking, are now available in Windows Server 2022.
Microsoft has released a PDF talking about its features which you can download here from microsoft.com.
Features discontinued in Windows Server 2022
Microsoft has discontinued some features in Windows Server 2022. These features were available in the previous versions of Windows Server.
- SAC (Semi-annual Channel): Microsoft has announced that they will discontinue the SAC in Windows Server 2022 and replace it with a long-term servicing channel.
- iSNS (Internet Storage Name Service) Server: In Windows Server 2022, you will no longer be able to use the iSNS, as Microsoft has removed it.
- Guarded Fabric and Shielded Virtual Machines: Windows Server 2022 still supports this feature but the future development on this feature has been stopped by Microsoft.
- WDS (Windows Deployment Services): Microsoft has announced that they will partially remove the WDS OS.
Should you upgrade to Windows Server 2022?
Windows Server 2022 offers good connectivity, more enhanced security features, better Cloud Management and Windows Admin Center features, etc., than Windows Servers 2016 and 2019. In addition to this, you will also get some new features in Windows Server 2022 which are not available in Windows Server 2016 and 2019 editions. Therefore, it is a good step to upgrade from the older Windows Server editions to Windows Server 2022, but the decision is yours.
What is the difference between Server 2019 and Server 2022?
In Windows Server 2022, many features of Windows Server 2019 are upgraded by Microsoft. For example, Windows Server 2022 offers enhanced security features than Windows Server 2019. In addition to security, Microsoft has focused on upgrading some other features of Server 2019, like storage, Windows Admin Center, networking, etc. Apart from introducing the upgraded features of Windows Server 2019 to Windows Server 2022, Microsoft has also added some unique features to WindowsServer 2022, like TCP HyStart++ technology in networking that helps reduce packet loss, automatic Windows Admin Center updates, etc.
Moreover, some features that were present in Windows Server 2019 will no longer be available in Windows Server 2022, like iSNS, SAC, etc.