Windows Server 2022 is here: Microsoft is releasing its latest operating system in the versions Standard, Datacenter and Datacenter Azure Edition without much fanfare. As can be seen from several early user reports, there is a Windows 21H2 under the hood.
Security-Updates & Azure
Microsoft had already announced the majority of the new functions at the beginning of the year, including in the area of security: The new Windows server should be better protected against firmware attacks by starting with Trusted Platform Module 2.0 & System Guard. Windows Defender also virtualizes and protects credentials in an isolated process called Credential Guard. HVCI, on the other hand, virtualizes kernel code and drivers to isolate executable code and verify it before execution. HTTPS and TLS 1.3 are now enabled by default. AES-256 encryption can be used for SMB if required. Many of these innovations should look familiar to users, because although Microsoft calls them a Secured Core Server, Windows 10 received them at the end of 2019.
Microsoft is also linking its on-premises server more closely to its own Azure cloud: for example, administrators will be able to manage all systems centrally in Azure Arc, regardless of their location. Among other things, Azure Policy, Azure Monitor and Azure Defender for your own data center can be added with just a few clicks in the Windows Admin Center. The latter is now in v2103, the update mainly affects the areas of virtualization and event monitoring. The Storage Migration Service has also been updated, now outsourced and local Windows servers in Azure should be seamlessly connected so that data can be exchanged quickly.
Finally, the developers also tackle the Windows containers. Microsoft has expanded Kubernetes support and reduced the size of the containers. .NET applications can be packed into containers so that they can then be offered to other cloud services via the Azure Container Registry. Nested virtualization – Hyper-V on a virtual machine – now also works on AMD systems.
Only as an LTSC release
Microsoft is only offering the new Windows Server 2022 as an LTSC release. The operating system therefore receives five years of mainstream support and another five years of extended support. The half-yearly SAC expenses, on the other hand, are no longer applicable, and users should switch to Azure Stack HCI. Anyone who wants to try out the new operating system can do so with a free evaluation version limited to 180 days to do.