What we know about Windows Server 2022
Microsoft released Window Server 2022 preview on Ignite this week, highlighting improvements to security, portal integration, and support for Windows containers on Kubernetes.
The company also announced some news related to the management portal, such as the “general availability” version of Windows Admin Center version 2103 (see this video for an overview), including its integration into the Azure portal at the preview stage. Windows Admin Center version 2103 notably includes support for Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows. This feature, which was in preview in January, “makes it easier to install, configure, and diagnose IoT Edge on the Linux virtual machine.”
Windows Server 2022 Features
Some workload statistics for the new server have been described. Microsoft says Windows Server 2022 can support “large-scale applications like SQL Server that require 48TB of memory and 2,048 logical cores running on 64 physical sockets.”
On the Kubernetes side, the size of the Windows container image has been reduced, which is described as an improvement in performance and download speeds. It is “smaller by about a gigabyte,” according to Bernardo Caldas, vice president of program management at Microsoft, during this Ignite session.
Windows Server 2022 will have built-in security capabilities, such as using HTTPS and Transport Layer Security 1.3 by default. The Server Message Block protocol in Windows Server 2022 will use AES-256 encryption. The big news, however, is the addition of Secured-core protection.
Protection of secure servers
On the security front, a new feature of Windows Server 2022 is its “secure core server” capability, which adds firmware-level security protections when using qualified hardware.
Secure Server is a hardware-based (Trusted Platform Module 2.0) and virtualization-based security approach designed to attest that the operating system has not been compromised by “rootkits” or “bootkits” at the boot stage, or corrupted by corrupted drivers. Such a protection scheme is already available on the client side on released Windows 10 Secured-core PCs.
The Secured-core approach is also extended to Microsoft’s Azure Stack HCI product, as well as to “Azure Certified IoT devices,” Microsoft said in this announcement by David Weston, Director of Enterprise Security and Operating System at Microsoft. The secure protections will not only apply to Windows systems, but will also work for Linux operating systems, he added.
The release of Windows Server 2022 Secured-core server products will depend on the timing of Microsoft’s chip hardware partners (AMD and Intel) and the original equipment manufacturer. However, new machines are expected to arrive this year, according to Caldas during the Ignite session.
“You can expect to see new secure-core systems from Dell EMC, HP Enterprise, Lenovo and others later this year,” he said.
The current version of Windows Admin Center has a new “Security” preview-stage tool that will display “Current Status of Basic Secure Features.” It also allows users to enable basic secure functionality where appropriate, Microsoft said.
Integration of the management portal
Microsoft’s management and migration solutions were in the news for Windows Server 2022. A summary of what’s new in Windows Admin Center version 2103 and the Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal was posted by Microsoft in this twitter message.
Microsoft says its “Azure Arc and Storage Migration Service are two key hybrid features that work best with Windows Server 2022.” Azure Arc is Microsoft’s multi-cloud management tool that also supports on-premises server management. The Storage Migration Service enables “seamless connectivity from on-premises file servers to file servers on Azure” as well as “low latency” data migrations to the cloud.
In addition, the browser-based Windows Admin Center portal is now integrated with the Azure portal. It is free to use and allows management of virtual machines (based on Windows Server 2016 and newer) using this portal, in accordance with Microsoft’s documentation.