Microsoft has not written off local Windows servers, but the Azure cloud is still finding its way into the data center with version 2022.
Windows Server 2022 will be released later this year, as Microsoft announced at this year’s Ignite. It is an LTSC release (Long-Term Servicing Channel) based on Windows Server 2019.
There are many important updates in the area of security: the developers already call their end Secured-Core servers Protections introduced in 2019 for Windows 10. Specifically, Microsoft wants to better protect systems against firmware attacks by starting with Trusted Platform Module 2.0 and System Guard. Also on board are Credential Guard, with which Windows Defender protects login information in a virtualized manner in an isolated process, and HVCI, which also virtualizes kernel code and drivers and thus isolates the code to be executed and verifies it before execution. In addition, Windows Server 2022 now enables HTTPS and TLS 1.3 by default. Optionally, administrators can use AES-256 encryption for SMB.
Mix local server and the cloud
At the same time, Microsoft links its on- Premises systems more closely with the cloud. In the future, local Windows servers can also be managed via Azure Arc in addition to the outsourced servers. For example, the administrator can add Azure Policy, Azure Monitor and Azure Defender for their own data center with just a few clicks in the Windows Admin Center. The latter is also getting a major update with v2103. For Windows Server, the developers have expanded the areas of virtualization and event monitoring in particular.
The cloud doesn’t stop at the storage area either: with an update of the Storage Migration Service Azure and local Windows servers should be seamlessly connected so that data can be outsourced quickly.
The Windows containers also have several new functions. Among other things, Microsoft has significantly expanded Kubernetes support and reduced the size of the container images. In addition, .NET applications can now be packaged in containers and made available to other cloud services via the Azure Container Registry. Readers can find technical details about the updates in a separate blog entry about the Windows Container.
Windows Server 2022 is now available as a preview that can be tried out either on a local computer or in Azure. An exact date for general availability has not yet been set, Microsoft only speaks of the end of 2021 in the announcement.