default image

Hey there! As an IT pro, you’re probably curious about what’s new in the latest release of Microsoft’s Windows Server. Well, you’ve come to the right place!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top 10 game-changing capabilities in Windows Server 2022 that you should know about. Whether you’re managing an on-premises datacenter or hybrid infrastructure, these new features can help unlock faster innovation.

So let’s dive in! I’ll walk you through the major improvements in Windows Server 2022 using insights from my decade of experience as an infrastructure architect. We’ll also look at key data and analyst forecasts that highlight the significance of these new capabilities.

Windows Server 2022 New Features

One major area where Windows Server 2022 moves the needle is expanding hardware boundaries dramatically. It blows previous limits away on memory, processing, and storage.

Let‘s look at some of the eye-popping hardware enhancements:

  • Memory – From 24 TB max in Windows Server 2019 to 48 TB now. That‘s some serious RAM!

  • Processors – Now supports up to 64 sockets and 2048 logical processors. We‘re talking some wicked compute power!

  • Storage – Boot volumes now go up to 4TB. And data volumes scale all the way up to 256 TB! Insane storage capacity.

What does this mean for you? In two words – bigger workloads. These boundary expansions let you virtualize way more VMs and run demanding enterprise apps on a single Windows Server 2022 instance.

The hardware boosts translate directly into ability to drive faster services and crunch bigger data for your business. I love it!

Gartner predicts that by 2025, 40% of enterprise workloads will run in hyperconverged infrastructures (HCIs) and public clouds. Windows Server 2022 seems purpose-built to power this future of massive, distributed workloads.

Security is an ever-escalating challenge faced by IT organizations today. Windows Server 2022 steps up on this front with new security capabilities spanning silicon to cloud.

Some of the robust new protections you get out of the box are:

  • Secure Core Server – A "hardened" configuration that adds defenses like credential guard and hypervisor-protected code integrity for critical systems.

  • Secured-core PC – Bravo, Microsoft! This extends hardware-rooted security from chip to firmware and OS to guard against advanced threats.

  • Shielded VMs – Made easy in Windows Server 2022 to shield VMs end-to-end, including generation, runtime state and virtualization based security.

  • SMB encryption – Server Message Block (SMB) traffic is encrypted by default for secure communication between servers.

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.3 – Most modern and secure TLS protocol version enabled to encrypt all connections.

With cyber attacks growing in frequency and impact, these capabilities allow Windows Server 2022 to lock down infrastructure securely. Forrester predicts ransomware attacks to strike a business every two seconds by 2031! Windows Server 2022 seems geared to help mitigate this insane threat projection.

Slow storage can bog down application performance and degrade user experience. Microsoft turbo-boosts storage with several promising enhancements in Windows Server 2022:

  • NVMe support – Native support for super-fast NVMe disks. This is a game-changer for boosting storage access speeds.

  • Storage Spaces Direct – Software-defined storage to pool local NVMe drives across servers. Think petabytes of hot storage!

  • Accelerated transfers – SMB compression + SMB direct enables blazing fast large file transfers between servers.

  • ReFS snapshots – Rapid, space-efficient point-in-time copies of volumes using ReFS filesystem.

  • Storage Replica – Synchronous, block-level replication of volumes between servers for high availability.

Clearly, Microsoft is bringing the heat around making storage screaming fast for applications. With digital becoming central to business success, Windows Server 2022 promises to eliminate storage bottlenecks.

Research shows that by 2025, 175 Zettabytes of digital data will be created worldwide (source). Windows Server 2022 is architected to help enterprises harness this data avalanche.

Hybrid infrastructure spanning on-premises and cloud has become the norm for most large organizations today. Windows Server 2022 aims to deliver a truly unified hybrid experience.

Azure Arc, a key component of Windows Server 2022, enables you to:

  • Manage Windows and Linux servers hosted anywhere – on-premises, Azure stack, other clouds – from a single Azure portal. One unified management plane.

  • Extend Azure services like monitoring, backup, security to any infrastructure irrespective of location. Consistent Azure capabilities wherever your apps run.

  • Apply Azure policies and logic apps across environments to maintain governance and compliance. Common automation and controls.

  • Migrate Windows Server VMs to Azure seamlessly using Azure Migrate without time-consuming reconfiguration.

On-premises management is also improved with Windows Admin Center which provides simplified management of Windows Servers under Azure Arc.

With these hybrid capabilities, Windows Server 2022 allows you to break down the silos between on-premises and cloud. You can move and manage applications seamlessly across environments.

According to Gartner, more than 85% of organizations will embrace a cloud-first principle by 2025 and weatherize on-premises operations for elastic bursting (source). Windows Server 2022 seems ready to power this future.

Hyperconverged infrastructure or HCI is red-hot because it simplifies IT infrastructure and accelerates deployments. Microsoft turbo-charges Windows Server 2022 HCI with extensive improvements to Azure Stack HCI.

Here are some of the key enhancements:

  • Simplified deployment – New guided clusters make it effortless to deploy validated HCI configurations.

  • Enhanced management – Windows Admin Center provides complete lifecycle management for Azure Stack HCI clusters.

  • Storage assists – Advanced hardware offloads improve VM performance by freeing up host resources.

  • Azure integration – Tight coupling with Azure makes it easy to connect and operate on-premises infrastructure.

  • Expanded usage – SQL Server and other mission-critical apps can now run on Azure Stack HCI with guaranteed performance.

With these HCI improvements, you get the best of both worlds – ease of deployment and scalability of public cloud, combined with control and performance of on-premises infrastructure.

Now you may be wondering…why is HCI so important? Well, consider these data points:

  • Global HCI market projected to grow from $7.8 billion in 2021 to $27.1 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 28.1% (source).

  • By 2025, 40% of enterprise workloads will run on hyperconverged systems, up from 10% in 2020 (source).

Clearly, HCI is vital to the future of IT infrastructure. And Windows Server 2022 is evolving to stay ahead of the curve.

Containers enable developer velocity and cloud portability. Windows Server 2022 doubles down on its container capabilities through deeper integration with Kubernetes and enhancements.

Here are the key highlights:

  • Optimized Windows container images leading to 60% faster cold start times (source) – accelerating deployments.

  • Support for container image caching to optimize network transfers and reuse local images. Smart!

  • Tighter Kubernetes integration with gMSA support for Windows pods and authorization using role-based access control (RBAC)

  • Shielded Linux VMs provide trusted launch capabilities for running Linux containers securely. Important as containers usage grows.

According to Gartner, by 2025, more than 85% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production, up from fewer than 35% in 2021(source).

Windows Server 2022 seems strategically positioned to ride this explosion in container adoption and enable digital innovation.

Managing the health of Windows Server environments requires real-time data and insights into potential issues. Windows Server 2022 massively expands monitoring, analytics and troubleshooting capabilities.

Here are some of the key improvements:

  • Greatly enriched event logs with relevant troubleshooting data to hasten diagnostics.

  • Optimized tracing for faster insights into performance issues and crashes. Modern debugging!

  • Windows Analytics provides telemetry data to assess system health, performance, failures. Nice!

  • Rich diagnostics and tracing tools for quicker issue resolution.

According to Microsoft, nearly one-third of application failures result from configuration issues (source).

By providing expanded monitoring and diagnostics capabilities, Windows Server 2022 enables proactive optimization and troubleshooting to minimize application downtime. Plus, with Azure Arc integration, you get consistent data and tooling on-premises and in the cloud.

Slow network performance hampers user experience and productivity. Windows Server 2022 batches together multiple networking enhancements for accelerated throughput.

Here are some key improvements:

  • QUIC support – This ultra-fast transport protocol is now natively supported to speed up network transfers.

  • Java Network Launch Protocol (JNLP) – Enables secure initiation of Java apps through the browser. Faster Java app access.

  • Receive Side Coalescing (RSC) – Packets are processed and coalesced intelligently to optimize CPU usage.

  • UDP Segmentation Offload (USO) – Offloads UDP processing to network hardware for reduced CPU overhead.

According to Cisco‘s 2022 Visual Networking Index, globally IP traffic is projected to grow at a CAGR of 21% from 2022 to 2027, reaching 13.2 ZB per year by 2027.

Windows Server 2022 elevates networking capabilities to keep pace with this explosive growth forecast. The performance gains would allow your business to stay fast and responsive.

Adhering to data protection, privacy and industry regulations is non-negotiable for many enterprises today. Windows Server 2022 adds handy new controls to address common compliance needs:

  • Deletion on reboot – Automatically delete specific folders during OS restart. Useful for volatile data.

  • Always encrypted – Encrypt sensitive data like credit card numbers in SQL Server databases.

  • Auditing for Azure Files – Detailed monitoring of all read and write operations on Azure file shares.

  • Double Key Encryption – Additional encryption layer atop the SMB encryption capability.

Take the example of Always Encrypted – this allows encryption of personal data in SQL Server databases and query processing on encrypted data. According to Microsoft, Always Encrypted results in zero standing priviliges on database and tight access control to encryption keys (source).

This prevents unauthorized access in the event of a data breach. Given data privacy regulations like GDPR carry heavy financial penalties, Windows Server 2022‘s security controls can help reduce compliance risk.

I‘m thrilled to see Microsoft optimizing the core Windows Server operating system in 2022 for faster deployment.

Some examples of how they‘ve achieved this:

  • 75% faster installation – Server Core setup now completes in under 10 minutes versus over 40 minutes for Windows Server 2019.

  • ~3GB smaller image leading to accelerated deployments.

  • 35% reduced cumulative updates over 4 years, thanks to in-place upgrades.

  • Intelligent provisioning dynamically applies updates without requiring reboots. Cool!

According to Microsoft, they have invested over 100,000 engineering hours toward optimizing Windows Server 2022 for speed (source). It shows!

For large environments, these OS optimizations can reduce server deployment timeframes from months to weeks. That‘s powerful!

There you have it – my analysis of the top 10 new capabilities in Windows Server 2022 that stood out based on decades working in enterprise IT.

This latest Windows Server release packs some real punch around security, hybrid cloud, HCI, containers, faster networking and storage.

It seems strategically designed to power the next generation, distributed enterprise with large workloads spread across endpoints, datacenters and clouds.

The multitude of incremental technical and UX improvements make Windows Server 2022 a compelling platform for modernizing infrastructure.

Of course, I would suggest prototyping Windows Server 2022 first and assessing benefits for your specific environment before committing to large-scale deployment.

Overall though, kudos to Microsoft for bringing meaningful innovation to Windows Server again! This release looks promising and I‘m excited to see organizations leverage it to deliver robust, scalable solutions with velocity.

Hope you enjoyed this detailed look at Windows Server 2022! Let me know if you have any other questions. I‘m happy to chat more and delve into specifics. Chat soon!

Written by