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An Overview of Windows Server 2022 for Enterprise Solutions

In today’s world of information technology, a reliable server operating system is the cornerstone of any corporate infrastructure. Microsoft Windows Server has been a leader in this field for many years, and its latest version, Windows Server 2022, offers numerous improvements and new features for businesses.

Main Editions of Windows Server 2022

Windows Server 2022 is available in two main editions:

  • Standard: ideal for physical or lightly virtualized environments, supporting up to two virtual machines and one Hyper-V host.
  • Datacenter: an enhanced edition for large virtualized and cloud infrastructures with an unlimited number of virtual machines and advanced networking capabilities.

Key Security Enhancements

The main innovation of Windows Server 2022 is the multi-layered Secured-Core server security system. It provides comprehensive protection at the hardware, firmware, and virtualization levels.

  • Hardware-level protection is implemented using TPM 2.0 for storing sensitive data and UEFI Secure Boot for controlling bootloader integrity.
  • Firmware-level protection employs DMA protection to isolate driver access to memory and DRTM to detect rootkits.
  • Virtualization security is ensured by VBS technology for isolating critical processes, HVCI for kernel integrity control, and KDP for protecting hypervisor memory regions.

Network security is also improved with OS-level support for TLS 1.3, DNS query encryption over HTTPS, SMB traffic encryption with AES-256, and SMB over the QUIC protocol.

Application and Container Platform Improvements

The Windows container platform has been significantly enhanced:

  • Container image sizes have been reduced by up to 40%, accelerating startup times by 30% and reducing overhead.
  • Support for group Managed Service Accounts (gMSA) has been added without the need to join a domain, as well as compatibility with MSDTC and MSMQ.
  • Support for hardware-accelerated DirectX graphics in containers for machine learning and high-performance computing scenarios.
  • Deployment of .NET applications in containers is simplified through the updated Windows Admin Center.

Performance and Scalability

Windows Server 2022 raises the bar for scalability, supporting up to 48 TB of RAM and 2048 logical processor cores on 64 physical sockets. Support for new Intel Ice Lake processors with SGX technology opens up possibilities for confidential computing in trusted enclaves.

Network stack performance has been improved in several areas:

  • TCP protocol interactions are accelerated with the HyStart algorithm; UDP traffic processing is optimized with hardware offload for segmentation (USO) and packet aggregation (RSC).
  • Support for SMB traffic encryption in hyper-converged systems based on Storage Spaces Direct has been implemented.
  • Hyper-V virtual switch performance is enhanced with hardware offloads.

Data Storage Innovations

The Storage Spaces Direct component has received significant improvements. Failure recovery is accelerated through optimized data resynchronization processes between nodes. A new API for creating ReFS file snapshots operates in copy-on-write mode. Automatic multi-tiered caching on SSDs speeds up access to hot data when using Storage Spaces on standalone servers.

The SMB protocol now includes a compression mode, increasing data transfer speeds over the network. Additionally, AES-256 encryption support for all SMB traffic between nodes in a failover cluster has been introduced.

Other Significant Improvements

Other notable new features in Windows Server 2022 include:

  • Automatic recovery from failures caused by incorrect updates through the rollback of problematic packages.
  • Support for importing CIFS shares from NetApp arrays for migration to Windows file servers using the Storage Migration Service.
  • Faster dynamic migration of Hyper-V virtual machines through multithreaded operation parallelization.
  • In server roles with a graphical interface, Internet Explorer has been replaced by Microsoft Edge.

Deployment and Licensing Scenarios

The choice of Windows Server 2022 edition depends on specific needs and workloads. Small businesses with basic file servers will benefit from the Standard edition, while large organizations with virtualization and remote desktop needs should consider the Datacenter edition.

Licensing is still based on the number of physical processor cores, with a minimum requirement of 16 cores per server. The Datacenter edition traditionally includes unlimited virtualization rights, whereas the Standard edition allows up to two virtual machines per license.

Key Upgrade Scenarios for Windows Server 2022

The main scenarios for upgrading to the new version include:

  • Replacing outdated servers based on Windows Server 20122012 R2, which will no longer be fully supported after 2023.
  • Defining a forward-looking development path for local infrastructure for organizations planning closer cloud integration.
  • Deploying hyper-converged systems and enterprise-level software-defined storage.
  • Transitioning to modern information security standards and perimeter protection.

Conclusion

Windows Server 2022 is a significant step by Microsoft towards meeting modern information security challenges and organizations’ needs for flexible and efficient IT infrastructure. All of this makes Windows Server 2022 an attractive choice for traditional, cloud, and container workloads.

Microsoft positions Windows Server 2022 as a platform for creating the next-generation hybrid multi-cloud data center and securely connecting local infrastructure to Azure services. Therefore, upgrading to the new version will be most justified for organizations that see cloud integration as an integral part of their IT strategy.

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