Quietly released to General Availability in mid-August and then officially on Sept. 1, Windows Server 2022 has arrived. Microsoft recently held a virtual Windows Server Summit to launch it, with a two-hour live stream featuring different presenters covering different aspects of new features, plus some on-demand video content. Compare that to the huge fanfare that would have accompanied a new version of Windows Server only a few years ago.
However, there are some very useful features and there are definitely reasons to migrate (just not as many as in the past) so let’s dig in.
The three main areas are Secure Core Server, SMB over QUIC, and Storage Migration Service, with additional honorable mentions for security, networking and Hyper-V. I’ll also provide my own analysis of where each feature actually brings real-world benefits and where it’s more of a marketing spin.
Secure Core Server
As the name implies, Microsoft is taking the tech incorporated into newer PC devices to protect against firmware attacks and expanding it to the server platform. This is timely as firmware attacks are on the rise and having a strong guarantee that the underlying hardware is secure is important.
Comprising six areas, Secure Core Servers from the major server manufacturers will come with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 chip, Bitlocker plus Virtualization Based Security (VBS), enabled straight out of the box. The six areas are:
- Hypervisor based Code Integrity (HVCI)
- Boot DMA Protection
- System Guard
- Secure Boot
- TPM 2.0
Each of these contribute to a trusted hardware platform: the TPM stores Bitlocker keys plus other secrets securely; VBS uses hardware virtualization (not a whole separate VM, just an area of memory protected using Hyper-V) to stop credential attacks (Mimikatz); and Secure Boot verifies the signatures on the boot software (the OS itself, the UEFI and any EFI applications).
HVCI builds on top of VBS to protect modifications to the Control Flow Guard (CFG) bitmap and checks device drivers for EV certificates. CFG is a part of Windows that stops malicious applications trying to corrupt the memory of benign applications. System Guard builds on these lower-level features and validates the whole boot chain using Static Root of Trust for Measurement (SRTM), Dynamic Root of Trust for Measurement (DRTM) and System Management Mode (SMM) protection.
There’s no doubt that these are welcome additions in a server OS, BUT ask yourself, how many of your servers that you’re going to be running in your datacenter in 2022 and beyond are going to be physical servers? Because all of these protections are only available on new servers that are Secure Core (or an existing server, with a TPM 2.0 chip where the vendor provides verified firmware drivers). So, perhaps you run a Hyper-V cluster, maybe some Domain Controllers and perhaps a really big SQL server or two. But if you run your DCs virtualized, if you run Windows VMs on VMware, Secure Core server will bring few if any benefits to you. That’s not to say that some of these features will (and some already are) available for VMs running on top of Hyper-V, or as IaaS VMs in Azure, but they’re not fully protected as Secure Core servers.
Server Message Block
SMB in Windows Server 2022 has received a lot of love. You can now use AES-256-GCM and AES-256-CCM encryption for the traffic and the signing supports GMAC acceleration.
Even cooler, SMB compression can now be enabled at the server, client, share or even in individual file copies (using Robocopy), which at the expense of slightly higher CPU usage, drops the network bandwidth used considerably.
If you’re using Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) to speed up your Hyper-V nodes access to storage spaces direct for instance using SMB Direct, you can now encrypt that traffic. Furthermore, you now have granular control over encryption between nodes in a cluster as well as inbound/outbound traffic to the cluster.
Note that all these features are only available between Windows Server 2022 nodes or when they’re communicating with Windows 11 clients. The encryption features for instance will negotiate what each end supports and fall back to unencrypted, so to really ensure that all traffic is protected at the highest level you need to upgrade ALL servers/clients.
SMB Over QUIC
This is the most important feature in Windows Server 2022 for me, with the most real-world application. Basically, it’s SMB over UDP, with all traffic protected by TLS 1.3, enabling you to securely provide file shares to remote users without using a VPN. Again, it’s only available when connecting from Windows 11 (but at least that upgrade is free — as long as your client device has the required hardware).
The additional gate here is the server version — Windows Server 2022 comes in the same Standard and Datacenter flavors (with Desktop/Core) we’re used to, plus a new version, Datacenter: Azure Edition. This new edition is the only one that supports SMB over QUIC. Azure Edition only runs in Azure as the name implies OR on Azure Stack HCI. That name itself is very confusing as it implies it runs in Azure (it doesn’t, you run this on-premises) and that it’s got something to do with Azure Stack Hub (it doesn’t, Hub is an integrated system you purchase from a vendor which runs the same software as Azure does, just a few versions behind). Azure Stack HCI is a version of Windows Server that you run on your own hardware, with Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) so the storage is shared between the nodes using Storage Spaces Direct (S2D). This version of Windows server is a subscription version that you pay monthly for, and in turn it’ll receive regular updates.
The bottom line: SMB over QUIC is only available for a new file server that you run in Azure or on Azure Stack HCI in your datacenter, and only if you connect from a Windows 11 client. This artificial limitation of not offering SMB over QUIC in Windows Server 2022 Standard/Datacenter is particularly disappointing. It should be noted that SMB over QUIC is currently in preview, but you do receive support from Microsoft.
Storage Migration Service
Spearheaded by Ned Pyle at Microsoft, this feature has been in Windows for a few versions now, enabling seamless migration of file servers from legacy OS versions to more modern ones. You point a destination server at an existing file server (or if you have a fleet of them, you can have a Storage Migration Service server orchestrating the migrations from multiple source to multiple destination servers), it’ll copy the data until both are in sync, and then you can seamlessly migrate to the new one. Server names, share names, permissions, everything is migrated, and your users will notice very little impact. This service now supports Linux Samba servers, NetApp file shares and continues the support for Windows file servers, including clustered ones.
Storage Migration Service
Storage Migration Service is also Azure File Sync-aware so that if you’re migrating a file server that’s tiering data to a file share in Azure, it’s going to manage the replication speeds so that the necessary pull down of data from Azure (likely a much slower pipe than between your file servers) isn’t going to overwhelm the migration pipeline.
Networking and Security
At the Windows Server summit there was a lot of hay made about Transport Layer Security (TLS) version 1.3 being enabled by default in Windows Server 2022. It is faster (less handshake back and forth, and more of the setup is encrypted) and it’s more secure (only five strong Cipher suites supported, and they all support Perfect Forward Secrecy, PFS, which means even if a future flaw is found, you can’t go back and decrypt older stored traffic).
But TLS isn’t unique to Windows Server 2022. It’s available in Windows 10 1903 (preview for testing only) and later, and while I couldn’t find a definitive official statement, I can’t imagine that Microsoft won’t backport TLS 1.3 to Windows Server 2019 at least and most likely 2016.
There are a few useful speed improvement features, such as TCP HyStart++ for faster connection start up in high-speed networks and RACK to reduce Retransmit Time Outs. UDP Segmentation Offload (USO) is similar to the TCP offloads that are available on NICs, letting specialized hardware chips on NICs do the heavy lifting.
Azure Extended Network is another feature unique to the Azure Edition and it lets you connect Azure and on-premises networks with full IP address mobility over VXLAN network virtualization, letting you move VMs to Azure without changing their IP addresses.
There are a few casualties in this edition too, Windows Server 2019 still had the Essentials edition for small businesses up to 25 users, although the feature set was severely depleted. The last real version of Windows Server for SMB was Windows Server 2016 Essentials.
In Windows Server 2022 there is a version of Standard for SMB called “Essentials” (max 25 users, 50 devices, single CPU in the server with no more than 10 cores), but from a feature perspective it’s really just Standard at a discount.
No one in the tech industry seems to mourn the loss of the “real” Essentials features but the death of Hyper-V Server caused quite a lot of stir a few weeks ago. Basically, every new release of Windows Server has been accompanied by the release of a free Hyper-V server edition. Containing all the Hyper-V features of its paid-for brethren, while being command-line only, this edition was popular for home labs, VDI servers or when virtualizing Linux, where the included Windows Server licensing in full Windows Server Hyper-V editions didn’t matter. There will be no Hyper-V Server 2022, and Microsoft’s Elden Christensen (he’s a great presenter) outlines why in this thread.
System Center 2022 is going to be available in preview later this year and be GA early next year. This suite of products (now that Configuration Manager has been moved into the Endpoint Manager fold) is very much on life support. When you spend a whole session at the Windows Server Summit contrasting a free, web-based admin tool (Windows Admin Center, WAC) with the capabilities available in a venerable enterprise grade management suite, you know there isn’t a lot of innovation coming.
System Center 2022 will support Windows Server 2022 (a few versions ago, it was mandated that new Windows Server and System Center versions be released simultaneously to aid in adoption — apparently not so important anymore) and Azure Stack HCI.
Windows Server and Hyper-V containers are still a thing, and they’ve shrunk the size of the Server Core container from 3.6 GB to 2.6 GB, but I think it’s fair to say that the only use for containers on Windows that enterprises are seeing is for “modernizing” existing applications by moving them to containers/Kubernetes.
Speaking of containers, you can now give them an identity in Active Directory with group Managed Service Accounts (gMSAs), without having to domain-join your container hosts and also maintain their time zone virtually, without having to match the host, which is important for globally distributed services.
As to be expected, scalability is improved again to 48 TB of memory and 2,048 Logical Processors, LPs (cores, or multithreaded cores), up from 24 TB and 512 LPs in Windows Server 2016/2019.
The twice-yearly releases of Windows Server, Semi Annual Channel (SAC) have been retired and we’re back to the normal five years of mainstream support and five years of extended support that we’ve always had.
Hotpatching, the ability to apply patches to a running OS without having to restart it, is also only available in Azure Edition and then only in the Server Core flavor.
There’s one glimmer of hope that Windows Server isn’t completely without a future, Microsoft is introducing a certification for Windows Server 2022 (there wasn’t one for 2019), called “Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate” with two exams required to get it:
- AZ-800: Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure
- AZ-801: Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services
As you can tell, they’ll be focused on how you can integrate Windows Server in a hybrid infrastructure — they’ll be released in December 2021.
Overall, there’s not really a huge number of new features, and what there is, isn’t all available for your traditional on-premises Windows Server. It’s a good idea to dig deeper into Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server 2022 Datacentre: Azure Edition and see exactly how they can fit into your company’s IT strategy.
If you are curious to try Windows hosting using the Windows Server 2022 operating system, we will recommend 3 web hosting, which in our experience is very reliable and offers very affordable prices. Let’s see who the 3 hosting service providers are.
Best and Cheap Windows Server 2022 Hosting (ASPHostPortal.com)
ASPHostPortal review for the Host One Windows shared hosting plan is based on web hosting features, price, loading speed, reliability, and technical support.
ASPHostPortal has become a provider of developer-friendly web hosting over the Internet since 2008, offering affordable services for developers, bloggers, designers, and families. Now, due to the cutting-edge technologies and cheap pricing, ASPHostPortal has hundreds of thousands of customers, and it’s still fast growing with over 4,000 new customers increased for every month.
|ASPHostPortal Review||Website: http://asphostportal.com/|
|Price||$3.81 /mo, 15% off $4.49 /mo regularly|
The price of ASPHostPortal Windows shared web hosting is starting at $4.49/mo regularly. However, with the purpose of helping customers save more money, the company is now offering an attractive discount with which the plan starts at $3.81/mo only for all customer. To be honest, this price is really affordable and competitive in the industry considering the rich features provided.
As the majority of web hosts in the market only provides customers with a 15 days refund period, ASPHostPortal offers a long term money back guarantee, which is up to 30 days.
As one of the most reliable hosting companies, ASPHostPortal offers quality technical support powered by a group of support staffs through email, all of who are professional, knowledgeable, experienced and on-site 24×7, so that they are able to give quick response and effective assistance to troubled customers to resolve problems. In addition, in their online knowledgebase and blog, ASPHostPortal technicians and engineers have worked out a lot of in-depth articles to teach customers how to deal with common issues independently.
Best Unlimited Windows Server 2022 Hosting (HostForLIFEASP.NET)
In the year 2008, a group of IT professionals pulled their resources together and formed HostForLIFEASP.NET, the provider which focus on Windows ASP.NET hosting technology, this date, HostForLIFEASP.NET remains privately held.
It owns a big advantage that is short distance between its offices and the datacenter. HostForLIFEASP.NET has many data centers in Europe. This is big advantages for customers in Europe. Customer can choose their Paris, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and also their newest Italy datacenters if you register their ASP.NET hosting plan.
|HostForLIFE.eu Review||Website: http://hostforlife.eu|
|Price||€2.97/mo, 15% off €3.49/mo regularly|
HostForLIFEASP.NET is one of the most rich-featured hosting providers, offering a large set of technologies as well as the competitive highlights. As one of the most safe and secure web hosting companies, HostForLIFEASP.NET provides customers with 30 days money back guarantee. Thus, if customers are not satisfied with the hosting services, they can get their money back with no questions asked.
HostForLIFEASP.NET offers one of the cheapest ASP.NET Hosting in the whole market. HostForLIFEASP.NET offers a variety of cheap and affordable European Windows ASP.NET Shared Hosting Plans to fit any need. No matter whether you’re starting a Blog with WordPress, installing a CMS solution with Drupal, opening a Forum with PHPBB, starting an Online Store with nopCommerce, or any number ventures beyond those mentioned above, their Windows ASP.NET Web Hosting plans are exactly what you’ve been looking for.
The price of HostForLIFEASP.NET Windows shared web hosting is starting at €3.49/mo regularly. However, with the purpose of helping customers save more money, the company is now offering an attractive discount with which the plan starts at €2.97/mo only for all customer. If you’re new to ASP.NET, or if you plan on hosting your ASP.NET site (or other small site) then HostForLIFE’s Classic plan just might be right for you. Designed for lower traffic websites, this plan allows you to host your simple ASP.NET site that gets around 10,000 hits per month. It’s perfect for just starting out.
One unique feature apart HostForLIFEASP.NET is their customer care service. With personnel ready to chat with you no matter the time, it is a big advantage over their competitors. Their quick response to your questions and concerns also makes them the best on the market. Do you know how it can be very frustrating not to get through some other hosting companies support team? With their 24/7 support team in place, you will know you are getting the best value for your money.
They also provide the fastest hosting servers on the internet. Websites hosted on their servers load very fast and they put so much effort to ensure the servers are up to date and in good condition. Their green hosting also ensures an economical friendly environment.
HostForLIFEASP.NET currently operates data center located in Amsterdam (Netherlands), offering complete redundancy in power, HVAC, fire suppression, network connectivity, and security. With over 53,000 sq ft of raised floor between the two facilities, HostForLIFEASP.NET has an offering to fit any need. The data center facility sits atop multiple power grids driven by TXU electric, with PowerWare UPS battery backup power and dual diesel generators onsite. Their HVAC systems are condenser units by Data Aire to provide redundancy in cooling coupled with nine managed backbone providers.
Best UK Windows Server 2022 Hosting (UKWindowsHostASP.NET)
This company is designed for personal and startup businesses, UKWindowsHostASP.NET that has been a famous web hosting provider for small businesses since 2008. Their data centers located in the four prestiguous cities in Europe, namely: London (UK), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Frankfurt (Germany) and Paris (France). UKWindowsHostASP.NET provides global, on-demand data center and hosting services from facilities across the European Continent. They leverage best-in-class connectivity and technology to innovate industry leading, fully automated solutions that empower enterprises with complete access, control, security, and scalability.
|UKWindowsHostASP.NET Review||Website: http://ukwindowshostasp.net|
|Price||£3.89 /mo, 35% off £5.99 /mo regularly|
The price of UKWindowsHostASP.NET Windows shared web hosting is starting at £5.99/mo regularly. However, with the purpose of helping customers save more money, the company is now offering an attractive discount with which the plan starts at £3.89/mo only for all customer. To be honest, this price is really affordable and competitive in the industry considering the rich features provided.
For claim 30 days money back guarantee, customers only need to send the cancellation requests to sales through e-mail. Do remember that these requests should be made with the day of the cancellation, the billing username, last four digits of billing password, as well as the domain name available in the e-mail.
UKWindowsHostASP.NET hosting plan with latest .NET framework and excellent ASP components offers you many tools to run sites smoothly. As for Economy PLAN it is one of its main strengths to offer you access to one-click installs for app like WordPress, Drupal and Zencart, etc. Moreover, it carries many latest server technologies covering PHP 5.6 and MySQL 5.
UKWindowsHostASP.NET consists of skilled and experienced Microsoft technology specialist based on our truly experience talking with their staff. They have comprehensive knowledge and understanding on Microsoft solutions such as MS SQL Server, .NET Framework and IIS management. Meanwhile, you can imagine that UKWindowsHostASP.NET is really a technology oriented ASP.NET web hosting company.
Windows Server 2022 has many superior features, therefore in my opinion, you must try it. For that, you can also choose one of the hosting providers that I recommend above. You can choose which one best fits your budget, needs or region.