At its Ignite conference in March, Microsoft announced that Windows Server 2022 is available in preview. Prior to that, the OS was already being tested by Windows Insiders but the preview version was meant to be the near-final version of the SKU. Fast-forward to today and Microsoft has announced the general availability of Windows Server 2022.
With Windows Server 2022, Microsoft is touting a bunch of enhancements and features. At the forefront is advanced multi-layered security via secured connectivity and Secured-core server. The former is focused on providing more security during transport through enhanced encrypted HTTPS and AES-256 encryption with support for the server message block (SMB) protocol. Meanwhile, Secured-core server enables IT teams to utilize security measures applied by Microsoft's hardware partners across a variety of hardware, firmware, and virtualization layers.
The second advantage touted by Windows Server 2022 is the ability to connect the on-premises SKU with Azure using Azure Arc. Windows Admin Center now supports server management capabilities for Azure-connected use-cases too. Furthermore, SMB compression can be leveraged to compress a file while it is in transit over the network.
Finally, demanding applications can utilize scalability enhancements on Windows Server 2022 as it supports up to 48TB of memory and 2,048 logical cores running on 64 physical sockets. The OS also builds upon app compatibility features of Windows containers, supports IPv6 and dual-stack, and HostProcess containers for the configuration of nodes. The company is also collaborating with the Kubernetes community to enable new features on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and AKS on Azure Stack HCI.
It is important to note that Windows Server 2022 will be the next Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release for server customers. However, unlike with the Windows 10-inspired release schedule, there will no longer be any semi-annual updates to the server OS. Microsoft will release a new version of the OS once in two to three years, which will be LTSC releases - that the firm calls the "one primary release channel". Additionally, these releases, unlike client LTSC versions, will receive 10 years of support that includes five years of mainstream support, followed by five years of extended support.