Microsoft released a new version of Windows Server, Windows Server 2022 LTSC, this week. The new Server release does not really need the LTSC descriptor anymore, as Microsoft announced earlier this year that all future Windows Server releases would be long-term servicing channel releases.
Windows Server 2022 LTSC will be supported for ten years. Five of those years with mainstream support, and the remaining five years with extended support. The main difference between the support phases is that extended support is limited to security and bug fix updates. Mainstream support may introduce new functionality to the Server version as well.
Mainstream support ends on October 13, 2026, extended support on October 14, 2031.
The “What’s new in Windows Server 2022” support page lists major changes in the new Server version.
Here is a short overview:
- Security improvements: secured-core server, simplified security, hardware root-of-trust, firmware protection, virtualization-based security (VBS)
- HTTPS and TLS 1.3 enabled by default.
- Secure DNS support with DNS-over-HTTPS.
- Server Message Block AES-256 encryption.
- Server Message Block East-West SMB encryption.
- SMB over QUIC.
- Azure Arc enabled.
- Azure Automanage – Hotpatch.
- Platform improvements, e.g. application compatibility and Windows Container experience with Kubernetes.
- Nested virtualization for AMD processors.
- New Microsoft Edge web browser.
- Storage Migration Service.
- Adjustable storage repair speed.
- Storage bus cache with Storage Spaces on standalone servers.
- SMB compression.
Windows Server 2022 is available in three editions: Windows Server 2022 Standard, Windows Server 2022 Datacenter and Windows Server 2022 Datacenter: Azure Edition.
There are quite a few differences feature-wise between the versions. Hotpatching is only supported by the Azure Edition, Storage Spaces Direct only by the Datacenter editions, and the standard edition is limited when it comes to Storage replica.
Here is a feature comparison table:
|Features available generally||Windows Server 2022 Standard||Windows Server 2022 Datacenter||Windows Server 2022 Datacenter: Azure Edition|
|Azure Extended Network||No||No||Yes|
|Best Practices Analyzer||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dynamic Memory (in virtualization)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hot Add/Replace RAM||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Microsoft Management Console||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Minimal Server Interface||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Network Load Balancing||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Server Core installation option||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|SMB Direct and SMB over RDMA||Yes||Yes||Yes (not supported in Azure)|
|SMB over QUIC||No||No||Yes|
|Storage Migration Service||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Storage Replica||Yes, (1 partnership and 1 resource group with a single 2TB volume)||Yes, unlimited||Yes, unlimited|
|Storage Spaces Direct||No||Yes||Yes|
|Volume Activation Services||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) integration||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Windows Server Update Services||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Windows System Resource Manager||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Server license logging||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Inherited activation||As guest if hosted on Datacenter||Can be a host or a guest||Can be a host or a guest|
As far as limitations and locks are concerned, these are identical feature-wise for the most part. The only difference between standard and datacenter editions is that the standard edition is limited to 2 virtual machines plus one Hyper-V host per license, while the datacenter edition is not limited when it comes to the number of virtual machines.
Check out the full feature comparison page on Microsoft’s Docs website for additional information.
This Microsoft Docs webpage lists the features that are no longer in development or removed:
|Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS) Server service||The iSNS Server service has now been removed from Windows Server 2022 after it was considered for removal in Windows Server, version 1709. You can still connect to iSNS servers or add iSCSI targets individually.|
No longer in development:
|Guarded Fabric and Shielded Virtual Machines (VMs)||Windows Server and Azure Stack HCI are aligning with Azure to take advantage of continuing enhancements to Azure Confidential Computing and Azure Security Center. Having this alignment translates to more cloud security offerings being extended to customer data centers (on-premises).
Microsoft will continue to provide support for these features, but there will be no further development. On client versions of Windows the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT): Shielded VM Tools feature will be removed.
|Launching SConfig from a command prompt (CMD) window by running
||Starting with Windows Server 2022, SConfig is launched by default when you sign in to a server running Server Core installation option. Moreover, PowerShell is now the default shell on Server Core. If you exit SConfig, you get to a regular interactive PowerShell window. Similarly, you can opt out from SConfig autolaunch. In this case, you will get a PowerShell window at sign-in. In either scenario, you can launch SConfig from PowerShell by simply running
Our colleagues over at Deskmodder have links to the official ISO images of Windows Server 2022 LTSC (German and English, 64-bit).
Now You: What is your take on this new Windows Server release?
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