Compare features of Windows Server 2022 editions

Windows Server 2022 arrived without the trappings of previous versions of Windows Server, but organizations with specific needs will appreciate the improvements in this version of the server operating system.

Microsoft has offered Standard and Datacenter editions of its Windows Server operating systems for several years, which continued with Windows Server 2022. However, the company has introduced a new product called Windows Server 2022 Datacenter Azure edition. As the name suggests, this edition ties server workloads more tightly to the Microsoft cloud platform and offers unique features to tempt customers who want easier fixes and other benefits.

Microsoft has decided to abandon the Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel, which was aimed at organizations interested in emerging server technologies, and stick with the Long-Term Servicing Channel, which produces a major feature release approximately every two years. All editions of Windows Server 2022 follow Microsoft’s fixed lifecycle policy and will receive five years of general support followed by five years of extended support. Although Microsoft always recommends a fresh installation of its server operating system, Windows Server 2022 supports in-place upgrades from the previous two versions of Windows Server.

Hardware requirements and limitations of Windows Server 2022

Windows Server 2022 Standard and Datacenter editions share the same hardware requirements. Both require a 1.4 GHz, 64-bit processor and 512 MB of RAM; for the Desktop Experience GUI-based version, the system needs 2 GB of RAM. Additionally, 32 GB of disk space is required.

These minimum hardware requirements will not be enough to run a workload with decent performance. Even Microsoft’s own documentation states that the minimum system requirements to install Windows Server 2022 require at least 800MB of RAM. Once Windows Server is installed, the RAM can be reduced to 512MB if needed. As a best practice, organizations should match the server hardware to the workload.

The Standard edition and Datacenter edition can run on an unlimited number of cores, but both editions are limited to a total of 64 sockets, which must be 64-bit. Likewise, both editions support a maximum of 48TB of RAM.

All Trusted Platform Module (TPM) features, such as BitLocker Drive Encryption and Secure Server, will require the hardware to come with a TPM 2.0 chip.

Deprecated features from Microsoft in Windows Server 2022

Every time Microsoft releases a new Windows Server product, certain features are deprecated. In the case of Windows Server 2022, Microsoft removed the Internet Storage Name Service, the protocol used to find and use iSCSI systems on the network.

Microsoft has also stopped development on the Shielded Fabric and Shielded Virtual Machines introduced with Windows Server 2016, but will continue to support these features.

Administrators deploying the main server version of Windows Server should note that Microsoft plans to discontinue development of the Server Configuration Tool (sconfig) and remove it from the next version of Windows Server. The sconfig utility will still run on login, but Windows Server 2022 will use PowerShell as the default shell rather than the command prompt.

Other features that Microsoft will not develop further include deploying the Windows Deployment Services boot.wim image and disabling the Local Security Authority Remote Protocol interface used to connect to encrypted files in the Microsoft file system. network encryption.

What’s in Windows Server 2022 Standard Edition?

Microsoft designed Windows Server 2022 Standard for physical machines or minimally virtualized environments. Retail price for the Standard Edition is $1,069 for up to 16 core usage. Systems with more than 16 cores will require additional licenses to cover each physical CPU core. Additionally, each client accessing a Standard Edition server requires a Client Access License (CAL).

Windows Server 2022 Standard has largely the same feature set as the Datacenter edition with some minor variations. For example, the Standard edition limits the Storage Replica feature to a single partnership with a resource group and a 2 TB volume. Similarly, the Standard edition only supports legacy activation if it is running in as a guest on a Datacenter edition server. The standard edition also does not support software-defined networking and the Storage Spaces Direct software-defined storage feature.

The biggest difference between Standard and Datacenter editions is in virtual machine licensing. Both editions support an unlimited number of Windows Server containers. However, the Standard edition limits this to two operating systems per license, which means that a Standard edition server can run a parent operating system and a single Hyper-V virtual machine or a single Hyper-V container. V. In contrast, a Datacenter Edition license allows an unlimited number of Hyper-V virtual machines or Hyper-V containers.

What’s in the Windows Server 2022 Datacenter edition?

Microsoft is releasing Windows Server 2022 Datacenter for use in highly virtualized environments, such as data centers and clouds. A Datacenter license has a retail price of $6,155.

Like the Standard edition, this license allows Windows Server to run on up to 16 cores with additional licenses required for processors with more cores. CALs are also required for each client that accesses the server.

What’s included in Windows Server 2022 Datacenter Azure edition?

Windows Server 2022 Datacenter Azure edition runs as an Azure VM or on an Azure Stack HCI cluster. It cannot be installed on bare metal, nor can it be installed and run as a Hyper-V virtual machine. Microsoft did not disclose the price of this edition.

Windows Server 2022 Azure Edition offers several new features that are not available on the Standard or Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2022. Microsoft calls this unique combination of features “Automatic Management for Windows Server”.

SMB over QUIC provides encrypted access to SMB file shares without the need for a VPN. This feature uses the TLS 1.3 protocol and administrators cannot disable encryption in the settings. Microsoft said this feature uses certificates rather than public key infrastructure authentication.

The hotfix is ​​also unique to the Windows Server 2022 Datacenter Azure edition. With this feature, administrators can patch Windows Server 2022 Datacenter Azure virtual machines without the reboot typically required by Windows, which causes downtime.

The Datacenter Azure edition supports a wide area network in Azure so that virtual machines retain the IP address when migrating from the datacenter to Microsoft’s cloud.

For smaller organizations, Essentials editions are another option

Microsoft also offers an Essentials edition of Windows Server 2022 that it targets for small businesses with up to 25 users and 50 devices. Windows Server 2022 Essentials retails for $501 and does not require a CAL but is limited to 10 cores, a single socket, and a single VM. The feature set is the same as the Standard edition. Windows Server 2022 Essentials is only available through select server hardware partners.

Microsoft compares the different editions of Windows Server 2022 on its website at this link.

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