Yesterday Microsoft released the next preview version of their Windows Server operating system, and renamed it from the working title Windows Server vNext to Windows Server 2022. As this name change may hint at a release not too far in the future, we took the chance to have an in-depth look at all the new stuff they put in.
Chromium Edge as default browser
This first thing might not sound so thrilling for a server operating system, but actually it is really amazing: For years, admins had to deal with the good old Internet Explorer as the default tool for browsing the web in Windows Server. For obvious reasons, this wasn’t that great of an experience, but for most admin tasks, it was just enough.
While over time, the Legacy Edge has been released on Windows 10, it never really found its way onto the server-side of Windows. So still, we all used Internet Explorer.
But now those times are finally over: We can now out-of-the-box use a current and powerful browser on Windows Server too. And even better: As for now, they removed the enhanced security configuration for IE! YAY! (Let’s be honest, I think all of us deactivated it first thing after freshly installing a server, didn’t we? 😉 )
SConfig launches as default app in Server Core
When using Windows Server Core installations, you were usually greeted with just a CMD window upon login. This behavior has been changed to starting the SConfig utility first. Additionally, PowerShell is now used as default console instead of cmd.
Microsoft announced, that they made some changes on how TCP and UDP works internally. This is aimed at improving both significantly. For UDP for example, they are now using the so called UDP Segmentation Offload (USO) in order to offload the work of handling UDP traffic to the NIC instead of the system’s CPU.
The changes to the TCP stack aim at improving performance on high-speed networks. This is primarily achieved by implementing mechanism to reduce packet-loss on those connections.
Virtualization networking improvements
Still, lot of effort is put into improving networking in Hyper-V. At this point, the already known RSC (Receive Segment Coalescing) has been improved, to keep data coalesced even longer. This means, that data will now stay coalesced on the entire path data takes. This is aimed at significantly reducing CPU utilization.
Changes to SMB
Microsoft implemented a lot of new things into the SMB protocol. Many of them are aimed at improving security. For example, AES256 will now automatically be negotiated between clients, if both support it. In addition to that, encryption now also works better with SMD Direct with RDMA, so that you don’t lose performance when turning encryption on for those connections.
Another cool addition is, that SMB now supports compression when using Robocopy or Xcopy. Of course, both clients need to support SMB compression for this to work. Luckily, Microsoft announced, that all current and patched versions of Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 already support it.
More lightweight Server Core Container images
By making changes on how .NET Framework images are included with the Server Core Container images, the size of those images has been reduced by as much as 20%, while keeping performance at the same level as before.
And much more
In the past weeks, there have been a hand-full of additional enhancements to the OS. If you want to know more, you can get a full list of all releases and changes here.
Check out Windows Server 2022 for yourself!
As always, you can download the current preview builds for Windows Server 2022 free of charge directly from the Windows Insider website:
All news regarding new Windows Server builds will NOT longer be posted at blogs.windows.com it seems. They moved the news about Windows Server Insider Previews to the Microsoft Tech Community:
Have you ever heard about Windows 10X, the new lightweight version of Windows 10 focused on simplicity and usability? No? Check it out!