Windows Server 2022 vs. 2019: New Features and Improvements

Windows Server 2022 vs. 2019 has become a hot topic recently, with the release of the latest version of the popular Microsoft Windows Server OS in August 2021. As always, the cost of upgrading to a new server OS is a primary consideration. However, as the trend towards remote work and cloud storage and management continues, organizations may find it worth upgrading to the new OS, given its new features and focus on improved security. Another impetus for upgrading is the end of mainstream support for Windows Server 2019 in January 2024. While extended support remains available until 2029, this may require additional costs for some features.

This article discusses the key differences between Windows Server 2022 and 2019, the Windows 2019 features that are being deprecated in Windows 2022, and how you can use Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) to extend either Windows 2022 or Windows 2019.

Is It Worth Upgrading to Windows Server 2022?

Windows Server remains a popular server OS among organizations, despite stiff competition. In response to the rising popularity of cloud computing, Microsoft introduced native Azure support in Windows Server 2019. The cloud computing capabilities in the previous version are further extended and improved in Windows Server 2022, which comes in three editions.

However, the attendant costs may dissuade organizations from immediately upgrading, as with any software upgrade. This same consideration prevented many organizations from upgrading older Windows server OS versions when Windows 2019 came out. If you have not upgraded to Windows 2019 yet, you can skip that upgrade and go directly to Windows 2022.

So, should you upgrade your servers running Windows 2019 and older to Windows Server 2022? Let us check out its new features and improvements to help you decide.

What’s New in Windows Server 2022?

The core features introduced in Windows Server 2022 can be divided into security features, azure hybrid capabilities, and the application platform.

Security

Although Microsoft introduced Advanced Threat Protection in Windows Server 2019, new threats posing increased risks for organizations keep emerging. In response, Microsoft further improved security in Windows Server 2022, including new key security features such as hardware root-of-trust, firmware protection, and virtualization-based security.

Central to the concept of security in Windows Server 2022 is Secured-Core Server, which protects the hardware, firmware, and OS against threats using Trusted Platform Module 2.0 and Windows Defender System Guard. The Secure Message Block (SMB) network file sharing protocol is now encrypted by default, enhancing security.

Other improvements include enabling hypervisor-protected code integrity by default and using the Windows Defender Credential Guard virtualization-based isolation technology for protecting credentials, among other sensitive assets, that pass through your networks. Tying these all up is a client capable of performing Domain Name System (DNS) lookups over Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), preventing potential interference with such lookups.

Azure Hybrid Capabilities

In terms of Azure support, the improved SMB runs the QUIC protocol instead of the traditional Transport Control Protocol (TCP), allowing users to access file servers running on Azure wherever they are located—on-premises or on Azure—without requiring a virtual private network (VPN). Azure Arc is now supported, helping bring on-premises and multi-cloud environments to Azure and hotpatching, which installs updates on Windows Server VMs without requiring a reboot.

Application Platform

Aside from encrypting anything that goes through SMB, the data that passes through it is also compressed, preventing performance slowdowns. You can also use the new browser-based Windows Admin Center to control your server infrastructure instead.

Key Feature Differences in Windows Server 2022 vs. 2019

To help determine the winner in a Windows Server 2022 vs. Windows Server 2019 showdown, you can look at the table below, which summarizes the major differences between the two versions.

Key Feature Function Windows Server 2019 Windows Server 2022
Improved Security Hypervisor-based code integrity Not available Available
Secured-Core Server Not available Available
Hardware-enforced Stack Protection Not available Available
Transport Layer Security (TLS) TLS 1.2 supported TLS 1.3 enabled by default
Better Platform Flexibility Uncompressed image size Approximately 3.7 GB in size Better at approximately 2.7 GB in size
Dynamic Source Routing (DSR) Not available Available
Virtualized time zone Mirrors host time zone Configurable within container
Domain Joining for Group Managed Service Accounts (gMSA) Not available Available
New Windows Admin Center Automatic Windows Admin Center updates Not available Available
Automated extension lifecycle management Not available Available
Event Workspace for tracking data Not available Available
Detachable Events Overview Screen Configurable Built-in
Configurable destination virtual switch Not available Available
Customizable Virtual Machine (VM) information columns Not available Available
Upgraded Hyper-V Manager Action bar Not available Available
Live Storage Migration Not available Available
Affinity and anti-affinity rules Not available Available
VM clones Not available Available
Running workloads between servers Not available Available
New partitioning tool Not available Available
Hybrid Cloud Support Azure Arc Available 1.3 enabled by default
Storage Migration Service Available Improved deployment and management
Enhanced Kubernetes Experience HostProcess containers Not available Available
Multiple subnets Not available Available

Deprecated Features in Windows Server 2022

With its release of Windows Server 2022, Microsoft has deprecated, either partially or entirely, the following features found in Windows Server 2019 and earlier Windows Server versions:

Enhance Windows Server 2022 with Parallels RAS

Parallels RAS helps deliver virtual applications and devices on Windows Server 2022 and Windows Server 2019 securely to any client device. The platform helps secure your assets using highly flexible access control, granular client policies, and multifactor authentication, among other features. It also has a robust monitoring and reporting system for generating custom reports on server management activities that go on within your network at any time.

Parallels RAS is ideal for organizations on Windows as a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution, as it supports deployment and management of Remote Desktop Services (RDS) seamlessly.

Whether your organization upgrades to Windows Server 2022 or remains on Windows 2019, it does not matter, as Parallels RAS works equally well for both.

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