Microsoft will be releasing a new version of Windows Server by the end of 2021. Windows Server 2022 builds on the advancements in Windows Server 2019 adding new security features like Secured-core Server, Credential Guard, TLS 1.3 natively enabled, AES-256 encryption with SMB, and more. The new release will deepen the integration with Azure with the Azure Arc tools integrated into the operating system and the Storage Migration Service. Windows Server 2022 also makes several updates to the Containers capabilities with new app compatibility in Kubernetes, changes in how group Managed Service Accounts work in containers, host process containers, IPv6 support, and streamlined .NET application containerization.
The new version of Microsoft’s lights-out and centralized management tool has been released. In addition to running as a web application on-premises, this new release can now be run directly in Azure, simplifying the Admin Center’s deployment. The March 2021 (2103) release adds support for Azure IoT Edge for Linux virtual machines running on Windows, automatic updates to the Admin Center, automatic extension updates, gateway proxy support, pop-out tools, a redesign of the Event viewer experience, additional virtual machine management tools, Azure Stack HCI enhancements, and support for partner management tool integration.
Azure gains a new database service further reducing common infrastructure management tasks and efforts. Azure Managed Instanced for Apache Cassandra brings the Cassandra database into similar services offered for SQL Server, MariaDB, Mongo DB, and MySQL. The Managed Instances service handles all node repairs, patching, and upgrades in addition to high availability and disaster recovery allowing the organization to focus on just the database. In addition, the new service includes synchronization between on-premises and Azure to help with migration and different application scenarios.
Single control plane management of Kubernetes and Machine Learning is now available in Azure Arc allowing organizations to manage these tools across Azure, on-premises, hosted environments, and other cloud providers. Azure Arc for Kubernetes is now generally available. New Machine Learning support has been added to Arc allowing machine learning models to be deployed and trained on-premises, in other cloud providers, or directly in Azure while offering a single management experience and tools reducing the management requirements and enforcing the required security.
Microsoft is reducing the day-to-day management efforts for virtual machines running in Azure with the Azure Automanage service. The service automatically implements best practices for virtual machine management including backups, updates, monitoring, security, and configuration items. The service is adding support for Linux and Windows Server in this update and deeper Azure portal support and experiences. Azure Automanage is based on the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework and brings best practices across thousands of cloud migrations and operations to help streamline management efforts.