Windows Server 2022 Released – What to remember before you start upgrading!

Microsoft dropped a surprise on us today by releasing Windows Server 2022 to no fanfare at all. It’s been released today 18th August 2021, it will have mainstream support until the 13th October 2026 and will be considered end of life on the 14th October 2031 (how are we talking about the 2030’s already?!). This is evidenced in Microsoft’s updated Windows Server Release Information document.

If you’re looking to grab an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2022 you can do so here. Alternatively if you have a suitable agreement with Microsoft you can also download a copy from VLSC or MSDN.

Interested to learn what’s new in Windows Server 2022? You can check out Microsoft’s post on the subject here. IMPORTANT: Microsoft are making TPM 2.0 support mandatory, if you’re looking to install onto existing hardware, be sure you meet the hardware requirements.

Supported Platforms

Realistically it’s going to be premature to start migrating your entire environment to Windows Server 2022, but in the interest of helping you work out where your support status is, consider the following.

VMware ESXi:

VMware have “Tech Preview” status for Windows Server 2022 at present, meaning that as Microsoft have only just made Windows Server 2022 “Generally Available” (GA), there may be some blocking issues that need resolving by Microsoft or VMware may be required to release a patch to support this operating system (OS). You can track the status of VMware’s support for this OS via this link.

Note: The following information is subject to change. At present it appears VMware are targeting support for ESXi 6.7U2 and above as the minimum requirement to run Windows Server 2022.

Update 03/09/2021: VMware have changed the support status of Windows Server 2022, removing the support consideration of “Tech Preview”, leading to full support from ESXi 6.7 U2 onwards.

Microsoft Hyper-V:

Microsoft haven’t yet updated their documentation to reflect the minimum requirements, at present their Microsoft Docs article only lists virtual machines supported for Windows Server 2019 and below as well as Windows 10 and below. It is a reasonable assumption you will be able to virtualise Windows Server 2022 on Hyper-V 2022 however we won’t know about backwards compatibility until Microsoft update the article.

Bare Metal/Physical Installation

At present none of the major hardware manufacturers I’ve checked have released any lists detailing which platforms will support Windows Server 2022, I’ll aim to update this blog post as information becomes available. If you want to see if your system will run Windows Server 2022 with or without vendor support, see my link to the hardware requirements above.

Update 21/08/2021: Dell haven’t released a list of supported hardware for Windows Server 2022 yet. However their 15th generation servers are starting to show driver support, indicating these will be supported running Windows Server 2022. At present this shouldn’t be interpreted as full support. Dell have changed the default offerings for their servers in January 2021 to include TPM 2.0 which is a mandatory requirement for Windows Server 2022. As a result of the Dell 15th generation PowerEdge servers being released after this date, these servers should support Windows Server 2022 unless the TPM 2.0 device has been deliberately removed from the configuration. Should the 14th generation servers be supported too, they may require the addition of a TPM 2.0 module if this wasn’t included with the server, though at present Dell are showing no drivers for Windows Server 2022 on 14th generation.

Dell: Update 03/09/2021: Dell have supplied an updated list of servers that support Windows Server 2022. Their 15th generation PowerEdge and their 14th generation (for the most part, some constraints exist depending on the model). Full details are available here.

Veeam:

Veeam generally aim to release support for new operating systems within 90 days of release, normally within their next patch after the OS has been released (depending on the time difference between them). Veeam currently offer no support for Windows Server 2022 but as per their KB article KB4126, they will no longer blanket refuse to install on these systems. Veeam Backup & Replication v11a is scheduled to be the first release that will support Windows Server 2022, this is scheduled for Q3 of 2021 as per the notes on KB4180. Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 5.0.1 is expected to be released alongside Veeam Backup & Replication v11a and will also add support for Windows Server 2022.

Update 23/08/2021: Anton Gostev has provided an more precise indication of Veeam Backup & Replication v11a availability. Within the latest newsletter sent on the 23rd August 2021 Anton Gostev highlighted the integration of Veeam Backup for Google Cloud Platform v2 requires Veeam B&R v11a to be installed and would be available next month, later in the newsletter Anton Gostev reconfirmed one of the main improvements of the v11a release is support for Windows Server 2022.

Update 24/08/2021: Microsoft have confirmed Windows Server 2022 will only support SQL Server 2017 upwards. Veeam v11a will include support for Windows Server 2022, but at present I don’t have information to confirm if this is just processing Windows Server 2022 as a VM/Agent or including support for Veeam components such as the main VBR server itself. This could add a complication as Veeam installs with SQL Server 2016 express by default, but this version of SQL Server isn’t supported on Windows Server 2022 (see the SQL Server section for more information).

SharePoint:

Microsoft’s GitHub pull requests shows that SharePoint Server 2019 supports Windows Server 2022, but they’re saving this being merged into the live documentation until the 1st September 2021. (Section added 21/08/2021)

SQL Server

Update 24/08/2021: I reached out to various teams at Microsoft Docs to request updates to the documentation, seeking clarification regarding Windows Server 2022 support. The Microsoft SQL Server team responded today to inform me that they will only be supporting the SQL Server editions still in active support. These are SQL Server 2017, 2019 and the soon to be released SQL Server 2022.

Conclusion

It’s great to see Microsoft still releasing full longer term support systems instead of forcing everyone onto a semi-annual channel. I’ll update this blog post as new information becomes available and as compatibility with any key applications becomes available.

By micoolpaul

Technical Consultant at Nexus Open Systems. Focusing on Veeam, VMware & Microsoft Productivity and Infrastructure stacks.

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