Windows Server Summit 2021

Recently I attended the virtual Windows Server Summit 2021 live, a two-hour session packed with features and new announcements by Windows. The biggest announcement revolved around Windows Server 2022.

Windows Server 2022 Features

General Availability announced for Windows Server 2022

Windows Server 2022 is the new long-term servicing channel release of Windows Server, for on-premises data centers and virtual machines.


Firstly, I was really intrigued and excited when they announce this. Basically, it is SMB over UDP, with all traffic protected by TLS 1.3. It enables you to securely provide file shares to remote users without using a VPN. 

The additional surprise here is the server version — Windows Server 2022 are available in: 

  • Standard Edition 
  • Datacenter (with Desktop / Core Edition)  
  • Datacenter: Azure Edition. This new edition is the only one that supports SMB over QUIC. Azure Edition runs only in Azure, as the name implies OR on Azure Stack HCI.

Azure Extended Network

Secondly, Azure Extended Network is another feature unique to the Azure Edition. It lets you connect Azure and on-premises networks with full IP address mobility over VXLAN network virtualization. Thus, letting you move VMs to Azure without changing the IP addresses.

SMB Compression

Thirdly, SMB compression allows an administrator, user, or application to request compression of files as they transfer over the network. Compressed files will consume less network bandwidth and take less time to transfer, at the cost of slightly increased CPU usage during transfers.  

When they did the live demonstration on how fast the transfer speed is, I was blown away by the difference of time between normal transfer speed, and the transfer speed that have SMB compression! 

The bottom line is, SMB compression is most effective on networks with less bandwidth, such as a client’s 1Gbps ethernet or Wi-Fi network.  

Here is quick demonstration video on how SMB compression works:

New Windows Server Certification

Over the past years, Microsoft certifications focus on cloud services like Azure, Microsoft 365, Big Data & AI and Dynamics 365. Now, good news to the techies out there, Microsoft announced two new exams for those who want to obtain Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification: 

  1. AZ-800: Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure 
  1. AZ-801: Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services
AZ-800: Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure; AZ-801: Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services

You will need to take both exam to earn the certification for the Microsoft Certified: Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate. 

These exams will focus on compute, identity, storage, network, management, security, migration, high availability, disaster recovery, monitoring and troubleshooting. Microsoft is emphasizing the hybrid piece in these exams, so there will also be a focus on Azure services’ roles in all these areas. 

These exams will be released in December 2021, but you can start preparing for it right now on Microsoft Study Guide, prepared by Orin Thomas. 

AZ-800 Study Guide 

AZ-801 Study Guide 

There are a lot of exciting announcements not covered in this post. These are just several that piqued my interest, and it should equally do the same to other IT and Microsoft enthusiasts!

Written by Iqbal | Cloud Evangelist