Windows server has been serving as an ideal platform for your IT infrastructure and all business applications. Microsoft introduces new upgrades to improve the server’s efficiency every 3-4 years. Upgraded servers offer faster speeds, higher storage capacity, seamless integration with third-party apps, and smooth management of IT applications.
The server’s performance largely impacts the success of your business applications. Whether it’s a website built in the private cloud or the hybrid environment, windows servers can make or break your business.
Microsoft has embraced artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, analytics, and other modern technologies to improve server performance. Examples include ARM processors, advanced hardware accelerators, in-memory computing, non-volatile RAM, and the list goes on.
Some features have been launched recently, while others are projected to be released in the coming years. Here are some of the emerging, as well as, recently-launched technologies that can improve Windows Server’s efficiency. Let’s take a look.
1. Azure Stack for a Seamless Integration
The transition from on-premise IT infrastructure to cloud-based management has been Microsoft’s priority. The company is using VMware and Amazon Web Services to make this transition smoother and support seamless integration between on-premise and cloud-based operations.
The main purpose of bringing Azure Stack to the Windows server is to allow app developers and IT help desk service providers to deploy apps to remote and disconnected locations.
Simply put, this Azure integration helps businesses build applications for just about any environment—be it in the cloud or on-premises. It offers the flexibility to launch cloud-native apps, as well as, traditional software solutions in a hybrid environment.
2. Virtualization-based Security
This technology separates system processes from the operating system, to prevent malware or ransomware attacks on the device.
The idea is to isolate these apps from one another and store & run them on virtual machines, rather than the operating system. This mitigates the risk of the attack spreading to the entire operating system if a particular application or process is compromised.
In other words, the hacker can’t misuse the vulnerability in one system to attack another application. This makes virtualization-based security another big trend in Microsoft’s world.
It has introduced Virtual Secure Mode (VSM), which keeps data isolated from the operating system and executes them independently. With virtual machines on your system, only the trusted codes can be executed on your Windows server.
3. Improved Storage Capacity
Windows Server 2022 came with many innovative features and upgrades, one of which was the enhanced storage capacity to host several on-premises systems. Even though most business operations have moved to the cloud, certain apps still need to be processed on-premise or in a hybrid environment.
As mentioned earlier, we are expecting the in-built RAM capacity to be increased in the upcoming releases. We’ve seen servers built with 64GB RAM modules. The future platforms will be built to support 256GB RAM, allowing businesses to keep an indefinite amount of database in their system’s internal storage.
For now, Microsoft has introduced the following storage enhancement features for improved efficiency.
- Improved caching functionality filters the data by its importance and stores it accordingly.
- ReFS file snapshots make a copy of all files and folders, irrespective of their sizes, to provide you with backup at all points. This data is saved without taking up extra space on your system.
- The faster storage improvements have streamlined the hard drive functionality. Now, it can return to its normal operations after a system failure or a server crash.
These advanced storage features in Windows server 2022 make data management easier and more efficient for IT admins.
4. ARM Processors
Another emerging technology that can optimize Windows servers and cloud workloads is ARM processors. These simplify the deployment, execution, and management of applications in the cloud while ensuring improved performance and minimal energy consumption. Based on Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) Architecture, ARM processors are soon going to dominate the cloud space.
X86 processors are still in trend and are used extensively, but given the high performance and less-power-consumption capabilities of ARM processors, it might be the next big trend in cloud management. The processors are designed to handle IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS applications seamlessly. The only condition is that the existing applications need to be written, configured, and deployed for ARM servers.
5. 3D XPoint for Persistent Storage
DRAM is not the only type of memory available. There are better, cheaper, and more efficient alternatives to a computer’s memory, which can store a large volume of databases. 3D Xpoint, for example, offers persistent storage. This latest technology is believed to be a thousand times faster than traditional memory.
While that can extend your internal storage significantly, having a considerable memory doesn’t always mean efficient operations. You need to see how your system interacts and works with configurations.
Not having the right processors can negatively affect the system’s operation, as applications on servers won’t run fast without appropriate processors. Besides, some systems are incompatible with multiple RAM chips.
6. Non-Volatile RAM
Having your internal storage as the primary storage can offer great convenience, as all your data is stored in a single place. However, it comes with its share of drawbacks. The data that isn’t saved yet can be erased from the system if your network crashes or experiences a power failure.
One way to prevent that is by combining volatile and non-volatile RAM modules. The non-volatile RAM options enable you to save your unsaved work in the NVRAM units before the system crashes. In-memory computing also allows you to use RAM for storing large files and applications, instead of just for caching. This improves the I/O control protocols, resulting in faster and better storage management.
All of these upcoming windows server trends are believed to be game-changers in the cloud and on-premise environments. These trends are expected to speed up your IT functions, support cloud and on-premise integration, and make overall business operations smoother. It’s best to keep an eye on them and leverage the newly launched technologies to make the best of Windows servers.