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3 min read

Get the most out of Windows Server with these 5 best practices

We’ve invested in Windows Server for nearly 30 years, and we continue to find new ways to empower businesses who trust Windows Server as the operating system for their workloads. Over this time, we understand that business requirements have become more complex and demanding. Thus, we are energized when we hear how customers continue to trust Windows Server to navigate these ever-evolving requirements and run business and mission-critical workloads.

We want to continue to invest in your organizations’ success and enable you to get the most out of Windows Server by keeping you informed of the latest product announcements, news, and overall best practices. Here are the top five to-do’s for you to make the most out of Windows Server:

1. Patch and install security updates without rebooting with Hotpatch

Hotpatch is now generally available. As part of Azure Automanage for Windows Server, this capability allows you to keep your Windows Server virtual machines on Azure up-to-date without rebooting, enabling higher availability with faster and more secure delivery of updates. Other capabilities that are part of Azure Automanage for Windows Server include SMB over QUIC, as well as extended network for Azure, which lets you keep your on-premises IP addresses when you migrate to Azure. Learn more about why Azure is the best destination for Windows Server.

2. Take the recently available Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Certification

Invest in your career and skills with this brand-new Windows Server certification. With this certification, you can keep the Windows Server knowledge you have built your career on and learn how to apply it in the current state of hybrid cloud computing. Earn this certification for managing, monitoring, and securing applications on-premises, in Azure, and at the edge. Learn more about Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification today.

3. Upgrade to Windows Server 2022

With Windows Server 2022, get the latest innovation for you to continue running your workloads securely, enable new hybrid cloud scenarios, and modernize applications to meet your ever-evolving business requirements. Learn more about investing in your success with Windows Server.

4. Protect your workloads by taking advantage of free extended security updates (ESUs) in Azure

While many customers have adopted Windows Server 2022, we also understand that some need more time to modernize as support for older versions of Windows Server will eventually end.

  • For Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 customers, the end of support date is October 10, 2023. 
  • For Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 customers, the third year of extended security updates are coming to an end on January 10, 2023. Customers can get an additional fourth year of free extended security updates (ESUs-only) on Azure (including Azure Stack HCI, Azure Stack Hub, and other Azure products). With this, customers will have until January 9, 2024 for Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 to upgrade to a supported release.

We are committed to supporting you as you start planning for end of support if you are running workloads on older versions of Windows Server. Learn more about end of support deadlines for Windows Server 2008/R2 and 2012/R2 and your options.

5. Combine extended security updates with Azure Hybrid Benefit to save even more

In addition to all the innovative Windows Server capabilities available only on Azure, it also has offers for you to start migrating your workloads with Azure Hybrid Benefit. It is a licensing benefit that allows you to save even more by using existing Windows Server licenses on Azure. Learn more about how much you can save with Azure Hybrid Benefit.

Ask questions and engage in our community

Get started implementing these Windows Server best practices today! Join the conversation by sharing stories or questions you have here:  

1Note: In alignment with the servicing model for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 (link to blog), the Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 ESU program will only include Monthly Rollup packages; Security Only update packages will not be provided.