Windows Server 2025: the arrival of a new era of innovation and security for server systems

Microsoft is set to redefine the future of server operating systems with the announcement of its next major release: Windows Server 2025. This release will represent an evolutionary leap in the field of server operating systems, thanks to the introduction of innovative features that promise to revolutionize server management, their security, and performance. The new version is packed with improvements aimed at increasing operational efficiency and meeting the increasingly complex needs of modern IT environments. In this article, we will explore in detail the key features of Windows Server 2025, analyze its expected launch date, and evaluate its positioning in relation to Azure Stack HCI.

What’s New in Windows Server 2025

The latest version of Windows Server, named “Windows Server 2025,” marks a turning point in the evolution of server operating systems, introducing a wide range of innovations and improvements aimed at meeting the most pressing needs of users and introducing new features to optimize performance, security, and server management. Here is a detailed overview of the main new features integrated into this version:

  • Hot Patching: one of the most anticipated features, hot patching, will be available to all users of Windows Server 2025. This technology allows for updates to be applied in-memory, avoiding the restarts of the traditional patching process, which can disrupt operations. Originally welcomed with enthusiasm by the Xbox team for managing their Azure servers, hot patching has proven to drastically reduce update times. The expansion of hot patching will be linked to the Azure Arc management tool, and will also be accessible for the upcoming Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server, on a paid basis, although it is currently available at no additional cost for Azure Edition and Azure Stack HCI users.
  • Next-Generation Active Directory: Windows Server 2025 introduces significant improvements to Active Directory, increasing scalability through the adoption of larger database pages (32k) and improving support for systems with a high number of cores. Numerous security reinforcements have also been implemented, including support for LDAP over TLS 1.3 and a new replication priority feature, making Active Directory more robust and secure.
  • Improved Storage Performance and Flexibility: the new operating system brings significant optimizations for NVMe storage, promising an increase in IOPS of up to 90% compared to the previous version. Support for NVMe over Fabric, improvements for Storage Replica, and a new native deduplication mechanism for ReFS, optimized for active data, have also been introduced.
  • Hyper-V and Artificial Intelligence: with the introduction of GPU partitioning (GPU-P), Windows Server 2025 allows for the sharing of a GPU across multiple virtual machines, ensuring full support for real-time migration and clustering. Improved support for direct device assignment (DDA) and the introduction of GPU pools for high availability further elevate Hyper-V’s capabilities.
  • Modernized Server Experience: the upgrade to Windows Server 2025 is made simpler through the ability to perform it directly from Windows Update, ensuring a smooth and seamless transition, in line with the commitment to an improved user experience.
  • Enhanced Security and Networking: new security measures have been introduced, including mandatory SMB Signing by default and improvements in protection against brute force attacks on SMB. Advanced networking features have also been introduced, such as intent-based ATC and significant performance improvements to the SDN gateway.
  • Containers and AKS: significant improvements have been made in container management, including reducing the size of the base image and improvements in application compatibility, especially for Nano Server, simplifying and making container use more efficient.
  • Next-Generation File Services: access to SMB over QUIC, previously limited to the Azure edition of Windows Server 2022, is now extended to all editions of Windows Server 2025. This facilitates secure remote access to file servers without the need for VPN, using an always-encrypted protocol that leverages TLS 1.3 for connections, improving security and accessibility.
  • New Pay as You Go Option: Microsoft is planning to sell Windows Server 2025 not only through the traditional perpetual license but also via a pay-as-you-go subscription option. This option will be enabled through Azure Arc, Microsoft’s cloud service management tool, and will be billed through “Azure Commerce.” The subscription-based offering could be used by organizations that have seasonal or burst workloads, offering flexibility in payment based on actual usage.

These innovations reflect Microsoft’s commitment to meeting user needs and driving the technological evolution of servers, with Windows Server 2025 poised to be a milestone in the history of server operating systems.

Windows Server 2025 vs Azure Stack HCI

Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server 2025 represent two fundamental pillars in Microsoft’s virtualization solution offering, each designed to meet different needs within the IT landscape. While Azure Stack HCI positions itself as the cutting-edge solution for hybrid environments, offering advanced integrations with Azure services for optimized management and scalability, Windows Server 2025 continues to be a solid choice for organizations that require more traditional virtualized solutions, with a particular focus on flexibility and management in disconnected scenarios. The choice between these two solutions depends on the specific virtualization needs, the organization’s cloud strategy, and the need for access to advanced management and security features.

In summary:

  • Azure Stack HCI represents Microsoft’s flagship virtualization platform, offering significant hybrid value not present in Windows Server. Its features include Azure Virtual Desktop, free Extended Security Updates (ESU), the Azure edition (with hotpatching), the ability to provision virtual machines directly from the Marketplace, and management through Azure. Azure Stack HCI also stands out for the speed with which it introduces new improvements and features.
  • For customers needing disconnected solutions, Microsoft proposes Windows Server as a virtualization platform. Although it does not have all the advanced features of Azure Stack HCI, Windows Server remains a feature-rich and absolutely valid solution.

Release Date of Windows Server 2025

The new version of Windows Server, named “Windows Server 2025,” is expected in the fall of this year. Although Microsoft has not yet announced an official release date, it is possible to make some predictions based on previous release cycles. The company’s last product, Windows Server 2022, was made available to the public on September 1, 2021. If Microsoft were to follow a similar schedule for its next product, then we could expect Windows Server 2025 to be released in the fall of this year.


Windows Server 2025 represents a significant step forward in Microsoft’s vision for the future of server management, offering a wide range of improvements and new features that promise to optimize the IT infrastructure of companies. The introduction of technologies such as hot patching, next-generation Active Directory, and improvements in the field of storage and artificial intelligence not only enhance security and performance but also management and operational efficiency. With its release expected in the fall of this year, Windows Server 2025 is poised to be a milestone in the evolution of server operating systems, ready to meet the needs of modern IT environments and set new standards for the industry.

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