On August 31st Microsoft went live with an update to the Windows Server Catalog (www.windowservercatalog.com) that will ensure that customers who rely on the Windows Server logo will be able to identify components that will work best with Azure Stack HCI, using an updated set of Additional Qualifiers (AQ’s) that are now being displayed in the Catalog.
More information about the change is available at this blog link, https://aka.ms/RoleBasedNIC
The Windows Server Catalog has some significant changes to the concept and “schema” of the Network Additional Qualifications for Windows Server 2022 (WS2022) network adapters (NICs), visible since the morning of Aug 31.
The change to the Windows Server Catalog was made to increase the “success rate” of Windows Server 2022 and Azure Stack HCI deployments, by ensuring that the NIC(s) used in a deployment are fully qualified for its role.
Now, for Windows Server 2022, the new Additional Qualification (AQ) schema is in place.
NICs can still be “just” Certified, but the majority of the listed network adapters should have at least one AQ. Many will have not just one, but two or even three new AQs for WS2022, as a NIC can have more than one of the new AQs. Example; the Management AQ, one of the Storage AQs, and one of the Compute AQs.
However, a NIC can only have one Storage AQ, either Standard or Premium, and the same for Compute, either Standard or Premium. In both cases, only the highest level AQ Storage or Compute is displayed in the Catalog Product entry page for any specific NIC.
Note: the WS2022 Storage and Compute AQs are “active” on the Server Catalog page left-hand pane in the sense that if either Standard or Premium is selected as a filter [click in the box to the left of the text], the other AQ option is removed from the left-hand pane until the first selection is cleared.
These new AQs are visible in the left-hand menu pane for Windows Server 2022 NICs. As well, the older AQs for SDDC, and the individual Additional Features (AFs) are visible for Windows Server 2019 and earlier submissions. Examples; IPSec support, or VMMQ support.
Here is a description of the Features needed for the Management AQ
There are two levels of Storage AQs, with the needed Features described here …
There are also two levels of Compute AQs, again with descriptive pages
These descriptive pages above can be accessed from the left-hand menu pane main page for NICs, by hovering the mouse over one of these AQs. Click the link in the in the box that then appears to get to the description. Clear the box by clicking the “X” in the upper right-hand corner of the box.
The old Network AQs [e.g., “Data Center Bridging”, or “SDDC Standard”] are still visible in the left-hand menu pane, but only apply to the WS2019 and earlier Windows Server operating system version submissions for any specific NIC. This way, end Customers can still filter using those older AQs and AFs for older OS version submissions. The same will be true for any new submissions made for older OS versions.
Finally, note that for the specific Product entry page, the older AQs for Networking do not appear under the text “Certified for Windows” for the WS2022 section of the entry, only the new AQs.
The older AQs and Additional Features (AFs) will continue to be visible for the WS2019 and earlier sections of the Product entry page.
Similar to the main NIC page, on any specific NIC Product entry page, the WS2022 AQs listed also have the same pop-up and “hover box”, w/ the same functionality. This way, no matter where in the Catalog the end Customer is searching for NICs, they will be able to get to the information about these AQs easily and quickly without hunting around in the FAQ pages.
There is a wide selection of Windows Server-certified NICs qualified for the Management, Storage and Compute AQs.
Supporting end Customers
This change is made to increase the “success rate” that Windows Server 2022 and Azure Stack HCI end Customers have when trying to design or build their own deployments. However, the recommended path for an end Customer is to work with a vendor that can provide a fully Integrated System. See this link, https://azurestackhcisolutions.azure.microsoft.com/#/catalog for more information.