We are pleased to announce that Hotpatching is now in preview on Windows Server 2022 Datacenter: Azure Edition with the Desktop Experience installation option. You may remember our previous announcement from last February announcing the availability of Hotpatching for Windows Server 2022 Datacenter: Azure Edition (Core). We announced our intent to support Hotpatching for the Desktop Experience then, and we are excited to finally bring this capability to preview! With this release, you can now enjoy all the benefits of Hotpatching combined with all the additional features available in the desktop experience.
Get started now! Create a VM using the preview image published here. For in-depth instructions, follow the instructions later in this article!
With this new support, all Windows Server 2022 Azure Edition VMs in Azure (including Azure Stack HCI) can take advantage of rebootless updates using Preview images! This marks our continued investment in making Azure the best destination to run Windows Server, with many capabilities that optimize your server management through services such as Azure Automanage.
What is Hotpatching?
Hotpatching is the ability to patch and update your OS without rebooting. This is accomplished by modifying code in-memory, undetectable to the user, without hindering your workloads or compromising on security. Hotpatching provides several benefits:
To learn more about how hotpatching works, watch the video below.
How to create a new Virtual Machine with Hotpatch
Note: This information covers instructions on how to create a VM with Hotpatch on Azure. For instructions on how to enable a VM with Hotpatch for Azure Stack HCI, please refer to this article.
1a. Create a VM from Azure Portal
During the public preview, you will use a preview marketplace image to create a Windows Server 2022 Datacenter: Azure Edition Desktop Experience VM with Hotpatch pre-configured.
1b. Create a VM programmatically with an ARM template and the Azure CLI
If you wish to create a VM programmatically, below are image details (publisher, offer, SKU, image version) and a step-by-step process to execute commands from PowerShell using an ARM template and the Azure CLI. This is especially useful if you would like to test applying Hotpatches to a new VM, even after a subsequent marketplace image has been released that already contains those updates.
Consider the following scenario:
If you create that VM programmatically from an ARM template, you can indicate which image version you would like to use – so you can specify the April marketplace image, then start up the VM. If May or June 2023 updates have released when you are creating the VM then you will see rebootless install of the Windows security update from May or June.
WS 2022 Azure Edition Preview Hotpatch April baseline image details:
"publisher": "microsoftwindowsserver", "offer": "windowsserverhotpatch-previews", "sku": "windows-server-2022-azure-edition-hotpatch", "version": "20348.1668.230329"
Step by step instructions to create a VM from an ARM template using PowerShell and Azure CLI:
Install-Module -Name Az -Scope CurrentUser -Repository PSGallery -Force -AllowClobber
az vm image list --location southcentralus --publisher MicrosoftWindowsServer --offer windowsserverhotpatch-previews --sku "windows-server-2022-azureedition-hotpatch" --all --output table
[your password here]
Connect-AzAccount -TenantId [your tenant ID]
Set-AzContext -Subscription "[your subscription ID]"
New-AzResourceGroupDeployment -Name [your deployment name] ` -ResourceGroupName [your resource group] ` -TemplateFile "c:\pstemp\template.json" ` -TemplateParameterFile "c:\pstemp\parameters.json"
For an in-depth comparison of Desktop Experience vs. Server Core, please refer to this article.
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