What’s new with Windows Admin Center v1904 | Windows Server Summit 2019


>>Welcome, and thank you for
joining the Windows Server Summit. I’m Daniel Lee, Program Manager
on the Windows Admin Center team, and in this session we’ll
be talking about what’s new in Windows
Admin Center version 1904. Before we dive in, for
those of you who are new to Windows Admin Center
or less familiar, let’s start with a short intro video
to Windows Admin Center. Windows Admin Center is server
management re-imagined. The evolution of Windows
Server, Inbox Management tools, such as Server Manager and many of the MMC tools
you’re familiar with. Windows Admin Center is
server management simplified. It’s easy to install on
Windows 10 or Windows Server, there are no dependencies
and you can download, install and start managing your
servers in just a few minutes. Windows Admin Center
runs in your browser, and is optimized for
both local and remote management. Adding a server is simple
with just a few clicks, you’re ready to start
managing your servers. Windows Admin Center is
server management integrated. All the tools you’re
familiar with are just a click away including “Certificates”, “Device Manager”, “Event
Viewer”, “File Explorer”, “Firewall”, “Local Users and Groups”, “Processes”, “Registry
Editor”, “Roles and Features” and so much more. For automation and scripting, the PowerShell console is
available in Windows Admin Center. For any reason if you need
to use the legacy tools, Remote Desktop is built-in so you never have to leave
Windows Admin Center. With Windows Admin Center,
you can also connect to a Windows Server
Hyper-Converged Cluster, which provides
a unified single pane of glass for managing
Hyper-V virtual machines, Storage Spaces Direct,
and Software Defined Networking. Windows Admin Center supports
management of Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, 2016, and of course Windows Server 2019, and they’re managing UI for new features such as
Storage Migration Service, and System Insights is exclusively
in Windows Admin Center. Windows Admin Center is
server management modernized. It’s built with
a modern web technologies to provide beautiful
interactive controls. It isn’t just a replacement
for legacy tools, it provides simplified workflows to meet modern IT
administration needs, and creating VMs is just a few
clicks with smart default values. Also creating volumes is
another example where Windows Admin Center streamlines
and simplifies the workflow. Windows Admin Center is built to meet modern security requirements such as Gateway Access Control with Azure AD and smart
card authentication, role-based access control,
and single sign-on. Windows Admin Center has
no internet or Azure dependency, and can be used completely on-premises and in
disconnected environments, but if you’d like you can use the built-in Azure
hybrid capabilities to leverage the power of the Cloud in
your modern data center. Hopefully that gives you an idea
of Windows Admin Center, and to learn more you can go
to aka.ms/windowsadmincenter. Next, let’s take
a look at our journey so far with Windows Admin Center. In April last year we launched our first generally available
release version 1804, and to give you a peek into
our engineering process, after GA release we plan
for the next six months. In every month or two, we’ll ship a preview
release with a subset of the plan features to
Windows insiders, and these are versions
1806, 1807, and 1808. Then we accumulated all the new
features from the past six months, and also include bug fixes, quality updates, and
customer feedback, and released our second GA
version which was version 1809. Since then we’ve released
version 1812, 1902, and 1903 as preview
releases to insiders, and just released our third GA
release version 1904 last month. Over the past year as we released three GA versions of
Windows Admin Center, customer adoption
has been phenomenal. Every month we have more
than 90,000 installations of Windows Admin Center that
are actively being used, and on those 90,000 installations, more than two million servers
have been added for management. These numbers show that
Windows Admin Center is the fastest growing
server management tool in Windows Server history, and we thank all of you, our users for this. All right, now let’s dive in and
see what’s new in version 1904. Customer feedback
through user voice is an important part of
our planning process, and we’re excited to
share that version 1904 includes many of the top requested
tools. Let’s take a look. First, the Active Directory
tool is newly available, and this was a number two feature
requested from customers. You can expand the domain to
see the domain information, collapse it to save space. You can search the Active Directory
for users and groups, and if you click “Search” this results for the users
and groups shown below. You can click on a user
to see the details. You can create users and groups,
and organizational units, you can enable disable users
remove, reset password, view properties, and “Locate” is a handy feature which switches
you to the browse tab, and locates the user
in the directory. You can see that
the users folder is selected, and on the right there’s our user, and all the commands from the previous tab are available
on the browse tab as well. DHCP was a number six top
requested feature on user voice. You can create new scopes
by entering start, and end IP addresses, set the sub-net mask, and choose other options as well. Once a scope is created, you can click the scope
to edit details. You can see the start
and end IP address. The total address is available, and let’s create
a new exclusion range. You can set the start
and end IP address, click “Create”, and
you can see it added, and the total addresses
is down to 11 now. You can also add address
reservations by typing in the name, the IP address, the Mac address for the device,
and click “Create”. You can see that there’s one address
in use and 10 available now. The DNS tool was a number
seven requested feature. You can create new DNS zones
by entering the zone name, set the zone file
configuration options, and the dynamic update
option as well.>>Once the DNS Zone is created, you can select it to
add new DNS records. You can type in the record name, the IP address, and click “Create”. What’s nice is that
the pane isn’t closed, so you can add multiple
DNS records at once. Once you’re done, you
can click “Cancel” to close the pane and you can see the two records that have been added, and the same capabilities
are available for reverse lookup zones as well. These new tools are
currently in preview and will be continuously improved, and we ask you to send
us feedback to help us prioritize the next set of
work for these features. While new tools are great, you’ve also told us that
improving existing tools and closing the gap with legacy
tools is just as important. In Version 1904, we’re excited to share that
a long-awaited feature. SMB File Share Support for virtual machines is now
supported. Let’s take a look. In the Virtual Machines tool, you can click “New”
to create a new VM, type in a name, and set
the generation and host. For the VM files, you can choose from multiple options. You can choose to use the
Hyper-V Host Setting, choose from a list of the cluster shared volumes or browse the
manual sector file path yourself. You can see that CredSSP has been configured with
fresh credentials so that the Hyper-V Host can authenticate to an access the remote file share. Let’s type in a file share path, and you can see that you
can navigate and browse the remote file share
the same way you would navigate a local drive. You can use a breadcrumb bar
to navigate as well. Let’s use this file path. You can see the remote file share is listed in the file path field. You can choose options
for processes in memory. For the operating system, let’s choose an ISO file
on a remote file share. Again, let’s type in a file
share path and choose our ISO, click “Okay”, “Create”. You can see that we’re
enabling CredSSP again to create the VM files
on the file share. Now, we can connect to the remote file server and navigate the files to see the VM files
that we just created. There’s a folder for a new VM, and you can see that
the virtual hard disks and the virtual machine
configuration files are all in a single folder to
make it easy to manage. We know that managing servers
is not just about tools, but also about being
more productive and being able to effectively
collaborate with your colleagues. Let’s take a look at some of
our platform improvements. Developers that spent many hours
in development tools, strongly prefer dark mode. And to help our users
stay productive as they spend more time using
Windows Admin Center, we’ve added dark mode
support in all of our tools. Another highly requested feature was shared connections between users. In Windows Admin Center settings, you can go to “Shared Connections”
and click “Add” to add servers, and we have multiple
options available. You can enter manually
a single server, import from a file, or search active directory. If you search for a certain string, the computers that match will
show up and you can choose as many as you want to add
to your connections list. You can also add and edit
tags for shared connections, and these tags will be shared and be visible across all your users. You can see there’s a list for
your personal connections and a separate group for the shared
connections across your users. It’s already a challenge trying
to keep all your servers up to date and we didn’t want to add to that pane with Windows
Admin Center updates. We’ve made several enhancements
to make it easier to discover and install extensions and keep
windows Admin Center up to date. When you connect to
a server, in this case it’s a Fujitsu PRIMERGY Server, and at the top you can see that the Fujitsu ServerView Health
extension is available. If you click “Update now”, we go to the Extension Manager,
and when you click “Install”, it’ll download
the five-megawatt package, install it as part of
Windows Admin Center, refresh the browser, and you’re done. Now if you go back and
connect to the server, in the left navigation pane, you can see the Fujitsu ServerView
Health extension available. You don’t need to leave
Windows Admin Center, there’s no need to look for
separate downloads or tools, no need to go through
separate setup flows, and all your server
hardware management tools are right there inside
Windows Admin Center. Also, later as you use your tools, you might notice a notification that there’s an update for the tool. If you click “Update now”, you can see the the new version
of the extension available, click “Update” and again this
will download the package. install it for you, and update Windows Admin Center. Now again, without ever
leaving Windows Admin Center, in just a few seconds, you’ve updated to the latest version. We realize that
Server tools we provide in Windows Admin Center only cover a subset of your day-to-day
management tasks. We’ve been working closely
with many partners to enable managing hardware and applications all through Windows Admin Center. I’d like to show you short demos of each of our partner extensions, and how their extensions make
Windows Admin Center even better. Lenovo XClarity extension provides a solution extension
that allows you to manage all your Lenovo servers managed through
the XClarity Administrator. The remote control feature
lets you remotely connect to the server desktop UI through
the baseboard management controller. You can select a server to
view the hardware information. Also, there is
a BMC IP address linked to launch the BMC
Management Web Console. If you go to the inventory, you get a really nice summary of
all the hardware information, such as firmware versions, list of processors, memory, drives and so much more. In the left navigation pane, there are additional
tools for alerts, event logs, audit logs, power consumption and more. While you can manage all your Lenovo servers through
the XClarity administrator, you can also see
the same tools when you’re connected to a server in
Windows Admin Center, making troubleshooting and
management easier by seeing the operating system and
hardware aspects all at once. When you’re connected to
a hyper-converged cluster, a dashboard view is provided that lets you see the same
hardware information, but in a nice summarize view
for all the cluster nodes.>>The cluster view also provides
a firmer consistency report, which is a highly
requested feature that helps rule out
certain cluster problems. Next, the Fujitsu Server
View Health extension. The overview page will give
you instant visibility into any errors and clicking on it
will open the health tree tab, and automatically expand
to show the devices in warning and error state
which is very convenient. Clicking on the “View
Details” link will open the components health tab
which shows even more details, in this case, for temperatures. If you’re wondering
when this happened, you can click on the “System
event” log which shows a date and time of the event and
even recommended actions. Fujitsu has released a second
extension for RAID management, and as you can see has done
a great job being one of the first partners to
fully support dark mode. If you go to the storage device tree, you can see all the RAID
controllers with drives attached, and SSD lifetime is displayed and monitored by server
view RAID as well. DataON specializes in Windows Server Hyper-Converged
Infrastructure and provides the DataON MUST extension in the Windows Admin Center
Hyper-Converged Cluster Manager. You can see a great visualization
of the drive mapping and DataON also provides a really simple
and convenient alert service. Without ever leaving
Windows Admin Center, you can register from the extension, setup the SMTP server, configure all the e-mail
counts for receiving alerts, and you can also choose what level
of alerts to receive as well. As time passes, you can
see active alerts show up in the MUST extension
showing the category, the alert description, location, recommended action,
and date and time. Here’s an example
alert e-mail sent from MUST, and this enables one of the top
requested features from customers. The QCT extension supports managing QCTs Windows Server
Hyper-Converged Infrastructure. The overview tab provides
a nice summary of harbor information and events
and charts for CPU, memory, temperature,
and power consumption. The disk tab shows
the physical disk mapping. You can click on a disk to
see details and there’s a toggle button to show instructions
for replacing disks as well. Clicking on the “SMART” will check the SMART status and show
notifications for SMART warnings. The firmware tab shows all the firmer components and the firmware versions
and you can click “Update component firmware” to choose a firmer file and update
through Windows Admin Center. And as you can see, the QCT extension has also added support
for dark theme. NEC released their V1 extension just last month for managing
NEC Express5800 Servers. Windows Admin Center
integration is built into the alert viewer in
NEC’s ESMPRO Manager. So if you click on the server
one link for this memory error, you’ll launch windows Admin Center, automatically navigate
to the NEC extension, and show the DIMM with
the error status. You can also switch to
the hardware event log in the left navigation pane and
view when the error occurred. You can see there are
detailed views for other hardware components
such as processors, power supplies, batteries,
and network adapters. There is also
a system overview tab to display the high level
system information. We’re excited to share
that Dell EMC is developing a Windows
Amazon or extension, and we like to show a preview of
what’s been developed so far. The health status tab shows a visualization of the status of
different hardware components, and what’s really nice,
is that you can click on the pie chart to drill
down and see details. There’s a drop-down to
change the filter as well. The “Hardware Inventory” tab
has a visual tab list on the left where it can choose different components
and view details. The firmware compliance
feature is currently under development and
for now you can choose an update source and the
extension will return a compliance results for
the different components firmware. The “iDRAC” tab shows
all the iDRAC information and provides a link to open
the iDRAC web console. Dell is also working on a
hyper-converged cluster extension that provides a consolidated view of components across all cluster nodes, and you can easily switch the filter to see components
in different states. The “Hardware Inventory” tab lists the two nodes so
you can easily drill into each node and view the component inventory
for each of the nodes. Dell is currently
targeting to release the extension later this
year, so stay tuned. Pure Storage is an all flash data storage provider
and has released a Windows Admin Center extension
to make it easy to also manage Pure Storage flash arrays
through Windows Admin Center. In the overview tab, you
can view an overview of your storage capacity and see nice visualizations
of latency and IOPS. In the left navigation pane, you can view host groups and individual hosts and
manage initiators. This is a useful feature
that provides information for individual servers that can
be managed through Admin Center. You can view the discs
connected to each server, check if multipath IO is
installed and configured, and easily create
new volumes by typing in the name and setting the size. You have the option to mount
the volume without having to use the disk management tools
in Windows Server. From the “Volumes” tab, you can also view all the volumes and manage hosts connections
for each of the volumes. Azure Monitoring is built
into Windows Admin Center, but if you need on-premises
based monitoring, System Center Operations Manager and Squared Up are a great solution. When connecting to server
in Windows Admin Center, the Squared Up extension
will show you alerts and performance metrics
specific to the workload, in this case a SQL server. You can also switch to other tabs to see alerts and metrics
from different angles, such as the underlying
Windows Server, memory details, the Hyper-VM it’s running on or the Azure IS
environment where this resides. You can click on any of
the charts to see details, go back in time to see anomalies, and this is all very
performant in the UI. Squared Up also
provides a unique value add for application
discovery and analysis. From the current SQL Server, you can discover
application servers that are connected to the server and then go beyond and discover
the web servers to build a map of
application relationships. Then you can switch
to the “Analyze” tab which is really neat and
helps identify bottlenecks, and then you can drill into
for more detailed analysis. BiiTOPS provides
a solution for tracking configuration changes on your
servers. Let’s see it in action. Let’s say one of your admins
goes to the firewall tool in Windows Admin Center and creates a rule that allows
all incoming traffic. You notice this change on the server and need to know when this happened. In Windows Admin Center, you can open the BiiTOPS extension on the server, set the date and time
to search for changes. Now you can drill down into
specific areas for changes. For firewall rules, we’ll
select configuration, then firewall and incoming rules, and the top right you
can see the allow at all rule that was created. By clicking on the item, you can see all the details
on what was changed. For example, you can see that
the action was changed to allow and you can search for certain properties
such as ports as well. You can see all changes in
BiiTOPS and search by category, such as performance,
updates, and security. You can drill down and see
specific areas such as roles and features and see
when a role was installed. You can also check when
a virtual disk was created, and also see when
a host file was edited. As you can see, BiiTOPS provides simple but powerful change
tracking capabilities and compliments Windows
Admin Center very well. All right, so that wraps
up our demos for today. There’s so much new stuff in Windows Admin Center version 1904
that we couldn’t cover today, so to summarize everything. We’ve released new tools and made tool improvements based
on customer feedback. We’ve made improvements
in user experience and platform to enhance productivity. We’ve added a new PowerShell module for automated connection
and extension management. For Hybrid, a ton of new work is happening to help you leverage
Azure in your modern datacenter. If you missed the live session on hybrid capabilities
in Windows Admin Center, I encourage you to check it out. For Azure Stack HCI, all the management capabilities for Storage Spaces Direct to
software defined networking, are exclusively available
in Windows Admin Center. As we show it in our demo, we’re continuously
making improvements for Hyper-V and virtual machine
management as well. So please do check out
the on-demand sessions for Storage Spaces Direct
and Software Defined Networking. For extensibility, we’re continuously evolving the SDK to
support our partners. Speaking of partners, we thank each and every one of our partners
for working together with us, and we thank our partners
and all of you, our users, for helping reimagine the future
of server management.