5 Ways that Windows Admin Center Makes Managing Servers a Breeze

For most IT professionals, managing servers is something that is done quite regularly on a day-to-day basis. Core services run on servers and without proper management things can become messy quite quickly. Thankfully we’ve had the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) to handle this historically. However, MMC is going on 20 years old now, and the toolset is much the same as it was 20 years ago. With the industry moving to more of a web-based management model, MMC is really starting to show its age. This is where Windows Admin Center comes in.

What is Windows Admin Center?

For those that aren’t aware, Windows Admin Center is the new preferred server management tool from Microsoft. Windows Admin Center provides a modern-day UI for management of our most critical workloads. I like to describe it as something like server manager from Windows Server 2012-2016 on steroids. It’s not the same tool, but a reimagining of it.

With that said, one common concern that often comes up when I’m talking about WAC is what about MMC? Is MMC going to go away? As of the time of this writing, the answer is no. The old tools like MMC will continue to be supported and available. However, all the new functionality will be developed for WAC and not MMC. So over time, I could see MMC going away, but personally, I don’t see that happening for at least 3-5 years.

Building on what we’ve discussed so far, let’s take a little bit of time to cover 5 ways – in no particular order – that Windows Admin Center makes server management a breeze.

1. Web-Based Management

Windows Admin Center is 100% web-based, and the goal from Microsoft is to make it fully HTML5 compatible. While I’ll say it’s nearly there today, there is still some weirdness with non-edge browsers. So, if you’re using chrome/firefox, your mileage may vary. In any case, it’s not hard to launch edge to make sure you have a flawless experience with this new tool, and as soon as you open it for the first time the benefits become quite apparent. As you can see in figure 1 below, all of the various management tools and settings you’re used to seeing are all in one place. If you drill down into the server overview screen on a particular server, you have access to things like regedit, event viewer, and more. This web-based approach ensures access to server management from any device at any time. It’s a big win to be sure.

Windows Admin Center overviewFigure 1: Windows Admin Center Stand-Alone Server Management

2. Centralized Server/Object Repository

Another huge benefit of this tool is the centralized management of all your Windows Server and Failover Cluster resources. As shown below in figure 2, WAC can pool all of your servers into a single list. Making management of each item just a single click away. Again, this pertains not only to stand-alone Windows Server instances, but also failover clusters, Hypeconverged-Failover Clusters, and event endpoints! Additionally, any or all of the items you add to the list can belong to different domains or workgroups. You simply input the credentials for each object when prompted.

windows admin center connections

Figure 2: List of all added resources for WAC to manage

3. Azure Integrations

Hybrid cloud is a huge part of Microsoft’s long-term strategy. It’s generally known in the industry that most organizations aren’t going to move cold-turkey to the cloud. Most will adopt a hybrid approach in that some resources live in the public cloud, while some remain on-premises. Windows Admin Center was designed to manage this strategy by including access to things within the UI like management of the Azure Network Adapter. Additionally, update management in WAC has been paid with services in Azure to allow for a more holistic approach to patching. Expect to see much more in this space as WAC continues to grow and evolve.

4. Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Management

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (or simply HCI) has been the new infrastructure trend in the industry. The idea of HCI is simply the concept of clustering storage and compute within the same server chassis using cheap commodity hardware. Microsoft has enabled this deployment model with Windows Server through Storage Spaces Direct (Called S2D by some). The problem that S2D has had in the past is that there hasn’t been a great management story surrounding it. Historically the solution has needed to be managed via PowerShell, and many IT Pros have been hesitant to adopt a solution without some sort of GUI management platform. Again, WAC to the rescue.

With WAC in place, we now have a management UI for S2D. Within the WAC UI, you’ll see several references to “Hyper-Converged Cluster Manager”. Hyper-Converged Cluster Manager (As shown in figure 3 below) provides much of the monitoring for the HCI cluster itself along with management of the VMs and storage that live on top of it. While there are still some things missing, like the ability to setup S2D clusters with WAC, it’s a HUGE step in the right direction. With WAC, Storage Spaces Direct is very much starting to feel like it’s ready for prime-time.

windows admin center dashboard

Figure 3: HCI Management with Windows Admin Center

5. Extensibility

Finally, the last area we’ll talk about today is extensibility. Microsoft has made Windows Admin Center in a way that allows 3rd party vendors to create extensions. This allows you to extend the functionality of WAC to potentially encompass all of your infrastructures. For example, vendors like DataOn and Fujitsu have made storage related add-ons for WAC when their hardware is in play, and others are actively developing extensions for their own technologies.

Microsoft has released an SDK, so any interested party can make their own WAC extension.

Want to Know More?

Webinar

We have quite a bit of content centered around Windows Admin Center. Fellow Microsoft MVP and Altaro Blogger Eric Siron, and I recently put on a demo-heavy webinar centered around Windows Admin Center.

Watch the on-demand webinar How to Manage Windows Server Like a Boss with Windows Admin Center

On-demand webinar - how to manage windows server like a boss with windows admin center

eBook

Eric has also compiled a fantastic free eBook on the subject as well designed to complement the webinar. The eBook is over 80 pages and covers Windows Admin Center in great detail.

Download your free copy of the eBook How to Get the Most Out of Windows Admin Center

free eBook - How to Get the Most Out of Windows Admin Center

What about you? Have you tried Windows Admin Center yet? How are you liking it? Anything you don’t like? Anything you’d like to hear more about? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Author: Andy Syrewicze

Users forge ahead with Cloud Foundry-Kubernetes integration

PHILADELPHIA — Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes users have reached a clearer understanding of how the PaaS and container orchestration frameworks will coexist.

When the Cloud Foundry user base and community contributors last met at Cloud Foundry Summit 2018, there were spirited discussions about which platform should have the upper hand in container orchestration. Since then, however, customers have put Kubernetes clusters into production alongside Cloud Foundry, and the Cloud Foundry community has renewed efforts to give Kubernetes feature parity with the native Cloud Foundry container orchestration tool, Diego, under the covers.

“Pivotal Cloud Foundry is mostly built for Spring containers, and developers wanted more flexibility to build their own containers with Docker,” said a senior manager of platform engineering at a major mobile carrier who requested anonymity, here at the Cloud Foundry Summit. The company has both Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) and the Kubernetes-based Pivotal Container Service (PKS) in production.

This carrier has used PCF since 2016, and it added PKS in 2018 in response to developers’ desire for a less prescriptive container platform, the senior manager said. Those developers struggled to refactor large legacy monolithic applications to suit Cloud Foundry requirements, but wanted the flexibility and automation features that come with containers.

“When you don’t provide capabilities as part of your internal platform, developers will go and build their own,” he said.

As with many enterprises, other Cloud Foundry Summit attendees haven’t yet rolled out Kubernetes in production. But most said they plan to evaluate it in 2019. Many regard the hype around Kubernetes as a distraction and say corporate developers should focus on business problems. These users find Cloud Foundry PaaS helps them solve these business problems.

Julian Friedman, IBM
Julian Friedman, an IBM engineer and leader of the Cloud Foundry Eirini project, presents at Cloud Foundry Summit.

“Kubernetes is the new fun toy,” said Jessica Schniepp, senior product owner for cloud and security at Liberty Mutual Insurance in Boston. “But customers aren’t asking for Kubernetes; they’re asking for us to spend more time on business features and to be more secure. And we’re still not sure how that relates to Kubernetes.”

Container features native to Cloud Foundry still have value for some enterprises. Pivotal Cloud Foundry’s versions of Diego and Garden container management, along with technical support from Pivotal, helped Nasdaq port Windows .NET applications into containers — an area where Kubernetes still struggles.

Nasdaq also plans to evaluate PKS, but its most important role for Pivotal is to create and automatically manage application deployment pipelines onto containers through the Concourse continuous integration tool, said Bhavani Yellapragada, assistant vice president of quality assurance and DevOps at the financial services company in New York, in a presentation here.

“There are a million solutions out there to your technical problems, but what we wanted was to solve the people and process problems,” she said.

Eirini to extend Cloud Foundry-Kubernetes integration

Kubernetes is the new fun toy. But customers aren’t asking for Kubernetes; they’re asking for us to spend more time on business features and to be more secure.
Jessica SchnieppSenior product owner for cloud and security, Liberty Mutual Insurance

Cloud Foundry Container Runtime, released in October 2017, linked Kubernetes with Cloud Foundry’s BOSH infrastructure deployment tool, so Cloud Foundry could instantiate Kubernetes clusters. But there’s still plenty of work to more fully integrate Cloud Foundry’s popular Application Runtime, where developers deploy apps via the cf-push command, with the container orchestration platform.

That’s where the Eirini project comes in. The effort remains in the incubation stage, but introduces a means by which Cloud Foundry can manage Kubernetes clusters interchangeably with Diego-based container environments, connect Application Runtime to Kubernetes infrastructure for automated application deployments through cf-push and manage existing Kubernetes clusters instead of just new ones instantiated by BOSH.

Eirini includes an Informer API that alerts parts of the Cloud Foundry control plane — such as Gorouter for network management, Cloud Controller for infrastructure management and the Doppler monitoring tool — when Kubernetes pods, nodes and containers have crashed. Eirini code has passed functional tests, but its project managers and Cloud Foundry Foundation officials were mum on when Eirini will reach general availability.

“There’s a recognition in the Cloud Foundry community that people are already doing Kubernetes, and there’s more Kubernetes in the public cloud than Cloud Foundry,” said Tom Petrocelli, analyst at Amalgam Insights. “Eirini is an effort at making Kubernetes really work within Cloud Foundry instead of treating it like a hosted app.”

Kubernetes still must mature to meet enterprise mission-critical app requirements, and service mesh — an equally important component of cloud-native architectures — remains a nascent market. Still, many enterprises will want a unified place to manage many IT automation control planes as they emerge, Petrocelli said.

For the mobile carrier with both PCF and PKS in production, service mesh maturity will be the key to a closer blend of Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes, which currently run separately in its environment. PCF version 2.5, released last week, adds Istio support that allows for weighted traffic routing within the Cloud Foundry infrastructure and supports canary deployments.

“It depends on Pivotal. If they add a common pattern in the future for deployment with Istio and Envoy through a cluster and platform-agnostic service mesh, then, yes, we will combine them,” said another senior engineer at the carrier.

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Acer family grows with ConceptD portfolio for creators, Spin 3 series, gaming notebooks and more | Windows Experience Blog

At its annual global press conference Thursday in New York City, Acer launched ConceptD, a new brand of high-end desktops, notebooks, gadgets and monitors optimized for creators such as graphic designers, filmmakers, engineers, architects and developers. It also revealed new and refreshed devices for consumers, gamers and on-the-go professionals. A lot of great hardware was introduced; let’s kick things off with the new ConceptD lineup.

ConceptD family of devices

The ConceptD 900 is a high-performance desktop for professionals running multiple complex and demanding applications. It has dual Intel Xeon Gold 6148 processors with up to 40 cores, 80 threads, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 and 12 memory slots for a total of up to 192GB [1] of ECC memory. It’s perfect for filmmakers, animators, product designers and architects to get lost in the creative process without worrying about long render times. It’s also ideal for AI and deep learning developers who need outstanding computing and graphics power.
The ConceptD 500 has up to 9th Generation Intel Core processors and up to NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 GPUs [1] to make workloads and multi-media creation smoother and faster on complex projects. Its multiple CPU cores achieve high single-core speed while staying cool with low heat output and low power consumption. With up to NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 GPUs [1], this desktop supports four 5K displays (5120×2880 @ 60Hz) with HDR color, making visual effects, motion graphics and animation rendering a breeze. It’s also designed to grow with users to meet ever-changing workload requirements. With four DIMM slots for up to 64GB 2666 MHz DDR4 memory, it has more bandwidth and capacity for fast performance when working on complex design tasks. The onboard PCIe M.2 NVMe SSD allows for large models and complex 3D rendering in real time.

ConceptD 9

ConceptD 9, 7 and 5 creator notebooks each feature a 4K UHD IPS [2] PANTONE Validated display. Colors are as accurate as possible as the display covers 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color gamut. These creator notebooks stay quiet with Acer’s 4th generation AeroBlade 3D Fan with a noise reduction mechanism that emits less than 40 db of noise — equivalent to the sound level of a library — while maintaining high computing and graphics performance.
Creators need color accuracy beyond what most mainstream monitors can offer, and so Acer created ConceptD UHD monitors. Featuring a remarkable color accuracy of Delta E

For Sale – Mac Pro 2008 2x 2.8 Quad Core 10GB Ram

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by bealehere, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. bealehere

    bealehere

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    For sale is my Mac Pro 2008.

    The machine is in very good condition. A few small scuffs on the case but no dents or damage.

    2x 2.8GHz Quad core (8 processors)
    10GB Ram
    GeForce 8800 GT graphics card (dual port)
    256gb SSD drive
    500GB Hard Drive
    1TB Hard Drive

    Can include an additional 640GB Hard Drive if the price is right.

    Power lead included.

    IMG_9971.JPG Any questions please ask. Thanks

    Price and currency: 250
    Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
    Payment method: Cash on collection
    Location: Sandy, Bedfordshire
    Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
    Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

    ______________________________________________________
    This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
    By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
    Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

    • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
    • Name and address including postcode
    • Valid e-mail address

    DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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