Category Archives: Windows Admin Center

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Windows Admin Center Preview 1909 | Windows Experience Blog

Hello Windows Insiders! Thanks for staying up to date on the Windows Admin Center journey! This release contains incremental changes and quality improvements for the new functionality released in the preceding previews. Specific updates to Packetmon, and a couple visual changes are described below.This will be the last preview release in anticipation of the next generally available release of Windows Admin Center coming in the next two months.
Specific connection type for Azure VMs
In new Add connection experience, Azure VMs are now a top-level connection type. This functionality previously lived under the “Azure” tab when adding a server. When a server is added this way, it appears in the connections list as “Server (Azure VM)” so you can easily see which of your servers are Azure VMs.

Unified connection type for clusters

The two separate connection types for hyper-converged clusters and failover clusters have been merged into a single, unified connection type. Clusters can be added as a “Windows Server cluster” and the appropriate tools will be loaded and available, primarily based on whether Storage Spaces Direct is enabled or not. Hyper-converged cluster connections and failover cluster connections added from previous versions of Windows Admin Center will be automatically migrated to the new cluster connection type.
For extension developers: Extensions that enable tools for failover cluster connections and/or hyper-converged cluster connections will require a minor code change to display the tools properly in the new cluster connection. Details on this will be provided soon.
Packetmon
There are several improvements in Packetmon:
New capture dialog wizard – users need to follow several steps to set the capture conditions: select specific components, set filters, choose dropped or all packets
Capture conditions button – opens a dialog which shows the conditions used to create the capture
Restart button – reuse same conditions to restart capture
Display filters dialog – further filter captured results
Save button – save the captured log in different formats
Packet details page now shows actual names of networking stack components

The Windows Admin Center ecosystem continues to grow with the recent release of several partner extensions.
IIS extension
We are excited to announce the first preview release of the IIS Extension for Windows Admin Center that provides the existing tools in IIS manager to administer and manage your web server. You can download and install the “msft.iis.iis-management” extension from the extension feed and If you are connecting to a machine to manage IIS for the first time, you will be prompted to install the IIS Administration API on the machine you wish to manage.

Lenovo XClarity Integrator extension is generally available
The Lenovo XClarity Integrator extension is now generally available with the v1.2.11 release. In addition to the existing capabilities to manage standalone servers and hyper-converged clusters, the following features have been added in this release:
In-band management for hardware inventory, events and alerts – Servers can be managed via PowerShell running in Windows Server. This allows server hardware management without the Lenovo XClarity Administrator.
Support for Lenovo XClarity Administrator version 2.5.0 for out-of-band management.
BiitOps Changes extension for server configuration change tracking
The BiitOps Changes extension is now officially available for customers. BiitOps Changes makes identifying and troubleshooting server incidents through Windows Admin Center an even quicker and simpler process through a powerful graphical change overview. Key features include:
Summarizes changes made to servers and/or services leading up to an incident
Shows changes – and changes only – in a simple, yet powerful graphical interface
Allows admins to quickly zoom in on specific changes for full details
Simple one-time installation, configuration and deployment for 24/7/365 monitoring
Highly secure with no data ever being passed from your local installation
Offered as a free trial for up to 10 servers
Learn more about BiitOps Changes here.

Dell EMC extension – The Dell EMC OpenManage Integration extension is not compatible with Windows Admin Center v1909 due to a breaking change in this version and will fail to install. Dell EMC will be releasing a new version soon. In the meantime, you can continue to use the Dell EMC extension on Windows Admin Center v1904.1 or v1908.
Cluster connections – When adding a cluster connection, there is reference to creating a new cluster, however this functionality is not yet available. [23380016]
Azure Monitor onboarding – If you’re managing a server or a cluster using “manage as” credentials, the onboarding may fail.
Network – If you have configured an Azure Network Adapter, the value under Microsoft Azure Virtual Network Gateway Address will be formatted as a hyperlink but leads to an invalid address. [20420185]
Chrome users may see 403 Forbidden response from WAC after upgrading. The workaround is to close *all* open chrome tabs (make sure there are no chrome.exe processes running). After restarting chrome, everything will function normally. We have an error message that makes this clear, but chrome users with multiple windows admin center tabs open during upgrade will not see the message.

Registered Insiders may download Windows Admin Center Preview 1909 directly from the Windows Server Insider Preview download page, under the Additional Downloads dropdown. If you have not yet registered as an Insider, see Getting Started with Windows Server on the Windows Insiders for Business portal.

The most important part of a frequent release cycle is to hear what’s working and what needs to be improved, so your feedback is extremely valued. Send us feedback via UserVoice. We also encourage you to visit the Windows Admin Center space on the Microsoft Tech Communities forum to collaborate, share and learn from experts.

All pre-release software made available to you via the Windows Server Insider program are governed by the Insider Terms of Use.
Thanks,Dona and Brandon

Windows Admin Center Preview 1908 | Windows Experience Blog

Hello Windows Insiders,Thanks for staying up to date on the Windows Admin Center journey! You’ll start to see visual changes in this version as minor style updates to the Windows Admin Center UI, including a new, rich, entry page to the add connection experience:

Other changes include:

NEW TOOL! Packetmon: Packetmon is a new feature that will allow you to diagnose your server by capturing and displaying network traffic through the networking stack in a log that is filtered, organized, and easy to follow and manipulate. This release of Packetmon supports 19H1 and 19H2 builds.
In later releases, Windows Server 2019 will be supported, the actual names of networking stack components will be displayed in the log, users will be able to filter the log by components & dropped packets, and users will be able to save captures to analyze and manipulate the captures whenever needed.

NEW TOOL! FlowLog Audit: Flowlog auditing is a new capability for the SDN firewall in Windows Server 2019. When you enable SDN firewall, any flow processed by SDN firewall rules (ACLs) that have logging enabled gets recorded. These logs can be used for diagnostics or archived for later analysis.
With the new “Flowlog Audit” extension in Windows Admin Center, you can easily manage, search and filter the SDN logs for analysis and diagnostics.It can be difficult to gain insights into flow logging data by manually searching the log files. In this extension, you can also upload the log to Azure Blob, then use Power BI to visualize your most recent flow logs and learn about traffic on your network.

UPDATED TOOL! Security: Install or update the Security tool from the extension feed. This update features a full visual refresh with the ability to toggle real-time Windows Defender protection, run a quick scan, modify your scan schedule, view history and edit default remediation actions.
Windows Admin Center can now onboard Failover Cluster and Hyper-Converged Cluster connections to Azure Monitor: To configure Azure Monitor for your cluster, navigate to Settings -> Monitoring Alerts. The onboarding process will help set up the log analytics workspace in Azure and install the appropriate local agents on each server in your cluster to help you collect events and performance counters for analysis, reporting, and alerting.
Windows Admin Center extension developers: The Active Directory search that was originally implemented for adding servers is now a reusable control – the link to the example is: https://localhost:6516/devguide/tools/active-directory-search-control
WinRM over HTTPS: Supporting WinRM over HTTPS (port 5986) is a top user request. Starting in this version of Windows Admin Center, you will have the option to choose WinRM over HTTPS (port 5986) as the method of connection to your managed nodes.

Azure Monitor onboarding – If you’re managing a server or a cluster using “manage as” credentials, the onboarding may fail.
Network – If you have configured an Azure Network Adapter, the value under Microsoft Azure Virtual Network Gateway Address will be formatted as a hyperlink but leads to an invalid address. [20420185]
Chrome users may see 403 Forbidden response from WAC after upgrading. The workaround is to close *all* open chrome tabs (make sure there are no chrome.exe processes running). After restarting chrome, everything will function normally. We have an error message that makes this clear, but chrome users with multiple windows admin center tabs open during upgrade will not see the message.

Registered Insiders may download Windows Admin Center Preview 1908 directly from the Windows Server Insider Preview download page, under the Additional Downloads dropdown. If you have not yet registered as an Insider, see Getting Started with Windows Server on the Windows Insiders for Business portal.

The most important part of a frequent release cycle is to hear what’s working and what needs to be improved, so your feedback is extremely valued. Send us feedback via UserVoice. We also encourage you to visit the Windows Admin Center space on the Microsoft Tech Communities forum to collaborate, share and learn from experts.

All pre-release software made available to you via the Windows Server Insider program are governed by the Insider Terms of Use.
Thanks,Dona and Brandon

Windows Admin Center Preview 1907 | Windows Experience Blog

Hello Windows Insiders! Thanks for staying up-to-date on the Windows Admin Center journey! This release contains fixes and improvements to the Windows Admin Center platform, with some iterative updates to some of your favorite tools and experiences.Azure cost estimates – Azure hybrid integrations within Windows Admin Center now include a hyperlink to Azure, to discover and understand the estimated cost of that service once onboarded.
Performance Profile updates – A new feature introduced in 1906, Performance Profile (available in gateway settings) now includes import and export capabilities.
Import virtual machine – You can now conveniently rename VMs during the import process if we detect that the VM’s name already exists.
VM tag support for clusters – In addition to the VM tag support for Hyper-V servers in v1906, you can now add/edit tags for Failover and HCI clusters.

Pending reboot banner – Windows Admin Center now includes a banner on the Overview tool that notifies you when a reboot is pending on the server/computer being managed.

Network – If you have configured an Azure Network Adapter, the value under Microsoft Azure Virtual Network Gateway Address will be formatted as a hyperlink but leads to an invalid address.
Chrome users may see 403 Forbidden response from WAC after upgrading. The workaround is to close *all* open chrome tabs (make sure there are no chrome.exe processes running). After restarting chrome, everything will function normally. We have an error message that makes this clear, but chrome users with multiple windows admin center tabs open during upgrade will not see the message.
Performance Profile – There is a known issue where Performance Profile can’t be turned off when multiple instances of Windows Admin Center are running on a single desktop. To turn off Performance Profile, ensure that only one instance (browser window) is open with Windows Admin Center.  This will be fixed in the next release.

Registered Insiders may download Windows Admin Center Preview 1907 directly from the Windows Server Insider Preview download page, under the Additional Downloads dropdown. If you have not yet registered as an Insider, see Getting Started with Windows Server on the Windows Insiders for Business portal.

The most important part of a frequent release cycle is to hear what’s working and what needs to be improved, so your feedback is extremely valued. Send us feedback via UserVoice. We also encourage you to visit the Windows Admin Center space on the Microsoft Tech Communities forum to collaborate, share and learn from experts.

All pre-release software made available to you via the Windows Server Insider program are governed by the Insider Terms of Use.
No downtime for Hustle-As-A-Service,Dona

Announcing Windows Admin Center Preview 1808 – Windows Experience Blog

Hello Windows Insiders!Thank you for your continued interest in the Windows Admin Center insider preview! If you are new to the preview, check out the previous posts for the 1806 and 1807 releases.

Much of the work in this release was under the hood – we are implementing new infrastructure to support future scenarios and improving the experience for the Azure Site Recovery and Azure Update Management hybrid scenarios.
Server settings such as environment variables, remote desktop and RBAC settings are now available as a standalone tool at the bottom of the tool list in the Server Manager solution. Hyper-V host settings are also available on standalone servers and clusters with Hyper-V enabled. The Hyper-V host settings on a cluster allows you to change configurations across all cluster nodes at once!
In Virtual Machines, a new security settings section has been added to the individual VM settings.

We’ve also made updates to the Windows Admin Center SDK (Preview), as we prepare for our upcoming SDK GA.  We’ve added a CLI to enable easy creation of tools and solutions; added the ability to target different SDK versions; refreshed SDK examples for tool, solution, and gateway plugin; and updated our publishing options.

Preview: Apps & Features tool
Apps & Features is a new extension that allows Administrators to remotely manage the components that are installed on their Windows deployments.  When connecting to a Windows 10 client, the extension will load both the Apps (Store and Win32) that are installed, as well as the Features that can be enabled or disabled.  When you connect to a server, you will just see the Apps portion of the extension.  This feature is currently available in preview on our extension feed and can be installed from the Available Extensions in the Extension Manager.

Task Scheduler
Added weekly & monthly triggers, support for multiple triggers.
File share improvements
File sharing has been expanded to multiple tools and includes more features!  In the Files tool, now you can quickly share a folder, edit share permissions, or stop sharing a folder from the action buttons.  We’ve added the ability to set Deny as a permission option on a user or group, and the folder icon now indicates if a folder is shared.  Additionally, in the Storage tool on the file shares tab, you can now create a new share, edit a share, or remove a share.
Azure Update Management support in service mode (gateway installation on a server)
Last month when we released Azure Update Management support, the feature was only usable from Windows Admin Center installed on a desktop. The feature now works regardless of how you’ve deployed Windows Admin Center. Azure Update Management is a free service from Azure security and management that lets you manage and update all the servers in your environment from a central place.
Hyper-Converged Infrastructure
For Hyper-Converged clusters, the Drives > Summary page now shows the recommended reserve capacity to help you size volumes optimally. There are also two new charts on this page, showing the hit rate of the Storage Spaces Direct read cache (higher is better), and how full the write cache is (lower is better). To make advanced concepts like these more approachable, we’re added explanatory tooltips, with links to documentation, all throughout the HCI experience.
This month we also began work to make the Hyper-Converged Cluster experience responsive to different viewport sizes. The Drives > Summary page is a good example: whether your monitor is 1920×1080, 1366×768, or even if you have the browser window snapped to half the screen (e.g. 960px width), everything reflows elegantly and displays correctly. Note that we have NOT completed this work for certain pages, such as the Dashboard, just yet – stay tuned for future updates.

Windows Admin Center CLI
We’ve released the Windows Admin Center CLI as part of the SDK!  The CLI installs seamlessly alongside your other global dependencies by running ‘npm install -g windows-admin-center-cli’.  Once installed, you can create a new empty tool or solution with a single command, with more features planned in upcoming releases.  Read more about using the CLI in our SDK documentation.
Target an SDK version
Keeping your extension up to date with SDK changes and platform changes is easy.  We’re using NPM to tag the GA release, preview release, and latest versions of our platform dependencies.  Learn how to use those to update your development environment automatically, and switch between versions to validate your extension’s integration with our latest features.
Refreshed SDK examples
We’ve refreshed the tool, solution, and gateway plugin examples to leverage all the latest features in the Windows Admin Center platform, and the examples are now built on top of the Windows Admin Center CLI.  Check them out!
Publishing extensions and plugins
You have more options for publishing extensions and gateway plugins.  Now you can bundle a gateway plugin with an extension package.
What’s next?
We’re on the path to GA release of the Windows Admin Center SDK!  A number of additional improvements and new content are planned between now and then, stay tuned for updates.

Events – A expanding the navigation tree a couple levels deep, it may appear that there are many duplicate items. These are not duplicated, but the result of the content below that point being flattened in to one level. [18588187]
Microsoft Edge Browser – if you have Windows Admin Center installed as a service and using Microsoft Edge as your browser, connecting your gateway to Azure will fail after spawning a new (blank) browser tab. [17990376]
Tag filtering – if you select connections using the multiselect checkboxes, then filter your connection list by tags, the original selection persists so any action you select will apply to all the previously selected machines. [18099259]
HCI – The total size of the write cache is incorrect and variable, and the “donut” visualization can sometimes be out of sync with the legend values by 1 update cycle (30 seconds).

Registered Insiders may download Windows Admin Center Preview 1808 directly from the Windows Server Insider Preview download page, under the Additional Downloads dropdown. If you have not yet registered as an Insider, see Getting Started with Windows Server on the Windows Insiders for Business portal.

The most important part of a frequent release cycle is to hear what’s working and what needs to be improved, so your feedback is extremely valued. Send us feedback via UserVoice. We also encourage you to visit the Windows Admin Center space on the Microsoft Tech Communities forum to collaborate, share and learn from experts.

All pre-release software made available to you via the Windows Server Insider program are governed by the Insider Terms of Use.
No downtime for Hustle-As-A-Service,Dona

Announcing Windows Admin Center Preview 1807 – Windows Experience Blog

Hello Windows Insiders!Thank you for your continued interest in the Windows Admin Center insider preview! If you are new to the preview, check out last month’s post Announcing Windows Admin Center Insider Preview 1806 to learn the difference between GA and Preview versions, and review all the new features in the 1806 preview.

July’s release brings a new streamlined experience to connect your gateway to Azure, as well as a top customer request:
The Virtual machine inventory page now supports multi-select so that you can perform actions on multiple VMs at once!

Completely new functionality in this release consists of new file sharing functionality in the files tool, and Azure update management integration in the updates tool. These new features are described in detail below.

File Sharing
You can now add, edit, and remove shares from the Files tool!  Fine-tune access with the ability to add and remove users and groups, as well as control their permission level.  This highly anticipated feature is in preview, we are still busy making improvements!  Stay tuned for additional sharing features and updates in upcoming releases.

Azure Update
We’ve added another way to easily leverage the power of Azure from your own environment with Azure Update Management integration in the Updates tool. Azure Update Management is a free service in Azure Automation that enables you to easily keep all the servers in your environment up to date, letting you manage and push updates from a single place, rather than on a per-server basis. Learn more about Azure Update Management.
With Windows Admin Center, you can easily set up and use Azure Update Management to keep your managed servers up to date. If you don’t already have an Azure Monitoring workspace in your Azure subscription, Windows Admin Center will automatically configure your server and create the necessary Azure resources in the subscription and location you specify. If you have an existing Azure Monitoring workspace, Windows Admin Center can automatically configure your server to consume updates from Azure Update Management.
To get started, go to the Updates tool in a server connection and select “Keep your server up-to-date with Azure Update Management”, and provide your preferences for the related Azure resources.
Note that you must register your Windows Admin Center gateway with Azure before using this feature.

Register WAC gateway with Azure (no manual PowerShell dependency)
It’s now easier to use Azure integration features in Windows Admin Center. Previously, in order to use an Azure integration feature, you had to download and run a PowerShell script outside of Windows Admin Center. We’ve removed the requirement for this script and you can now register your gateway to Azure without leaving Windows Admin Center. To register your gateway to Azure, go to Windows Admin Center > Settings > Azure and click “Register”.

You can find complete Windows Admin Center Azure integration documentation here.
NOTE: See the known issue with Microsoft Edge listed in the known issues section below.
Filter connections based on tags
You can now filter your connections list based on tags. Simply click the filter icon next to the search bar and select the tags you wish to filter. You can filter multiple tags using OR, AND, or NOT queries to tailor your filter results.

NOTE: See the known issue with multiselect and tag filtering listed in the known issues section below.
Miscellaneous improvements
The Server overview pane now contains the Windows Defender status.
Multiselect in grid – in addition to the aforementioned Virtual machine inventory, the multiselect functionality has been added in various locations, such as managing group membership in Local Users & Groups.
Scheduled tasks – multiple triggers are now supported.

Localization – some text strings in the new features are not yet localized.
Azure Update Management – you must manually refresh the page after configuring Azure update management. [18062195]
Microsoft Edge Browser – if you have Windows Admin Center installed as a service and using Microsoft Edge as your browser, connecting your gateway to Azure will fail after spawning a new (blank) browser tab. [17990376]
Tag filtering – if you select connections using the multiselect checkboxes, then filter your connection list by tags, the original selection persists so any action you select will apply to all the previously selected machines. [18099259]
Remote App feature of Remote Desktop – Remote App connections may fail. Regular, full Remote Desktop connections are not affected.
Azure integration – if you encounter issues registering your gateway with Azure, visit the troubleshooting guide.

Registered Insiders may download Windows Admin Center Preview 1807 directly from the Windows Server Insider Preview download page, under the Additional Downloads dropdown. If you have not yet registered as an Insider, see Getting Started with Windows Server on the Windows Insiders for Business portal.

The most important part of a frequent release cycle is to hear what’s working and what needs to be improved, so your feedback is extremely valued. Send us feedback via UserVoice. We also encourage you to visit the Windows Admin Center space on the Microsoft Tech Communities forum to collaborate, share and learn from experts.

All pre-release software made available to you via the Windows Server Insider program are governed by the Insider Terms of Use.
No downtime for Hustle-As-A-Service,Dona