Today we announce the general availability of Windows Admin Center version 2009, the latest version of our reimagined server management experience. Windows Admin Center continues to be extremely popular with millions of servers managed every day. Based on your feedback, we are continuously making it better and building on our core tools while introducing unique new features. By popular demand, we are also expanding Windows Admin Center to manage related platforms.
In this release, we have made improvements across the product with new support for Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI. Note that this release is pronounced as “twenty oh-nine” in regard to this year and month, and not in reference to the year 2009.
Today we announced Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI, a new way for customers to set up Kubernetes and deploy Kubernetes clusters on their Azure Stack HCI environments.
To find out more about Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI or sign up for the public preview, check out the blog post for more details.
The tool is one of our most used extensions, and we see this metric increasing with our support for Azure Stack HCI. We are working hard to bring in new features and improvements to this tool. We hope you enjoy. Here are a few highlights:
To learn more about virtual machine management using Windows Admin Center, check out https://aka.ms/ManageVMwithWAC to watch a short video.
This tool is under active development and we will continuously be pushing new updates through the extensions feed! Let us know what new features you are looking for through User Voice.
The SMB file server is the most used role in Windows Server and gets continuous feature development but has not had a Windows Admin Center update in years. That changes now with the release of the revamped “File and file shares” extension with the following improvements:
In this release, we also have a new version of the Containers tool available on our public feed. Install the latest version in your extension manager today and check out these new features:
Check out the blog post from the Windows Containers team to learn more about the new functionality.
Windows Admin Center has some new color! We hope you like our new top navigation bar color and the design changes we have made to make Windows Admin Center look more modern. Windows Admin Center has historically been tied to Windows Server, but now it has become its own independent product. While the license terms have been updated, this does not affect your usage of Windows Admin Center in any way.
The Windows Admin Center cluster deployment workflow now supports Software Defined Networking (SDN) deployment. We are introducing a new capability that will allow users to provision the Network Controller component of SDN deployment. SDN will be part of Stage 5 of our cluster deployment flow (Add > Cluster > Create New), wherein all required parameters for SDN will be validated and deployed. SDN deployment is optional and users can skip Stage 5.
Unfamiliar with Software Defined Networking? The Windows Admin Center workflow makes it easy to get started for novice users! Check it out today.
Cluster deployment workflow
New exclude/include functionality – The cluster creation tool now allows users to choose and include or exclude adapters for cluster networking. It allows users to bring in hardware with additional USB NICs or specialized NICs that are purposed for management or BMC connectivity, but still be able to run through cluster creation by explicitly excluding them in the networking stage.
Hardware updates – We now have hardware updates integrated as part of Microsoft Windows Updates. Currently this is just a placeholder. Our OEM partners are working actively to get hardware specific snap-ins that would be available in an integrated manner to keep the clusters always up to date.
Our Windows Admin Center partners have been hard at work developing new extensions to enhance your Windows Admin Center experience. In the short time since our last release, our partners Dell and HPE have released three completely new extensions. Additionally, updates have been made to several extensions from Dell, HPE, DataON, and QCT.
The Dell EMC PowerPath extension is now generally available. Dell EMC PowerPath is a host-based multipathing software that ensures consistent application availability and performance across I/O paths on physical and virtual platforms. Dell EMC PowerPath with Microsoft Windows Admin Center enables users to manage Dell EMC PowerPath servers as hosts. It simplifies the tasks of IT administrators by remotely managing the Dell EMC PowerPath servers throughout their lifecycle.
The HPE OneView extension for Windows Admin Center is now in preview. The HPE OneView extension provides server inventory with health status monitoring, firmware and driver monitoring, as well as network inventory management of HPE ProLiant and Synergy servers. This extension uses HPE OneView as the data provider. The Windows Admin Center server must have connectivity to HPE OneView. This extension is available for ProLiant and Synergy Gen8, Gen9, and Gen10 servers.
The HPE Storage Extension is now in preview. The HPE Storage Extensions include both the HPE Storage connection and HPE Storage tool extension. The HPE Storage connection enables configuration of the HPE Primera and HPE 3PAR Storage systems, while the HPE Storage tool extension enables management for HPE Primera and HPE 3PAR storage under Windows Admin Center. The preview edition, HPE Storage Extension 1.0 includes the monitoring features such as general system health, physical and logical inventory view, and performance metrics in terms of total IOPS, bandwidth, and latency.
This extension supports the following storage systems:
In addition to the new partner extensions that have been released in the past few months, several of our partners have updated their existing extensions:
The SDN phase of the cluster creation workflow will take a long time to complete (~1 hour or more). Often it depends on the Hyper-V host configuration and available free space. As SDN gets deployed, there are additional SDN logs created on the Hyper-V hosts at C:\Users\<user>\Documents\SDNExpress-<date>-<timestamp>.log that help you keep track of the deployment process.
Refer to the new WAC SDN guide for more information.
In addition, the ability to utilize the SDN controller to connect a virtual machine to a logical network and apply Access Control Lists (ACLs) for micro-segmentation is not yet available and planned for an upcoming update through the extension feed. In the meantime, you can connect virtual machines to a virtual switch without applying SDN policy, or you can perform the optional steps to enable virtual networking, software load balancing and/or gateways.
In this release, you may run into issues logging into Azure or registering your Windows Admin Center gateway with Azure. The guidance below should help you mitigate these issues:
For more details about known issues in Windows Admin Center, visit our documentation.
As always, thanks for your ongoing support, adoption, and feedback. Your contributions through user feedback continue to be very important and valuable to us, helping us prioritize and sequence our investments.
Windows Admin Center Team (@servermgmt)
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