Today, we are releasing our latest version of Windows Admin Center! Windows Admin Center version 2211 is now in Public Preview. Thank you to our customers, partners, and fans for helping us to continue to improve and make Windows Admin Center better! We’re working constantly to ensure users of our product have the best user experience.
Accessibility: support for 400% zoom
We’re excited to provide support for reflow and up-to 400% zoom for our customers. Now, visually impaired users are able to zoom in and navigate through Windows Admin Center without any issues or worry. The UI components will adjust dynamically as the user zooms in and provide the same seamless experience that you all know and love.
Support for WDAC-enforced infrastructure
With thousands of new malicious files created every day, using traditional methods like antivirus solutions—signature-based detection to fight against malware—provides an inadequate defense against new attacks.
In most organizations, information is the most valuable asset, and ensuring that only approved users have access to that information is imperative. However, when a user runs a process, that process has the same level of access to data that the user has. As a result, sensitive information could easily be deleted or transmitted out of the organization if a user knowingly or unknowingly runs malicious software.
Windows Defender application control (WDAC) can help mitigate many security threats by restricting the applications that users are allowed to run and the code that runs in the System Core (kernel). Application control policies can also block unsigned scripts and MSIs, and restrict Windows PowerShell to run in Constrained Language Mode. Learn more about Application Control for Windows.
In this preview, Windows Admin Center now supports managing your WDAC-enforced infrastructure. This capability enables you to use the modern interface of Windows Admin Center to manage your secure environments, no matter where they are running. Application control is a crucial line of defense for protecting enterprises given today’s threat landscape, and it has an inherent advantage over traditional antivirus solutions. Learn more.
Azure AD Graph to Microsoft Graph migration
Microsoft Graph represents the best-in-breed API surface. It offers a single unified endpoint to access Azure AD services and Microsoft 365 services such as Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Intune. Microsoft Graph API's usage has more than doubled that of Azure AD Graph, and in the past two years we have added 167 new features. Microsoft Graph is also more secure and resilient than Azure AD Graph.
Microsoft Graph has all the capabilities that have been available in Azure AD Graph and new APIs like identity protection and authentication methods. Its client libraries offer built-in support for features like retry handling, secure redirects, transparent authentication, and payload compression.
Now all these enhanced capabilities are leveraged by Windows Admin Center to give you the best experience possible!
ADAL to MSAL migration
MSAL is designed to enable a secure solution without developers having to worry about the implementation details. It simplifies and manages acquiring, managing, caching, and refreshing tokens, and uses best practices for resilience.
Additional Capabilities of MSAL over ADAL:
You will experience no changes in your infrastructure once you upgrade to this public preview build as Windows Admin Center takes care of all the necessary configurations for you to leverage all these amazing new capabilities.
Visual design refresh
The overall look and feel of Windows Admin Center has been refreshed to provide a sleeker, more modern experience. This includes new section title breadcrumbs and colorful icons.
Azure Stack HCI cluster Properties page
Have you ever wanted to access all the basic information about your Azure Stack HCI cluster in one place? The new Properties page in Cluster Manager Settings brings cluster, operating system, and hardware related information to a single page with click-to-copy functionality.
Settings search feature with smart keywords
The settings pages for Windows Admin Center, Cluster Manager, Server Manager, and Computer Management now contain a search box to improve navigation. The search feature can handle non-trivial keywords to match more than just the section title.
In this release, we are introducing an edit volume settings feature that will enable resizing volumes and changing the provisioning type from Fixed to Thin. Thin provisioning conversion is a new feature for Azure Stack HCI 22H2 and now supported in Windows Admin Center. Customers can convert their existing Fixed volumes to Thin and get space savings with little to no downtime. Please note that once converted to Thin, it is not supported to revert back to Fixed provisioned. The resize volume capability will replace the existing “Expand” functionality, customers can expand their volumes to a larger size or even over-provision when the volume is set to Thin. Try selecting Fixed and Thin in the Volume Settings pane to see the Maximum volume size field reflect this change!
Managing SDN via Windows Admin Center has now graduated to General Availability: After a comprehensive set of quality enhancements and resolution of known issues, all SDN extensions are moving into the General Availability tier, and the preview banners have been removed for all extensions.
We’ve also made several improvements in the monitoring and health of SDN. These changes include:
Additionally, when adding an Azure Stack HCI cluster to Windows Admin Center, you no longer need to input the NC REST uri. SDN is auto-detected when you click on the SDN Infrastructure extension in Windows Admin Center. Read more about SDN improvements on Azure Stack HCI.
If you checked out our WAC 2208 Public Preview of SDN extensions, you may be presented with a notification like the below when attempting to load Virtual Networks and/or Logical Networks:
"The underlying connection was closed: Could not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel."
For more details, please see the blog post below for the workaround:
A few months ago, we release the preview of Windows Admin Center in Azure to manage your Arc-enabled servers and Azure Stack HCI clusters.
This new capability enables seamless and granular management of your Arc-enabled Windows servers and virtual machines as well as Azure Stack HCI systems (in addition to your IaaS VMs) from within the Azure portal. You can securely manage your servers and clusters from the cloud—without needing a VPN, public IP address, or other inbound connectivity to your machine.
Here is a short video highlighting some of the capabilities included with Windows Admin Center: How to use Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal.
Over the next few weeks, your instances of Windows Admin Center in Azure will update to include the awesome new features from this Windows Admin Center 2211 preview. Stay tuned!
This new build introduces a couple of bug fixes including the domain join issue in Stage 1.3, the 1% stuck issue in Stage 3.2, and the server restart issue in Stage 1.7. This new version also comes with support for clustering VMs using Network ATC as long as the VMs both have 2 or more processors.
We hope you enjoy this latest update of Windows Admin Center, the various new functionality in preview, and all the extensions now available. Learn more and download today!
As always, thanks for your ongoing support, adoption, and feedback. Your contributions through user feedback continue to be vital and valuable to us, helping us prioritize and sequence our investments.
Windows Admin Center is continuously evolving and growing as a tool and a platform, and we are beyond thrilled to have you part of our journey.
To skill up on Windows Admin Center and Windows Server 2022, check out our Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Certification and other featured Learn courses.
Windows Admin Center Team (@servermgmt)
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