Windows Admin Center version 2306 is now generally available!
Published Jun 20 2023 12:38 PM 52.3K Views
Microsoft

Today, we are releasing our latest version of Windows Admin Center – version 2306! Thank you to our customers, partners, and fans for helping us to continue to improve and make Windows Admin Center better.

In this release, we have made improvements across our entire product! From updates to our platform, improving your core tool management experiences, introducing new features, and bridging some of the gap for the legacy tool parity. We hope you will read on and share our excitement for the new features we are introducing this summer. If you’re as excited as we are, you can download right away!

 

Platform updates

 

WDAC support for servers, client, and clusters is now GA

Last year, we introduced the preview for Windows Admin Center to manage WDAC-enforced servers, client machines, and clusters. After hearing your feedback, and making major improvements, we are excited to say that this support is now generally available!

With thousands of new malicious files created every day, traditional methods like antivirus solutions - signature-based detection to fight against malware – only provide one aspect of your defense in depth strategy.

 

In most organizations, information is the most valuable asset. Ensuring that only approved users have access to that information is imperative. However, when a user runs a process, that process typically 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.

Windows Admin Center now fully supports managing servers and clusters with Constrained Language Mode enabled (with the right WDAC policy in place). The experience in Windows Admin Center is no different – simply add your server, client, or cluster and use Windows Admin Center as you always do. Learn more.

 

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Gateway registration and Azure sign-in improvements

In this release, we have improved a few scenarios with Windows Admin Center registration and Azure sign-in experiences, including fixing an issue with stale registration and sign-in data in the Azure Stack HCI registration workflow. We also added a longer delay between the creation of a new application ID and logging in to Azure to reliably finish gateway registration.

 

Tool updates

 

Improved Hyper-V virtual machine management 

The Hyper-V virtual machine management tool has improved multiple experiences. Our vision is make Hyper-V tool your go to tool to manage your virtual machines!

A few highlights include:

  • Ability to move virtual machine between clusters
  • Ability to move virtual machine with storage
  • Ability to download your VM list with the corresponding properties as a CSV file, so you are able to open and do data analysis to understand the usage of your VMs
  • Ability to pop out a VM’s RDP session, so you don’t have to switch context and leave your current view
  • Configure your un-clustered VM running on a cluster to be highly available

Check it, and let us know what you would like to see next on the virtual machine tool!

 

File editor 

We have heard that convenient file access has been a challenge, especially with .txt or .log files. You are now able to modify these files right here in Windows Admin Center and save your changes without ever having to leave this tool or switch context. Editable files will now have the button "Edit File" lit up under the “Files & file sharing” tool.

 

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Azure Arc status 

Azure Arc-enabled servers lets you manage Windows and Linux physical servers and virtual machines hosted outside of Azure, using the Azure control plane. Windows Admin Center provides an Azure Arc for servers onboarding experience through our Azure hybrid center. In this update, you do not have to navigate to the Azure Arc for Servers blade in your server settings to view the status of your Azure Arc-enabled machine. There is now a new field on the Overview page that displays your Azure Arc agent status.

 

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Context menu integration 

Accessibility is a constant priority for Windows Admin Center. We know that some users prefer to use the keyboard instead of the mouse to navigate Windows Admin Center, and that keyboard navigation can occasionally be inconvenient. That is why we’ve added a context menu. The context menu shows the extension actions by pressing the keyboard shortcut Shift+F11. From here, you can quickly perform extension actions and reduce the amount of time you must spend navigating the webpage. While this feature is not available for every extension just yet, we have expanded the context menu integration to cover more tools in this release, including:

  • Local users & groups
  • Certificates
  • Networks
  • Devices
  • Firewall
  • Apps & features
  • Registry

We will continue to roll out the context menu feature to additional extensions to ensure users who prefer keyboard navigation can get their tasks done efficiently.

 

Cluster management 

 

Cluster-aware event viewer

Recently we updated our Events tool for servers with an improved interface to better serve your management needs. We are continuing to invest in the ability to view and analyze the events from your systems in this release with the preview of the Events tool for clusters!


The cluster-aware version of the Events tool collects data from all nodes within a cluster and presents it in a unified interface. You can create, modify workspaces, save, and delete them, and open existing workspaces to pick up right where you left off. In addition to the filters that are present in the Events tool for server, including event sources, levels, and IDs, we have also added a filter to the cluster-aware version of this tool to filter by node in the cluster. We have also improved the tool to better handle larger volumes of data and load results quickly. This interface provides a consistent experience whether you are managing single servers or multi-node clusters.

 

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Azure Stack HCI Cluster Updates tool

The current updates tool in Windows Admin Center based on Cluster-aware updates (CAU) will continue to be supported for clusters running 22H2 or older. There are several quality fixes to the existing CAU-based updates flow in Windows Admin Center to improve the reliability of this experience. We have now added support to upgrade single node 22H2 Azure Stack HCI clusters as part of this experience.

 

Move a volume to another server

The Volumes tool in Cluster Manager now contains a ‘Move’ button. This enables you to move a volume to another server in the cluster. You can verify which server currently owns the volume by adding the ‘Server’ column to the Inventory table. Learn more.

 

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Storage Spaces and pools settings 

The Storage Spaces and pools Settings section in Cluster Manager now contains 3 new settings: Status, Health status and Capacity alert threshold. The Status and Health status values can help alert the user of unexpected storage or S2D issues. The Capacity alert threshold dropdown lets the user select a threshold between 50% and 100%. When the storage pool fills to this threshold, a notification will be displayed on the Dashboard.

 

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Bringing consistency to deploying Azure hybrid services on Azure Stack HCI

Many of the Azure hybrid services offered in Windows Admin Center on-premises are not yet compatible with the Azure Stack HCI operating system. To represent the Azure Stack HCI management experience more accurately, we have made the following changes:

  • We have hidden all Azure hybrid services for server connections except Azure Arc for Servers and Microsoft Defender for Cloud
  • Azure Monitor and Azure Site Recovery have been hidden for Azure Stack HCI cluster connections
  • When you begin the onboarding flow for Azure Arc with an Azure Stack HCI node that is clustered, you will receive a warning explaining that the Azure Arc onboarding should be completed at the cluster level instead of the node level

 

Windows Admin Center in Azure

 

Windows Admin Center in Azure continuously releases new updates monthly, providing you with the latest and greatest that Windows Admin Center has to offer.

 

Check out our release history to see the new features we released every month.

 

AAD Authentication for Azure Stack HCI 

Last year, we introduced Azure AD authentication for Windows Admin Center in Azure for Windows Server machines, but Azure Stack HCI clusters still required you to enter your local administrator credentials for management.

 

We are happy to announce that Azure AD authentication is now supported for Azure Stack HCI clusters too! As long as your Azure AD identity is part of the “Windows Admin Center Administrator Login” role, that’s all you need to start managing your cluster using Windows Admin Center in Azure to manage your cluster. You can:

  • Reduce reliance on local administrator accounts 
  • Get SSO to your Azure Stack HCI cluster
  • Use all the protection and security with Azure AD Conditional Access and Identity Protection that are enforced for the Azure Portal (multifactor authentication, compliant device, user/sign-in risk, and others) to protect your Azure Stack HCI cluster
  • Use Azure RBAC to grant the appropriate access to clusters based on need and remove it when it’s no longer needed 

 

Partner Ecosystem

 

Windows Admin Center was built to be an extensible platform, and we value the contributions of our partners to the Windows Admin Center ecosystem. Several partners, including DataON, Lenovo, and Dell, have updated their extensions since the start of the calendar year.

 

SDK improvements

This release includes improvements and bug fixes that will elevate the developer experience and provide partners with a seamless workflow to develop new extensions. Here are the highlights:

  • SDK updates to address some blocking wac-cli bugs
  • Extension template fix to modify gulp processes
  • Updated extension development documentation

 

Lenovo XClarity Integrator

The Lenovo XClarity Integrator extension has been updated to version 4.3.7. Here is what has changed since our last release:

  • Support for XClarity Administrator 4.0.0
  • Support for the following new hardware:
    • Lenovo ThinkSystem SR630 V3 (7D72, 7D73, 7D74)
    • Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 V3 (7D75, 7D76, 7D77)
    • Lenovo ThinkSystem SR645 V3 (7D9C, 7D9D)
    • Lenovo ThinkSystem SR665 V3 (7D9A, 7D9B)
  • Support for ThinkAgile MX Best Recipe versions 2301 and 2303
  • Refinement to the account requirements for system update, processor core enablement and call home features
    • An Active Directory domain account that’s also a member of the local Administrators group is required for cluster nodes
    • An Active Directory domain account that's also a member of the local Administrators group, or the built-in administrator is required for non-clustered servers
  • Enhancements to the cluster consistency function for supporting HBA adapter (ThinkSystem 4350) and NIC adapter (Intel E810) and optimizing the HBA and NIC adapters probing logic
  • Fixed the issue where extension failed to test AD users for system update functions and call home function
  • Fixed the issue where extension failed to download system update packages.
  • Added workaround for the system update packages in which the ThinkAgile MX system machine types are missing from the metafiles
  • Added workaround for the Broadcom network adapters with static IP address which sometimes becomes duplicated after the driver update is installed

 

Dell OpenManage Integration

The Dell OpenManage extension has been updated to version 3.1.0. Here are the major changes that this version has:

  • Onboarding Dell SCP policies to Azure Arc for PowerEdge server: Support for Dell Server Configuration Policy (SCP) onboarding to Azure Arc for monitoring server configuration
  • Configuration Recommendation for PowerEdge server: Enables support for configuration compliance and remediation options for 14G and above PowerEdge servers based on Dell Server Configuration Profile policies
  • Single Node HCI cluster feature enablement: Ability to validate and remediate (with manual reboot) single node HCI cluster using HCP policies to ensure that the cluster shows better resiliency and performance, and remains compliant with Dell recommended configurations throughout the life cycle of the HCI cluster. Support for Dell HCI Configuration Policy onboarding to Azure Arc for monitoring cluster configuration
  • Auto-handling BitLocker for server: Enabled support for automatic suspension of BitLocker and resuming back as part of any operation which involves rebooting of the AX node from Dell OpenManage extension running in Azure Stack HCI 22H2 and above
  • Warranty information for server and cluster nodes: Provides information on overall warranty status and entitlements of PowerEdge servers and AX nodes

 

Additional partner extension updates

  • QLogic Fibre Channel QConvergeConsole Extension by Marvell version 2.2.0 - Added Port level driver and firmware statistics display support, target link statistic display support, and “Link Uncorrectable FEC Count” display support in Port and Target USCM statistics
  • DataON MUST version 4.1.0 - Added CAU update parameters to fix updating bugs as well as registration email and alert email checking logic
  • DataON MUST Pro version 3.2.0 - Added CAU update parameters to fix updating bugs as well as registration email and alert email checking logic

 

Download today!

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.

 

Thank you,

Windows Admin Center Team (@servermgmt)

 

 

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Version history
Last update:
‎Nov 09 2023 11:10 AM
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