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!
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.
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.
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:
Check it, and let us know what you would like to see next on the virtual machine tool!
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.
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.
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:
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-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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
The Lenovo XClarity Integrator extension has been updated to version 4.3.7. Here is what has changed since our last release:
The Dell OpenManage extension has been updated to version 3.1.0. Here are the major changes that this version has:
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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