Windows Admin Center version 2311 is now generally available!
Published Dec 12 2023 10:07 AM 23.8K Views
Microsoft

February 13th, 2024 update: This minor build update makes quality improvements for localization and Azure Arc onboarding.  If you are having challenges with these scenarios, please ensure you are using this build (1.5.2402.08001). Click here to download.

Today, we share our newest release of Windows Admin Center – version 2311.  There are improvements to some of our most used tools including Virtual Machines, Server Overview, and Updates. We also created new experiences around Azure hybrid services like Azure Arc and Azure Migrate!  Please join us in our excitement about the new features we’re introducing.

 

A big thank you to our customers, partners, and fans for helping us to continue to improve and make Windows Admin Center better.

 

Happy holidays!

 

What's new in Windows Admin Center v2311

 

Platform updates

Azure Arc onboarding at-scale

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Azure Arc-enabled servers empower you to manage Windows physical servers and virtual machines hosted outside of Azure using the Azure control plane. Windows Admin Center provides an Azure Arc onboarding experience through our Azure hybrid center. New in this release, we’ve extended this experience and made it available on our All Connections page—the first page you see when you open Windows Admin Center. Now you can select multiple servers and, with a few simple clicks, onboard them to Azure Arc all at once.  

 

As a part of this experience, we’ve also added a column to the All Connections page that displays the Azure Arc status of your machines, allowing you to take quick inventory of your hybrid connections the moment you open Windows Admin Center. If you’re not sure what a status means, you can select it to view more details without leaving the page. This status updates every fifteen minutes, ensuring that you always have up-to-date information.  

 

This experience does not currently support onboarding of the cluster connection type. Additionally, Azure VM connections do not need to be onboarded to Azure Arc for Servers, as they are already connected to Azure. To onboard servers to Azure Arc or view their status, your Windows Admin Center gateway must be registered with Azure. 

 

Platform Angular upgrades

In Windows Admin Center, every tool, every solution, and every experience that you use and see is built on Angular. Angular plays a critical role in each management task that you perform. In this release, Windows Admin Center takes a big step forward with an upgrade of our platform, from Angular 11 to Angular 15, bringing you the latest in Angular platform security and performance. You can expect improved load times and a smoother experience in this build of Windows Admin Center.   

 

Note that not all extensions have been updated to use Angular 15 in this release. Extensions built on Angular 11 continue to be backwards compatible.

 

Developers looking to upgrade their Windows Admin Center extension can now do so using the built in command in our latest SDK version. We’ve also updated our documentation with step-by-step instructions on how to upgrade.

 

UI updates

We're excited to announce a series of UI updates to Windows Admin Center, bringing it closer to Azure Portal. Pivots have been redesigned, and typography improved with updated font sizes and semi-bold headings. Form components are now 24 pixels in height, and buttons with text have adopted Azure styles. We expect these refinements to enhance usability and align with the elegance of the Azure Portal. 

 

Tool updates

Virtual Machines

Virtual Machine management is a key component in day-to-day infrastructure management. For this release, we focused on the Import VM functionality. We’ve enabled the reconfiguration of virtual switches on destination hosts where there are incompatible virtual switches. To further improve the import experience, we’ve also clarified some of the common failure notifications.

 

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We encourage you to use the tool, provide feedback on your experiences, and let us know what additional features you would like to see in the future. 

 

Server Overview

The server Overview tool has been a staple for IT administrators to get a bird’s eye view of their server’s health. This tool provides key insights into your server’s CPU usage, memory utilization, networking throughput and much more. Our team is dedicated to ensuring that this experience continues to provide value to you, our customers. To that end, we have made several improvements to this tool based on your feedback.  

 

These improvements come in 2 parts, (1) error consolidation and (2) error messaging improvements.  

 

We have heard your feedback about errors in the Overview tool. We have updated the underlying logic to handle certain scenarios, improving the meaning and relevance of these errors.

 

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The second set of improvements are the error messages themselves. We have heard your feedback about certain errors being unreadable, unactionable, and even confusing at times. We have done a lot of work, collaborating with the design team and user researchers here at Microsoft, to ensure that the error messages are more readable with 3 key things in mind: (1) what went wrong, (2) what caused it, if relevant, and (3) how to fix it. 

 

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Azure Migrate

Azure Migrate provides a simplified migration, modernization, and optimization service for Azure, including ways to assess the benefits of Azure migration of your machines.  

 

In this release, we’ve introduced a new experience in the Virtual Machines tool for assessing your Hyper-V VMs for migration to Azure. With just a few clicks, you can generate both an assessment and business case to fully understand what a migration to Azure means for you. 

 

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With an assessment, you assess your on-premises workloads to measure cloud readiness, identify risks, and estimate costs and complexity. A business case helps you build a business proposal to understand how Azure can bring the most value to your business—it includes information like on-premises vs Azure total cost of ownership, resource utilization-based insights to identify servers and workloads that are ideal for cloud, and more.  

 

Learn more about Azure Migrate 

 

Updates tool now available for Windows Client!

Ensuring everything is up to date is vital for the security and integrity of your system. While many servers are managed through Windows Admin Center, client management is also possible, and these machines should also be kept up to date. We understand that an update experience for Windows client in Windows Admin Center has been an outstanding request, with more than 175 upvotes on our feedback platform! 

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Your and continues to make Windows Admin Center better. In this release, we’ve enabled the Updates tool for Windows client in the Computer Management extension so you can start and schedule Windows 10 or 11 PC updates using the same experience you’re familiar with from managing your Windows Servers. 

 

Other updates

Known issues

Some customers have reported seeing an issue stating: “Error occurred while decoding OAEP padding.” Refreshing your Windows Admin Center session should fix this issue.

 

Some customers have experienced issues with their Windows Admin Center Azure registration, including an error stating: “Cross-origin redemption is permitted only for ‘Single-page application.’” This is because we’ve updated our Azure libraries and authentication to the latest and most secure version. Learn how to troubleshoot this error.

 

When using Remote Desktop, your keyboard mapping may be incorrect, especially if you are using a combination of languages on your Windows Admin Center gateway application, your gateway machine, and the machine you’re RDPing into. When this issue is fixed, we will release an extension update for the Remote Desktop tool.

 

In the Virtual Machines tool, the Connect experience may be failing or not working properly, especially for Azure Stack HCI configurations. When these issues are fixed, we will release an extension update for the Virtual Machines tool.

 

In the meantime, you can bypass the Connect experience issues by disabling TLS 1.3 on the host server. To do this, you can set the following registry key to 0: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SecurityProviders\SCHANNEL\Protocols\TLS 1.3\Server

 

Windows Admin Center in Azure

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

 

Check out our release history to view the amazing progress and detailed features. This new GA build of Windows Admin Center will be available for our Azure users over the coming weeks.

 

Windows Admin Center in Azure for Azure IaaS VMs is generally available. Try now.

Windows Admin Center in Azure for Azure Arc-enabled servers is in preview. Try now.

Windows Admin Center in Azure for Azure Stack HCI clusters is in preview. Try now.

 

Streamlined deployment

When using Windows Admin Center to manage your Azure IaaS VMs, you now have a new experience that makes it easy for you to configure pre-requisites and quickly connect to Windows Admin Center. The new flow checks and configures your network connectivity, verifies RBAC access, and configures just-in-time access making it simple for you to connect to Windows Admin Center successfully every time.

 

To try out this new flow, visit the new “Connect” blade in the Azure Portal:

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Enterprise proxy support

Windows Admin Center in Azure now supports communication through a proxy server by using the HTTPS protocol. If your machine must connect through a proxy server to communicate over the internet, follow our documentation to set this up.

 

If you are using Arc-enabled server, Windows Admin Center automatically picks up the proxy configuration from the Arc agent, no additional configuration needed.

 

Partner ecosystem

Windows Admin Center is built to be an extensible platform, and we value the contributions of our partners to the Windows Admin Center ecosystem. Since our last release, Dell has released a new extension—Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure. Several partners, including Lenovo, Fujitsu, and HPE, have also updated their extensions since our last release.

 

Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure is now available!

The Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure, announced at Dell Technologies World 2023, is a new infrastructure platform built in collaboration with Microsoft to optimize Microsoft Azure hybrid cloud deployments. It provides deep integration and intelligent automation between layers of the Dell and Microsoft technology stack, accelerating time-to-value while eliminating complexity and boosting IT agility and productivity.

 

Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure is built on many years of innovation across a range of technologies by both Dell Technologies and Microsoft. This collaboration has culminated in the Dell Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI, which incorporates the Microsoft Azure Stack HCI OS. Dell Cloud Platform Foundation Software and Microsoft Azure Stack HCI OS are the key software pillars that enable Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Microsoft Azure to empower customers to unlock the benefits of key enterprise use cases in their hybrid cloud environments.

 

Integration with Windows Admin Center through an extension reduces the number of management interfaces and simplifies management with familiar tools.

 

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Watch this video to learn more about the Dell APEX Cloud Platform and see a demonstration of this extension.

 

Dell OpenManage update

The Dell OpenManage Integration extension has been updated to version 3.2.0. This update comes with the following changes:

  • Monitor hardware alerts for PowerEdge servers, AX nodes, and failover, and HCI clusters.
  • Provide users with an option to give feedback directly to the OpenManage Integration extension team.
  • View hardware update progress details when navigating to the Hardware update page.
  • Enhancements to the prerequisite check for server/cluster life cycle management.
  • Enhancements to the WS HCI cluster update (Windows Server 2019) by placing the disks of selected nodes into maintenance mode while ensuring uninterrupted operations for non-selected nodes.
  • Support viewing the complete hardware update history for a cluster.
  • Support for providing the "Manage as" credentials, instead of using custom credentials, for accessing the share path where DSU, IC, and DRM catalogs are placed.
  • Support for TLS 1.3 to improve security.

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Lenovo XClarity Integrator for Microsoft Windows Admin Center update

The Lenovo XClarity Integrator extension has been updated to version 4.5.1. This update comes with the following changes since the last Windows Admin Center release:

 

  • Support for ThinkAgile MX Best Recipe 2307
  • Support of the ThinkAgile MX Best Recipe 2305
  • Support the topology view for SR650 V2/V3
  • Support one-click server hardware, Lenovo XClarity Integrator, Windows Admin Center logs and cluster diagnostic data collection
  • Add UI prompts if OS Native Management is not applicable when a system's XCC is running in the Strict Security mode
  • Enablement of 256-character passwords
  • Enablement of retimer inventory
  • Support of the cluster level power consumption metering
  • Adding a UI message that OS Native Management is not applicable when a system’s XCC is running in the Strict Security mode
  • Support of system Power-on password for presenting its enablement state and failing system update when it’s enabled
  • Optimize the categorization of the system updates in repository by using FixIDs
  • Separate the Cluster Power Consumption and System Temperature(Inlet)  from the server Dashboard
  • Support for the following hardware:
    • Lenovo ThinkAgile MX630 V3 (7D6U)
    • Lenovo ThinkAgile MX650 V3 (7D6S)
    • Lenovo ThinkSystem ST650 V3 (7D7A, 7D7B, 7D7C)
    • Lenovo ThinkSystem SR850 V3 (7D96, 7D97, 7D98)
    • Lenovo ThinkSystem SR860 V3 (7D93, 7D94, 7D95)
    • Lenovo ThinkSystem SR635 V3 (7D9G, 7D9H)
    • Lenovo ThinkSystem SR655 V3 (7D9E, 7D9F)
  • Support for the following software:
    • Lenovo XClarity Essentials OneCLI 4.2.0
    • Lenovo XClarity Essentials OneCLI 4.1.0

 

Other extension updates

  • Fujitsu Software Infrastructure Manager (ISM) version 1.0.1 – Upgrade to Angular 11 for better performance and security.
  • Fujitsu ServerView Health version 2.0.2 – Upgrade to Angular 11 for better performance and security.
  • Fujitsu ServerView RAID version 2.0.3 – Upgrade to Angular 11 for better performance and security.
  • HPE Server and HPE Azure Stack HCI WAC extensions version 1.8.0 - This release makes use of HPESysInfoCmdlets version 1.6.0.0 to provide more storage information for Gen11 servers and clusters. Gen11 storage graphics images in the Azure Stack HCI Storage tab will be displayed when the data is available.

 

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.

 

We’re also looking forward to the next version of Windows Server, coming soon! We recommend you check out this preview from Ignite.

 

Thank you,

Windows Admin Center Team (@servermgmt)

 

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‎Feb 15 2024 09:38 AM
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