Announcing public preview of Windows Admin Center v2311
Today, we are releasing our latest version of Windows Admin Center to public preview – version 2311! 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’ve made improvements to some of our most used tools, added new experiences around Azure hybrid services like Azure Arc and Azure Migrate, and updated our platform.
Azure Arc onboarding at-scale
Azure Arc-enabled servers lets you manage Windows 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. 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 machines and, with a few simple clicks, onboard them all to Azure Arc for Servers 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 the most 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 updates
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 every 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.
Angular is the framework upon which the Windows Admin Center UI is built. This means that every feature, control, button click, and user experience relies on our Angular infrastructure and benefits from this upgrade. You can expect faster loads 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 on Angular 11 continue to be backwards compatible.
We're excited to announce a series of UI updates to the Windows Admin Center, bringing it closer in design to the Azure Portal for a consistent user experience. Pivots have been redesigned, and typography improved with updated font sizes and semi bold headings. Form components are now 24px in height, and buttons with text have adopted Azure styles. These refinements aim to enhance usability, aligning with our commitment to a user-centric design that echoes the elegance of the Azure Portal.
Virtual Machine management is a key component in day-to-day infrastructure management. Windows Admin Center is making continuous improvements in the VM management experience. For this release, we focused on the “Import VM” functionality. In this release, we’ve enabled the reconfiguration of virtual switches on destination hosts where there are incompatible virtual switches. We’ve also clarified some of the failure notifications that may occur during the import experience.
In addition to the changes we’ve made to the import experience, we also reduced the VM tool load times. 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.
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 their 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 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 to improve the meaning and relevance of these errors. Please see the below before and after examples.
The second piece 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 if they are relevant: (1) what went wrong, (2) what caused it, if relevant, and (3) how to fix it.
Azure Migrate provides a simplified migration, modernization, and optimization service for Azure, including ways to assess the benefits of Azure migration of your specific 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.
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.
Updates tool now available for Windows Client
Ensuring your systems are up to date is vital for the security and integrity of your system. While servers make up a majority of the machines 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 for multiple years, with more than 175 upvotes on our feedback platform!
Your feedback matters 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.
This release has the following known issues:
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.
Windows Admin Center Team (@servermgmt)
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