With today’s data centres demands, you will find yourself spending considerable time trying to overcome the complexity of managing your hybrid infrastructure. What if you could deploy a simple gateway to help you manage all your workloads, without thinking about where each server is located?
During the holiday break, I worked hard on several projects to prepare for this year. One of the projects I was working on was implementing, and migrating to, hybrid-cloud infrastructure. Some of my servers required relocation. They are hosted on Azure, and while I was planning the move, I wondered if there was an easy way relocate my distributed servers.
If you are following the Microsoft Product Updates and news, you may have come across a handy Web access Windows Admin tool called Windows Admin Center. Yes, this is the same tool you will be grated of by a pop-up window when you log in to Windows 2019 Server.
What is “Windows Admin Center”?
Windows Admin Center is a browser-based, modern server management set of tools-in-a-box that enable you to manage your Windows servers on private networks, without an internet connection. You can deploy Windows Admin Center on Windows 10, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, and Windows Server 2019.
There are three deployment types:
1. Local: Deploying the Windows Admin Center on a local Windows 10 client. This deployment type is great for ad-hoc, local Windows 10 management.
2. Gateway: This deployment is designed for a large scale infrastructure, and requires the deployment of a gateway server to manage the remainder of the servers. This deployment uses a web browser.
3. Managed Server: This deployment is to a local server, or cluster, to manage the local host; whether it is a server or cluster workload.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, I migrated several workloads to Microsoft Azure and kept many of the servers I am using on my home lab. However, to seamlessly manage all my distributed servers, I deployed Windows Admin Center on-premises (Gateway) and connect it to Azure AD to gain the benefit of the many Windows Admin Center capabilities. Some capabilities are:
- Windows Admin Center management of all my servers, despite their distribution location.
- File sync with Azure Storage
- Hyper-V management
- Azure Backup (for testing)
- Azure monitoring
- and more
Some of the compelling reasons for choosing Windows Admin Center were:
- Free tool.
- Comprehensive toolset.
- Azure integration
- Remote Powershell support to run PS locally.
- RDP access
Windows Admin Center is a great tool to help you manage your workloads infrastructure and to easily integrate on-premises infrastructure with Microsoft Azure Services. The Windows Admin Center is in active development, so you will find new features added frequently. Being in active development means you will find useful updates, an example is the latest update Windows Admin Center included an update to Windows PerfMon. I will be recording several videos to help you adopt this tool on your data centre, so stay tuned. For more information about the Windows Admin Center, visit the Admin Center at Microsoft website.