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Windows Admin Center, Windows Server 2019

Windows Admin Center

What is Windows Admin Center?

Windows Admin Center is a lightweight, browser-based GUI platform and toolset for IT Admins to manage Windows Server and Windows 10. It’s the evolution of familiar in-box administrative tools, such as Server Manager and Microsoft Management Console (MMC) into a modernized, simplified, integrated, and secure experience.

When I finished setting up a new Windows Server 2019 server, it prompted me with the message “Try managing server with Windows Admin Center“. And installed and try it, I did.

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To understand more, here’s the Windows Admin Center FAQ: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/manage/windows-admin-center/understand/faq 

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  • Windows Admin Center is now production environments ready.

  • Using Windows Admin Center has no additional cost.

  • Aside from Windows Server 2019, Windows Admin Center can manage Windows Server 2012 as well as Windows Server 2008 R2 with limited functionality

  • Windows Admin Center is NOT a complete replacement for all traditional in-box and RSAT tools

  • Windows Admin Center can be used to manage Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2016 and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2.

  • Windows Admin Center can be installed on Windows 10 (version 1709 or later), running in desktop mode.

  • PowerShell can be run in Windows Admin Center

  • Browser Support: Microsoft Edge (Windows 10, version 1709 or later) and Google Chrome browsers are tested and supported on Windows 10.

  • For security, Windows Admin Center gateway uses HTTPS

Windows Admin Center also provides these solutions:

  • Computer Management – Provides a subset of the Server Manager features for managing Windows 10 client PCs
  • Failover Cluster Manager – Provides support for ongoing management of failover clusters and cluster resources
  • Hyper-Converged Cluster Manager – Provides an all-new experience tailored for Storage Spaces Direct and Hyper-V. It features the Dashboard and emphasizes charts and alerts for monitoring.

Step by step installation and management of Windows Admin Center 

Download the installer here 

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Save it in your desired directory

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Launch the installer

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In the setup page, accept the terms and the License Agreement > click Next

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You may check for updates prior to installing WAC.

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Tick the “Allow Windows Admin Center to modify this machine’s trusted hosts settings” > click Next

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In the next page, for this demo purposes, I just left the default settings > Click Next

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Finish the installation.

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Managing Servers from Windows Admin Center

After the installation, launch your browser and Windows Admin Center from the host you’ve installed, in this case, my host is 192.168.1.21 (DC01).

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From there you can begin to add, access and manage additional servers. In the screenshot below, we’re now accessing DC01 from Windows Admin Center and it’s asking for the credentials.

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We’re using .\Adminstrator as the server is not domain joined. After credentials for DC01 has been entered, click continue to access the server.

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Exploring Windows Admin Center’s interface

As you can see, all the available management tools are listed on the left pane.

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Yes, PowerShell is there!

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Roles & Features

In the example, we will deploy new Windows Server 2019 Domain Controller.

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In the Roles & Feature select Active Directory Domain Services and continue from there

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For verification purposes, after the ADDS role installation has completed successfully, I logged in to DC01 to verify that the role is there.

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I continued the Domain Controller post-deployment configuration afterwards.

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