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.
To understand more, here’s the Windows Admin Center FAQ: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/manage/windows-admin-center/understand/faq
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
Save it in your desired directory
Launch the installer
In the setup page, accept the terms and the License Agreement > click Next
You may check for updates prior to installing WAC.
Tick the “Allow Windows Admin Center to modify this machine’s trusted hosts settings” > click Next
In the next page, for this demo purposes, I just left the default settings > Click Next
Finish the installation.
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).
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.
We’re using .\Adminstrator as the server is not domain joined. After credentials for DC01 has been entered, click continue to access the server.
Exploring Windows Admin Center’s interface
As you can see, all the available management tools are listed on the left pane.
Yes, PowerShell is there!
Roles & Features
In the example, we will deploy new Windows Server 2019 Domain Controller.
In the Roles & Feature select Active Directory Domain Services and continue from there
For verification purposes, after the ADDS role installation has completed successfully, I logged in to DC01 to verify that the role is there.
I continued the Domain Controller post-deployment configuration afterwards.