This post will show how the communication between Windows Admin Center and Virtual Machines is configured in a mobile lab environment.
Setup VM Environment
Here are the checklist to make sure your Windows Admin Center will properly talk with your VMs:
- VMWare Workstation is installed and VM(s) created
- VMWare Workstation’s VMNet is configured with NAT for the Host to communicated with the VMs, see example below:
- Install and configure Windows Admin Center
At the Windows Admin Center, you can go to Settings and configure the Personalization to choose your preferred color mode, in my case I have set the color mode to Dark mode.
You can set your preferred Language / Region as well as the settings for turning On or Off the show of suggestions like Azure Services, New Features, Important information and Extension in Suggestions Settings.
and under Gateway Settings, the Extensions and Azure can be configured there as well. But that’s for later.
Connecting to a Server
Define IP Addresses and VM hostnames
By now you should already have assigned IP Addresses and Host names to you Virtual Machines.
Edit HOST File
To have Windows Admin Center query the VMs using their hostnames we need to edit the host file, although you can still add these VMs using their IP addresses, I still prefer to use their hostnames over IPs. To edit the host file, copy out the host file from C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc to a temp folder e.g., C:\Temp and edit it with notepad.
From the screenshot below you can see that I have defined my hostnames even before the promotion of my Domain Controller (LABDC01) and installation of the ConfigMgr Server (LABCM01).
Allow incoming connection to the Windows Server Core VM
In the Windows Server Core VM that was setup earlier we need to run the following command:
netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group=”File and Printer Sharing” new enable=yes
Verify the connectivity between Host and VM
Add Server to Windows Admin Center
Back in the Windows Admin Center click + Add under the All connections
From the Choose the connection type select Servers
In the Servers > Add one, we’ll type the hostname LABDC01 and enter the LABDC01 Administrator’s credentials. Optionally, you can also add tags for this server. Click Add with credentials
You should see the added server under the All connections
Note: As stated earlier, you can also add server(s) in Windows Admin Center using its IP Address as shown from the screenshot below
The next thing to do is to manage your newly added server. In the Windows Admin Center > Server Manager double click the server name.
You can begin exploring server from the list of Tools at the left pane
Here are the lists of tools that’s available for server connections.
|Overview||View server details and control server state|
|Active Directory||Manage Active Directory|
|Backup||View and configure Azure Backup|
|Certificates||View and modify certificates|
|Devices||View and modify devices|
|DHCP||View and manage DHCP server configuration|
|DNS||View and manage DNS server configuration|
|Files||Browse files and folders|
|Firewall||View and modify firewall rules|
|Installed Apps||View and remove installed apps|
|Local Users and Groups||View and modify local users and groups|
|Network||View and modify network devices|
|PowerShell||Interact with server via PowerShell|
|Processes||View and modify running processes|
|Registry||View and modify registry entries|
|Remote Desktop||Interact with server via Remote Desktop|
|Roles and Features||View and modify roles and features|
|Scheduled Tasks||View and modify scheduled tasks|
|Services||View and modify services|
|Settings||View and modify services|
|Storage||View and modify storage devices|
|Storage Migration Service||Migrate servers and file shares to Azure or Windows Server 2019|
|Storage Replica||Use Storage Replica to manage server-to-server storage replication|
|System Insights||System Insights gives you increased insight into the functioning of your server.|
|Updates||View installed and check for new updates|
|Virtual Machines||View and manage virtual machines|
|Virtual Switches||View and manage virtual switches|
Visit the official Windows Admin Center webpage for more information https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-platform/windows-admin-center