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Windows Admin Center version 2007 is generally available today. In this release, we have made Windows Admin Center compatible with the new Azure Stack HCI, which required substantial updates to the cluster deployment experience and various tools across the product. Note that this release is pronounced as “twenty oh-seven” in regard to this year and month, and not in reference to the year 2007.
Windows Admin Center version 2007 new features and updates
Windows Admin Center supports the new Azure Stack HCI
Today we announced the release of a new version of Azure Stack HCI for on-premises hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) clusters. This version is a subscription-based Azure service that combines the price-performance of our HCI solution with native Azure hybrid capabilities, all while letting enterprises leverage existing skills.
To find out more about the new Azure Stack HCI, check out the Azure Stack HCI page.
What’s new in Windows Admin Center
Windows Admin Center now provides a graphical cluster deployment workflow. The cluster deployment workflow allows users to deploy multiple cluster types based on the operating system that runs on their choice of servers.
New location and UI
- To launch the workflow, from the All Connections page, click on “+Add” and select “Create new” on the server clusters tile.
- Users can create hyperconverged clusters running Azure Stack HCI, or classic failover clusters running Windows Server.
- The cluster deployment workflow is included in Windows Admin Center without needing to install an extension.
- For the first time ever, use Windows Admin Center to deploy a cluster that’s stretched across two sites.
- You can bring in your workgroup servers and get them domain-joined as part of the cluster deployment workflow.
- Windows Admin Center detects the cluster type that is deployed and installs the necessary roles and features.
- We support multiple network topologies to cater to different customer scenarios.
- Windows Admin Center is working to provide an integrated firmware/driver update experience as part of deployment workflow.
If you’re having difficulties with any of these new features, please consult the cluster deployment section of the known issues page of our documentation.
Windows Admin Center has some new color! We hope you like our new icons and the design changes we have made to make Windows Admin Center look more modern. Windows Admin Center has historically been tied to Windows Server, but now it has become its own independent product. While the license terms have been updated, this shouldn’t affect your usage of Windows Admin Center in any way.
You can now let us know how we are doing from inside Windows Admin Center. Occasionally, you may receive a pop-up asking how likely you are to recommend Windows Admin Center to a coworker. Please provide your feedback as it will help us improve your experience.
Bug fixes and accessibility improvements
- Schedule restarts in the Updates tool: We have fixed the bug where users could not schedule restarts in the Updates tool.
- Connecting to Hyper-V servers: In the previous release, there was a bug that prevented connection to Hyper-V servers. That has been fixed.
- Accessibility fixes: We have been working hard to improve accessibility within the product. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This release includes a new version, version 0.85.0, of the Active Directory tool based on all the feedback we received from User Voice! Some of the changes from the preview version include:
- Search with more descriptive queries using PowerShell Expression Language syntax
- filter by object type or run range-based queries
- search for users with a password count over a certain threshold
- More connected experience
- Ability to unlock users
Go to Settings > Extensions to install it now.
The Windows Admin Center containers extension has recently been updated. This extension is available through the Windows Admin Center Insiders feed (https://aka.ms/wac-insiders-feed).
To read more about the extension and its features, read the blog post.
Users are now able to click on a virtual machine and perform a full clone. You can run sysprep on the virtual machine beforehand or let us run it for you. Windows Admin Center brings in an optimized VM clone experience that significantly reduces user effort, time, and engagement needed for the process. This feature is in preview so please give us feedback.
Software Defined Networking (SDN) monitoring
The SDN monitoring extension now includes Data Path Diagnostics. This feature automates packet captures to diagnose networking data path issues in SDN scenarios. After you choose your SDN scenario and provide basic parameters, Windows Admin Center identifies the involved SDN components and their location in the cluster, sets the right packet filters, and captures network traffic on all the relevant machines. Afterwards, we present the captured logs in a single view that is easy to follow and manipulate through Windows Admin Center. This view allows you to download the logs for additional post-processing using your tool of choice.
Windows Admin Center continues to promote an extensible ecosystem and we’re thrilled to collaborate with our external partners. Several of our partners have released updates for their extensions in the past few months that include bug fixes and improvements targeted at Windows Admin Center version 2007.
Lenovo XClarity Integrator version 2.1.11
The Lenovo XClarity Integrator for Windows Admin Center provides IT administrators a smooth and seamless management experience across Windows Server hyper-converged and physical infrastructure. In this release, improvements include:
- New user role-based access control
- Firmware update
- Cluster-aware firmware update for clusters
- Firmware update for Azure HCI clusters with the best recipe for ThinkAgile MX certified nodes, involving both firmware and Windows drivers
- Support compliance policy-based firmware update
- Disk Manager for ThinkAgile MX HCI cluster
- Graphic front/rear view of the Lenovo ThinkAgile MX certified Azure HCI cluster node servers
- Display of overall storage pool, drive, and server information
- Operations on servers, including turning on or turning off the location LED
- Operations on drives, including turning on or turning off the location LED, replacing a drive in a storage pool, adding a drive to a storage pool, and removing a drive from a server
Dell EMC OpenManage Integration version 1.1.0
The Dell EMC OpenManage Integration for Microsoft Admin Center extension enables IT administrators to manage Dell EMC PowerEdge servers as hosts, Microsoft Failover Clusters created with PowerEdge servers, and Azure Stack Hyper-Converged Infrastructure created with Dell EMC Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes, AX Nodes. In this release, improvements include:
- Added support for Dell EMC Online Catalogs
- Ability to perform Server update including selective component updates
- Cluster update—Premium licenses required for respective hardware, such as Dell EMC PowerEdge Server and Azure Stack HCI clusters based on AX nodes or Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes from Dell EMC
- To locate physical disks or to identify failed physical disks, provision to blink and unblink the physical disks Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) is provided
- Support for newer platforms based on AX nodes—Dell EMC Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI nodes: AX-640, AX-6515, and AX-740xd
- Ability to monitor health and inventory of Accelerators (GPU) with latest iDRAC9 based PowerEdge Servers.
- User interface enhancements for Intel Persistent memory Health monitoring and Inventory.
- Correlation between Storage Controllers and Physical Disks to view the associated disks.
- Ability to refresh the health, inventory, and iDRAC information of the managed target nodes to ensure that displayed inventory information is the latest.
- Usability enhancement by downloading DSU and IC automatically required for components update.
QCT Management Suite version 2.1.0
The QCT Management Suite is designed to help users manage and monitor their Windows Server hyper-converged infrastructure and QCT system configuration information on a single dashboard. With the upgrade to version 2.1.0, fixes and additions include:
- Add Switch function.
- Network Adapter and Switch Port mapping.
- PFC enable check of Switch.
- Switch Port Status check.
- Switch Environment Information includes Switch Model, Software Version, Serial Number, Device Name, Fan Status, Power Supply Unit Status.
- Support list:
- QuantaMesh T3048-LY8
- QuantaMesh T4048-IX8D (Preview)
- Add Physical/Virtual Network Adapter information and mapping function.
Keep an eye on your extension manager for new partner extensions coming soon!
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.
We are already working hard on our next release and are excited to bring you a lot more features.
Ask Microsoft Anything
While this is not a feature, the Windows Admin Center team hosted our first public Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA). You can view the AMA here. To stay informed about future events like this, follow us on Twitter at @servermgmt.
Windows Admin Center Team
Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.