Windows Admin Center (In Production)

Modern Server Management3 H 14 M

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  • Introduction to Windows Admin Center
    • What is Windows Admin Center
    • Installation Options
    • User Access Options
  • Deploying Windows Admin Center
    • Install WAC on Windows 10
    • Install WAC on Windows Server
  • Configure Windows Admin Center
    • User Access Control
    • Using Extensions
  • Using Windows Admin Center
    • Getting Started with WAC
    • Prepare your Environment
    • Managing Windows Servers
    • Managing Windows 10 PCs
  • Connecting to Azure
    • Connect to Azure
    • Create and Manage Azure VMs

What is Windows Admin Center

9 M

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  • Episode Description
  • Transcript

In this episode the viewer will understand how WAC can be used to manage modern environments and how WAC fits in with other management tools.

Are you ready to modernize your service management? In this episode, we'll introduce you to a tool that lets you manage your servers from anywhere, stay tuned. >> You're watching ITProTV. [MUSIC] >> Welcome to Windows Admin Center. I'm Sophia, your host, and I'm here with Mike Rodrick, our subject matter expert. And Mike's gonna be walking us through and introducing us to a server management tool that seems like it would be pretty useful. So Mike, can you start us off with explaining, what exactly is Windows Admin Center? >> Absolutely, Sophia, I would love to. Windows Admin Center, it really is the modern evaluation of our server management tools. Now, when I say server management, it can actually do a little bit more than that, and we'll get into that later on in our episodes. But it is kind of the new way of doing things. This is the way Microsoft wants us to manage our server environments. This is going to be, it's kind of evolved from Server Manager, that we've seen evolve starting with, I think Server 2003, moving on up through there. Kinda went through a couple different evolutions. Our Microsoft management consoles, our good old MMCs, both those pre-built ones like, I don't know, Active Directory Users and Computers. Or those MMCs that you would create yourself, and add to snap-ins. When we take all that functionality, all the things that were good about these tools, and we bring them together? That's really what we're getting with Windows Admin Center. But there's a lot more to it than that, because not only is it the new way to manage our servers. It's got a lot of advantages, it's a locally deployed tool. So we'll see how we can install it on either a Windows 10 client or a server that can host this. It is browser-based, right, which means we're gonna open up our browser and connect to this tool. And there's no dependencies, no Azure dependencies, no cloud dependencies. Now, granted, things like that can definitely add functionality to it, as we'll see as we progress through these episodes, but there's no dependencies. You can do this in a strict local environment, or you can use this to manage your networks around the globe. So it's really, really a cool tool that I think you're gonna find pretty exciting. >> Yeah, having a management tool like this that is locally deployed and browser-based, it does seem like it would be pretty advantageous. So does this replace other management tools? >> Somewhat, it kind of does in a way, right? When we think about our MMCs, our Microsoft management consoles, our snap-ins, our pre-built, like I said, Active Directory Users and Computers, or Sites and Services. All of those consoles, those are all gonna be brought together inside this Windows Admin Center. Now, those tools would still be there, they're still available. So it doesn't really replace them, but I think it will eventually. You'd rather come here and manage them from this point than you would go through those individual tools. And it also complements a lot of the management tools that we're gonna be using in our environments these days, like System Center. This isn't gonna replace System Center. There are things that System Center does and does well, that it will continue to do. But this can work alongside System Center, right? So this is just another tool in your toolbox. So when I say replace, not really replace them, but in a way, if that makes sense. >> Okay, so how do we go about getting WAC? >> That's a great question, and it's not pre-installed yet. I mean, that might come down the road. But this is free, one of our favorite price points, right, we like free. >> [LAUGH] >> And we can simply go out to Microsoft, and we can download the Windows Admin Center and install it however we choose to install it, whether it's on a client or whether it's on a server operating system, but it's a free download. Now, I'll put the link for this in the show notes, but you can simply do a quick search for it out there, Windows Admin Center download. It'll take you right to the link. One of the things you'll notice is, you're gonna be directed to the Windows Evaluation Center, and that's where you're gonna download this from. Now, don't be fooled, this isn't an evaluation copy, it's not an evaluation tool. It is full production-ready, and it's just, this is the place they've chosen. Because it's free, this is their easiest way to distribute it, I guess? I mean, I don't know what Microsoft thinks, but that's where we're gonna go. So when you go to that Windows Evaluation Center, understand, you are getting the full version of Windows Admin Center. >> So I know there's a convenience factor to this. But beyond that, what are some of the benefits of using Windows Admin Center? >> There's a lot, Sophia. I mean, as we go through the list, we'll think about things like familiar functionality, right? When I say that it's not really replacing some of those consoles, but it includes them, they're gonna look the same, right? When you go into the Windows Admin Center and you open up Active Directory Users and Computers from there, it's gonna look very similar. It's gonna have the same functionality that you would get when you worked with the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC, right? So Device Manager looks the same. So working with these tools through Windows Admin Center is gonna feel comfortable. You're not learning a whole new way to do things. We're just bringing all those tools together, putting them in one spot. And sure, the interface is redesigned a little bit. But they've taken the best stuff, right, the stuff that we need to get to most often, and made that forefront. And so it's gonna be, I think, even easier than using some of the original tools. So familiar functionality, easy to install and use. I mean, when I say this is easy to install, you run the wizard, we're gonna see it, and it installs. I think there's one question, maybe two questions you have to think about during the install process, and you're off to the races. So really easy to install, and it's a browser-based application, so it's really easy to use as well. It complements existing solutions, as I've mentioned a couple times. This might not replace all of your tools, but it can work alongside with them and become another tool in your toolbox. We can manage from anywhere. This is one of those things, there's a little bit of configuration, and then it's up to you to decide how you want to set this up. But it is possible to set it up so that you can manage your server environment from anywhere that you have Internet access, and securely, right? So I know that's gonna be the next question. It's like, well, wait a second, do I really wanna do that? Yeah, it is a secure solution. Azure integration, they keep adding new functionality to the Windows Admin Center. It is now integrated with Azure. So not only can I manage my servers, Windows 10 clients, I can work with my Azure resources as well. And it's extensible, they've made this so that you, if you develop extensions for this, you can. If you add functionality to your Windows Admin Center and you're a developer, not me. But you could write your own extensions, so it's very extensible as well. So a lot of really good benefits, I think you'll find, from making the switch to Windows Admin Center. >> It sounds like it, and perhaps the most important question that I'll ask here is, how does it work? >> That's a great question, and we're gonna spend several episodes looking at how we can use it and what it can do. But let's look at the basic architecture, so we kinda get an overall or an overview of how this is set up. So join me on my screen here. So this is the basic layout of Windows Admin Center and how it would look in your environment. There's a couple of different installation options that we'll discuss as we move on. But this gives us a good idea of how things are going to work. And what you'll see is that right in the middle, I have my Windows Admin Center, right? So that is my management point, that's what I'm gonna connect to. And what I want you to pay attention to is the fact that my client browser is connecting to Windows Admin Center via HTTPS. We're using that Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol to connect to Windows Admin Center. And then Windows Admin Center is gonna use PowerShell, Windows Management Instrumentation over WinRM to then connect to the servers or the other nodes that we're choosing to manage, all right? And this is all on-premises at this point, right? So we can see here, this is on-premise. So all the white, the bottom half of this window, is basically on-premises. And we could stop there, but you'll see that they can also publish this out to the Internet, right? So there's a little bit of configuration, right? It's just a web server, right, this is simply a web application. So I can publish this to DNS, I can make this name resolvable from the outside. I can open up my firewall to support that connectivity, and now I can connect from the Internet. I can be at the hotel, I can be at the remote office, and I can simply connect to the Internet, and I can reach out and connect to Windows Admin Center. And again, the only thing I'm using is HTTPS, so a nice, secure connection back to Windows Admin Center. And then from there is where we're gonna see things like WinRM and the Windows Management Instrumentation, all that type of traffic stays inside my network. The only thing that's going outside is HTTPS. So this is the ease of use and the ability to manage from anywhere, is all because of the way this is set up. So this is where we're gonna take a look, now again, we'll take a look at a couple of different options of how we install this and how we configure it, but this is the basic layout. So pretty straightforward, right, Sophia? >> Absolutely, yeah, and definitely seems like pretty convenient and easy-to-use option for managing locally or remotely, which is pretty cool. And like you said, in future episodes, we're gonna be talking about installation and user access options, so I'm looking forward to talking about that with you as well. >> Sounds good. >> All right, well, thanks so much for joining us for this episode. Stay tuned for more Windows Admin Center, and we'll see you next time. >> Thank you for watching ITProTV. [MUSIC]

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