Server 2019, initially released in early 2018, has seen several patches and version updates. A key offering in Microsoft’s OS lineup with strong hyperconvergance and software defined storage features. But this post focuses more on a few tools within Server 2019 that stole the limelight today at Microsoft Ignite 2019.
Windows Admin Center (version 1910) was announced today (Monday 4th November) at Microsoft Ignite, and brings with it a host of new features for the IT Pro to make use of. Able to be deployed to any Windows Server 2019 or Windows 10 Desktop installation makes it both versatile and accessible to support teams, or smaller orginisations. Not only that, but it can seamlessly connect to, monitor and manage all servers, virtual or physical from Server 2008 R2 and upwards.
A key new feature of Windows Admin Center sees a drastic overhaul to something that for a long time was a clunky pain to use for IT support staff, Performance Monitor! Once the slow and cumbersome tool that took far too long to unearth the information on performance counters you needed, is now a sleek feature integrated directly into Windows Admin Center. Adopting a very azure-esque aesthetic, the new version of Performance Monitor (or perfmon) breathes new life into a staple IT problem resolution tool.
Firstly, individual performance counters can now be searched for easily, rather than having to know the name of a counter, or manually locate it from a dauntingly large list. Once the counter is selected, Admin Center immediately begins graphing the metric in real time, allowing for another counter selection. Another plus point here is that all graphs generated by PerfMon in Admin Center are interactive, scalable, resizable and customizable.
Another cool new addition here is that once a single performance counter has been chosen, Windows Admin Center will autmoatically filter and suggest the list of counters available to related or relevant counters that match the chosen dataset. Helping to empower support teams and provide access to data relveant to the scenario.
Performance Monitor in Windows Admin Center v1910 also has the ability to save a set layout of graphs, charts and counters as a Workspace. Share that workspace with colleagues, or set as the instance defaul to provide instant overviews or in-depth analysis of all admin center tenant members.
Azure Hybrid & Hyper Converged Management
This is all great for on-prem servers, but the usefulness expands even further to hyperconverged clusters, legacy failover hyper-v clusters, and most interestingly, Azure Hybrid environments. VM’s and other compute resources running in Azure, a spart of an Azure hybrid Deployment, can be added into an on-prem (or Azure hosted) Windows Admin Center instance and managed just the same way.
Windows Admin Center v1910 brings with it powerful new technology to natively deploy a HyperConverged cluster on applicable hardware. It even offers seamless set up, in wizard form, for advanced Storage Spaces configurations. Deploying modern failover clusters has never been easier with Microsoft Windows Admin Center v1910.
Another very strong and related offering available here is Azure Arc. With an Arc deployment, you can now seamlessly apply Azure based management and control policies to assets not naturally contained within Azure. Link an on-prem hyper converged cluster to Azure Arc to benefit from things such as access control through RBAC, domain type deployment policies and more. More content on Azure Arc will follow later this week.
By Dave Byrne on November 5th, 2019