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4 min read

Announcing Windows Admin Center: Our reimagined management experience

This blog post was co-authored by Samuel Li, Principal Program Manager Lead, Windows Server and Vinicius Apolinario, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Windows Server.

At Ignite 2017, we unveiled the technical preview of Project “Honolulu” to the world for the first time. It sparked a flame of excitement in IT admins’ hearts. From multiple tools to a single experience for day-to-day activities, Project “Honolulu” was a dream come true with a simple and elegant solution to remotely manage Windows Server and Windows 10. The numbers confirm the ongoing excitement:

To everyone who downloaded and tested Project “Honolulu”, thank you! Your valued feedback guided our work and today we are thrilled to reaffirm our commitment to modernize the graphical administration and management experience by making this project generally available as Windows Admin Center!

What is Windows Admin Center?

If you’re an IT administrator managing Windows Server and Windows, you probably open dozens of consoles for day-to-day activities, such as Event Viewer, Device Manager, Disk Management, Task Manager, Server Manager – the list goes on and on. Windows Admin Center brings many of these consoles together in a modernized, simplified, integrated, and secure remote management experience.

Here’s how Windows Admin Center helps IT admins:

  • Simple and modern management experience: Windows Admin Center is a lightweight, browser-based GUI platform and toolset for IT admins to remotely manage Windows Server and Windows 10 machines.
  • Hybrid capabilities: Windows Admin Center can manage Windows Server and Windows 10 instances anywhere including physical systems, virtual machines on any hypervisor, or running in any cloud. Connect to the cloud with optional value-added features like integration with Azure Site Recovery for protecting your virtual machines, and support for Azure Active Directory to control access with multi-factor authentication.
  • Integrated toolset: Rather than switching between several different tools and contexts, with Windows Admin Center you get a holistic overview of your resources and the ability to dig into granular details. In addition to server and client machines, it allows you to manage failover clusters and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) deployments.
  • Designed for extensibility: We’ve been working with early-adopter partners to refine the extension development experience in a private preview of our SDK. That means soon you’ll be able to extend Windows Admin Center’s capabilities to 3rd-party solutions. For example, you’ll start to see 3rd party hardware vendors use Windows Admin Center to provide management of their own hardware.

Take a look at Windows Admin Center in action:

Windows Admin Center is now generally available and is supported for use in production environments. We will continue with our commitment to add customer value by addressing user feedback and will continue to improve and update on a regular basis.

The upcoming release of Windows Server 2019 is another important milestone for Windows Admin Center as we deepen our investments in hybrid scenarios and hyper-converged infrastructure management.

Customer deployments lead to measurable business value

Speaking to various customers in our preview program, we’ve consistently heard that the excitement is justified and that the impact is real. Here are just a few examples:

“[Windows Admin Center] fit the exact need we’ve been looking for, a whole lot of functionality to gain access and insight to basic operations of our server farms, in an extremely lightweight manner!  We easily spent 20+ hours a month “managing the management system” before, with [Windows Admin Center] that has decreased our time/effort in managing the management system by over 75%, allowing our Operations teams to focus on more valuable tasks around improving security, compliance, capacity planning, and overall systems optimization.”

– Rand Morimoto, President, Convergent Computing

“Thanks to [Windows Admin Center], we can manage our customers remotely from HTML5 portal without problem and with the full integration with Azure Active Directory, we are able to increase the security thanks to the Multi-Factor Authentication. The dashboards offer information in real time with full clear values of each server for each single role, with the possibility to manage every single item, thanks to PowerShell. The main advantage is the reduced time spent to use different console for each role.”

– Silvio Di Benedetto, Founder and Senior Consultant, Inside Technologies

“We have been able to deploy [Server Core] SKUs in a more effective way, improving resource efficiency, security and automation while still achieving a good degree of productivity and reducing errors that can happen when relying on scripting only.”

– Guglielmo Mengora, Founder and CEO, VaiSulWeb

Download Windows Admin Center today!

Windows Admin Center has no additional cost. As a separate download, Windows Admin Center can be used with valid licenses of Windows Server or Windows 10, since it’s licensed under the Windows Supplemental EULA. Download it now! This page is also the best starting point and has links to our newly categorized documentation content, how to provide feedback, reference information, and other resources.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What versions of Windows Server can I manage with Windows Admin Center?

A: Windows Admin Center will be optimized for Windows Server 2019 and enables key themes in the upcoming Windows Server 2019 release, hybrid cloud scenarios and hyper-converged infrastructure management in particular. Although Windows Admin Center will work best with Windows Server 2019, it supports managing a variety of versions that customers already use: Windows Server 2012 and newer. Please refer to our documentation for full version support details.

Q: Is Windows Admin Center a complete replacement for all traditional in-box and RSAT tools?

A: No. Although Windows Admin Center can manage many common scenarios, it does not completely replace all traditional Microsoft Management Console (MMC) tools. For a detailed look at what tools are included with Windows Admin Center, read more about managing servers in our documentation.

Windows Admin Center is complementary to and does not replace RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools) since roles such as Active Directory, DHCP, DNS, and IIS do not yet have equivalent management capabilities surfaced in Windows Admin Center.

Q: Which web browsers are supported by Windows Admin Center?

A: The latest versions of Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome browsers are tested and supported on Windows 10. Other modern web browsers or other platforms are not currently part of our test matrix and are therefore not officially supported.

Q: Are there any cloud dependencies?

A: No. Windows Admin Center does not require Internet access and does not require Microsoft Azure. Windows Admin Center manages Windows Server and Windows 10 instances anywhere including on physical systems, in virtual machines on any hypervisor, or running in any cloud. Although integration with various Azure services will be added over time, these will be optional value-added features and not a requirement to use Windows Admin Center.