Managing servers through Remote Desktop is cool but won’t be very efficient when managing more than a few servers, even with the help of those Remote Desktop Managers that tabbed all servers at the top for easy switching back and forth. RSAT, Remote Server Administration Tools, is your secret weapon to save your time on managing your Windows Server Farms.
The new release of RSAT, compatible now with Windows 8.1, includes Server Manager, Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins, consoles, Windows PowerShell cmdlets and providers, and command-line tools for managing roles and features that run on Windows Server 2012 R2 and, in most cases, Windows Server 2012. It’s a lot more than what RSAT for Windows 8 has offered.
You can see what the tools are included in this RSAT set from this support matrix. Quite thorough if you look at these tools, AD tools, DHCP tools, BitLocker Drive Admin utilities, DNS Tools, Failover Clustering Tools, File and Storage Services Tools, Group Policy tools, Hyper-V tools, etc., etc..
Download and Install
You can download the latest Remote Server Administration Tools for 8.1, and install it just like installing a standalone Windows update. All tools will be installed and turned on by default.
And obviously, you will need to install it on a Windows 8.1 computer.
How to use it
Since we don’t have a full Start menu to browse through the programs and tools, what I find is that it might be a good idea starting with a Server Manager tool, which could be your main control console to manage all your servers. Go to Start screen, and search for Server Manager, and launch it.
And pin it to Taskbar, so you don’t need to search and find it next time.
And then while you are in Server Manager, you can launch many other tools right from there, through Tools drop-down menu at the top.
You can add some or all your servers into your Server Manager, and you can manage through the context menu once added. It’s quite fascinating what this tool can do.
Disable features or uninstall completely
All tools are installed and turned on by default during the installation. Yon can turn specific tools off, through Turn Windows features on or off from Programs and features in Control Panel.
Or, remove Update for Microsoft Windows (KB2693643) from View installed updates to completely uninstall it from your computer.
All in all, if you are an IT professional managing a lot of Windows servers on a daily basis, you will need this tool to save your time and get more work done more efficiently.