If you are a Sysadmin that manages many Windows servers and Windows 10 desktops, Windows Admin Center may help you simplify your daily workload. Developed by Microsoft, it’s a locally deployed, browser-based management tool that lets you manage your entire server infrastructure. It’s particularly useful for managing those servers on private network that don’t have internet access.
You can download Windows Admin Center from the Microsoft Evaluation Center. It’s free and the generally available version for production use.
You will need to fill up the evaluation form to download it. Or, simply click this direct download link if you like.
How it works?
Windows Admin Center runs in a web browser and manages Windows Servers, Windows 10 desktops, as well as Azure Stack HCI through what’s called Windows Admin Center gateway. The gateway uses Remote PowerShell and WMI over WinRM to manage remote devices. Therefore, you will need WinRM enabled on all devices that you want to manage.
Once gateway published to DNS and properly given access through corporate firewall, you can securely connect to and manage all your servers and desktops from anywhere through modern browsers like Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.
What it looks like?
Once installed, you can access the dashboard through url with a designed port number, 6516 as default.
You can click the Add button to add more servers or desktop computers that have WinRM enabled. Note that the minimum required PowerShell version is version 5.
There are many things you can check and monitor a connected computer, such as Processes, Registry, Performance Monitor, Network, Storage, etc. You can even Remote Desktop in acting as remote access if needed.
What makes Windows Admin Center more interesting is the ability to manage your cloud assets on Azure. It has a lot of extensions designed specifically for Azure. Register your Azure account in Settings and manage these resources right from Windows Admin Center.
I’ve been using RSAT tools for years to manage core services like AD and occasionally uses Server Manager to manage servers if needed. But Windows Admin Center is going to make my life a lot easier. It’s not a tool that replaces the tools I am using but a complementary one that adds to my arsenal to broad my ability to manage all my resources.