Updates to server management with the Windows Admin Center (formerly Honolulu) & PowerShell Core
Articles,  Blog

Updates to server management with the Windows Admin Center (formerly Honolulu) & PowerShell Core


– Coming up, new tools
for managing servers across versions of Windows and Linux and across cloud platforms. We’ll show you the updates
to Project Honolulu, allowing you to manage
Windows Server configurations from one place. And how we’re moving
from Windows PowerShell to PowerShell Core, letting
you manage your servers wherever they are from
just about any device and across Linux and Windows. (electronic music) So I’m joined again by Jeff Woolsey from the Windows Server team. Welcome. – It’s great to be back. – So we’ve been evolving
the tools to manage servers to become more flexible. And last time we saw an early
look at Project Honolulu to configure and manage Windows servers. – That’s right. We know that most of
you have infrastructure that runs multiple
versions of Windows server or other server platforms. For example, you have
Windows Server running on physical or virtual machines. These workloads might be
located in your data center or hosted in a cloud
service like Azure or AWS. You probably wanna manage
your infrastructure, either using a graphical
user interface at GUI, or a command line via the browser from a PC, Mac, or other device. So whether you’re using
a command line or a GUI on whatever device you’re using, we wanna provide a great experience. – So what has the team done
to deliver against that? – The last time I was on the show we talked about Windows
server version 1709. We also discussed some of the challenges with the multitude of
tools that you typically have to use to manage Windows. So, we’re moving to a
unified management hub. And let me switch on
over to Project Honolulu. Now, what this allows you to do is gives you the ability to
monitor and troubleshoot your Windows through this Honolulu portal. So let me walk you through it. And by the way,
if you’ve already started evaluating Honolulu I’ll point out some of the updates along the way. So the first thing I
wanna show you here is I’m at the Honolulu start page here at the server manager. And I’m gonna add some server connections. Now I can come in here and I can simply type in some of the names of these. But I’m gonna go into import servers, where in fact I’ve created a text file with a whole bunch of names of servers that I already have running. And I’m gonna simply submit those. And in fact, these are the
servers that I’m gonna manage. You can see here that I’ve
got four silver nodes here. These are my physical servers. These green and red nodes are
actually my Windows servers running in virtual machines. So let’s go ahead and
click on silver node one. And I’m connecting to it. I’m gonna point out that everything I’m running right here
is actually happening here on my Surface Pro. You can see here on the overview page you see most of the things
you would expect to see typically in task manager. For example I can see
CPU, memory, ethernet, additional things like that. I can see the computer name, the domain, and in fact if I want to change that, I can do all of that remotely by changing the name of the computer
or joining a work group or changing domains. Also I’m gonna point out devices. Now typically using the
traditional RSAT tools, I’ll have to leave the task manager and go to something like device manager. Well here in Project Honolulu, I can see for example my
devices like my network adaptor. I can click on my network adaptor. I can actually see, here’s the driver and here are the details
behind that driver as well. Another thing I commonly want to do is I want to take a look
at events on my server. So for example here I’m
gonna go to my event tool. And you can see here under Windows logs, I’m gonna take a look at
some of my security logs. Now you notice wow, I actually
have quite a few of these. I’m gonna take a look at these. So the first thing I wanna do is I wanna go here and filter this out. And we can easily filter these out to show you just the critical errors. So I don’t wanna see any of the warning or any of the verbose things. And if you used earlier versions
of the technical preview, you’ve probably noticed
that was a lot faster. We’ve done a whole bunch
of performance work under the hood to make
the Honolulu even faster. Next, let’s quickly move on over to files. Last thing I wanna show you of course, is that I can of course create files, I can manage files, all
remotely using Honolulu. For example, if I need
to create a new folder, simply create a new folder. Let’s call this a temp folder. Quickly click on submit. And just like that there’s
my new temp folder. So I can copy files to it. I can delete files. Things
you would normally expect. Now, one of the most requested features, and I wanna take a moment to say thank you to our folks on Windows Server UserVoice, is that we’ve actually had
folks providing us feedback and input for the things that they really wanted to see in Project Honolulu. And one of those things is remote desktop. – And remote desktop is definitely a tool that any Windows server
admin’s gonna want. – Yes. Now here we are
using RDP over HTML5. And I’m in a server core, and you can see, this is great, I’m running headless. Exactly the way you wanna manage a server. – [Matt] That is awesome. – [Jeff] So I’m able to
log in and you can see, this is simply just server core. Now, one of the other
top requested features I wanna show you of course is PowerShell. So one of the things people
tell us they wanna do is, you know, I get that Honolulu’s great for doing a lot of the common things? But what if I need to get
under the hood for example and I wanna be able to bring up a full command line in PowerShell? Well you can see, I
brought up a PowerShell. I’ve typed in get VM. And I get some statistics
on some of the VMs here. And by the way I should also point out that yeah, you have full
intellisense as well. So these were both
highly requested features from user voice. So we can now even remote into client PCs. This is also a brand
new feature in Honolulu. I’ll head up here,
instead of server manager, you can see we have computer management. And in fact I’m gonna go here. And just like I did before, I could simply add a computer
by typing in the name. Or in this case I’m also gonna go ahead and import a client
name to import as well. And in fact, here’s a client
system I can manage as well. And I can click on it.
I can connect to it. And you can see, I still
have a rich set of features. I can see an overview of the system, certificates, devices, events,
firewall configuration, and so much more. – [Matt] And you made it look easy. – [Jeff] Yes. – And it’s great to see RDP support on the new PowerShell
integration in Honolulu. And it opens up a lot
more management capability beyond just the common user interfaces. And, better still, it looks
a lot faster than last time. – Yes. So we saw PowerShell and Honolulu performing commands
against Windows machines. And when we think cross-platform, the new PowerShell core really delivers against the promise of managing any server from just about any device. So a few months back,
we announced PowerShell support for Linux. And now PowerShell version
six is generally available for common distros. Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, OpenSUSE, Fedora, and even beyond Linux,
we can run it on Mac OS. We even have a docker
container packaged up with PowerShell core. You can get to all of
these packages on GitHub. As well as community supported packages. In fact, over 50% of
the updates and changes in PowerShell V six,
came from the community. – Awesome stuff. And PowerShell, just like Honolulu, can be used remotely so, as
long as I have network access I’m good to go? So on premises and in Asia? – That’s right. In both cases, the tools
just need to be able to broker a connection to the resource and the server can be in the
cloud or in your data center. Now for resources in Azure you can even use CloudShell with
PowerShell to manage resources right from your browser. – Can we take a look? – Absolutely. On this system, I’ve enabled
the open SSH preview. And we’ve installed PowerShell Core 6.0. In visual studio code,
you can toggle the version of PowerShell in the
lower right hand corner to use PowerShell six. And we can now SSH into
Windows or Linux environments. Now here I am in VS code. So I’m gonna start a
session against a Windows and a Linux session. You can see their IP addresses here. And in fact, I’m gonna
run this invoke command against both machines. So the first thing I’m gonna do is I’m gonna select these three lines. And I’m gonna click run
selection or click F8. Now I’m prompted for passwords here. And I’m gonna type in the
password for my Linux system. And now for my Windows system. And now once I’ve logged into these both, I can run the invoke command. And what I’m gonna do is I wanna highlight the fact that I’m running
both of these processes mixed process, and I can
actually get a listing of both of these simultaneously. So, I’m gonna now run
these mixed processes. And I’m gonna run the selection again. And in fact you’re seeing a complete list of all of the processes
interspersed between, again both Windows and
Linux systems simultaneously in the same view. Now let’s do the same thing. And this time I’m gonna filter it so that I see for example
just the mixed processes starting with the letter S. So again, I’m gonna select this. I’m gonna highlight. Right click. Go to run selection or F8. And now you can see I have just a listing of all of the process that
start with the letter S. So think about what you’re seeing here. We have a unified connection
into Windows and Linux. We ran the same PowerShell Cmdlets to both platforms. And the result was the output
from both Windows and Linux in one unified console. So we can now use SSH now for
Windows and Linux platform, allowing true cross-platform
PowerShell remoting. And the great thing is that I don’t need the complexity to switch contexts. And if I’m already proficient
in PowerShell with Windows I’m basically ready to start
managing Linux as well. So now if I close that
connection and remove it into a Windows machine, I
can run the same Cmdlets and use the same syntax
there as well via SSH. – This is phenomenal, especially for heterogenous environments. And we’re seeing the
ability to easily manage from different sources and targets with command lines and GUIs, but going back to Honolulu for a minute, in the past we used things
like the remote server of the admin tools or RSAT, that tightly coupled the Windows client and the Windows Server version. Is this still the case? – No. Honolulu is much more flexible, providing you the ability
to install on Windows 10, or onto a jump box. So you can manage Windows Server 2016 all the way back to Windows
server 2012 with a browser. – Awesome. Now, earlier you mentioned that Honolulu is extensible. So does that mean we can
see more things coming? – Yes. Honolulu was built with
extensibility at its core. Each of the tools you see are actually plug-ins to Honolulu. And right now we’re currently
working with our partners of a private preview of the Honolulu SDK, and we’re working to deliver a public preview of the SDK soon. For example, we have
some hardware partners that are working with us around plug-ins for special hardware like support for things like VMCs and more. – Awesome. That will be cool. So lots of great updates
and more on the way. Now if you wanna get started with Honolulu and PowerShell core, where
should I get started? – Well you can download the installer for Project Honolulu at the link shown. And keep checking back to
Windows Server insiders for updates to when the
Honolulu SDK preview release is. If you wanna access PowerShell core, you can grab the installers from GitHub at the link shown. – Awesome, thanks Jeff. These tools are definitely
gonna come in handy for most of us admins
out there which is great. And that’s all the time
we have for this show. But of course, keep checking
back to Microsoft mechanics for the latest tech updates. See you soon. (electronic music)

13 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *