Windows Admin Center version 2306 is now available in public preview!

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Today, we are releasing our latest version of Windows Admin Center to public preview – version 2306! Thank you to our customers, partners, and fans for helping us to continue to improve and make Windows Admin Center better!

In this release, we’ve made improvements across our entire product! From updates to our platform, improving your core tool management experiences, introducing new features, and bridging more of the gap for the legacy tool parity. We hope you’ll read on and share in our excitement for the new features we’re introducing this summer.



Platform updates




WDAC support for servers, client, and clusters is now GA

Last year, we introduced the preview for Windows Admin Center to manage WDAC-enforced servers, client machines, and clusters. After hearing your feedback, and making major improvements, we’re excited to say that this support is now generally available!



With thousands of new malicious files created every day, traditional methods like antivirus solutions - signature-based detection to fight against malware – only provide one aspect of your defense in depth strategy.



In most organizations, information is the most valuable asset. Ensuring that only approved users have access to that information is imperative. However, when a user runs a process, that process typically has the same level of access to data that the user has. As a result, sensitive information could easily be deleted or transmitted out of the organization if a user knowingly or unknowingly runs malicious software.



Windows Defender application control (WDAC) can help mitigate many security threats by restricting the applications that users are allowed to run and the code that runs in the System Core (kernel). Application control policies can also block unsigned scripts and MSIs, and restrict Windows PowerShell to run in Constrained Language Mode. Learn more about Application Control for Windows.



Windows Admin Center now fully supports managing servers and clusters with Constrained Language Mode enabled (with the right WDAC policy in place). The experience in Windows Admin Center is no different – simply add your server, client, or cluster and use Windows Admin Center as you always do. Learn more.



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Gateway registration and Azure sign-in improvements

In this release, we’ve improved a few scenarios with gateway registration and Azure sign-in experiences, including fixing an issue with stale registration and sign-in data in the Azure Stack HCI registration workflow. We also added a bigger delay between the creation of a new application ID and logging in to Azure to reliably finish gateway registration.



Tool updates




Improved Hyper-V Virtual machine management

The Hyper-V virtual machine management tool has improved multiple experiences. These include move virtual machine between clusters, move virtual machine with storage, and much more! Our vision is make Hyper-V tool your go to tool to manage your virtual machines!



In this Public Preview, here are some examples of what you will see:

  • Ability to download your VM list with corresponding properties as CSV file
  • Feature to pop out a VM’s RDP session
  • Ability to configure the VM to be highly available



Cluster-aware event viewer

Recently we updated our Events tool for servers with an improved interface to better serve your management needs. We’re continuing to invest in the ability to view and analyze the events from your systems in this release with the preview of the Events tool for clusters!



The cluster-aware version of the Events tool collects data from all nodes within a cluster and presents it in a unified interface. You can create and modify workspaces, save and delete them, and open existing workspaces to pick up right where you left off. In addition to the filters that are present in the Events tool for server, including event sources, levels, and IDs, we’ve also added a filter to the cluster-aware version of this tool to filter by node in the cluster. We’ve also improved the tool to better handle larger volumes of data and load results quickly. This interface provides a consistent experience whether you’re managing single servers or multi-node clusters.



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File editor

We have heard that convenient file access has been a challenge, especially with .txt or .log files. You are now able to modify these files right here in Windows Admin Center and save your changes without ever having to leave this tool or switch context. Editable files will show up as blue, click-able items in your file directory under the “Files & file sharing” tool.



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Azure Arc status

Azure Arc-enabled servers lets you manage Windows and Linux physical servers and virtual machines hosted outside of Azure, on your corporate network, or other cloud provider. Windows Admin Center provides an Azure Arc for servers onboarding experience through our Azure hybrid center. In this update, you don’t have to navigate to the Azure Arc for Servers blade in your server settings to view the status of your Azure Arc-enabled machine. There is now a new field on the Overview page that displays your Azure Arc agent status.



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In this release, you may see errors on the Overview page if your Windows Admin Center gateway is not registered with Azure. This is a known issue that will be addressed before this version of Windows Admin Center is generally available.



Context menu integration

Accessibility is a constant priority for Windows Admin Center. We know that some users prefer to use the keyboard instead of the mouse to navigate Windows Admin Center, and that keyboard navigation can occasionally be inconvenient. That’s why we’ve added a context menu. The context menu shows the extension actions by pressing the keyboard shortcut Shift+F11. From here, you can quickly perform extension actions and reduce the amount of time you must spend navigating the webpage. While this feature is not available for every extension just yet, we have expanded the context menu integration to cover more tools in this release, including:

  • Local users & groups
  • Certificates
  • Networks
  • Devices
  • Firewall
  • Apps & features
  • Registry



We will continue to roll out the context menu feature to additional extensions to ensure users who prefer keyboard navigation can get their tasks done efficiently.



Azure Stack HCI deployment & management




Azure Stack HCI Security Settings

With the Azure Stack HCI supplemental package, HCI is a secure-by-default product and has more than 200 settings enabled by default. These settings provide a consistent security baseline and ensure that the device always starts in a known good state. The security baseline on Azure Stack HCI:

  • Enables you to closely meet Center for Internet Security (CIS) benchmark and Defense Information System Agency (DISA) Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) requirements for the operating system (OS) and the Microsoft recommended security baseline.
  • Reduces the operating expenditure (OPEX) with its built-in drift protection mechanism and consistent at-scale monitoring via the Azure Arc Hybrid Edge baseline.
  • Improves the security posture by disabling legacy protocols and ciphers.



Windows Admin Center provides an experience for you to easily look at the status of a set of crucial security settings, and toggle settings that do not meet the security requirements. It allows you to view and manage your WDAC status and configure settings such as maintaining security defaults (drift control), Signing for SMB traffic, Side Channel mitigation, and many more!



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New HCI Diagnostics tool

If you have an HCI cluster running with the supplemental package. There will be a new diagnostics tool available. With this new tool, users are now able to proactively collect logs, with the flexibility to enable or disable this at will. These logs are sent straight to Azure by default. You can collect your logs on-demand, download them to your local machine, and view the history of logs collected from the last 90 days. Furthermore, you have the ability to specify a time when logs will be sent so you can automate your workflow and tasks.



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Move a volume to another server

The Volumes tool in Cluster Manager now contains a ‘Move’ button. This enables you to move a volume to another server in the cluster. You can verify which server currently owns the volume by adding the ‘Server’ column to the Inventory table. Learn more.



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Storage Spaces and pools settings

The Storage Spaces and pools Settings section in Cluster Manager now contains 3 new settings: Status, Health status and Capacity alert threshold. The Status and Health status values can help alert the user of unexpected storage or S2D issues. The Capacity alert threshold dropdown lets the user select a threshold between 50% and 100%. When the storage pool fills to this threshold, a notification will be displayed on the Dashboard.



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Windows Admin Center in Azure




Windows Admin Center in Azure continuously releases new updates on a monthly basis, providing you with the latest and greatest that Windows Admin Center has to offer.



AAD Authentication for Azure Stack HCI

Last year, we introduced Azure AD authentication for Windows Admin Center in Azure for Windows Server machines, but Azure Stack HCI clusters still required you to enter your local administrator credentials for management.



We’re happy to announce that Azure AD authentication is now supported for Azure Stack HCI clusters too! As long as your Azure AD identity is part of the “Windows Admin Center Administrator Login” role, that’s all you need to start managing your cluster using Windows Admin Center in Azure to manage your cluster. You can:

  • Reduce reliance on local administrator accounts
  • Get SSO to your Azure Stack HCI cluster
  • Use all the protection and security with Azure AD Conditional Access and Identity Protection that are enforced for the Azure Portal (multifactor authentication, compliant device, user/sign-in risk, and others) to protect your Azure Stack HCI cluster
  • Use Azure RBAC to grant the appropriate access to clusters based on need and remove it when it’s no longer needed



Download today!


We hope you enjoy this latest update of Windows Admin Center, the various new functionality in preview, and all the extensions now available. Learn more and download today!



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As always, thanks for your ongoing support, adoption, and feedback. Your contributions through user feedback continue to be vital and valuable to us, helping us prioritize and sequence our investments.



Windows Admin Center is continuously evolving and growing as a tool and a platform, and we are beyond thrilled to have you part of our journey.



To skill up on Windows Admin Center and Windows Server 2022, check out our Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Certification and other featured Learn courses.



Thank you,


Windows Admin Center Team (@servermgmt)



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