Microsoft’s new Windows Admin Center preview brings a pile of new features and fixes

Microsoft’s new Windows Admin Center preview brings a pile of new features and fixes

Microsoft has released a new preview of the Windows Admin Center 2012, its graphical tool for managing server clusters.

The new preview includes fixes for Azure login reliability issues, the Extension Manager, an upgrade to the SPDY-based HTTP/2 network protocol, GPU management tools, security features and disaster recovery features.

Microsoft also promises a more reliable Azure File Sync, bug fixes for the Files and File sharing features, and the ability to register Azure Stack hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) operating system clusters to Azure and change diagnostic data settings.

The preview contains user interface updates and support for new features released with the October 2020 Storage Migration Service cumulative update. On the storage front, admins can now see the replication status next to the status icon, and system insights in the Azure Stack HCI.

It also brings an isolation mode in the network section when creating a new virtual machine (VM) and better software defined networking (SDN) for VMs.

Windows Admin Center has gained a new tool to manage and Discrete Device Assign (DDA) GPUs to virtual machines running on a server, but it’s only available for users running the Azure Stack HCI.

Microsoft has opened up new secured-core server capabilities in the Security tool of Windows Admin Center.

This preview also brings Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) support for computers in a network. This allows for the exchange of data in memory without involving the processor, cache or operating system of other computers.

“Azure Stack HCI customers can fully leverage RDMA capable network adapters using the latest cluster-creation extension in Windows Admin Center,” explained Microsoft’s Brandon Le Blanc.

“The workflow automatically discovers the supported protocol (iWARP or RoCE V2) and guides with recommended settings for bandwidth and traffic priority.”

Finally, this release brings Azure Stack HCI stretch clusters for disaster recovery with automatic failover, and new OEM extensions to make it easier to install firmware and driver updates across a cluster.