Tag Archives: windows

Windows Admin Center – Rich Server Management Experience!

In last ignite (2017) Microsoft Released technical preview of “Project Honolulu” which aimed to provide light weight but powerful server management experience for windows users. I already covered it with detail blog post http://www.rebeladmin.com/2017/10/project-honolulu-better-windows-server-management-experience/ . Now the waiting is over and it is generally available as Windows Admin Center

As Windows Users we use many different MMC to manage roles/features.  We also use those to troubleshoot issues. If it is remote computers most of the time we keep RDP or use other methods to dial in. With Windows Admin Center now we can access all these consoles in one web based interface in secure, easy, well integrated way. It can connect other remote computers as well. 

Windows Admin Center features can list down as following,

Easy to Deploy –  It is easy to deploy. Can install in windows 10 or Windows 2016 server and start to manage device with in few minutes. 

Manage from Internal networks or external networks – This solution is web based. It can be access from internal network and same can publish to external networks with minimum configuration changes. 

Better Access Control – Windows Admin Center supports role based access control and gateway authentication option included local groups, Windows Active Directory and Azure Active Directory. 

Support for hyper-converged clusters – Windows Admin Center well capable of managing hyper-converged clusters including, 

Single console to manage compute, storage and networking

Create and Manage storage space direct features

Monitoring and Alerting 

Extensibility – Microsoft will offer SDK which will allow 3rd party vendors to develop solutions and allow to integrate with windows admin center to manage their solutions. 

How it Works?
 
Windows Admin Center have two components.
 
Web Server – It is the UI for Windows Admin Center and users can access it via HTTPS requests. It also can publish to remote networks to allow users to connect via web browser.
Gateway – Gateway is to manage connected servers via Remote PowerShell and WMI over WinRM. 
 
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Image Source – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/manage/windows-admin-center/media/architecture.png 
 
Which Systems Will Support?
 
WAC will come default with upcoming windows server 2019. At the moment it can install on windows 10 in desktop mode which connect to the WAC gateway from the same computer where it is installed. It can also install on windows server 2016 in gateway mode which allows to Connect to WAC gateway from a client browser on a remote machine. 
WAC can manage any systems from windows server 2012. 
 
What about System Center and OMS? 
 
This is not replacement for high end infrastructure management solution such as SCCM and OMS. WAC will add additional management experience, if you already have those solution in place. 
 
Azure Integration? 
 
Yes, WAC supports Azure Integration. Azure AD can use for WAC gateway authentication. By providing gateway access to Azure VNet, WAC can manage Azure VM. WAC can also manage Azure Site Recovery activities. 
 
Let’s see how we can get it running,
In my demo I am going to install WAC in windows server 2016. 
 
To install WAC,
 
1) Log in to the server as Administrator
2) Download WAC installation from http://aka.ms/WindowsAdminCenter
3) Double click on the .msi file to begin the installation.
4) In initial window accept the license terms and click Next
 
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5) Then it asks how you like to update it, select the default and click Next to proceed. 
 
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6) In next window select option to allow installed to modify trusted host settings. In same window we also can select to create desktop shortcut if needed. 
 
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7) In next window we can define the port and certificate for the management site. The default port is 443. In demo I am going to use self-sign cert. 
 
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8) Once installation completes, we can launch WAC using desktop icon or https://serverip (replace server ip with the IP address of the server or hostname)
 
Note – WAC not supported on IE. So, you need to use Edge or another browser to access it. 
 
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9) By default, it shows the server it is installed under “Server Manager”. In order to add another server, click on Windows Admin Center drop down, and select Server Manager
 
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10) Then click on Add
 
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11) Then type the FQDN for the server that you like to add. It should be able to resolve from the server. then click on Submit
 
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12) We also can add Windows 10 computers to WAC. To do that click on Windows Admin Center drop down and select Computer Management
 
 
wac10
 
 
13) Then click on Add
 
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14) Then type the FQDN for the PC that you like to add. It should be able to resolve from the server. then click on Submit
 
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Note – Windows 10 do not have Powershell or WinRM remoting by default. To enable it you must run Enable-PSRemoting from PowerShell windows running as admin.
 
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15) Once servers/pc are added you can connect to it by just clicking on the server/pc from the list. 
 
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16) For remote devices, it will ask as who you like to login. Provide the relevant admin login details and click on Continue
 
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17) Then it loads the related info for the server/pc
 
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Now we have basic setup of WAC. In next posts we are going to look in to different features of WAC. This marks the end of the blog post and hope it was useful. If you have any questions feel free to contact me on rebeladm@live.com also follow me on twitter @rebeladm to get updates about new blog posts.

Windows Azure Active Directory (WAAD)

4ac52e5b-b3ac-4fbd-bbc7-bd4bae8403da

In previous article I explain the difficulties had on “cloud” to extend organization’s identity management. Therefor most of the applications, services on cloud used to have their own identity stores.

With Windows Azure AD, it allows to extend the local infrastructure identity management to the cloud seamlessly to allow users to get self-service capabilities and single-sign-on access. So end users no need to worry about the way they can access organization’s resources, services etc. or where it’s located (on-premises or cloud).

In before when deal with identity management in hybrid cloud setup, most of time you need to “replicate” the setup on cloud and on-premises in order to get them work with proper access control. But Azure AD allows to “sync” with existing system and allows to control access management in central location.

Windows Azure Active Directory provides centralized identify management for office365, windows intune, over 1000 SaaS applications. Not only that it provides techniques, tools to integrate your own cloud-based application or services. It also allows to “sync” with in-house active directory environment using “DirSync” and AD FS (Active Directory Federation Services) features.

Currently there is 3 versions of Windows Azure Active Directory.

Free – Free edition allow you to sync with in-house active directory environments, get SSO with Azure services and thousands of Saas applications.

Basic – This version gets all the features of free version plus group-based access management, self-service password reset, windows azure active directory application proxy to publish on-premises web applications in to cloud. It also includes enterprise level SLA which guarantee 99.9% uptime. 

Premium – This version includes all the features of free and basic versions plus self-service group management, security reports and alerts, multi-factor authentication and Microsoft identity manager (MIM).

You can get more info from following nice video.

Major benefits of WAAD

1.    Centralized identify management – You can manage logins for AD or WAAD from any remote location and from any device.
2.    Advanced Access Control – you can set rules to control the access to cloud application and resources based on users, devices, locations etc.
3.    Single-Sign-On (SSO) – Provides SSO for cloud, on-premises resources and applications. It also supports for thousands of SaaS applications available in market.
4.    Application Proxy – we can allow external user access to applications published via in-built AD application proxy. Its access can control via rules and policies according to company requirements.
5.    Advanced Reporting – It provides daily usage reports, access reports. It also allow to use custom reporting based on azure Ad reporting API.

This is the end of the post and in next post lets see how to setup WAAD. If you have any question about the post, feel free to contact me on rebeladm@live.com

Image source: http://files.channel9.msdn.com/thumbnail/4ac52e5b-b3ac-4fbd-bbc7-bd4bae8403da.png

Step by Step guide to setup Active Directory on Windows Server 2008

This tutorial will explain how to install AD on server 2008. This will valid for windows 2008 R2 as well.

Requirement:

Minimum: Single processor with 1.4 GHz (x64 processor) or 1.3GHz (Dual Core)

Minimum: 512 MB RAM

Minimum: 32 GB or greater

  • The first step is to assign a ip to the server that you going to deploy the AD. Its nessary to install it as DNS server too. So its better to have fixed ip it doesn't mean you cannot install AD without fixed ip address but it will solve lot of issues if you used fixed ip.

In here the server ip is 10.0.0.14. Since we going to make it as DNS server too you should use the same ip as the preferred DNS server.

  • Next step is to install the Active directory roles. Unlikely the older version of windows servers Microsoft highly recommend to use server manager option to install roles before you run dcpromo.

 

  • Click on start menu and select the Server Manager

  • Select the roles from the right hand panel and click on add roles option.

  • From the roles list select the "Active Directory Domain Services" role and Click "Next"

  • Review the confirmation and click on "Next"

  • Review the installation confirmation and click on "Next"

  • It will take few minutes to complete and when its done you will get this confirmation. And then click on "Close"

After that you will need to do a reboot.

  • After reboot please open up the "server Manager" again. And then click on "Roles" there you will see the "Active Directory Domain Services" is successfully installed in there. click on it then you will get a window like below.

     

     

    In their please pay attention to the message

     

     

    So please click on that link and it will start the DCPROMO wizard.

     

  • So next step to go through the DC promo wizard.
  • To start the installation click on "Next"

  • Click on "Next"

  • Since we going to install New domain Controller in new forest please select the option "Create a new domain in new forest" option and click on "Next"

  • Now we have to provide the name for our domain controller. It must be FQDN. In our case I used rebeladmin.com as the domain. Please click "Next" after it.

  • In this window it will ask to select forest function level. If you going to add server 2003 domain controller to your forest later don't select the function level as server 2008. If you going to use full features of 2008 Ad you must select forest function level as server 2008. In my case I used server 2008. Click on "Next" after the select.

  • In next window since it's the first DC we should make it as DNS server too. Leave the default selection and click on "Next"

  • If the wizard cannot create a delegation for the DNS server, it displays a message to indicate that you can create the delegation manually. To continue, click "Yes"

  • In next window it will show up the database location. It its going to be bigger AD its good if you can keep NTDS database in different partition. Click on "Next" after changes.

  • In next window its asking to define a restore mode password. Its more important if you had to do a restore from backup in a server crash. Click on "Next" after filling it.

  • Next window is giving you a brief of the installation. Click on "Next"

  • Then it will start the installation of the AD. It will take some time to complete. After complete of the installation perform a server reboot.

  • After the reboot now you can login to the domain. Please use the login as following example

User name : your domain\administrator

Password : XXXXXXXX

  • Now its done and you can view the active directory options on administrative tools menu

Hope this tutorial is clear for you guys. If any question please ask me on rebeladm@live.com