The always-popular Windows Server management tool gets an update to version 2103 just in time for Ignite 2021. In fact, you can download yourself a new copy right away from Akamai: https://aka.ms/downloadWAC. But why should you care that a new Windows Admin Center makes Ignite debut? Keep reading, and I’ll give some reasons…
Who Cares if New Windows Admin Center Makes Ignite Debut
If you work in or around Windows environments as an admin, you should! Happily, the list of updates and enhancements to WAC (Windows Admin Center) underscores this:
- The tool now supports IoT Edge for Linux on Windows.
- WAC is available in preview as an Azure-based portal application.
- Indeed, the tool itself now handles in-app updates, so it can update itself automatically, and do likewise add-ins and third-party extensions
- Gateway proxy support is now enabled in the tool’s Proxy tab
- Privacy settings are now easily accessible in the Diagnostic & Feedback tab (users can limit what is sent to MS)
- Different tools within WAC can appear in individual pop-out windows.
- Events have been substantially reworked and shows that MS is spending some development cycles on the Event Viewer. (Currently, an incomplete, preview version is available: curious users must enable/disable this facility using a UI toggle in WAC).
- The VM tool is expanded and enhanced to boost integration services, provide editable columns and groups, and gets a new ability to edit virtual switches when making VM moves.
- The Azure Stack HCI gets some updates, too. Most notably, for cluster deployment and for OEM snap-ins to let IT pros deploy and use 3rd-party extensions more quickly and easily.
- Partners are jumping on the WAC bandwagon. These include Dell EMC OpenManager (v2.0), Lenovo XClarity Integrator, and Data ON Must Pro, among others. Indeed, this promises to be an active aftermarket.
In other words, there’s a lot of new stuff showing up in WAC. Those who already use the tool will find a lot to like. Those just getting to know the tool will find a lot to learn and understand.
Video: What’s New in WAC 2103 (from Ignite)
Announcement: WAC 2103 Now Generally Available (the announcement is laden with links to more video, documentation, and training materials).
MS Docs: Windows Admin Center Overview
Actually, there’s plenty of helpful stuff on WAC online for admins. To be sure, it’s an embarrassment of riches. Still need convincing? Run this Google Search: site:docs.microsoft.com Windows Admin Center.