Cloud and Datacenter Management Blog

Microsoft Hybrid Cloud blogsite about Management


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Windows Admin Center v2103 Available! What’s New #Winserv #Azure #Management #WindowsAdminCenter #MVPBuzz

Windows Admin Center v2103

With Windows Admin Center you can remotely manage Windows Server running anywhere—physical, virtual, on-premises, in Azure, or in a hosted environment.
The tool, available with your Windows Server license at no additional charge, consolidates and reimagines Windows OS tools in a single, browser-based, graphical user interface.
At Microsoft Ignite 2021 Global Virtual Event they launched Windows Admin Center version 2103. Here you find the download.

What’s New in Windows Admin Center v2103

WAC Updates Automatically

Events Tool ReDesign (Preview)

Great Overview of the Server Events 😉

Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows

Windows Admin Center in The Azure Portal 

Set Proxy Server in Windows Admin Center Settings.

Open in a Separate Window

This is a Separate Window on my Second Screen, this works Awesome!

Windows Admin Center Virtual Tool improvements 🙂

Conclusion

Microsoft is working hard to make Hybrid IT Management better for Administrators to manage Hybrid Cloud datacenters. Windows Admin Center is a must have for managing
Windows Server Core, AzureStack HCI, and Cluster Services. I can say: I love to work with Windows Admin Center 🙂

 

When you have feedback for the Product Team please do that here at User Voice


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Today is Microsoft Ignite 2021 Event of the Year #MSIgnite #Azure #Cloud #AzureStackHCI #Winserv and More

JOIN Microsoft Ignite 2021 Event

You don’t want to miss this Live Awesome Virtual Global Event of Microsoft 😉


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Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 10.0.20298 Available! #Winserv #WindowsServer2022 #WIMVP #WindowsInsiders #MSIgnite

Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 10.0.20298

Microsoft Windows Server Insider Team Released Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 10.0.20298, here you find more information on Tech Community

This Build is Available with :

  • Windows Server 2022 Standard (Core)
  • Windows Server 2022 Standard ( Desktop Experience)
  • Windows Server 2022 Datacenter ( Core)
  • Windows Server 2022 Datacenter ( Desktop Experience)

I Installed Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview with Windows Admin Center.

Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 10.0.20298 is Running 😉

And in Control of Windows Admin Center.

Download Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview here

Don’t forget this Awesome session at MSIgnite 2021 Event!

 


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Adding Windows Server 20H2 Core to Azure Arc Services with #WindowsAdminCenter #Winserv #Azure

Azure Arc Services

Azure Arc enabled servers allows you to manage your Windows and Linux machines hosted outside of Azure, on your On-premises network, or other cloud provider consistent with how you manage native Azure virtual machines. When a hybrid machine is connected to Azure, it becomes a connected machine and is treated as a resource in Azure. Each connected machine has a Resource ID, is included in a resource group, and benefits from standard Azure constructs such as Azure Policy and applying tags. Service providers who manage a customer’s on-premises infrastructure can manage their hybrid machines, just like they do today with native Azure resources, across multiple customer environments, using Azure Lighthouse with Azure Arc.

To deliver this experience with your hybrid machines hosted outside of Azure, the Azure Connected Machine agent needs to be installed on each machine that you plan on connecting to Azure. This agent does not deliver any other functionality, and it doesn’t replace the Azure Log Analytics agent. The Log Analytics agent for Windows and Linux is required when you want to proactively monitor the OS and workloads running on the machine, manage it using Automation runbooks or solutions like Update Management, or use other Azure services like Azure Security Center.

In earlier blogpost I wrote about Windows Admin Center and the Installation of Windows Server 20H2 Core version.

Now we have my Dark20H2.MVPLAB.LOCAL Windows Server Core managed by Windows Admin Center, I like to connect the Windows Server 20H2 Core to Azure Arc Services for Hybrid IT Management to get the benefits of the Cloud.

In the next step-by step guide we will enable Azure Arc Services by installing the agent on the Windows Server 20H2 Core.

Prerequisites

  • If you don’t have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.
  • Deploying the Arc enabled servers Hybrid Connected Machine agent requires that you have administrator permissions on the machine to install and configure the agent. On Linux, by using the root account, and on Windows, with an account that is a member of the Local Administrators group.
  • Before you get started, be sure to review the agent prerequisites and verify the following:
    • Your target machine is running a supported operating system.
    • Your account is granted assignment to the required Azure roles.
    • If the machine connects through a firewall or proxy server to communicate over the Internet, make sure the URLs listed are not blocked.
    • Azure Arc enabled servers supports only the regions specified here.

Open Azure Arc in the Portal.

Because I have already Azure Arc Active for my Azure Stack HCI Cluster in my MVPLAB.LOCAL, I will click on Servers on the left.

Click on Add

We will Generate a Script for the Single Windows Server 20H2 Core.
You can Add also Servers at Scale.

HTTPS Access to Azure Services is Needed
and
Local Administrator permissions, Click Next

Select the right Azure Subscription and the Resource Group.
Select the Azure Region and Operating System.
and the URL when you are behind a Proxy Server.
Click Next.

You can add Tags for Administrative tasks like Costs.
Click Next.

Here you can Copy and Paste the Script or Download it.
I downloaded the PowerShell Script.
Click on Close.

Windows Admin Center in action on Windows Server 20H2 Core

The Windows Server Dark20H2.mvplab.local is a basic installation and managed by Windows Admin Center

Now we have to do the following steps :

  1. Copy the Azure Arc PowerShell Script to the Server with WAC.
  2. Install Azure PowerShell on the Server
  3. Run the Azure Arc PowerShell Script.

1. Copy the Azure Arc PowerShell Script to the Server with WAC

First we use Windows Admin Center to make a directory on the Server for uploading the Azure Arc PowerShell Script.

I have made a Azure Arc directory with Windows Admin Center.
Click on Upload.

Browse to your Azure Arc PowerShell Script.

Click on Submit.

The Azure Arc PowerShell Script is now on the Server.

2. Install Azure PowerShell on the Server

In the following steps we will install Microsoft Azure PowerShell on the Server via Windows Admin Center.

Type: $PSVersionTable.PSVersion
You need at least PowerShell 5.1

  1. Install .NET Framework 4.7.2 or later.
  2. Make sure you have the latest version of PowerShellGet. Run Install-Module -Name PowerShellGet -Force

Run the following script :

———————————————————————-

if ($PSVersionTable.PSEdition -eq ‘Desktop’ -and (Get-Module -Name AzureRM -ListAvailable)) {
Write-Warning -Message (‘Az module not installed. Having both the AzureRM and ‘ +
‘Az modules installed at the same time is not supported.’)
} else {
Install-Module -Name Az -AllowClobber -Scope CurrentUser
}

———————————————————————–

Type Y or A ( Yes or Yes to All)

Installing the Azure PowerShell Modules.

Now we are ready for the Azure Arc PowerShell Script.

3. Run Azure Arc PowerShell Script on the Server.

From here we are going to install the Microsoft Azure Arc PowerShell Script to join this server to Azure Arc Services with an Agent.

Run   .\OnboardingScript (1).ps1
It will ask for a Device login to Azure with a Code.
I did that on the Windows Admin Center Server.

When you Login to Azure with your Account you will see this Screen.

The Next screen is the completion in Windows Admin Center PowerShell of the Windows Server 20H2 Core.

This Dark20H2.mvplab.local Server is now connected with Azure Arc Services.
Azure Arc Enabled Server.

Here we see the Windows Server 202H2 Core in Azure Arc.

Azure Arc Services

Installing Azure Arc Insights

Here we start with one of the Azure Arc Services on the On-Premises Windows Server 20H2 Core called Azure Arc Insights.

Click on Insights on the Left of the Azure Arc Server.
Click on Enable.

Select your Azure Subscription and Log Analytics Workspace.
Click on Enable.

Installation of Azure Arc Insights in progress……

It’s Ready and waiting for data in Azure.

Performance View of On-Prem Servers.

Azure Arc Service Map will come available

Conclusion

With Microsoft Azure Arc Services you get the Azure Cloud Management services connected with On-Premises Servers. You get Azure Security Center, Log Analytics, Azure Monitoring and Alerting, Update Management, Change tracking and Automation tasks. This is the power of Hybrid IT Management and get the best of Tools there is like Windows Admin Center supporting me with Windows Server 20H2 Core. Azure Arc Services with Kubernetes and Azure Stack HCI Management is powerful and with a Single pain of Glass in IT Management. Hope this helpful for you, and Go for it yourself. 😉

 

 


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#WindowsAdminCenter and Windows Server 20H2 Core with WSL2 #Ubuntu Distro #Winserv #WSL2

Windows Server 2019 Core and WSL 2 Ubuntu 18.04

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) gives you the most command-line tools, utilities, and applications directly on Windows. I’m using Microsoft Windows Admin Center and Windows Server Core 20H2 with Build version 19042.746 to deploy WSL 2 with Ubuntu 18.04 Linux Distro. Here you find the installation of the Windows Server Core 20H2 with Windows Admin Center

In the following steps we will install the Following :

  • Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)
  • Move from WSL 1.0 to WSL 2.0
  • Install Ubuntu 18.04 Linux distro

Installing Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

This will install the WSL Feature.
When it ask do you want to Restart select No, because we will install the Next Feature :

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName VirtualMachinePlatform

Select now Yes for Restarting the Server.

Moving from WSL 1.0 to WSL version 2.0

Before we Move from WSL version 1 to WSL version 2, we need a WSL Kernel Update.
Download here https://aka.ms/wsl2kernel

I Created a Share on the Windows Server via WIndows Admin Center.
And Uploaded the WSL_Update_X64.msi

Run WSL_Update_X64 and Click on Next.

Click on Finish

WSL –Set-Default-Version 2
Now we have Windows Subsystem for Linux version 2 Active.

Install Ubuntu 18.04 Linux Distro for WSL2

With the following Powershell Invoke-WebRequest we get Ubuntu 18.04


Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://aka.ms/wsl-ubuntu-1804 -OutFile ~/Ubuntu1804.zip -UseBasicParsing
md C:\Distros\Ubuntu1804
Expand-Archive ~/Ubuntu1804.zip C:\Distros\Ubuntu1804


Run Ubuntu 18.04

Ubuntu 18.04 is Running in WSL2 on Windows Server Core 20H2 😉

Conclusion

First of All Microsoft Windows Admin Center is supporting me in the Installation of Windows Subsystem for Linux. We have WSL 2 Running with Ubuntu 18.04 with a lot of possibilities!
What I really like is integration, like in Windows 10 and Docker for desktop with the WSL 2 Engine. Here my Blogpost
Together with VSCode Remote WSL is Cool.

Would be awesome to run Docker Windows and Linux Containers in combination with WSL 2 integration on Windows Server Core edition. Maybe in the Future, who knows?


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Happy Holidays and I wish you a Healthy 2021 #Azure #Cloud #MVPBuzz #Winserv #Security #Healthcare

It’s a year full of misery with the Covid-19 virus around the world. People who lose their loved one, It’s a very sad time for all of us! Microsoft technologies are still going on strong with new features in Azure Cloud Services but also supporting the people who are working in the healthcare, data analytics, Microsoft Teams for Collaboration and much more. But what I want to say to all HealthCare people over the world : THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE WORK YOU DO 👍
I have deep respect for you all !
Community, Microsoft Product Teams, MVP Lead, WIndows Insiders, I wish you and your family happy holidays and a Healthy 2021 with lot of Success! 🎄😍

 


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#WindowsAdminCenter – Installing Windows Server version 20H2 Core Build 10.0.19042 #Winserv #HybridIT #Azure

Windows Admin Center Hyper-V Host

Simplify server management

Manage all your server environments with familiar yet modernized tools, such as the reimagined Server Manager and streamlined MMC tools, from a single, browser-based, graphical user interface. Admins can manage Windows Server instances anywhere: on-premises, in Azure, or in any cloud.

Operate hybrid seamlessly

Extend on-premises deployments of Windows Server to the cloud by using the Azure hybrid services found in Windows Admin Center. Use Azure for:

  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • Additional capacity for compute, file servers and storage
  • Centralized management for monitoring, threat protection and update management

You can download Windows Admin Center here

In the following steps we will install Windows Server Core 20H2 version Build 10.0.19042 via Windows Admin Center on my Hyper-V Host called Starship01.mvplab.cloud.
I have Windows Admin Center already running for my MVPLAB with a Windows Server 2019 Hypervisor host. From here I will install a New Windows Server Core 20H2 Machine.

Click in the Left toolbar on Virtual Machines 
and then on Add New

Deployment settings for the New Virtual Machine.

Here we set the following settings :

  • Virtual Machine Name
  • Generation VM ( gen 2 is recommended )
  • The path of the VM settings and Disk
  • Virtual Processors
  • a mark for nested virtualization ( for the Hyper-V feature )
  • Memory
  • Network / Virtual Switch
  • Storage

 

When you Add Storage you can select also the new ISO file for Installation.

I changed the Size of the Operating Disk from 127GB to 50GB
And I selected the path to the Windows Server Core 20H2 ISO.
Then Click on Create.

Windows Admin Center will create the Virtual Machine really fast.

Now the Window Virtual Machine Dark20H2 is created by Windows Admin Center on the Hyper-V Host, we can do the Windows Server Core 20H2 Installation by starting the Virtual Machine.

Before you Start running the VM, have a look at the settings

If you want you can set more Security features here.
You can set Encryption and Security Policy.

Start the Virtual Machine here for Installation of Windows Server Core 20H2
( The ISO is connected )

Installation of Windows Server Core 20H2 version Build 10.0.19042

The virtual Machine is running and now we can connect it via Windows Admin Center to do the installation of Windows Server.

Click on Connect

Use your Windows Admin Center account and mark
for the certificate. Then Click on Connect

Here we see the Console for the Windows Server Installation.

Install Now.

The Windows Server Core 20H2 is Installed.

Of course you can now configure the Machine via SConfig.exe, I only gave the Server name and a static IP address with DNS.

Via Windows Admin Center ( Manage) you can add the Machine to the domain.

Add the Server to the domain with your account and Click on Join

Server will Restart, Click on Yes

Dark20H2 Joined the Domain MVPLAB.CLOUD Successfully

 Adding the Windows Server Core 20H2 to Windows Admin Center

Add Dark20H2.mvplab.cloud to Windows Admin Center.

Of course I want to manage the server with Windows Admin Center and use all the tools I need to securely manage this Server.

Windows Server Core 20H2 in Windows Admin Center.

First thing what I do in my MVPLAB is Windows Updates.

December Updates for Windows Server Core 20H2

Updates Installed Successfully 🙂

Azure Hybrid Services

Azure Hybrid Services

You can extend on-premises deployments of Windows Server to the cloud by using Azure hybrid services. These cloud services provide an array of useful functions, both for extending on-premises into Azure, and for centrally managing from Azure. Think of :

  • Azure Backup Services
  • Azure Monitoring Services
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Azure File Sync Services
  • Azure Security Center / Azure Defender Services

Here you find more information about Azure Hybrid Services

Conclusion

Windows Admin Center is a must have when you have to manage Windows Server Core versions, you don’t have to worry about all the Commands of Windows Server Core. With Windows Admin Center it becomes easy to do the complete installation of the server and this include also all features of Windows Server Core 202H2 Build 10.0.19042. It becomes really powerful when you use it in a Hybrid way by connecting to Microsoft Azure Cloud Services. Earlier I wrote a blogpost about Windows Admin Center and Azure Security Center

I Hope this is useful for you, and start your journey with Windows Admin Center & Windows Server Core versions 😉

JOIN the Windows Admin Center Community Group on LinkedIn


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What’s New in Azure Security Center! #ASC #Security #Azure #SecOps #SIEM

What’s New in Azure Security Center

Security Center is in active development and receives improvements on an ongoing basis. To stay up to date with the most recent developments, this page provides you with information about new features, bug fixes, and deprecated functionality.

November 2020

Updates in November include:

Azure Defender

Microsoft Azure Defender Dashboard

Azure Security Center’s features cover the two broad pillars of cloud security:

  • Cloud security posture management (CSPM) – Security Center is available for free to all Azure users. The free experience includes CSPM features such as secure score, detection of security misconfigurations in your Azure machines, asset inventory, and more. Use these CSPM features to strengthen your hybrid cloud posture and track compliance with the built-in policies.
  • Cloud workload protection (CWP) – Security Center’s integrated cloud workload protection platform (CWPP), Azure Defender, brings advanced, intelligent, protection of your Azure and hybrid resources and workloads. Enabling Azure Defender brings a range of additional security features as described on this page. In addition to the built-in policies, when you’ve enabled any Azure Defender plan, you can add custom policies and initiatives. You can add regulatory standards – such as NIST and Azure CIS – as well as the Azure Security Benchmark for a truly customized view of your compliance.

Here you can read about Microsoft Azure Defender on Docs.

Additional threat protections in Azure Security Center

Microsoft Azure Security Center Team is working hard on additional threat protections for :

  • Threat protection for Azure Network Layer
  • Threat protection for Azure Resource Manager ( Preview)
  • Threat Protection for Azure Cosmos DB ( Preview)
  • Threat Protection for Azure WAF
  • Threat Protection for Azure DDoS Protection

More information about additional Threat protections here on Docs.

What is Azure Sentinel?

Microsoft Azure Sentinel is a scalable, cloud-native, security information event management (SIEM) and security orchestration automated response (SOAR) solution. Azure Sentinel delivers intelligent security analytics and threat intelligence across the enterprise, providing a single solution for alert detection, threat visibility, proactive hunting, and threat response.

Read here more about Microsoft Azure Sentinel

Who to follow on Social Media for Azure Security Center

On twitter you have to follow Principal Program Manager at Microsoft C+AI Security Yuri Diogenes : @yuridiogenes

On YouTube you can subscribe to Azure Security Center in the Field ( #ascinthefield) YouTube

Microsoft Azure Security Center Website

Microsoft Azure Sentinel Website

On Microsoft Tech Community platform : Become an Azure Security Ninja

On LinkedIn JOIN the Microsoft Azure Monitor & Security for Hybrid IT Community Group

 


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Azure Arc Security remediation on Azure Stack HCI Cluster #Azure #Security #ASC #AzureStackHCI

Azure ARC Services

Microsoft Azure Arc enables you to manage your entire environment, with a single pane of glass, by projecting your existing resources into Azure Resource Manager. You can now manage virtual machines, Kubernetes clusters, and databases as if they are running in Azure. Regardless of where they live, you can use familiar Azure services and management capabilities. Azure Arc enables you to continue using traditional ITOps, while introducing DevOps practices to support new cloud native patterns in your environment.

IT Management with Azure ARC

With Microsoft Windows Admin Center I Build a Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Cluster and the Nodes are connected with Azure Arc Services. In the following steps you will see a security feature of Microsoft Azure Arc Services with remediation of the Risks on the Azure Stack HCI Cluster On-premises.

Azure Arc Security Remediation

Here you see the Azure Arc Servers with Azure Stack HCI

On Skywalker01 Node we have two Security Risks

When you click on the risk, you see the description and the remediation steps to solve this risk issue. Here you can also see the remediation script:

Automatic Remediation Script. 

Select the Azure workspace ID and when you don’t have one you can Create new Workspace in Azure.
Select the resource, in my case Skywalker01
Click on remediate resource.

Remediation in progress

The Microsoft Azure Monitor Agent extension in Azure Arc is successfully installed.

Done.

I did the same for Skywalker02 Azure Stack HCI Cluster Node.

The Next Medium Risk is a Vulnerability assessment on the Azure Stack HCI Cluster nodes. Just follow the steps of the wizard.

Azure Arc Security Vulnerability Assessment with Azure Defender

Click on remediate.

This one will use Qualys in Azure Defender.

Click on remediate resource.

The vulnerability scanner included with Azure Security Center is powered by Qualys. Qualys’ scanner is one of the leading tools for real-time identification of vulnerabilities. It’s only available with Azure Defender for servers. You don’t need a Qualys license or even a Qualys account – everything’s handled seamlessly inside Security Center.

Here you find more information about Azure Defender’s integrated vulnerability assessment solution for Azure and hybrid machines

Azure Arc Insights Monitor

Azure Arc Insights of the Azure Stack HCI Cluster Node

Because we have installed the Microsoft Azure Monitor extension in Azure Arc on this Azure Stack HCI Node Server, telemetry and analytics will do his job for Monitoring in Azure and data will be collected. In Azure maps you see the connectivity of the Server.

 

Here you can see the Fired Alerts by severity and Investigate 🙂

You can monitor the Traffic

Here you find more information about Insights and Maps for your Servers

Conclusion

Here you see the power of Hybrid IT management via Microsoft Azure Arc services and get Azure Cloud services for your On-premises Servers. You have the Free Microsoft Windows Admin Center Tool and integration with Azure Arc for all the innovative tools like Azure Monitor, Azure Security Center, Azure Defender, Update management and more. I hope you see the benefits too, Get started Today !

JOIN the Microsoft Azure Monitor & Security for Hybrid IT Community

 


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Deploying Azure Stack HCI Cluster with Windows Admin Center #WAC #AzureStackHCI #WindowsAdminCenter #Hyperv #AKS

Azure Stack HCI is a Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) cluster solution that hosts virtualized Windows and Linux workloads and their storage in a hybrid on-premises environment. Azure hybrid services enhance the cluster with capabilities such as cloud-based monitoring, Site Recovery, and VM backups, as well as a central view of all of your Azure Stack HCI deployments in the Azure portal. You can manage the cluster with your existing tools including Windows Admin Center, System Center, and PowerShell.

Azure Stack HCI, version 20H2 is a new operating system now in Public Preview and available for download. It’s intended for on-premises clusters running virtualized workloads, with hybrid-cloud connections built-in. As such, Azure Stack HCI is delivered as an Azure service and billed on an Azure subscription. Azure Stack HCI also now includes the ability to host the Azure Kubernetes Service; for details, see Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI.

Get Started with Azure Stack HCI and Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center is a locally deployed, browser-based app for managing Azure Stack HCI. The simplest way to install Windows Admin Center is on a local management PC (desktop mode), although you can also install it on a server (service mode).

If you install Windows Admin Center on a server, tasks that require CredSSP, such as cluster creation and installing updates and extensions, require using an account that’s a member of the Gateway Administrators group on the Windows Admin Center server. For more information, see the first two sections of Configure User Access Control and Permissions.

Before you begin, you have to know that Azure Stack HCI is still in Preview and not for Production usage ready. But I’m installing it in my MVPLAB for testing purpose only and learn all the New Features.

What’s New in Azure Stack HCI

Clusters running Azure Stack HCI, version 20H2 have the following new features as compared to Windows Server 2019-based solutions:

  • New capabilities in Windows Admin Center: With the ability to create and update hyper-converged clusters via an intuitive UI, Azure Stack HCI is easier than ever to use.
  • Stretched clusters for automatic failover: Multi-site clustering with Storage Replica replication and automatic VM failover provides native disaster recovery and business continuity to clusters that use Storage Spaces Direct.
  • Affinity and anti-affinity rules: These can be used similarly to how Azure uses Availability Zones to keep VMs and storage together or apart in clusters with multiple fault domains, such as stretched clusters.
  • Azure portal integration: The Azure portal experience for Azure Stack HCI is designed to view all of your Azure Stack HCI clusters across the globe, with new features in development.
  • GPU acceleration for high-performance workloads: AI/ML applications can benefit from boosting performance with GPUs.
  • BitLocker encryption: You can now use BitLocker to encrypt the contents of data volumes on Azure Stack HCI, helping government and other customers stay compliant with standards such as FIPS 140-2 and HIPAA.
  • Improved Storage Spaces Direct volume repair speed: Repair volumes quickly and seamlessly.

In the Following Step-by-Step guide we install Azure Stack HCI Cluster with Windows Admin Center.

 

Click on Add and then Create New Server Cluster.

Choose for Azure Stack HCI.

Here you can also choose for both Azure Stack HCI nodes are in the same Site or you have more Azure Stack HCI Nodes in Two Sites for disaster Recovery and Business Continuity.
In my MVPLAB I have all Azure Stack HCI nodes in One Site. More information about Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Stretching Clusters can be found here.

Prerequisites before you begin with Windows Admin Center wizard for Creating Azure Stack HCI Cluster.

This is what I like about Windows Admin Center, supporting you in all steps and choices for making an Azure Stack HCI Cluster with Storage Spaces Direct.

 

Specify your administrator Account and password and add the Azure Stack HCI Node Servers

Add the Nodes to the Domain.

Install Required Features on the Azure Stack HCI Node Servers

Install Updates on the Azure Stack HCI Node Servers

Here you get options from your hardware vendor
I don’t get this because it’s virtual.

Restart the Azure Stack HCI Node Servers and Click Next Networking

Networking adapters are UP and Running.

When you have Enough Nics in your Azure Stack HCI Node Server, you can choose here for a Teamed Management NIC.
I choose for a single management NIC.
Plan your Azure Stack HCI Node network

Configure your Production and Storage network

Here you can configure different Switches for your workloads.
Windows Admin Center will work with Software Defined Networking (SDN)
I Skipped this in my MVPLAB.

Before creating the Azure Stack HCI Cluster, we have to Validate the Cluster first.

When the Cluster Validation is done, you can download the Cluster Validation report.

Here we give the Cluster a Name and a static IP.
Click Create Cluster.

Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Cluster is created 😉
Click Next for Storage.

Click Next

I Got some small disks Click Next.

Storage is validated and suitable for Storage Spaces Direct.

Storage Spaces Direct is enabled on your Azure Stack HCI Cluster.
Click Next for SDN

Here you can configure the Network Controller for the Azure Stack HCI Cluster

Done your Azure Stack HCI Cluster is made 🙂

Here we have the Dashboard in Windows Admin Center of my Azure Stack HCI Cluster

Management of your Azure Stack HCI Cluster

Managing your Azure Stack HCI Cluster with Windows Admin Center is important, because I have connected WAC with my Azure Subscription I can use Azure Monitor.
From here the Cluster is also connected with my Analytics workspace of Azure Monitor.

Azure Stack HCI Cluster Nodes connected with Azure Monitor.

With Windows Admin Center you can manage the Azure Stack HCI updates with Cluster Aware Updating (CAU) without any downtime for your workloads.


Start Cluster Aware Updating

Click on Install

One Azure Stack HCI Node is waiting and the other is Installing.

Now the other Azure Stack HCI Node is Installing the Update.

Updates Succeeded on both Azure Stack HCI Nodes.

Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Cluster is Running

Create your Virtual Machine on Azure Stack HCI Cluster.

Conclusion

Windows Admin Center supports you all the way for making your Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Cluster in easy steps deployment wizard. Of course you can make also your own PowerShell deployment scripts when you have to make more Azure Stack HCI Clusters for different platforms like Deploying virtual machines or AKS Kubernetes Clusters for Container Applications or a SQL environment.
Here you find more information about PowerShell commands

After deploying Azure Stack HCI Clusters with your own PowerShell Script, you can add the Cluster into Windows Admin Center for IT Management.
The Installation time of the Cluster is really fast. I hope this will give you more inside information about the Preview of Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Cluster and Windows Admin Center better Together!
Next Step is AKS Kubernetes on Azure Stack HCI 😉

Kubernetes Containers on your Azure Stack HCI