With Microsoft Prerelease Software like Windows Server Insider Preview Builds, you can experience and test the new features in your Test environment before it’s GA and in your production datacenter(s). First you have to register for the Windows Server Insider program here
Then you can download the Windows Server Insider Preview Build.
I’m updating my mvplab.local domain.
With this you can Build your own test environment and experience the new features in Windows Server Insider Preview Builds.
The Microsoft Windows Server Insider Team is also on Microsoft Tech Community.
Windows Server Long-Term Servicing Channel Preview in ISO format in 18 languages, and in VHDX format in English only.
Windows Server Datacenter Azure Edition Preview in ISO and VHDX format, English only.
Microsoft Server Languages and Optional Features Preview
Keys: Keys are valid for preview builds only
Server Standard: MFY9F-XBN2F-TYFMP-CCV49-RMYVH
Azure Edition does not accept a key
Expiration: This Windows Server Preview will expire September 15, 2023.
Installing Windows Server Insider Preview Build 25314
With this you can build great Hybrid Solutions with Windows Server Insider Preview Build Clusters which is connected with
Microsoft Azure Arc Services for Azure Hybrid IT Solutions. In this way you can test new experiences before you go into production and learn a lot of what you can do! Here you can read more about Azure Arc enabled Servers
My Domain Controller is Up-to-date with the Newest Windows Server Insider Preview Build 25314 for now 😉
With Windows Server Insider Preview Build you can make your own environment, with your own domain, Clusters, Hybrid Servers or build your environment for Containers. You can experience and test for example Windows Server Insider Preview Azure edition with Hot Patching feature on. Start today with Microsoft Windows Server Insider Preview Builds and Share your feedback with Microsoft.
With Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal you can manage the Windows Server operating system of your Arc-enabled servers, known as hybrid machines. You can securely manage hybrid machines from anywhere–without needing a VPN, public IP address, or other inbound connectivity to your machine.
With Windows Admin Center extension in Azure, you get the management, configuration, troubleshooting, and maintenance functionality for managing your Arc-enabled servers in the Azure portal. Windows Server infrastructure and workload management no longer requires you to establish line-of-sight or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)–it can all be done natively from the Azure portal. Windows Admin Center provides tools that you’d normally find in Server Manager, Device Manager, Task Manager, Hyper-V Manager, and most other Microsoft Management Console (MMC) tools.
In the following steps we will install Azure Windows Admin Center (Preview) on a Microsoft Azure Arc enabled Server from the Azure Portal.
Click on Windows Admin Center (Preview) on the Left side.
Then click op Setup
Set the port.
Click on Install
Installing extension Windows Admin Center
At the Activity log you can follow the installation.
and See the Quick Insights
No Problems here 😉
Sign in with your Username and Password
Running Windows Admin Center from the Azure Portal.
Azure Windows Admin Center of the Azure Arc enabled Server.
PowerShell session remote on the Azure Arc enabled Server.
Events of the Azure Arc enabled Server.
With Microsoft Azure Windows Admin Center and Azure Arc enabled Servers you can manage your servers from anywhere.
You got all the benefits of Microsoft Azure Hybrid features. Try it yourself, Windows Admin Center is still in preview and for testing only.
You can experience this awesome Azure Hybrid solution before it goes in production 😉
I like to thank you Community for Supporting, Sharing and Reading New Microsoft technologies on my Blog, Twitter, Facebook and
LinkedIn Community Groups 💗 I wish you all happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year 2023 may the Best Wishes comes true ! 🎄🥂
I’m very proud and Honored on the Microsoft Global MVP Awards 2022-2023 !
MVP Award for Cloud and Datacenter Management
MVP Award for Windows Insiders
MVP Award for Azure Hybrid
Thank you Microsoft Product Groups, MVP Award Program, Windows Insider Team, Azure Hybrid Team, Windows Server and Azure Stack HCI Team for all your support, NDA PGI sessions, and for the Awesome software, Features, solutions you are building 🙂
Wish you all Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year 2023 may the Best Wishes comes true ! 🎄🥂
Here are some Great links for Reading and Sharing :
JOIN these LinkedIn Community Groups for free and Share New Microsoft Technologies Together:
In the last blogpost of MVPLABSerie we learned how to add Servers from anywhere to Microsoft Azure Arc services to get the Azure Hybrid benefit with awesome features and Management tools. you can find that blogpost over here:
With Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal you can manage the Windows Server operating system of your Arc-enabled servers, known as hybrid machines. You can securely manage hybrid machines from anywhere–without needing a VPN, public IP address, or other inbound connectivity to your machine.
Open Servers and open your Azure Arc Enabled Server.
First of all we have to add the right Role assignment.
Click on Access Control on the Left.
Click on Add => Add Role Assignment.
Here you have to add the following Role Assignment. Windows Admin Center Administrator Login. Add this to your account
When the account is done, then go to Windows Admin Center (Preview)
on the left panel. Click then on Setup.
Click on Install
Now you can Connect your Azure Arc Enabled Windows Server.
Here we have my Storage Windows Insider Server in mvplab.local domain.
From here you can do your IT Management with WAC.
Remote PowerShell on Azure Arc enabled Server.
Microsoft Azure Arc Insights Monitoring and Log Analytics
For IT Management and troubleshooting, monitoring and getting Insights is important to act quickly to keep the business and IT solutions running. With Azure Arc Insights you can see with Maps the connections of the Windows Server.
Azure Arc Insights with Map.
See also the Quick Link to Connection details
This is a really cool overview of your connections.
Here you can see if you have a Malicious connection!
Here I do a Query on the Arc Enabled Server mvpstore01 Update Summary.
There are a lot of Log Analytics queries to play with and mark them as your favorite for your Arc enabled Windows Server 😉
In the following blogpost we will have a closer look at Microsoft Azure Auto Manage and Update Management Center for
Microsoft Azure Arc enabled Windows Servers. We will not forget Security with Azure Defender for Cloud coming in the next blogposts.
With Microsoft Azure Arcenabled Servers you get a Microsoft Azure Hybrid environment with Great features and solutions.
Some features are still in preview and not supported for production workloads, but you can test them now like I do with my mvplab.local
This new innovative technology is going fast forward for Azure Hybrid Services to Manage your Windows Servers, Azure Stack HCI Clusters or your Linux virtual Machines. Azure Arc rocks and you can connect Microsoft Azure Anywhere 🙂
In my last MVPLAB Serie blogpost, I wrote about setting-up a Microsoft Domain mvplab.local and making a Windows Server Insider Cluster with an iSCSI Target Host Server for Shared iSCSI Storage provisioning. First thing I did was Installing Windows Admin Center for Hybrid IT Management. With WAC we can Manage the Cluster Nodes but also the Cluster, Installing new features via Windows Admin Center like Kubernetes for running Containers and microservices. But first we start with Microsoft Cluster Aware Updating to keep your Cluster up-to-date.
Windows Admin Center Cluster Manager
Installing Cluster Aware Updating
In the following steps you can see how easy it is to install Cluster Aware Updating with Windows Admin Center on your Windows Server Cluster, in my case mvpcl01.mvplab.local
Go to your Windows Server Insider Cluster
In Cluster Manager, go to Updates.
Click on Add Cluster Aware Updating Role
Microsoft Windows Admin Center is the Administrator Management tool to use in your hybrid datacenter. You see how easy it is to configure Cluster Aware Updating (CAU) on your Cluster. When you use Windows Server Core or Azure Stack HCI then Windows Admin Center is really handy instead of command-line tools or PowerShell scripting. here you can find more information about Cluster Aware Updating requirements and Best Practices
I have made a new MVPLAB with Microsoft Windows Server Insider Preview Build 25158 to install Services and Features for learning but also to give Microsoft feedback about the products. When the MVPLAB domain and Clusters are ready in basic then I can use new Microsoft Azure Hybrid solutions as well, like Azure Arc Kubernetes services and Azure Cloud Defender for Servers and SQL.
Before we start, you need to become a Windows Server Insider so that you can download the newest Windows Server Insider Builds ISO.
Here you get more information for the Windows Server Insider Program registration
After the free registration you can download the new Microsoft Windows Server Insider Builds here :
To Build your Test and innovation LAB with the newest Microsoft technologies, you need a platform to Build on. Of course Microsoft Azure Cloud Services is Awesome to work with and Great to make test environments but I like to make a Azure Hybrid scenario with Azure Cloud and On-premises datacenter services like for example a Microsoft SQL Cluster with Cluster resources / Instances.
So my MVPLAB will be Azure Hybrid and for On-premises I use Windows Server Hyper-V to make virtual servers.
It’s Great when your hardware provider like Dell is Microsoft Azure Stack HCIcompliant to build your Hyper Converged Infrastructure in your on-premises datacenter.
Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Solution
When you work with Microsoft Azure and Azure Stack HCI, you really need Windows Admin Center for Hybrid IT Management.
This is a Great Administrator tool for managing your Windows Servers, Clusters, Azure Stack HCI, and Azure VM’s in a Hybrid environment.
Windows Admin Center Cluster Overview
Now that we have everything and Hyper-V is running, we will build the Following Windows Servers with the Insider Preview Build:
MVPDC01 ( the first domain controller for mvplab.local domain )
MVPStore01 ( ISCSI Target Host for deploying ISCSI Virtual Disks to my Cluster)
MVPFS01 ( Cluster Node 01 of Cluster MVPCL01 )
MVPFS02 ( Cluster Node 02 of Cluster MVPCL01 )
I install all the virtual servers with 50GB local harddisk for OS and start with 4GB of Dynamic Memory and a Nic.
Only the Cluster nodes get two Nics (One for Heartbeat of the Cluster)
This is for my MVPLAB, but for Production environments I always start with 3 Nics ( 1 = Production 2 = Heartbeat 3 = Storage )
In Hyper-V we make a New Virtual Machine with these specifications and we attach the Windows Server Insider Preview Build ISO.
We install Windows Server Insider Preview Build default and after the installation we set the NIC IP-Address on static and gave the Server the name MVPDC01. Then I installed all the Windows Updates, and after that I started Server Manager to install the Active Directory Feature :
Active Directory just follow the wizard and don’t forget to run DCPromo to
build your domain.
Active Directory and DNS is running locally like
So now is my domain and DNS running in my MVPLAB, but what do I need more first to build a Windows Server Insider Cluster?
We need Shared storage, so we build a Windows Server Insider ISCSI Target Host to provision Shared VHD’s via ISCSI Initiator to the Cluster Nodes.
The Next member Windows Server Insider is MVPStore01.mvplab.local joined in our new domain. Here I installed the iSCSI Host features:
Start Server Manager and the Add Server role : – iSCSI Target Server – iSCSI Target Storage Provider
Click on Install
In Hyper-V Settings of the Virtual Machine MVPStore01, I have installed a extra disk of 25GB so that we can use that for iSCSI Target Host which is now running on this Server. Now we can provision storage when the new Windows Server Insider Cluster MVPCL01.mvplab.local is installed with the iSCSI Initiator to get Cluster storage. So now we are first going to build a Windows Server Insider Cluster and after that we will provision the Cluster Storage.
Installing a Windows Server Cluster with Insider preview Build 25158.
I deployed two member servers MVPFS01.mvplab.local and MVPFS02.mvplab.local into the new domain. they have static IP-Address and are working fine with DNS resolving. On both Servers I installed the Feature Failover Clustering
Failover Clustering Installed.
from here we are going to install the new Windows Server Insider Cluster MVPCL01.mvplab.local
Start Failover Cluster Manager.
Click on Next
select the two new Cluster Nodes
Click on Next
Select Yes, run configuration validation tests
Click on Next
Click on Next
Run all tests
Type in the new Cluster name => mvpcl01
IP-Address => 192.168.2.43
Click on Next
We now have a Cluster mvpcl01.mvplab.local running, but without storage and without the witness disk. the iSCSI initiator is running on both Cluster nodes, so now we have to provision storage to the Cluster via the iSCSI Target Host MVPStore01.mvplab.local.
iSCSI Storage provisioning to Windows Server Insider Cluster
via the Server Manager of the iSCSI Target host, we are going to create a new iSCSI Virtual Disk for both Cluster Nodes :
Click on New iSCSI Virtual Disk
iSCSI Virtual Disk Name
Click on Next
Type in the Size I’m using 20GB of 24,9 because I need also a Quorum disk for the Cluster.
Select Fixed Size.
Click on Next.
New iSCSI Target
Click on Next
Give the iSCSI Target a Name
Click on Next
Add the Access Servers via iSCSI Initiator
Click on Next
Here you can set Authentication if you want.
Click on Next
Click on Create
the iSCSI Virtual Disk is successfully created.
the iSCSI Target VHD is not connected yet.
Now we connect with iSCSI Initiator from the Cluster Nodes.
The work on iSCSI Taget Host MVPStore01.mvplab.local is Done.
When you start the iSCSI Initiator it will set the services and the firewall settings on the Server.
You have to do this on both Cluster nodes.
First we add the Target portal and that is our iSCSI Taget Host MVPStore01.mvplab.local with
IP-Address 192.168.2.46 with port 3260.
This is under the discovery tab.
Select Targets tab
you see the Target mvpstore01 Inactive.
Select and click on Connect.
If you had Multi-path IO running, you could enable Multipath too.
Click on Ok
The iSCSI Taget Virtual Disk is connected.
On the iSCSI Target Host MVPStore01.mvplab.local is the target now also in Connected status.
You now can now bring the 20GB disk Online via Disk Management and give it a drive letter
for the Cluster.
Then you can add the 20GB disk via Storage of Cluster Manager tool.
You can make Cluster Shared Volume.
I made a Cluster for a SQL Instance and I made
a 2GB iSCSI Taget VHD for the Witness Disk.
So Now we have Cluster storage running and failovers are working, now we need to configure Quorum witness disk via
Failover Cluster Manager.
Go to more actions on the Cluster.
Configure Cluster Quorum
Click on Next
Select the quorum witness
Click on Next
You can configure your witness on different locations.
I will select our 2GB witness disk on our Cluster
Select the Quorum disk
Click on Next
Click on Next
You have successfully configured the quorum settings for the Cluster
Click on Finish
Witness disk is running.
So my Microsoft Windows Server Insider Cluster is ready for workloads, if you want to you can run a Cluster validation to see
if everything is okay. Now my MVPLAB is ready for the next installation on my Cluster and that is :
Installing the Newest SQL Server 2022 CTP2.1 on my Windows Server Insider Cluster.
But that will be a next Blogpost : Installing SQL Server 2022 CTP2.1 on a Windows Server Cluster 😉
Follow me on Twitter : @Jamesvandenberg
From here you can build your own local domain and Clusters in your LAB to test all the Features Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 25140 has. Checking new Security features and doing your own pen tests.
And of course don’t forget Windows Admin Center for your LAB to manage your Servers, Azure Virtual Machines and your Clusters. You can download WAC here
What is new in preview is Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal with Azure Arc Enabled Servers.
Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal for Arc Enabled Servers 😉
Manage your Servers from the Cloud.
With Windows Server Insider Builds and Windows Admin Center, you can test and make your own LAB environment together for free. You can give the Microsoft product group feedback to make the product better. In the mean time your are learning new features and security in Windows Server Insider Preview Build and WAC before you go into production 🙂 I say a good win win situation and it’s fun to setup your own hybrid LAB.
Windows Admin Center Version 2110.2 Build 1.3.2204.19002
Windows Admin Center is a customer-deployed, browser-based app for managing servers, clusters, hyper-converged infrastructure, and Windows PCs. It comes at no additional cost beyond Windows and is ready to use in production. Learn more aboutWindows Admin Center.
Simple and modern management experience
Designed for extensibility
Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Dutch (Netherlands), English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Spanish, Swedish (Sweden), Turkish
In the following step-by-step guide I will deploy Windows Server 2022 Insider Build 25099 Core Edition with Windows Admin Center tool together with some great features for managing Windows Servers in a secure hybrid way with Microsoft Azure Cloud services. Like Azure Defender for Cloud, Azure Backup Vault, Azure Monitor, Security and more.
So I have Windows Admin Center 2110.2 installed and I have a Windows Server 2022 Hyper-V Server for my Virtual Machines in my MVPLAB Domain.
Now we will deploy the new Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 25099.
In WAC on my Hypervisor in Virtual Machines
When you explore and open your Hyper-V Host and go to Virtual Machines, you can Click on Add and then on New for Creating your Windows Server Insider VM.
Create a New Windows Server Insider VM called StormTrooper01
Here you can configure your new Windows Server 2022 Insider VM with the following :
What kind of Generation VM (Gen 2 Recommended)
The path of your Virtual Machine and the path of your virtual disk(s)
CPU and you can make nested Virtualization too
Memory and use of Dynamic Memory
Network select the Virtual Switch
Network Isolation by VLAN
Storage, Create the size of the Virtual Disk. Choose an ISO or Select an existing VHD(x)
I Created a New 70GB OS Disk
and I want to Install the New Windows Server Insider OS from ISO.
Click on Browse
Here you Browse Default on your Hyper-V Host and select the ISO.
When the Windows Server ISO is selected you can hit Create
We get the Notification that the virtual machine is successfully created.
Only the Virtual Machine is now made with your specs and visible on the Hyper-V Host.
Select the New Virtual Machine (StormTrooper01) click on Power and hit Start.
After you started the VM, you can double click on it and go to Connect. Click on Connect to the Virtual Machine.
Now you are on the console via VM Connect.
Click on Install Now
We are installing Windows Server 2022 Insider Core edition, because we have WAC 😉
Installing Windows Server 2022 Insider Core Preview Build 25099 via Windows Admin Center
Create New Administrator Password.
And here we have Sconfig of the Windows Server 2022 Core.
via Virtual Machine Connect.
Now we can add and connect the New Virtual Machine with Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build in Windows Admin Center via IP-Address.
The Next step is to join the Windows Server 2022 Insider to my Domain MVPLAB.
Click on the Top on Edit Computer ID Click on Domain and type your domain name.
Click op Next Add your administrator account for joining the server
Reboot the VM.
Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Core edition is domain joined.
Now we have the New Microsoft Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 25099 running in Windows Admin Center, we can use all the tooling provided by WAC also in a Azure Hybrid way. Think about Azure Defender for Cloud, Azure Monitor. In Microsoft Windows Admin Center we also have a topic Azure Hybrid Center :
Here you see all the Azure Hybrid benefit features for your Windows Server 2022 Insider.
Microsoft Azure Arc
Azure File Sync
Azure Site Recovery
Azure Network Adapter
Azure Update Management
Microsoft Azure and the Windows Admin Center Team made the wizards customer friendly and easy to get those Azure Hybrid services for your Windows Server.
When you have your Server running, you want to make backups and Monitoring your Server for management. And after that you want to be in control of your security of your new Server. In the following steps you see some examples on the same Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build:
Microsoft Azure Backup via WAC
Click on Azure Backup
Select your Azure Subscription and the Azure Backup Vault.
Select your data and make the schedule.
Enter the Encryption passphrase and Apply.
Here you have Azure Backup Vault working together with WAC.
Azure Defender for Cloud Security
Click op Microsoft Defender for Cloud
Click on Setup
Add the right Azure Subscription and Workspace
Click on Setup.
Configuring Azure Defender for Cloud agent and Subscription.
Azure Defender for Cloud in Windows Admin Center on your Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build.
In Windows Admin Center there is also a Security tab for the Windows Server.
Here you can see if your system is supported for this security features 🙂
Enable the supported features and Restart de Virtual Machine.
And here you see my status overview.
Further more you can manage RBAC in Windows Admin Center when you have to work with different kind of users.
You can find RBAC in settings.
Windows Server Insider Core edition and Windows Admin Center are working better together! You have all the tools you need to startup your Windows Server and
manage it with WAC. Windows Admin Center is getting better and better to manage your Hybrid Datacenter and keep you as an Administrator in Control!
So is how I manage my MVPLAB but also for Production workloads I use Windows Admin Center and the Azure Portal together. With Microsoft Azure Arc Services
Azure Hybrid becomes your solution where Windows Admin Center can Support you with making Azure Stack HCI Clusters with Azure Kubernetes for your DevOps environment.
Secured-core – recommended for the most sensitive systems and industries like financial, healthcare, and government agencies. Builds on the previous layers and leverages advanced processor capabilities to provide protection from firmware attacks.
In Windows Admin Center Security you can Configure Secured-Core :
Secured-Core in Windows Admin Center 21.10
You can activate 6 secured-Core feature :
Hypervisor Enforced Code Integrity (HVCI)
Boot DMA Protection
Virtualization-based Security (VBS)
Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM2.0)
You now can simply activate the Security Feature.
Needs a Reboot
Hypervisor Enforced Code Integrity (HVCI) is enabled.