Windows Admin Center (WAC)
It is a web-browser-enabled management tool that allows us to manage Windows servers, cluster builds, Azure Hybrid services, and products such as AzureStack HCI (Hyper-Converged).
Windows Admin Center is offered free of charge by Microsoft there is no license cost.
How Does Windows Admin Center Work ?
It can be installed on a local server or even on a windows 10 machine. It does not need any internet connection or Azure service. After installing it in minutes via a very small setup file, such as 60MB, it can be started using it via Edge or Chrome.
There is no need to install any agents on the servers for remote administration. Windows Admin Center performs administration using PowerShell and WMI through the WinRM service.
1-free (no license costs)
2-it has a Modern and simple interface.
3-does not need high resource and infrastructure needs.
Supported installation types:Windows Admin Center can be positioned in 4 different ways.
Local Client: You can install and start using Windows Admin Center on any Windows 10 PC. (Recommended in Test environments or very small businesses)
Dedicated Gateway Server: You can install a new Windows 2016/2019 server in your environment and position the Window Admin Center on this server and centrally manage your other servers here. (Recommended in large structures.)
Managed Node: You can install Windows Admin Center on any Windows 2016/2019 server used in the environment and manage both itself and other servers centrally from here. (Recommended to be used in distributed structures.)
High Available Gateway Service: Central administration can be done by installing Windows Admin Center on more than one Windows 2016/2019 server, ensuring redundancy of the structure. (Recommended for very large structures and environments with no downtime tolerance.)
Prerequisites: Windows Admin Center does not need any prerequisites for installation. Direct installation can be performed on any of the operating systems mentioned in the table below.
P.S: The server on which to install should not have an Active Directory role.
|Windows 10||Local client|
|Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel||Gateway sever, managed server, failover cluster|
|Windows Server 2016||Gateway sever, managed server, failover cluster|
|Windows Server 2019||Gateway sever, managed server, failover cluster|
Operating systems where Windows Admin Center can be installed
Tarayıcı Desteği: Windows Admin Center Edge ve Chrome destekliyor.
Desteklediği Hedef İşletim Sistemleri: Windows Admin Center ile aşağıdaki işletim sistemleri merkezi olarak yönetilebilmektedir.
Browser support: Windows Admin Center supports Edge and Chrome.
Supported Target Operating Systems: The following operating systems can be managed centrally with Windows Admin Center.
|Version||Manage node via Server Manager||Manage via Cluster Manager|
|Windows 10||Yes (via Computer Management)||Yes|
|Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel||Yes||Yes|
|Windows Server 2019||Yes||Yes|
|Windows Server 2016||Yes, with latest cumulative update|
|Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2016||Yes|
|Windows Server 2012 R2||Yes||Yes|
|Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2||Yes||Yes|
|Windows Server 2012||Yes||Yes|
Operating systems that Windows Admin Center can manage
P.S: Windows Admin Center requires Windows Management Framework (WMF) 5.1 and higher. Therefore, Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 management will be done on these servers WMF 5.1 needs to be installed.
Besides the Windows Admin Center Server and Cluster, Azure Stack can centrally manage HCI and Azure Hybrid services.
Security topic: Windows Admin Center supports the following security features.
-Supports Multi-Factor authentication with Azure Active Directory conditional access policy.
– Services always talk HTTPS in the background with Web Browser.
– Role Base Access Control (RBAC) is supported.
– HTTP and HTTPS support is available for WinRM service when managing servers.
Windows Admin Center Installation:
We will install Windows Admin Center on Windows Server 2019 as Dedicated Gateway Server for this purpose, we will first create a valid SSL certificate for the server that we will install from the local CA
I get an SSL certificate from a local CA for my Hostname information wacgateway.testlab.local server. If you do not have a CA structure in your environment, you can use the SSL certificate that you received from the Public CA, and if you do not have both, you can skip this step. The Windows Admin Center setup wizard will create self-Signed SSL.
Download and run the Windows Admin Center setup file at the following address.
Select the I accept these terms box and continue with Next.
We continue with the required diagnostic data selection. (Microsoft sends diagnostic data to make improvements and keep the product up-to-date).
We continue with the I don’t want to use Microsoft Update option to manually perform Update checks.
We continue with Next
Allow Windows Admin Center to modify this machine’s trusted hosts settings will automatically configure the WinRM trusted host settings required for remote administration.
If the Use WinRM over HTTPS only option is selected, connections will only be considered HTTPS, in which case the WinRM over HTTPS setting will be required on the servers that you will manage.
In the Select a port for the Windows Admin Center site field, we enter the port information to connect to the Admin Center. By Default, you can leave 443 and continue, or you can set it to a custom port number that you want, the choice is yours.
Create a self-signed SSL certificate if you do not have a valid SSL certificate that you receive from a local CA or Public CA.This certificate will expire in 60 days. A 60-day self-Signed SSL certificate will be automatically generated by The wizard.
If you have a valid SSL certificate obtained from a local CA or Public Cas, select Use an SSL certificate installed on this computer and copy the Thumbprint address of the existing SSL certificate to this field.
We continue with the Redirected HTTP port 80 traffic to HTTPS option to automatically redirect Web Browser traffic from HTTP to HTTPS.
After the installation is complete, the wizard is closed by clicking finish.
Via Edge or Chrome we’re going to this adress https://wacgateway.testlab.local
We log in to Windows Admin Center with the user account information we have installed.
After logging in, servers that can be managed remotely are listed in the All connections field. Since we do not add any servers, we see that the WAC gatewey server, which came automatically with the first installation, is listed.
Click + ADD to add a new server.
The Server, Windows 10 , Hyper-V Cluster, Hyper-Converged builds and Azure Hybrid services can be managed with Windows Admin Center.
We continue with the Servers option because we will manage Windows Server 2016 in our example.
In the Server name field, we enter the name of the server that we will manage.
If the user we are Console login is not authorized on the server to be managed, select the Use another account for this connection option to enter information about the user who is authorized on the opposite server.
After clicking on the Add button, the server will now be manageable with Windows Admin Center.
In Console, you can tag using the Connection Tags field to find the server you are looking for more conveniently.
After clicking on the newly added server in the all connection field, all administrative actions that we can do on the server are listed on the left side of the console.