Windows Admin Center for managing servers and clients

Admin onthe Bridge

Azure Features in WAC

After connecting WAC to Azure, you can manage Azure VMs, back up servers on the local network with Azure Backup, replicate VMs with Azure Site Recovery in Azure with high availability, and take advantage of other Microsoft Azure features.

To connect WAC to Microsoft Azure, you only need to make the appropriate configuration on the server running the WAC gateway. Once connected, administrators who access the gateway with a browser will also have access to Azure functions.

To connect, use the gear icon to access the settings. The Azure menu item lets you trigger the process by selecting Register (Figure 4). A code appears on the right-hand side, which you will need for registration. Copy the code to the clipboard, click on the Device Login link, log in with your Azure account, and paste the code in the window. WAC is then connected to the appropriate Azure subscription.

Figure 4: Connect WAC to Microsoft Azure to use its features.

Next, you need to control WAC authorizations in the Azure portal. If WAC is registered in Azure, an overview of the corresponding authorizations is displayed. You can also remove these authorizations. On the Azure portal, you still need to activate WAC authorizations in the WAC Azure settings by selecting Display in Azure . On the Azure portal, click Settings in the registered app, then Required Permissions , and finally Grant Permissions .

You can use the Storage Replication menu item to control the replica settings of Windows servers in the Standard and Datacenter editions, and even to install the necessary server roles and features. Use the Backup menu item to connect the server to Azure Backup, which can be used to back up servers in Azure. If Hyper-V is installed on a server, WAC can also be used to manage the replication of VMs via Microsoft Azure.

If WAC is installed locally and connected to Microsoft Azure, it can both manage Azure VMs and interact with Azure services in the local data center. For example, servers on the local network can be backed up to the cloud with Azure Backup, VMs can be replicated with Azure Site Recovery for high availability, and other Azure features can be used.

Managing Hyper-V with WAC

You can install and manage Hyper-V on a Windows 2019 server with WAC – as usual through Roles & features . First check whether Hyper-V is already installed on a Windows server. If this is not the case, you can install in a web browser. After the installation, you will see two menu items, Virtual Computers and Virtual Switches , which you can use to manage the corresponding elements on the selected Hyper-V host. The Inventory menu item gives you access to the server's VMs, and you can manage them from the More option. Settings in the lower left corner lets you make server-specific settings in WAC, such as the Hyper-V configuration of a host.

WAC also integrates the new Windows Server System Insights function in the System Insights menu item. You can monitor a Hyper-V host here with a machine learning wizard. Additionally, Insights can also create forecasts (e.g., as to when bottlenecks might occur on a server).

Managing Active Directory

WAC version 1904 and newer supports Active Directory, DNS, and DHCP management. To install it, you have to go to the settings through the gear symbol in the upper right corner, where you will see the additional functions below Extensions . The Installed extensions menu item shows those already integrated and can also be used to update extensions. WAC displays a message when a new version of an extension becomes available.

If Active Directory, DNS, and DHCP are installed on a server, WAC shows you the corresponding menu items (e.g., Active Directory ). Currently, users can already be managed and passwords can be reset, which is especially interesting for support departments.

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