Server Management Tools For Nano & Windows Server (Azure)

Yesterday (february 10) Microsoft announce the preview feature remote management tools which hosted in azure. By using this service it allows us to directly manage the servers from azure by using web HTML5 portal. This is the first public preview of the Remote Server Management Tools and it limited to manage Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview server, hosted on-prem or in Microsoft Azure. Following are some of the features are included right now.

  • View and change system configuration
  • View performance across various resources and manage processes and services
  • Manage devices attached to the server
  • View event logs
  • View the list of installed roles and features
  • Use a PowerShell console to manage and automate

Setup and deployment

Following is an overview of how server management tools works.

 

topology

The gateway will handle the connection to Azure, there for Remote Server Management Gateway needs connection to the internet. The managed servers do not need a direct connection to the internet, the gateway will connect to the managed server. With that, the gateway need connection to the sever which will be managed by Azure.

Setup the Server Management Tool in Azure

Before setup the server management tools in Azure first create a VM that hold the Windows Server 2016 TP 4.

Step 1 – Creating a new server management tool connection 

First login to azure portal and in marketplace search for server management tool or navigate to Marketplace -> Management -> More -> Server management tools-> Create

Create management gateway
Server Management Tool 

Next is to create server management tool connection and gateway we can do it as follows

Screenshot (2)

after you create this navigate to the server management tools connections and you will see that the connection is ready but the gateway is not ready

Capture

Next is to prepare the gateway for the prepared server.

package

In gateway configuration blade we find a button to generate a link to download the executable that installed in managed servers following is the step by step guide of it

  • Allow gateway updates to be installed automatically (recommended), or choose to install updates manually. You may change this later under gateway settings.
  • Click the below to generate a customized gateway deployment package link.
  • Use the generated link to download the gateway deployment package now, or copy the link URL to download the package later from the machine on which you intend to install the package.
  • From the machine that you want to designate as the gateway, unzip the package and run GatewayService.MSI.

MSI Install

  • Once the gateway installation completes, return to the Microsoft Azure portal and reopen your Server management tools connection.
  • You should now be able to manage your Windows Server 2016 machine if the Microsoft Azure portal can reach it through the gateway.

After you have installed the Remote Server Management Gateway package on your gateway server you can see the connection in the Azure portal.

conaction dashboard

Features in the Management Tool

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Following are the features currently available

  • Device Manager
  • PowerShell Console
  • Computer Configuration (Name, Domain,…)
  • Network Configuration
  • Task Manager
  • Process
  • Registry Editor
  • Roles and Features
  • Services
  • Local Administrators
  • Updates Management (coming soon)
  • Shutdown / Restart

Managing Workgroup machines

In order to manage workgroup machines (e.g. non-domain-joined Nano Servers), run this command as an administrator on the Server management tools gateway machine:

winrm set winrm/config/client @{ TrustedHosts=”<<IP address>>” }

To connect as local Administrator account, you will need to enable this policy on the target machine by running the following command in an administrator session on the target machine

REG ADD HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem /v LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy /t REG_DWORD /d 1

 

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