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Remote, Multiserver Management: scenario overview

Updated: February 29, 2012

Applies To: Windows Server 8 Beta

[This topic is pre-release documentation and is subject to change in future releases. Blank topics are included as placeholders.]

This document describes how you can use new and improved features in Windows Server® “8” Beta (such as Server Manager, Windows PowerShell® 3.0, Best Practices Analyzer, and Windows PowerShell® Web Access) to manage multiple, remote, Windows-based servers in your organization. Improvements and innovations in server management in Windows Server “8” Beta also allow you to deploy roles and features to offline virtual hard disks (VHDs), as well as physical servers.

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Innovations and new integrations between programs in Windows Server “8” Beta allow administrators to manage multiple, remote servers—including virtual machines and Server Core installation options of Windows Server—more easily than earlier releases of Windows Server.

In Windows Server “8” Beta, deployment capabilities of Server Manager and Windows PowerShell have been extended to support resilient, remote, and automated deployment of roles and features. By using Server Manager and Windows PowerShell in Windows Server “8” Beta, IT Professionals can provision and manage remote servers from their desktop or laptop computers, without requiring either physical access to the server, or an RDP connection to each server.

Improvements in remote, multi-server management in Windows Server “8” Beta include the following.

  • Add remote servers to a pool of servers that Server Manager can be used to manage.

  • Create and edit custom groups of servers, such as servers that are in a specific geographic location or serve a specific purpose.

  • Install or uninstall roles, role services, and features on either a local or remote server that is running Windows Server “8” Beta.

    Batch deployment of roles and features to multiple remote computers can be automated by using Windows PowerShell.

  • View and make changes to server roles and features installed on either local or remote servers.

  • Perform management tasks associated with the operational lifecycle of servers, such as starting or stopping services; and start other tools that allow you to configure a server’s network settings, users and groups, and Remote Desktop connections.

  • Perform management tasks associated with the operational lifecycle of roles that are installed on servers, including scanning roles for compliance with best practices.

  • Customize the events, performance counter data, services, and Best Practices Analyzer results about which you want to be alerted on the Server Manager dashboard.

  • Restart remote servers.

noteNote
Server Manager can receive only online or offline status from servers that are running Windows Server 2003. Server Manager cannot be used to add roles and features to servers that are running Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2003.

Windows PowerShell 3.0, included with Windows Server “8” Beta, offers the following improvements to server management automation and scripting.

  • Windows PowerShell Workflow: distributed workflows that run activities (in sequence or in parallel) that perform larger management tasks, such as multicomputer application provisioning. Workflows—long-running tasks that are repeatable, parallelizable, interruptible, and restartable—can be written in the Windows PowerShell language or in XAML, and are run by the Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) engine.

  • Handling of task failures and interruptions, such as retrying operations when a remote device is unavailable, or when a computer that is running a long-running task must be restarted.

  • Scheduling for jobs that run either regularly or in response to an event, to deliver standardized "lights-out" operations.

    Windows PowerShell 3.0 allows administrators to schedule jobs to run at a later time, or according to a particular schedule. The Windows Task Scheduler is used to schedule and start the job, and a per-user job repository is used to store job output so that it is available later in any Windows PowerShell session on the computer.

  • Commands can be run with delegated credentials (RunAs) to minimize the user rights used by administrators.

Windows PowerShell Web Access, new for Windows Server “8” Beta, lets a server act as a web gateway through which an organization’s users can manage remote computers by running Windows PowerShell sessions in a web browser. After Windows PowerShell Web Access is installed, an administrator completes the gateway configuration in the Web Server (IIS) management console.

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8 Consumer Preview runs Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins and other tools from within the new Server Manager console. Because management tools can be installed separately from roles and features in Windows Server “8” Beta, to minimize the disk space used by roles and features on servers that are managed exclusively remotely—such as those running the Server Core installation option, or those with the Server Graphical Shell feature uninstalled—you install a role and feature’s remote management tools from the Remote Server Administration Tools feature that is available with Windows Server “8” Beta, even if you plan to manage the role locally.

In Windows Server “8” Beta, the following multi-server management solutions are integrated into the Server Manager experience. After any of these three roles is installed, many of the management surfaces for them are pages in the Server Manager console.

  • File storage management

    The management of file servers is improved by shifting from a single-server, single-service management model to one in which multiple, individual file servers, or multiple failover clusters that are running the File and Storage Services role, can be managed remotely by using a single management application.

  • Remote Desktop Services

    Remote Desktop Services (RDS)Remote Desktop Services (RDS) provides session virtualization and virtual desktop infrastructure technologies that enable users to access session and virtual desktop collections. In Windows Server “8” Beta, new management features in Server Manager simplify how RDS is deployed and managed in multi-server configurations. Scenario-based deployment reduces the complexity of installing RDS components across multiple servers, based on how RDS will be used. New multi-server management tools simplify how administrators manage servers that are running RDS role services and virtual desktop infrastructures.

  • IP Address Management

    The IP Address Management (IPAM) feature is a central solution for managing IP addresses and associated infrastructure roles, such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Server and Domain Name System (DNS) Server, across a network. IPAM supports the discovery of addressing and naming servers. It provides a unified experience for tracking utilization trends and managing dynamic, static, and virtual IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. IPAM also supports monitoring the DNS Server service and the DHCP Server service, and multi-entity management of the DHCP Server service. IPAM tracks configuration changes and logs IP lease activity across the network.

Remote, multi-server management in Windows Server “8” Beta is supported by a variety of tools and technologies.

The following table lists the roles and features that are part of this scenario and describes how they support it.

 

Role or feature How it supports this scenario

Server Manager

Server Manager is a management console in Windows Server “8” Beta that helps IT professionals provision and manage both local and remote Windows-based servers from their desktops, without requiring either physical access to servers, or the need to enable Remote Desktop protocol (RDP) connections to each server.

Server Manager documentation also includes help for Best Practices Analyzer: Run Best Practices Analyzer scans and manage scan results.

Windows PowerShell 3.0

Windows PowerShell enables you to automate local and remote Windows administration. This task-based command-line shell and scripting language is built on the Microsoft .NET Framework. It includes hundreds of built-in commands and lets you write and distribute your own commands and scripts. Windows Server “8” Beta includes Windows PowerShell 3.0 and Windows PowerShell 2.0, which are installed by default; and Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE).

Windows PowerShell Web Access

Windows PowerShell Web Access, new for Windows Server “8” Beta, lets a server act as a web gateway through which an organization’s users can manage remote computers by running Windows PowerShell sessions in a web browser. After Windows PowerShell Web Access is installed, an administrator completes the gateway configuration in the Web Server (IIS) management console.

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8 Beta

Remote Server Administration Tools, formerly known as the Administrative Tools Pack or Admin Pack, includes Server Manager, snap-ins, Windows PowerShell tools, command-line commands, and other tools and consoles for remotely managing technologies that run on Windows Server “8” Beta, and in many cases, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2008.

Management technologies in Windows Server “8” Beta that help you manage multiple, remote servers are included with Windows Server “8” Beta. No additional hardware requirements exist for the technologies described in this topic.

To use this release of Server Manager or Windows PowerShell to access and manage remote servers that are running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2, you must first install .NET Framework 4, and then install the Windows Management Framework Targeted Release (WTR) package on those servers. Server Manager in Windows Server “8” Beta or Windows 8 Consumer Preview cannot fully manage other Windows operating systems until updated Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) providers are installed on those systems. The updated WMI providers let Server Manager collect information about roles and features that are installed on the managed servers. For more information, see Windows Management Framework 3.0 on the Microsoft Download Center. Until the update is applied, servers that are running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 have a manageability status of Not accessible – Verify earlier versions of Windows run the Management WTR package.

To perform management tasks on remote servers by using the technologies described in this topic, remote servers that you want to manage must be configured to allow remote management by using Server Manager and Windows PowerShell. In Windows Server “8” Beta, remote management is enabled by default. To enable remote management on Windows Server “8” Beta if it has been disabled, perform the following steps.

  1. noteNote
    The settings that are controlled by the Configure Remote Management dialog box do not affect parts of Server Manager that use DCOM for remote communications.

    Do one of the following to open Server Manager if it is not already open.

    • On the Windows taskbar, click the Server Manager button.

    • On the Start screen, click Server Manager.

  2. In the Properties area of the Local Servers page, click the hyperlinked value for the Remote management property.

  3. Do one of the following, and then click OK.

    • To prevent this computer from being managed remotely by using Server Manager (or Windows PowerShell if it is installed), clear the Enable remote management of this server from other computers check box.

    • To let this computer be managed remotely by using Server Manager or Windows PowerShell, select Enable remote management of this server from other computers.

  1. Do one of the following.

    • To run Windows PowerShell as an administrator from the Start screen, right-click the Windows PowerShell tile, and then click Run as administrator.

    • To run Windows PowerShell as an administrator from the desktop, right-click the Windows PowerShell shortcut in the taskbar, and then click Run as Administrator.

  2. Type the following, and then press Enter to enable all required firewall rule exceptions.

    Configure-SMRemoting.exe -Enable

    noteNote
    This command also works in a command prompt that has been opened with elevated user rights (Run as Administrator).

    For more information about remote management with Windows PowerShell, see about_Remote.

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