Manage the Local Server and the Server Manager Console
Updated: June 24, 2013
Applies To: Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012
In Windows Server® 2012 R2 and Windows Server® 2012, Server Manager lets you manage both the local server (if you are running Server Manager on Windows Server, and not on Windows 8.1 or Windows 8) and remote servers that are running Windows Server 2003 and newer releases of the Windows Server operating system.
The Local Server page in Server Manager displays server properties, events, service and performance counter data, and Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) results for the local server. Event, service, BPA, and performance tiles function as they do on role and server group pages. For more information about configuring the data that is displayed in these tiles, see View and Configure Performance, Event, and Service Data and Run Best Practices Analyzer Scans and Manage Scan Results.
Menu commands and settings in the Server Manager console heading bars apply globally to all servers in your server pool, and let you use Server Manager to manage the entire server pool.
This topic contains the following sections.
The Tasks menu in the local server Properties tile lets you start a Windows PowerShell session on the local server, open the Computer Management MMC snap-in, or open MMC snap-ins for roles or features that are installed on the local server. You can also shut down the local server by using the Shut Down Local Server command in this Tasks menu. The Shut Down Local Server command is also available for the local server in the Servers tile on the All Servers page, or on any role or group page in which the local server is represented.
Shutting down the local server by using this method, unlike shutting down Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2012 from the Start screen, opens the Shut Down Windows dialog box, which lets you specify reasons for shutdown in the Shutdown Event Tracker area.
Only members of the Administrators group can shut down or restart a server. Standard users cannot shut down or restart a server. Clicking the Shut Down Local Server command logs standard users off server sessions. This matches the experience of a standard user running the Alt+F4 shutdown command from the server desktop.
You can view or change the following settings in the Properties tile on the Local Server page. To change a setting’s value, click the hypertext value of the setting.
Typically, the properties displayed in the Local Server Properties tile can only be changed on the local server. You cannot change the local server properties from a remote computer by using Server Manager because the Properties tile can only get information about the local computer, not remote computers.
Because many properties displayed in the Properties tile are controlled by tools that are not part of Server Manager (Control Panel, for example), changes to Properties settings are not always displayed in the Properties tile immediately. By default, data in the Properties tile is refreshed every two minutes. To refresh Properties tile data immediately, click Refresh in the Server Manager address bar.
Displays the computer friendly name, and opens the System Properties dialog box, which lets you change the server’s name, domain membership, and other system settings such as user profiles.
Domain (or Workgroup, if the server is not joined to a domain)
Displays the domain or workgroup of which the server is a member. Opens the System Properties dialog box, which lets you change the server’s name, domain membership, and other system settings such as user profiles.
Displays Windows Firewall status for the local server. Opens Control Panel\System and Security\Windows Firewall. For more information about configuring Windows Firewall, see Windows Firewall with Advanced Security and IPsec.
Displays Server Manager and Windows PowerShell remote management status. Opens the Configure Remote Management dialog box. For more information about remote management, see Configure Remote Management in Server Manager.
Shows whether users can connect to the server remotely by using Remote Desktop sessions. Opens the Remote tab of the System Properties dialog box.
Shows whether the local server is participating in NIC teaming. Opens the NIC Teaming dialog box, and lets you join the local server to a NIC team if desired. For more information about NIC Teaming, see the NIC Teaming white paper.
Displays the networking status of the server. Opens Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections.
Operating system version
This read-only field displays the version number of the Windows operating system that the local server is running.
This read-only field displays the manufacturer and model name and number of the server hardware.
Last installed updates
Displays the day and time that Windows updates were last installed. Opens Control Panel\System and Security\Windows Update.
Displays Windows Update settings for the local server. Opens Control Panel\System and Security\Windows Update.
Last checked for updates
Displays the day and time that the server last checked for available Windows updates. Opens Control Panel\System and Security\Windows Update.
Windows Error Reporting
Displays Windows Error Reporting opt-in status. Opens the Windows Error Reporting Configuration dialog box. For more information about Windows Error Reporting, its benefits, privacy statements, and opt-in settings, see Windows Error Reporting.
Customer Experience Improvement Program
Displays Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program opt-in status. Opens the Customer Experience Improvement Program Configuration dialog box. For more information about Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program, its benefits, and opt-in settings, see Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program.
Internet Explorer (IE) Enhanced Security Configuration
Shows whether IE Enhanced Security Configuration (also known as IE hardening or IE ESC) is turned on or off. Opens the Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration dialog box. IE Enhanced Security Configuration is a security measure for servers that prevents web pages from opening in Internet Explorer. For more information about IE Enhanced Security Configuration, its benefits, and settings, see Internet Explorer: Enhanced Security Configuration.
Displays the local server’s time zone. Opens the Date and Time dialog box.
Displays the Windows activation status and product ID number (if Windows has been activated) of the Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2012 operating system. This is not the same number as the Windows product key. Opens the Windows Activation dialog box.
This read-only field displays manufacturer, model name, and speed information about the local server’s processors.
Installed memory (RAM)
This read-only field displays the amount of available RAM, in gigabytes.
Total disk space
This read-only field displays the amount of available disk space, in gigabytes.
Global settings that apply to the entire Server Manager console, and to all remote servers that have been added to the Server Manager server pool, are found in the heading bars at the top of the Server Manager console window.
The command that opens the Add Servers dialog box, and lets you add remote physical or virtual servers to the Server Manager server pool, is in the Manage menu of the Server Manager console. For detailed information about how to add servers, see Add Servers to Server Manager.
You can configure the refresh interval for data that is displayed in Server Manager on the Server Manager Properties dialog box, which you open from the Manage menu.
To configure the refresh interval in Server Manager
On the Manage menu in the Server Manager console, click Server Manager Properties.
In the Server Manager Properties dialog box, specify a time period, in minutes, for the amount of elapsed time you want between refreshes of the data that is displayed in Server Manager. The default is 10 minutes. Click OK when you are finished.
Refresh applies globally to data from all servers that you have added to the Server Manager server pool. You cannot refresh data or configure different refresh intervals for individual servers, roles, or groups.
When servers that are in a cluster are added to Server Manager, whether they are physical computers or virtual machines, the first refresh of data can fail, or display data only for the host server for clustered objects. Subsequent refreshes show accurate data for physical or virtual servers in a server cluster.
Data that is displayed in role home pages in Server Manager for Remote Desktop Services, IP Address Management, and File and Storage Services does not refresh automatically. Refresh data that is displayed in these pages manually, by pressing F5 or clicking Refresh in the Server Manager console heading while you are on those pages.
The commands that open the Add Roles and Features Wizard and Remove Roles and Features Wizard, and let you add or remove roles, role services, and features to servers in your server pool, are in the Manage menu of the Server Manager console, and the Tasks menu of the Roles and Features tile on role or group pages. For detailed information about how to add or remove roles or features, see Install or Uninstall Roles, Role Services, or Features.
In Server Manager, role and feature data is displayed in the base language of the system, also called the system default GUI language, or the language selected during installation of the operating system.
The command that opens the Create Server Group dialog box, and lets you create custom groups of servers, is in the Manage menu of the Server Manager console. For detailed information about how to create server groups, see Create and Manage Server Groups.
The Do not start Server Manager automatically at logon check box in the Server Manager Properties dialog box controls whether Server Manager opens automatically at logon for members of the Administrators group on a local server. This setting does not affect Server Manager behavior when it is running on Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 as part of Remote Server Administration Tools. For more information about configuring this setting, see Manage Multiple, Remote Servers with Server Manager.
To zoom in or out on your view of the Server Manager console, you can either use the Zoom commands on the View menu, or press Ctrl+Plus (+) to zoom in and Ctrl+Minus (-) to zoom out.
The Tools menu in Server Manager includes soft links to shortcuts in the Administrative Tools folder in Control Panel/System and Security. The Administrative Tools folder contains a list of shortcuts or LNK files to available management tools, such as MMC snap-ins. Server Manager populates the Tools menu with links to those shortcuts, and copies the folder structure of the Administrative Tools folder to the Tools menu. By default, tools in the Administrative Tools folder are arranged in a flat list, sorted by type and by name. In the Server Manager Tools menu, items are sorted only by name, not by type.
To customize the Tools menu, copy tool or script shortcuts that you want to use to the Administrative Tools folder. You can also organize your shortcuts in folders, which create cascading menus in the Tools menu. Additionally, if you want to restrict access to the custom tools on the Tools menu, you can set user access rights on both your custom tool folders in Administrative Tools, or directly on the original tool or script files.
We recommend against reorganizing system and administrative tools, and any management tools associated with roles and features that are installed on the local server. Moving role and feature management tools can prevent successful uninstallation of those management tools, when necessary. After uninstallation of a role or feature, a nonfunctional link to a tool whose shortcut has been moved might remain in the Tools menu. If you reinstall the role, a duplicate link to the same tool is created in the Tools menu, but one of the links will not work.
Role and feature tools that are installed as part of Remote Server Administration Tools on a Windows client-based computer can be organized into custom folders, however. Uninstalling the parent role or feature has no effect on the tool shortcuts that are available on a remote computer that is running Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.
The following procedure describes how to create an example folder called MyTools, and move shortcuts for two Windows PowerShell scripts into the folder that are then accessible from the Server Manager Tools menu.
To customize the Tools menu by adding shortcuts in Administrative Tools
Create a new folder called MyTools in a convenient location.
Because of restrictive access rights on the Administrative Tools folder, you are not allowed to create a new folder directly in the Administrative Tools folder; you must create a new folder elsewhere (such as on the Desktop), and then copy the new folder to the Administrative Tools folder.
Move or copy MyTools to Control Panel/System and Security/Administrative Tools. By default, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the computer to make changes to the Administrative Tools folder.
If you do not need to restrict user access rights to your custom tool shortcuts, go on to step 6. Otherwise, right-click either the tool file (or the MyTools folder), and then click Properties.
On the Security tab of the file’s Properties dialog box, click Edit.
For users for whom you want to restrict tool access, clear check boxes for Read & execute, Read, and Write permissions. These permissions are inherited by the tool shortcut n the Administrative Tools folder.
If you edit access rights for a user while the user is using Server Manager (or while Server Manager is open), then your changes are not shown in the Tools menu until the user restarts Server Manager.
If you restrict access to an entire folder that you have copied to Administrative Tools, restricted users can see neither the folder nor its contents in the Server Manager Tools menu.
Edit permissions for the folder in the Administrative Tools folder. Because hidden files and folders in Administrative Tools are always displayed in the Server Manager Tools menu, do not use the Hidden setting on a file or folder’s Properties dialog box to restrict user access to your custom tool shortcuts.
Deny permissions always overwrite Allow permissions.
Right-click the original tool, script, or executable file for which you want to add entries on the Tools menu, and then click Create shortcut.
Move the shortcut to the MyTools folder in Administrative Tools.
Refresh or restart Server Manager, if necessary, to see your custom tool shortcut in the Tools menu.
After you add servers to the Server Manager server pool, and Server Manager collects inventory data about servers in your pool, Server Manager adds pages to the navigation pane for roles that are discovered on managed servers. The Servers tile on role pages lists managed servers that are running the role. By default, Events, Best Practices Analyzer, Services, and Performance tiles display data for all servers that are running the role; selecting specific servers in the Servers tile limits the scope of events, services, performance counters, and BPA results to selected servers only. Management tools are typically available in the Server Manager console Tools menu, after a role or feature has been installed or discovered on a managed server. You can also right-click server entries in the Servers tile for a role or group, and then start the management tool that you want to use.
In Windows Server 2012, the following roles and feature have management tools that are integrated into Server Manager console as pages.
File and Storage Services. File and Storage Services pages include custom tiles and commands for managing volumes, shares, iSCSI virtual disks, and storage pools. When you open the File and Storage Services role home page in Server Manager, a retracting pane opens that displays custom management pages for File and Storage Services. For more information about deploying and managing File and Storage Services, see File and Storage Services.
Remote Desktop Services. Remote Desktop Services pages include custom tiles and commands for managing sessions, licenses, gateways, and virtual desktops. For more information about deploying and managing Remote Desktop Services, see Remote Desktop Services (RDS).
IP Address Management (IPAM). The IPAM role page includes a custom Welcome tile containing links to common IPAM configuration and management tasks, including a wizard for provisioning an IPAM server. The IPAM home page also includes tiles for viewing the managed network, configuration summary, and scheduled tasks.
There are some limitations to IPAM management in Server Manager. Unlike typical role and group pages, IPAM has no Servers, Events, Performance, Best Practices Analyzer, or Services tiles. There is no Best Practices Analyzer model available for IPAM; Best Practices Analyzer scans on IPAM are not supported. To access servers in your server pool that are running IPAM, create a custom group of those servers that are running IPAM, and access the server list from the Servers tile on the custom group page. Alternatively, access IPAM servers from the Servers tile on the All Servers group page.
Dashboard thumbnails also display limited rows for IPAM, compared to thumbnails for other roles and groups. By clicking the IPAM thumbnail rows, you can view events, performance data, and manageability status alerts for servers that are running IPAM. IPAM-related services can be managed from pages for server groups that contain IPAM servers, such as the page for the All Servers group.
For more information about deploying and managing IPAM, see IP Address Management (IPAM).