This blog post was authored by Dianna Marks, Product Marketing Manager, Windows Server Marketing. 

You’ve been hearing about all the great innovations in Windows Server 2019. We’ve also been working to enhance how we manage your Windows Server environment, and we’ll be showing you more at the upcoming Windows Server Summit 2019.

Windows servers can be managed in multiple ways based on your need

We know that you need to manage both individual servers and servers at scale. We also know that each customer is at a different stage in their hybrid journey, so we provide scaled management tools centered in on-premises and scaled management tools for hybrid management in Azure. Whatever your management needs are, we have you covered–including patching, backup, monitoring, governing, and automation, or simply managing an individual server remotely on-premises or in Azure. See below to understand how these relate:

Windows Server benefits diagram

Let’s drill into each of the three technologies:

Windows Admin Center

One of the exciting innovations in the Windows Server world has been Windows Admin Center. Launched in 2018, Windows Admin Center is an evolution of inbox server tools that is now a browser-based app for managing servers, clusters, hyper-converged infrastructure, and Windows 10 PCs. Its main benefit is that it allows you to manage a single server from a web-based experience. Windows Admin Center has no additional cost for all Windows Server customers and is now managing over 2.7 million nodes, which is pretty amazing.

Windows Admin Center is not intended to replace technologies such as Azure Management and System Center that manage many servers at a time. In fact, one of its best kept secrets is that Windows Admin Center includes hybrid on-ramps to Azure Management for single servers to take advantage of the Azure services for backup with its unlimited storage, or disaster recovery to provide redundancy with your own data center, for patching and more.

If you haven’t seen it, watch the overview of Windows Admin Center on Microsoft Cloud’s YouTube page. You can also read the Windows Admin Center blog,”Windows Admin Center 1904 GA update is now available,” to learn about what’s new with the platform.

System Center

System Center has long been the mainstay of Windows Server management at scale. While Windows Admin Center enables the management of a single Windows server in depth, System Center offers management of many Windows Servers at scale. System Center suite provides the complete repertoire of tools for managing Windows Servers within your data center. For the enterprise customer looking for at-scale configuration, monitoring, data protection, automation, and provisioning of the fabric and the virtual machines across your on-premises Windows Server environment, System Center is essential.

We continue to innovate with System Center. The 2019 release of System Center was announced on March 14, 2019 and includes automation for provisioning HCI environment, improved security, and faster backups with the latest versions of Windows Server. System Center has also added on-ramps to Azure services by integrating with Azure Backup, Azure Monitor, and update management. You can read all about System Center 2019 in the blog post, “Now available: Microsoft System Center 2019!” Future revisions of System Center will double down on management capabilities for the hybrid cloud environment and light up management-at-scale of new platform capabilities in Windows Server vNext. Learn more at our System Center sessions at the upcoming Windows Server Summit!

Azure Management services

As customers are increasingly adding hybrid workloads, those workloads in Azure also need to be managed. At some level the basic functions are similar – servers need to be patched, backup-ed, monitored, and you need automation to help enable that. Azure was the first cloud platform with built-in management services and is the most mature amongst major public cloud providers. If you are running workloads in Azure, then it often makes sense from a convenience perspective to use the built-in Azure services – after all you can back up a virtual machine (VM) in Azure in just a few clicks. The Azure services are SaaS services so you don’t need to worry about patching and upgrading them, or installing them on hardware. Microsoft does that for you, which can be a big time saver and you are always up to date. In addition to managing your Azure workloads, the Azure Management services use agents that can be deployed in your on-premises VMs running in VMWare or Hyper-V so you can achieve a single pane of glass hosted in Azure to manage both your on-premises workloads and your Azure workloads. Of course, there is lots of new technology in Azure like containers and cloud native services that also can be managed and governed.

Bringing it all together

We know that Windows Servers are an essential component of your IT infrastructure and each customer is at a unique place on your migration to hybrid. That’s why our management strategy at scale supports your needs and is at a continuum. Many customers use both System Center and the Azure Management services, and those same customers benefit from using Windows Admin Center on individual servers. It all falls in line with “our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

Join us for the event!

At Windows Server Summit 2019 we’ll expand upon some of the major benefits of adopting Windows Admin Center and System Center to manage your Windows Servers. We’ll even include some demos to show you how they work. Check out the blog post, “It’s that time again: Windows Server Summit 2019!” to see all the topics that we’ll hit upon during the May 22nd event.

Already excited to come? Great! Register for Window Server Summit 2019 today!