Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal - 1 Intro to the Easiest Server Management@20aman Feb 25, 2022
This blog is a part of the Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal series. You can find the Index of this series here: Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal.
Performing administrative tasks on Windows servers is one of the main activities in the day-to-day life of a system admin. If you are managing Azure infrastructure and also performing server management then you need to go to the Azure portal daily and also need to log into the VMs from time to time. What if you can perform both activities from just one area without the need to log into the VM. This is where the Windows Admin Center comes into the picture.
Windows Admin Center is now available directly in the Azure portal for Windows server VMs. It helps you manage various aspects of the server without requiring you to log into the VM itself via RDP (remote desktop) or remote into it via PowerShell.
There is no cost to using the Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal.
At the time of writing of this post, the below functionality is supported:
- Files and file sharing
- Installed apps
- Local users and groups
- Performance Monitor
- Remote Desktop
- Roles and features
- Scheduled tasks
To be able to install the Windows Admin Center in Azure, you need to ensure the following:
- The OS of the VM should be Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, or Windows Server 2022
- At least 3 GiB of memory
- Be in any region of an Azure public cloud (it's not supported in Azure China, Azure Government, or other non-public clouds)
There are also networking requirements to allow the traffic:
- Outbound internet access or an outbound port rule allowing HTTPS traffic to the Windows Admin Center service tag
- An inbound port rule if using a public IP address to connect to the VM (not recommended)
Note that the inbound rule is only required when using the Public IP address. If you are connected to the virtual network and have connectivity to the VM then the inbound rule is not required. These rules are auto-created when enabling the Windows Admin Center.
Requirements for connecting VM
The VM or laptop you will use to connect to the Windows Admin Center (via Azure portal), also has a couple of requirements:
- You should be using a modern browser. Officially supported browsers are Edge and Chrome.
- Either connectivity via the Public IP or access to the virtual network that's connected to the VM. The latter is the recommended and more secure approach.
In the next post, we will set it up and will also take a look under the hood.