Microsoft Windows Admin Center is a locally deployed, browser-based application for managing Windows servers, clusters, and hyperconverged infrastructure. The Windows Admin Center gateway host manages target devices using agent-free Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) over Windows Remote Management (WinRM) and remote PowerShell communications. It is also extensible and can integrate Microsoft Azure services like Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery Manager, and Azure Monitor to augment or replace existing on-premises systems management tooling.
Dell Technologies has a long history of developing integrations into Microsoft System Center to simplify the monitoring, alerting, and management of hardware in the data center. The newest addition to the OpenManage suite of capabilities is Dell EMC OpenManage Integration with Microsoft Windows Admin Center. The OpenManage Integration extension adds powerful features and functionality for monitoring and life cycle management of a Windows Server HCI cluster. The extension’s key benefits include the following:
- Communicates with the Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC) on each AX node in a Windows Server HCI cluster to obtain hardware monitoring information and perform updates. Communication occurs in-band and completely agent free using the OS to iDRAC Pass-through and Redfish technology.
- Includes a dashboard with the health status of the entire cluster in one view —including all components in all AX nodes.
- Provides a detailed inventory of all components in all AX nodes including CPUs, GPUs, memory (including Intel Optane persistent memory), storage controllers, network adapters, hard drives, and more.
- Assists onsite technicians performing drive replacements by blinking and unblinking drive lights.
- Enables seamless compliance reporting and updating and downgrading of component firmware and operating system drivers using the Cluster Aware Updating feature. Cluster Aware Updating occurs on the Windows Server HCI cluster in a completely nondisruptive manner with no downtime to the workloads running in the VMs. Access to the firmware and driver catalog is available whether the Windows Admin Center gateway host is connected to the Internet or not. This access significantly reduces the potential for human error during the update process.