What is Window Admin Center (WAC)
Windows Admin Center(WAC) is the modern evolution of “in-box” management tools, like Server Manager and MMC. It is a locally-deployed, simplified, integrated, highly secure, cloud-ready, browser-based management toolset that lets you manage Windows 10 and your Windows Servers with no Azure or cloud dependency. Consider the following:
- Manage small, large, in the clould or hybrid environments
- WAC is licensed as part of Windows Server and Windows 10 – no additional cost.
- Great alternative to using Remote desktop
- Manage Hyper-V, hyper-converged and failover clusters
- Compliments RSAT tools
- Role-Based Access Control
- Supports CredSSP
- IIS is not required, agents are not required, SQL Server is not required.
This blog will focus on installation and management of WAC on Windows 10. We will cover the gateway service installing on Windows server in the next blog, then registering WAC with Azure to manage Azure VM’s and services.
How does it work?
|Environment Prerequisites||Installation Type &|
|OS Support & Security||Management & |
|-.Net Framework 4.5 or later|
-Win10 install port 6516
-Firewall WinRM port 5985
-Firewall RDP port 3389
-Firewall gatway port 443
-Firewall SMB port 445
-Browser – Edge or Chrome
-You can change the port for Windows 10 (6516) or for the gateway (443)
-Dedicated gateway server
-Install on Server Core
-Failover cluster for HA
-Windows 10 use WAC cert.
-Windows Server us self-signed certificate ( only valid for 60 days – will get warning message) or PKI Cert for secure communication.
-Server 2008 R2
-Server 2012 & R2
-Built for Server 2019
-Browser to WAC gateway use HTTPS
-Gateway to managed servers use PowerShell and WMI over WinRM
|-Publish your Windows Admin Center gateway server to the public Internet, then you can connect to and manage servers your from anywhere, all in a secure manner.|
-Built for the cloud
-Built to support third party extensions.
-To manage a target server, a user must connect with credentials that have administrative privileges on the target server.
How to install
- Download WAC from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-admin-center
- Run the msi file (WindowsAdminCenter2110.msi – 2110 was the version when this blog was written) and accept the license terms
- Select one of the diagnostic data options and click Next
- Click Next on the Instal Windows Admin Center on Windows 10 page
- Select your desired options on the Installing Windows Admin Center page. You can change the default 6516 port number. If you would like to configure WinRM over HTTPS, click here.
- Click Finish on the next screen
- Select the Windows Admin Center Client certificate on first run, then click OK.
- On the next page, depending on your version, it should say “Successfully installed version 2110”
- When WAC opens it will automatically update your extensions and that is it. WAC is installed.
Add and connect to a server:
- After opening WAC, click Add, then on the Add or create resources screen, click Add.
- Enter the name of the server or enter a text file, csv list or search active directory. Once the server is found, click Add
- The server is added as shown below. Select the server and click on connect.
- Once connected you can run any of the tools on the left column, including RDP.
- At the top right of the WAC page, click on the PowerShell icon to see the list of Powershell functions that are running in the background. You can copy the functions and run them manually if desired.
- The End.
We will cover the gateway service in the next post.