Microsoft Releases Updated Management Toolset, Windows Server Build

Members of the early-access program get first crack at the updated GUI-based management toolset for Windows Server.

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Project Honolulu is Microsoft's stab at narrowing the gap between the PowerShell command line and graphical user interface (GUI) tools such as Microsoft Management Console.

 In September, the company released a technical preview (version 1709) and now Windows Insiders, members of the company's early-access and feedback program, can be the first to try out the updated version of the browser-based GUI toolset for Windows Server management.

Microsoft is making Project Honolulu version 1711, build 01003, available to Windows Insiders before the public can get its hands on it, announced Dona Sarkar, a software engineer at Microsoft's Windows and Devices group and head of the Windows Insider program, on Nov. 15. Insiders will be the first to experience some of the performance optimizations that the company has in store for the software.

"We have updated the grid in the Certificates and Events tools to a more performant control which is able to handle large datasets without a loss in performance," Sarkar wrote in a blog post. "In the next release, it will be updated across all tools. In the Events tool, the data is streamed in as it loads, which can lead to a shorter loading time than the in-box tool when working with channels that contain many events."

As with any beta or pre-release software, users may encounter some issues. Project Honolulu is no exception.

Sarkar warned that opening a web browser's debugger while a Remote Desktop session is active can cause the entire operating system to crash. The software is also unable to send some key-based commands, like Ctrl+Alt+Del and Alt+Tab, she said. A complete list of bugs is available in this blog post.

With PowerShell and the Project Honolulu's Remote Desktop tool, part of the software's Server Manager set of options, users can configure features lacking a related GUI tool on remote systems. Version 1711 also now allows users to add Windows 10 client systems as connections and manage them using the Computer Management options.

The Switch Embedded Teaming feature in Windows Server gains a visual tool (filed under Virtual Switches), but ability to use Local Administrator Password Solution while the software operates as a Windows Server service has been disabled, although it's still available on Windows 10.

Joining the latest version of Project Honolulu is Windows Server build 17035.

In this version, Microsoft has re-enabled the company's server storage pooling technology, Storage Spaces Direct. Additionally, it arrives with data deduplication, a highly-requested feature.

Data deduplication is commonly used among enterprise data storage vendors to help their customers pack more information into their arrays and maximize their storage hardware investments. In the Windows Server implementation, users can expect to reduce their data footprint by up to 50 percent, according to Microsoft.

Coders also now have a new way of working with their application containers on Windows Server. "Developers can now use localhost or loopback (127.0.0.1) to access services running in containers on the host," said Sarkar.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...