Microsoft Readies New 'Project Honolulu' GUI Tools for Windows Server

The software giant is releasing a new set of GUI tools that will help narrow the gap between existing graphical interfaces and the PowerShell command line

big data tools

Microsoft is getting ready to release a preview of Project Honolulu, a graphical management tool set for the upcoming Windows Server version 1709 release and other editions of the operating system software, the company said on Sept. 14.

The preview will officially kick off at the Microsoft Ignite conference which runs from Sept. 25-29 in Orlando, Fla. Microsoft is also using the event, which will "go on as planned" after hurricane Irma battered the region, to launch Windows Server version 1709.

Project Honolulu is a set of graphical user interface (GUI) tools that bridge the gap between existing GUI tools like the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) and the PowerShell command line interface and scripting language, according to Samuel Li, principal program manager lead of Windows Server at Microsoft.

"Whether it's for scenarios where GUI has an inherent advantage like data visualization or comparison, or for ad hoc configuration or troubleshooting, we will evolve and expand core GUI tools that are complementary to investments in PowerShell and larger scale management solutions like OMS [Operations Management Suite]," wrote Li in a blog post.

In early screenshots posted on Li's blog, Project Honolulu appears as a modern dashboard that bears some similarities to the Windows 10 desktop operating system's settings and system monitoring screens. It displays vital stats like CPU and memory usage, disk performance and networking speeds. It also offers quick access to several management tools encompassing certificates, firewall, virtual machines and more.

Additionally, Project Honolulu will contain tools for managing hyperconverged clusters that use Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization and Storage Spaces Direct storage pooling technologies, said Li. "Together in one modern, simple, and integrated experience, [you can] provision and manage VMs [Virtual Machines] and volumes, see drives, servers, and their health status across the cluster."

Administrators will also be able to view real-time and performance charts covering a complete server cluster's resource usage (CPU, memory and network) along with storage input/output operations per second (IOPS) and a host of other metrics. Drilling down further, Project Honolulu users can explore the performance characteristics of individual virtual machines, storage volumes and drives, Li added.

Windows Server version 1709 will build on the hyperconverged infrastructure capabilities introduced in Windows Server 2016.

The fast-growing market for hyperconverged data center systems has already attracted the attention of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell and other server manufacturers. Anchored by powerful server hardware, hyperconverged systems typically combine compute, onboard storage capacity, networking gear and management software to streamline deployment and reduce data center complexity.

For hyperconverged systems that will soon be running Windows Server version 1709, Microsoft now offers data duplication that can deliver data efficiency rates in excess of 95 percent, claimed Elden Christensen, principal program manager of Windows Server at Microsoft, in a another blog post. The software will also include support for persistent memory devices, improved erasure coding performance and a new, more intuitive management experience, he said.

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 network of...