Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Sep 2017 22:11 UTC

Today, we are thrilled to unveil the next step in our journey for Windows Server graphical management experiences. In less than two weeks at Microsoft Ignite, we will launch the Technical Preview release of Project "Honolulu", a flexible, locally-deployed, browser-based management platform and tools.

Project "Honolulu" is the culmination of significant customer feedback, which has directly shaped product direction and investments. With support for both hybrid and traditional disconnected server environments, Project "Honolulu" provides a quick and easy solution for common IT admin tasks with a lightweight deployment.

I've never managed any servers, so it's difficult for me to gauge how useful of popular tools like these are. What is the usual way people manage their servers?

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RE: Comment by FlyingJester
by grat on Fri 15th Sep 2017 18:59 UTC in reply to "Comment by FlyingJester"
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When I was managing several hundred workstations and a couple dozen servers, AD was more than up to the task-- Granted, that was with the (then) newly released Group Policy Preferences-- tools that most people never figured out, so they bought third party packages.

We were deploying everything from drive maps, firewall rules, printers and software applications via GPO's, and it worked fine.

We even had remote assistance working correctly on Windows 7 (with UAC enabled).

Orchestration was largely done with powershell.

Now I'm primarily a linux admin, so I edit puppet manifests and YAML, and wait for the magic to happen, and I use mcollective for orchestration.

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RE[2]: Comment by FlyingJester
by Rokas on Sat 16th Sep 2017 07:43 in reply to "RE: Comment by FlyingJester"
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I used to work as Active Directory specialist in a company with thousands of servers and hundreds of thousands of workstations across the globe with different AD sites being connected via all kinds of connections, including high-latency satellite links. The Active Directory architecture and technologies are mostly up to the task and handle everything no problem, but unfortunately their management tools are very rudimentary and just plain inadequate in situations like these.

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RE[3]: Comment by FlyingJester
by grat on Sun 17th Sep 2017 08:32 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by FlyingJester"
grat Member since:

I would have thought the distributed nature of your tree would have been more of a challenge, but I suppose they've improved AD synchronization. Always felt clunky by comparison with NDS.

I keep hearing the tools weren't/aren't up to snuff, but we never ran into a problem we couldn't handle with native tools except inventory (ran an open source package via GPO's to handle that).

We were distributing some very complex firewall rules (all admin / remote access was locked down to our admin stations and the DC) and if we needed to add a package to a system, or a group of systems, we just added them to the group for that software.

Printers, drive mappings, workstation policies-- these were all relatively simple. The only real complaint I had was that you couldn't add group policy objects to actual groups-- You had to add it to an OU, and use groups to filter whether it was applied or not. That's silly.

I've seen packages that aim to replace all that with a unified engine (LAN Desk is used at my current enterprise), and frankly, other than having a custom interface, I'm seeing very little I couldn't do from within a well designed AD environment.

Those who know me should be amused, since for a long time, I argued against the Microsoft infrastructure-- but then I transferred to a job where the entire ecosystem was Microsoft, and I hate reimplementing the wheel, so I dug in, and learned the Microsoft way.

It does take a fair amount of work to learn-- and it's not as straightforward as it could be. Some additional command line tools were required for bulk operations (sysinternals, primarily), although PowerShell eliminated most of the need for those.

I suspect most people who complain about the lack of capability in ADuc/GPO/GPP/etc never really learned how to take maximum advantage of the available tools. Adding PowerShell to the mix made it even more powerful.

Every operating system has it's own paradigm-- treating a windows desktop like a linux desktop would be disastrous, but equally, treating a linux desktop like a windows desktop would be ridiculous.

It's worth learning the Microsoft Way(tm) if you're going to manage Microsoft systems on a large scale.

Personally? I'm happy to be back in the land of unix/linux system administration.

Reply Parent Score: 3