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

RE[4]: Comment by FlyingJester
by Rokas on Sun 17th Sep 2017 08:39 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by FlyingJester"
Rokas Member since:

You're talking mostly about Group Policies here... Those are relatively fine in regards to management tools. Could be better, of course, but I could get by using only MS tools for managing Group Policies... The real problem was the scale of Active Directory itself... The amount of users, computers, servers, permissions, custom processes that need to be implemented for their provisioning, decommissioning, movement, self-service stuff, simple reporting... And even when troubleshooting and debugging, in many cases MS tools were just not up to the task, they simply did not have the capabilities required. And it wasn't about learning Microsoft way... We did have Microsoft's own field engineers on-site quite often.
If I had to describe Microsoft management tools for Active Directory, that word would be... bare

Edited 2017-09-17 08:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

darknexus Member since:

It's troubleshooting the Microsoft Way (TM) when it doesn't work that I hate. Not many things more annoying than seeing something fail with an obscure error code that's not even documented in Microsoft's own reference material. That an PowerShell being the most overly verbose interactive CLI I've ever dealt with, and that includes OpenVMS and Juniper SRX. Recently things have gotten even more frustrating as Microsoft attempts a half-assed move of their admin tools to the Server Manager (a bloated modern-UI mess), which has made server management kind of like managing a Windows 10 desktop: an inconsistent half-assed jumble with conflicting documentation and uninformative diagnostic messages. I actually liked the Microsoft admin tools the way they were even though they were somewhat limited, as compared to what the situation is now. And, with this new project, they propose to change to something completely different yet again, not that a web-based system wouldn't be an improvement at this point.

Reply Parent Score: 2