Windows Admin Center 2311 Public Preview: A Deep Dive into Azure Hybrid Services and Tool Advancements

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Key Takeaways:

  • Windows Admin Center version 2311 is currently available for public preview, featuring enhancements to Azure hybrid services and a host of other improvements.
  • The update enables a streamlined onboarding experience for Azure Arc, allowing users to integrate multiple machines through the All Connections page simultaneously.
  • The latest Windows Admin Center version also includes significant tool updates, such as improved virtual machine import capabilities.

Microsoft has announced that Windows Admin Center version 2311 is available in public preview for commercial customers. The latest update brings new experiences for Azure Arc and Azure Migrate, coupled with enhancements to widely-used tools.

“Windows Admin Center provides an Azure Arc for servers onboarding experience through our Azure hybrid center. New in this release, we’ve extended this experience and made it available on our All Connections page—the first page you see when you open Windows Admin Center. Now you can select multiple machines and, with a few simple clicks, onboard them all to Azure Arc for Servers at once,” Microsoft explained.

Microsoft has also added a new column to the All Connections page that helps to track the Azure Arc status of their machines. The status updates every fifteen minutes and makes it easier to view more details directly on the page.

Windows Admin Center version 2311 is now in Public Preview!

However, keep in mind that the new experience doesn’t support the onboarding cluster connection type. Moreover, Azure VM connections are already onboarded to Azure Arc Servers, and customers don’t need to onboard them manually. It’s also required to register the Windows Admin Center with Azure in order to onboard servers to Azure Arc or view their status.

Platform Angular updates and UI improvements

With this release, Microsoft has ditched Angular 11 in favor of Angular 15 to boost security and performance. “Angular is the framework upon which the Windows Admin Center UI is built. This means that every feature, control, button click, and user experience relies on our Angular infrastructure and benefits from this upgrade. You can expect faster loads and a smoother experience in this build of Windows Admin Center,” Microsoft explained.

The latest version of Windows Admin Center brings several UI updates to match the design language of the Azure Portal. These include redesigned Pivots, updated font sizes, semi-bold headings, Azure style buttons, and more.

Tool updates

Microsoft has released some updates that should make it easier for users to import virtual machines. It’s now possible to reconfigure virtual switches on destination hosts to deal with compatibility issues. Microsoft highlighted that this release also reduces the load times for the VM tool.

Windows Admin Center version 2311 is now in Public Preview!

Microsoft has also made several improvements to the server Overview tool based on user feedback. As shown in the screenshot above, the error messages now provide more information about the issue and the mitigation steps.

Last but not least, Microsoft has introduced a new experience in the Virtual Machines tool that lets administrators assess their Hyper-V VMs for migration to Azure. The feature provides insights to detect risks, measure cloud readiness, as well as estimate costs and complexity.