Microsoft's recent decision to expand features for Server Management Tools (SMT) brought Windows Server support. More specifically, the company announced Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 support for SMT. The update allows users to sit Windows Server 2012 alongside Windows Server 2016 instances within SMT.
In its announcement, Microsoft said that the company has listened to feedback since launching Server Management Tools in Preview. That preview roll out came earlier in the year.
Server Management Tool is a part of Microsoft's Azure cloud platform. It is a service that gives web based GUI and command line tools within Windows Servers. SMT provides a quicker way to manage on-premises infrastructure. This is achieved through a shared dashboard with Azure resources, giving a uniform management experience.
As well as adding support for Windows Server 2012 builds in SMT, Microsoft also announced some new features:
“Down-level support for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012: All SMT tools, except Windows Update and Device Manager, will now work with Windows Server 2012 R2 and 2012.
Persist Credentials: ability to save the credentials used to manage the target machines. From the credential entry dialog, you can opt to store credentials securely. The credentials are first encrypted using standard AES 256 encryption and then securely stored within Azure.
Firewall Rules: added GUI support for firewall rules on the target machines. You can browse through the rules on the system, check their state, modify the rules and also create new rules.
PowerShell script editor enhancements: The script editor is now equipped with basic file browsing capabilities. You can browse through the files on the target machine and open an existing script.
File Explorer: Managing files and folders is an inevitable part of day-to-day server management and we're excited to add File Explorer to our set of tools. It currently offers limited functionality such as browse, rename and delete, but we'll be adding more capabilities in the future.
Local Storage: Storage is now available as a separate tool and it provides detailed information on disks, volumes and file shares for basic storage management.
Certificate Manager: It brings the much needed ability to remotely manage certificates on targeted computers. With capabilities such as viewing all or a specific set of certificates, along with relevant event log channels, it helps you to find the root cause of certificate related issues.”