Windows Server 2016 008: Remotely Administrating Servers

If you have a medium to large scale deployment of servers then you don’t want to go to each one to administer it. Windows Server comes with tools built in for remotely administrating servers. You can do things like add roles and features, view event logs, view running services, gauge performance, restart and much more. I’ll explain how to add your servers to the Server Manager presuming you’ve added your servers to the domain already.

Adding Servers to Server Manager

In your Server Manager on the left hand side, Click on  All Servers.

Now we can add a Server by clicking Manage in the top left and going Add Servers.

Type the name of the Server in the Name (CN): box and click Find Now. It’ll pop up in the area below and you can double click it so it goes in to the list on the right hand side to be added. After that, hit OK.

You’ll see the server pops up in the list under All Servers now. Adding roles is as easy as right clicking on one and clicking on Add Roles and Features. You’ll still have to go to the system to enable things like Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) or Computer Management. This makes remotely administrating servers much easier!

Grouping Servers

If you have a large amount of servers you’ll want to start grouping them by role. You can do this by going to Manage > Create Server Group.

Pick a name, double click Servers to add them to the group and hit OK.

You’ll see on the left your group will now be there. It’s good practice to make groups by role, for example file servers, DNS servers, Domain Controllers, DHCP, etc.

Enable Remote Desktop Protocol

Enabling Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) makes it easy to manage a server like you’re actually at it. You’ll get it’s desktop pop up for you and you can make any changes that you would normally make locally.

The first step to enable this is to open the System page using Windows Key + Pause/Break. If you’re in a VM and can’t use that, it’s System in Control Panel. In the top left you’ll see Remote Settings.

The Window that comes up will have the option to enable RDP, tick this and accept any windows that pop up.

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