Project Honolulu

Author by Mitchell Grande

Currently in technical preview, Project Honolulu is a web-based server management platform developed by Microsoft.  It provides a simple web interface that allows you to manage multiple Windows servers from a single place.  Some of the currently supported features are:
  • Certificate management
  • Event viewer browsing
  • File browsing and upload/download
  • Network adapter management
  • Roles & feature installation
  • Running process management
  • And more!
 
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Project Honolulu Homepage
 
Although the Project Honolulu application must be installed on Server 2016, it supports management of Server 2012+ with PowerShell 5 installed.  You can manage either Server Core or full GUI servers.  Installation of Honolulu is relatively simple, but it requires the command-line if you want to supply a custom certificate.  Microsoft will likely be making that process easier for GA.
 
Project Honolulu isn't a monitoring or full management suite like the System Center products.  Rather, it provides a web interface for common tasks like those listed above.  The installation footprint is minimal, and it doesn't require a separate database.  It uses PowerShell remoting to connect to the backend servers so no agent installation is required.
 
Project Honolulu may not be a replacement for every GUI-based tool available, but it does provide a great, easy way to manage multiple servers from one place.  In particular, it bridges the gap for managing Server Core installations for admins that aren't totally comfortable with PowerShell or CMD.  Once Project Honolulu goes GA, it should be looked at in conjunction with Server Core installations.  Microsoft has recommended deploying Server Core where possible ever since Server 2012, but the lack of GUI has made many uncomfortable using it, despite its advantages.  With Project Honolulu, Microsoft is providing admins a way to easily manage those installations, in addition to streamlining management of both core and GUI servers.
 
For more information about Project Honolulu, see the technical preview announcement.  If you’d like a live demo, you can contact Concurrency support at support@concurrency.com.
 
Author

Mitchell Grande

Systems Engineer

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