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Well, after a long long time, its almost official! A new server management tool with a fancy name has made its appearance! Honolulu is a locally based, browser-based management tool that will allow you to administer your on-premise Windows Servers. Its free, is lightweight and it is an additional tool next to Server Manager and MMC.

How does it work?

Honolulu Gateway can be only installed on a Windows Server 2016 or Windows 10 host and manage remotely hosts running Windows Server OS 2012*, 2012 R2*, 2016 and 1709. The tool is accessible on the Gateway locally or remotely via a web browser (browser based). The gateway manages servers via Remote PowerShell and WMI over WinRM.

*WMF 5 is needed in order hosts running Windows Server 2012 & R2 to be managed.

What Windows Server features can Honolulu manage?

The complete list of the Server features that can be managed at this point of time. More information will follow in the next series of this post.

  • Displaying resources and resource utilization
  • Certificate Management
  • Event Viewer
  • File Explorer
  • Firewall Management
  • Configuring Local Users and Groups
  • Network Settings
  • Viewing/Ending Processes and Creating Process Dumps
  • Registry Editing
  • Managing Windows Services
  • Enabling/Disabling Roles & Features
  • Managing Hyper-V VMs & Virtual Switches
  • Managing Storage
  • Managing Windows Update

Will it replace SCCM and OMS?

Definitely not! It is complementary to these products and not indented to replace them.

Do I have to pay for it?

Nope! Its completely free. Yay!

Why Honolulu?

Because Server Management Tools that has been dropped recently was Cloud dependent and the user voices keep asking for an on-premises customer deployed solution.

Ok I wanna get my hands dirty, I wanna test it ASAP, how can I install it?

The product is currently in Technical Preview and can be downloaded from here. The video below will quickly guide you through the installation process on a Windows 10 host with a self-signed certificate.

Hint 1: When installing on Windows 10, Honolulu will use port 6515 by default, but you have the option to specify a different port.
Hint 2: On Windows Server 2016, Honolulu is installed as a network service. You must specify the port that the services listens on, and it requires a certificate for HTTPS. The installer can create a self-signed certificate for testing, or you can provide the thumbprint of a certificate already installed on the computer. If you use the generated certificate, it should match the DNS name of the server.
Hint 3: Internet explorer is not supported in this release! Use Edge or Chrome/Firefox instead in order to get access to the app.

Stay tuned for the next series of this post!

Thanks for reading!