Get started with Azure Stack HCI and Windows Admin Center

Applies to: Azure Stack HCI, version 20H2; Windows Server 2019

This topic provides instructions for connecting to an Azure Stack HCI cluster, and for monitoring cluster and storage performance. If you haven't set up a cluster yet, download Azure Stack HCI and see Quickstart: Create an Azure Stack HCI cluster and register it with Azure for instructions.

Install Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center is a locally deployed, browser-based app for managing Azure Stack HCI. The simplest way to install Windows Admin Center is on a local management PC (desktop mode), although you can also install it on a server (service mode).

If you install Windows Admin Center on a server, tasks that require CredSSP, such as cluster creation and installing updates and extensions, require using an account that's a member of the Gateway Administrators group on the Windows Admin Center server. For more information, see the first two sections of Configure User Access Control and Permissions.

Add and connect to an Azure Stack HCI cluster

After you have completed the installation of Windows Admin Center, you can add a cluster to manage from the main overview page.

  1. Click + Add under All Connections.

    [Add Cluster Screenshot

  2. Choose to add a Windows Server cluster:

    Choose Connection Type Screenshot

  3. Type the name of the cluster to manage and click Add. The cluster will be added to your connection list on the overview page.

  4. Under All Connections, click the name of the cluster you just added. Windows Admin Center will start Cluster Manager and take you directly to the Windows Admin Center dashboard for that cluster.

Monitor cluster performance with the Windows Admin Center dashboard

The Windows Admin Center dashboard provides alerts and health information about servers, drives, and volumes, as well as details about CPU, memory, and storage usage. The bottom of the dashboard displays cluster performance information such as IOPS and latency by hour, day, week, month, or year.

Windows Admin Center Dashboard Screenshot

Monitor performance of individual components

The Tools menu to the left of the dashboard allows you to drill down on any component of the cluster to view summaries and inventories of virtual machines, servers, volumes, and drives.

Virtual machines

To view a summary of virtual machines that are running on the cluster, click Virtual machines from the Tools menu at the left.

Virtual Machine Summary

For a complete inventory of virtual machines running on the cluster along with their state, host server, CPU usage, memory pressure, memory demand, assigned memory, and uptime, click Inventory at the top of the page.

Virtual Machine Inventory

Servers

To view a summary of the servers in the cluster, click Servers from the Tools menu at the left.

Servers Summary

For a complete inventory of servers in the cluster including their status, uptime, manufacturer, model, and serial number, click Inventory at the top of the page.

Servers Inventory

Volumes

To view a summary of volumes on the cluster, click Volumes from the Tools menu at the left.

Volumes Summary

For a complete inventory of volumes on the cluster including their status, file system, resiliency, size, storage usage, and IOPS, click Inventory at the top of the page.

Volumes Inventory

Drives

To view a summary of drives in the cluster, click Drives from the Tools menu at the left.

Drives Summary

For a complete inventory of drives in the cluster along with their serial number, status, model, size, type, use, location, server, and capacity, click Inventory at the top of the page.

Drives Inventory

Virtual switches

To view the settings for a virtual switch in the cluster, click Virtual switches from the Tools menu at the left, then click the name of the virtual switch you want to display the settings for. Windows Admin Center will display the network adapters associated with the virtual switch, including their IP addresses, connection state, link speed, and MAC address.

Virtual Switch Settings

Add counters with the Performance Monitor tool

Use the Performance Monitor tool to view and compare performance counters for Windows, apps, or devices in real-time.

  1. Select Performance Monitor from the Tools menu on the left.
  2. Click blank workspace to start a new workspace, or restore previous to restore a previous workspace. Performance Monitor Screenshot
  3. If creating a new workspace, click the Add counter button and select one or more source servers to monitor, or select the entire cluster.
  4. Select the object and instance you wish to monitor, as well as the counter and graph type to view dynamic performance information. Example Counter Screenshot
  5. Save the workspace by choosing Save > Save As from the top menu.

Collect diagnostics information

Select Diagnostics from the Tools menu to collect information for troubleshooting problems with your cluster. If you call Microsoft Support, they may ask for this information.

Next steps

To monitor performance history on your Azure Stack HCI clusters, see also: