General Guidance on Windows Admin Center WAC



  • Trying to roll out WAC to a small office. Mostly just want to play around with it. I have two Windows servers here, both are Windows Server 2019. One is an Active Directory domain controller, one is an application or LOB server. Pretty basic setup, small office.

    I know that WAC does not support installation to an AD DC. So that decision is simple, it goes on the application server. No other web services, so no port conflict issues. Seems easy.

    I'm not using the beta or preview version, just the stable release. The one that MS recommends.

    Getting it installed is no issue. Self signed certificate, port 80 redirection, those work immediately. Beyond that, WAC seems to have a lot of issues.

    First, it only shows the one local server, not the domain controller or anything else in the domain. I understand that you can add other machines, but there seems to be no way to add automatically or search a domain, every single one has to be added by hand?

    Adding by hand would be doable, the environment is tiny, but adding by hand seems to fail at least half of the time. And it constantly asks for the admin credentials, often multiple times for the same task, and then fails anyway. If I log in, it seems to randomly treat the machine as a local device and sometimes as a domain one.

    If I reboot and log back in, the machines that I have added to WAC are gone. I have to add them each by hand, every time I go to use WAC. That doesn't work.

    Sometimes the page can't load at all. It seems to struggle heavily just with displaying the page.

    I assume that all of this is from some basic setup that is wrong, but the install is so simple and straightforward, it is hard to imagine what I might have done wrong that makes the resulting system so unusable. Anyone have any guidance on where to start?

    I assume I'll be making many posts with new issues as I figure out what they are. Thx. RC



  • @Reid-Cooper said in General Guidance on Windows Admin Center WAC:

    Trying to roll out WAC to a small office. Mostly just want to play around with it. I have two Windows servers here, both are Windows Server 2019. One is an Active Directory domain controller, one is an application or LOB server. Pretty basic setup, small office.

    I know that WAC does not support installation to an AD DC. So that decision is simple, it goes on the application server. No other web services, so no port conflict issues. Seems easy.

    I'm not using the beta or preview version, just the stable release. The one that MS recommends.

    Getting it installed is no issue. Self signed certificate, port 80 redirection, those work immediately. Beyond that, WAC seems to have a lot of issues.

    First, it only shows the one local server, not the domain controller or anything else in the domain. I understand that you can add other machines, but there seems to be no way to add automatically or search a domain, every single one has to be added by hand?

    Adding by hand would be doable, the environment is tiny, but adding by hand seems to fail at least half of the time. And it constantly asks for the admin credentials, often multiple times for the same task, and then fails anyway. If I log in, it seems to randomly treat the machine as a local device and sometimes as a domain one.

    If I reboot and log back in, the machines that I have added to WAC are gone. I have to add them each by hand, every time I go to use WAC. That doesn't work.

    Sometimes the page can't load at all. It seems to struggle heavily just with displaying the page.

    I assume that all of this is from some basic setup that is wrong, but the install is so simple and straightforward, it is hard to imagine what I might have done wrong that makes the resulting system so unusable. Anyone have any guidance on where to start?

    I assume I'll be making many posts with new issues as I figure out what they are. Thx. RC

    Yes you do need to either add other devices manually or by importing a list... but it's a one-time thing so it's a non-issue IMHO. Why it isn't for you, no idea as I've not ran into that issue.

    Take a look at the documented prerequisites. Maybe you missed something.

    The only difference in my case was that I used a cert from the local CA instead of a self signed cert, but I can't see that causing your issues.



  • @Obsolesce said in General Guidance on Windows Admin Center WAC:

    Yes you do need to either add other devices manually or by importing a list... but it's a one-time thing so it's a non-issue IMHO.

    Not bad for tiny environments. But at any scale, how does that handle machines being added in the future? You have to manually add every new machine after every change to WAC?



  • @Reid-Cooper said in General Guidance on Windows Admin Center WAC:

    @Obsolesce said in General Guidance on Windows Admin Center WAC:

    Yes you do need to either add other devices manually or by importing a list... but it's a one-time thing so it's a non-issue IMHO.

    Not bad for tiny environments. But at any scale, how does that handle machines being added in the future? You have to manually add every new machine after every change to WAC?

    I've only had about 100 servers and a handful of Win10 in it, so I'm not familiar with handling that at scale. It really only requires a txt file of a list of devices which is simple to maintain in any aspect. I only had to import that to get everything back in. If I added a new server, I would add it to the text file then add that server.