Managing a complex networking infrastructure can be as challenging as upgrading it to the latest version. While some organizations have adopted jump servers to allow admins to effectively manage their Windows Servers, other organizations rely on the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT).
Now, with Microsoft’s new dynamic release schedule, it has become easier to upgrade the Windows client Operating System: If your admins were already using Windows 8 Professional on their domain-joined computers, upgrading these Operating Systems is as easy as clicking a Tile in the Windows Store app. Thirty minutes later, Windows 8.1 would be on their machines.
Windows 8 Enterprise Edition PCs cannot be upgraded through the Windows Store.
Admins can centrally disable the ability to download the upgrade through the Windows Store, as explained here.
Therefore, Microsoft has also adopted a shift in its Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT). While it has always been possible, but unsupported, to manage earlier versions of Windows Server.
Microsoft now supports managing the following Server Roles and Server Features with the Windows 8.1 Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT):
Although the Hyper-V Management Tools are not part of the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), Microsoft warns that using the Hyper-V-related PowerShell Cmdlets is not supported against Windows Server 2012-based Hyper-V hosts.
In contrast to the Windows 8 Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), a couple of other aspects of installing and using them have been changed:
- The Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) have lost considerable weight. Where the Windows 8 RSAT weighed in at 96 MB (x86 version) and 102 MB (x64 version), the Windows 8.1 RSAT only measure 60 MB and 68 MB, respectively.
- The Administrative Tools link does not get pinned to the Start Screen of Windows 8.1 due to its new Start pinning policy. You can pin this tile manually through the All Apps Start pane.
- The Windows System Resource Manager Tools are no longer part of the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), since this feature was deprecated in Windows Server
Download the Windows 8.1 Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) here.
Managing a mixed environment from one set of Remote Server Administration Tools in a supported way is a big plus, that helps migrating your Windows Servers more efficiently.