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I have been using Project Honolulu, Microsoft’s new Server Management tools for a few weeks now, both in the lab and production systems and I love it. At the moment it is in technical preview. Even though it is a technical preview Microsoft has brought a really good product to the table. Yes some nice features like PowerShell, RDS management, etc are missing, but Microsoft is actively working on Project Honolulu and the missing features are coming.

It is really simple to Install Project Honolulu so I will not do a guide to install it. To be fair it is also not hard to add devices to it either. So no guide on that also. What I will talk about in this article are the 3 separate solutions you currently have in Project Honolulu, explain the topology and list out the requirements.

Lets start with the Topology

You can install Project Honolulu in two ways. The first way is a local install on your Windows 10 device. Installing Project Honolulu as a local install you have to start Project Honolulu before you are able to use it. This is done by double-clicking on the desktop shortcut or from the start menu. This install method is ok for Labs and small instances when you only have one sysadmin.

The second method is a Gateway Installation. This will be an installation on a Server 2016 upwards. This installation will create a service that will automatically start when the server does. You are then able to access Project Honolulu from any modern web browser in your network. You can even go one step further and publish the gateway server to the internet so you are able to manage your servers from anywhere. Just use a strong password!

So that’s the topology as you can see it is very simple. You have a web server, but don’t have to work with IIS. It just works.

So what are the Requirements?

Honolulu can be installed on Windows Server 2016 or Windows 10. (Windows 10 being local install only). One thing to note is that you will need to install Windows Management Framework (WMF) version 5.0 or higher on any servers older than Windows Server 2016 that you would like to manage via Project Honolulu.

To view what version of WMF you have installed open PowerShell with elevated permissions and type: $PSVersiontable

As you can see the PSVersion is above 5.0. So this computer can have Project Honolulu installed. If you do not have WMF installed you can download WMF 5.1 from here.

As you can see the requirements are nothing special. To make it even easier here is a table of the currently supported operating systems.

Version Install Honolulu Managed node via Server Manager, and managed cluster via Failover Cluster Manager Managed HCI cluster via HC Cluster Mgr (early preview)
Windows 10 Yes (local) N/A N/A
Windows Server, version 1709 Yes (gateway) Yes Yes
Windows Server 2016 Yes (gateway) Yes Future
Windows Server 2012 R2 No Yes N/A
Windows Server 2012 No Yes N/A

So Project Honolulu is split into 3 separate solutions. What are they?

Server Manager

This is where you will find all your familiar MMC tools you would normally use.

Failover Cluster Manager

This is where you will find your cluster management tools. In MMC tools this would be failover cluster manager and a bit of Hyper-V Manager.

Hyper-Converged Cluster Manager

This is where you would manage your Storage Spaces Direct Hyper-Converged Cluster.

Final thoughts

I am really loving what Microsoft is doing with Project Honolulu. Not only have the made it easier for us IT pro’s to manage Servers they are making it even easier for us to manage Server Core. Which is now being released twice a year with their new semi-annual model. I believe soon we will really have to log on to a server directly and we will be able to manage everything via Honolulu.

If you would like to download Honolulu you can via this link. Once you have downloaded and played around a bit I highly recommend you have a look at the feedback site to see what other people are wanting from Project Honolulu, vote for the ones you agree with and perhaps suggest your own improvements. Microsoft is actively looking and updating the feedback site. You can access the feedback site via this link.

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Pixel Robots.

I’m Richard Hooper aka Pixel Robots. I started this blog in 2016 for a couple reasons. The first reason was basically just a place for me to store my step by step guides, troubleshooting guides and just plain ideas about being a sysadmin. The second reason was to share what I have learned and found out with other people like me. Hopefully, you can find something useful on the site.


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