Windows 8 Server Admin Tools (RSAT)

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8Windows 8 Server Admin Tools

Installing RSAT enables administrators to manage Windows Server 2012 from their Windows 8 workstation.

Windows 8 RSAT Topics


Benefits of Installing RSAT

The trend for core installations of Windows servers grows a pace.  Administrators love the low maintenance of Server 2012 core, and while PowerShell is great, there are times when you need a GUI to be certain the settings are as you planned.

I find that RSAT is an easier, and a more secure, method of connecting to a core server compared with Remote Desktop Connection (RDC).  Even though I am a great fan of PowerShell, there are times when I just need to SEE the settings on the server.

With RSAT you get the full set of MMC consoles even on the Windows client, whereas, on a member server you don't get snap-ins such as Active Directory by default.

Installing RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools)

Obtain your copy of RSAT from Microsoft's site; take care to download a Windows 8 version beginning with 6.2, Windows 7's file begins with 6.1-KB. Microsoft offer two msu files, for a 32-bit client choose the x32msu, even if your Windows 2012 server is running on x64-bit hardware.

The RSAT setup is straightforward, I simply double clicked on the file I downloaded.  Microsoft however, recommends that you use the Control Panel to 'Turn Windows features on or off'.  Whichever method you use, note that Windows update takes care of the installation, just incise you wish to uninstall RSAT later.

Once the RSAT install completes, press the Winkey and return to the Metro UI, scroll to the right and look for the tile that gives you access to the Remote Server ToolsWindows 8 Admin Tools

Launching the Windows 8 Server Admin Tools

From the Windows 8 Metro UI, scan right to find the Administrative Tools tile.  When I first clicked on the tile nothing seemed to happen; then after my third attempt I realized that the Administrative Tools were in side that flashing yellow folder on the taskbar.

Windows 8 RSAT

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Getting Started with Windows 8 RSATWindows 8 RSAT Server Manager

Just as with managing a Windows Server 2012 from the local console, the key GUI for remote tools is the Server Manager.

OObserve on the screenshot right how you can add servers to the dashboard.  The 'All Servers' menu is a reminder that you can add more Windows Server 2012 computers to this interface.  More good news; it also possible to add older servers such as Windows 2003.

For large organizations it's worth creating a group of similar servers.  A server could belong to a group called Windows 2008 and also a group called Texas.  The benefit of arranging your servers in this way is that you can change one setting on multiple servers more easily.

AAfter configuring the Server Manager, my next step would be to seek the Active Directory Administrative Center.

Windows 8 Server Admin Tools History

Remote Server Administration Tools started life as Adminpak.msi back in the days of XP and Windows 2000.  RSAT itself, was introduced to administer Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 servers from a Vista client workstation.

RSAT Client Editions
RSAT does not work with Home or Basic versions of Windows clients, you need Business, Enterprise, and of course, Ultimate editions.

See DaRT Recovery Tools »

Summary of RSAT for Windows 8

TThis page explains how to install the Administrative Tools for Windows Server 2012 on a client such as Windows 8.  The benefit is that you can launch a Server Manager and configure settings on core servers.

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Microsoft Windows 8 Troubleshooting Topics

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