Proudly announcing our Beta extension for Windows Admin Center (aka Project Honolulu)

May 02, 2018

Proudly announcing our Beta extension for Windows Admin Center (aka Project Honolulu)

Back in 2011, Squared Up was founded with the big vision of using data visualization to help solve the challenges of enterprise IT complexity.

Fast-forward to 2018 and our unique, lightweight, UI-only software is used by thousands of enterprise clients worldwide to visualize Microsoft’s powerful System Center Operations Manager platform, as well as integrating with additional data sources - from Microsoft’s own Azure Log Analytics, Application Insights and System Center Service Manager to third-party products like ServiceNow, Splunk and many more - to provide visibility into large-scale enterprise infrastructure and application estates, both on-prem and across hybrid cloud environments.


"We’ve been heavily utilising Windows Admin Center throughout its Technical Preview and it’s been a huge hit already, really helping solve challenges like our engineers getting easy access to our configuration labs, and we intend to make it our primary management console once it hits full release. We love the potential of the integration with Squared Up and the ability to surface all our data in a single place.”
David Acevedo, I/S Specialist at NuStar Energy L.P.


Our clients manage hundreds, often thousands, of Windows Servers and the diverse application portfolios delivered by them, and we’re on a mission to bring their IT teams the best in fast, modern, web UI to provide the insights they need. As a result, we immediately saw an exciting alignment with Windows Admin Center (formerly known as Project Honolulu) which brings those same values and principles to the next generation of Windows Server administration. We believed that the long-term performance data, real-time server dependency insights and application context surfaced by Squared Up would perfectly complement the sleek, real-time data and server management capabilities provided by Windows Admin Center.


Application topology dynamically accessed via Windows Admin Center


“As an organization managing a large-scale server estate, the Squared Up / Windows Admin Center integration is the perfect marriage of our localized and centralized tooling and things like being able to throw a server straight into Maintenance Mode from within Windows Admin Center are great little wins for us”
Kip Granson, Virtualization Systems Administrator at Purdue University


Armed with a clear vision of wanting to present that data seamlessly within Windows Admin Center, we were privileged to be invited to the private Technical Preview Program for the Windows Admin Center SDK (then still known as Project Honolulu and only now just publicly released in Beta).

Using the Windows Admin Center SDK, we’ve built an extension that dynamically embeds relevant Squared Up views within the Windows Admin Center experience. For example, within the context of a specific server or cluster, Squared Up views are automatically embedded to provided enhanced visibility. Views include historical trends of key performance and capacity metrics (such as CPU, memory and disk), hosting stack (cloud platform or datacentre virtualization), application components such as SQL databases and services, and even cloud-based log analytics and ITSM data.


Our amazing Donut Tile in full view within Project Honolulu


Squared Up and Windows Admin Center share a modern web architecture and design ethos, which has enabled both a simple technical integration and a seamless user experience. With web-based administration increasingly becoming the norm, this method of integration between different systems is the key to unlocking a modern, unified, administration experience.


“We see Windows Admin Center as the cutting-edge of modern Windows Server administration, so it’s been a great experience for us to work so closely with the team and the fact that they’re working with such speed, enthusiasm, flexibility and within such fundamentally modern development paradigms has made them a great fit with the way we, as a lean, agile, fast-paced software development company, work ourselves.” 
Richard Benwell, Product Architect at Squared Up


From this natural alignment, we were able to rapidly progress to a prototype integration displaying Squared Up natively within the Windows Admin Center experience and to get that into the hands of our own early-adopter, technical preview clients. From their reactions, it was immediately clear that the story was winner.


“One of the key challenges of maintaining outstanding service across our environment of over 3,500 servers is unifying our diverse landscape of management and monitoring tools and so the integration between Squared Up and Windows Admin Center - which brings together so much data, from so many disparate sources, into a single console – is massive for us.”
Martin Ehrnst, Technical Lead for Azure at Intility A/S


With that kind of enthusiasm from our clients already and with tons of great new features still to come to Windows Admin Center, we’re very excited about the future of this integration and the awesome possibilities it opens up for our clients and their journey to a true single-pane-of-glass for their IT operations management.

The Squared Up / Windows Admin Center integration is currently in Beta; if you’d like access, please check out our dedicated page for more details. If your organisation uses Microsoft  System Center Operations Manager and you don’t yet have Squared Up, you can also get your hands on a fully-featured, 30 day free trial from the same location.