Network ATC management in Windows Admin Center

ATC continues to be the preferred method to deploy host networking for our Azure Stack customers. For most customers, deployment takes just a single command and completes in a few minutes. ATC makes all the necessary decisions to ensure that your configuration is stable and optimized. In fact, it will even check periodically to ensure everything is still in the appropriate configuration and remediate any accidental misconfigurations it finds. The best part, you can get the status of all this information from every node in the cluster with just one cmdlet.

But sometimes you just need a dashboard. Whether it's your manager asking you for a screenshot, or you just prefer to use a graphical interface that centralizes management for all your clusters, Windows is the go-to user interface for Azure Stack . While ATC has been part of the deployment workflow (cluster creation) for some time, we've frequently heard customers ask for a way to manage the network intents they deploy afterwards.

Today, we're announcing the release of the Network ATC extension for Windows .

Install the extension

To get started, you first need to install two extensions. To do this, open WAC and navigate to the settings page. Once there, install or update the Cluster Manager extension to the latest.

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Next, search for “Network ATC” click the extension and hit install.

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Once installed, WAC will refresh and show the extension as installed.

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Review your cluster configuration

Connect to your cluster with Windows

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Once you connect to the cluster you see the extension under the “Networking” section.

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At present, there are three tools included in the extension (though we're planning more!). Clicking on any of the tools will provide a prompt to install Network ATC or Network HUD and their dependencies if not already done. You'll have a one-click installation experience for all dependencies on each node.

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Network Intents

Once installed, we can explore the tools. First up is the “Network Intents” tool which lets you manage the Network Intents for your cluster. If you have existing network intents, you'll see them populate here along with the status on each node. In the screenshot below, there is already an intent deployed used for Management access and Virtual Machine/Container use.

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You can create an intent by clicking the “New” button. You'll find that the applicable overrides are updated for each intent type you select. In this example, we're adding a intent and so the Data Center Bridging overrides are available for modification from the defaults.

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Once you click Create, the intent will begin provisioning and complete. Periodically, this value will update to “Validating” which means that Network ATC is checking to ensure you're still configured properly.

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If at any point your intent is in a failed state, you'll see that status reflect here along with a link to review the error message that will typically have a helpful message to assist in resolving the issue.

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You'll find that the intent status on the page will update on its own. No need to click the refresh button!

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Cluster Settings

The next page to explore is part of the global intents introduced in 22H2. Cluster settings are now managed with Network ATC, and we make several calculations (as we do with other configuration choices) to arrive at the optimal configuration, which are marked “Recommended.”

Network ATC will assess a variety of information to set the Auto-Calculated properties. You can always override these properties and set your own value if you want to, but we recommend you leave these values to their defaults.

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Proxy Settings

The last page to explore today is the Proxy settings page. Configuring a proxy consistently across each node in the cluster has been challenging for customers. This is only compounded when you start to add more nodes to the cluster, or more clusters. With Network ATC, new nodes in the same cluster will receive the same proxy configuration automatically. And, as we showed with another recent blog, you can quickly copy the configuration from one Network ATC managed cluster, to the next (and so on). This includes the proxy settings!

If you want to enable proxy setting management, you can do it from this page and configure a bypass list if applicable.

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Summary

Network ATC is the simplest and most reliable way to deploy and manage your network configuration. Until now, this has required some simple PowerShell commands. This has gotten even easier with the new Windows Admin Center extension for Network ATC. You no longer have to remember the override command for a setting or login to check the status of your configuration. Now you can use Windows Admin Center to easily manage your networking across the cluster. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Dan “Coordinatore di Technology Advantage” Cuomo

 

This article was originally published by Microsoft's Azure Blog. You can find the original article here.