Greetings and happy Monday!! Hilde here - coming to you from the Seattle area, where I'm fortunate enough to be attending our premier internal technical training event.
In this post, I'll cover a less-known but VERY cool customization ability to get you thinking about how you might make your Server Admin lives easier and more efficient.
If you've used Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2, you've seen that Server Manager is quite different from previous versions but did you know you can edit the 'Tools' menu in Server Manager?
Well, you can. The Tools drop-down is just a UI to expose the shortcuts in the "Administrative Tools" folder (C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools\).
Think about that a bit - let your imagination run with the possibilities …
A typical default Tools list
Let's customize it to better fit my needs…
Open up the following location on the target system:
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools\
In this folder, you can:
%systemroot%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -executionpolicy bypass -noexit -file "C:\Users\administrator.CHILD\Documents\POSH - dedup.ps1"
And now … the custom IT – Admin Tools list
With this design, I can easily find my tools (they're at the top) and when I click the "- IT – POSH Dedup Status Utility," this pops up on my screen and stays until I close it:
When I need to manage my storage array, I run the "– IT – HP Array Configuration Utility" from my Tools folder:
You get the idea.
In addition to this awesome flexibility, I am ever-so-hopeful this sort of customization will at some point be possible with the Win+X menu (right-click the Start button) but that remains to be seen.
For some 2012 Server Manager "overview goodness," see my wayyy back post
Some of the core ideas presented in this post were discussed on the Server Manager blog – check it out for some more insight/info
Now, go get creative and post your cool ideas for server management efficiencies in the comments. Help us all "be better."
Cheers - Hilde