In the previous two posts I configured an Azure Virtual Network from inside of Windows Server 2016 Essentials Technical Preview 3 and then built a Windows Server virtual machine inside of that virtual network, and then joined it to the on-premises domain. In this post I’ll focus on how you can now leverage Server Manager to perform management tasks on that remote server.

I have Server Manager open in my on-premises Essentials installation, and as you can see the roles that are listed on the left hand side highlight this.

To start managing the Azure VM via the Essentials Server, we need to go to All Servers.

From there we can select Manage and then Add Server from the top right hand menu options.

This launches the Add Servers screen, where I need to click Find Now to locate the servers in Active Directory.

The Azure VM now shows up, so I select it.

I then click the add arrow next to the server name, and click okay.

Now the Essentials server is querying the remote server to get its details. In order for this to complete successfully, we need to switch over to the Azure VM.

In the Azure VM we need to check the Local Server page, where we can see that Remote Management is disabled, which is going to prevent remote management.

We are then presented with the Configure Remote Management screen, where we check the Enable Remote Management Of This Server From Other Computers and click okay.

Now we can see that Remote Management is enabled, so we can switch back over to the Azure VM.

I need to click refresh, as you can see that it was unsuccessful at the first attempt because remote management was disabled.

Refreshing quickly beings up what we wanted to see, it’s online, and we can see its IP address listed.

What we can also see now is that if I select a role on the left hand side that is present on the remote server, I can now manage that directly from Server Manager. In this case I’ve selected File and Storage Services.

Other things you can do inside of Server Manager is to add or remove server roles and features, so what I will do now is remove the GUI from the remote server installation to reduce its memory footprint.

When we launch the Remove Roles and Features Wizard we can see that no destination server is selected in the top right hand corner.

On the next screen we can select the remote virtual machine.

I don’t need to change any roles on the server, so I click next.

And here I uncheck the Graphical Management Tools And Infrastructure.

We are then advised that the Server Graphical Shell and the PowerShell ISE will be removed.

I then click next.

And now the remote server starts the process of uninstalling the selected features.

Once the remote server restarts you can see that even though it is online, we cannot get all of the required information.

Switching over the remote VM we can see that it is still configuring the changes that we made.

Once that is completed, we are presented with Windows Server Core, with nothing but a command window to greet us.

Switching back over to the on-premises Essential server we can see that we have access to the remote machine again for management purposes.

And just to highlight that the changes that we made are successfully reflected, I’ll go into the Add Roles and Features Wizard.

I’ll just click next.

Next again…

I select the remote server.

And here you can see that that User Interfaces and Infrastructure choices are unchecked, confirming that everything is running as expected.