Project Honolulu – A New Windows Server Management Experience for the Software Defined Datacenter (Part 1)

Hello! My name is Kevin Kelling and I’m a Premier Field Engineer with Microsoft focused on Windows Server, virtualization, and Azure. Having worked with Windows Server since the NT 3.51 days, I’m excited to have the opportunity to share a major new feature which holds the potential to change how we interact with and experience Windows Server.

PowerShell is such an empowering way to do so many things, but there are those times where we just want to see and interact with a GUI.

Last week we announced a sneak peak of Project Honolulu which is our new web based interface for Windows Server:

More on Project Honolulu in a bit, but first I’d like to point out that it is much more than just a web UI for Windows Server, as it also helps to complete our Hyper-Converged Infrastructure offerings.

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) is essentially where the compute and storage tiers coexist within each host server – no external shared storage or SAN is needed. Last year Intel demonstrated nearly a million IOPS on a 4 node cluster using Storage Spaces Direct and we are doing more with mirror accelerated parity volumes and more to be announced at Microsoft Ignite.
Azure Stack is already Hyper-Converged and uses the Azure Portal as the user interface. If you’re using Hyper-V today for on-premises you are likely using a mix of SCVMM and PowerShell to manage Hyper-V and Storage Spaces Direct.  What Project Honolulu adds to this scenario is a unified web based interface from which BOTH compute and storage elements can be managed.
The illustration below shows where Project Honolulu fits in:

When your focus is traditional virtual infrastructure (“VM vending machine”, VDI, etc.), Project Honolulu completes the user interface portion of the stack.  For scenarios where you want a cloud development platform with rich automation, IaaS, PaaS and Azure consistency, Azure Stack is going to be the preferred HCI offering — especially for those environments already using Azure public cloud and looking for ways to extend the platform to on-premises.

(Note:  Not illustrated above is a third option, which is our enterprise SDDC offering which consists of Hyper-Converged Infrastructure by the rack. For more information, please visit )

Below is another screenshot of Project Honolulu along with our “sneak peak” blog post which includes details on the session at Microsoft Ignite (which will be recorded for future on-demand viewing)/

In future posts, we will dive deeper into Project Honolulu, as well as explore some of the cloud models in more detail. For example, ‘what are the optimal use cases for the models above?’.

Also, if you’d like to follow along with the keynotes and announcements from Microsoft Ignite the week of Monday, September 25, be sure to explore the link below. Stay tuned for more!