Not only is the capability great, I also like the new UI for Server Manager. I now can right-click a server and go right into a Computer Management session for it. Or PowerShell or reboot it! It's a much better interface.
Admin feature No. 2: Server Core gains a GUI setup
Windows Server 2008 also introduced Server Core, which allowed for a smaller footprint and attack surface because it had a command-line-only flavor of the OS installed. But it was a configuration nightmare (unless you picked up a copy of the free Core Configurator tool from CodePlex). The new version in Windows 8 addresses that flaw, allowing you to use the full GUI to configure Server Core. When done, you can uninstall the GUI and leave the core, gaining its small footprint advantages.
Another flaw with Windows Server 2008's Server Core is that it cannot be used with SQL Server or Exchange. The Windows 8 version promises to at least support SQL.
Admin feature No. 3: PowerShell is getting bigger
As an admin who isn't afraid to admit I love the GUI, I also have to confess that this command-line PowerShell thing just isn't going to die any time soon, so it's high time you got onboard. The current base of PowerShell cmdlets amount to about 200. With Windows Server 8, we are looking at having access to about 2,300 (yes, there are two zeroes after the number "23"). I'll preview the major ones in this blog in coming months.
There's a lot more in Windows Server 8, but rather than overwhelm you with the whole shebang, I'll go through key sets of features in this column over several weeks. Stay tuned!
This article, "The 3 key new admin features in Windows Server 8," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.