I am not personally a fan of the new interface changes, partly because I've been a Windows administrator for over 15 years now. That's a lot of habit to change. After playing with the preview and the beta for a while, I'm not sure how, at least on a server, the Metro interface overall offers anything useful. Opening the Start menu and typing in what I needed was excellent for me and, I'll bet, for millions of other administrators.
Hiding all of that behind more clicks and hovers seems counterproductive -- and servers are not going to be using touch interfaces, the big intended target of the Metro redesign, so the screens full of big tiles and icons feel wasted. Plus, if Microsoft 's saying the GUI is not preferred on the server, then why update the GUI offered on Windows Server 8 with all the whizbang eye candy? I'm not sure it logically registers for me.
Overall, that change is negative in my opinion.
That said, most admin tasks in Windows Server 8 are done in Server Manager, and the Metro design principles and execution within that app itself are really superb.
Managing multiple machines
The Server Manager app continues to be enhanced as a one-stop shop for managing administrative tasks on Windows Server 8. Out of the box, it's simple to see what tasks need to be done to get a server into production.
It's easy to see what needs to be done to get any particular server into production.
One of the benefits of the new Server Manager interface is the ability to create server groups, or collections of servers that already exist on your network that can be managed through the new user experience. I can also find such machines through DNS or I can import a list of servers to bring into the group manually.
Here,, I'm polling my Active Directory domain for machines to bring into a new group.
Creating new server groups allows you to manage tasks among each server with common attributes. For example, you can create a server group containing all machines running Internet Information Services (IIS), or all database servers, and so on, And you can request specific information on any of them as you wish.
Each server group appears as a separate tile on the front page of Server Manager, giving you instant access and visual cues to alerts and notifications about events going on within the server pool, including service alerts, performance counter information, and Best Practice Analyzer results.
Each server group appears as a separate tile on the front page of Server Manager.
This allows IT pros to administer many servers just like one server. Theoretically, you can manage any Windows machine on your network right from within one single Server Manager console.