Absolutely Full of I.T.

Kevin Remde

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31 Days of our Favorite Things: Windows Server 2012 and the RSATs (Part 24 of 31)

For your toolbeltRSAT stands for Remote Server Administration Tools.  This is the toolset that IT Pros have come to know and love, because it is the toolset that lets them keep sitting at their desks.

“You mean, it contributes to the obesity epidemic in America?”

Well.. I wouldn’t go that far.  But it certainly doesn’t help.  And that’s not what it was designed for.  How about we agree that when you’re done reading this, you promise to get up, stretch, and take a walk.*

What I mean is that it’s the toolset that IT Pros use to manage their servers right from their workstations.  And with the huge (HUGE) improvements in Windows Server 2012, and in particular the Server Manager for fully managing all of your servers from one console, this becomes a very powerful toolset.

To describe what the RSAT tools (redundant) do for you, allow me to share with you the text from the download page, followed by my answering a bunch of questions that I pose to myself in the oddly twisted method that has become “Full of I.T.”:

“Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8 enables IT administrators to manage roles and features that are installed on computers that are running Windows Server 2012 from a remote computer that is running Windows 8.”

“So, you’re saying that I can only manage Windows Server 2012 from a Windows 8 workstation?”

Yes, currently that is the answer.  The RSAT for Windows 8 only installs on…. [pause for effect].. Windows 8

“What about Windows RT?  Can I install the RSAT on that new Surface tablet that I’m going to be getting?”

Not directly, no.  And I say “not directly”, because I plan on doing a lot of work on my Surface using a remote desktop running Windows 8, or RemoteApps running from a Windows Server 2012.  So in those cases, I’ll have the full applications and even a full Windows 8 desktop at my disposal, all from the convenience of my Surface tablet.  (And yes, Windows RT has Remote Desktop and can support RemoteApps out-of-the-box.)

“Hey Kevin.. can I use these tools to manage Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2?”

Yes, you can; providing that you first install the new Windows Management Framework 3.0 onto those managed servers.  CLICK HERE FOR THE WMF 3.0  DOWNLOAD PAGE

“Is there anything else that is significantly different in this new set of RSATs as compared to the previous ones?”

I’m glad you asked that.  Yes, actually.  In the past, you had to both install the RSATs as well as then selectively enable specific tools in the by going into the Control Panel, clicking Programs and then click Turn Windows features on or off.  In the newest version, this is no longer the case.  All of the tools are installed and available to you automatically.  In fact, you’re welcome to remove them from the Start Screen afterwards, but by default they are all now available to you.

Convinced?  CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE DOWNLOAD PAGE for the RSATs for Windows 8.

Learn more about RSAT and how to install and deploy them by CLICKING HERE.

And if you need the RSATs for older servers, CLICK HERE to read the Wiki article on these. 

While I have your attention (and before you get up and head to the gym), here is a list of RSAT downloads for your convenience:


* There.  I’ve done my part.  Time for a nap.  Or a beer and some pizza.

Is this an IT Pro?


Are you using the RSAT?  Does the Windows 8 requirement concern you?  Let’s discuss it in the comments.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Kevin Remde

Kevin is an engaging and highly sought-after speaker and webcaster who has landed several times on Microsoft's top 10 webcast list, and has delivered many top-scoring TechNet events and webcasts. In his past outside of Microsoft, Kevin has held positions such as software engineer, information systems professional, and information systems manager. He loves sharing helpful new solutions and technologies with his IT professional peers.

A prolific blogger, Kevin shares his thoughts, ideas and tips on his “Full of I.T.” blog (http://aka.ms/FullOfIT). He also contributes to and moderates the TechNet Forum IT Manager discussion (http://aka.ms/ITManager), and presents live TechNet Events throughout the central U.S. (http://www.technetevents.com). When he's not busy learning or blogging about new technologies, Kevin enjoys digital photography and videography, and sings in a band. (Q: Midlife crisis? A: More cowbell!) He continues to challenge his TechNet Event audiences to sing Karaoke with him.