Q: Can I remotely add roles and features from the Windows 8/Windows Server 2012 Server Manager tool to downlevel Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 servers?

A: The Windows Server 2012 Server Manager allows management of down-level Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 servers that have the Windows Management Framework 3 installed. This includes the Server Manager CIM provider to enable the remote management from the Windows Server 2012 Server Manager.

Although Windows Server 2012 installations can have roles and features added and removed remotely, this doesn't apply to Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 installations that must have roles and features managed locally. When launching the Add or Remote Roles and Features management action from Server Manager, Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 servers that are being managed won't be displayed in the list of available servers, which is by design.

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