Sunday, June 22, 2008

Advanced Management Console in SBS 2003 [Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Book Excerpt]

hey-hey - I am harry brelsford, ceo of SMB Nation and the author of Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices. Each day, I am posting up heaps of my infamous purple book until SBS 2008 ships!
Today we discuss the advanced management console (MMC-based) in SBS 2003!
Harry Brelsford, CEO SMB Nation,
Advanced Management
It is under Advanced Management that the “native tools” you need to interact with SBS 2003 are exposed. For those of you who worked with SBS in the 4.x era, you’ll recall that it was more difficult to utilize the native tools (and some native tools even crippled SBS 4.x!). That, of course, changed in the last two SBS releases, wherein native tools are placed front and center for your benefit. The components of Advanced Management, as listed on the left panel of Figure 4-2, are described below.
Figure 4-2
The focus in this figure is the Advanced Management components.
• Active Directory Users and Computers. Ah, every MCSE certifica­tion candidate has likely committed to memory this tool that is the primary interface for managing objects in Active Directory such as users and groups.
BEST PRACTICE: A hands-on lab instructor for whom I have the utmost respect has an interesting take on Active Directory Users and Computers. He believes that it is the primary approach to managing the messaging function on a server computer with Exchange Server 2003 installed. What? I’ll explain this more in Chapter 6, but take a moment to look at the Exchange-related tabs that appear when you view a user object in Active Directory Users and Computers when you’ve selected Advanced Features under the View menu. You’ll see four Exchange-related tabs. Then ask yourself where you do most of your Exchange-related management on a day-to-day basis. I do believe you’ll agree that you do it here, pardner!
• Group Policy Management. Remember that paradigm d’etre we dis­cussed earlier about support for client computer configuration? Yep! That is again manifested by the Group Policy Management page.
• Computer Management (Local). Lots of great reasons to get to know this object, including the ability to manage your hard disks and start and stop services. I’ll explore this tool more in Chapter 11.
• First Organization (Exchange)/SPRINGERSLTD (Exchange). This is System Manager in Exchange Server 2003, where I can’t deny many Exchange-related tasks are performed. Let’s hold off further discus­sion until Chapter 6.
• POP3 Connector Manager. Hail to Charlie, a senior member of the SBS development team who owns the POP3 Connector Manager in SBS 2003. This allows you to download e-mails from POP3 servers (typically located at your ISP). This is discuss more in Chapter 6.
• Terminal Services Configuration. This tool could be used to modify the default Terminal Services configuration in SBS 2003 (which is in Remote Administration Mode). I’ll discuss Terminal Services more in Chapter 11.

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• Internet Information Services. Yes - Internet Information Services (IIS) is alive and well in SBS 2003 and the focus in Chapter 10, so I’ll wait until then to dive into the details.
• Migrate Server Settings. This page brings together all the cool settings you can migrate between SBS 2003 servers. This would, of course, benefit an SBM/SBS consultant who has perfect settings that he wants to easily share with customers. More on these settings in Chapter 11 and 12.

BEST PRACTICE: For a real good time, look at the menu shortcuts in the Server Management console. Click Favorites from the upper toolbar and look at the Standard Management and Advanced Management menu items. You might be surprised by what you see, such as the Sessions and Open Files items.
BEST PRACTICE: Don’t forget that the Server Management console in SBS 2003 is based on Microsoft Management Console (MMC)
2.0 and that customization is possible. How? Simply place the Server Management console in Author mode and add a snap-in, such as the SQL Server Enterprise Manager. The location of the Server Manager console on which you would want to perform your modifications is:
%System Drive%\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server\Administration\itprosbsconsole.msc
You would right-click the above file and select Author from the secondary menu to make your edits.
By the way, a little SBS culture here. Really, really early looks of SBS 2003 had the console being based on SharePoint technologies (e.g., Windows SharePoint Services). But in the final product, it’s all MMC 2.0, baby!

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