Windows 2008 Impressions (Part IV):Server Manager

One new tool that is very obvious (appears after you install the server and you close the Initial Configuration
window) is Server Manager. Server manage is kind of a Swiss army Knife for your server. It has all the
functions needed to manage the server (hence it’s name).
Considering previous OS versions,Server Manager has replaced Computer Management and not only by name
as you will see in the post.

The structure of Server Manager (which is a standard MMC snap-in) is based on a hierarchical left pane that
includes the usable options and the main window which displays the information for each option.

The root

The root of the inverted tree provides you with the server summary in the main pane.
The server summary provides an overview of the server that is divided into three groups:

  1. Server Summary- Includes information about the server name and network configuration.
  2. Security Information- Information about the firewall and updates.
  3. Roles Summary – A list of installed roles.
  4. Features Summary – A list of installed features.
  5. Resources and Support – Access to information about Windows Server,error reporting and
    costumer experience improvement program.

image
Note, that each partition of the screen has links towards tools that enable the administrator to change
the servers configuration.

 

Roles & Features

The roles and features nodes seem obvious, and they are, yet there are a few interesting things to explore there.
So, lets get rid of the obvious- these nodes allow the system administrator to view which roles and features are
installed and then either add new ones or remove from the existing ones.

The interesting parts that caught my eye are in the roles node. When you choose the roles node, you will receive
a summary of the roles installed(each role has a dedicated space with the roles status) and the services inside the
roles(in addition to that you also have the ability to add/remove and change the roles).

Each role has a node of it’s own under the roles node. The roles page will display events form the Event Viewer
correlated to the roles, system services used by the roles, and role services installed. Under this node the tools used
to manage the role are available.

image

 

Diagnostics

The diagnostics node, provides access to the following tools:

  1. Event Viewer
  2. Reliability and Performance
  3. Device Manager

 

Configuration

The configuration node includes the following tools:

  1. Task Scheduler
  2. Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
  3. Services
  4. WMI Control
  5. Local Users and Groups

 

Storage

The storage node (by default) includes:

  1. Windows Server Backup (not installed by default)
  2. Disk Management

Using the command line interface (CLI)

One of the subjects that keep on being discussed about Windows 2008 is it’s ability to do everything from the
command line. Well Server Manager is not different, it can be used from the command line by invoking the following
command: servermanagercmd.exe (servermanager.msc will start the snap-in).

The command line tool can be used to manipulate the functionality that is exclusive to Server Manager:
adding/removing and listing installed roles and features. Now that isn’t as simple as it sounds, the CLI tool
will enable the scripting of installation and removal of software.

For a detailed description of the functionality and options, visit:
http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/library/e7edce1d-442c-4ec3-b324-c748e4f937551033.mspx?mfr=true

An important thing to point out is that servemanagercmd.exe is not available when Windows 2008 is installed
a Server Core. The reason is that it needs .NET which is not available. To add and remove roles/feature in a Server
core installation the use ocsetup.

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