Data Centers

Tech Tip: Add roles to your server

Windows Server 2003 introduces the concept of "roles" to the Windows server world. Out of the box, WS2K3 isn't able to handle very much because almost everything is locked down by default.

To increase the capabilities of WS2K3, go to Start | Manage Your Server and add roles to the server as appropriate. Here's a list of the roles that are available, as well as a description of some of the services they provide.

  • Application Server (IIS, ASP.NET): This provides Web services via Internet Information Server (IIS) 6.0, as well as other services, such as COM+ and ASP.NET.
  • DHCP Server: This includes a mechanism that automatically assigns TCP/IP addressing information to remote clients. It also supplies clients with other information, such as the address of WINS servers and NetBIOS configuration parameters.
  • DNS Server: A DNS server is required in order to run Active Directory, perform friendly name-to-IP address lookups, and allow clients to access network and Internet resources. The WS2K3 DNS service also supports dynamic DNS, so it works seamlessly with DHCP-enabled clients.
  • Domain Controller: The domain controller services install Active Directory, which manages users and computers on the network.
  • File Server: One of the most common uses for a file server is to store files in a central location. In WS2K3, you can use file services in conjunction with many other services, such as the Encrypting File System (EFS) for enhanced file security, the Distributed File Services (DFS) for high availability, and the Volume Shadow Copy Restore service for real-time backups.
  • Mail Server: This installs the Internet standard POP3 and SMTP services on the server, so users and applications can communicate with one another.
  • Print Server: Centralizing the printing services is often one of the first steps organizations take when moving to a network. WS2K3 includes a mechanism for centrally managing printing resources.
  • Remote Access/VPN Server: This provides network resource access to users on the road and in remote offices.
  • Streaming Media Server: A streaming media server supplies Windows Media Player streams to remote clients.
  • Terminal Server: This allows multiuser access to the Windows server, so users can run applications and administrators can remotely administer the server.
  • WINS Server: Similar to DNS, WINS maps NetBIOS names to IP addresses.

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