Windows

Access Native Tools Management in Windows SBS 2011

Windows Small Business Server 2011 has a number of applications pre-installed and configured. IT jedi Rick Vanover shows how to access a single pane of glass for a number of system administration items.
I've been going a little out of my comfort zone and playing with the Microsoft Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2011. The Windows SBS 2011 Standard has a built-in console (Figure A), which is targeted for ease of use for those who may not be the traditional server administrator. Figure A

Click the image to enlarge.
This console is fine for everyday tasks, but I wanted to use more of the native tool interface that I am familiar with from the mainstream Windows Server platforms. In Windows SBS 2011, the Advanced Management snap-in (AdvancedManagment.msc) provides this interface; it is called the Windows SBS Native Tools Management application (Figure B) in the Start Menu. The Advanced Management snap-in pulls into one pane of glass Active Directory Users And Computers, local computer management, Remote Desktop configuration, update management, FAX server configuration, local certificate authority, DNS, DHCP and Microsoft Exchange. Figure B

Click the image to enlarge.

The console is notably missing is the SharePoint portal and the full SQL Server Management Studio. Also, the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager shortcut within Computer Management of the Advanced Management snap-in is effective, but it gets clumsy when digging deep into a window with multiple tree views.

These issues are actually safeguards. IIS, SQL, and SharePoint are very closely related, and we should not tinker with the SharePoint IIS configuration or databases outside of the SharePoint tools. Additional snap-ins can be added to the Advanced Management console; a good example would be the Group Policy Management snap-in to allow modification of the Group Policy Objects that are inherent with a default Windows SBS 2011 installation.

The Advanced Management snap-in is the comfortable place for the traditional Windows Server administrator on the SBS platform. Let us know if you have used this tool.

About

Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.

6 comments
indi001
indi001

sorry, the initial article was about sbs management, i couldn't read a thing about cloud computing. so i try to go back to the actual topic, the part about the advanced management snap-in. i came across a sbs 2011 standard server, sp1 - it should have this snap in, but there is no such snap in... so, what might that be? any ideas?

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

SBS 2011 won't remedy connectivity problems. It sounds like you might be taking the wrong approach. Bond some ISDN lines together if you're out in the woods - it still works - always will. As far as connecting to 'the cloud'. All you need is a computer, internet connection, a browser, and the service you want to connect TO. If it takes more than that then fire your cloud service provider and go with Google Apps. But, it doesn't REQUIRE SBS 2011. It's still time to let it go.

hhaywood000
hhaywood000

The cloud is great as long as you can connect to it. Out on the Industrial estate I work at our internet connectivity drops out regularly. Its not a huge issue as its only external but if we did everything cloud side we would be in big trouble.

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

I've read all the promo material for SBS 2011 and it was originally designed to work directly with cloud services. Since the cloud replaces those core services AND sets the administration maintenance responsibility on cloud engineers then what's the purpose of duplicating those services with a server system that historically represents failure and cost? Incidentally MS has dropped the bit about cloud inter-operability. The only remnants left of that campaign are "Office 365, cloud backup and cloud management solutions"; hardly worth the cost of a migration when those same tools are in every cloud package. Either way, MS no longer promotes it in the same light they once did - for the same reasons: you're paying twice for 1 set of features.

Nunob
Nunob

But not everyone is ready to put all their data in the cloud and not everyone is ready to turn over control of their data and information to large corporations. Some of us just isn't ready to be assimilated.

todd_dsm
todd_dsm

Not too long ago someone shouted "Cloud!", and the world came running. Now we have Google Apps, the Zoho Suite, the list is endless; even Microsoft re-invented Hotmail into Office Live, so they must believe it too. For a few cents a day you get email with your domain, the ability to create, manage, and share your documentation online, replicated data backups, and centralized/managed antivirus/antispam. These are most of the needs of small business. The small business server has typically been a source of expense, pain, and frustration for small business owners. I've supported them for years. This pain and expense can now just evaporate into the cloud. We should let the MS Small Business Server have a dignified send off and keep moving (technically) forward. I don't like losing the support dollars either but the world is closing in around us in the form of this cloud. If they can roll Google Apps out to 34,000 users (City of LA) then what reason would 50-100 user SMBs have for not using it, or something like it?

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