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.
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.