TR Dojo: Create custom MMCs the right way with these five tips
September 9, 2011, 6:05am PDT | Length: 00:05:06
Building your own Microsoft Management Consoles lets you consolidate the tools you routinely use, so you can streamline your daily admin chores. Bill Detwiler give you five tips for creating custom MMCs the right way. Once you’ve watched this TR Dojo video, you can find a link to the original TechRepublic article and print the tip from our
Bill Detwiler: Building your own management consoles letsyou consolidate the tools you routinely use, so you can streamline your dailyadmin chores.
I'm Bill Detwiler, and during this episode of TR Dojo, I'llgive you five tips for creating custom MMCs the right way.
Whether you manage a few dozen Windows machines orthousands, the Microsoft Management Console (or MMC) can help you configure andmonitor those boxes.
And although the default consoles (such as ComputerManagement and Group Policy Editor) contain some of the most widely-used MMCsnap-ins, you can create custom consoles tailored to meet your needs.
For example, if you regularly set up the Windows firewalland then check the Event Viewer for firewall-related events, you could createan MMC that combines the Windows Firewall snap-in with the Event Viewersnap-in. That way, the tasks you normally perform in sequence are groupedtogether within a single console.
But, creating effective consoles requires a little planning.So, TechRepublic blogger and long-time Windows admin Brien Posey put together alist of five tips for creating good custom MMCs. I've tweaked Brien's list abit for this video, and I'll link to his original article in the TR Dojo blog.
Tip number 1: Avoid creating potentially confusing consoles
For instance, Brien recommends not creating a single consolefor managing both the local security policy and your domain security policy.Why? Because using such a console increases the likelihood that you'llaccidentally make changes to the wrong policy.
If grouping certain types of snap-ins could potentially leadyou to make mistakes, just don't do it.
Tip Number 2: Pick only the snap-in extensions you need
An extension is nothing more than a unit of functionalitywithin a snap-in, and many MMC snap-ins contain multiple extensions.
For example the "Resultant Set Of Policy" snap-inis made up of about a dozen extensions. By enabling and disabling variousextensions, you could create a Resultant Set Of Policy console that shows onlyyour security settings, or one shows you everything but scripts.
Tip Number 3: Use hierarchies for large consoles
Normally, when you create a custom management console, allthe snap-ins you add are grouped beneath the Console Root. This is fine forsmaller consoles, but if you're creating a large or complex console, it can beadvantageous to group the snap-ins according to function.
The Add Or Remove Snap-ins screen contains an Advancedbutton. Clicking this button enables the Parent Snap-in function, which letsyou choose another folder or even another snap-in to act as the parent forother snap-ins. Doing so makes it possible to group snap-ins in a hierarchicalmanner.
Brien recommends creating folders for related snap-ins. Onceyou’ve added all the necessary snap-ins and Windows displays the console as youwould like it appear, you can rename your folders to convey the purpose of eachone.
Tip 4: Build task-related consoles, such as one thatperforms a specific management function, but on multiple computers.
For instance, when you add the Event Viewer snap-in to aconsole, Windows will ask whether you want to manage the local computer or aremote computer. By using multiple instances of the Event Viewer snap-in, youcan create a console that shows the event logs for several different machines.
The last tip on the list should be self-evident, but asBrien admits many admins, including himself, often forget to do it. And that'sto save their custom console. Setting up a console can involve a lot of work,and the last thing you want to do is accidentally close your newly-createdconsole without saving it first.
Well that does it for this episode of TR Dojo. I'll link toBrien's article and more Microsoft Management Console tips in the TR Dojo blog.
And as always, for more teachings on YOUR path to becomingan IT Ninja, visit trdojo.techrepublic.com, sign-up for our newsletter, orfollow me on Twitter.
Thanks for visiting the TR Dojo.