Review: Windows Server 2008 (Web)

Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 has been completely rewritten and will debut in Windows Server 2008. IIS is now broken down into modules. You can take any one of these modules and break them down further by plugging or unplugging them as well as extending them or simply ripping the code out and not using them at all.

In other words, you can turn on or turn off any module in IIS whenever you want. For example, if you do not use basic authentication in your websites, you can simply remove the code quickly and simply. Furthermore, if your application does not take advantage of common gateway interfaces (CGI), simply remove that specific component.

Now when you deploy a brand new webserver, you can choose what components you want and only run those components. This allows you to secure IIS further and gives you a huge performance boost enabling IIS to run much faster than it ever has before.

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is also being widely used in IIS 7, making it easy to manage IIS 7 via WMI. Simply put, it allows you to manage IIS from a set of scripts that you create. There is a lot of automation that can be done with IIS 7.0 via WMI. IT administrators will welcome the enhancements.

In IIS 7, you do not need to be a machine administrator to perform basics tasks. You have the ability to make specific people website operators on a machine and give them the appropriate tasks to do their job without elevating their privileges. All of these tasks are now handled by the new IIS 7 Web-admin tool that replaces the existing MMC snap-in. This tool takes care of all of your administrators needs and is where they will manage their IIS 7 web servers.

The last feature I am going to talk about is the web.config file. This is where all information that is input in the Web admin tool is stored. You could edit this file manually, if your IT administrator does not want to use the Web admin tool. They could put this web.config file on a file server to by accessed by multiple servers in a cluster.