Windows Server®
by Ed Tittel and Justin Korelc
Windows Server® 2008 For Dummies®
Published by
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
111 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
Copyright © 2008 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Published simultaneously in Canada
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or
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Library of Congress Control Number: 2008922653
ISBN: 978-0-470-18043-3
Manufactured in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Windows Server®
by Ed Tittel and Justin Korelc
Windows Server® 2008 For Dummies®
Published by
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
111 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
Copyright © 2008 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Published simultaneously in Canada
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or
by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written
permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the
Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600.
Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Legal Department, Wiley Publishing,
Inc., 10475 Crosspoint Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46256, (317) 572-3447, fax (317) 572-4355, or online at http://
Trademarks: Wiley, the Wiley Publishing logo, For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo, A Reference for the
Rest of Us!, The Dummies Way, Dummies Daily, The Fun and Easy Way, Dummies.com, and related trade
dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United
States and other countries, and may not be used without written permission. Microsoft and Windows
Server are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All
other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc., is not associated
with any product or vendor mentioned in this book.
For general information on our other products and services, please contact our Customer Care
Department within the U.S. at 800-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax 317-572-4002.
For technical support, please visit www.wiley.com/techsupport.
Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may
not be available in electronic books.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2008922653
ISBN: 978-0-470-18043-3
Manufactured in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
About the Authors
Ed Tittel is an increasingly grizzled, if not wizened, veteran of the publishing
game, with over a thousand magazine articles and more than 140 books to his
credit. Ed has worked on numerous For Dummies books, including HTML 4
For Dummies, 5th Edition (with Mary Burmeister) and XML For Dummies, 4th
Edition (with Lucinda Dykes), as well as books on many other topics. Ed
runs a small professional IT practice in Round Rock, TX, that specializes in
network-oriented training, writing, and consulting. When Ed’s not busy writing, he likes to spend time with his wife, Dina, and son, Gregory. He also likes
to shoot pool, cook, and read sci-fi. You can reach Ed by e-mail at [email protected]
yahoo.com or through his Web page at www.edtittel.com.
Justin Korelc has been working with computers and technology for over 15
years. Justin is an independent consultant working as a writer and trainer. His
work focuses on security, Windows and Linux operating systems, and PC
hardware. Justin has coauthored several books on media PCs, including Build
the Ultimate Home Theater PC (an ExtremeTech BuildIt Guide) and Hacking
MythTV (an ExtremeTech title). He has developed online training materials on
information security, PC tune-ups, file transfer technologies, and more.
Justin’s computer knowledge is self-taught and based on nearly 20 years of
hands-on experience. He spends his spare time practicing the fine art of
bricolage, playing with computers, and improving his culinary skills. You can
reach Justin by e-mail at [email protected]
Authors’ Acknowledgments
As always, thanks to my agent, Carole McClendon at Waterside Productions,
for hooking me up with For Dummies in the first place. Has it really been 15
years now? On the Wiley side, special thanks to Katie Feltman, Kim Darosett,
and Heidi Unger. I’d also like to thank Justin Korelc for rolling up his sleeves
and digging into the former Longhorn Server as far back as Beta 1. Personally,
I want to thank my Mom and Dad for making my career both possible and
attainable. Finally, I want to thank my wife, Dina Kutueva, for coming into my
life rather later than sooner, and for giving me our wonderful son, Gregory.
Thanks to my coauthor, Ed Tittel, for including me in this book.
Publisher’s Acknowledgments
We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our online registration form
located at www.dummies.com/register/.
Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:
Acquisitions and Editorial
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Cartoons: Rich Tennant
Publishing and Editorial for Technology Dummies
Richard Swadley, Vice President and Executive Group Publisher
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Composition Services
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Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services
Contents at a Glance
Introduction .................................................................1
Part I: Servers at Your Service .......................................7
Chapter 1: Making Windows Server 2008 Serve You .....................................................9
Chapter 2: Server Networking Principles ......................................................................21
Chapter 3: Building Your Network..................................................................................39
Chapter 4: Hooking Up Your Network............................................................................57
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines ..............................71
Chapter 5: Ready, Set, Install!..........................................................................................73
Chapter 6: Configuring Connections to the Universe ..................................................93
Chapter 7: Doing the Directory Thing .........................................................................115
Chapter 8: Working with Active Directory, Domains, and Trusts ............................137
Chapter 9: Printing on the Network .............................................................................155
Chapter 10: IP Addressing: Zero to Insane in Two Seconds Flat ..............................175
Part III: Running Your Network .................................199
Chapter 11: Managing Users with Active Directory Users and Computers ............201
Chapter 12: Managing Shares, Permissions, and More..............................................227
Chapter 13: Preparing for That Rainy Day ..................................................................241
Chapter 14: Network Security Management ...............................................................263
Part IV: Serve It Yourself...........................................281
Chapter 15: How to Be a DIY Guru ...............................................................................283
Chapter 16: Servers the Intel Way ................................................................................297
Chapter 17: Servers the AMD Way ...............................................................................315
Chapter 18: Taking Care of Your Own Issues ..............................................................331
Part V: The Part of Tens ............................................351
Chapter 19: Ten Tips for Installation and Configuration ...........................................353
Chapter 20: Ten Steps to Networking Nirvana with Windows Server 2008 ............363
Part VI: Appendixes ..................................................371
Appendix A: Server Components and Technologies .................................................373
Appendix B: Windows Troubleshooting Resources...................................................385
Index .......................................................................391
Table of Contents
About This Book...............................................................................................1
How to Use This Book .....................................................................................2
Foolish Assumptions .......................................................................................3
How This Book Is Organized...........................................................................3
Part I: Servers at Your Service ..............................................................3
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines ......................................................4
Part III: Running Your Network .............................................................4
Part IV: Serve It Yourself........................................................................4
Part V: The Part of Tens.........................................................................5
Part VI: Appendixes................................................................................5
Bonus Chapter ........................................................................................5
Icons Used in This Book..................................................................................5
Where to Go from Here....................................................................................6
Part I: Servers at Your Service ........................................7
Chapter 1: Making Windows Server 2008 Serve You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Any Server Must Do This ..............................................................................10
Choosing Windows Server 2008 ...................................................................11
Meeting the Windows Server 2008 family .........................................11
Why use Windows Server 2008? .........................................................12
Exploring Windows Server 2008 Networking Features .............................14
Providing services through your server ...........................................14
Managing the user experience............................................................16
Keeping it all safe and secure .............................................................16
The Very Basics of Windows Server 2008 ...................................................18
Chapter 2: Server Networking Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Understanding the Differences between Server and Client
Networking ..................................................................................................21
More Is Better: Multiple NICs (No Cuts)......................................................23
Windows Server 2008 Enhances Networking .............................................24
Next Generation TCP/IP stack ............................................................24
Offloading protocol processing ..........................................................27
TCP Chimney ........................................................................................28
Changes to NDIS ...................................................................................28
Networking Is About Services, Too..............................................................30
What clients want.................................................................................30
What enterprises want ........................................................................35
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
Chapter 3: Building Your Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
Developing a Network Implementation Plan ..............................................39
Understanding Network Design’s Barest Basics ........................................42
Deciding Where Networking Devices Must Go...........................................45
Consider Hiring an Expert to Install Cable and Equipment......................46
Always Check Your Work!..............................................................................47
Evaluating Your Network’s Performance and Usefulness .........................47
Creating a Network Map................................................................................48
It isn’t a map; it’s the whole enchilada ..............................................49
Capturing data for your network map ...............................................49
Taking stock of your network .............................................................50
When the network changes, so does the map! .................................52
Network Interfaces: Built-ins versus Extender Cards................................52
Don’t knock your NIC...........................................................................53
Don’t stub your TOE (TCP Offload Engine) ......................................54
The ever-popular ping test..................................................................55
Chapter 4: Hooking Up Your Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57
Make a Network Medium Happy! .................................................................57
Fiber and coax make a seriously twisted pair ..................................60
Wireless is media, too! .........................................................................63
A final note about cabling ...................................................................64
Raising the Bandwidth Ceiling......................................................................65
100 Mbps Ethernet ...............................................................................67
Gigabit Ethernet....................................................................................68
The Backbone’s Connected to . . . Everything Else!...................................69
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines...............................71
Chapter 5: Ready, Set, Install! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73
Planning the Installation: Upgrade or New? ...............................................73
Handling preinstallation tasks ............................................................75
Preparing for the battle .......................................................................77
Got Enough Horsepower? .............................................................................79
Step by Step: Installing Windows Server 2008............................................82
Server: Are you ready?.........................................................................82
Windows Server 2008 Setup: A walk-through ...................................82
Installing from an Existing OS.......................................................................85
Installing across a Network...........................................................................87
Installing Remotely ........................................................................................88
Working through Post-Installation Stress Disorder ...................................88
Understanding Activation ...................................................................88
Dealing with service packs..................................................................89
Using Automated System Recovery...................................................90
Oops, My Installation Didn’t Take................................................................91
Exploring Automated Installation ................................................................92
Table of Contents
Chapter 6: Configuring Connections to the Universe . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93
Completing the Initial Configuration Tasks ................................................94
Server Manager Configuration .....................................................................95
Getting to know the Server Manager console...................................96
Establishing directory trees and forests .........................................103
Getting the word out ..........................................................................108
Organizing the neighborhood ...........................................................109
Establishing Remote Connections .............................................................111
Getting connected ..............................................................................111
Other frills ...........................................................................................113
Chapter 7: Doing the Directory Thing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115
What Is a Directory Service? ......................................................................115
Meeting Active Directory ............................................................................116
Organizing and storing data..............................................................116
Managing data.....................................................................................117
Locating data and resources.............................................................118
Of Domains and Controllers .......................................................................118
In the beginning . . . ............................................................................118
Wherefore art thou, BDC/PDC?.........................................................120
Knowing What Makes Active Directory Tick ............................................121
What replication means.....................................................................122
The grand schema of things..............................................................124
Global catalogs ...................................................................................125
Planning for Active Directory .....................................................................126
What’s in a namespace?.....................................................................127
Making sites happen ..........................................................................127
Oh, you organizational unit (OU), you.............................................129
Installing Active Directory ..........................................................................129
Promoting domain controllers..........................................................130
Active Directory’s database and shared system volume ..............130
Modes of domain operation..............................................................131
When Domains Multiply ..............................................................................133
Trust relationships across domains ................................................133
Building trees ......................................................................................134
Understanding forests .......................................................................135
Chapter 8: Working with Active Directory, Domains, and Trusts . . .137
Master of Your Domain................................................................................137
Trusts Are Good for NT 4.0 and Active Directory Domains ...................140
How Domain Controllers Work Together ..................................................141
When replication happens ................................................................141
Know your database limits ...............................................................143
Administrivia Anyone? (Controlling Domains and Directories) ............144
Exploring the directory management console ...............................144
Creating directory objects ................................................................145
Finding directory objects ..................................................................148
A word on ADSI ...................................................................................148
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
Permission to Proceed? Handling Directory Permissions ......................149
About Active Directory permissions ...............................................149
Assigning permissions .......................................................................149
Permissions inheritance....................................................................150
Delegating administrative control....................................................151
Managing Trusts...........................................................................................152
Establishing trusts .............................................................................153
If you open the door to trusts, who gets to come through? .........154
Chapter 9: Printing on the Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .155
Windows 2008 Has a Print Model...............................................................156
Physical print devices........................................................................158
Logical assignments...........................................................................158
Installing on the Server’s Side ....................................................................160
Meet the Printers folder ....................................................................160
Adding a networked print device .....................................................161
Sharing Printer Access ................................................................................167
Bringing Printers and Clients Together.....................................................168
Managing Windows 2008–Based Printers .................................................169
Preventing Printer Problems ......................................................................171
Faxing the Windows Server 2008 Way .......................................................172
Enabling faxing....................................................................................173
Sending faxes ......................................................................................173
Chapter 10: IP Addressing: Zero to Insane in Two Seconds Flat . . .175
Resolving a Name: TCP/IP and NetBIOS ....................................................175
NetBIOS names ...................................................................................176
TCP/IP names and addresses............................................................178
Calling Everything a Node...........................................................................180
To network ID or host ID? That is the question..............................180
Subnetting: Quiet time for IP addresses ..........................................182
Hanging your shingle: Obtaining IP addresses ...............................184
Address translation: The new magic ...............................................185
Forcing IP Down the Throat of Windows Server 2008 .............................187
Basic configuration ............................................................................187
Advanced configuration ....................................................................189
Everyone WINS Sometimes.........................................................................191
A glimpse at WINS ..............................................................................191
WINS servers.......................................................................................192
WINS clients ........................................................................................192
NetBIOS over TCP/IP....................................................................................193
DNS Does the Trick ......................................................................................193
Whether to DNS ..................................................................................194
The deans of DNS ...............................................................................194
Table of Contents
DHCP: IP Addressing Automation ..............................................................195
What is DHCP? ....................................................................................195
Is DHCP in your future?......................................................................196
Ironing Out Problems ..................................................................................197
Part III: Running Your Network ..................................199
Chapter 11: Managing Users with Active
Directory Users and Computers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .201
User Accounts Have Properties .................................................................201
Administrators rule! ...........................................................................203
Guests can wear out their welcome.................................................203
Creating Active Directory Accounts ..........................................................204
General tab ..........................................................................................208
Address tab .........................................................................................208
Account tab.........................................................................................208
Profile tab ............................................................................................208
Telephones tab ...................................................................................210
Organization tab .................................................................................210
Member Of tab ....................................................................................210
Dial-in tab ............................................................................................211
Getting Pushy with Users............................................................................211
What about Groups? ....................................................................................212
Understanding group scopes............................................................212
Creating and managing groups .........................................................214
Using built-in groups ..........................................................................215
Giving Your Users Nice Profiles..................................................................217
Where You Find Profiles, Policies Are Never Far Away ...........................219
Administering a group policy ...........................................................219
Understanding how group policies are processed ........................221
Creating a group policy .....................................................................222
Auditing for trouble............................................................................224
When Access Problems Loom . . . ..............................................................225
Chapter 12: Managing Shares, Permissions, and More . . . . . . . . . . .227
More about Objects, Rights, and Permissions .........................................228
An object lesson .................................................................................228
When is a file not an object? .............................................................229
Users have rights; objects have permissions .................................229
Of Windows Server 2008 NTFS and Permissions .....................................230
NTFS permissions...............................................................................232
Advanced permissions ......................................................................233
FAT and FAT32 Have No Permissions.........................................................234
Share Permissions........................................................................................235
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
Calculating Actual Permissions..................................................................237
The rules of calculation .....................................................................237
Figure this! ...........................................................................................237
Let the OS do it for you......................................................................238
But What about Access Control with Active Directory Objects? ..........239
Delegation of access control.............................................................239
Property-based inheritance ..............................................................239
Chapter 13: Preparing for That Rainy Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .241
Why Bother Backing Up?.............................................................................241
Considering potential threats ...........................................................242
How many backup types are there?.................................................243
Network versus local backup ...........................................................245
Understanding the technology .........................................................246
Beep! Beep! Planning Backups....................................................................249
Storing backup tapes off-site ............................................................249
Documenting your hardware and its settings.................................250
Practicing disaster recovery for your system ................................250
The Windows Server 2008 Backup Facility ...............................................251
Looking at the big picture .................................................................252
Performing command line backups .................................................253
Selecting targets and volumes .........................................................254
Specifying backup destination and media settings........................255
Scheduling backup jobs.....................................................................256
Restoring from a Backup.............................................................................256
Third-Party Backup Options.......................................................................257
Finding third-party packages ............................................................258
Evaluating backup systems...............................................................258
The Backup Operator ..................................................................................260
Chapter 14: Network Security Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .263
Network Security Basics .............................................................................264
Getting physical..................................................................................264
Informing the masses about security policies................................267
Windows Server 2008 and Security ...........................................................268
Usernames are more than just names .............................................269
Passwords and security.....................................................................270
A few more things about passwords................................................274
A Look into the Future: Service Packs.......................................................274
Copping an Attitude.....................................................................................275
The Everyone group...........................................................................276
User rights...........................................................................................276
Plugging Common Mouse Holes.................................................................277
Unseen administrative shares ..........................................................277
Decoy accounts ..................................................................................278
Last logged on username ..................................................................278
When good floppies go bad ..............................................................278
Security Equals Vigilance ............................................................................279
Table of Contents
Part IV: Serve It Yourself ...........................................281
Chapter 15: How to Be a DIY Guru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .283
Server Requirements Revisited..................................................................284
Processors: Cores, counts, and options ..........................................284
Memory: You can’t have too much ..................................................285
Disk space: Look out, it’s a RAID! .....................................................286
Network access: Internal, add-in, and counts.................................287
Case and power supply .....................................................................289
What about graphics? ........................................................................291
Important miscellany (cooler, fans, optical drive, monitor,
keyboard, mouse) ...........................................................................291
Building a Better Budget .............................................................................292
PC Component Shopping Tips....................................................................293
Assessing Windows Server 2008 Compatibility .......................................294
Chapter 16: Servers the Intel Way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .297
Choosing a CPU and Motherboard First ...................................................298
Selecting and Sizing Memory......................................................................299
Selecting and Sizing Disk Space..................................................................300
Accessing current needs and anticipating future growth .............300
Planning for RAID ..............................................................................301
Making Network Connections.....................................................................301
Picking the Right Case and Power Supply ................................................302
Building an Intel-Based Server from A to Z...............................................303
Insert the PSU .....................................................................................304
Seat the CPU and cooler ....................................................................305
Seat the RAM modules.......................................................................309
Install the hard disk drives................................................................311
Install the optical disk .......................................................................312
Set up the hardware ...........................................................................313
Install the OS .......................................................................................314
Ready to Rock-and-Roll?..............................................................................314
Chapter 17: Servers the AMD Way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .315
Choosing the CPU and Motherboard First................................................316
What we chose for our example build.............................................316
Exploring your options ......................................................................316
Selecting and Sizing Memory......................................................................317
Selecting and Sizing Disk Space..................................................................318
Making the Network Connections..............................................................318
Picking the Right Case and Power Supply ................................................318
Construction from A to Z ............................................................................319
Insert the PSU .....................................................................................319
Seat the CPU and cooler ....................................................................320
Seat the RAM modules.......................................................................324
Installing hard disk drives .................................................................326
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
Installing the optical disk ..................................................................328
Setting up hardware ...........................................................................329
Installing the OS..................................................................................329
Ready to Rock-and-Roll?..............................................................................330
Chapter 18: Taking Care of Your Own Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .331
Troubleshooting Common Windows Server 2008 Problems ..................332
Setup failures ......................................................................................332
Startup failures ...................................................................................333
Diagnosing startup errors .................................................................335
Run-time issues...................................................................................337
Windows Activation ...........................................................................339
Hardware upgrades and software updates .....................................340
Monitoring Server Operations....................................................................341
Event Viewer .......................................................................................341
Reliability and Performance .............................................................343
Device Manager ..................................................................................346
Tweaking Windows Server 2008 for Efficiency.........................................346
Managed entities ................................................................................346
Run-time optimization .......................................................................348
Making the Most of Your Server.................................................................349
Part V: The Part of Tens .............................................351
Chapter 19: Ten Tips for Installation and Configuration . . . . . . . . . . .353
Exceed the Minimum Requirements..........................................................354
Use Only Qualified Server Hardware .........................................................355
Install from Your Network ...........................................................................356
Let the Software Do the Work: Automating Installation..........................356
Beat Installation Weirdness: Be Persistent ...............................................358
Let Lo-Res Come to Your Rescue! ..............................................................358
Use “Last Known Good” to Do Good!.........................................................359
A Custom Installation Saves Systems! .......................................................359
Use the Windows Server 2008 DVD to Boot..............................................360
When in Doubt, Back Up!.............................................................................361
Prepare for the Real Work! ..........................................................................361
Chapter 20: Ten Steps to Networking Nirvana
with Windows Server 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .363
Never Overlook the Obvious ......................................................................364
Check Windows Server 2008 Routing ........................................................364
Open Your TCP/IP Toolkit ...........................................................................365
Use One or More Fast Server Network Adapters .....................................366
Table of Contents
Know When to Divide and When to Conquer...........................................367
When in Doubt, Check Your Services ........................................................367
Handle Names and Addresses Efficiently .................................................368
Ask What’s New or Different .......................................................................369
If You Need Help, Ask...................................................................................369
Watch Network Trouble Spots....................................................................370
Part VI: Appendixes...................................................371
Appendix A: Server Components and Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . .373
Server Motherboards ..................................................................................374
Server Processors ........................................................................................375
Server Memory (RAM) ................................................................................376
Disk Drives, Controllers, and RAID ............................................................377
SCSI versus SATA drives ....................................................................378
SCSI versus SATA controllers ............................................................379
Building RAID arrays..........................................................................381
High-End Network Adapters .......................................................................383
Appendix B: Windows Troubleshooting Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . .385
Marvels from Microsoft...............................................................................385
Windows Server 2008 Books.......................................................................387
Server-Friendly Publications ......................................................................388
Other Third-Party Windows Server 2008 Sources ...................................389
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
elcome to Windows Server 2008 For Dummies, the book that helps
anyone who’s unfamiliar with Windows Server 2008 (or Windowsbased networks) find his or her way around a Windows Server 2008–based
network. In a wired world, networks provide the links that tie all users
together. This book tells you what’s going on, in basic, straightforward terms.
Although a few fortunate individuals may already be acquainted with
Windows Server 2008 and the networks it supports, many more people are
not only unfamiliar with server-based networking but downright scared of it.
To those who may be concerned about facing new and difficult technologies,
we say, “Don’t worry. Be happy.” Using a server-based network isn’t beyond
anyone’s wits or abilities — it’s mostly a matter of using a language that ordinary people can understand.
Ordinary folks are why this book talks about using Windows Server 2008 and
networks in simple — and deliberately irreverent — terms. Nothing is too
highfalutin to be mocked, nor too arcane to state in plain English. And when
we do have to get technical, we warn you and make sure to define our terms
to boot.
This book aims to help you meet your needs. You’ll find everything you need
to know about Windows Server 2008 in here, so you’ll be able to find your
way around — without having to learn lots of jargon or obtain an advanced
degree in computer science along the way. We want you to enjoy yourself.
Because server-based networking really is a big deal, it’s important that you
be able to get the most out of it. We really want to help!
About This Book
This book is designed so you can pick it up and start reading at any point —
like you might read a reference book. In Parts I and II, we cover server basics:
concepts and terminology in Part I, and the installation and deployment of
Windows Server 2008 in Part II. In Parts III through V, you’ll find tons of information on how to run or build a Windows Server 2008–based network. Part III
covers running a Windows Server 2008–based network, whereas Part IV
describes how you might design, build, and use a do-it-yourself network
server PC. Part V includes tips and tricks to help smooth out installing, configuring, and using Windows Server 2008.
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
Each chapter is divided into freestanding sections, each one relating to the
chapter’s major theme. For example, the chapter on installing Windows
Server 2008, contains the following collection of information:
The differences between an upgrade install and a clean install
How to make sure your hardware is suitable for use as a server
A step-by-step walkthrough of the installation process
What to do when installation completes
Troubleshooting installation problems
Automating the Windows Server 2008 installation process
You don’t have to memorize the contents of this book. Each section supplies
just the facts you need to make networking with Windows Server 2008 easy to
use. On some occasions, however, you may want to work directly from the
book to make sure you keep things straight.
How to Use This Book
This book works like a reference, so start with a topic that interests you. You
can use the table of contents to identify general areas of interest or broad
topics. The index, however, is your best tool for identifying detailed concepts, related topics, or particular Windows Server 2008 capabilities, tools,
or controls.
After you find what you need, you can close the book and tackle whatever task
you’ve set for yourself — without having to grapple with unrelated details.
If you’ve never worked with a Windows Server operating system before, it’s
a good idea to read Parts I and II in their entirety. Likewise, if you’re new to
administering a Windows Server 2008–based network, you might want to read
all of Part III. If the idea of building your own server PC from scratch sounds
interesting, you’ll definitely dig Part IV. Otherwise, dig in wherever your fancy
moves you!
When you need to type something at the keyboard, you’ll see text that looks
like this: Type this. You’re expected to enter this text at the keyboard and
then press the Enter key. Because typing stuff can sometimes be confusing, we
always try to describe what it is you’re typing and why you need to type it.
This book occasionally suggests that you consult the Windows Server 2008
online help, printed manuals, Resource Kit, and even Microsoft’s Web site for
additional information. In most cases, though, you find everything you need
to know about a particular topic right here — except for some of the bizarre
details that abound in Windows Server 2008.
If there’s a topic we don’t cover in this book that you need to know more
about, we suggest you look for a book on that subject in the For Dummies
series, published by Wiley Publishing. In addition, a whole world of Web
information about Windows Server 2008 is available on the Internet, and the
Microsoft Web site (at www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/
default.mspx) isn’t a bad place to start looking for such information.
Foolish Assumptions
We’re going to climb out on a limb and make some potentially foolish
assumptions about you, our gentle reader. You have or are thinking about getting a computer, a network, and at least one copy of Windows Server 2008.
You know what you want to do with these things. You might even be able to
handle all these things yourself, if somebody would only show you how. Our
goal with this book is to decrease your need for such a somebody, but we
don’t recommend telling him or her that out loud — at least, not until you’ve
finished this book!
How This Book Is Organized
The book is divided into five major parts, each of which consists of two to
six chapters. Each chapter covers a major topic and is divided into sections,
which discuss particular issues or concerns related to that topic. That’s how
things in this book are organized, but how you read it is up to you. Choose a
topic, a section, a chapter, or a part — whatever strikes your fancy or suits
your needs — and start reading.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Part I provides an introduction to Windows Server 2008. You’ll find a detailed
description of Windows Server 2008 in Chapter 1 that includes its important
features, functions, capabilities, and requirements. Chapter 2 takes a more
general look at server-based networking and explains what makes servers
special, hardware-wise; what kinds of things servers do; and what services
they provide. Chapters 3 and 4 provide a speedy primer on network design
and construction to help you decide where to put the pieces and parts that
go into a network, including your server, and what to do with them when
they’re all interconnected. If you’re already a seasoned networker or have
worked with another Windows Server operating system, you can skip this
part if you’d like, although you may still want to check out Chapter 1 to see
what’s new and interesting in this latest and presumably greatest of Windows
Server operating systems.
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Part II tackles Windows Server 2008 head on, starting with its installation
and configuration. It covers the issues involved in installing and configuring
network hardware specifically for Windows Server 2008. It also covers how
to install and manage print servers and services on a Windows Server
2008–based network, how to handle Transmission Control Protocol/Internet
Protocol (TCP/IP) addresses, and how to set up and manage directory services in a Windows Server 2008–based environment. Part II is where you
figure out how to put the basic pieces of a network together using Windows
Server 2008.
Part III: Running Your Network
Part III picks up where Part II leaves off — that is, it talks about living with
and managing a Windows Server 2008–based network after the initial installation and configuration phase is complete. It begins with a discussion of how
to manage users and groups on a Windows Server 2008–based network,
including details on profiles, policies, and local and global groups. Next, it
covers how Windows Server 2008 controls access to NTFS files and directories and how to manage network-accessible file system resources called
After a network’s users, groups, and data assets are in place, rebuilding
such a setup from scratch can be a real pain. That’s where a backup comes
in handy, so Part III covers the ins and outs of backing up and restoring a
Windows Server 2008 machine, plus other aspects of fault tolerance. After
that, a review of network security principles and practices should help to
prepare you to protect your data from accidental loss and from would-be
hackers and crackers.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Part IV takes a detour away from the software side of servers to dig deeply
into the hardware on which such software must run. You’ll find out what
kinds of pieces and parts go into a PC and what kinds of selections make the
most sense when that PC is going to act as a network server. You’ll also dig
into the specifics involved in building a basic Intel-based PC for use with
Windows Server 2008, where we guide you through options and selection
rationales for choosing specific processors, motherboards, memory, disk
drives, and so forth. Then we repeat that process for AMD-based PCs for
those who might choose to opt for an Opteron processor instead.
Part V: The Part of Tens
Part V follows the grand tradition of For Dummies books, all of which include
“The Part of Tens.” Here, you’ll find lists of information, tips, tricks, and suggestions, all organized into short and convenient chapters. This supplemental information is designed to be both helpful and informative and is supplied
at no extra charge.
Part VI: Appendixes
If you’ll recall, we said earlier that this book is divided into five major parts.
By definition, that means the appendixes must be a minor part of the book,
although there’s nothing minor about the content you’ll find covered here. In
fact, we decided to include this material to provide our readers with additional information and resources on server hardware and developing good
troubleshooting skills to help provide users with the best networking experiences possible.
Bonus Chapter
You’ll find a bonus chapter titled “What Makes Servers Special” at this book’s
companion Web site at www.dummies.com/go/winserver2008. This chapter will quickly get you up to speed on server capabilities.
Icons Used in This Book
The icons used in this book point you to important (and not so important)
topics in the text.
This icon lets you know that you’re about to encounter information that’s
important to understand if you really want to get what’s going on with
Windows Server 2008. It may be painful at times, but you have to slog
through it.
Oh gee, we’re getting so old that we can’t recall what this one means. Maybe
you should check one out and see whether it’s worth watching for!
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
This icon lets you know that you’re about to be swamped in technical details.
We include this information because we love it, not because we think you
have to master it to use Windows Server 2008. If you aspire to nerdhood, you
probably want to read it; if you’re already a nerd, you’ll want to write us
about stuff we left out or other information we should put in!
This icon signals that helpful advice is at hand. We also use it when we offer
insights that we hope make using Windows Server 2008 more interesting or
easier. For example, whenever we include a shortcut that improves your productivity, it’s usually marked with the Tip icon.
This icon means what it says — you’d better be careful with the information
it conveys. Nine times out of ten, it’s warning you not to do something that
can have nasty or painful consequences, as in accidentally wiping out the
contents of an entire hard drive. Whoops!
Where to Go from Here
With this book at your side, you should be ready to wrestle with Windows
Server 2008 and the networks it connects to. Find a subject, turn to its page,
and you’re ready to jam. Feel free to mark up this book, fill in the blanks, dogear the pages, and do anything else that might make a librarian queasy. The
important things are to make good use of it and enjoy yourself while you’re
at it.
Please check out the Web page at www.dummies.com. Be sure to take the
opportunity to register your purchase online or send us e-mail with feedback
about your reading experience.
Part I
Servers at Your
In this part . . .
n this part of the book, you get an introduction to the
big star in this production — namely, Windows Server
2008 — as you dig into its features, functions, and requirements. But we also introduce you to the whole server
circus as we explain what makes servers so special and
why taking care of clients is both a joy and a chore. You
even get a chance to meet and make sense of the network
pieces and parts necessary to bring clients and servers
together to help bring home the bacon.
Each chapter presents its information in small, easy-toread sections. If information is really technical (mostly
worth skipping, unless you’re a glutton for punishment),
it’s clearly marked as such. Even so, we hope you find
this information useful — and maybe even worth a giggle
or two.
Chapter 1
Making Windows Server 2008
Serve You
In This Chapter
Understanding the client-server network model
Meeting the Windows Server 2008 product family
Finding out about added and enhanced security features
indows Server 2008 is the latest and greatest version of Microsoft’s
flagship server platform and the successor to the hugely popular
Windows Server 2003. Prior to its debut, Windows Server 2008 was codenamed Longhorn, a platform that shared common client features also found
in Windows Vista, much like the relationship between Windows Server 2003
and Windows XP. In fact, Windows Server 2008 even shares a common code
base with Windows Vista and therefore carries much of the same architecture
and core functionality.
Both Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista share common technical,
security, management, and administrative features; an improved IPv6-capable
networking stack; native wireless utilities; and a revamped image-based
installation format (among many other exciting new features). However,
Windows Server 2008 is a total departure from the desktop/workstation
realm and offers enterprise and server-specific features and functionality
above and beyond anything Windows Vista offers. In this chapter, we explore
some of these features from a 10,000-foot view and then focus on specific
topics in the chapters that follow.
Large-scale deployment options, improved self-diagnostic tools, advanced
reliability and performance monitoring, and enhanced security features are
just some of the benefits that inhere to the new Windows Server 2008 platform. First, we take a look at server hardware and make some important distinctions between workstation and server roles and responsibilities.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Any Server Must Do This
The term server speaks to a broad classification of computers that combine
hardware components and software services to handle a variety of tasks
maintained through network relationships. A server takes many shapes and
sizes, covers a wide range of form-factors, and includes numerous components and services. Embedded server platforms are used in network attached
storage (NAS) devices, included in network print servers, and scale all the
way up to giant mainframes capable of handling millions of simultaneous
transactions and resource-intensive processing.
The terms form-factor refers to a specific design, layout, size, and shape of
component or device. A form-factor can refer to several mutually independent devices, from the power supply and its interface types to motherboards
and their various dimensions, pinouts, and connection types.
In fact, if you take a good look around your office environment, or just
about any other office IT infrastructure, you can probably identify several
otherwise-overlooked servers and server applications that you use on a regular basis. Modern technology puts the power of servers and server applications in the hands of mere mortals, and nowhere is this more evident than in
the consumer market, where multimedia home theater PCs (HTPCs) are part
of daily life for many. But back to the business world. . . .
Essentially, any server must serve a network — either clients or other
servers, or some combination of the two. The term server also includes
the actual server operating system that makes the computer do its job.
Commercial server software products such as Windows Server 2008 are
designed to handle a greater frequency and variety of tasks than are typical
in either the desktop or workstation realms. Server platforms are an entirely
different breed of PC, as compared to their desktop and workstation
brethren, which is why they perch atop the hierarchy and the marketplace
when it comes to buying an operating system.
Specifically, a server is designed and intended to provide services and
run server applications under heavy workloads, left unattended and selfmanaging most of the time. For the most part, servers are self-contained,
self-regulated core network entities in an enterprise or business IT environment. Larger amounts of memory (upwards of 8GB or more), larger storage
capacity (terabytes, petabytes, and beyond), special storage methods (mirroring, striping, and multiple disk aggregation), redundant power supplies,
and server-specific form-factors all typically distinguish specialized server
hardware components from other, more ordinary computer components.
That said, plenty of servers use desktop and workstation hardware such as
optical drives, disk drives, and peripheral or display devices.
Chapter 1: Making Windows Server 2008 Serve You
See Appendix A for more details on server hardware components and check
out the Bonus Chapter at dummies.com/go/winserver2008 for a more indepth discussion of server technologies.
Choosing Windows Server 2008
The Windows Server 2008 platform is further subdivided into multiple packages designed specifically for particular forms and functions. Understanding
the distinctions among these market offerings and then understanding how
they do or don’t meet your requirements will help you choose the right offering for your budget and your computing needs.
In this section, we give you a look at some of the different offerings available
under the Windows Server 2008 umbrella.
Meeting the Windows Server 2008 family
Microsoft follows the usual format for marketing its server family offerings,
which include both 32-bit and 64-bit varieties. Some of these editions remain
functionally identical to the Windows Server 2003 family. These offerings
include the following:
Windows Server 2008 Web Edition: Designed as a basic Internet
Information Services (IIS) server platform to build and host Web applications and pages and provide eXtensible Markup Language (XML) services including Active Server Pages (ASP) and the .NET framework.
Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition: Designed for small to medium
businesses, this version supports file and print sharing, works with up
to four processors, and accommodates up to 4GB RAM.
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition: Designed for infrastructures
that demand greater security and reliability features, supportive of up to
64 processors and 512GB for high-availability, high-demand processing
applications and processes.
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition: Designed for medium- to
large-size businesses as a fully-functional server platform capable of
operating eight processors and 64GB RAM, with enterprise-class features including clustering and virtualization.
Windows Storage Server 2008: Designed as a specialized platform for network attached storage (NAS) implementations and optimized for use with
file- and print-sharing services in storage area network (SAN) scenarios.
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems: 64-bit Intel Itaniumbased computers require a special version of Windows Server 2008
entirely its own.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
You might be thinking, “Wow, what a diverse group of systems! You can’t
possibly get any better than that!” Well, that’s what Microsoft was aiming for:
To expand and proliferate its new 2008 platform, Microsoft has reformulated
many of its top products to encompass many diverse business computing
environments. In the preceding list, the items up to and including Enterprise
are listed by increasing cost and capability; we don’t yet have information
about the cost for Storage Server and Itanium versions, so we left those for
the end of the list.
Why use Windows Server 2008?
There are dozens of compelling reasons to explore Windows Server 2008 as a
viable platform for any business. In the list that follows, we give you a look at
some highlights and expand on features and functions provided in
Microsoft’s latest flagship product:
More control: Windows Server 2008 empowers IT professionals with
greater control and management over servers and network infrastructure with enhanced scripting and task-automation capabilities. Improved
self-diagnostics and remote control tools create field-serviceable platforms that also may be supported across the network or via the Internet.
These features are described in some detail in the section entitled
“Benefits of Windows Server 2008” in the Microsoft Product Overview
at www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/evaluation/
When we speak of field-serviceable parts, we mean those components
and devices that can be operated and fixed onsite, or in the field. Many
computer-related issues can be resolved onsite, but there are certain circumstances where a part must be sent to a well-equipped service
department or parts distributor.
Role-based, image-driven platform installation streamlines large-scale
deployment processes and includes new utilities to facilitate creation of
custom installation images and custom recovery images, all under one
umbrella. The new Server Manager console delivers a consolidated, centralized control center for managing server configurations and related
system information. See Chapter 6 for more information on the all-new
Server Manager console.
Greater flexibility: Windows Server 2008 supports custom modifications to better adapt to ever-changing business needs. Enhanced
flexibility for mobile users, integrated virtualization (which means that
one server can look and act like a bunch of servers, as far as its users
are concerned), centralized application access, and new deployment
options create a workable platform to suit a variety of enterprise networking scenarios.
Chapter 1: Making Windows Server 2008 Serve You
You can create a custom installation image, or several, based on a core
set of necessary applications and configurations and then roll it out to
an entire enterprise in a completely automated, unattended fashion to
expedite upgrades and new installations.
Better tools and utilities: The new Windows PowerShell command line
interpreter and scripting language facilitates more administrative control
and productivity and better monitoring and analysis of system performance with its new Reliability and Performance Monitor. Plus, you can
manage and secure multiple server types using the new Server Manager
console, which provides centralized access to common administrative
tools. PowerShell functionality is beyond the scope of this book and
remains in beta status at the time of this writing, so we don’t include material on this subject. See www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/
powershell.mspx for more details on PowerShell.
Increased protection: Windows Server 2008 delivers improved security
features that increase platform protection, reduce attack surfaces, and
provide a firm foundation on which to construct and operate a business.
The very core, or kernel, of the operating system is now better protected
against various forms of attack. Windows Service Hardening makes
Internet-facing services more resilient to Internet attacks, and a variety
of access protections and cryptography services strengthen the
Windows system. See Chapter 14 for more information on security
topics related to Windows Server 2008.
New and improved TCP/IP features: Windows Server 2008 includes
many changes and enhancements to the Next Generation TCP/IP stack,
such as IPv6 enhancements and policy-based Quality of Service (QoS)
for enterprise networks. The Next Generation TCP/IP stack is a total
redesign of traditional network stack functionality for both IPv4 and IPv6
protocol versions. Receive window auto-tuning, neighbor reachability,
dead gateway detection, black hole router detection, routing compartments, and explicit congestion notification are just a few of its newly
added and updated capabilities. (See Chapter 2 for more on the Next
Generation TCP/IP stack.)
Self-healing NT File System (NTFS): In the past, file system errors often
required that a disk volume be taken offline for service, which clearly
impacted business flow. A new feature and added benefit of the Windows
Server 2008 platform is its inclusion of a real-time recovery or self-healing
process for the NTFS storage format. That way, businesses can remain
operational even in the face of file-system-related issues.
Server Message Block version 2 (SMB2): The de facto standard for network file systems in the Windows realm is SMB, now revamped to handle
scalable increases in server workloads more expeditiously.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Windows Server virtualization: Windows Server 2008 provides a builtin virtualization capability to enable multiple separate operating system
instances operating at the same time, using the same hardware. Users
see multiple servers, each with their own data sets, services, and access
controls, but IT departments can manage multiple virtual servers on a
single set of server hardware.
Server Core: A new installation option for Windows Server 2008
includes a stripped-down, graphical interface-free server platform
that contains only those components and subsystems necessary for a
high-availability server that requires fewer updates and less servicing.
Envision a cluster of low-overhead, virtualized, highly optimized server
operating systems running stripped-down core roles like DHCP or DNS in
protected environments, completely autonomous, managed only by a
single terminal, and you’ve got the right idea.
These are just some of the exciting new things going on with Windows Server
2008. You’ll find out about many of these capabilities in more detail in the
chapters that follow.
Exploring Windows Server 2008
Networking Features
Generally speaking, from a networking perspective, it’s safe to assume that
Windows Server 2008 does everything that previous versions of Windows
Server have done — including automatic client addressing (DHCP), directory
services (Active Directory), network name resolution (DNS, WINS, and
so forth), as well as a whole slew of networked applications such as e-mail,
databases, transaction processing, and so forth. In fact, Windows Server 2008
does more for networking than previous versions have done, especially where
advanced network performance (auto-tuning and optimization), network
security, network-based offload and acceleration technologies, and simplified
management and diagnostics are concerned. For the complete Microsoft version of this story, see “Windows Server 2008 Networking Features” at www.
Providing services through your server
The client-server paradigm operates largely on client requests for server services. Such requests require both server and client hardware and compatible
software, which are necessary to facilitate network functionality between the
Chapter 1: Making Windows Server 2008 Serve You
two. At the most basic level, a client must have a network connection available to transmit a request for services. Likewise, the client must have the correct software installed to formulate an intelligible request and pass it to the
network, where a server can notice and respond to such a request.
Servers respond to client requests through a listener process represented by
application services such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Telnet. This
process runs continuously, dispatching inbound client connections as they
arrive and managing transitional connection states through the native TCP/IP
stack implementation.
On the software side, servers require the following elements to make services
available across the network:
Network drivers enable the server to communicate with its network
interface. This software lurks in the background and exists only to tie
the computer to the network interface.
Protocol stacks send and receive messages across the network. This
software also lurks in the background and provides a common language
shared with clients used to ferry information across the network.
Service applications respond to requests for service and formulate
replies to those requests. This software runs in the foreground and does
the useful work. The service application includes the listener process,
the temporary execution threads, and some type of configuration or
management console so that it can be installed, configured, and altered
as necessary.
Most software that resides on a server is network aware because delivery of
information via network is a server’s primary function. Some application and
protocol services that are performed on behalf of a server computer include
Active Directory, SQL Server database engines, Exchange e-mail servers, and
Quality of Service networking.
Three improvements to existing services and one additional service in
Windows Server 2008 include:
Failover clustering: Improvements to failover clusters (previously called
server clusters) simplify setup and management and better secure cluster
deployment and enhance operational stability. In addition, both networking and communication to storage devices are improved to increase
availability of applications and services.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
The concepts and terminologies known as failover and clustering aren’t
something you’ll encounter with only casual computing experiences, so
don’t feel threatened if these are entirely foreign to you. A cluster is a set
of servers running one or several applications and services. A failover
cluster is one in which several server computers operate cohesively so
that in the event that one fails, another takes over processing of applications and data in its place.
Network load-balancing: Advances include support for IPv6 and
Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS) 6.0, Windows Management
Instrumentation (WMI) enhancements, and improved functionality with
Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server. Network load-balancing
redistributes the load for networked client/server application requests
across a set of cluster servers.
802.1X authenticated wired and wireless access: Authenticated access
for both networking technologies relies on 802.1X-compatible Ethernet
switches and access points (APs) to provide port-based network access
control. This prevents unauthenticated or unauthorized accesses and
packet transmission to user and computer resources.
Managing the user experience
Windows Server 2008 provides a single central source for managing server
identities, system information, server status, configuration problem identification, and role management through the new Server Manager console.
Server Manager is an expanded Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snapin that enables you to view and manage virtually all information and tools
affecting server productivity.
Server Manager replaces features included with Windows Server 2003,
such as Manage Your Server, Configure Your Server, and Add or Remove
Windows Components. It also eliminates the requirement for the Security
Configuration Wizard to run prior to server deployment, because roles are
configured with security settings by default and easily deployable once
installed and configured. See Chapter 6 for more on Server Manager.
Keeping it all safe and secure
Windows Server 2008 includes an impressive array of new security applications and features that further enhance enterprise deployments, particularly
within hostile environments or under potentially threatening scenarios.
Today’s Internet is a brightly illuminated world that casts shadows, and from
those shadows arise criminal aspirations that seek to infiltrate, pilfer, and
Chapter 1: Making Windows Server 2008 Serve You
undermine Internet-accessible businesses. Microsoft has stepped up its
Windows Server 2008 defenses to better serve the computing public that
can’t always defend against unforeseen, persistent, or stealthy attack.
The following paragraphs briefly summarize some of the new and newly
enhanced security features of the Windows Server 2008 family:
BitLocker Drive Encryption is a security feature of both Windows Vista
and Windows Server 2008 (again sharing a common base) to provide
strong cryptographic protection over stored sensitive data within the
operating system volume. BitLocker encrypts all data stored in the
Windows volume and any relevant configured data volumes, which
includes hibernation and paging files, applications, and application data.
Furthermore, BitLocker works in conjunction with Trusted Platform
Module (TPM) frameworks to ensure the integrity of protected volumes
from tampering, even — and especially — while the operating system
isn’t operational (like when the system is turned off).
Windows Service Hardening turns Internet-facing servers into bastions
resistant to many forms of network-driven attack. This restricts critical
Windows services from performing abnormal system activities within
the file system, registry, network, or other resources that may be leveraged to install malware or launch further attacks on other computers.
Microsoft Forefront Security Technologies is a comprehensive solution
that provides protection for the client operating system, application
servers, and the network edge. In the Forefront Client Security role, you
may provide unified malware protection for business notebooks, workstations, and server platforms with easier management and control.
Server security can fortify Microsoft Exchange messaging environments
or protect Office SharePoint Server 2007 services against viruses,
worms, and spam.
Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server provides enterpriseworthy firewall, virtual private network (VPN), and Web caching solutions
to protect IT environments against Internet-based threats. Microsoft’s
Intelligent Application Gateway is a remote-access intermediary that
provides secure socket layer (SSL) application access and protection
with endpoint security management.
User Account Control (UAC) enables cleaner separation of duties to
allow non-administrative user accounts to occasionally perform administrative tasks without having to switch users, log off, or use the Run As
command. UAC can also require administrators to specifically approve
applications that make system-wide changes before allowing those applications to run. Admin Approval Mode (AAM) is a UAC configuration that
creates a split user access token for administrators, to further separate
administrative from non-administrative tasks and capabilities.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Windows Firewall and Advanced Security is an MMC snap-in that
handles both firewall and IP Security (IPSec) configurations in Windows
Sever 2008. This edition is the first to have the Windows Firewall
enabled by default. It can create filters for IPv4 and IPv6 inbound or
outbound traffic and protect information entering or exiting the computer through IPSec. This component replaces both the firewall applet
and the IPSec and IPSec-related tool sets.
Network Access Protection (NAP) is a policy enforcement platform built
into Windows Server 2008 that maintains a social health order for the
network environment by specifically requiring that connecting client
computers meet certain criteria. Such requirements include having a
current, functional firewall enabled with recent operating system
updates already in place. NAP helps create custom health code requirements driven through policy enforcement to validate compliant computers before making any connections to the protected network.
Microsoft has also gone to great lengths to improve and expand upon many
other security features, management and configuration applets, applications,
and tools. We cover network security topics more in-depth in Chapter 14.
The Very Basics of Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 is built with components that draw on the Windows
Vista family of features and functionality, with added components and capabilities that extend platform coverage to encompass medium and large business computing needs. From NT’s humble beginnings in the early 1990s to
Windows Server 2003, Microsoft’s premier network operating system server
product has come a long way.
Today, Windows Server 2008 offers a reliable and scalable platform for
deploying complex intranet solutions by integrating Internet and local network capabilities. In other words, this product will let you play multiplayer,
first-person shooter games with people across the office or spread across
the globe.
Most of the advantages and benefits you enjoy with Windows Server 2003 are
contained in Windows Server 2008, along with some changes, additions, and
enhancements to existing features and functionality. Most of these improvements are found under the hood, such as changes to how Active Directory
works, an expansion of command line management and scripting tools,
improvements to domain management, improved security mechanisms and
services, greater accessibility and authentication, and some convenient new
prepare and repair options in the way installations are handled.
Chapter 1: Making Windows Server 2008 Serve You
A can’t-miss interface change is the Windows Server Manager (formerly
called Manage Your Server), which appears automatically when you log on. In
the Server Manager window, you can manage server roles and features, and
access Diagnostics, Configuration, and Storage utility categories and much
more. It’s up to you whether you want to use Windows Server Manager or
start programs and utilities the old-fashioned way (by choosing Start). We
chose to bypass the Windows Server Manager by selecting the Do Not Show
Me This Console at Logon check box at the bottom of the Computer
Information window pane.
The entire 2008 platform does offer some interesting promises that just might
be realized. The most important of these is the reduced effort required to
develop and deploy complex e-commerce Web sites, stand-alone server core
application services, and large-scale simultaneous roll-outs. Windows Server
2008 (as well as the rest of the .NET OS family) is tuned to provide better
Internet and network service support to clients. When used with the .NET
editions of Microsoft programming languages and networking services, you
can create an impressive online presence.
In the next chapter, we expand more on networking concepts, covering topics
that range from multiple network interfaces to load-balancing and protocol
offload processing, application services, client-based management, and widescale software deployment.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Chapter 2
Server Networking Principles
In This Chapter
Understanding the client/server network model
Discovering new Windows Server 2008 features to core networking components
Identifying client needs and positioning services
Exploring protocol offload processing and network features
Establishing server needs and provisioning services
Defining network-oriented client/server services
Examining policy-driven network-based application access
Differentiating client and server wants or needs
or most applications, using Windows Server 2008 in a networked environment means buying into the client/server model. To help you understand this networking model, which explains why it’s necessary for Windows
Server 2008 to exist, we explore the client/server model in detail in this chapter. Along the way, you discover more about the types of capabilities and services that client-server networks provide and the various ways that clients
and servers interact on such networks.
Understanding the Differences between
Server and Client Networking
The client-server networking paradigm describes the basic nature of operation between two computers that establish a connection and exchange data
or share resources. The process typically begins when a client caller makes a
request to a server application or service — this typifies a normal clientserver transaction.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Now, the server may have something to give to the client, or the client may
have something to give to the server, but that aspect doesn’t alter the relationship (although it may superimpose roles, particularly where a server is
actually the client to another server). This is the push/pull concept, which
describes the nature of data that is either pushed or pulled from source to
Characteristically, the client will follow this process:
1. Initiate a request.
The client caller requests access to some resource or information from
the remote server.
2. Wait for a reply.
A participating server issues a reply, either permitting or forbidding the
connection, which may require authentication in some cases.
3. Connect and interact.
If access is granted, the client possibly authenticates and then begins
interacting in some fashion with the server.
Likewise, the characteristic behavior pattern for a server includes these
1. Listen for a request.
Calling clients come and go as they please, requesting to initiate and
interact with hosted services.
2. Process the request.
Once received, the client request may optionally require authentication.
3. Connect and interact.
At this point, both client and server are connected on a common channel and able to share resources or information.
What isn’t always apparent is that a single client connection may potentially
involve several different servers to fulfill a single client request. Simple examples are all around you:
E-mail clients send and receive messages from e-mail servers.
Web browser clients broker data connections to FTP and Web servers.
Even simple numeric dots-and-decimals addresses to human-readable
hostname resolutions (and vice versa) require that your computer act as
a client to a Domain Name Server (DNS).
An alternative to the client/server model that you’ll hear from time to time,
which we don’t discuss at great length, is the peer-to-peer (P2P) network
Chapter 2: Server Networking Principles
model. In this model, participants act as both clients and servers, sometimes
sharing multiple parts of a single piece of data or establishing an open network of client-server hybrids capable of either sending and receiving data or
sharing resources without a formal client/server role.
More Is Better: Multiple NICs (No Cuts)
Redundancy is one way of handling heavy workloads and network traffic for
a single server servicing multiple clients. Multiple NICs (network interface
cards) or network adapters provide separate network stacks that are better
able to process a higher volume of traffic, create joined or separate subnets,
or serve as an immediate fail-over when one interface goes down. You can
even bind, load, and prioritize settings for one interface over another.
Redundancy also enables future network expansion without the added cost
of new servers and lets administrators logically separate networks according
to the network interfaces they use. Administrators can establish and maintain server gateways that firewall inbound Internet connections from outbound internal endpoint computers, interconnect otherwise separate
networks and subnets, and perform a variety of other tasks.
In fact, if you take stock of the server-worthy hardware currently available on
the market, you’re likely to see at least two integrated network adapters on
many motherboards. Cheaper manufacturing costs and constant consumer
demand put those dual interfaces on board and have thus far kept them
there. However, these are limited-capability network interfaces that offer only
basic functionality — mostly, they just do networking. Additional features are
available from some add-in cards and stand-alone network appliances that
can perform other tasks generally not feasible with integrated hardware, as
described in the next section of this chapter.
Networking lingo
Network stack: We use the term network stack
in this chapter, which is the basis of any operating system’s networking capability. In Chapter
1, we called this the protocol stack, which is the
same as network protocol stack (or TCP/IP,
mentioned later in this chapter), so the two are
used interchangeably. Hopefully you won’t be
confused when encountering these variations
in the field.
NIC: A NIC is the hardware component that
establishes network capability and connectivity
through its software applications and drivers.
This is the add-in or integrated interface card
where you plug in the network cable from a
router, switch, or broadband modem.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Windows Server 2008
Enhances Networking
Several underlying changes to the Windows Server 2008 networking infrastructure can enhance the capability and performance of an existing (or designphase) network, regardless if it’s at home or at work. Many of these substantial
changes, including total redesigns and new additions, are enterprise-oriented,
where the primary emphasis is on capability, performance, and security features, and where advanced options are in the greatest demand. But that
doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of them, too!
In this section, we make a connection to some of these enhancements
to explore what you can do with your Windows Server 2008 network
Next Generation TCP/IP stack
Windows Server 2008 includes a new implementation (a complete redesign)
of the original TCP/IP protocol stack called the Next Generation TCP/IP
stack. This new framework is a total rewrite of TCP/IP functionality for
both IPv4 and IPv6. It’s designed to better meet connectivity and performance needs in various networking environments using various networking
For the benefit of those stuck in a cave in Patagonia since the early 1980s,
TCP/IP is the de facto standard network protocol stack for most server
and workstation computers you’ll encounter, but it’s by no means the only
one. It expands to Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol and
serves as the foundation for network traffic shuttled across the Internet.
It’s become a nearly universal means for networked communications of
all kinds.
The core network stack framework is improved and enhanced to increase
existing functionality, complement it with supplementary performanceenhancing functionality, and further expand that framework through additional features and components.
The following section covers much of the material that’s both directly and
indirectly related to advances in the Next Generation TCP/IP network protocol stack in Windows Server 2008.
Chapter 2: Server Networking Principles
Here’s the deal with IPv6
The new kid on the netblock is IPv6, the designated successor to IPv4 and touted as the next
best thing.
Primary improvements provided in IPv6 include
a much larger (128-bit) address space capable
of addressing 2128 unique hosts, eliminating
stopgap measures to deal with IPv4 address
space limitations and enhancing security and
mobility for networked computers. Despite
these improvements, little actual real-world
deployment of IPv6 in a general sense limits the
accessibility and availability of this new protocol framework to reserved, designated working
groups in the technical field.
Outside the scope of experimental and prototype networks in Europe and branches in hightech companies, nobody is really using IPv6.
Not even Cisco has shifted its internal infrastructure entirely over to IPv6 yet, so it’s no surprise (to us, anyway) that not too many other
organizations are charging aggressively into
IPv6 deployment, either.
That said, we certainly won’t deny you the privilege of exploring this new technology and
experiencing the advantages, benefits, and
contributions of IPv6 deployment in your personal networking environment. We will, however, encourage you to experiment entirely at
your own expense of time and money. (There’s
just too much ground for us to reasonably
Here are a few pointers to some online
resources where you may begin your journey:
“Everything You Need to Know about IPv6”:
This is an Ars Technica article explaining
IPv6 in (almost) plain English, complete with
block-assignment diagrams. See http://
paedia/IPv6.ars for more information.
IPv6 Running, Understanding IPv6 &
Advanced Implementation of Protocol:
This daily blog is dedicated to IPv6 topical
discussion. Visit http://ipv6-tips.
blogspot.com for more information.
IPv6 to Standard: This Web page, devoted to
the IETF IPv6 working group standardization
process, lists and identifies vendors whose
products are IPv6-enabled. See www.ipv6to-standard.org for details.
Receive window auto-tuning
In TCP, a receive window size defines the amount of data that a TCP receiver
permits a TCP sender to push onto the network before requiring the sender to
wait for acknowledgement of its receipt. Correctly determining the maximum
receive window size for a connection is now automatically handled by receive
window auto-tuning, which continuously determines the optimal window size
on a per-connection basis using real-time bandwidth calculations.
Improved receive window throughput increases network bandwidth utilization during data transfers. If all receivers are optimized for TCP data, Quality
of Service (QoS) can help reduce congestion for networks operating at or
near capacity.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Quality of Service (abbreviated QoS) refers to the ability to shape and control
the characteristics of ongoing network communications services. This idea
operates on the notion that transmission and error rates (along with other
traffic characteristics) can be measured, improved, and guaranteed — to
some extent, anyway.
Compound TCP
The Next Generation TCP/IP network stack also treats connections with large
receive window sizes and large bandwidth delays to Compound TCP (CTCP),
a function that aggressively increases the amount of data sent in real-time by
monitoring current traffic conditions.
CTCP also ensures that it doesn’t negatively impact other existing TCP connections and complements receive window auto-tuning support to provide
substantial performance gains appreciable in any high-delay, high-throughput
network environment.
Explicit Congestion Notification support
Lost TCP segments are assumed to be lost, probably owing to router congestion, which triggers a congestion control mechanism that dramatically
reduces a TCP sender’s transmission rate. With Explicit Congestion
Notification (ECN; see RFC 3168, which you can find at www.faqs.org/
rfcs/rfc3168.html) support, both TCP peers and routers experiencing
congestion accordingly mark packets they forward. On receipt of such packets, a TCP peer will scale back its transmission rate to ease congestion and
reduce segment loss. Windows Server 2008 now includes core support for
this protocol feature.
Quality of Service (QoS) support
Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP provide QoS functionality to applications through QoS APIs, which are leveraged to prioritize time-sensitive
network data delivery functions. Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista
include new facilities for network traffic management on Windows networks
so that high-priority traffic is handled first, which helps with streaming
media, voice over IP, video conferencing, and other applications where quick
response times are needed.
Policy-based QoS for enterprise networks allows IT staff to either prioritize
or manage the send rate for outbound connections, which can be confined to
applications, source/destination IPv4 or IPv6 addresses, and source/destination or a range of ports.
Chapter 2: Server Networking Principles
Enhancements for high-loss environments
The Next Generation TCP/IP stack also improves network conditions in highloss environments through several optimization features that include:
(RFC 2582) The NewReno Modification to TCP’s Fast Recovery
Algorithm: The NewReno algorithm provides faster throughput by
changing the way a sender can increase its sending rate when multiple
segments in a given window are lost, and the sender receives partial
acknowledgement only for segments actually received.
(RFC 2883) An Extension to Selective Acknowledgement (SACK)
Option for TCP: SACK allows a receiver to determine when it has
retransmitted a segment unnecessarily and adjust its behavior on-the-fly
to prevent further unnecessary retransmissions. Fewer retransmissions
result in more optimal overall delivery.
(RFC 3517) A Conservative Selective Acknowledgement (SACK)-based
Loss Recovery Algorithm for TCP: Windows Server 2003 and Windows
XP use SACK information only to determine those TCP segments that
have yet to arrive. Windows Server 2008 includes a method defined in
RFC 3517 to use SACK information for loss recovery in the event duplicate acknowledgements are received, which is maintained on a perconnection basis by the Next Generation TCP/IP stack.
(RFC 4138) Forward RTO-Recovery (F-RTO): Spurious retransmissions
can occur as a result of increases in round trip time (RTT). The F-RTO
algorithm prevents unnecessary retransmissions, particularly in wireless environments where client adapters may roam from point to point,
to return quickly to normal send rates.
These represent only some of the many additions, enhancements, and inclusions to the core network components in Windows Server 2008. For a more
complete list, visit the Microsoft TechNet article at www.microsoft.com/
Offloading protocol processing
Certain specialized network interfaces and hardware are capable of offloading the often resource-intensive burden of processing TCP/IP network stack
information, which requires handling of a multilayered protocol framework to
deliver encapsulated data. This frees up local CPU and RAM to process other
general-purpose tasks and moves the strain of ongoing network connection
processes to specially-designed hardware designated for that purpose.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
By encapsulated data, we refer to the way data is packaged as it travels down
the TCP/IP network protocol stack. Higher-level protocols are encapsulated
within header (and sometimes trailer) information so that lower-level routing
and switching devices can process (and in some cases interpret) protocol
Protocol offload processing is supported through software that is called
the TCP Chimney in Windows (discussed next) and hardware that is
called the TCP Offload Engine (discussed in Chapter 3).
TCP Chimney
The TCP Chimney is a feature introduced first in Windows Vista and second —
by extension — in Windows Server 2008. It’s the result of Microsoft’s Scalable
Networking initiative, which encompasses a number of changes to the core
network infrastructure of every new platform product. The goal is to reduce
operational overhead associated with establishing, maintaining, and terminating connection state — the status of a given network connection — and all requisite state information throughout the lifetime of a connection. By removing
such overhead from general-purpose resources and delegating the responsibility to special-purpose network interfaces, additional computing resources are
freed up, especially on servers.
A chimney is a collection of offloaded protocol state objects and any associated semantics that enable the host computer to offload network protocol
processing to some other network device, usually the network interface.
Since NDIS 6.0, Windows Server has included an architecture that supports
full TCP offload, called a chimney offload architecture because it provides a
direct connection between applications and an offload-capable network
adapter. This enables the network adapter to perform TCP/IP stack processing for offloaded connections, as well as to maintain the protocol state.
Changes to NDIS
Microsoft’s Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS) defines a standard
application programming interface (API) for network adapters. The details of
a network adapter’s hardware implementation are wrapped by a MAC device
driver so that all devices for the same media are accessed in a common, predictable way.
NDIS provides the library of functionality necessary to drive network interactions for the Windows platform that both simplifies driver development tasks
Chapter 2: Server Networking Principles
and hides the ugliness of platform-specific dependencies. Some of the new
features provided by NDIS specification version 6.0 are described below.
New offload support
NDIS 6.0 now supports new offloading network traffic processing functionality to compatible network adapters that includes:
IPv6 traffic offload: NDIS 5.1 (Windows XP, Windows Server 2003)
already supports IPv4 protocol offload processing; NDIS 6.0 also
includes IPv6 traffic.
IPv6 checksum offload: Checksum calculations for IPv6 can now be
offloaded to compliant network adapters.
Large send offload (version 2): NDIS 5.1 supports large send offload
(LSO), which offloads the segmentation of TCP protocol data into 64K
blocks. Large send offload 2 (LSOv2) in NDIS 6.0 now offloads much
larger blocks.
Support for lightweight filter drivers
Intermediate filter drivers are replaced by lightweight filter (LWF) drivers, a
combination of an NDIS 6.0 intermediate driver and a miniport driver. LWF
improves performance, consolidates protocol driver support, and provides
a bypass mode where LWF examines only select control and data paths.
Receive-side scaling
Multiprocessor computers running Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP
associate a given network adapter with a single processor. That individual
processor must handle all traffic for that interface, despite the fact that other
processors may be available. This impacts Web- and file-server performance
when client connections reach the serviceable limit of that associated
Incoming traffic that can’t be handled by either network interface or server
processor will be discarded, which is undesirable in just about every situation. This increases the number of TCP/IP-oriented session serialization and
sequence identifiers and amplifies performance penalties as a result of network stack retransmissions.
Both session serialization (sessions encoded as a sequence) and sequence
identifiers (unique numeric values associated with serialized sessions) are
related to the protocol stack. These properties help identify what portions
of data are assembled and in what order, such that portions arriving out-oforder are properly reordered and those that never arrive are requested again.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Windows Server 2008 no longer associates a network adapter to a single
processor; instead, inbound traffic is distributed among the available processor array and processed accordingly. This feature is called receive-side scaling, which allows for more inbound traffic on high-volume network interfaces.
A multiprocessor server computer can scale its ability to handle incoming
traffic without additional hardware, so long as compliant network adapters
are already in place.
Networking Is About Services, Too
In the first part of the chapter, our discussion of Windows Server 2008 principles covers mostly the new features included to core networking components,
the NDIS 6.0 API, and protocol offload processing. Networking isn’t just about
these features — in fact, they represent the unseen or transparent infrastructure upon which all services are built and operate.
Networking is much more than the communications protocols, offload
engines, and security frameworks that serve as the basis for connectivity.
Networking might not have a purpose or place without the necessary application services that server computers host for client computers (comprised of
workstations and servers), so that both may interact in some fashion.
A network, by and large, is for the people — the very endpoint representatives that create network connections. But it isn’t entirely about what the
people — or clients — want; much of the way a network infrastructure is
designed, constructed, and maintained is dictated by what the business
wants and needs.
In the following sections, we take a closer look at the very distinctions that
differentiate client and server wants and needs in terms of application and
background services.
What clients want
Client computers and personnel want a lot of things: easy access, worry-free
reliability, unfaltering dependability . . . and probably some other things they
aren’t quite sure of or don’t know how to articulate in techie terms. Who
wants to configure an IP address every time a connection is made to the
same, or any, network? What about sharing a common connection among
other computers?
Chapter 2: Server Networking Principles
Simple naming schemes, remote Web-based application access, and transaction-driven database services are just some of what clients want. Let’s delve a
little further into these topics for your personal benefit.
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a set of rules used by network communications devices to request and obtain an IPv4 or IPv6 address
lease assignment from the available pool of administrator-specified
addresses. DHCP alleviates the need for network administrators to actually
make such assignments by hand, freeing them up to handle other tasks.
A DHCP server ensures that uniquely-generated, dynamically allocated IP
assignments are made to connecting clients, along with whatever preferential
server settings may apply to the client connection. However, it can also
ensure that the same IP is given only to a specific machine every single time
it connects. DHCP is successor to an older Boot Protocol (BOOTP), which
achieved a very similar goal.
DHCP automates not only the assignment of IP addresses but also subnet
masks, default gateways, and other lease-related parameters. On boot-up, a
connecting client will issue a request to the network for its personal address
assignment to the DHCP application service. In turn, the service applies a set
of rules that govern the assignment and return the requested information
back to the client.
DHCP provides three modes for allocating addresses:
Dynamic: Clients are provided an address assignment lease that expires
after some specified duration of time. Reconnecting client computers
may or may not receive the same IP address, and no real concern is
given to consistency.
Automatic: Also known as DHCP Reservation, an automatic assignment is
one where a given address is permanently assigned to a particular client.
The DHCP server selects from a range specified by the administrator.
Manual: Client-based address selection and DHCP protocol message
response inform the server of the new address allocation. The DHCP
server performs the allocation based on a table with interface hardware
or MAC addresses, where administrators manually specify IP and MAC
pairs for connecting clients.
Network administrators not only reduce the amount of repetitive and potentially unnecessary effort associated with manual address assignments, but
also eliminate the potential for configuration mistakes when configuring multiple clients.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Windows Server 2008 enhancements to DHCP include IPv6 support (DHCPv6)
and Network Access Protection (NAP) enforcement, which requires a connecting DHCP client to prove its system health status before receiving an
address assignment.
Network Address Translation (NAT), network masquerading, and IP masquerading are all terms used to describe rewriting packets as they pass
through an intermediary networking device to appear as if they originated
from that device. There are many NAT arrangements, types, and variations,
but all operate along the same lines.
NAT confers two profound advantages on outbound network traffic:
It permits internal networks to use private IP addresses as per RFC 1918
and handles incoming and outgoing traffic to make that arrangement
It hides the details of internal network addresses, whether public or
private — which explains the masquerading terminology used in the
preceding paragraph.
There are several distinct advantages to this kind of arrangement. For
starters, NAT insulates internal computers from external probes, keeping
crime out like a security fence. At the same time, NAT enables many internal
computers to utilize a single external network connection where only a
single IP address is assigned. NAT originally began as a response to the
IPv4 address space shortage but has proven useful in many other ways.
Sometimes, communications protocols can be sensitive to alterations in
packet header data. NAT mangles the original data contained in a packet,
which can disrupt certain types of security protocols that absolutely require
a packet to pass from sender to receiver unaltered. This was the case for
IPSec when it first arrived on the scene because critical portions of header
elements were modified by NAT, upon which IPSec relied. As a result, connections failed, and trouble followed close behind. Today, such traffic is handled
without much difficulty, thanks to innovations in how NAT works and how
security protocols are used.
Internet Protocol Security, abbreviated IPSec, is an addition to the TCP/IP
framework that includes more reliable security mechanisms for an otherwise
insecure network environment. Such capability is usually involved with largescale environments spread across geographically diverse networks, or anywhere sensitive business applications and services are privately shared over
the Internet.
Chapter 2: Server Networking Principles
NAT can be used for load-balancing for connection redirection, as part of
a failover design to establish high-availability, as a transparent proxy for
content caching and request filtration, or to connect two networks with
overlapping addresses.
Name services
Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS) is Microsoft’s implementation of
NetBIOS Name Server (NBNS) on Windows and is very similar to the relationship between DNS and domain names. This is a basic service for NetBIOS
computer names, which are dynamically updated and mapped through DHCP.
WINS allows client computers to register and request NetBIOS names and IP
addresses in a dynamic, distributed fashion to resolve locally-connected
Windows computer resources.
A single network may have several WINS servers operating in push/pull replication, perhaps in a decentralized, distributed hub-and-spoke configuration.
Each WINS server contains a full copy of every other WINS server’s records
because there’s no hierarchy as with DNS — but the database may still be
queried for the address to contact (rather than broadcasting a request for
the right one).
WINS is only necessary if pre-Windows 2000 clients or servers or Exchange
2000/2003 clients are present and resolving NetBIOS names. Realistically,
most networking environments are better served by DNS as a preferable
alternative to WINS, particularly in Windows Server 2003 or 2008 environments. However, WINS remains an integral function in Windows network to
support older clients using legacy software.
Application access
Terminal Services (TS) in Windows Server 2008 implements Microsoft’s most
powerful centralized application access platform and offers an array of new
capabilities that reshape administrator and user experiences alike.
TS provides centralized access to individual applications without requiring
a full-fledged remote desktop session (although that’s still an option).
Applications operating remotely are integrated on local user desktops, where
they look and feel like local applications. An organization can employ HTTPS
over VPN to secure remote access to centralized applications and desktops.
Using TS in a Windows Server 2008 environment enables you to:
Deploy applications that integrate with the local user desktop.
Provide central access to managed Windows desktops.
Enable remote access for existing WAN applications.
Secure applications and data within the data center.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Windows Server 2008 TS includes the following features:
TS RemoteApp: Programs accessed through TS behave as if they run
locally on a remote user’s computer. Users may run TS RemoteApp
programs alongside local applications.
TS Gateway: Authorized remote users may connect to TS servers and
desktops on the intranet from any Internet-accessible device running
Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) 6.0. TS Gateway uses Remote
Desktop Protocol (RDP) via HTTPS to form a secure, encrypted channel
between remote users.
TS Web Access: TS RemoteApp is made available to remote end users
through TS Web Access, which can be a simple default Web page used to
deploy RemoteApp via the Web. Resources are accessible via both
intranet and Internet computers.
TS Session Broker: A simpler alternative to load-balancing TS is provided
through TS Broker, a new feature that distributes session data to the least
active server in a small (two to five) farm of servers. IT administrators
can even map several TS IP addresses to a single human-addressable DNS
name, so end users needn’t be aware of any specific settings to connect
and reconnect TS broker sessions.
TS Easy Print: Another new feature in Windows Server 2008 enables
users to reliably print from a TS RemoteApp program or desktop session
to either a local or network printer installed on the client computer.
Printers are supported without any installation of print drivers on the
TS endpoint, which greatly simplifies the network sharing process.
In addition, the Application Server role in Windows Server 2008 provides an
integrated environment for customizing, deploying, and running server-based
business applications. This supports applications that use ASP.NET, COM+,
Message Queuing, Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0/3.0, Web Services, and distributed transactions that respond to network-driven requests from other
applications and client computers.
The Application Server role is a requirement for Windows Server 2008 environments running applications dependent upon role services or features selected
during the installation process. Typically, this role is required when deploying
internally-developed business applications, which might be database-stored
customer records interfaced through Windows Communication Foundation
(WCF) Web Services.
Data-based services
Centralized application and data access helps secure sensitive and/or personally identifying information to the remote working environment. Less data
Chapter 2: Server Networking Principles
leaving the corporate network reduces the risk of accidental or incidental
data loss through the interception, theft, or misplacement of company notebooks. Through TS Gateway and TS RemoteApp, participants can be limited
to a single application or several resources, without exposing any more information than necessary to do their jobs.
For those mobile users out in the field, BitLocker Drive Encryption provides
a complete cryptographic solution to safely and securely store sensitive
data at rest. Everything up to core Windows operating system data and files
gets cryptographic coverage so that tampering by unauthorized parties is
thwarted, even if the hard drive is removed and the notebook is manipulated
in any way.
Windows Server 2008 File Services are technological provisions that facilitate
storage management, file replication, folder sharing, fast searching, and
accessibility for UNIX client computers. See Microsoft TechNet articles for
information on these features.
Web-based services
Task-based Web server management is handled in Internet Information
Services (IIS) 7.0, a powerful, modular platform for remote applications and
services with enhanced security, featuring health monitoring for Web services.
IIS 7.0 and .NET Framework 3.0 provide the basis for application and user
connectivity, enabling users to distribute and visualize shared information.
Windows Server 2008 SharePoint Services is a scalable, manageable platform
for the collaboration and development of Web-based business applications.
This can be installed as an integrated server role through the new Server
Manager console — no more downloading and running Setup. The SharePoint
Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard runs you through the installation process for server farm configurations, dramatically easing the deployment options for large-scale enterprise networks. Consult Microsoft TechNet
articles for more information on SharePoint Services.
What enterprises want
Enterprise wants and needs far exceed anything the desktop or workstation
consumer group can possibly offer. Most of those wants and needs center
around managing resources or maintaining connections among desktops,
workstations, and other server computers.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Active Directory
Active Directory (AD) is an implementation of the Lightweight Directory
Access Protocol (LDAP), a protocol and service framework that delivers
directory services to Windows-based networks. AD provides central authentication and authorization services, global policy assignment, widespread software deployment, and large-scale updates for an entire organization.
AD Directory Service (DS) is used to centrally store and manage information
about the network resources spread across a given domain. The framework
itself holds a number of levels that include forests, domains, and trees, as
described in fuller detail in Chapters 7 and 8.
Access controls
Employees are defined by their roles or capacities within an organization.
There are leadership roles, management roles, and general occupational roles
to fulfill, each defined by separate duties, privileges, and responsibilities.
Among those privileges and responsibilities are varying layers of access to
business-related information. For example, a general employee has no real
reason to access or modify management-related information, such as work
schedules or other employees’ contact information.
In much the same way, users are defined in a system by their access privileges on that system. Access controls are captive restrictions set in place on
server computers necessary to prevent accidental, intentional, and unauthorized use of data, files, and settings, particularly those critical to system
One feature Windows Server 2008 brings to the table is Network Access
Protection (NAP), which enforces strict health checks on all incoming client
connections. That is, it inspects the state of the client to make sure it meets
requirements for antivirus and antispyware coverage and currency, Windows
update currency, and so forth.
Policy-based controls
Policy-based controls on the Windows Server 2008 platform are evident virtually anywhere a user or process interacts with the system. Active Directory
(AD) Domain Services are a global configuration policy-driven framework
used to define various Windows network parameters for an entire organization. Policy-based control is also apparent in protective access mechanisms
deployed on the network to enforce certain requirements for connecting
Chapter 2: Server Networking Principles
Microsoft’s Network Policy Server (NPS) is an implementation of Remote
Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS), a network-policy checking
server and proxy for Windows Server 2008. NPS replaces the original Internet
Authentication Service (IAS) in Windows Server 2003 and performs all the
same functions for VPN and 802.1x-based wired and wireless links, and performs health evaluations before granting access to NAP clients.
Policy-based controls also encompass the variety of various Windows Server
2008 core components and features like network protocol-oriented QoS and
system-wide directory services provided through AD.
Client management
In addition to NAP features that ensure an optimal level of health for
Windows Server 2008 networks, a number of other useful client management
tools are natively available on the platform. TS Remote Desktop Connection
(RDC) 6.0 remotely verifies that clients are connecting to the correct computers or servers. This prevents accidental connections to unintended targets
and the potential to expose sensitive client-side information with an unauthorized server recipient.
TS Gateway also provides for endpoint-to-endpoint sessions using the
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) with HTTPS for a secure, encrypted communications channel between various clients that include FreeBSD, Linux, Mac
OS X, and Solaris.
Software deployment
There’s a lot of redundancy in virtually every modern computing and networking environment. There are multiple workstation computers for multiple
employees, possibly built with dual memory banks, dual-core processors,
and doubled-up RAID drives and NICs, communicating with load-balanced
servers operating in round-robin fashion — just to give a thumbnail perspective of a much bigger portrait. Chances are good that in an environment like
this, when you configure, install, or modify something once, you’ll have to
repeat that same action elsewhere.
Large-scale software deployments are one clear instance of this observation.
Generally, you don’t install just one computer but several. It may be a few
dozen, or it may be several hundreds or thousands. Either way, do you really
want to process each case individually by hand? We didn’t think so, and neither do most administrators, which is why you hear things like “unattended”
or “automated” installation.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Windows Server 2008 further enhances the software deployment cycle by
realizing a simple principle: Build a modular, easily modified, unified image
format through which all subsequent installation images are created, each
unique only in the features it removes or adds to the base. The Windows
Imaging Format (WIF) creates an abstract modular building block for operating system deployment so that you can create in-house install images that
incorporate whatever applications, configurations, or extensions you deem
necessary. Then, you can roll out multiple installs at a time in a completely
self-contained, automated fashion that can even include previously backedup personal user data and settings.
Chapter 3
Building Your Network
In This Chapter
Designing networks that work
Understanding the fundamentals of network design
Situating servers and other network devices
Double-checking your design work
Mapping your network
hether you’re constructing a complete network or simply renovating
an existing network, the basic approach is the same. You begin by
planning what you want to implement, and then you gather the ingredients
necessary to realize your plans. Next, you have to execute those plans
according to the blueprint that you devised. The execution of any successful
network project plan involves bringing all the pieces together, applying solid
organizational principles to your network, and documenting what you add
(and what’s already in place) to your network.
Developing a Network
Implementation Plan
Whenever you set forth on a network project, start by analyzing your requirements. If you’re building a network from scratch, this phase can take weeks
or even months of effort; if you’re simply extending or repairing an existing
network, planning may take a day of your time or less.
Whatever your project’s scope, your plan should contain the following:
A brief statement of your overall objectives, plus a more lengthy
statement of requirements that addresses the following:
• What applications and services users need to access
Part I: Servers at Your Service
• Estimates of user-to-server bandwidth requirements
• Estimates of server-to-server bandwidth requirements (where
For example: The new XYZ Inc. network will provide 60 users with
access to Windows Server 2008 file and print services, plus access to a
SQL Server sales and inventory database. Each user will require no more
than 6 Mbps bandwidth, and there are no server-to-server bandwidth
requirements during business hours because all backups are scheduled
for after-hours and weekends.
A complete list of all the elements that you must purchase or otherwise acquire to meet those objectives.
For example: At, XYZ Inc., three different department servers
(Accounting, Manufacturing, and Sales) will act as routers to link two
network segments of 10 users each, for a total of six user segments
based on 100 Mbps Ethernet. The three servers will be connected with a
1000 Mbps Ethernet backbone using Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). We will purchase six 16-port 10/100 Ethernet hubs (one per user segment, each with
two GbE links for the corporate backbone) to leave room for growth, and
three dual-core 2.13 GHz Intel Xeon 3050 server machines, each with 8GB
RAM and 2TB of disk space, along with a 16-port GbE switch to handle
the backbone itself. We will also attach three Buffalo TeraStation Pro II
network attached storage (NAS) units so that we can back up all three
servers across the backbone.
A description of the role each element will play on the network, the
location of each element on the network, the configuration of each
element, and the time during the installation process in which you
plan to add each element to the network.
You should use a map or a set of plans to help you place cables, computers, and other components, and a timeline to indicate the order in which
you have to install everything.
For example: The Accounting server will handle users from the
Accounting and Purchasing departments; the Manufacturing server will
handle users from the Manufacturing and Engineering departments; the
Sales server will handle users from Administration as well as from the
Sales and Marketing departments. All servers, the backbone, and all
hubs will be installed when the company is closed between Christmas
and the new year. The network should be operational when normal business operations resume. A map of this network appears in Figure 3-1.
A test plan that describes how you plan to test individual elements,
individual cable segments, and the entire network (including who is
responsible for specific tasks) to make sure everything functions properly after you finish the installation.
For example: The three servers will be installed first and tested individually the weekend before the Christmas break. On December 23 and 24,
Chapter 3: Building Your Network
the GbE backbone will be installed. On December 28, the backbone will
be tested. On December 28 and 29, the hubs will be installed and tested.
On December 30, workstations on all existing 10-Mbps cable segments
will be connected to the new 10/100 hubs and tested individually. From
December 31 to January 2, automated testing software will exercise the
entire network. On January 3, a network technician will visit our site
with Bob, the site administrator, and any last-minute changes, repairs,
and adjustments will be performed. We believe the network will be ready
for use on January 4.
Sam K
office 301
Bob T
office 314
Mary B
office 309
Jeff L
office 302
Mary B
office 313
Sheila E
office 303
John F
office 316
Sandy Y
office 305
Sally P
office 320
Donna B
office 308
Fred C
office 315
3rd floor
GbE backbone
Sales server
(3 PCs)
(10 PCs)
Sandra S
office 201
Shawn I
office 211
Yvonne N
office 210
Carl K
office 220
1st floor
GbE backbone
2nd floor
Figure 3-1:
A simple
map of
XYZ Inc.’s
shows all
and cable
laid over
a simple
floor plan.
Betty A
office 304
(10 PCs)
(10 PCs)
PC 1
Alex T
office 102
PC 14
room 101
Sandra R
room 107
(14 PCs)
(14 PCs)
(7 PCs)
Part I: Servers at Your Service
This plan helps you to decide where you must place key network elements,
such as servers, switches, routers, and other network devices. More importantly, the plan also helps you determine what type of network technology
and bandwidth you need to deploy to meet your objectives. Because most
businesses work on a budget, building a plan also helps you make sure that
you won’t try to spend more than you’re allowed to spend or incorporate
more exotic technologies than you can afford. Your network implementation
plan should also help you evaluate your current network backbone or plan a
new one to be able to carry all the traffic that normally comes together on
such critical network segments.
Understanding Network
Design’s Barest Basics
The possible implementations from which you can choose when designing a
network are innumerable. To help you distinguish between what’s improbable, possible, feasible, and recommended when designing your network,
here’s a set of helpful guidelines:
Select a network technology: When adding to or expanding an existing
network, this decision is easy — it simply requires choosing something
identical to or compatible with whatever you’re using. For new networks, you need to analyze what kinds of applications and services
users require:
• For ordinary office work (e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets,
basic database access, and so on), 10/100 Mbps Ethernet works well.
• For high-traffic or real-time applications — such as Computer
Aided Design (CAD), imaging, video conferencing, and voice over
network — either 100 Mbps Ethernet or GbE to the desktop makes
sense, depending on end-user bandwidth requirements.
• For high-availability or mission-critical business applications — such
as on-demand services and business-to-business applications —
both redundant network configurations and failover clustering
(first introduced in Chapter 1) should be part of your initial IT
infrastructure design.
It’s seldom necessary to deploy GbE to all desktops, but some may need
it. So plan carefully to provide gigabit connections to those who do need
it, and likewise, plan your backbone carefully to make sure it can handle
all the aggregated bandwidth needs. (In some rare cases, a 10 GbE backbone might be required, but usually not for most small- to medium-sized
Chapter 3: Building Your Network
Position office equipment close to users: When designing a network,
the smartest thing you can do is minimize the distance between users
and the resources they use most. This applies to printers (so users
enjoy easy access to output), servers (so cable runs needn’t be too
long), and other resources (such as fax machines, scanners, and
copiers) that users need to access to do their jobs.
Closely situate mutually-dependent servers: Keep in mind that some
servers act as front-end clients to other servers, which stands in contrast to the typical client-server role. Maintain close proximity for these
servers to minimize bandwidth utilization to a reasonable level and
leave the longer pathways between client and server.
Build an online work environment: When designing a network, you
also have to take into account current working patterns and arrangements in your offices. (For example, if the Accounting and Purchasing
departments work together all the time and use the same applications,
perhaps they should share a server.) This also applies to the type of network you build. For small companies, centralized control and tight security may hamper your workers; in large companies, centralized control
and tight security are the norm. You must serve the communities that
currently exist in your organization and use the network to help users
communicate and be as productive as possible.
Arrange servers, hubs, and other key resources: The places where
wiring congregates — namely at punchdown blocks, wiring centers, and
equipment rooms (or closets) — sometimes dictate where certain equipment must be placed. Be sure to check the distance between those locations and the areas where workers reside. In most cases, offices are
designed to support cabling from a centrally located wiring center or
equipment room for groups of offices. If that isn’t the case in your workspace, you may have to add new equipment rooms and wiring centers or
move workers to bring them closer to existing facilities. Either of these
solutions takes time and costs serious money, so be sure to get management involved in deciding which options make the most sense for your
Build better backbones: Depending on your network technology choice,
you’ll probably want to arrange your network to include a special highway for data to travel across when multiple network cables come
together. This can happen between servers, as with the XYZ Inc. example in this chapter. Such portions of the network are called backbones.
A backbone can be something as simple as a so-called collapsed backbone, in which a high-speed switch links multiple cable segments and
provides a single, high-speed connection between all cable segments. A
backbone can also be as complex as a staged backbone, in which intermediate segments jump from switched 100 Mbps-Ethernet to switched
GbE at the server (as in the XYZ Inc. example in this chapter). More
complex backbones might even include a segment of 10 GbE on the
innermost segment, where traffic is heaviest.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Plan for growth: When planning a network, include at least 30 percent
spare, unused capacity in your design. This spare capacity should
include network ports (unused ports on switches), unused network
cables in offices and cableways, and bandwidth on individual network
segments and switches. That way, you can grow within your current
environment for a while without having to redesign your network on a
regular basis. If your annual growth rate exceeds 30 percent, design at
least one year’s planned growth into your network — better yet, one
year’s planned growth plus 30 percent.
Work within the system: As you discover when you start deploying a
network in any organization, networks have a political as well as a technical side. When you plan a network, you should work within your
system in at least two ways:
1. Make sure that management knows about and approves of what
you plan.
2. Make sure that you handle the work, contracts, purchases, and so
on within the rules and regulations of your organization.
If you neglect either of these guidelines, the only thing you’ll learn how
to network is trouble!
Check your design: After you put a network design down on paper,
review that design against what you know about the network technologies it uses. Be especially careful to check maximum cable lengths, maximum number of devices per segment, and maximum number of cable
segments and devices between any two ends of the network against the
rules that apply to the technologies you plan to use. You don’t want to
build a network that tries to break these rules. If you do, your network
may not work, or worse, it may work for a while and then quit working
when you add users or devices. If you check your work before you build,
you won’t try to build something that can’t work or that’s inherently
prone to trouble.
Ask for a sanity check: After you’ve put a network design down on
paper and checked your work, you should also solicit input from one
or more networking experts. Redesigning a network is always easier
while it’s still on paper; you don’t want to fix a flawed design after you’ve
built a network. The more qualified advice you get before you start
building, the better off you’ll be in the long run. In fact, this advice is
worth paying for because it can save you a world of hurt (or your job,
for that matter).
Although this list of network design principles isn’t exhaustive, it should lead
you toward designing a network that works best for your organization.
Because these guidelines consider work patterns, politics, and organizational
Chapter 3: Building Your Network
rules as well as technology, the resulting network should serve your organization well for more than just technical reasons.
Deciding Where Networking
Devices Must Go
You must purchase the necessary equipment, cables, connectors, and so on
and start deploying the components that make a network work. When you
start situating key network equipment — including servers, storage or
backup devices, switches, and routers — you need to make some important
decisions about how to situate them particularly as they fit into your existing
network plan.
For small organizations of 25 people or less, using separate locked facilities
to store hubs and servers may not make sense. Small organizations tend to
be more informal and are less likely to have the kind of budget that supports
a full-time information systems (IS) staff. In these circumstances, you usually
want to situate your networking gear along with all your other gear — out in
the open with other equipment for easy access to one and all. If you do put
the networking gear out in the open, make sure that only users with valid
passwords can log on to such equipment. Otherwise, we highly recommend
locking it up.
Larger organizations tend to be more concerned about security and control,
and therefore, they usually situate key networking components in locked
equipment rooms and in locked wiring closets or wiring centers at various
locations around their offices. Because the equipment has to be close to the
wiring, it isn’t uncommon for servers to reside in wiring closets along with
punchdown blocks, switches, and other networking equipment.
Only authorized personnel should be allowed to access these facilities.
Likewise, only authorized personnel should be allowed to add users or equipment to the network, usually within a system of regularly scheduled updates
or maintenance. In office buildings, for example, this usually means one or
two wiring closets or equipment rooms per floor, where only authorized personnel have keys or access codes to get into these rooms.
Choose an approach to situating your servers that makes sense for your
organization, and stick with it. If you’re going to follow rules for placing
equipment, share those rules with employees so that they know what’s going
on. In fact, formulating a security policy for most networks is a smart move,
and you should regularly explain that policy to your employees in detail. (For
more information on this subject, see Chapter 14.)
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Most small- to medium-sized companies — such as the fictitious XYZ Inc.
mentioned in this chapter — put their servers into small, locked rooms at
each end of the floors they occupy in an office building. This keeps the distances between users’ desktops and the wiring centers acceptably low and
puts their servers alongside the punchdown blocks and switches they use,
which helps manage wiring. This approach also provides controlled access
to the equipment and software that makes their networks work in a small
number of closely managed locations. Finally, it addresses the need for adequate ventilation and power control that hubs and servers require for proper
operation, which many wiring closets don’t offer.
Consider Hiring an Expert to Install
Cable and Equipment
Normally, you install cable and equipment at the same time you build a network. You may run your own cables for your network and perform all equipment installation and configuration yourself; you may contract both the cable
and equipment installation out to third parties, or you may choose some
point between these two extremes. Whichever way you go, somewhere along
the way you’ll be ready to put the finished pieces of your network together.
When it comes to installing cable, we highly recommend that you employ
experienced cable installers with good references. The company that owns or
operates your office building may even require a licensed cable installer to
perform any such work. Here’s why this is a good idea:
Adherence to building and fire codes is mandatory, but it can also be
tricky; working with an experienced professional is a good way to avoid
Cable placement and routing are sensitive; trained professionals know
how to avoid potential trouble spots and always test their work to make
sure that the network will behave properly.
High-speed networks are much more finicky and prone to installation difficulties than lower-speed networks. The faster you want your network
to go, the better off you’ll be if you leave the cabling to an expert.
Consult with network installers and professionals to acquire an accurate
concept as to how to lay your cable. They don’t necessarily have to
install your network if you already have capable hands onboard, but in
the event you receive outside assistance, make sure they provide you
with the cabling plans for your organization.
Chapter 3: Building Your Network
Always Check Your Work!
If you decide to install cable and/or equipment yourself, we strongly advise
that you bring up your network in small, manageable pieces. When installing
multiple cable segments, as when linking one wiring closet to another or each
wiring closet to the backbone, bring up individual segments one at a time
and test them to make sure each one works before connecting all of them.
Likewise, if you’re installing a backbone or a server cluster, test individual
components separately before trying them out en masse.
When you install equipment, apply the same principles. After you install and
configure a machine, check it by itself to make sure it works before attaching
it to the network. This is as appropriate for switches and routers as it is for
server and desktop computers, as well as network attached storage devices.
Our suggestions on piecewise checking and gradually increasing the complexity of your network come from experience. We found out the hard way
that throwing everything together at once can cause problems that are too
hard to troubleshoot because you have to deal with too many unknowns.
Evaluating Your Network’s Performance
and Usefulness
After you build a network, you may be tempted to rest for a while to enjoy
your success. After all, you’ve earned it, right? Well, although you should
certainly pat yourself on the back, you should also realize that the real work
begins as soon as users start using the network (or a new portion of an existing one). If you’re responsible for a network, you must not only keep things
running for the moment, but also keep them running — and running well —
over time.
Whereas the network you build or extend may meet your users’ initial needs,
any network’s capability to meet users’ continuing needs diminishes over
time. Growth, change in technologies, and new applications and services
guarantee that nothing stays the same for long in the workplace — this
includes your network as well as the systems and services that the network
delivers to your users.
Therefore, you need to conduct regular reviews of how well your network
meets users’ needs. In small or slow-growing organizations, you may have to
review the network only once a year. In large or fast-growing organizations,
you should review the network on a quarterly basis.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Your network review should include at least these three elements:
Traffic analysis and usage review: You can conduct this yourself by
using the built-in Windows Server 2008 tools and facilities, such as
System Monitor, and third-party software tools. The idea is to take a performance and behavior snapshot of your network during ordinary-load,
light-load, and peak-load conditions. If any of these loads encroach on
the boundaries of what the current design can reasonably support, start
planning to extend and expand your network.
User interviews: You can interview selected users on a one-on-one basis
in your organization or hold meetings with individual workgroups and
departments. The idea is to give employees a chance to share their
observations, gripes, and wishes regarding the network. This can give
you a great opportunity to not only gauge user satisfaction and networking knowledge, but also determine whether you should give employees
additional training on how to use the network more effectively.
Management review: You should meet with members of management
regularly to find out what they’re planning and what future informationprocessing needs they’re considering. You can also gauge management’s
impressions of and beliefs about the network as you report your findings
from the previous two items to them.
If you perform these reviews and keep in touch with upcoming changes and
requirements, you can keep your network and your organization better synchronized. Planning for change and growth is essential to modern networks
because they’ve become critical business tools that organizations depend on
to do their work. If you take an active approach and plan, you can stay ahead
of the curve!
Creating a Network Map
Earlier in this chapter, we introduce you to most of the basic principles
involved in designing and building a network. By now, you have a pretty good
idea about how networks work. As you spend more time around networks,
however, you may realize that what they do isn’t nearly as important as what
you know about what they do.
Whether you wrestle with networks only occasionally or full-time, you may
discover that there’s nothing like a network map to help you find and keep
track of routers, switches, and other network appliances on your network.
Chapter 3: Building Your Network
It isn’t a map; it’s the whole enchilada
Calling the collection of data that describes your network a map doesn’t do
this concept justice. A network map is certainly more than a mere drawing
that shows where network components live on your network, but creating
such a drawing is a great way to start building a network map. If you look at
the following list of devices and properties that a network map should contain, you’ll see why such a map is more than a mere depiction:
A list of all computers on your network, with supporting documentation
A list of all network equipment — such as servers and switches, plus
any routers, firewalls, and so on — with supporting documentation
A list of all printers and other similar equipment on the network — such
as scanners and fax machines — with supporting documentation
Lines to indicate where cables run and where punchdown blocks, wall
plates, and other media-related elements are located
Capturing data for your network map
Because a network map is so important and such a powerful tool, pause right
here and start one immediately. Be prepared to spend some time and energy
on this project because most of the data that makes up a network map is
scattered all over the place.
Building a detailed network map is a worthwhile investment. It can pay for
itself many times over as you come to depend on it. At worst, you discover
more about your network than you ever wanted to know (but not more than
you’ll ever need to know). At best, you get to know your network so well that
it will seldom throw you a curve ball — and you may even find some things to
tweak and tune while building that map.
Starting at the foundation
Obtaining a set of your building’s architectural drawings or engineering plans
can help a great deal. If you can find any drawings or plans, take them to an
architect’s supply store and make copies that you can mark up and use as a
base map. (Most plans are created using an old-fashioned, ammonia-based
copying system called blueline. You can copy even large-sized plans for less
than $25 per plan.)
Part I: Servers at Your Service
If a professional cabling outfit installed your network, you should be able to
get a copy of their cabling plans, which work even better than architectural
drawings or engineering plans because they probably already show where
the cable is laid and how much of it you have. This is another good reason
that do-it-yourself may not be the best way to cable your network.
If no such plans are available, you can sketch a room-by-room layout on rectangular grid paper (such as an engineering pad) to make it easy to draw to
scale. Be sure to mark the location of machines, devices, approximate locations for cable runs, and so on. A network map drawn to scale enables you to
visualize the network layout, including any potential problem areas or unforeseen complications in the final design.
Anything on your network should be on the map
Anything that merits attention or costs money is worth recording on your
map. You don’t need to go into great detail about each and every connector
or note the exact length of every cable. (Approximate lengths within a meter
or so are useful, however.) Indicate every major cable run, every computer,
and every piece of gear attached to the network.
Taking stock of your network
The information you gather while producing a network map creates a
detailed inventory of what’s on your network and where everything’s located.
Unfortunately, you quickly find out that this is a lot of information.
To make keeping an inventory easy for yourself (and for anyone who follows
in your footsteps), build a template or form that you can fill out for each item
on the network. This approach forces you to collect consistent information
and makes delegating information gathering to others easier. Include all of
the following information for each computer on the network:
The hardware configuration for each machine: Include a list of all
interfaces and their settings, information about installed RAM and
drives, and the make and model of the keyboard, display, and so on. If
you can find out who sold you the equipment, write that down, too.
Keeping track of equipment is typically the accounting department’s
responsibility. Check with those folks for a copy of your company’s capital assets or a depreciable items inventory (if available). This type of
documentation normally includes serial numbers and other identification for hardware on the network. If no one in your company has gathered such information, collect it yourself. It’s valuable.
Chapter 3: Building Your Network
The software configuration for each machine: Include lists of configuration files, operating system data (including version number, most recent
Service Pack applied, and so on), as well as a list of programs and versions installed on the machine.
The network configuration for each machine: Include the make and
model of each network interface card (NIC), plus a list of driver files
with names, version numbers, dates, and sizes. You can capture such
data to a file easily on Windows systems by choosing Start➪Programs➪
Accessories➪System Tools➪System Information➪Hardware Resources;
use this as the basis for this inventory. (On Windows XP, Windows Vista,
and Windows Server 2003/2008 systems, the menu selection begins with
Start➪All Programs.)
In addition to information on each computer, your inventory should also
include the following data:
A list of other equipment, such as switches, routers, storage devices,
and printers: Include the manufacturer, model, make, and serial number
for each piece of equipment. If the equipment includes memory modules,
disk drives, or plug-in interface cards, get information about them, too.
If the equipment uses software or firmware, record the name, version,
release date, and any other information you can garner about such items.
A list of all the cable segments on the network: Give each segment a
unique name or number and associate your records with whatever type
of identifier you use for those segments. Record the type and make of
cable, its length, the locations of its ends, and any significant connections or intermediate locations that you may have to visit in the future.
A list of all the vendors who’ve worked on your network or its
machines: Include names and phone numbers of contacts at each
operation. This can be a valuable resource for technical support and
troubleshooting. Over time, add the names and phone numbers of tech
support or other individuals at these organizations who prove to be
knowledgeable and helpful.
Essentially, the information gathered while creating and maintaining a network map forms a database of everything anyone needs to know about your
network. To improve access to and usability of this data, consider storing the
text for your network map in an honest-to-gosh database engine. If this is too
labor-intensive, a file- or paper-based approach works, but it takes more
effort to maintain over time. Whichever method of recording data for your
map you use, be sure to keep your inventory complete and up-to-date.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Applications such as Visio (Microsoft Office’s diagram and visualization application that can be found at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/
visio/default.aspx) and Cheops (an active network visualization tool
that can be found at http://cheops-ng.sourceforge.net/) can help
you create network maps. Search your favorite search engine using the keywords network visualization to find other applications and companies that
can help you with this process. If you don’t want to spend money on such a
tool, add the words free or open source to the front of the search string.
When the network changes,
so does the map!
One thing that you can always be sure of when it comes to networks: They’re
always changing. Your map is only as good as the information it contains.
And the map remains useful only if that information is an accurate reflection
of the real network in your organization.
Whenever anything changes on your network, make updating the map and its
associated database a priority. Sitting down and checking your map is much
less work than walking around and looking at the real objects that the map
shows. If the map is current, you can keep on top of things from the comfort
of your office. If it’s out of date, you’d better start walking!
Network Interfaces: Built-ins
versus Extender Cards
Integrated and add-in components continue to define the basic classifications
for most computer hardware. Some consumers, consultants, and computer
geeks swear by and base buying decisions purely and solely on this distinction. Why, then, is this distinction so incredibly special?
The advantages and disadvantages for built-in versus extender cards used to
be much different only a few years ago, when components and technologies
just weren’t up to speed with the best-of-breed, high-speed network capabilities. As internal processing power and speed continue to increase, so does
networking power — albeit separately and for its own reasons. Point being,
these two computing properties are beginning to find that happy medium,
which is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that GbE network interfaces are
built into most contemporary retail motherboards, and server motherboards
usually have two or more built-in GbE interfaces.
Chapter 3: Building Your Network
One primary difference remains unchanged: serviceability. Clearly an integrated network solution is an island unto itself when damaged, even though
it’s physically very much a part of the motherboard. That’s actually the
crux of the problem — it can’t (easily, if at all!) be removed, and replacement
can be costly, up to whatever the price of the same or similar motherboard
replacement costs. Usually it isn’t so bad — a simple GbE replacement NIC
costs an average of $50 as we update this chapter, whereas fancy but very
fast GbE NICs can cost from $100 to as much as $800.
As mentioned earlier, a Network Interface Card (NIC) is the basic physical
component that enables you to have network capability on any given computer. This also requires a network stack and driver software and may
involve a third-party configuration utility or application.
Don’t knock your NIC
Don’t underestimate the worth of your NIC, and certainly don’t overestimate
the capability of a cheap store-bought generic card. The problem with cheap
network cards is the same as anything else: cost-saving, corner-cutting,
conservative-thinking manufacturers skimp on form and feature to produce
a market-ready, low-budget offering. Sure, these generic cards are okay for
mundane machines handling lightweight, mundane chores. But we aren’t
even operating on that level — we have Windows Server 2008 to empower
and embolden our network, and there’s no sense in cutting cost on the NIC
because the difference in price is negligible to savings that can be realized
Here are a few points to consider when researching NICs for your network:
Which computers will connect to the network
Connection types (wired, wireless) and interfaces (UTP, fiber)
Network interface properties and services (TOE, Quality of Service,
and so on)
Security principles and procedures (encryption and encapsulation
Server- or workstation-specific roles and responsibilities
For the most part, NICs are all the same for workstations, servers, and notebook computers. Their packaging, features, and capabilities are all specific to
the particular needs and uses for the computers they go into. The interfaces
for Ethernet and GbE are exactly the same — it’s mainly in the way that the
medium is used that makes up the biggest difference. However, a fiber interface is incompatible with a GbE interface and requires some intervening
Part I: Servers at Your Service
piece of network hardware to connect the two. While many such technologies
can and often do intermix on the same network, there may be performance
bottlenecks that occur with each transition between separate interface types
and technologies. Such bottlenecks are unavoidable because there will
always be some transition between several network technologies and
protocols in a large-scale network environment, especially the Internet.
Remember that a computer is for computing and a router is for routing.
Although a computer can perform the same tasks as a router (and then
some), it may be considerably wasteful in some circumstances and just
plain overkill in others. When given the option, always buy a router for routing purposes and leave the computing tasks to computers (and vice versa).
Don’t stub your TOE (TCP Offload Engine)
Why make something your responsibility if it doesn’t have to be? After all,
offloading responsibility is how a lot of managers — ahem, we mean management applications — operate in the network world. The TCP Offload Engine
(TOE) is one such technology built into network interfaces that offloads processing of the entire TCP/IP network stack directly onto a specialized NIC
controller. This process no longer has to be the typical burden to your main
CPU and RAM!
This tactic is employed within high-speed NICs and networks (typically
Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet) where handling network stack overhead is most significant. Because TCP is a connection-oriented protocol, this
increases the complexity and processing overhead related to the establishment of serially-controlled connections, checksum and sequence number calculations, sliding window recalculations, and eventual connection teardown
and termination. In short, there’s a lot of computation and tracking required
while TCP is busy at work, and that workload increases with network speed
and increased demand.
TOE is a response to the increased load and network resource demand
imposed by GbE hardware and the invariable increase in resource utilization.
When the computer carries this burden, the CPU is interrupted repeatedly
from processing normal applications and processes, which slows performance gradually to the point that perceptible signs of performance degradation can appear. As the network expands coverage and aggregates multiple
GbE links, even the most powerful servers will eventually suffer performance
penalties under intense load. Clustering, virtualization, Internet SCSI (iSCSI),
and Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) have all contributed to the
increasing use of TOE-enabled network interface cards because they leave
more server oomph to deliver services and handle requests outside the network communications realm.
Chapter 3: Building Your Network
The ever-popular ping test
Perhaps nowhere is groping more appreciated than within an unresponsive
network environment, where it’s perfectly okay and even warranted to reach
out and touch your neighbor — or several of them. Packet Internet Groper
(ping) is a basic network diagnostic command that enables you to check link
state and troubleshoot connectivity problems by sending stimulus packets to
another endpoint or intermediary device on the network, which elicit
responses from participating network devices and computers.
Ping is an essential first resort when testing network connectivity — it establishes a baseline and jump-off point for further investigation or immediate
resolution. You usually precede issuance of the ping command only by an
obligatory physical cable connection check to ensure sanity and eliminate
any silly probable causes.
Ping works by issuing Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echo request
packets to a destination and then awaits echo reply response packets. This is
sometimes dubbed ping and pong in honor of tabletop tennis. Ping uses interval timing and response rates, estimates round-trip time, and reports any
packet losses that might occur.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Chapter 4
Hooking Up Your Network
In This Chapter
Selecting the correct network medium
Choosing an Ethernet technology
Understanding the role of a network backbone
uying computers doesn’t make a network! You have to interconnect
computers to enable them to communicate. You can set up communications among computers in several ways; the one you choose depends on
your budget and bandwidth needs. Okay, most of it depends on your budget!
Transmission media is a fancy, generic term for cabling and wireless transmission technologies. The media provide the means by which computers talk to
each other across a network. In fact, computers can communicate through
the airwaves using broadcast transmissions, through the wiring in a building,
or through fiber-optic cabling across a campus. Linking long-distance or
Internet connections to local networks means that there’s almost no limit to
what your network can access!
In this chapter, you also examine different methods to interconnect networks
using cables and other media. You find out which media are appropriate for
desktop access and which work best for server-to-server activity. You also
discover more about network anatomy as we tackle two ticklish subjects —
namely, backbones and wide area network (WAN) links.
Make a Network Medium Happy!
A happy network medium has nothing whatsoever to do with a TV psychic.
Rather, finding the right network medium means implementing network
cabling that won’t cause bottlenecks. Depending on whether you’re building
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a network from the ground up or starting from scratch, you may need to take
a different approach to evaluating cabling options for your network:
If you step into a job where a local area network (LAN) is already in
place, cabling is probably in place, too. Evaluating the type, capabilities,
and usability of an inherited network is almost always a good idea. That
way, you can decide whether you can live with what you have, or
whether some change will do the network good. You may learn, for
example, that old cabling causes so many difficulties that you’re better
off replacing or upgrading it. (We’ve popped out ceiling tiles and found
badly spliced cables hidden from view.)
If you’re planning a brand-new network, one of your concerns is to determine your cabling needs. Decide which network cabling you’re going to
use before ordering equipment for your network because you can often
order computers and peripherals with the appropriate network interface
cards (NICs) preinstalled and preconfigured. (Of course, NICs are preinstalled and preconfigured on an existing network, which means your
choices have already been made for you.) The more work you save yourself, the better!
If a contractor handles your cabling maintenance, don’t assume that
every old cable gets replaced if it isn’t completely up to snuff. A contractor may choose to reuse substandard cables to save on material costs.
Without proper wiring, your network may be in constant trouble. (Or it
may not work at all.)
If you work with a cable contractor, require the contractor to test each
network cable and insist that the contractor provide you with those test
results. In fact, many companies hire one contractor to install cables and
another to test them. By doing so, they ensure that the common tendency to overlook errors or potential sources of problems on a network
can be avoided — plus, it never hurts to get a second opinion.
The most common cabling technology for LANs is baseband cable, which is
cable set up for baseband transmission. For this reason, we concentrate on
baseband cable in this book. Check out the sidebar titled “Use the right pipes
in your network’s plumbing” for a description of baseband transmission and
how it differs from broadband transmission.
If you know what to look for, the name of a particular type of cable can tell
you all about its transmission properties. Ethernet cable notation (set down
by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, or IEEE) breaks down
as follows:
The speed of the Ethernet in Mbps
The cable’s technology — broadband or baseband
The cable’s rated distance in hundreds of meters or the type of cable —
twisted-pair or fiber-optic cable
Chapter 4: Hooking Up Your Network
Use the right pipes in your network’s plumbing
Wiring in a network is like plumbing in a house.
Just as pipes form the pathways through which
water flows to and from your plumbing fixtures,
a network’s wiring provides the pathways
through which computers transmit data using
electrical signals. The amount of data that computers can move through a wiring system at
any one time depends on the characteristics
of the wires, or pipes, installed. The larger the
pipes, the more data the computers can send
You can think of a network’s bandwidth as the
size of a network’s pipes. Bandwidth represents
a range of usable frequencies and is measured
in hertz (Hz). A higher hertz rating for a network
medium means higher available bandwidth.
Higher bandwidth translates into bigger pipes
to carry data. Just because you have big pipes,
however, doesn’t mean you always get to fill
them completely. Therefore, it makes sense to
try to measure the actual amount of data (called
throughput) flowing through the pipes.
Different types of cabling are rated for different
amounts of data flow at different distances.
Remember, however, that even if a pipe is big
enough to handle all the water you send
through it, that pipe can still get clogged. As a
result, although a given amount of data can theoretically flow through a cable, in the real world
you may see less data flow than the maximum
bandwidth indicates. Plumbers will tell you
that mineral deposits and other obstructions
can often restrict the water flow in pipes. In
keeping with our metaphor, we can say that
noise, cross-talk, electromagnetic interference
(EMI), and other network maladies can often
degrade the actual performance of your cable.
Throughput, commonly measured in bits per
second (bps), describes the actual amount
of data that’s flowing through a cable at any
one time.
If you take one pipe and divide it into little pipes,
you’ve just reinvented the concept of broadband transmission (in which multiple transmissions at different frequencies use the same
networking medium simultaneously). If the pipe
is kept whole instead of subdivided, you end up
with the concept of baseband transmission (in
which the entire bandwidth is used to carry only
one set of frequencies and one transmission at
a time).
Whew! Got all that? Maybe it’s time to call
For example, 10Base5 is an Ethernet designation that stands for [10 Mbps]
[baseband] [5 x 100 meters = 500 meters]. From the name alone, you can tell
that the baseband cable is rated to handle up to 10 Mbps on a segment up to
500 meters (1,640 feet) long.
Any time you see a T or an F in such a name, replace that letter with either
twisted-pair or fiber-optic, respectively. For example, 10BaseT means that this
particular baseband Ethernet cable is rated at up to 10 Mbps using twistedpair cables. Likewise, 10BaseF means the same thing, except that it uses
fiber-optic media instead of twisted-pair.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Fiber and coax make a
seriously twisted pair
Fiber-optic cable is different from twisted-pair and coax cable because it
transmits data using light signals instead of electrical impulses. When you
look at the layout of the cable, it appears similar to coax but has a glass or
plastic fiber as its inner conductor instead of a copper wire. Figure 4-1 shows
you what the inside of a fiber-optic cable looks like.
Outer jacket
Buffer coating
Figure 4-1:
An inside
view of
Notice that the inner glass core is sometimes called buffer coating, and the
entire cable has another strong jacket around it. The outer jacket is designed
to be thick enough to protect the inner fiber from being broken when the
cable is handled (with care, that is).
Fiber-optic cable
Although it has a higher price tag than electrical cables, fiber-optic cable can
also handle greater bandwidth, which means that it can transfer more data
over longer distances. Fiber-optic cable is largely immune to electromagnetic
interference (EMI) and other sources of noise that affect electrically conductive cables. One factor that adds to the expense of fiber-optic cable is the
care required during installation. A knowledgeable technician must carefully
polish each glass fiber with specialized tools and then add special connectors to the cable.
You often find fiber-optic cable installed between buildings in campus environments or between floors in a building. You rarely see fiber pulled to the
Chapter 4: Hooking Up Your Network
desktop because of the expense involved — you must use fiber-optic NICs,
and you must attach two cables to each workstation because one cable transmits outbound signals and the other receives inbound signals. Although the
appetite for bandwidth is always increasing, don’t expect your desktop to
have a high-fiber diet anytime soon!
In some locations, such as hospitals, it’s necessary to run fiber-optic cable
to some desktops because X-ray and MRI equipment can interfere with electrical cables. Also, the bandwidth requirements for medical imaging equipment can be so extreme that conventional electrical cables can’t handle the
traffic involved.
For light signals to pass through a fiber-optic cable, you have to attach a
transmitter to one end of the cable and a receiver to the other end. This is
why you need two cables to permit any one device to send and receive signals. On the transmitting end, an injection laser diode (ILD) or a light-emitting
diode (LED) sends light pulses down the cable. These light pulses reflect
within the glass core and bounce against the mirror-like cladding through the
length of the cable until they reach a photo diode receiver at the cable’s
other end. Notice that data flows in only one direction. The receiver converts
incoming light pulses into electrical signals and passes the data to the NIC.
Because of the way that light pulses travel through fiber-optic cable, splicing
two such cables requires great care so that the cable’s signal-carrying capabilities aren’t reduced. Otherwise, a light pulse may arrive at the splice but
may not make it through to the other end of the cable. We call this situation a
bad splice, but your users will call it much worse names!
Coaxial cable
Coaxial cable, also called coax, was once the most popular transmission
medium for networks. However, with the cost of unshielded twisted pair (UTP)
dropping significantly in the last few years, it’s hard to justify supporting legacy
coax cabling, NICs, and other network connection devices. Older networks used
coaxial cable exclusively before UTP arrived in the mid-1980s. Initially, only
thick coaxial cable (which we like to call “frozen yellow garden hose”) was available. Thick coax is quite cumbersome to handle and a real pain in the neck to
install. Imagine pulling a frozen garden hose through the ceiling and then having
to connect transceivers (a portmanteau or combination of two words transmitter
and receiver) to that cable! Maybe a frozen garden hose is easier after all. . . .
Coaxial cable incorporates two layers of insulation. Beginning in the middle
of the cable and spanning outward, the cable has a copper wire surrounded
by a foam insulator, which is surrounded by a wire mesh conductor that is
then surrounded by an outer jacket insulation. This jacket, in turn, is surrounded by a plastic casing, called cladding. Figure 4-2 shows a cross section
of a well-dressed piece of cable.
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Outer casing
Wire mesh conductor
Inner insulation
Copper wire
Figure 4-2:
An inside
view of coax
Suffice to say, coaxial cable types are a dying breed in the local network segment, apart from the hybridized technology described in the next section,
but remains steadfast in its behind-the-scenes placement as a provider of
multimedia networking, television, and telephony service. We won’t go into
their distinctions and differentiations, but we will leave you with one last
If you have a small network and a highly restricted budget, 10BaseT Ethernet
is absolutely the way to go. It’s standardized, well-utilized here and abroad,
and is plentiful and cheap on the open market. There really is no cost justification for legacy coaxial equipment, only the operational justification to support existing legacy coaxial applications and services within the organization.
Hybrid networking
Hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) is the telecom industry term for networks that
incorporate both optical fiber and coaxial cable to produce a broadband network medium for handling high load and large subscriber traffic. This seriously twisted pair is capable of carrying and delivering a wealth of features
and services that include analog and digital television signals, video-on-demand
programming, and switched digital video, telephony, and high-speed data.
HFC network coverage extends from the cable operator’s point of presence to
a through point at a neighborhood hub site, which terminates at a node that
Chapter 4: Hooking Up Your Network
services from 25 to 2,000 homes. This cable operator’s master location also
houses telephony equipment for providing telecom services to the community, which is individually delivered via coax. Therefore it’s common to have
the same provider supply both phone and Internet services (and possibly
public television access, where applicable) to the same location.
HFC is the primary technology used to service many modern cable modem
communities, so the technology is very widespread and widely utilized. In
fact, it’s likely you’re already using the technology at home or work without
even knowing it. That’s the beauty behind transparent technologies — they
work diligently for us, sight unseen, as long as we continue to rely upon them.
Wireless is media, too!
Speaking of things unseen, a relative newcomer to the high-speed network
interface assortment is another IEEE design, the 802.11 wireless (WiFi) family
of multiple over-the-air standards and modulation techniques. There are a
number of competing technologies and substandards to the 802.11 specification, but they all essentially operate in much the same fashion. Instead of
using hard, physical network links to transmit data, WiFi pushes and pulls
information through the air using radio frequencies. While this brings a lot of
eye-popping reactions to those previously unfamiliar with the technology, it
does give those of us with some working knowledge and experience of these
devices a moment to reflect and relate the reality of such devices operating
in a business network environment.
First and foremost is the fact that no physical medium is present. This defies
the logic built into most CSMA/CD-type of access methods, where you can
satisfy line contention by merely listening on the wire for any ongoing communications and waiting some period of time before trying to transmit or
retransmit data. (See the “Carrier sensing access methods” sidebar for more
on CSMA/CD.) Instead, participant WiFi devices must request to speak before
opening the lines for communication, which is a more active role than the
more passive eavesdropping approach employed by 802.3 Ethernet. This creates extra overhead that increases with the number of participating devices
in the effective vicinity of the radio.
This lack of physical medium also opens the network to other, unintended
listeners. An eavesdropper can more easily observe, record, and potentially
intrude upon wireless network traffic. In fact, the would-be attacker need not be
inside the building to observe wireless traffic. There is also a limited effective
range for such equipment, since radio signal has a difficult time permeating
dense walls full of thick, absorbent material like metal, wood, and other elements. Shade trees can also deflect radio signals and cause connectivity
problems for courtyard or outside network coverage. Additionally, any competing RF devices in the area will cause distortion, noise, and contention,
Part I: Servers at Your Service
which also reduces the effective reach and range for most WiFi devices. So
you have to deliberately and thoughtfully design the WiFi network to fit the
environment and its signal- or quality-reducing attributes.
Data transfer rates are typically half (or less!) of the manufacturer’s rated
speed for any given WiFi device operating under normal conditions:
Early 802.11b devices operate on the 2.4 GHz frequency (which incidentally coincides with common cordless phones and causes much interference) and tend to realize around 4 Mbps, or much less than their rated
11 Mbps transfer rate.
802.11g, the next step up, also operates on 2.4 GHz and realizes around
19 Mbps versus a 45 Mbps maximum throughput rating.
Fortunately, each device is backwards compatible in that an 802.11g
device can and will work with an 802.11b device, but only at the maximum effective throughput of the slower (802.11b) performer.
The 802.11n standard, which has remained in draft status for quite some
time now, operates on 2.4 or 5 GHz channels at speeds between 74 Mbps
and 248 Mbps, which easily eclipses anything previously seen in an airborne data-bearing communications medium. However, this technology
is pricey and adds more cost than actual value to networks with existing
GbE or better network infrastructures.
Of all the available options, 802.11g and 802.11n are the best suited for highspeed multimedia networks, especially where multiple users are involved.
Windows Server 2008 includes several changes and enhancements to 802.11
wireless support, such as a native Wi-Fi architecture that features user interface improvements for wireless connections; wireless Group Policy enhancements and auto-configuration capability; and Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2)
support. The new wireless architecture also integrates with Network Access
Protection (NPA) when using 802.1X authentication, provides Wi-Fi diagnostics, and supports command-line settings configuration.
A final note about cabling
If you’re going to install cable yourself instead of hiring a cable contractor,
here are a few final notes we’d like to share with you:
Obtain a copy of the blueprints for your building or floor and make
sure that all the electrical devices and outlets are clearly marked.
This map assists you in placing cable away from electrical devices or
motors that can interfere with your network. You don’t want to install
Chapter 4: Hooking Up Your Network
cable near elevator motors, transformers, or other heavy-duty electrical
devices (unless you’re using fiber-optic cable, and even then, you need
to protect it from potential sources of damage or wear and tear).
Obtain all relevant local, state, and federal building code regulations
and make sure that your plans conform to such ordinances.
You need to evaluate these requirements before purchasing any cable
because some codes require you to purchase plenum-rated, fire-retardant
cable. Other codes require you to use plenum-rated cable only when you
run cable through locations that are likely to catch fire rapidly. In any
case, it behooves you to know the rules before you purchase and install
a network.
Plenums are the air-handling spaces between the ceiling of one floor and
the bottom of the floor above where cable is often strung. Fires spread
more rapidly in these areas because air carries fire rapidly; therefore,
plenum-rated cable is mandated for use in such spaces to keep fire and
smoke from spreading through a building.
Determine which parts of the network you can build and maintain on
your own and which parts you need to subcontract.
For example, if you have the time and inclination to build cables and
also have the time to troubleshoot the network when those cables don’t
work, so be it. We recommend that you buy as much prefabricated cable
as possible and make cables only when you absolutely must. Why?
Because companies that make cables do it all the time, and they’re good
at it. If you make cables for your network only occasionally, you may
introduce problems.
Try to hire a contractor to install cable for your LAN.
The wiring is your network’s infrastructure. If the wiring isn’t installed
properly, it can cause endless network snafus. Wiring contractors
should provide you with bids, install the cabling, label all cables, test
and certify all cables, and provide you with final documentation. You’re
responsible for keeping them on track. Don’t assume that a contractor
will follow local ordinances unless you make him or her do it. Put all
expectations in writing and keep tabs on the work.
Raising the Bandwidth Ceiling
As organizations have come to depend on LANs and WANs, they’ve put more
applications and information on their networks. Speedy retrieval of such
information becomes critical to such organizations. This retrieval is where
the need for additional bandwidth most often manifests itself.
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Conventional text-only documents don’t normally put much strain on a network. But today, data often takes the form of audio, video, graphics, and
other types of multimedia. Such files or data streams are much larger than
plain-text files and often impose delivery deadlines on networks. If this is
hard to picture, think how frustrating it is when the audio track and the video
track get out of synch on your TV, and then multiply this frustration by several orders of magnitude. Then consider what delivering time-sensitive audio,
video, or multimedia data over a network really requires.
Such complex forms of data can easily consume the full bandwidth of an ordinary 10 Mbps network while handling only one or two users’ needs. That’s
why an increasing appetite for higher-bandwidth networks is emerging in the
workplace. Such added bandwidth is increasingly necessary to handle the
more complex types of data traversing the network and to prepare the infrastructure to deal with emerging applications, such as network teleconferencing, network telephony, collaborative development, and all kinds of other
gee-whiz technologies now under construction.
This is why we feel compelled to tell you about some of the cabling alternatives available for today’s networks that might be able to handle tomorrow’s
bandwidth needs.
Carrier sensing access methods
Networks use sets of rules, called protocols, to
communicate with one another. Some network
technologies operate in a free-for-all, in which
any computer can send and receive data whenever the shared network medium isn’t already
in use.
Computers must listen to the media to determine
whether it’s in use (indicated by active
signals on the media). If a computer wants
to transmit, it stops and listens, like the well-mannered little computer it is, to see whether someone else is talking. If the computer doesn’t
hear any signals, it can go ahead and transmit
right away. When another computer does the
same thing at more or less the same time, data
from one computer collides with data from
another, and both computers must back off and
try again.
You want to have something in place to deal with
these kinds of collisions. Ethernet implements
Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision
Detection (CSMA/CD), whereas 802.11 wireless
uses CSMA/Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA) to
monitor radio channels and wait for an opportunity to broadcast or transmit data. Because there
is no physical medium for 802.11 transmission,
compliant network devices must be designed to
listen for radio signals on designated channels.
The names that describe how these technologies access network media are called access
Chapter 4: Hooking Up Your Network
100 Mbps Ethernet
Two flavors of 100 Mbps Ethernet are available today, each with its own particular access method: CSMA/CD (this means Carrier Sense Multiple Access
with Collision Detection; we discuss it in detail in the sidebar titled “Carrier
sensing access methods”) and demand priority (as described later in this
chapter). When proposals for 100 Mbps were solicited, two factions emerged:
one that used the same CSMA/CD access method used in conventional
Ethernet (now known as Fast Ethernet, or 100BaseT ) and another that used a
demand priority access method (now known as 100BaseVG-AnyLAN ).
Both factions put proposals forward to implement their approaches.
Curiously, both proposals were ultimately accepted as standards, but each
one fell under different IEEE committees. Today, the Fast Ethernet standard
falls under the 802.3 standards family, and the 100BaseVG-AnyLAN standard
falls under the IEEE 802.12 standards family.
100BaseT is similar to 10BaseT except that it runs 10 times faster. When implementing 100BaseT, you need to use equipment designed for 100BaseT throughout your network. But otherwise, designing and building the network is pretty
much the same as for 10BaseT. It’s even possible to mix and match 10BaseT and
100BaseT technologies on a single network, but you need to include hubs that
have 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps capabilities to bring these two worlds together.
100BaseVG-AnyLAN offers the same bandwidth as 100BaseT but uses four
pairs of wires instead of two pairs in each cable. Doubling the number of
pairs enables a different access method, called demand priority, to control
access to the network medium. In addition, 100BaseVG-AnyLAN permits
devices on the network to receive and transmit at the same time. (That’s one
reason that the number of pairs doubles.)
100BaseVG-AnyLAN hubs help manage the demand priority scheme and provide arbitration services when multiple requests for network access occur at
more or less the same time. When using the CSMA/CD access method, workstations listen before sending, and they transmit as soon as they recognize
that the medium isn’t in use. This arrangement leads to collisions when two
or more stations begin to broadcast at more or less the same time, especially
as network utilization increases. When a demand priority device wants to transmit data across the network, it signals the hub, and the hub determines when
that device may access the network. This setup eliminates collisions and allows
networks to function at higher utilization rates than CSMA/CD can support.
On the downside, networking equipment and cabling for 100BaseVG-AnyLAN
is more expensive than that for 100BaseT, even though 100BaseVG-AnyLAN
offers better performance. Perhaps that’s why 100BaseT has proven more
popular in the marketplace than 100BaseVG-AnyLAN has.
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Gigabit Ethernet
You’re probably wondering what you can implement on your network when
you start running out of bandwidth even with 100 Mbps technology. From
there, the next step up is to Gigabit Ethernet. Although Gigabit Ethernet
technologies are currently available, they aren’t yet in broad use. However,
because the need for speed will never decrease, we want to give you a taste
of this technology so you can salivate over it — even if it’s unlikely to show
up in your office any time soon.
To begin with, Gigabit Ethernet isn’t typically used as a networking solution
for the desktop. (In fact, no conventional PC or other desktop machine can
come close to saturating a Gigabit Ethernet network.) Rather, Gigabit Ethernet
is used primarily as a backbone technology, especially in large networks where
certain pathways need to carry huge amounts of traffic. Ideally, Gigabit Ethernet
helps boost server-to-server communications and permits ultra-fast data
transfers between switches on a network backbone.
Gigabit Ethernet uses the CSMA/CD access method and the same frame size
and formats as conventional Ethernet. Therefore, you can integrate this technology into existing Ethernet networks easily, and you don’t need to buy new
protocol analyzers, network management software, and so forth.
To jump on the Gigabit Ethernet bandwagon, the devices you need to add to
your network include
Suitable NICs and connectors for your servers
Proper cables (fiber-optic, in most cases, though twisted-pair options
are under development)
Upgrades to the routers and switches that handle Gigabit Ethernet traffic
In some cases, this emerging standard may require you to replace certain
pieces of equipment; but modern routers and switches need only new
EPROM chips and upgrades for certain interface cards. Eventually, as the
price of the technology drops, you may even consider adding Gigabit
Ethernet interfaces into your high-end workstations. This probably won’t be
necessary for a few more years, however.
3com offers a terrific white paper on this technology. You can download it at
It gives a great overview of Gigabit Ethernet and describes what types of
applications demand this kind of network speed.
Chapter 4: Hooking Up Your Network
The Backbone’s Connected to . . .
Everything Else!
As mentioned in the previous section, 100BaseT and Gigabit Ethernet are
both well suited for network backbones. If networks have backbones, do they
also have hip bones and tailbones? How about it?
In networking, the backbone is a particular cable segment that connects
other cable segments or that provides a high-speed link to accommodate
high-volume network traffic on cable segments where large quantities of traffic aggregate. If you think about this situation for a minute and take a quick
look at Figure 4-3, you should begin to understand that saying “a cable segment that connects other cable segments” and “a cable segment where large
quantities of traffic aggregate” are two ways of saying the same thing.
(Network C)
(Network A)
Shipping and Receiving
(Network D)
(Network B)
Figure 4-3:
A backbone
ties together
all the
pieces of a
(Network E)
Part I: Servers at Your Service
Simply put, a backbone provides a link to tie together many other cables. As
the demand for network bandwidth goes up for individual users, the amount
of traffic that backbones must carry increases accordingly. Backbones also
often provide links to outside resources, such as the Internet, or access to
massive centralized data collections, such as mainframe databases and
their ilk.
Part II
Servers, Start
Your Engines
In this part . . .
aving covered server basics and introduced the star
of the show in Part I, we try to cover something
more tangible in Part II — installing and setting up a network infrastructure built around Windows Server 2008.
Starting with the methods for and steps involved in
installing Windows Server 2008, you’ll see and understand
what makes it tick and how to get it up and running on
a system of your careful choosing. You also learn how
to organize your server-based network and set up and
populate the directory services that are so essential
to a satisfactory server situation.
Along the way, you also discover how to install and use
print services with Windows Server 2008 and how to
manage those pesky network addresses that enable PCs
to communicate with each other. As you unfurl the grand
structures that support a well-designed Windows network,
you’ll come to appreciate the many things it can do for
you and your users.
Chapter 5
Ready, Set, Install!
In This Chapter
Upgrading or installing from scratch?
Knowing whether you have the horsepower
Walking through the Windows Server 2008 installation from DVD
Installing Windows Server 2008 from another OS, on a network, or remotely
Using Windows Server 2008 installation utilities
Troubleshooting snafus
Automating installations
nstalling Windows Server 2008 is relatively easy, but getting from start to
logon takes a while. Fortunately, you can reduce many of the delays with
just a little planning. And by following our suggestions in this chapter, we
hope that you can avoid some common installation problems, many of which
relate to a lack of correct equipment. We also provide a troubleshooting section to smooth out any ruffles you encounter along the way.
Windows Server 2008 further streamlines the installation process by putting
all site-specific configuration data at the end of the installation process, on
your first boot-up to a fully installed desktop. You’ll know when you reach
that point because you’ll see the Initial Configuration Tasks dialog box.
Planning the Installation:
Upgrade or New?
Whether you’re installing Windows Server 2008 from scratch or upgrading
from a previous version, planning helps to ensure a smooth installation:
Upgrading, as the term implies, means that you want to install Windows
Server 2008 over an existing operating system on your computer and, in
the process, retain as many settings as possible. Windows Server 2008
provides numerous upgrade paths from Windows Server 2003. (See
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Table 5-1 for a complete list of upgrade paths. This table applies equally
to 32-bit and 64-bit versions; however, cross-platform [32-bit to 64-bit
and vice versa] upgrades aren’t supported.)
Note that there’s also an upgrade path from beta versions of Windows
Server 2008. If you elect to perform an upgrade installation of Windows
Server 2008 from a beta, we strongly urge you to begin by backing up all
the data on every machine that you plan to upgrade. (We cover backups
in Chapter 13.) Although you can upgrade to Windows Server 2008 without losing data, hardware and software sometimes have minds of their
own and mess things up. A smidgen of prevention can prevent some real
Installing means you’re adding Windows Server 2008 to a computer that
may or may not already have an existing operating system. On systems
with existing operating systems, you have the option to replace the current one or create a multiboot system. A multiboot system is a computer
with two or more operating systems installed. You can choose which
operating system you wish to load at bootup. In some multiboot configurations, data from one operating system isn’t accessible from other
operating systems. For example, you can’t access NTFS partitions from
Windows Server 2008 from Windows 95 or Windows 98.
Rest assured that Windows Server 2008 will install in a multiboot configuration with Windows Vista because they share the same code base —
particularly the unique Boot Configuration Data capability. So you won’t
have to put forth any extra effort with these two; previous editions of
Windows (or other OS platforms) are an entirely different matter.
Table 5-1
Windows Server 2008 Upgrade Paths
If You’re Running . . .
. . . Upgrade to This 2008 Edition
Standard Enterprise Datacenter
Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition
Windows Server 2003 SP1 Standard Edition
Windows Server 2003 SP2 Standard Edition
Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition
Windows Server 2003 SP1 Enterprise Edition
Windows Server 2003 SP2 Enterprise Edition
Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition
Windows Server 2003 SP1 Datacenter Edition
Windows Server 2003 SP2 Datacenter Edition
Chapter 5: Ready, Set, Install!
If you’re installing Windows Server 2008 for the first time, you need to make
some decisions about how you’re going to set up the server before you install
the software. You can install Windows Server 2008 in the following three
basic ways:
DVD-ROM: This installation requires that you have a computer with a
local DVD-ROM drive installed. DVD-ROM installations don’t require a
network interface, but if you plan to connect the system to a network,
it’s best to have the network interface in place during installation. We
focus on this type of installation in this chapter.
Across the network: This type of installation requires network access,
where the DVD-ROM files are available. Network access can be gained
either from an existing operating system or a boot floppy.
Automated: This type of installation requires you to input installation
information into a data file that you can then merge into a script file for
You can also start installing Windows Server 2008 in several ways:
DVD-ROM boot installation: If your computer allows the DVD-ROM drive
to participate in the boot sequence, you can boot the Windows Server
2008 installation program right from the DVD.
DVD-ROM from operating system installation: If the operating system on
your computer lets you access the DVD-ROM drive, you can launch the
Windows Server 2008 setup without much hassle. (See the “Step by Step:
Installing Windows Server 2008” section, later in this chapter, for details.)
Across the network installation: Do this if the Windows Server 2008
installation files are available from another computer on the network.
You can share the files on a shared DVD-ROM drive, or copy the contents of the distribution DVD onto a shared network drive. See the
“Installing across a Network” section, later in this chapter, for details.
Remote installation: Microsoft offers its Remote Installation Services
(RIS) to enable network administrators to push a Windows Server 2008
installation out to network systems. (Pushing an installation means that
an administrator can deploy Windows Server 2008 on a network without
going to every target machine to launch its setup by hand.)
Handling preinstallation tasks
Before installing Windows Server 2008, you must perform a few preparatory
preinstallation tasks. These include the following:
Check for application compatibility. Use the Microsoft Application
Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) to ascertain compatibility information about
network applications and also to prepare Windows Server 2008 for
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
installation. See the Microsoft TechNet Web site about Windows Application Compatibility at http://technet.microsoft.com/enus/windowsvista/aa905066.aspx
Disconnect uninterruptible power supply (UPS) devices. Setup automatically attempts to detect serially-connected devices, and UPS devices
cause issues with the hardware-detection process.
Back up your servers. Include all data and configuration settings necessary for function, especially with servers that provide network infrastructure services. Also include boot and system partitions and system
state data. You may alternatively create a backup set for the Automated
System Recovery process.
Disable virus protection software. Virus detection and prevention
applications can interfere with installation tasks, particularly in the form
of performance penalties because every locally copied file is scanned for
signs of infection.
Run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool. Test the RAM in your target
computer for error-free reliability and operation. Follow the instructions
detailed in the Windows Memory Diagnostics User Guide at
Copy mass storage device drivers. Manufacturer-specific driver files
should be stored to an easily-accessible storage medium in the root
directory or in a specifically named amd64, i386, or ia64 folder,
whichever is most suitable for the target hardware.
Prepare the Active Directory environment. Before adding a domain
controller based on Windows Server 2008 to an existing Active Directory
(AD) environment based on either Windows 2000 or Windows Server
2003, you need to update all older domain controllers. You can do this
before installing the operating system — or after running Setup and
before installing AD Domain Services.
Windows Server 2008 Server Core installation provides only the binaries necessary for certain server roles to function. The traditional Windows interface
will not be installed; instead, configuration and management are handled
through the crude but effective command prompt. This installation option
reduces server management requirements and reduces the overall attack surface. If you’ve heard the expression “running headless” applied to monitorfree server computers, this is akin to running faceless.
Installation of multiple operating systems on the same server to include
Windows Server 2008 should be handled through separate partitions. For
best results, Microsoft recommends that you start Setup from within
Windows rather than booting from the install medium, and then perform a
clean custom installation onto a separate partition.
Chapter 5: Ready, Set, Install!
Preparing for the battle
We offer the following list to help you gather information and equipment you
need for your setup. The setup program in Windows Server 2008 doesn’t
require all the items that we list in the following sections, but we like to have
everything handy when we perform an install so that we don’t need to run
around looking for things during that process.
The following is a list of books that you may want to have within arm’s reach.
(This book, of course, is the most important.)
Windows Server 2008 manuals: In some cases, the manuals you receive
with Windows Server 2008 are in print form; in others, they’re available
only in electronic form from the distribution DVD or online at the Microsoft
Windows Web site at www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/
Computer hardware manuals: These are the manuals for the base
machine on which you plan to install Windows Server 2008, plus all additional components or peripherals. You especially want manuals for your
network interface(s) and video cards.
Modem manual (optional): Grab this manual only if you plan to install
one or more modems on the server.
If you don’t want to hunt around halfway through the installation, make sure
that you have the following software handy:
Windows Server 2008 DVD-ROM: This disc is the DVD-ROM that ships
with Windows Server 2008. You also need the DVD key from the sticker
on the jewel case, or some other legitimate license key.
Windows Server 2008 Service Pack DVD-ROM or downloaded file:
Don’t expect a service pack for Windows Server 2008 for at least
three months after it’s officially released. Until then, you can skip the
“Windows Server 2008 service packs” section later in this chapter.
After that, it’s wise to let the OS update itself during the installation
Network driver: Windows Server 2008 Setup should find the network
interface(s) in the server, but keep a floppy or a USB flash drive with the
necessary drivers handy in case it doesn’t.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) drivers: Windows Server 2008
Setup should recognize all SCSI devices if they’re listed in the Windows
Server Hardware Platform info at www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/
platform/server/default.mspx. Again, keep the drivers handy just
in case.
Of course, setting up Windows Server 2008 also requires some hardware, particularly the following:
Computer: Make sure that the computer complies with the Hardware
Platform criteria. Remember that you’ll need at least a 1 GHz CPU, but
we don’t think you’ll be satisfied with anything slower than 2 GHz. You
also want to have a mouse attached to the computer — it just makes life
RAM: The more memory that you can afford, the better. You must have
at least 512MB, but you’ll get better results with 2GB at the very least, if
not 4GB (more for 64-bit installations).
DVD-ROM drive: If you’re installing Windows Server 2008 from a DVDROM, you need a DVD-ROM drive. Newer computers can recognize it as
a boot drive; if so, you can start Windows Server 2008 installation from
the DVD.
Hard disk: You must have at least 10GB of free space, but we think you
shouldn’t even begin with less than 40GB of available disk storage space.
Even better, 80GB is closer to ideal — unless you absolutely won’t be
storing large amounts of data for short-term or long-term periods. For
what it’s worth, you will seldom see drives smaller than 400GB on new
servers these days.
Modem: If the server connects to the Internet or provides access to
remote users, a modem (either internal or external) can provide this
connection. We prefer at least a cable or DSL modem, particularly where
a multiple user network server is involved.
Video: You need a Video Graphics Array (VGA) or higher-resolution
video adapter and monitor. We recommend Super Video Graphics Array
(SVGA) as a minimum.
Cables: Depending on the components you install, you may need
modem/network cables, telephone cables, power cords, monitor cables,
and so forth.
You must make several choices as you work through the setup process.
You’re better off if you already have an idea of what you’re going to answer
before you begin the installation. Consider the items in the following list:
Chapter 5: Ready, Set, Install!
NTFS: NTFS is the Windows Server 2008 native file system and is much
more secure than the File Allocation Table (FAT) file system. Unless you
need backward compatibility with older Microsoft operating systems on
the same machine in a multiboot configuration, there’s really no need to
use FAT.
Licensing: You need to know how you purchased your Windows Server
2008 and client licenses because the Windows Server 2008 Setup program asks you whether you want per-seat or per-server licensing.
Computer name: Each computer needs a unique name that you can
identify easily on the network.
Workgroup/domain name: If this is the first domain controller installed
in a network, you must create a domain name. If this computer joins a
current domain where a domain controller already exists, plan to connect this computer to a network with access to that domain. If you’re
installing Windows Server 2008 in a workgroup, you need the workgroup
name. Remember it’s an either/or setting, but you can always change
your mind later.
Protocols: Determine which protocols the server uses (or will use) to
communicate. If you plan to use the Transmission Control Protocol/
Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), see Chapter 10 for details. Decide whether
you must configure TCP/IP manually or automatically through a Dynamic
Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server. If this server connects to the
Internet, it must have at least one valid public IP address (unless you
have a NAT server handling address translation between the server and
the Internet).
Remote connectivity options: Determine whether the server connects
(or will connect) to the Internet or will host a Web server. If so, you can
install Internet Information Services (IIS) to provide Web services and
Remote Access Services (RAS) for connectivity. RAS also enables your
users or customers to dial into the network. You can always install RAS
and IIS later. In either case, you need a working Internet connection.
Server roles: The game has changed for roles that servers can play
when maintaining a domain. The function of your server may affect how
you install Windows Server 2008, but it’s no longer a life-threatening
decision because the server isn’t configured until after initial installation
is complete.
Got Enough Horsepower?
Before you install Windows Server 2008 (whether you’re upgrading or creating
a new installation), you must meet Microsoft’s minimum hardware requirements. If your server doesn’t match these requirements, your installation can
halt midway and leave you stuck in the mud.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Microsoft goes easy on its minimum requirements, so we provide more realistic numbers to meet real-world needs. If you follow Microsoft’s lead, expect a
doo-dah server that lacks the zip-a-dee part. Table 5-2 shows a comparison
between Microsoft’s numbers and our real-world numbers.
Table 5-2 Minimum Requirements: Microsoft versus For Dummies
Microsoft Says
Real World Says
1 GHz
2 GHz or better
4GB or better
SVGA or better
One (at least 32 bit)
DVD-ROM (12X or better) or DVD
Hard disk
120GB or better
*Note: A network interface of some kind (wired or wireless) is required for direct network access.
If a network interface isn’t present at the time of installation, you can install it later.
You can squeak by with Microsoft’s minimum requirements, but many of your
server’s capabilities will end up terribly slow or intractable. For example,
even though Windows Server 2008 supports low-resolution monitors, you
should use a higher-resolution monitor (SVGA or better) because of the
Windows Server 2008 graphical user interface (GUI) — except for the case of
Server Core installation. In many cases, more (disk space, RAM, processor
power, and so on) is better. Buy as much as your budget allows so you don’t
need to upgrade too soon.
Take a trip to Microsoft’s Web site, particularly the Windows Server 2008
pages at www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/default.mspx.
There you can find white papers and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that
answer common questions to many issues, such as licensing, minimum
requirements, and upgrades. If you don’t find enough answers there, head to
www.windowsitpro.com/windowsnt20002003faq for a searchable
Windows FAQ site — it includes Windows Server 2008 information.
Another important item to check is whether your server (or its components)
appears in Microsoft’s Windows Server Hardware Platform or related criteria.
Microsoft’s test lab tests innumerable products for compatibility with Windows
Server 2008. Obtaining Microsoft lab certification means an organization
Chapter 5: Ready, Set, Install!
can display Microsoft’s logo on its products. Also, Microsoft puts listings for
certified products in a hardware catalog it maintains for Windows Server
2008–compatible items.
Selecting a network server from those listed in the catalog helps ensure the
smoothest installation because you know Microsoft has already tested and
certified that product. Certifying products for the catalog is an ongoing task
at Microsoft, and the company maintains an updated catalog for all of its current server operating system releases on its Web site at www.microsoft.
If you’re unsure about the compatibility of an entire system or a specific
component, look it up in the catalog or employ the automatic system compatibility checker on the DVD. Just insert the DVD into a system with an
existing Windows OS. (If the Welcome screen doesn’t appear automatically,
run setup.exe from the root of the DVD.) Choose the Check System
Compatibility option and then choose the Check My System Automatically
option. The test wizard loads and prompts you to download updated files. If
you have Internet access, this tool can always update itself with the latest
and greatest catalog before scanning your system. If any problems or incompatibilities are found, a list of problems is displayed.
Windows Server 2008 utilities aplenty
No single operating system can do everything.
Programmers, and others adept at computing,
typically develop small scripts or programs to
perform functions that the basic operating
system doesn’t include. Utilities for Windows
Server 2008 abound because of its popularity.
You can find many of these utilities, especially
installation tools, on the Internet at popular
Windows Server 2008 and NT Web sites, such
as http://windowsnt.about.com or
In some cases, the same tool used on Windows
9x, NT, or 2000 also works on Windows Server
2008. However, this isn’t always the case. You
should test applications on Windows Server
2008 before you use them in situations where
data loss is possible.
Microsoft sells a Windows Server 2008
Resource Kit that you can purchase on the
Internet or at a bookstore. The package
includes utilities for installation, file management, troubleshooting, and planning. As we
write this book, the full-blown Resource Kit isn’t
yet on the radar, but several subtitles are,
including Windows Server Resource Kits for
Active Directory, Security, and IIS 7.0. (Go to
for details.)
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Step by Step: Installing
Windows Server 2008
In this section, we walk you through the whole Windows Server 2008 installation screen by screen. There’s not enough space in this book to present
screens for every possible type of installation, so in this section, we provide
instructions for the most common type: from a bootable DVD-ROM drive.
Server: Are you ready?
The first major task in getting the software onto a system is to make the
server ready for the process. Generally, these are the issues you must resolve
before traveling into the Windows Server 2008 installation process:
1. Ensure that all hardware is HCL compatible.
Although it’s possible to install Windows Server 2008 on a system with
some components not on the HCL, it’s not always easy. In short, if it isn’t
HCL compatible, you don’t want to keep it in your system.
2. Install the network interface in the server (unless integrated).
Fortunately, Windows Server 2008 supports plug and play, so you can
make most card changes on the fly — unless you have a card so old it
still uses dual in-line package (DIP) switches or jumpers. Hopefully this
isn’t the case — even we aren’t sure if those are still supported.
3. If you need an internal modem and want to connect the server to
external sources such as the Internet, install the modem.
Windows Server 2008 Setup:
A walk-through
The following steps detail the Windows Server 2008 installation process from
a bootable DVD-ROM drive. Throughout this installation, we accept the
default options.
Your system must be configured to boot from the DVD. This is accomplished
by editing the CMOS. Consult your motherboard documentation on how to
enter, edit, and save the CMOS settings.
Chapter 5: Ready, Set, Install!
Ready, set, here are the steps:
1. Insert the Windows Server 2008 DVD-ROM into the DVD-ROM drive
and boot the computer. If prompted to press a key to boot from the
DVD, do so.
A gray GUI screen with an Install Now button appears. In addition, the
Windows Setup Wizard starts automatically. You may optionally click the
What to Know before Installing Windows link for further information on
the installation process.
Three other options also appear: Language Options, Time & Currency
Format, and Keyboard Input Methods.
2. Click Install Now.
The Install Windows screen appears with an option to get the latest
updates prior to installation. This is a nice new feature you’ll appreciate
in time, if not instantly. If you elect to update the computer now, which
we strongly recommend, your setup proceeds to search for installation
updates. Our instructions from here on out follow that assumption.
Optionally, you may elect to make the installation process better for subsequent users by selecting a check box that informs Microsoft of the
installation process as it proceeds through your setup. Click the What
Information Will Be Sent to Microsoft? link, which gives you the full
scope of information collected and reported about your experience with
the Windows Server 2008 installation wizard.
Be careful when working through the GUI wizard. Often, after you click
the Next button to continue, the system takes several seconds (sometimes up to a minute) to change the display. Do not try to click the Next
button again — even if you think you missed the button by accident. If
you click the Next button twice, you skip screens, and the Back button
doesn’t always work; in some places, the Back button is grayed out or
non-existent. If you wait two to five minutes and the system doesn’t
change the display, it’s probably safe to click Next again.
3. Click the Go Online to Get the Latest Updates button to proceed to the
next screen.
The installation wizard searches online for updates, which requires an
active Internet connection throughout the installation process.
You can’t choose a course of action until the next screen appears, which
permits you to choose the version of Windows Server 2008 that matches
your valid key. Trust us, the folks at Redmond are smart enough to write
code to differentiate between the various full-install and upgrade keys,
so you’ll only be fooling yourself by trying to “upgrade” here.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
4. Select the appropriate edition and click Next.
5. Type your product key for activation.
You may also choose to activate Windows when you’re online.
6. Read or scroll through the license terms agreement and then select
the I Accept the License Terms check box to enable the Next button —
then click Next.
The installation options dialog box appears; choose between an upgrade
or custom install. The distinction lies in both the license key and the
process: One can only update an existing installation, and the other has
both options available.
Sometimes an information box appears below, stating Upgrade Has Been
Disabled, followed by an explanation. Here, we choose Custom because
you need a full-install key on new hardware. Click the appropriate button
to proceed.
You can usually find the Product Key on a sticker on the DVD case.
7. Choose how to install Windows when presented with multiple-choice
answers; otherwise, the choice is clear. Click Next.
Two choices, Upgrade and Custom, appear in this dialog box. However,
the type of license you have (upgrade or full-install) determines which
options are available.
8. Choose the drive where you want to install Windows Server 2008.
In a single-drive build, you shouldn’t have any questions about this; otherwise, you should know in advance which volume you designated for
Windows Server 2008 installation.
9. Use the arrow keys to select a partition hosted by a physical hard
drive and then click Next.
You may also click Refresh to update this list, or Load Driver to add any
supportive files you need for the installation process.
After you click Next, the Install Windows dialog box appears with no
options for you to select.
Setup begins processing Windows Server 2008 installation, and this
dialog box indicates every step (from copying and expanding files to
installing updates and completion) along the way.
Setup spends a considerable amount of time formatting the drive, especially for large partitions. After formatting is complete, Setup inspects
your hard drives, builds a file list, and then copies lots and lots of files
from the DVD to the newly formatted drive. This is a great time to
stretch, change your oil, get coffee, or learn how to cross-stitch.
Chapter 5: Ready, Set, Install!
Setup copies and expands files, installs features and updates, and then
completes installation by asking for all site-specific information at the
very end — instead of throughout the entire process, as with previous
Windows installations.
10. When you see a message that says the system will be rebooted, you
can press Enter to reboot immediately or wait 15 seconds for an automatic reboot.
Be sure there are no floppies in the drive. Also, don’t press a key to boot
to the DVD. If your DVD boots automatically instead of requiring a key
press to initiate a DVD boot, eject the DVD before the reboot.
After the reboot, Windows Server 2008 Setup reenters the GUI mode.
Setup scans your computer for devices and installs drivers appropriately.
When the system comes back up, you’re presented with the Initial
Configuration Tasks dialog box, which is where you fill in all the specific
server details. We describe only the first three basic options.
11. Click Set the Administrator Password and choose a strong password.
If you’re using the server for personal use, you can leave the password
blank, but even then, we don’t advise it.
12. Click Set the Timezone so that crucial timestamps are marked
13. Click Configure Networking and specify the default values.
14. Click Close.
Setup delivers you to a screen that reads Press CTRL + ALT +
DELETE to login.
15. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to display the Log On to Windows dialog box.
16. Type your password for the Administrator account and then press
Enter to log on.
After several moments, the Windows Server 2008 desktop appears — a
sure sign that you’ve successfully installed Windows Server 2008! (Just
to keep you on your toes, Windows Server 2008 automatically launches
the Server Manager Wizard in preparation for your next set of tasks.
Jump to Chapter 6 to find out more about this wizard.)
Installing from an Existing OS
If your computer already has an operating system with access to the DVD-ROM
drive — such as DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows for Workgroups, Windows 9x,
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Windows NT, Windows 2000/2003, or Windows XP — you can launch the
Windows Server 2008 setup from that OS. This is the only way to accomplish
an upgrade install. If you launch an install from a bootable DVD, a full install
is performed automatically.
Although you can begin the Windows Server 2008 installation from previous
editions of Windows, you can’t upgrade to Windows Server 2008 from many
of these former operating systems. Regardless of the existing OS, you must
meet the minimum hardware requirements to install Windows Server 2008
(refer to Table 5-2), which wouldn’t ordinarily be found on a system running
many such previous editions of Windows.
To install from the DVD-ROM drive, issue one of the following from a command prompt or a Run dialog box:
If you’re using a 16-bit operating system, such as DOS, Windows 3.1, or
Windows for Workgroups, you need to use this command, replacing
drive letter with the letter assigned to your DVD drive:
<DVD-ROM drive letter>:\i386\winnt
If you’re using a 32-bit operating system, such as Windows 9x, Windows
NT, Windows 2000, or Windows XP, and you don’t have autorun enabled,
you need to use this command, replacing drive letter with the letter
assigned to your DVD drive:
<DVD-ROM drive letter>:\i386\winnt32
If you try to run the wrong setup program, the tool will tell you — just run the
other program.
If autorun is enabled, you see the Welcome to Windows Setup Wizard screen.
Manually launching Setup from DOS, Windows 3.x, or Windows for
Workgroups requires you to do the following after the DOS, text-only display
appears, asking for confirmation of the location of the distribution files:
1. Make sure that the screen shows the correct path to the i386 directory
on the distribution DVD-ROM and then press Enter.
Setup copies files from the DVD to your hard drive.
2. After Setup informs you that all files have been copied, press Enter to
reboot and continue.
After the machine reboots, the setup resumes at Step 9 of the “Windows
Server 2008 Setup: A walk-through” section earlier in this chapter.
Chapter 5: Ready, Set, Install!
If you insert the Windows Server 2008 DVD into a DVD-ROM drive under an
operating system with autorun enabled (for example, Windows NT), the
Windows Server 2008 splash screen appears and asks whether you want to
upgrade to Windows Server 2008. By clicking Yes, you don’t need to manually
locate and execute WINNT or WINNT32.
Launching Setup from an eligible Windows platform requires you to follow
these steps:
1. On the Install Windows Setup Wizard screen, click Next.
2. Choose whether to get important updates now or later, locate the corresponding option, and then click it.
Windows Setup will begin looking for updates if you so choose, which
requires an Internet connection.
3. Enter your product key and then click Next.
Alternatively, you can choose from a drop-down list of choices and omit
the license key altogether at this stage, but they must match up for activation purposes.
4. Accept the license agreement terms and click the Next button.
5. Choose between Upgrade or Custom installation options and click the
corresponding text button.
6. To install Windows Server 2008 to a partition other than the one currently hosting an operating system (highly recommended), be sure
to choose the appropriate partition from the menu displayed in this
dialog box.
7. Click Next to continue.
Setup copies files from the DVD to your hard drive. Setup then offers a
10-second interval during which you can manually restart before automatically rebooting your computer.
After the machine reboots, the setup resumes at Step 9 of the “Windows
2003 Setup: A walk-through” section earlier in this chapter.
Installing across a Network
Installing Windows Server 2008 across a network is almost the same as performing the installation from a local DVD-ROM. Both methods require access
to the distribution files from the DVD (duh!), and you have to manually
launch the Windows setup tools.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Manually launching setup over a network requires little change to the process
described in the preceding section. However, you need to map a local drive
letter to the network share. (This mapped letter tells Setup where the distribution files live.) Setup automatically copies all of the data files it needs before
Installing Remotely
Microsoft has created an installation process called the Remote Installation
Service (RIS). RIS enables network administrators to push a Windows Server
2008 installation out to network systems. Although this process simplifies
multiple installations overall, it isn’t a simple activity. It requires the installation and configuration of several key services, namely Domain Name Service
(DNS), DHCP, and Active Directory, in addition to RIS.
The clients that will have the Windows Server 2008 installation pushed to
them must have a Preboot Extension Environment (PXE)–compliant NIC or
be booted with a special network client boot disk.
If you want to explore the remote OS installation procedure further, we highly
recommend that you check out the RIS documentation in the operating
system, TechNet, and the Windows Server 2008 Resource Kit.
Working through Post-Installation
Stress Disorder
After you finish the basic installation, you’ve simply defined a basic server.
You need to dress it up with things such as users, groups, domain controllers,
Active Directory, applications, services, and printers, as we describe in
Chapters 7 through 14. But, before you get excited and flip to those chapters,
we want to mention three more issues: the activation process, service packs,
and Automated System Recovery.
Understanding Activation
In an effort to curb pirating of software, Microsoft has implemented an installation control feature (first debuted in Windows XP) called activation. After
the initial installation of a product, such as Windows Server 2008, Microsoft
grants you a 30-day period within which you must contact Microsoft and activate that product. If you fail to activate the product, on day 31, the product
Chapter 5: Ready, Set, Install!
ceases to function. In fact, the only activity you can perform from that point
forward is activation. After a product has been activated, it functions normally.
The activation process requires your system to generate a 50-digit code.
This code is unique to your system and is used to associate your product key
with your computer hardware. If any other computer attempts to activate the
same product key on a different computer, Microsoft will think you’ve pirated
their software or at least attempted to install it on another system without
purchasing another package. The gotcha to activation is this computer ID,
which is generated by pulling unique IDs from ten different parts of your computer, including your motherboard, CPU, and hard drives.
If you change six or more of these parts, the system thinks you’ve changed
computers, and your activated status will be terminated. You have to contact
Microsoft and explain that you’ve only upgraded your existing system and
that you’re not just installing the product onto a completely new second
system. Can we say major headaches ahead?
Activation can occur over the Internet, in which case it takes only a few seconds. Activation can occur also over a phone line, whereby you must read off
the 50-digit computer ID to the auto-attendant or a customer service representative, and then you must enter an equally long confirmation key yourself.
To activate your system, you can click the reminder pop-up bubble that appears
over your notification area (previously known as the icon tray or system tray),
which is right beside the clock. Until you activate, the operating system reminds
you every day, or every time you log on, about activating. You can initiate the
activation process also by launching the Activation Wizard found in the Start
menu. It appears in the top-level menu initially; after you activate, it appears
only in the All Programs➪Accessories➪System Tools section.
Dealing with service packs
A service pack is a release of updates and patches for a software product.
Microsoft is famous for releasing service packs to repair its software. This
indicates to some cynics that Microsoft is concerned enough about its user
community to maintain a product, but not concerned enough to get it right
the first time. Be that as it may, the first service pack for Windows Server
2008 will probably be released three to nine months after Windows Server
2008 makes its debut in February 2008.
Microsoft has integrated two capabilities into Windows Server 2008 to ease
the burden of maintaining an up-to-date version:
You can configure the Windows Update tool to regularly check for new
updates and prompt you to download and install them.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
You can slipstream service packs into distribution files so that an initial
setup results in automagic application of the service pack. In other
words, you can apply service packs to a distribution point so that new
systems automatically get installations that include that service pack.
After service packs are available for Windows Server 2008, read the
accompanying documentation to learn how to slipstream them.
Windows Server 2008 service packs don’t entangle you in the Catch-22 of
installing files from the original distribution DVD after a service pack is applied.
In other words, adding new services doesn’t require reapplication of service
packs, and application of service packs doesn’t require reinstallation of services from the distribution DVD. What a relief!
Microsoft advertises releases of its service packs, making it easier for the
typical user to locate, download, and apply these jewels. You’ll usually find a
link on the product-specific Web page at www.microsoft.com/windows
Using Automated System Recovery
Automated System Recovery (ASR) is partially designed to replace the function of the previous ERD repair process (remember that from Windows NT?).
You can use ASR to restore a system to its stored configuration settings in
the wake of a complete system failure. The only drawback to ASR is that it
restores files found on only the system partition. Therefore, if you have applications or user data files on other partitions, ASR doesn’t offer a safety net
for these items.
To use the ASR restore process, you must first create an ASR backup set. You
can create an ASR backup set from the Welcome tab of the Backup utility
(Start➪All Programs➪Accessories➪System Tools➪Windows Server Backup).
The ASR backup set consists of a single floppy and one or more backup tapes
(depending on the amount of data stored on your system partition). To
restore a failed system, you must boot to the original setup program either
from a bootable DVD or the setup boot floppies, and then press F2 when
prompted to initiate the ASR repair process. You’ll then be prompted for the
floppy and your backup tapes.
If you want to protect all your data, you have two options. You can use the
full backup capabilities (which include the System State) of the native Backup
utility. Or you can spend the money for a quality third-party backup solution
that offers restoration from tape after simply booting from a floppy instead of
requiring that the entire operating system be reinstalled before a restoration
can be performed.
Chapter 5: Ready, Set, Install!
Oops, My Installation Didn’t Take
In most cases, as long as your hardware is on the HCL, installation will be a
breeze. (Well, how about a long, continuous gust?) For those other cases,
here are some common problems and solutions:
DVD-ROM problems: The entire Windows Server 2008 installation ships
on a single DVD-ROM (unlike previous market releases that appear on
CDs), so if you can’t read the DVD, you can’t install Windows Server 2008
(unless you’re installing over a network, but even then, the distribution
files have to come from a DVD at some point). DVD-ROMs are similar to
music records or DVDs in that one little scratch or speck of dust on the
surface can cause problems. On the other hand, the DVD may be okay,
but the drive may not function correctly — or Windows Server 2008 may
not recognize the drive. We hope that your drive appears on the HCL. To
determine whether the drive or the DVD isn’t functioning, take the DVD
to another DVD-ROM drive and see whether you can read it there. After
you determine which element is the culprit, you can replace it and retry
your installation.
Hardware problems: If Windows Server 2008 setup doesn’t recognize a
server’s hardware, it’s likely to stop. Make sure that the machine’s hardware appears in the HCL and that you configured all devices correctly. If
you have more than one SCSI device, for example, make sure that they’re
chained (connected) correctly.
Blue screen of death: Sometimes, Setup simply crashes and gives you a
blue screen; other times, it gives you a display of error codes that only a
propeller head can understand. By itself, the blue screen simply means
that you must reboot. If you get a fancy stop screen, however, you can
look at the first few lines to determine the error code and then use it to
look up the error message in the error-message manual. A stop typically
occurs if a driver problem occurs; if you look beyond the first few lines
of the error-message screen, it tells you which drivers were loaded at
the time the crash occurred. A good idea is to write the first few lines of
the stop screen down before attempting to reboot.
Connectivity problems: Installing a machine into an existing domain
requires that the new system be capable of communicating with a
domain controller to create a domain computer account. If communication isn’t possible for any reason (such as a wrong network interface, a
wrong driver, a bad or missing cable, a domain controller offline, or too
much network traffic), you can’t join the domain. In some cases, you can
resolve the problem by quickly replacing a cable or allowing the system
to try the connection a second or third time. In other cases, you can
delay confronting the problem by joining a workgroup instead. Then you
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
can resolve any problems (such as network interface, driver, and configuration problems) with a functioning system.
Dependency problems: Some services in Windows Server 2008 depend
on other services loading correctly. If service A doesn’t load, service B
doesn’t work, and you get error messages if service B is set to automatically start at bootup. For example, if a network interface isn’t installed correctly, all services that use that network interface also fail to start. Your
first order of business, therefore, is to get the network interface to function correctly. If you get this far in the installation process, you can view
the error logs (Start➪All Programs➪Administrative Tools➪Event Viewer)
to see which service didn’t start and then work your way from there.
Script file errors: The Windows Server 2008 automated installation program (see the next section) isn’t forgiving if you mistype a script. If a
script stops midway and the Windows Server 2008 setup program asks
you for manual input, you entered something incorrectly. Check the
input file to look for transposed letters or anything else that may be out
of place. Scripts expect to feed the computer exactly what you put in the
script file. If you don’t enter the right information, Setup doesn’t receive
the information it expects.
Exploring Automated Installation
An unattended installation feature enables you to install Windows Server
2008 without keyboard interaction. Just start the process and walk away.
Unattended installation uses a script file that pipes in information and keyboard strokes from a data file that you compose in advance. If you already
know all the answers to the questions that the installation program asks, you
can answer these questions and place them in a data file. You can use more
than one data file for different types of installations.
Unattended installation is great for organizations that install Windows Server
2008 over and over on machines with the same hardware configurations.
Large enterprise networks that include remote offices can also take advantage
of unattended installation because home office administrators can customize
script files and transmit them to remote offices. The caveat here is that you
must test the script files for accuracy thoroughly in the central office; otherwise, the folks in the remote office may soon be screaming for help!
Details on creating automation scripts are included in the Windows Server
2008 Resource Kit. You can also find information on this subject in the
Windows Server 2008 Technical Library at technet2.microsoft.com/
Chapter 6
Configuring Connections
to the Universe
In This Chapter
Introducing the Server Management console
Configuring your server
Configuring domain controllers
Understanding server roles
Using remote access
ven after you complete the installation of Windows Server 2008, you still
face numerous decisions and related activities before you can safely say,
“Mission accomplished!” What role does this server play on your network?
Does it host multiple network interfaces? Do you need remote access? In this
chapter, you seek answers to all these questions and follow the steps to
implement them properly.
Before you get too excited, we must warn you that certain topics covered in
this chapter are just flat-out complex. We try to give a general overview of each
topic, but in some cases, covering all the relevant details goes beyond the
scope of this book. When that happens, we refer you to other resources and
materials where you can find meaningful, reliable, and more detailed coverage
of these topics, to supplement and complete what we provide you with here.
In this chapter, you go through the steps necessary to get your Windows
Server 2008 installation up and running.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Completing the Initial
Configuration Tasks
Starting at square one, the first time you log on to Windows Server 2008 after
completing the initial installation, you’re confronted with an Initial Configuration
Tasks (ICT) dialog box, shown in Figure 6-1. This wizard appears by default
the first time you log in, and every subsequent time, unless you select the Do
Not Show this Window at Logon check box.
ICT assists administrators with Windows Server 2008 deployments by postponing platform settings previously encountered during the installation
process to shorten the installation time. ICT does this by allowing administrators to specify relevant values at the end of the installation process, thereby
bypassing lots of dialog boxes and related interruptions along the way.
Windows Server 2008 also brings a concept called componentization to the
table, which is defined as breaking a complete system into interchangeable
parts to create a standardized approach to assembly, interface, or operation.
For Windows Server 2008, this translates into the ability to reuse components
outside their usual frameworks. A simple analogy is the relationship between
electronic components and electronic devices. A device is made of components, but it can also do things that individual components normally can’t.
Figure 6-1:
The Initial
Configuration Tasks
dialog box.
Chapter 6: Configuring Connections to the Universe
The Initial Configuration Tasks dialog box allows administrators to configure
a server with the following parameters:
Administrator password: Set the administrator password (left blank by
Computer name: The computer name is randomly generated and assigned
during installation, but you get your first chance to change it here.
Time zone: Configure the local time zone.
Configure networking: Establish initial network interface settings.
Domain membership: There is no default domain to join; however, the
computer is automatically assigned to a workgroup, appropriately
Enable Windows Update and feedback: Choose whether to automatically update Windows and issue problem reports or receive feedback.
Add roles: A server role describes the primary function of a server,
which can be one or several roles (each with one or more separate services) on a single computer.
Add features: A feature provides supportive functionality to servers,
which typically means augmenting a configured server role with additional capabilities.
Enable Remote Desktop: Remote desktop assistance is provided by an
underlying Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), which enables user computers to communicate with Microsoft Terminal Services.
Configure Windows Firewall: The Windows Firewall is enabled by default,
but you might want to spend some time familiarizing yourself with its features and capabilities, or configure it with site-specific settings.
These pre-deployment options are left for the end of installation to improve
efficiency. Administrators can set these as soon as the install completes,
which shortens time-to-launch for a fresh server installation. When you close
the ICT dialog box, another configuration utility pops up: the Windows Server
Manager, which we describe next.
Server Manager Configuration
Windows Server 2008 includes an all-new Server Manager application in GUI
and command-line form that simultaneously replaces and consolidates the
Windows Server 2003 interfaces called Manage Your Server, Configure Your
Server, and Add or Remove Windows Components. Server Manager eliminates
any need to run the Security Configuration Wizard prior to deployment because
server roles come pre-configured with recommended security settings. Each
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
separate application is consolidated into one utility for a better combination
of features and functionality in a single centralized applet, which provides a
holistic view of server configuration and related server components. This
new management platform enables you to install, configure, and manage
server roles specific to Windows Server 2008, including some capabilities
that even work on Windows Server 2003 machines.
Getting to know the Server
Manager console
You can use the expanded Server Manager MMC (Microsoft Management
Console) to configure various applications, features, and roles on your Windows
Server 2008 PC. A role describes a server’s primary function; administrators
may designate or dedicate an entire computer to one or more roles that can
include DHCP and DNS services, among many others. A feature describes
some supporting function in a server; for example: failover clustering indicates that multiple server computers function as a single logical server, and if
one computer fails, another stands ready to take its place automatically.
The Windows Server Manager console provides a consolidated view that
includes: server information, configured roles, services, and feature status. It
puts all the easily accessible management tools together under one interface.
Server Manager improves productivity so that you spend less time on deployment, management, and maintenance phases and more time adding and using
new features in your network infrastructure.
Here are a few key highlights to the new Server Manager platform:
Server Manager functionality incorporates snap-in extensions from
Computer Manager (Reliability and Performance, and Windows Firewall)
that are always available regardless of which roles are installed.
Server Manager displays notifications linked to descriptive help topics
atop role management homepages when constraints in the role model
are violated. Help topics may include additional content, solutions, or
tools to help resolve some particular issue.
The Server Manager Add Roles Wizard provides configuration pages for
many roles, including AD Federation Services (AD-FS), Network Policy
and Access Services, Fax Server, AD Rights Management (AD-RM), File
Services, and many others, as shown in Figure 6-2. See Table 6-1 for more
information on Server Roles.
The Server Manager Add Features Wizard supports installation of
BitLocker Drive Encryption, Group Policy Management, Remote Server
Administration Tools, and a variety of supplementary or supportive network and storage features. See Table 6-2 for more details about Server
Chapter 6: Configuring Connections to the Universe
Figure 6-2:
The server
roles that
can be
through the
Server Manager provides Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT)
that enable remote management for specific roles, role-based services,
and features on computers running Windows Server 2008 and Windows
Server 2003.
Server Manager supports automated deployment and scripting options
for Windows Server 2008 roles from a command-line tool that can install
or remove multiple roles, role services, or server features.
Table 6-1
Windows Server 2008 Server Roles
Role Name
Active Directory Certificate
Services (AD-CS)
AD-CS provides customizable services to create
and manage public key certificates used in public
cryptographic systems. Organizations may
enhance their security posture by binding user
identities, devices, or services to corresponding
private keys. AD-CS also includes features for
enrollment and revocation of certificates.
Active Directory Domain
Services (AD-DS)
AD-DS stores user, computer, and other networked device information to help administrators
securely manage and facilitate resource sharing
or collaboration between users. AD-DS is also
required for directory-enabled services such as
Microsoft Exchange Server or Group Policy.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Table 6-1 (continued)
Role Name
Active Directory Lightweight
Services (AD-LDS)
AD-LDS is a directory for storing application data
that runs as a non-operating system service,
which doesn’t require deployment on a DC and
permits multiple simultaneous instances to be
configured independently to service multiple
Active Directory Rights
Management Services
AD-RMS is information protection technology
that works with compatible applications to safeguard against unauthorized use of digital media.
Content owners define how such data may be
used, and organizations may create custom templates that apply directly to financial reports,
product specifications, and other such materials.
Application Server (AS)
AS provides a turnkey solution for hosting and
managing high-performance distributed business
applications with integrated services such as
.NET, COM+, and others.
Dynamic Host Configuration
Protocol (DHCP)
DHCP allows temporary or permanent dynamic
(and static) address assignments to computers
and other network-addressable devices and
gives administrators more flexible control over
address assignments, duration, and type.
File Services
File Services provides storage management, file
replication, a distributed namespace, and fast
file-searching technologies for efficient client
access to server resources.
Network Policy and Access
Services (NPAS)
NPAS delivers an array of options to local and
remote users, works across network segments,
centralizes management tasks and enforces network health properties among client callers.
NPAS facilitates VPN, dial-up server, router, and
802.11 protected access deployment, and other
such capabilities.
Print Services (PS)
PS provides printer and print server management, which reduces administrative overhead by
centralizing printer management tasks.
Terminal Services (TS)
TS enables users to access server-based
Windows applications and desktops so that
remote users can connect and utilize remote
Chapter 6: Configuring Connections to the Universe
Role Name
Universal Description,
Discovery, and Integration
UDDI services enable information sharing via
intranet-based Web services or between business partners that share an extranet or Internet
connection. UDDI can help improve developer
productivity and promote reuse of existing development work.
Web Server (IIS)
IIS 7.0, the Windows Web server, enables information sharing on intranets or over the Internet
as a unified Web platform that integrates several
key Microsoft components.
Windows Deployment
Services (WDS)
WDS is used to remotely install and configure
Windows installations using the Preboot
Execution Environment (PXE).
Windows SharePoint
Services (WSP)
WSP services allow end-user collaboration
through documents, tasks, and events, enabling
them to easily share contacts and other necessary information. WSP is designed to support
flexible deployment, administration, and custom
application development.
You can find more in-depth information about each of the server roles we
introduce in Table 6-1 on Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 TechCenter page
located at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/
Table 6-2 Windows Server 2008 Server Manager Server Features
Feature Name
.NET Framework 3.0
This latest version combines .NET 2.0 APIs with
newer technologies for building user interface
applications that help protect customer identities,
enable seamless and security-enhanced communication, and model an array of business
BitLocker Drive Encryption
This new feature protects data-at-rest (stored
information), whether the data is lost or stolen or
inadvertently stored on decommissioned computers. Integrity is maintained through the Trusted
Platform Module (TPM).
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Table 6-2 (continued)
Feature Name
Background Intelligent
Transfer Service (BITS)
BITS server extensions enable receipt of client
file uploads that can be transferred in the foreground or background, asynchronously. It keeps
other network applications more responsive and
permits resumption of failed transfers.
Connection Manager
Administration Kit (CMAK)
CMAK builds connection manager service profiles suitable for reducing the cost of providing
remote access to all network service providers,
whether you’re part of a corporation or an
Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Desktop Experience
The Desktop Experience includes portions of
Windows Vista (Media Player, themes, and photo
management) that aren’t enabled by default.
Internet Printing Client (IPC)
IPC supports HTTP connectivity to Web-accessible
printers to users in the same domain or on the
same network, including roaming employees on
mobile platforms.
Internet Storage Name
Server (ISNS)
ISNS provides service discovery for Internet
SCSI (iSCSI) storage area networks by processing registration/de-registration requests and
queries from clients.
LPR Port Monitor (LPM)
LPR Port Monitor allows UNIX-based client computers to print on Windows computers with
attached print devices.
Message Queuing (MQ)
MQ provides guaranteed message delivery, delivery prioritization, and efficient routing between
applications running on different operating systems, using dissimilar network infrastructures,
that may even be temporarily offline or scheduled
to operate at different times.
Multipath I/O (MPIO)
MPIO combined with any Device Specific
Module (DSM) provides multiple data path support to Microsoft-based storage devices.
Peer Name Resolution
Protocol (PNRP)
PNRP enables applications to register and
resolve names from individual computers sharing
a common connection.
Chapter 6: Configuring Connections to the Universe
Feature Name
Quality Windows Audio/Video
Experience (qWave)
qWave is an enhanced streaming A/V platform
that improves performance and reliability in IPbased networks. It ensures Quality of Service
(QoS) and provides admission controls, run-time
monitoring, and application feedback.
Recovery Disc (RD)
RD is a Windows utility that creates an OS installation disc, which you may use to recover data on
a corrupted installation without the original
installation medium, or where standard recovery
tools are inaccessible.
Remote Assistance (RA)
RA enables support personnel to assist in problem resolution on remote client computers using
the network or Internet. You can view, share, and
control the end user’s desktop, troubleshoot
problems, and apply solutions.
Remote Server Administration
Tools (RSAT)
RSAT provides remote management capability
for Windows Server 2003/2008 computers, which
includes the ability to run some management
tools, role services, and server features on the
remote server.
Removable Storage
Manager (RSM)
RSM catalogs and manages removable media
and operates automation for such devices.
Network File System
(NFS) Services
NFS services provide a distributed file system
protocol for network-driven access to server
storage volumes, which are mounted remotely
like local resources.
Simple Mail Transfer
Protocol (SMTP)
SMTP server provides a basic foundation for
e-mail messaging between client and server
Telnet Client
The Telnet protocol permits clients to connect to
remote computers running the Telnet server, providing remote control over server applications
and resources.
Telnet Server
The Telnet Server aspect of the Telnet protocol
permits different platform Telnet clients to connect and utilize remote server resources.
Trivial File Transfer
Protocol (TFTP)
TFTP is a very basic file transfer protocol used
between embedded devices and systems to
obtain and update firmware, configuration settings, and other information.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Table 6-2 (continued)
Feature Name
Failover Clustering (FC)
FC enables several individual servers to work
cohesively as one to provide high-availability
applications and services, often as file and print
or database services.
Network Load Balancing (NLB)
NLB distributes a workload among many other
servers, which ensures scalable stateless TCP/IP
applications under increased loads.
Windows Server Backup (WSB) WSB permits backup and recovery for Windows
platform files and other supportive applications
and data.
Windows System Resource
Manager (WSRM)
WSRM is an administrative tool that controls CPU
and memory resource allocation for improved
system performance and reduced runtime risk to
applications, processes, and services that might
otherwise interfere with or hinder performance.
Windows Internet Naming
Service (WINS)
WINS is a distributed database used to register
and query dynamic IP-to-name mappings for
NetBIOS computers and workgroups on Windows
networks, and it alleviates issues with NetBIOS
name resolutions in routed environments.
Wireless LAN (WLAN) Service
WLAN service configures and starts the WLAN
AutoConfig service, even when the host computer has no wireless network interface.
Windows Internal
Database (WID)
WID is a relational data storehouse used only
by Windows roles and features like UDDI or ADRights Management services.
Windows PowerShell
PowerShell is a command-line shell and scripting
language used to achieve greater administrative
control, a more powerful scripting language, and
scripted automation.
Windows Process Activation
Service (WPAS)
WPAS removes IIS dependency on HTTP, making
it accessible to applications hosting non-HTTP
protocols such as WCF services. WPAS also
manages application pools, worker processes,
and message-based activation via HTTP and
non-HTTP requests.
Whether you’re an IT administrator, planner, or technology evaluator for
medium or enterprise-level network design, or an early adopter or architect
Chapter 6: Configuring Connections to the Universe
and engineer responsible for daily management, you’ll appreciate what
Server Manager offers. It greatly simplifies and consolidates tasks so succinctly that you might oversimplify your personal assessment of its capabilities. Trust us: You’ll learn a whole new appreciation for this consolidated
capability in any large-scale server deployments you may undertake.
Establishing directory trees and forests
To get your Windows Server 2008 system up and running, the first bit of information you need to feed it is whether it’s the first server in your domain. If it
is the first server, the Server Manager console helps you install the core services required to maintain a domain. If it isn’t the first server on the network,
you can set the server up as another domain controller or a member server
in a domain, but with no domain responsibilities. Or you can elect to make
the server a stand alone server, which has no domain involvement at all.
New to Windows Server 2008 is the read-only domain controller (RODC),
which allows organizations to deploy and utilize a DC in physically insecure
locations, where absolute security can’t be guaranteed. An RODC hosts readonly partitions of data under the AD-DS database that can’t be altered directly.
The first DC in the AD forest must be a fully capable global cataloging server,
not an RODC, which you’ll encounter during this setup process.
Prior to the advent of Windows Server 2008, users had no alternative but to
authenticate with a DC via some wide area network (WAN) linkage if no local
DC was available. Branch offices often can’t provide or ensure adequate
security measures to restrict physical access to writable DCs, which are
often shared over limited network bandwidth connections to hub sites that
increase delays and logon times. This model of operation is inefficient and
underutilizes network resources. Windows Server 2008 improves all of these
issues through RODC server deployments, which provide much finer-grain
control over administrative access and data storage.
If you’re setting up the first domain controller on the first domain for your organization, you’re setting up more than just a domain; you’re also defining the root
of your first directory tree and the root of your first directory forest. In Active
Directory domain lingo, a group of computers that shares a single namespace
and DNS structure is called a domain. A group of domains linked in parent-child
relationships (also like the roots of a tree) is called a tree. A domain tree is a set
of domains connected through a two-way transitive trust, sharing a common
schema, configuration, and global catalog. These domains also form a contiguous hierarchical namespace with one domain acting as the domain root.
The first domain installed in a tree is considered the root domain for that
tree. It would be considered the forest root domain only if it was also the first
domain in the forest, which we will discuss next.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Groups of trees may be linked together as a forest. The capability to organize
a network into complex logical namespace structures gives Windows Server
2008 (and Windows Server 2003) its scalability and versatility as an enterprisecapable network operating system.
A forest is a collection of one or more domains that share a common schema,
configuration, and global catalog. A forest may or may not have a common
domain namespace. If the forest has only a single tree, it will have a common
domain namespace because it’s the only tree. Because a forest can have more
than one domain tree (it isn’t a requirement, but it’s allowed), these different
domain trees will have their own individual, contiguous namespaces.
All the domains in a domain tree and all the trees in a single forest have the
connectivity benefit of a two-way transitive trust relationship, which is the
default trust relationship between Windows 2000, 2003, and 2008 domains. A
two-way transitive trust is the combination of a transitive trust and a two-way
trust. This complete trust between all domains in an Active Directory domain
hierarchy helps form the forest as a single unit through its common schema,
configuration, and global catalog. The first Windows 2000, 2003, or 2008
domain installed in the forest is considered the forest root domain.
The first domain controller you create also defines the domain. If it’s the first
domain on your network, it’s also the root of the first tree and the first tree in
the forest. For more detailed information on the logical structure of domains,
trees, and forests, please consult the Windows Server 2008 Resource Kit.
A Windows Server 2008 computer is just a stand alone system that acts like a
workstation until you employ the configurations offered through the ICT and
Server Manager wizards. Once those configurations are elected and put to
work, your Windows Server 2008 machine can take on almost any role you
want, including limited Server Core roles and capacities. Unlike Windows NT,
in which you have either primary or backup domain controllers, all domain
controllers on Windows Server 2008 are essentially the same. Each and every
domain controller shares the responsibility of maintaining the domain, updating changes to the Active Directory, and distributing the authentication and
communication load.
For now, we assume that your server is the first server on the network. To set
up your server, follow these steps:
1. Open Server Manager by choosing Start➪Server Manager.
The Initial Configuration Tasks (ICT) dialog box appears by default on
startup, until you configure it not to reappear. Close the ICT dialog box
to automatically invoke the Server Manager applet; otherwise, the
Server Manager applet appears by default, unless and until you configure it not to reappear unless manually triggered.
Chapter 6: Configuring Connections to the Universe
2. Under the Roles Summary entry, select Add Roles.
3. Review the information on the Before You Begin page and then
click Next.
A summary of changes to be made is displayed.
4. On the Select Server Roles page, shown in Figure 6-3, select the Active
Directory Domain Services check box and then click Next.
Figure 6-3:
The Select
Roles page.
5. Review the information on the Active Directory Domain Services page
and then click Next.
A summary of changes to be made is displayed.
6. On the Confirm Installation Selections page, shown in Figure 6-4, click
The Installation Results page appears.
7. Click Close This Wizard to launch the Active Directory Domain
Services Installation Wizard (dcpromo.exe).
8. On the Welcome to the Active Directory Domain Services Installation
Wizard page, click Next.
9. Select the Use Advanced Mode Installation check box.
The Domain NetBIOS Name page appears, enabling you to change the
NetBIOS name that is otherwise generated as a default value.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Figure 6-4:
The Confirm
10. Under Choose a Deployment Configuration, click Create a New
Domain in a New Forest and then click Next.
The New Domain Name page appears.
11. Under the Name the Forest Root Domain page, type the full Domain
Name System (DNS) name for the forest root domain and then click Next.
The name must be in fully qualified domain name (FQDN) format, such
as mycompany.local or googleplex.com. This isn’t the name of your
server; you define that when you first install Windows Server 2008, and
again with Initial Configuration Tasks. Instead, this defines the top-level
domain name.
You can use the same name that will be used on the Internet to access
your organization (such as googleplex.com), or you can use an internal, network-only domain name that won’t be accessible from the
Internet (such as mycompany.local or mycompany.ad).
12. On the Set Forest Functional Level page, select the forest functional
level that accommodates the domain controllers that you plan to
install in the forest, and then click Next.
Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 forest functional levels are
included with additional levels provided in Windows Server 2008. At this
forest level, only the Windows Server 2008 DCs are supported.
13. On the Additional Domain Controller Options page, DNS server is the
default selection so that your forest DNS infrastructure can be created
during AD-DS installation. Unless you intend to use AD-integrated
DNS, deselect the DNS server check box. Click Next to continue.
A supportive DNS infrastructure must already exist to enable proper
name resolutions within the new forest. By default, this wizard
Chapter 6: Configuring Connections to the Universe
designates that this installation be delegated the zone to this DNS server
in the authoritative parent zone prior to deployment.
If the wizard can’t create a delegation, a message says that you may
create one manually. Click Yes to continue. Otherwise, click No and let
the wizard install DNS services with default settings on this, the first DC
in the AD forest, which must be configured as a global catalog server
(not an RODC). This server will hold five Operation Master roles and
should be pre-configured for static IPv4 address assignment.
14. If default values are unacceptable, type or point to the volume and
folder locations for each element on the Location for Database, Log
Files, and SYSVOL page; then click Next.
15. Type and confirm the restore mode password on the Directory Services
Restore Mode Administrator Password page and then click Next.
The DS Restore Mode Administrator Password page appears, requesting
a unique password to be used to start AD-DS in Directory Services Restore
Mode for tasks that are performed offline following a system error. This
mandatory provision is new to Windows Server 2008, and failure to
supply a strong choice will prohibit you from continuing further with the
AD-DS installation process.
16. On the Summary page, review your selections. Click Back to change
any necessary selections.
At this time, you may save a copy of your configuration settings by clicking the Export Settings button. This is especially useful for deploying
RODC servers elsewhere, where installation is entirely command-line oriented. Such deployment relies on correct syntax and layout of a crucial
answer file where all settings are acquired for installation.
Accuracy of this information is crucial to a successful automated, unattended installation process.
17. Select the Reboot on Completion option box to invoke an automatic
restart, or manually restart the server and the AD-DS installation
when prompted by clicking Restart Now.
At this point, you can decide which network or application components,
server roles, or features you want to install on the new server. The second,
third, and fourth servers installed on a network can each have a different network role, including serving as one of the following:
A peer domain controller hosting Active Directory
A network management server hosting DHCP, DNS, WINS, Routing and
Remote Access, or any other of a myriad of network services
A file or print server
A Web, media, or application server
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
We cover Active Directory details in Chapters 7 and 8, file servers in Chapter
12, and print servers in Chapter 9. Everything you must know about these
Server Manager options appears in these chapters.
Getting the word out
Windows Server 2008 includes Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 and
supports streaming media server, also known as Windows Media Services
(WMS), now at version 9.5. IIS allows you to host Web and File Transfer
Protocol (FTP) sites to intranet and Internet users. With WMS, you can create
stunning multimedia presentations, combining audio, video, slides, interactive media, and more — all delivered by means of streaming connection.
You can use the IIS and WMS items on the Server Manager Wizard to jump
directly to the administrative tools for IIS 7.0 and Media Services. You can
also access Internet Information Services Manager (also known as the IIS
MMC snap-in), shown in Figure 6-5, by choosing Start➪Control Panel➪
Administrative Tools➪Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
Figure 6-5:
for IIS
version 7.0.
Chapter 6: Configuring Connections to the Universe
To host Windows Media Services on your Windows Server 2008 system, you
first need to configure it as a streaming media server by choosing Start➪
Control Panel➪Administrative Tools➪Server Manager Wizard. Next, choose
Add Roles under Roles Summary, and then select Streaming Media Wizard in
the Add Roles Wizard. This installs the streaming media server role, which
allows you to complete the setup of your server to stream audio and video
content to clients over the Internet or your company’s intranet.
IIS 7.0 is its own application, and its features go far beyond the scope of this
book. If you really want to set up this service on your server, see the
Windows Server 2008 Resource Kit or TechNet.
Organizing the neighborhood
The Configure Your Server Wizard’s Networking option offers you quick
access to the configuration tools used to manage DHCP, DNS, Remote Access,
and Routing.
DHCP is a method for automatically configuring TCP/IP settings on clients
and non-critical servers upon bootup. DNS is a method of resolving host
names into IP addresses. We cover both DHCP and DNS in Chapter 10.
Although DHCP and DNS qualify as neat stuff, they’re fairly complex topics
that aren’t covered in great detail in this book. Please look into the Windows
Server 2008 Resource Kit for complete instructions on their configuration and
Routing and Remote Access is a service that combines two functions: routing
and remote access (duh!):
Routing is the capability to direct network communications across a
local area network (LAN) or — with the help of a remote access link —
across a wide area network (WAN).
Remote Access is the capability to establish network connections using
either telephone or Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) lines.
Windows Server 2008 can act as a client to connect to remote systems, or it
can act as a server to accept inbound calls. The Remote Access and Routing
selections under the Networking option (in the Configure Your Server Wizard)
offer a link to the Routing and Remote Access management console shown
in Figure 6-6. With this console, you can install and configure Routing and
Remote Access.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Figure 6-6:
The Routing
and Remote
Here are the basic steps to enable this service:
1. Open the Routing and Remote Access management console (Start➪
Administrative Tools➪Routing and Remote Access).
2. Click the Routing and Remote Access item in the left pane.
The list of servers on the network is displayed.
3. Right-click your server and choose Configure and Enable Routing and
Remote Access.
The Routing and Remote Access Server Setup Wizard appears.
4. Click the Next button to continue.
The wizard provides a selection list of common configurations and the
option to manually define settings. The options available in the Common
Configurations windows are as follows:
• Remote Access (dial-up or VPN)
• Network Address Translation (NAT)
• Virtual Private Network (VPN) Access and NAT
• Secure Connection between Two Private Networks
• Custom Configuration
5. Choose the option that best matches your needs or choose Custom
Configuration and set things up manually.
Chapter 6: Configuring Connections to the Universe
6. Click Next.
Each of the four common configuration suggestions prompt you for further details to fine-tune the system. For more information on these selections, consult the Windows Server 2008 Resource Kit.
7. Just follow the prompts through the rest of the wizard to complete the
Keep in mind that to enable routing, you need at least two network interfaces.
These can be NICs, specialized connections to the Internet, or even modems.
Although it looks like everything has been enabled, we recommend that you
reboot before you make any further modifications. After the reboot, Routing
and Remote Access is configured and functioning. All it needs now are network interfaces and a bit of configuration. The Routing and Remote Access
interface is a graphical user interface (GUI), which — compared to the previous command-line, text-only control and display — is a great improvement.
Furthermore, this management tool allows you to install routing protocols,
monitor interfaces and ports, watch dial-up clients, define access policies, and
modify logging parameters. You’ll never want to use the ROUTE command again!
However, routing isn’t a subject for the timid. For this reason, we recommend
that you consult the Windows Server 2008 Resource Kit for more information.
We don’t want to leave you completely in the dark, so we list a few more features of Remote Access in the “Other frills” section a little later in the chapter.
Establishing Remote Connections
Remote communications consist of two distinct elements: the client and the
server. Windows Server 2008 can either establish a connection to a remote
system (as a dial-up client) or accept connections from remote clients (as a
dial-up host). For more information on using Windows Server 2008 as a dialup host, please see the Windows Server 2008 Resource Kit or consult
Microsoft TechNet articles.
Getting connected
Using Windows Server 2008 as a dial-up client isn’t terribly difficult. In most
cases, you dial out to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to make an Internet
connection. We can take you step-by-step through the process of establishing
such a connection if you have the following pieces of information at hand:
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Phone number of the ISP
Logon name
Logon password
For this type of connection, we assume that you have a modem, not an ISDN
line or other connection device. If you don’t have a modem, you definitely
need one for this exercise. You can install a modem using the Add/Remove
Hardware applet from the Control Panel. If you follow the prompts, you’ll be
amazed at how easy it is to do the installation.
We also assume that your ISP has a simple logon procedure. If you require
special characters to be prefixed to your logon name, must traverse a logon
menu, or must execute a logon script, you need to consult your ISP for
instructions on how to configure Windows Server 2008 to properly establish
a connection. Fortunately, most ISPs have a simple logon process.
Here’s how to get things rolling:
1. Choose Start➪Connect To to display the Network Connections screen,
as shown in Figure 6-7.
You should have a modem installed before you follow these steps.
Figure 6-7:
(after a dialup object
has been
2. Click the Set Up a Connection or Network link.
3. Under Choose a Connection Option, select Set Up a Dial-Up
Connection and then click Next.
4. Fill in the Telephone Number and Destination Name entries, select
whether this object is shared among other users, and click Next.
Chapter 6: Configuring Connections to the Universe
5. Type the User Name and Password into each corresponding field,
choose an optional Domain, and click Create.
6. When the connection is ready to use, you may click Connect; otherwise, click Close.
That’s it! An icon now appears in the Network Connections window with the
name you provided. Double-click this icon to display the Connection dialog
box. Click the Dial button to establish the connection. After a few noisy
moments, you’ll establish a connection and be ready to surf!
You can view the status of the connection by placing your mouse cursor over
the connection icon (the one with the two overlapping computers) in the
icon tray. You can also double-click the icon to display a dialog box with
more information.
You can change the parameters of the dial-up connection by right-clicking the
icon in the Network Connections window and choosing Properties. In the
dialog box for the Network Connections Property page, you can change every
aspect of the connection.
To end the connection, right-click the connection icon in the icon tray and
choose Disconnect — or double-click the connection icon to display the
Details box and then click Disconnect.
Other frills
Windows Server 2008 includes all the latest capabilities that you would
expect in a Windows-based remote access server. You’ll recognize most of
these from Windows Server 2003, and some from Windows 2000 and Windows
NT. But even with the latest enhancements, Windows Server 2008 has
retained nearly all of its old capabilities and functions. That means if you
could accomplish something using Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, or
Windows Server 2003 RAS, you can do it better using Windows Server 2008
Remote Access.
These features include but aren’t limited to the following:
Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) for dial-out and dial-in connections. Serial
Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) is still retained for outbound connections
to non-PPP systems. (Windows XP Professional doesn’t support SLIP for
incoming connections; only Windows Server 2008 can use TCP/IP to connect through SLIP.)
Multilink PPP for aggregating similar connections into a single pipeline.
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) for link establishment over the
Internet for secure communications.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Authentication encryption to secure logon passwords.
VPN security features: IPSec and L2TP. (See the Windows Server 2008
Resource Kit or TechNet for more information.)
Support for smart cards (which are small cards added to the system to
store security information).
Full Remote Authentication Dial-in User Service (RADIUS) support.
Shared connections (a single computer sharing its connection with
other network clients).
For an in-depth discussion of Remote Access, check out the Windows Server
2008 Resource Kit.
Chapter 7
Doing the Directory Thing
In This Chapter
Understanding a directory service
Introducing the Windows Server 2008 Active Directory
Planning for Active Directory
Installing Active Directory
Coping with multiple domains
n this chapter, you look at the updates made to the directory service known
as Active Directory. You find out what a directory service is, why it’s required
for a Windows domain and forest structure, and how to plan for and install
the Windows Server 2008 Active Directory. It may not be the greatest thing
since sliced bread, but it’s at least as good as cracked pepper crackers!
What you won’t find here, but might benefit from knowing, is that Active
Directory cleanly integrates with virtual machines in Virtual Server capacities. This level of integration enables delegated administration and secure,
authenticated guest access. And for those of you not already in the know,
Windows Server Virtualization is the logical partitioning of server software
resources so that multiple instances of an operating system (such as
Windows Server 2008) can operate simultaneously, side by side.
What Is a Directory Service?
You may not know it, but you use directory services all the time. When you
get hungry and crave pizza, you open your telephone directory and look
under P for this peerless paragon of sustenance. That telephone book is a
kind of directory service — namely, it contains the information you need,
along with a way to locate the information you require. (In this case, it’s in
alphabetical order.) A computerized directory service works pretty much the
same way: It contains information about numerous aspects of your company,
organizes that information, and provides one or more tools to help you
explore the information it contains.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
The first operating system from Microsoft to offer directory services was
Windows Server 2000. Novell NetWare has its own native directory service —
Novell Directory Services (NDS) or eDirectory in NetWare 6 — and it’s been
offered in all the released Novell versions of Network Operating System (NOS)
since 1993. Microsoft bases the entire Windows Server 2003/2008 domain structure (which started with Windows Server 2000) around its directory services,
rather than simply offering them as an add-on to previous domain implementations. Microsoft’s directory service is called Active Directory.
Although Active Directory and Novell Directory Services don’t interact
directly, you can synchronize Active Directory with Novell Directories using
Microsoft Directory Synchronization Services (MSDSS). MSDSS is included
with Services for NetWare 5 and up, and enables Active Directory synchronization with NDS and NetWare 3.x binderies so that system administrators
can reduce overall directory management by administering one, rather than
two, separate directory services.
When it comes to names, Microsoft seems obsessed with the word active.
There’s Active Desktop, ActiveX, and Active Directory. However, the term is
accurate — indeed, Active Directory is active (when used correctly).
Meeting Active Directory
To do its job properly, a directory service must meet three primary
It must include a structure to organize and store directory data.
It must provide a means to query and manage directory data.
It must supply a method to locate directory data and the network and
server resources that might correspond to such data. (For example, if
the directory data includes a pointer to a file and a printer, the directory
service must know where they reside and how to access them.)
Windows Server 2008’s Active Directory fulfills all these requirements using
various technologies. For more information about Active Directory, pick up a
copy of Active Directory For Dummies (Wiley Publishing).
Organizing and storing data
The structure of Active Directory follows the ISO X.500 protocol guidelines.
(ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization.) Figure 7-1
shows the hierarchical structure of an X.500 directory. This is a common
standard used in nearly all directory services, including not only Microsoft’s
Chapter 7: Doing the Directory Thing
Active Directory but also Novell Directory Services (NDS), Netscape products, and other implementations. X.500 has proven to be useful for this application because it organizes data in a hierarchy that breaks directory information into a variety of useful containers, such as countries, organizational
units, subunits, and resources. The example in Figure 7-1 organizes the directory down to the user object level.
The two X.500 standards most commonly used today are the 1988 and 1993
X.500 versions. The 1993 version includes a number of advances over the
older 1988 version. Happily, the 1993 version is the standard upon which
Microsoft built Active Directory for Windows Server 2008.
Managing data
A special-purpose protocol known as the Lightweight Directory Access
Protocol (LDAP) provides the second ingredient for the Active Directory service. LDAP normally utilizes TCP port 389 as its main network transport connection. As the latter part of its name suggests, LDAP is designed specifically
to retrieve and access directory data. (The Lightweight part of its name stems
from the fact that it’s a stripped-down version of an older, more cumbersome
X.500 Directory Access Protocol.)
Figure 7-1:
structure of
an X.500
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
The terminology used in this chapter may seem familiar to those of you who
are acquainted with Microsoft Exchange Server’s directory service. This is
because the Active Directory service in Windows Server 2008 shares a
common heritage (and common technology) with the Exchange Server directory service. In fact, an Exchange connector is supplied with Windows Server
2008 to link these two directory services and to replicate data between them.
Not surprisingly, this software component is called the Active Directory
More information on LDAP appears on the RFC 1777 (Request For Comments)
page at www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1777.txt.
Locating data and resources
If Windows Server 2008 directory data is structured using the X.500 protocol
and this data is accessed using LDAP, there also must be a way to locate
directory data. Time for the missing third ingredient! How does Active
Directory meet the third and final requirement for a working directory service? We’re glad you asked. Active Directory relies on the well-known and
widely used Internet standard called the Domain Name Service (DNS) as its
locator service.
Of Domains and Controllers
Behind every great domain is a great domain controller (so the Aretha
Franklin song goes), but before you look at how Windows Server 2008 uses
domain controllers, a quick recap of Windows NT 4.0 usage is in order.
The Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, and Windows 2000 way of
doing the domain controller thing is quite different from the Windows NT 4.0
way — mainly because of Active Directory. Okay, so we don’t have to repeat
it over and over, Windows Server 2003/2008 and Windows 2000 all support
Active Directory in the same way, so what you see here for Windows Server
2008 is also true of Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000. (Those few
small differences concern mainly high-level schema control and naming management and are too detailed for this book.)
In the beginning . . .
In Windows NT 4.0, 15-character NetBIOS (Network Basic Input-Output
System) names represent domains. These domains revolve around a single
user/group/policy database called the Security Accounts Manager (SAM)
Chapter 7: Doing the Directory Thing
database, stored in writable format on a single, primary server known as the
primary domain controller (PDC).
NetBIOS names can be a total of 16 characters long. On Microsoft operating
systems, the NetBIOS name is limited to 15 characters. The 16th character is
hidden from view and is used as a NetBIOS suffix by Microsoft Networking
software to identify services installed on a given system. Additional information
on Microsoft NetBIOS suffixes is available at http://support.microsoft.
Access to the domain database is required to access a domain’s resources,
so any model that depends on a single domain controller introduces a single
point of failure. To improve availability and reliability of the domain database, Microsoft added a second type of server to this mix, known as a backup
domain controller (BDC), which stores a read-only version of the SAM database. Users can access the BDC to log on to a domain and to investigate user,
group, or account information, but changes to the database can be applied
only to the PDC.
In this kind of domain environment, the PDC must periodically update the
SAM database on all BDCs in its domain to keep them synchronized. Should a
PDC ever fail, a BDC can be promoted to become the PDC and to write-enable
its copy of the SAM database. However, there’s an unbreakable master-slave
relationship between PDCs and BDCs, because changes to the SAM database
must be applied to the PDC first, then copied from the PDC to all BDCs.
Therefore, if the PDC goes down, no changes can be applied to the SAM database unless the PDC is brought back up or a BDC is promoted to become the
new PDC instead. Phew! Got all that?
Although this sounds like a form of subjugation, a master-slave relationship is
computerese for “everything that changes on the master is copied to all slaves”
and “only a master accepts changes and copies all changes to its slaves.”
Windows Server 2008 no longer uses NetBIOS to name its domains; instead,
it uses DNS domain names. (See Chapter 10 for more information on DNS
domain names.) For example, rather than a Dummies domain, you might have
sales.dummies.com as a legal domain name. However, you can still use a
NetBIOS name to refer to a domain, which is a requirement for all non–Active
Directory systems, such as the Windows 98 and Windows NT client operating
systems, sometimes called legacy clients. (That’s why you define one when
you install Active Directory in Chapter 6.) Likewise, the concept of a SAM
is no longer used in a Windows Server 2008 domain. All information about
users, passwords, and groups is stored in Active Directory. Therefore, instead
of servers that read from or write to the SAM, servers must supply the LDAP
service that’s needed to interface with Active Directory.
On Windows Server 2008, network servers that host the LDAP service are
domain controllers. As in Windows NT–based networks, these servers are
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
responsible for authentication and other domain activities. In Windows Server
2008–based networks, however, servers use Active Directory to provide the
services that their older counterparts delivered using the SAM database.
Wherefore art thou, BDC/PDC?
The concept of PDCs and BDCs isn’t used in the Active Directory domain
structure of Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003/2008. In this brave new
world, all domain controllers are equal (although some are indeed more
equal than others). How is this equality maintained? A process known as
multimaster replication ensures that when changes occur on any domain controller in a domain, these changes are replicated to all other controllers in
that domain. Therefore, instead of the older master-slave relationship
between PDC and BDCs, you have a peer-to-peer relationship among all
domain controllers in a Windows Server 2008 domain (and beyond) where
trust relationships exist. (A trust relationship is a special interdomain access
arrangement that you define when users in one domain require access to
resources in another domain.)
Because you can’t upgrade all your domain controllers from Windows NT 4.0
to Windows Server 2008 in one fell swoop, Windows Server 2008 allows you
to operate your domains in a mixed mode. This allows Windows NT 4.0 BDCs
(but not PDCs) to participate in a Windows Server 2008 domain. The idea is
that you begin by upgrading the NT4 PDC to Windows Server 2008 and then
proceed on to other server-based systems in the enterprise. This will often
include the upgrading or total demotion of all existing NT4 Server class BDCs.
For a Windows NT 4.0 BDC to function properly, it needs to obtain updates
from a PDC. Therefore, a single Windows Server 2008 domain controller
impersonates a Windows NT 4.0 PDC, which allows changes to be replicated
to any Windows NT 4.0 BDCs in that domain. This capability of a Windows
Server 2008 domain controller is known as a Flexible Single Master Operations
(FSMO) role (also known as operations master role). This specific server role
is called PDC emulator.
Even in a full-fledged, Windows Server 2008–only environment, the PDC emulator operations master still plays an important part in the scheme of things.
It performs certain duties that no other DCs in the domain handle. The PDC
emulator receives preferential replication of password changes performed by
other domain controllers in the domain. When passwords are changed, it
takes time to replicate the change in every domain controller in the domain.
That synchronization delay might cause an authentication failure at a domain
controller that hasn’t yet received the change. Before that remote domain
controller denies access to whatever is trying to perform the access, it forwards the authentication request to the PDC emulator because the PDC emulator may have different information (for example, a new password).
Chapter 7: Doing the Directory Thing
In a mixed mode domain operation, clients can use NetBIOS names to access
old-style domain services, or they can use Active Directory to access Windows
Server 2008 domain services. To find a Windows Server 2008 domain controller,
clients must query a DNS server for a service record that takes the general
form that follows:
_ldap._tcp.<domain name>
where _ldap._tcp.dummies.com represents the domain controllers for the
dummies.com domain, for example.
Windows Server 2008 domain controllers don’t have to run the DNS service
locally. The only requirement is that the DNS servers support the service
record types required so that those domain controllers can be located as
Knowing What Makes
Active Directory Tick
To put things in a technobabble nutshell, Active Directory is implemented
using an X.500 structure for directory data, an LDAP interface to access directory data, and Dynamic DNS as a locator mechanism for directory data. So,
now that you know all this stuff about Active Directory, what does it give
you? The following list recounts some of the main features and advantages of
Active Directory:
Security: Information is stored in a secure form. Each object in Active
Directory has an access control list (ACL) that contains a list of
resources that may access it along with which access privileges are
granted to each such resource.
Query capabilities: Active Directory generates a global catalog to provide a flexible mechanism for handling queries. Any client that supports
Active Directory can query this catalog to request directory data.
Replication: Replication of the directory to all domain controllers in
a domain means easier access, higher availability, and improved fault
Extensibility: Active Directory is extensible, which means that new
object types can be added to a directory or existing objects can be
extended. For example, you could easily add a salary attribute or an
employee ID to the user object. (An attribute is extra information about
an object.)
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Multiple protocols: Communication between directory servers or across
directories from multiple vendors can use numerous networking protocols because of Active Directory’s X.500 foundation. These protocols
currently include LDAP Versions 2 and 3 and the HyperText Transfer
Protocol (HTTP). Third parties can extend this capability to include
other protocols as well, if needed.
Partitioning: In an Active Directory environment, information may be
partitioned by domain to avoid the need to replicate large amounts of
directory data. Each such domain is called a tree because of the way that
X.500 structures directory data into an interlinked hierarchy with a
single root. In a large and complex network, a collection of domains
forms a group of trees that is called — you guessed it — a forest!
When you partition Active Directory data into different trees, it doesn’t mean
that Active Directory can’t be queried for information from other domains.
Global catalogs contain a subset of information about every object in an
entire domain forest, which allows such searches to be performed on the
entire forest through the agencies of your friendly local domain controller.
What replication means
In a Windows Server 2008 domain, all domain controllers are equal.
Therefore, if you apply changes to any domain controller, the complete
domain directories of all other domain controllers must be updated (through
a process called multimaster replication) to record those changes.
Domain trees
A domain tree is a set of Windows 2000 domains
or Windows Server 2003/2008 domains (or both)
connected by a two-way transitive trust and
sharing a common schema, configuration, and
global catalog. To be considered a true domain
tree, all domains must form a contiguous hierarchical namespace. A single domain by itself
with no child names is still considered a tree.
The first domain installed in a domain tree is the
root domain for that tree. It is considered the
forest root domain if it is also the first domain in
the forest. An Active Directory forest is a collection of one or more Windows 2000 domains
or Windows Server 2003/2008 domains (or all
three) that share a common schema, configuration, and global catalog. Active Directory
forests have a noncontiguous namespace.
All domains in a domain tree and all trees in a
single forest have the connectivity benefit of the
two-way transitive trust relationship, which is
the default trust relationship between Windows
2000 and Windows Server 2003/2008 domains.
This complete trust between all domains in an
Active Directory domain hierarchy helps to form
the forest as a single unit through its common
schema, configuration, and global catalog.
Chapter 7: Doing the Directory Thing
Here’s how multimaster replication works: Active Directory uses an update
sequence number (USN) to track changes and updates made to Active
Directory objects. As changes are made to the objects, this number is incremented by 1 on each object affected by the change. For example, a user
account object that was updated to include a home telephone number would
have its USN incremented by 1 to reflect that it had been modified. This modification is then sent to the other domain controllers in the domain. The
object with the highest USN — that is, the most recently updated object —
overwrites any object with a lower USN.
USN increments are atomic operations; in English, this means that the increments to the USN’s value and the actual change to directory data occur at the
same time. If one part fails, the whole change fails; therefore, it isn’t possible
to change any Active Directory object without its USN being incremented. Thus,
no changes are ever lost. Each domain controller keeps track of the highest
USNs for the other domain controllers with which it replicates. This allows the
domain controller to calculate which changes must be replicated during each
replication cycle. In the simplest terms, the highest-numbered USN always wins!
At the start of each replication cycle, each domain controller checks its USN
table and queries all other domain controllers with which it replicates for their
latest USNs. The following example represents the USN table for Server A.
Domain Controller
Server A queries other domain controllers for their current USNs and gets
these results:
Domain Controller
From this data, Server A can calculate the changes it needs from each server:
Domain Controller
Up to date
It would then query each server for the updates it needs.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Up-to-date vectors are two different segments of data that contain a globally
unique identifier (GUID) and the Update Sequence Number (USN). The Upto-date vector is made up of server USN pairs held by the two domain controllers containing the highest originating updates. (This is usually the
domain controller in which the originating update occurred and then its
immediate replication partners.) The high watermark vector contains the
highest attribute USN for any given object. By using both of these vectors,
domain controllers can calculate that a given replication of data has already
been received to prevent further replication of any particular update.
Because objects have properties, they also have property version numbers
(PVNs). Every property of an object has a PVN, and each time a property is
modified, its PVN is incremented by 1. (Sound familiar?) These PVNs are used
to detect collisions, which happen when there are multiple changes to the
same property for an object. If a collision occurs, the change with the highest
PVN takes precedence.
If PVNs match, a time stamp is used to resolve any such conflicts. Time
stamps are a great second line of defense in avoiding collisions. They explicitly mark when each change to the directory data is made, thus enabling the
system to determine whenever one change takes precedence over another.
In the highly unlikely event that the PVNs match and the time stamp is the
same, a binary buffer comparison is carried out and the larger buffer size
takes precedence. PVNs (unlike USNs) are incremented only on original
writes, not on replication writes. PVNs aren’t server specific but travel with
the object’s properties.
A propagation-dampening scheme is also used to stop changes from being
repeatedly sent to other servers. The propagation-dampening scheme used
by Windows Server 2008 prevents logical loops in the Active Directory structure from causing endless proliferation of updates and prevents redundant
transmission of updates to servers already current.
The grand schema of things
Every object in an Active Directory forest is part of the same schema. The
schema defines the different types of information that Active Directory
objects can contain and store. The two main data definitions outlined in the
schema are attributes and classes.
For example, a user object takes attributes such as name, address, and phone
number. This collection of attributes and their definitions is called the schema.
You may think of an object’s schema as a laundry list of its attributes or a
checklist of its capabilities. The default schema supplies definitions for users,
Chapter 7: Doing the Directory Thing
computers, domains, and more. You can have only one schema per domain
per object because only one definition per object is permitted.
The default schema definition is defined in a file named SCHEMA.INI, which
also contains the initial structure for the NTDS.DIT file in which Active
Directory data is stored. SCHEMA.INI is located in the %systemroot%\ntds
directory: It’s an ASCII file, so you can view it or print it as you like.
By default, the Active Directory schema can’t be edited easily. For example,
you can add a salary attribute or an employee ID to the user object. In most
cases, you should leave schema editing to the most senior programmers or
system administrators because changes made to the schema can’t be
undone, and incorrect edits can severely damage Active Directory and affect
the entire forest. Some applications, such as Exchange, edit the schema for
you when they’re installed. If you feel the need to edit the schema for some
reason, lie down and wait for that feeling to go away. If it comes back, hire a
professional Active Directory programmer.
An entire enterprise forest (a collection of Active Directory trees in a single
organizational container) shares a single schema. If you change that schema, it
affects every domain controller in every linked domain. Therefore, you’d better
be sure that any changes you make are both correct and desirable. Only experienced programmers or schema administrators should be allowed to change the
schema. For more information on extending the schema, search the Microsoft
Web site (www.microsoft.com) for Active Directory Programmer’s Guide.
Global catalogs
The global catalog contains entries for all objects in a single Active Directory
forest (which is a collection of domain trees that may or may not explicitly
share a single, contiguous namespace). It contains all the properties for all
the objects in its own domain, and it contains a partial subset of properties
from all the remaining objects in the forest. The entire forest shares a single
global catalog. Multiple servers hold copies of the entire catalog; these servers
are domain controllers called global catalog servers. To hold a copy of the
global catalog, a server must maintain a copy of the Active Directory, which
automatically makes the server a domain controller.
Searches across the entire forest are limited to the object properties that
appear in the global catalog. Searches in a user’s local domain can be for any
property when you perform a so-called deep search on properties not in the
global catalog.
Don’t configure too many global catalogs for each domain because the replication needed to maintain such catalogs can levy a burden on a network. One
global catalog server per site is usually sufficient.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Although any given search can encompass a specific container or organizational unit (OU) in a domain, a specific domain, a specific domain tree, or the
entire forest, in most cases full searches involve querying the entire Active
Directory forest through the global catalog.
Planning for Active Directory
If you’re using some version of Windows NT, you may have multiple domains
with several trust relationships between individual pairs of domains.
Theoretically, you could just upgrade each domain, keep existing trust relationships, and make no changes. If you did that, however, you’d lose the
advantages of Active Directory.
If you’re running a Windows 2000 domain, a bit of planning is still necessary
to upgrade. Even though Windows Server 2003/2008 and Windows 2000 can
both be domain controllers in the same domain, we generally don’t recommend using two versions of a product to perform a single function. In most
cases, using the same version of operating system (including upgrades and
patches) keeps unexpected hiccups from corrupting your domain and bringing down your network.
That said, you can deploy Windows Server 2008 systems into a domain
as domain controllers. You can even perform an upgrade installation on a
Windows 2000 domain controller to convert it to a Windows Server 2003/2008
(“Longhorn”) domain controller. Just be careful. Don’t upgrade every system
at once. Upgrade one or two, and then test everything to make sure your network still performs as you expect it to. Always leave yourself an out — the
ability to roll back to a previous configuration, when things were working
In some cases, businesses using Windows 2003 won’t move to Windows
Server 2008 in a hurry. The most likely candidates for Windows Server 2008
migration are Windows Server NT or 2000 shops that have been waiting for
the latest and greatest generation of Active Directory servers from Microsoft
before jumping on the bandwagon. Therefore, the remainder of the discussion of Windows Server 2008 migration focuses on upgrading from Windows
NT or 2000. If you need to upgrade from Windows Server 2000 or 2003 and are
already using Active Directory, some of the following applies, but the details
will differ somewhat from case to case.
Before you upgrade a single domain controller, you should create a plan for
your domain. Then, you should use this plan to govern the order and method
for your migration from Windows NT domains to Windows Server 2008 Active
Chapter 7: Doing the Directory Thing
What’s in a namespace?
A namespace is a logically bounded region that contains names based on a
standardized convention to symbolically represent objects or information.
Specific rules guide the construction of names within a namespace and the
application of a name to an object. Many namespaces are hierarchical in
nature, such as those used in DNS or Active Directory. Other namespaces,
such as NetBIOS, are flat and unstructured.
In Windows Server 2008, domains use full-blown DNS names rather than
NetBIOS names. This creates interdomain parent-child relationships — where one
domain may be created as a child of another — that Windows NT can’t support.
For example, sales.dummies.com is a child of the dummies.com domain. (A
child domain always contains the full parent name within its own name.)
It’s important to remember that parent-child relationships can be created only
from within a parent domain using DCPROMO, the Active Directory Installation
Wizard. The parent domain must exist before you create any child of that
parent. Thus, the order in which you create or upgrade domains is crucial!
In the next section, you find more reasons why it’s important to create your
domains in a certain order. But even before you concern yourself with site
issues, you need to be aware that you should always create an enterprise root
domain before creating any other domain. For example, if you begin by creating
the dummies.com root domain, the sales.dummies.com domain and all other
dependent domains can then be created as children of the dummies.com root
domain. This structure helps when searching other domains and enables the
possibility of moving domains around in future versions of Windows Server.
Making sites happen
Sites in Active Directory are used to group servers into containers that mirror
the physical layout of your network. This organization lets you configure
replication between domain controllers. Actually, sites are primarily used for
replication control over slower wide area network (WAN) links between separate sections of the same network. A number of TCP/IP subnets can also be
mapped to sites, which allows new servers to join the correct site automatically, depending on their IP addresses. This addressing scheme also makes it
easy for clients to find the domain controller closest to them.
When you create the first domain controller, a default site called Default-FirstSite is created, and the domain controller is assigned to that site. Subsequent
domain controllers are added to this site, but they can be moved. You can
also rename this site to any name you prefer.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Sites are administered and created using the Active Directory Sites and
Services Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. To create a new site,
do the following:
1. Start Active Directory Sites and Services, shown in Figure 7-2. (Choose
Start➪Control Panel➪Administrative Tools➪Active Directory Sites and
Figure 7-2:
Sites and
2. Right-click the Sites branch and choose New Site.
The new object Site dialog box appears.
3. Type a Link Name for the site (for example, NewYork).
The name must be 63 characters or less and can’t contain “.” or space
characters. You must also select a site link from the list. By default,
DEFAULTIPSITELINK is created during the DCPROMO process. If you
haven’t created additional sites manually, this is the only one listed.
4. Select a site link to contain the new site and then click OK.
5. Read the confirmation creation dialog box and then click OK.
You must be a member of the Enterprise Admins group in the forest or the
Domain Admins group in the forest root domain. Otherwise, unless you’re
delegated the appropriate authority, you can’t make these changes.
For best security practice, use Run as Administrator from your lowest-level
user account and use administrative credentials.
Now that the site is created, you can assign various IP subnets to it. To do so,
follow these steps:
1. Start Active Directory Sites and Services. (Choose Start➪
Administrative Tools➪Active Directory Sites and Services.)
2. Expand the Sites branch.
Chapter 7: Doing the Directory Thing
3. Right-click Subnets and choose New Subnet.
The New Object — Subnet dialog box appears.
4. Type the name of subnet in the form <network>/<bits masked>.
For example, is network with subnet mask
5. Select the Site with which to associate the subnet (for example,
New York).
6. Click OK.
You now have a subnet linked to a site. You can assign multiple subnets to a
site if you like. For more information on subnets, see Chapter 10. For even
more details, search the Windows Server 2008 Help menu for subnets.
Oh, you organizational unit (OU), you
The organizational unit (OU) is a key component of the X.500 protocol. As the
name suggests, organizational units contain objects in a domain that are
organized into logical containers, thus allowing finer segregation and control
within a domain. Organizational unit containers can contain other organizational units, groups, users, and computers.
OUs may be nested to create a hierarchy to match the structure of your
business or organization closely. Using OUs, you can eliminate cumbersome
domain models developed for Windows NT Server–based domains (the
master domain model, for example, in which several resource domains use
accounts from a central user domain). Using Active Directory, you can create
one large domain and group resources and users into multiple, distinct OUs.
The biggest advantage of OUs is that they allow you to delegate authority. You
can assign certain users or groups administrative control over an OU, which
allows them to change passwords and create accounts in that OU but grants
no control over the rest of the domain. This capability is a major improvement
over Windows NT domain administration, which was an all-or-nothing affair.
Installing Active Directory
In Windows NT, you set up each server’s type during installation. The
server’s function can fill one of the following roles:
Stand-alone/member server
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
With the exception of PDC/BDC swapping, a server’s role can’t be changed
without reinstalling the operating system. For example, you can’t change a
member server to a domain controller without reinstalling Windows NT.
Windows Server 2008 has left all that behind by allowing you to install all
servers as normal servers. You can use a wizard (covered in the following
section) to convert normal servers to domain controllers, or domain controllers to normal servers. This facility also gives you the ability to move
domain controllers from one domain to another by demoting a domain controller to a member server and then promoting it to a domain controller in a
different domain. In the Windows NT environment, demoting and promoting
domain controllers typically requires reinstalling the operating system or
jumping through some pretty major hoops.
Promoting domain controllers
Windows Server 2008 allows you to convert servers from normal servers to
domain controllers and vice versa. To do this, you use the Active Directory
Installation Wizard. You can access this wizard through the Configure Your
Server tool (Start➪Server Manager — see Chapter 6) or by executing
DCPROMO from the RUN command (or command prompt). You can use the
Active Directory Installation Wizard also to remove Active Directory from a
domain controller; this returns the system to a member server state.
For the step-by-step of installing Active Directory and creating a domain controller, go to Chapter 6.
Active Directory’s database
and shared system volume
Although you can think of Active Directory as an information bubble, it’s stored
in file form on each domain controller in a file named %systemroot%\NTDS\
ntds.dit. This file is always open and can’t be backed up using a simple file
copy operation. However, like old methods for backing up SAM in Windows
NT 4.0, the new NTBACKUP program included with Windows Server 2008
includes an option to take a snapshot of Active Directory and back up that
information. (This option is called System State.) There’s even a special directory restoration mode you must boot into to restore an Active Directory
backup! (Chapter 13 covers backups in detail.)
The share system volume, or SYSVOL, is the replication root for each domain.
Its contents are replicated to each domain controller in the domain using the
File Replication Service. The SYSVOL must reside on an NTFS 5.0 volume
because that’s a File Replication Service requirement.
Chapter 7: Doing the Directory Thing
SYSVOL is also a share that points (by default) to %systemroot%\SYSVOL\
sysvol, which contains domain-specific areas, such as logon scripts. For
example, the logon share NETLOGON for domain savilltech.com points to
%systemroot%\SYSVOL\sysvol\savilltech.com\SCRIPTS. You can
simply copy files used for logging on to or off this directory, and the change
is replicated to all other domain controllers in the next replication interval
(which by default is set to 15 minutes).
Modes of domain operation
Windows Server 2008 domains operate in four modes: mixed, native, .NET,
and .NET interim:
Mixed mode domains allow Windows NT 4.0 BDCs to participate in a
Windows Server 2008 domain.
In native mode, only Windows Server 2008/2003–based and Windows
2000–based domain controllers can participate in the domain, and
Windows NT 4.0–based BDCs can no longer act as domain controllers.
In .NET mode, only servers running Windows Servers 2008 can act as
domain controllers.
The .NET interim mode is used when upgrading a Windows NT 4.0
domain to the first domain in a new Windows 2008 forest.
The switch from mixed to native mode or native mode to .NET mode can’t be
reversed, so don’t change mode until all domain controllers are converted to
Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, or Windows 2000 for native
mode — or just Windows Server 2008 for .NET mode. Also, note that you can’t
add more Windows NT 4.0–based BDCs after the domain mode is switched.
In addition, a switch to native mode allows the use of universal groups, which,
unlike global groups, can be nested inside one another. Older NetBIOS-based
clients remain able to log on using the NetBIOS domain name even in native
mode. Universal groups are also supported in .NET mode.
Changing a domain’s mode is known as raising a domain’s functionality. You
can choose to step up to native mode from mixed mode, step up to .NET
mode from native mode, or jump directly to .NET mode from mixed mode. Be
careful: This is a one-way switch. After you raise the functionality, you’ll have
to reinstall Windows Server to return to a lower functionality.
To raise a domain’s functionality, perform the following steps on a Windows
Server 2008 domain controller:
1. Start Active Directory Domains and Trusts. (Choose Start➪
Administrative Tools➪Active Directory Domains and Trusts.)
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
2. In the console tree, select and right-click the domain you want to
3. Click Raise Domain Functional Level.
The Raise Domain Functional Level dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 7-3.
Figure 7-3:
The Raise
dialog box.
4. Under Select an available domain functional level, do one of the
• Raise the domain functional level by selecting Windows Server 2003
and clicking Raise.
• Raise the domain functional level by selecting Windows Server
“Longhorn” and clicking Raise.
5. Click OK.
A warning is displayed stating that the domain mode change can take up
to 15 minutes.
You can also raise the domain functional level by right-clicking a domain in
the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in, and then clicking Raise
Domain Functional Level. The current domain functional level is displayed
under a like-named entry in the Raise Domain Functional Level dialog box.
You also need to check all other domain controllers in the domain. Make sure
each domain lists the correct mode on its properties dialog box. (Right-click
the domain and select Properties.) If any domain controller isn’t reflecting
the change after 15 to 20 minutes, reboot it. This forces a replication.
If a domain controller can’t be contacted when you make the change (for
example, if it’s located at a remote site and connects to the main site only
periodically), the remote domain controller will switch its mode the next time
replication occurs.
Chapter 7: Doing the Directory Thing
When Domains Multiply
In this section, you look at new methods available in Windows Server 2008 to
interconnect domains. In Windows NT 4.0 domains, you’re limited to simple
unidirectional or bidirectional trust relationships to interconnect two domains
explicitly at a time. Windows Server 2008 has many more sophisticated, functional models to create relationships and connections among its domains.
Trust relationships across domains
Windows NT 4.0 trust relationships aren’t transitive. For example, if domain A
trusts domain B, and domain C trusts domain B, domain C doesn’t automatically trust domain A. (See Figure 7-4.)
Domain B
Figure 7-4:
An example
of a trust
in Windows
NT 4.0.
Domain C
Domain A
This relationship would not
have been implicitly created
in a 4.0 domain environment
but is possible in 2000
domain forests
This lack of transitivity is no longer the case with the trust relationships
used to connect members of a tree or forest in Windows Server 2008/2003 or
Windows 2000. Trust relationships used in a Windows Server 2008/2003 or
2000 tree are two-way, transitive trusts. This means that any domain in the
forest implicitly trusts every other domain in its tree and forest. This
removes the need for time-consuming administration of individual trusts
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
between pairs of domains because such trusts are created automatically
whenever a new domain joins a tree.
The security of Windows Server 2008 trusts is maintained by Kerberos.
Kerberos Version 5.0 is the primary security protocol for Windows Server
2008, but it isn’t a Microsoft protocol. Kerberos is a security system developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It verifies both the
identity of the user and the integrity of all session data while that user is
logged in. Kerberos services are installed on each domain controller, and a
Kerberos client is installed on each workstation and server. A user’s initial
Kerberos authentication provides that user with a single logon to enterprise
resources. For more information about Kerberos, see the Internet Engineering
Task Force’s (IETF’s) Requests for Comments (RFCs) 1510 and 1964. These
documents are available on the Web at http://rfc-editor.org.
Building trees
In Windows Server 2008, one domain may be a child of another domain. For
example, www.legal.savilltech.com is a child of savilltech.com
(which is the root domain name and therefore the name of the tree). A child
domain always contains the complete domain name of the parent. As shown
in Figure 7-5, dev.savillCORP.com can’t be a child of savilltech.com
because those domain names don’t match. A child domain and its parent
share a two-way, transitive trust.
When a domain is the child of another domain, a domain tree is formed. A
domain tree must have a contiguous namespace (which means all namespaces
share a common root — that is, have the same parent).
Domain trees can be created only during the server-to-domain-controllerpromotion process with DCPROMO.EXE.
Here are some advantages to placing domains in a tree:
All members of a tree enjoy Kerberos transitive trusts with their parent
and all of its children.
These transitive trusts mean that any user or group in a domain tree can
be granted access to any object in the entire tree.
A single network logon can be used at any workstation in the
domain tree.
Chapter 7: Doing the Directory Thing
Figure 7-5:
Child domains
MUST contain the
parent DNS name
Understanding forests
You may have a number of separate domain trees in your organization with
which you’d like to share resources. You can share resources between
domain trees by joining those trees to form a forest.
A forest is a collection of trees that doesn’t explicitly share a single, contiguous namespace. (However, each tree must be contiguous.) Creating a forest
may be useful if your company has multiple root DNS addresses.
For example, in Figure 7-6, the two root domains are joined via transitive,
two-way Kerberos trusts (like the trust created between a child and its
parent). Forests always contain the entire domain tree of each domain, and
you can’t create a forest that contains only parts of a domain tree.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Figure 7-6:
An example
of a forest.
Forests are created when the first server-to-domain-controller-promotion
process using DCPROMO is initialized and can’t currently be created at any
other time.
You aren’t limited to only two domain trees in a forest. (You can have as few
as one because a single domain by itself is technically considered both a tree
and a forest.) You can add as many trees as you want, and all domains in the
forest will be able to grant access to objects for any user in the forest. Again,
this cuts back the need to manage trust relationships manually. The advantages of creating forests are as follows:
All trees have a common global catalog containing specific information
about every object in the forest.
The trees all contain a common schema. Microsoft has not yet confirmed what will happen if two trees have different schemas before
they’re joined. We assume that the changes will be merged.
Searches in a forest perform deep searches of the entire tree of the
domain from which the request is initiated and use the global catalog
entries for the rest of the forest.
Chapter 8
Working with Active Directory,
Domains, and Trusts
In This Chapter
Understanding domains
Controlling domains and directories
Handling directory permissions
Managing trusts
ccess to Active Directory’s sheer power is useless unless you can configure and manage its content. Only then can you get the most out of its
powerful (but sometimes cryptic) environment. In this chapter, you take a
long hard look at Active Directory. Before you enter into this staring contest
with your computer screen, however, we want to show you how manipulating
and configuring content is tied to manipulating and configuring domains.
That’s right; you get to tackle domains one more time. So once more into the
breach, dear friend, so that you too can master your own domain(s).
For details on domain controllers and their changing roles in Windows 2008,
see Chapter 7. We also suggest you pick up a copy of Active Directory For
Dummies (Wiley Publishing).
Master of Your Domain
Domain controller roles aren’t defined during the installation of Windows
Server 2008 but rather while running the Active Directory Installation Wizard.
(For more information about the Active Directory Installation Wizard, see
Chapter 7.) Windows Server 2008 borrows the concept of a primary domain
controller (PDC) from Windows NT through the use of the PDC emulator for
certain domain functions, though it has jettisoned Windows NT’s concept of a
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
backup domain controller (BDC). In Windows 2008, all domain controllers are
equal and share peer-to-peer relationships, rather than acting either as
master (PDC) or slave (BDC).
To support older Windows NT Server 4.0 and 3.51 BDCs in a mixed mode
environment, one of the Windows Server 2008 domain controllers must
emulate a Windows NT Server 4.0 PDC. Then it must replicate changes to
those old-fashioned BDCs so that they can keep up with changes to Active
Directory, such as password modifications.
Keeping lots of peers around can cause problems if you don’t watch out.
(Ever hear the expression, “Too many cooks spoil the soup”?) Windows
Server 2008 uses five special roles to keep peers in line. One role is specifically designed to support any Windows NT vintage clients and domain controllers. The other four roles work to minimize the risk that multiple domain
controllers will make changes to the same object, thereby losing or confusing
attribute modifications.
These roles are called Flexible Single Master Operation (FSMO) roles, where
each of the five roles manages a particular aspect of a domain or forest.
Some of the Flexible Single Master Operation domain controllers, sometimes
referred to as operations masters, have a role that is domain wide, so their
effect percolates throughout the given domain. When a forest has multiple
domains, each domain has a domain-wide FSMO domain controller. Other
FSMO domain controllers have a forest-wide role. Each forest-wide FSMO
domain controller is the only one of its type in the entire forest, regardless
of how many domains reside within that forest.
The flexibility of the Flexible Single Master of Operation domain controllers
indicates that these roles can move between domain controllers within a
domain if the role of the original FSMO DC is domain wide, or between other
domain controllers in the forest if the role of the original FSMO DC is forest
wide. However, it does take some effort on your part to move them.
You assign FSMO roles using the NTDSUTIL utility. For more information on
the NTDSUTIL utility, see the Windows Server 2008 Server Help files or the
Resource Kit.
The following list gives you an idea how these five roles work with domains in
Active Directory:
Schema master: At the heart of Active Directory, the schema is a blueprint for all objects and containers. Because the schema has to be the
same throughout an entire forest, only one domain controller can be
used to make modifications to the schema. If the domain controller that
Chapter 8: Working with Active Directory, Domains, and Trusts
holds the role of schema master can’t be reached, no updates to the
Active Directory schema may be performed. You must be a member of
the schema administrators group to make changes to the schema. (See
Chapter 7 for a more detailed definition of the schema.)
Domain naming master: To add a domain to a forest, its name must be
verifiably unique. The domain naming master of the forest oversees the
domain name operation and ensures that only verifiably unique names
are assigned. It also functions to add and remove any cross-references to
domains in external directories, such as external Lightweight Directory
Access Protocol (LDAP) directories. Only one domain naming master
exists per forest. You must be a member of the enterprise administrators
group to make changes to the domain naming master, such as transferring the FSMO role or adding domains to or removing domains from a
Relative ID (RID) master: Any domain controller can create new objects
(such as user, group, and computer accounts). The domain controller
contacts the RID master when fewer than 100 RIDs are left. This means
that the RID master can be unavailable for short periods of time without
causing object-creation problems. This ensures that each object has a
unique RID. There can be only one RID master per domain.
PDC emulator: The PDC emulator domain controller acts as a Windows
NT primary domain controller when there is a domain environment that
contains both NT4 BDCs and Windows 2000 DCs or Windows 2003/2008
DCs (or all three). It processes all NT4 password changes from clients
and replicates domain updates to the down-level BDCs. After upgrades
to the domain controllers have been performed and the last of the BDCs
are upgraded or removed from the environment, the Windows 2000
domain or Windows Server 2003/2008 domain (or all three) can be
switched to native mode. After the domain is in native mode, the PDC
emulator still performs certain duties that no other DCs in the domain
Each domain in the forest, including child domains, has only one PDC
emulator domain controller.
Infrastructure master: When a user and a group are in different
domains, there can be a lag between changes to a user profile (a username, for example) and its display in the group. The infrastructure
master of the group’s domain is responsible for fixing the group-to-user
reference to reflect the rename. The infrastructure master performs its
fix-ups locally and relies on replication to bring all other replicas up to
date. (For more information on replication, see the “When replication
happens” section, later in this chapter.)
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Trusts Are Good for NT 4.0 and
Active Directory Domains
In the good old days before the need for FSMO roles (that is, during Windows
NT’s prime), there was exactly one main domain controller (a primary
domain controller, or PDC) that could make changes to the Security Accounts
Manager (SAM) database. Those changes were then replicated to other
backup domain controllers (BDCs). In this model, the SAM database was
simply a file stored on each PDC that contained information about the
domain’s security objects, such as users and groups. To support authentication across domains (and thus stymie unauthorized access to the network),
you created one-way trust relationships between domains that would allow
users and groups from the trusted domain to be assigned access to resources
in the trusting domain.
The concept of trusting and trusted is confusing, so we’re going to try to
shed some light on the subject. Imagine a trust between two domains: A and
B. Domain A trusts domain B, so domain B is the trusted domain, and domain
A is the trusting domain. Because domain A trusts domain B to correctly
authenticate its users, users from domain B can be assigned access to
resources in domain A. (You could create a bidirectional trust relationship,
where domain A trusts domain B with its resources and domain B trusts
domain A with its resources. However, what you really have with a bidirectional trust is two unidirectional trusts that have been joined.) Before you get
the idea that we’re all one happy, trusting family, don’t forget that Windows
NT 4.0–based trusts aren’t transitive; therefore, if domain C trusts domain B,
and domain B trusts domain A, domain C doesn’t implicitly trust domain A.
For domain A to trust domain C, you must establish an explicit trust relationship between domain A and domain C. Got all that? Remember it; we’ll come
back to it later.
Windows Server 2008 makes use of Active Directory to keep domains in line
when it comes to trust relationships. Windows Server 2008 domain controllers store the directory service information in a file (NTDS.DIT), and
trust relationships are still needed to authenticate across multiple domains.
Windows Server 2008 automatically creates trust relationships between all
domains in a forest just as it did under Windows 2000, but the real change
from the older NT4 model to the Active Directory approach lies in how modifications are made and replicated to the domain database and how all automatically created trusts are two way and transitive by default. Now if A trusts
B and B trusts C, A trusts C — and the reverse is true as well.
Before you get too flabbergasted, don’t forget that Windows 2000 and
Windows Server 2003/2008 use trusts in the same way. All operating systems
create two-way and transitive trusts.
Chapter 8: Working with Active Directory, Domains, and Trusts
How Domain Controllers Work Together
In the days of Windows NT, domains had it easy. You made changes at only
one domain controller, and the changes were copied at regular intervals to
any other controllers for the domain.
Now, with Windows Server 2008, you can make changes at any domain controller and remain confident that Windows Server 2008’s left hand always
knows what its right hand is doing. How does this work, you ask? The answer,
dear friend, is multimaster replication. (And you thought we were going to
say “blowing in the wind.”) How multimaster replication works is discussed
in Chapter 7, but here you look at the concept at a higher level.
With multimaster replication, any domain controller can make changes to the
Active Directory database. Those changes are then replicated to all other
domain controllers in that domain.
When replication happens
Replication between domain controllers in a Windows NT 4.0 domain is configured using a couple of Registry settings. That’s it. Fairly useless really.
Windows Server 2008 is much cooler!
A site is a collection of machines and domain controllers connected by means
of a fast network and grouped by IP subnets. What do sites have to do with
replication, you ask? Well, everything. They allow us to define different replication schedules depending on the domain controllers’ site membership.
There are essentially two types of replication: intrasite replication (between
domain controllers in the same site) and intersite replication (between
domain controllers in different sites).
Intrasite replication
When a change is made to the Active Directory, such as adding or deleting
a user or changing an attribute of an object (say, adding properties to a
printer), this change must be replicated to other domain controllers in the
domain. The change is called an originating update. The domain controller
where the originating update was made sends a notification to its replication
partners (other domain controllers in the site) that a change is available.
After replication occurs, the replication partners will have a copy of the
change that was made on the other domain controller. This updating of the
Active Directory on the partner domain controller is called a replicated
update because it originated elsewhere.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Replication is initiated between domain controllers at a defined regular interval (five minutes, by default), and urgent replication using notification can be
initiated for any of the following:
Replication of a newly locked-out account: Prevents users from moving
to another part of a domain to log on with a user account that has been
locked out on a domain controller.
Modification of a trust account: Enables all members of a domain to
take advantage of a new trust with another domain.
This replication methodology has some problems. In the good ol’ days
(in other words, with Windows NT 4.0), you changed your password at the
PDC to avoid the problem of a new setting not being replicated for a long
time. With Windows 2008, password changes are initially changed at the PDC
FSMO; in the event of password failure, the PDC FSMO is consulted in case
the password has been recently changed but hasn’t yet been replicated.
If replication partners don’t receive any change notifications in an hour
(the default setting), they initiate contact with their replication partners to
see whether any updates were made remotely and whether the subsequent
change notifications were missed.
Intersite replication
Intersite replication takes place between particular servers in one site to
particular servers in another site. This is where Windows Server 2008 shines.
You can configure a timetable of how often to replicate for every hour of
every day. All you need to do is follow these steps:
1. Navigate to the Active Directory Sites and Services MMC snap-in.
(Choose Start➪Control Panel➪Administrative Tools➪Active Directory
Sites and Services.)
2. Go to the Inter-Site Transport branch and select IP.
3. In the right-hand pane, select a site link (for example, a remote
domain), right-click, and choose Properties.
4. Make sure that the General tab is selected and then click Change
The dialog box used to change replication times appears, as shown in
Figure 8-1.
5. Change the replication schedule as desired.
For example, you can set it to replicate only on Sundays from 6 p.m.
to 7 p.m.
You can have different replication schedules for every pair of sites, so
depending on the network connectivity and geographical location, different
Chapter 8: Working with Active Directory, Domains, and Trusts
schedules may be appropriate. For example, if a slow WAN link exists
between two sites, a replication with less frequent updates may be necessary
to prevent bandwidth consumption.
One other area of replication crosses domains: global catalog information.
The global catalog contains all the information about all the objects in its
own domain and a subset of information for every object in the forest.
However, Windows Server 2008 performs all the calculations needed to optimize this replication, so mere mortals like us don’t need to worry about it.
Figure 8-1:
This is
where you
Know your database limits
In Windows 2008, there’s really no limit to the number of objects per domain —
your organization will never get that big! Windows NT 4.0 domains are limited
to around 40,000 objects per domain. This forces some companies to acquire
multiple master domains joined by bidirectional trust relationships.
Windows 2008, on the other hand, extends this to around 10,000,000 objects
per domain. HP has performed tests and created 16,000,000 user objects in a
single domain with no significant performance problems. However, it had
some very powerful hardware — probably much more powerful than your
home PC or even your company’s primary server!
These objects have to be replicated at some point. Windows Server 2008 uses
property rather than object replication, which means that only the property
change is replicated, not the entire object. In other words, if you change just
one property of an object (a user’s phone number, for example), only the
property change (the new phone number) is replicated.
Your database size is governed by your domain controller hardware and the
physical network infrastructure. But if you have enough money to invest in
the proper hardware, we doubt that you would need more than a single
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
domain (unless your company is really big). There are, however, other reasons for needing multiple domains and forests, such as needing different
schemas. (See Chapter 7 for more on schemas.)
The backup and restoration needs of your enterprise may govern database size
because a huge directory database is no good if it takes days to back it up.
Administrivia Anyone? (Controlling
Domains and Directories)
If you don’t have sufficient tools available to manipulate and manage Active
Directory, its power won’t do you much good. Fortunately, not only does
Windows Server 2008 come with a complete set of ready-made tools, but you
can also write your own tools and scripts using the Active Directory Scripting
Interface (ADSI).
Exploring the directory
management console
As with everything else in Windows 2008, management of Active Directory is
accomplished using a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. The
snap-in you’ll use most often is the Active Directory Users and Computers
snap-in (shown in Figure 8-2), which is what you use to create, manage, and
delete everything from users to computers. It includes some of the features
of the old User and Server Manager from Windows NT.
Figure 8-2:
The Active
Users and
Chapter 8: Working with Active Directory, Domains, and Trusts
To access the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in, choose
Start➪Administrative Tools➪Active Directory Users and Computers. When
you first start the snap-in, you see your domain name (represented as a DNS
domain name) at the top of the directory. You’ll also notice several containers (known more commonly as folders). Some of these containers are built-in
organizational units (OUs), which contain objects in a domain that are organized into logical containers, thus allowing finer segregation and control in a
domain. Certain container objects appear in all typical Active Directory
Built-in: By default, the details of the old Windows NT 4.0 groups, such
as Administrators and Backup Operators.
Computers: The computer accounts that were managed using Windows
NT’s Server Manager. Computer objects in other organizational units
aren’t listed in this container.
Domain controllers: A built-in organizational unit that contains all
domain controllers.
Users: The default store for all domain users. Again, users in other organizational units aren’t listed.
In a fully functional domain, you’ll find various organizational units, depending
on the services you have installed and the organizational units you create.
Everything is context driven in Windows Server 2008. This means that if you
right-click an object or container, a menu specific to that object or container
is displayed. This is much better than hunting through huge standard menus
for options relevant to the chosen object.
Creating directory objects
Windows Server 2008 has tons of objects, such as computer, user, group, and
shared folder objects. In this section, we concentrate on the creation of only
the first two (computer and user objects) because the others are fairly intuitive and don’t support many configuration options.
In a Windows NT 4.0 domain, it never took too much planning to create new
user or computer objects. You just did it. In Windows Server 2008, however,
you can’t be quite so spontaneous. You first need to think about where you
want to create such an object. Placement is important because, although you
can still move objects around, it’s much easier in the long run if you create an
object in the correct location from the get-go. However, because you may not
always have the time to plan and do it right the first time, you can always
move the object later if you have to. (Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.)
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Use OUs to help you organize your data into logical containers. First you
create an OU for the various departments in your organization (for example,
one for accounting, one for engineering, one for personnel, and so on). Then
you can put all user and computer objects in a particular department in its
OU. In addition, you can lighten your administrative load by assigning a
person in each department the rights necessary to manage his or her OU
and that OU only. Pretty nifty, huh?
You can create a user object in one of two places: in the default User/
Computer container or in some organizational unit they or someone else has
already created. If you delegate the ability to create objects, you can set it up
so that the delegated users can create objects in only one location, or certain
selected locations.
To create a user object, perform the following steps:
1. Start Active Directory Users and Computers. (Choose Start➪Control
Panel➪Administrative Tools➪Active Directory Users and Computers.)
2. In the Active Directory Users and Computers console tree, right-click
the container (such as Users) in which you want to create the user
object, point to New, and click User.
The first page of the User Creation Wizard (the New Object – User
dialog box) is displayed, as shown in Figure 8-3.
For interoperability with other directory services, you can click
InetOrgPerson instead of the user object type, which is nearly identical.
You can find information regarding InetOrgPerson in the “Understanding
user accounts” article in the Windows Help files.
Figure 8-3:
The first
page of the
Chapter 8: Working with Active Directory, Domains, and Trusts
3. Type the user’s first and last name, initials, and a logon name, and
then click Next.
The next page of the Wizard allows you to set the new password and the
following options:
• User Must Change Password at Next Logon
• User Cannot Change Password
• Password Never Expires
• Account Is Disabled
4. In the Password and Confirm Password text boxes, type the user’s
password and select the appropriate password options.
5. Click Finish.
That’s it; you’ve created a new user. You’re probably thinking, “What about
all the other user attributes, such as security features?” Well, you no longer
define those settings during the creation of the user. After you create the user
object, you right-click it and select Properties. The Properties dialog box for
the user appears.
Each tab pertains to various aspects of the selected user object. These tabs
vary depending on the Windows Server 2008 subsystems in use, on other
back office applications such as Exchange Server or SQL Server, and even on
what third-party software you might have installed.
Computer account creation is much simpler and doesn’t bombard you with
quite so many tabs. Again, in Active Directory Users and Computers, rightclick the container in which you want to create the new computer object
(such as computers), and choose New➪Computer. The New Object –
Computer dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 8-4. You have to only type
a computer name and select who can add the computer to the domain.
Figure 8-4:
a new
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Finding directory objects
Finding objects is one of Active Directory’s greatest pluses. Using the global
catalog, you can find an object anywhere in an enterprise forest by querying
Active Directory.
You can search for anything — a user, a computer, even a printer — and you
can search for many attributes. (The attributes presented vary depending on
the type of object you’re searching for.) For example, you can ask Active
Directory to find the closest color-capable, double-sided printer at your site.
You don’t even have to tell Active Directory where you are. It figures that out
On a Windows Server 2008 system, there’s a Search component that you can
access from the Start menu. (Choose Start➪Search.) Under this menu, you
can use a number of options to search for users, folders, and printers. The
available options are as follows:
For Files or Folders
On the Internet
Find Printers
For People
For example, if you want to search for a color printer, choose Start➪Search➪
Find Printers. There are three available tabs: Printers, Features, and
Advanced. You want to choose the Advanced tab because it allows you to
specify that you’re searching for a color printer. After you enter all your
details, click Find Now, and your results appear. In a large enterprise, many
listings that meet your requirements may appear, so always try to be as specific and detailed as possible when performing a search.
A word on ADSI
Active Directory Scripting Interface (ADSI for short) allows you to manipulate
the directory service from a script. You can use Java, Visual Basic, C, or C++
scripts. With ADSI, you can write scripts that automatically create users,
including their setup scripts, profiles, and details.
If you need to manage a medium or large domain, you should learn ADSI. In
the long run, it’ll save you a great deal of time and aggravation.
Search the Microsoft Web site at www.microsoft.com/windows for ADSI,
and you’ll find loads of great information (more than you’d want!). Also check
the Windows Server 2008 Resource Kit for details.
Chapter 8: Working with Active Directory, Domains, and Trusts
Permission to Proceed? Handling
Directory Permissions
An old concept says, “You’re the administrator; administrate no longer.” And
it does have some truth to it in Windows Server 2008. Although some tasks
still require a full-fledged domain administrator, the common management
of a domain may be more easily accomplished when you grant different sets
of user permissions to manage different sets of users and user properties.
In English, this means you can delegate the responsibility for managing lowlevel users to slightly higher-level users, and so on, until you, as the administrator, need to get involved only to manage more weighty constructs, such as
domain forests and trees or intrasite access.
About Active Directory permissions
If you’re familiar with the Windows NT security model, you probably know
all about Access Control Lists (ACLs). ACLs allow a set of permissions to be
applied to a file, directory, share, or printer (and more), thus controlling
which users can access and modify these particular objects.
Windows Server 2008 takes this to the next level by assigning an ACL to
every single attribute of every single object. This means you can control
user access to such a fine degree that you can micromanage your users into
the nearest insane asylum. You could insist, for example, that “User group
Personnel Admin may change the address, phone number, and e-mail attributes of all users but nothing else.”
Assigning permissions
You can assign permissions to Active Directory objects in various ways. Here,
we present an extreme case, so everything else looks like a piece of cake!
Remember Active Directory Users and Computers? Well, earlier in this chapter, in “Exploring the directory management console,” you saw a nice, basic
view of this utility. However, it has other options that are shown only when
it’s in Advanced Features mode. To turn on Advanced Features, start Active
Directory Users and Computers (choose Start➪Administrative Tools➪
Active Directory Users and Computers) and then choose View➪Advanced
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Some new branches are added to the basic domain root: LostAndFound and
System. We don’t care about that, though. Instead, we’re interested in the
new tab added to the objects — the Security tab.
In Active Directory Users and Computers, find a user, any user. Right-click the
user and then select Properties. In the user’s Properties dialog box, click the
Security tab, and then click the Advanced button. The Permissions tab for
the Advanced Security Settings dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 8-5.
You see a list of permission entries that includes a type (Allow/Deny), a user
or group, and the permission and its scope.
Figure 8-5:
dialog box
for an object
used to
control user
Obviously, assigning permissions explicitly to every object takes forever.
Thankfully, Active Directory uses an inheritance model so that you need to
make changes only at the root; the changes propagate down from there. The
following section spells out how this works.
Permissions inheritance
There are two types of permissions: explicit and inherited. Explicit permissions are assigned directly to an object, and inherited permissions are propagated to an object from its parent (and so on). By default, any object in a
container inherits permissions from its container.
Chapter 8: Working with Active Directory, Domains, and Trusts
Sometimes, you don’t want permissions to be inherited — for example,
you’re working with a directory structure in which different permissions
are defined on each contained object, such as with a multiuser File Transfer
Protocol (FTP) site or a shared folder that contains user home directories.
The default setting in Active Directory specifies that permissions are inherited, but you can change this default behavior.
Remember the Advanced Features view for Active Directory Users and
Computers? Well, you need it again. When you turn on the Advanced Features
from the View menu and check out the advanced security properties of a
user (right-click the user, choose Properties, click the Security tab, and then
click the Advanced button), notice the Include Inheritable Permissions from
This Object’s Parent check box, which is selected by default. If you deselect
it, any changes made to the parent container no longer propagate to the
objects it contains. You disable inheritance for the object.
If you do disable inheritance, you’re given the following options:
Copy Previously Inherited Permissions to This Object
Remove Inherited Permissions
Cancel (Disable) the Inheritance
Of course, you can enable inheritance later if you want. It’s not a one-way
operation, so don’t panic!
Delegating administrative control
Delegating administration over certain elements of your domain is one of
the great things about Active Directory — no more administrator or nonadministrator. Different people or groups can be delegated control over certain aspects of a domain’s organizational unit. The following steps can be
employed to delegate administration on objects:
1. Open Active Directory Users and Computers. (Choose Start➪Control
Panel➪Administrative Tools➪Active Directory Users and Computers.)
Another way of accessing Active Directory Users and Computers is to
click Start and type dsa.msc into the Start Search bar.
2. In the console tree, right-click the organizational unit (OU) for which
you want to delegate control.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
3. Click Delegate Control to start the Delegation of Control Wizard.
This is accomplished by clicking the Add button to access the Active
Directory search tool to locate users and groups. Make your selections.
(Hold down Ctrl to select multiple users at the same time.)
The users are now displayed in the selected user’s area. The people
you’ve selected are the ones who can perform the tasks you’re about to
4. Click Next.
A list of common tasks is displayed for which you can delegate control
(reset passwords and modify group membership, for example).
5. Make your selections and then click Next. If you choose to create a
custom task to delegate, follow the steps presented by the wizard.
A summary screen is displayed (as shown in Figure 8-6), giving you the
option to change your mind.
6. When you’re happy with the changes you’ve made, click Finish.
That’s it; a few mouse clicks and you’ve delegated control of a container to a
specific person or groups of people.
Figure 8-6:
of the
of Control
Managing Trusts
In Windows NT 4.0, trust management was a big problem in a large enterprise. In Windows Server 2008, however, trust management is simple because
all trusts are set up by default between all domains in a forest, and these
trusts are two-way transitive trust relationships.
Chapter 8: Working with Active Directory, Domains, and Trusts
Two-way transitive trusts are created automatically between all domains in
a forest when you run DCPROMO. You can, however, still create the old-style
Windows NT 4 trusts for any domains that aren’t part of the same enterprise
Establishing trusts
You can create old-style trusts by following these steps:
1. Open Active Directory Domains and Trusts by choosing Start➪
Control Panel➪Administrative Tools➪Active Directory Domains
and Trusts.
2. Right-click the domain of choice in the Active Directory Domains
and Trusts interface and then choose Properties.
3. Click the Trusts tab (see Figure 8-7) to create one-way trusts.
One-way external trusts aren’t transitive and work the same as the old
Windows NT 4.0 trusts.
You can delete a trust by selecting the trust and choosing Remove.
Figure 8-7:
This is
where you
create oneway trusts
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
If you open the door to trusts,
who gets to come through?
In a forest, when you open the trust door (which happens automatically
between all domains in the same forest), anyone gets to come in. All trusts
are transitive, so anyone in any domain in the forest can be granted permission to any resource.
For old-style trust relationships (which are created manually between
domains in different forests or in a Windows NT domain), the trust isn’t
transitive. Only users in the two domains for which the trust is defined can
be assigned access to resources and only in the direction of the trust.
There’s no need to panic, though, because users can’t access resources without permission. Therefore, although they can be given access, they won’t be
able to gain access until specifically given permission to do so.
Chapter 9
Printing on the Network
In This Chapter
Printing the Windows Server 2008 way
Installing the server side first
Sharing print device access
Setting up print devices on the client side
Managing Windows Server 2008–based print devices
Preventing print device problems
Introducing Windows Fax and Scan
ext to not being able to access network resources, nothing freaks out
users more than not being able to print their work. We bet you can’t
find a network administrator who can say that he or she hasn’t struggled
with print devices at one time or another. (If you’ve seen the movie Office
Space, you can imagine the kind of frustration we’re talking about.)
Windows Server 2008 includes a new printer architecture that provides a
better print-server platform with improved performance and a strong foundation for future application development. It simultaneously maintains compatibility with existing print applications and drivers and enables them to use
features found only in the newer XPSDrv printer drivers, which are built upon
a modular design that enables more efficient print queue operation.
In addition to TS Easy Print capabilities, Windows Server 2008 integrates the
XML Paper Specification (XPS) throughout to provide efficient, compatible,
and high-quality document delivery to the entire print subsystem. The XPS
document format is based on fixed-layout technology and, along with Open
Packaging Conventions (OPC), defines a new format and specification built
on industry standards like XML and ZIP.
In this chapter, you discover the specifics for setting up print devices on your
network and avoiding common printing problems.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Throughout this chapter, we use the Microsoft terminology print device and
printer, which may be confusing in the real world. Microsoft defines a print
device as the physical printer, such as an HP LaserJet 2605, and a printer as
the software on the server where you configure settings for the physical print
device. We use Microsoft’s terms in this chapter to be technically accurate.
However, this terminology may be confusing if this is your first time working
with Windows Server 2008.
Windows 2008 Has a Print Model
When a user prints, the print data follows a particular path from the user to
the print device. One such example is the new XPS print path, which uses the
XPS document format throughout the entire print path, from application to
printer, and creates the possibility for true WYSIWYG output.
In Windows Server 2008, the basic pieces of this print scheme are as follows:
Print users: Print users are the people who want to send print jobs to a
print device on the network, on the Internet, or attached to their PC. To
actually print, users must have a print device driver (called a print driver
in non-Microsoftspeak) installed on their PC.
Graphics Device Interface (GDI): The already expanded GDI is a software program that finds the appropriate print device driver and works
with the driver to render print information into an appropriate printer
language. After the information is rendered, the GDI sends it to the
client-side spooler. (A Windows client application would call the GDI the
print process.)
Print device driver: This software piece is provided by either the manufacturer (for the latest version) or by Microsoft (not always the latest)
and corresponds directly to a particular print device make and model.
It’s the interface between the software application and the print device,
which is called a print driver in non-Microsoftspeak. You may also hear
it referred to as a printer driver. The print device driver need not be
installed on the client. Instead, if the client is a Windows 98, SE, ME, NT,
2000, or XP system, it can download the print device driver from the
print server when it wants to print a document. However, this does
require that the print server be configured to host print device drivers
for these operating systems.
Printers: This is also called a logical printer, and it isn’t the physical
piece of machinery you sometimes want to kick, but rather the bundle of
settings you need to make a print device run. It exists as software on the
server that you use to configure settings for print job processing and
routing for the physical print device.
Chapter 9: Printing on the Network
Print jobs: Print jobs are files you want to print. Print jobs are formatted
at the workstation by the GDI and a print device driver and submitted
for output on a local or networked print device. If the print device is
local (attached to the PC), the output is printed right there and then. If
a network print device and print server are involved, the output is sent
(spooled) to a queue on the print server until a print device is available
to service the request.
Print servers: Print servers are computers that manage network print
devices attached to them. A print server can be any computer located
on a network (or the Internet) that has a print device attached and runs
some Microsoft operating system, such as Windows 2000/2003/2008, NT,
or 9x. (Even a user workstation can function as a print server — but we
don’t like this approach because it typically brings too much traffic to
some user’s PC.) When a user submits a print job, the print server stores
the job in a queue for the print device and then polls the print device to
check for its availability. If the print device is available, the print server
pulls the next job out of the queue and sends it to the print device.
Any network administrator or user with appropriate access rights can
manage print servers from anywhere on the network. By default, in
Windows 2008, all members of the Everyone group can print to a device,
but only those members specifically given rights can manage the device.
Print queues: A print queue is a location on the hard disk where spooled
files wait in line for their turn to print. Each print device has at least one
corresponding print queue (although additional queues are possible).
As users submit print jobs, those jobs go into the queue to wait for their
turn. You define a queue for a print device when you add a printer to
the Printers and Faxes folder and assign it a name. Print jobs enter the
queues on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Only someone with appropriate access rights to manage queues (administrators, print operators, and server operators) can alter print order in
a print queue. You can assign users on your network permission to
manage print queues for you. Windows 2008 includes a built-in user
group called Print Operators, and you can add users to this group to
give them the proper access rights for the task by choosing Start➪
Administrative Tools➪Active Directory Users and Computers, selecting
a domain, and opening the Built-in folder.
Giving some users print-queue management rights rather than others may
be seen as playing politics if you don’t exercise great caution in making
such assignments. Some folks may accuse others of playing favorites
when print jobs are rearranged in the queue. We’ve seen this happen a lot.
If you choose people who are neutral, your life will be easier!
Print devices: Print devices are physical devices or physical printers,
such as HP laser printers. Print devices can be attached locally to a
workstation or server or directly to the network. In the real (nonMicrosoft) world, this is what we normal people call a printer!
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Physical print devices
We call print devices physical print devices because you can walk up to these
devices and touch them. Print devices come in different categories, including
laser, plotter, inkjet, and bubble jet. You can attach a physical print device
locally to a PC, server, or print server, or directly to the network (as shown in
Figure 9-1).
A print server is just a network-attached PC that services print jobs — so,
technically, we could lump PCs and print servers in the same category. We
list them separately in this case because we want to distinguish between a PC
where a user does work and a dedicated print server located on the network.
Logical assignments
A logical printer assignment isn’t a print device — it exists intangibly, in the
form of a Windows Server 2008 definition. It’s sort of like a name that
Windows 2008 uses to identify a physical print device (or a group of physical
print devices, as you see later in this section). Each time you define a print
device and its properties in Windows 2008, the operating system assigns a
logical printer definition to the physical print device so that it knows to
which physical print device you want to send your jobs.
When you first install a print device, a one-to-one correlation exists between
the physical print device and the logical definition. You can expand the use of
logical printer assignments, however, so that one logical printer assignment
serves as the definition for several physical print devices. This use is known
as print device pooling, and you set it up through print device properties by
adding ports to the print device’s definition.
You don’t need to be too concerned about defining logical printers unless
you intend to pool print devices. Pooling happens whenever you attach a
print device to the server (as explained later in the “Attaching print devices
to servers” section). Just understand that Windows 2008 correlates a logical
printer definition to one or more physical print devices attached to your
For example, you’re likely to have several print devices connected to your
network, and all or many of them may be the same type, such as HPLJ2605. If
you don’t define a logical printer for Windows 2008, how does it know to
which HPLJ2605 print device to send your jobs? You could end up running all
around the building looking for your expense report! Defining a logical printer
definition keeps order in your world. You could name one logical printer
Chapter 9: Printing on the Network
2FLWest and you’d know that your report is sent to the HPLJ2605 on the
second floor of the west wing of your building. (The mechanics involved
are covered in the next section, “Installing on the Server’s Side.”)
Another bit of magic that logical assignments can help you with is balancing
print jobs. Suppose that you have three physical laser print devices (A, B,
and C) located on your network in close proximity. If a user chooses to send
a print job to print device A, which is printing a large print job, a lot of time
and resources are wasted if print devices B and C sit idle at the same time.
You can help your users by setting up one logical printer definition and
assigning it several different physical print devices to which to print.
Therefore, your users print to the logical printer, which then figures out
which physical print device is available. This takes decision-making and
worrying away from users and transfers it to the operating system. The only
caveat here is avoiding too much physical distance between print devices.
Try to make sure that all physical print devices in any logical printer definition are in the same general area so users don’t have to run around the building looking for printouts.
2008 Server
queue for #2
#4 Laser
Print server
Job 1
Job 2
Job 3
Job 1 2008 Server
Job 2 queue for #3
Job 3
Print server
queue for #4
Job 1
Job 2
Job 3
Job 4
2008 Server
#2 Laser printer
(server attached)
Figure 9-1:
to connect
devices on
a network.
Job 1
Job 2
Job 3
#3 Laser printer
(network attached)
Queue for #1
(Print user)
#1 Laser printer
(server attached)
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Individual departments are typically arranged so that they share a common
print device or print device group. Each group is logically labeled in some
site-specific manner (hopefully accompanied by physical identifiers on each
print device) that may or may not be descriptive of its assigned area or purpose. You will require advanced knowledge of what prints where whenever
multiple devices are available in a pool.
When setting up logical assignments to service more than one physical print
device, all physical print devices must be identical. The only changes you can
make are to properties, such as bin number or paper size for each print
Conversely, you can assign several printer assignments to service one physical print device. You want to do this if users print special items, such as
envelopes. Define one printer assignment to print to the envelope bin on the
physical print device and define another printer assignment to print lettersize paper on the same print device.
If you give logical assignments descriptive names, users will know where the
print device is and what type of function it performs. For example, using logical names such as 2FLWestEnv and 2FLWest tells users that 2FLWestEnv is on
the second floor of the west wing and it prints envelopes, whereas the other
is a normal print device on the second floor of the west wing. Both printer
assignments service the same physical print device, but they may print to
different bins, or one may pause the print device between pages, and so on.
Here, you don’t need to do anything other than define separate print devices
that all print to the same port.
Installing on the Server’s Side
Before you set up clients to print on your network, first make sure to go to
the server and install all the print device definitions, drivers, and hardware,
and then go to the client side. Doing so ensures that when you finally get to
the user’s workstation, you can submit a test print job right away because all
the components are in place. If you start at the user’s side first, you have to
return later to check your work.
Meet the Printers folder
You can find nearly everything you want to do with print devices on the
server in the Control Panel’s Printers folder, which you can access by choosing Start➪Control Panel➪Printers. Previously, this applet was called Printers
Chapter 9: Printing on the Network
and Faxes, but Microsoft has since reassigned faxing and scanning capabilities to a combined applet. We say nearly everything because the print device
drivers are stored outside the print devices folder. (Most of the drivers are
found on the Windows Server 2008 DVD.)
When you first install Windows Server 2008, the Printers folder contains only
an Add Printer icon, which is designed to help you install a physical print
device (or logical printer definition). Each time you install a new print device
by clicking the Add Printer icon (as described later in this chapter), Windows
2008 assigns it a separate icon in the Printers folder, as shown in Figure 9-2.
Figure 9-2:
The Printers
showing an
print device,
a Microsoft
Writer icon,
and the Add
Printer icon.
When you click the Add Printer icon, the Add Printer Wizard appears,
bringing with it a set of default policies that it uses to guide you through
the process of adding each new print device to the Printers folder.
After you’ve installed the print devices you want, you can make changes
to the print devices’ settings by visiting the Printers folder. Right-click the
print device you added and choose Properties from the pull-down list that
appears. A window with numerous tabs appears. You make all the changes
to the particular print device’s settings in this Properties dialog box, so take
some time to familiarize yourself with the available settings.
Adding a networked print device
In an ideal world, your network and users would allow you to set up one type
of print device in one manner (such as all laser print devices of the same
make and model with network interface cards). In the real world, however,
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
things don’t pan out like that. Therefore, the engineers at Microsoft designed
Windows Server 2008 to provide you with four ways to attach print devices
to your network:
Windows Server 2008
Print server
Networked (as shown in Figure 9-1)
PC (a workstation, in Microsoft-speak)
In the following sections, we show you the four approaches to installing print
devices on your network. Three of the four installations are similar; they’re
just performed on different machines. For example, the steps for installing
print devices attached to networks are similar to the steps for installing print
devices attached to workstations. Both machines have print devices connected to their local ports, and they both share print devices on the network.
Attaching print devices to servers
You may find a need to attach a print device directly to your server. We don’t
recommend that you use this method unless your organization can’t afford to
spare a machine for you to use as a dedicated print server. Why? Because any
time you attach a device to a file server, you run the risk that it may get
hosed and crash the server — and we’ve seen this happen often.
To attach a print device to a Windows Server 2008, you need a print device,
a Windows Server 2008 computer, a cable, the Windows Server 2008 installation DVD (if you didn’t copy it to your server’s hard disk), and any print
device drivers you want automatically downloaded to the clients.
Connect the print device directly to one of the ports on the server (for example, LPT1) and install the print device on this machine in its Printers and
Faxes folder by choosing Start➪Control Panel➪Printers. Then follow these
1. Double-click the Add Printer icon, which invokes the Add Printer
Setup Wizard, and click Next.
2. Choose Add a Local Printer and then click Next. (USB devices are
automatically detected and installed by Windows.)
The printer detection window of the wizard appears, searching for and
installing attached Plug and Play print devices. If the print device isn’t
Plug and Play, you must follow the rest of the steps in this section.
3. From the Use an Existing Port drop-down list, select the port to which
you attached this print device (such as LPT1) and click Next.
A window appears for choosing the manufacturer and model of the print
Chapter 9: Printing on the Network
4. In the Manufacturer area, highlight the print device manufacturer;
In the Printers area, highlight the model of the print device and
click Next.
If you don’t see your print device listed here, it means you have to provide the Add Printer Wizard with the driver. Click the Have Disk button
and point the wizard to the location and path where the driver resides.
5. In the Type a Printer Name window of the wizard, Setup suggests a
name for this printer. Accept this name by clicking Next or type a
new name for this printer in the Printer Name text box.
6. (Optional) Select the Set As the Default printer check box if you want
this to be the default printer for users permitted to access the associated print queue.
7. Click Next to move on to the Printer Sharing window.
8. Indicate whether you’d like to share the printer.
By default, Windows furnishes a share name in the Printer Sharing
window of the wizard.
• Share: If you want to share the printer and you don’t want to use
the default name, you can type over it to change it. The share
name is the name that your users will see when they print to this
printer, so make it meaningful. (For example, create a name such as
2ndFLWestEnv to indicate that the printer is on the second floor of
the west wing and it prints envelopes.)
• Do Not Share: If you don’t want to share the printer, choose the Do
Not Share this printer option.
9. Click Next.
10. Choose whether you want to print a test page (always a great idea) by
clicking the Print a Test Page option. Next, to install drivers for the
other client operating systems that will access the printer, click the
Install Drivers button.
11. Click Finish.
Setup copies files from the Windows Server 2008 installation DVD to the
Windows Server 2008 computer’s hard disk. If you elected to print a test
page, it also emerges from your newly defined printer at this point.
If you chose to share the printer in Step 8, Windows may ask you to
supply any missing operating system print drivers (see Step 10) so that
it can automatically download those drivers to its clients. (However
in most cases, Windows Server 2008 won’t have to ask, because it
comes equipped with a large library of client print drivers from which
it can draw.)
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
12. If you chose not to print a test page and not to install additional drivers, Setup presents you with a summary page of the choices you
elected during the setup process. Click Finish if your choices are correct. Otherwise, use the Back and Next buttons to correct any invalid
or incorrect info.
If you’re familiar with setting up printers on previous versions of Windows,
you probably whipped through these steps because the print device setups
are similar. At this point, you’ve set up the following:
One basic logical printer assignment that points to one physical print
device on Windows Server 2008: We say basic because you haven’t yet
customized any options, such as paper bins, dots per inch, and separator pages, for this print device. You probably weren’t aware that as you
defined this physical print device, you also assigned it a logical printer
assignment. Remember that there’s a one-to-one correlation between the
two each time you install a physical device and define it — unless you
add more physical devices.
A print queue for this print device: Windows Server 2008 does this for
you when you define the print device. To view the queue, double-click
the print device icon. You won’t see anything in the queue just yet.
Shared access to this print device by everyone on the network: When
you define a share name on the network for a print device, Windows
Server 2008, by default, assigns the Everyone group access to this print
device. You have to change this default policy if you don’t want “everyone” to have access to this print device. If you have Active Directory
installed, the print device is published to the Directory.
You can have multiple logical printer assignments pointing to one physical
print device. If you want to assign another logical printer assignment that services this physical print device, you repeat the previous steps but assign a
new computer and share name. You can assign different properties to this
physical print device for each logical printer definition.
Attaching print devices to print servers
In the preceding section, we show you how to hook up a print device to a
Windows Server 2008 computer so that your Windows Server 2008 functions
as a print server on your network, in addition to its other duties. To help
manage the load on the Windows Server 2008, you can offload this printing
task to another computer on your network and have it function as your
print server.
The print server is just another computer on your network, only with an
attached print device that you set up to manage print spooling, print queues,
and print jobs. We like this method because it frees up the Windows Server
2008 to perform other tasks. When your clients print to the print server, they
bypass the Windows Server 2008.
Chapter 9: Printing on the Network
You can install any Microsoft operating system that you like on the computer
that will be your print server. We recommend at least Windows 9x, but we
prefer a Windows NT, 2000, or XP workstation because you can download the
print drivers to the client workstations from the print server automatically
with no intervention on your part. This means that you don’t have to install
drivers manually on each of the client workstations.
After you’ve installed an operating system on your soon-to-be print server,
follow Steps 1 through 12 from the “Attaching print devices to servers” section if you’re using a Windows NT, 2000, or XP Workstation as the operating
system. If you’re using Windows 9x, repeat the same steps but exclude the
downloadable print device drivers from Step 10. Instead, you must go to each
client and install the corresponding print device drivers.
Attaching networked print devices to print servers
Some print devices, such as HP laser print devices, are neat because after
you plug a network adapter into them, they’re nearly ready to be placed anywhere on your network where there’s an electrical outlet and an available
network connection. Nearly, but not quite! You must still make all the physical connections and assign an IP address to the printer. After you do that,
perform the following steps to add the networked print device to the print
1. Choose Start➪Control Panel➪Printers.
The Printers applet window appears.
2. Double-click the Add Printer icon to invoke the Add Printer Wizard
and click Next.
3. In the Add Printer window, click Add a Network, Wireless, or
Bluetooth Printer and then click Next.
Windows begins searching for available network-accessible print
devices and displays the Searching for Available Printers window.
4. Select the printer (print device) you want from the list of discovered
printers (print devices) that appears in list form and then skip to Step
6. If the desired print device isn’t found, you can find it by following
these steps:
a. Click The Printer I Want Isn’t Listed.
The Find a Printer by Name or TCP/IP Address window appears.
b. Under Find a Printer by Name or TCP/IP Address, choose Browse for
a Printer, Select a Shared Printer by Name (followed by the actual
name), or Add a Printer Using a TCP/IP Address or Hostname.
c. Click Next and follow the dialog boxes to find and select the printer.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
5. Depending on what option you selected in Step 4, do the following:
• If you clicked Browse for a Printer, a browse list of all the local
servers and workstations appears. Double-click those entries to
find attached print devices, after which you can add them. If you
supply a valid UNC name for a networked print device (for example, \\library-srvr\HPLaserJ), you can add it by using that
name when you click Next.
• If you clicked Add a Printer Using a TCP/IP Address or
Hostname, the Type a Printer Hostname or IP Address window
appears. Here you can explicitly identify (TCP/IP Device or
Web Services Device) the device type or stick with the default
Autodetect option. After that you must supply a valid hostname
or IP address and a UDP port number to complete the print device
6. After completing these steps, click Next to see a Connect to Printer
window, where you can change the printer name or leave it as is.
7. Finally, you can elect to print a test page (a good way to make sure
your printer connection is working), or you can simply click the
Finish button.
Congrats! You’re done!
When installing a print device on a Windows Server 2008 with Active
Directory installed, the Add Printer Wizard shares the print device and publishes it in the Directory — unless you change the policy rules. For more
information on Active Directory, please read Chapter 7.
Attaching print devices to a workstation PC
Some users may have print devices on their desks that you may want to make
available to other users on the network. Attaching a print device to a PC is the
least desirable method because it involves users going to another user’s PC to
pick up print jobs. This can cause a disruption in workflow for the user who’s
unfortunate enough to have a print device on his or her desk. However, in
smaller organizations where budgets are tight, this method is sometimes used.
To set this up, you must go to the user’s desktop and share that print device
on the network. If you’d like, you can restrict access to that share so that the
entire organization isn’t allowed to print there. Where do you find all this? In
the Printers and Faxes folder on the user’s desktop, of course! Right-click the
Add Printer icon if no print device is installed, choose the print device to be a
local print device connected to a local printer port (such as LPT1 or a USB
port), and assign it a name. If a print device is already defined, right-click its
Chapter 9: Printing on the Network
icon and select Properties to give this print device a share name. After you
share the print device on the network, other users can see it.
This method causes the user’s workstation to manage the printing process.
You can define this workstation-attached print device so that Windows 2008
Server will manage the print process instead. Here’s how:
1. Go to the user’s computer desktop and define a share for this print
device, but limit access to the username of “JoePrinter.” This is a
fabricated username you set up purely to manage this printer.
See the following section, “Sharing Printer Access,” to find out how to
define a share.
2. Mosey back over to the Windows Server 2008 computer.
3. Add a user named “JoePrinter” in Active Directory Users and
Computers. (Choose Start➪Administrative Tools➪Active Directory
Users and Computers.)
4. Choose Start➪Control Panel➪Printers to open the Printers applet.
5. Follow the same steps in the “Attaching print devices to servers”
section earlier in this chapter, except for the following changes:
• Click the Add Printer icon and choose the networked print device
instead of the locally attached print device.
• Let Windows search the network or choose The Printer I Want Isn’t
Listed to manually specify a share name. Either type the share
name or use the Browse option to select and choose the share
name you gave the print device on the client’s desktop.
• Give this print device a new share name that the rest of the users
on the network will see.
Again, we don’t recommend that you use this method unless your organization is tight on money. It can cause aggravation for the user who has to share
the print device with other people on the network and can disrupt that user’s
work environment.
Sharing Printer Access
After you’ve installed a printer (software and a print device, that is) on your
network (as we explain in the previous section), the next step is to create a
share for it on the network. (See Chapter 12 for more details on Windows
2008 network shares.)
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Until you share a print device, your users can’t see it on the network. To
share a print device, do the following:
1. Open the Printers folder. (Choose Start➪Printers and Faxes).
2. Right-click the print device you want to share and choose the
Sharing option.
3. On the Sharing tab, choose the Share this Printer option and type a
descriptive share name (for example, 2ndFlWest).
4. Unless you want to process print jobs locally on this computer, leave
the Render Print Jobs on Client Computers option selected.
5. Click OK and you’re finished!
When you share a print device, it’s available to everyone on the network by
default. You must specifically restrict groups or users from accessing the
print device if that’s what you want.
If you have MS-DOS-based clients on your network, make sure that your share
names for print devices are only eight characters long.
Bringing Printers and Clients Together
The final step in setting up networked printing involves setting up the print
devices on the client side. Fortunately, not much is required in this process.
Everything you need is on the Windows Server 2008, the print server, or in
the user’s Printers and Faxes folder on his or her desktop, depending on
which client operating system is used.
If the client operating system is Windows XP, 2000, or NT, you need to only
add the print device in the Printers and Faxes folder (Add Printer) and
choose Networked Print Device. The reason is that the print device is
attached to another computer somewhere on the network; it isn’t local to
this workstation. For the port, use the Browse option and find the share
name of the print device to which you want to print. That’s it!
If your clients have Windows 9x and are printing to a Windows Server 2008
(and you’ve installed the various client operating system drivers at the
server), you simply add the print device in the Printers and Faxes folder (Add
Printer) and select it as a networked print device. When you select the port
as the share name of the networked print device, Windows Server 2008 automatically downloads the drivers.
Chapter 9: Printing on the Network
Managing Windows 2008–Based
You can view and manage your print servers, queues, and print devices (all of
which are called printers in Microsoft-speak) from anywhere on the network,
including your Windows Server 2008. From one location, you can view what’s
going on with all the print devices on your network. The only thing you can’t
do remotely is install hardware on the print device itself, such as memory or
cables. But you knew that already!
The improved Print Management Console (PMC) that first appeared with
Windows Server 2003 R2 is now enhanced to meet larger-scale network
demands. PMC supports print server migration from Windows Server
2000/2003 to Windows Server 2008 installations and features an improved
Network Printer Installation Wizard. The installation wizard reduces administrative overhead by automatically locating and — where applicable —
deploying a compatible driver for hands-free automated setup.
The following list includes some issues to keep in mind as you manage print
Make sure you don’t run out of disk space on the server. If you set up
spooling on your network, you must keep a close eye on the hard disk
space that print servers consume. The spooling process involves sending files from the print user to the print server. Remember that the print
server can also be your Windows Server 2008. In either case, if your network handles high-volume print activity, it’s possible to fill up a hard
disk quickly with the spooling process.
After files are spooled to the print server, they remain on the hard disk
in the queue until an available print device is ready. If there’s a problem
with the print device, jobs can back up quickly. Remember that queues
take up space on the hard disk, so if the queues back up, more and more
space is needed. Be careful that you don’t run low on disk space!
Make sure your print devices have enough memory. When your users
print graphics on the network, memory becomes an issue on the print
devices. Large graphics files require more memory to print. You can
find out how much memory is in a print device by performing a self test
on the print device. Some organizations don’t have a large budget for
adding extra memory to all networked print devices, so they select one
or more in strategic locations and then define logical print device setups
just for graphics output.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Select the appropriate properties for print devices. You can access the
print device’s Properties menu by right-clicking i icon in the Printers
folder. (Figure 9-3 shows the various settings you can alter for any print
device on your network.) We go through each of the tabs here to help
you understand which print device properties you can change:
• General tab: Here’s where you add information about the print
device, such as comments, location, and whether to use a banner
page. When defining a banner page, we recommend that you add
some general comments about the print device and its location. In
medium- to large-sized operations, adding a separator page so that
print jobs may more easily be distinguished from each other is a
good idea. The current print driver information is also found here.
Change this only if you’re going to install a new driver.
• Sharing tab: If you want users on the network to see this print device,
you define the share name on this tab. (Remember to make it meaningful.) You can also tell Windows Server 2008 to allow this device to
show up in the Directory. This is also where you tell Windows Server
2008 which client operating systems you have on your network and
to which systems you want print drivers automatically downloaded.
• Ports tab: This is where you tell the system to which port your
print device is attached. If it’s a network-attached print device, you
define it here using the Media Access Control (MAC) address; if it’s
a Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) print
device, you define it here using the IP address.
• Advanced tab: On this tab, you can schedule the print device’s
availability, priority, and spooling options. For example, you may
opt to have print jobs run at night for a print device.
• Security tab: On the Security tab, you set up auditing of your print
devices, which enables you to gather the information you’ll need if
something goes wrong with a device. You may want to use the
Security tab for charge-back purposes on a departmental basis
(where you audit the usage and charge users or departments for
that use) or limit this print device’s availability. You can also define
who is allowed to manage this print device.
• Device Settings tab: On this tab, you define specific properties of
the print device, such as paper size, dots per inch, and paper bin.
• Color Management tab: Adjust monitor or print device color-specific
settings on this tab.
• Cartridge Maintenance tab: On this tab, you can view left and right
ink cartridge levels and use clickable options to install/change cartridges, clean print nozzles, align cartridges, and order supplies.
This last option actually opens the default Web browser and points
it to your print device manufacturer’s Web site. (This tab may not
show up in every Properties window you examine; its presence or
absence depends on your print device.)
Chapter 9: Printing on the Network
Figure 9-3:
Print device
tabs in the
Preventing Printer Problems
Printing problems on a network can wreak havoc. Here are a few pointers to
help you head off this type of trouble. If you do experience problems, see
Chapter 20 for some troubleshooting help.
Purchase Windows Server Catalog compatible devices. Purchase
only network print devices listed in the Hardware Catalog for Windows
Server 2008. Otherwise, you may spend hours trying to get a print
device to work on the network — only to find that the device isn’t
compatible. And always remember to check Microsoft’s site for the
latest version of the Windows Server Catalog; you can find it at www.
Get the latest print device drivers. Be sure to obtain the latest print
device driver associated with each print device on your network.
Windows Server 2008 does its best to install print device drivers by
itself where applicable, which may come from dated archives, online
updates, or install media. Newer drivers often correct bugs found in
older drivers. If you use an older driver, you may sometimes end up
troubleshooting a known bug that has already been corrected in a
newer driver.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Purchase a name brand. We hope that your organization can afford
to purchase name-brand print devices, such as Hewlett-Packard or
Lexmark, for your network. We find that the biggest printing problems
on networks stem from cheaper models. Even if you’re able to hook
these cheaper devices up, it may take so long to get all the pieces
working that investing in brand-name print devices would be more
cost effective.
Purchase from one manufacturer. We like to stick with one type (brand
name) of print device where possible. Notice we said brand and not
model. We realize that some organizations need to print in both black
and white and color. If you can purchase all your print devices from one
manufacturer (for example, Hewlett-Packard), your life and your users’
lives will be easier. If you have all Hewlett-Packard laser print devices on
your network, don’t buy another manufacturer’s laser print device just
because it’s on sale that day at your local computer superstore. You can
save time by working with one vendor and its equipment and drivers
instead of having to hunt all over the Internet for various manufacturers’
Web sites. Allow your users to become familiar with the one brand, and
they won’t have to learn how to use new equipment all the time.
Buy enough memory. The influx of graphics software has upped
memory usage in print devices to produce image-laden output. Don’t
wait until print jobs start fouling up before adding memory. If your
budget is too low to do this up front, find a local vendor that stocks
memory for your printers and keep their telephone number handy.
Faxing the Windows Server 2008 Way
Windows Server 2008, like Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, includes
native fax and scan support. This means you can now send and receive faxes
using your computer without third-party software. The combined capabilities
of Windows Server 2008 faxing and scanning are now controlled through (you
might’ve guessed) the Windows Fax and Scan applet.
Windows Fax and Scan enables you to perform and manage all faxing or scanning tasks and documents from a central location. The new Windows Fax and
Scan interface (shown in Figure 9-4) closely resembles Microsoft’s Outlook
interface — not coincidentally. Historically, Outlook stores calendar entries,
contact entries, and e-mail messages; presently, the next-generation
Exchange Server and Outlook client software utilize more expansive roles
that encompass and accommodate many other types of information.
Chapter 9: Printing on the Network
Figure 9-4:
Server 2008
Fax and
For example, Unified Messaging in Exchange Server stores mailboxes, public
folders, voice messages, and faxed documents in a central repository for
clients. Windows Fax and Scan provides a limited scope of capability that
interfaces with Exchange Server Unified Messaging.
Enabling faxing
Faxing isn’t enabled by default. First, you must have a fax modem already
installed and properly configured. (That means the driver is installed and
things are working properly.) Next, follow these steps to enable faxing:
1. Open the Windows Fax and Scan applet from the Start menu or
Control Panel, and choose File➪New Fax.
The Fax Setup Wizard launches.
2. When the wizard asks whether you want to connect to a fax modem
or fax server on the network, click OK.
The wizard installs the necessary components for faxing. After a few
moments, you’re returned to the Windows Fax and Scan applet.
3. Follow the setup wizard’s instructions to define the fax device name
and location and decide how to receive faxes or incoming calls.
Sending faxes
Faxing is like printing, but instead of sending the document’s print job to a
physical print device where the results are on paper, the print job is digitized
and sent over the phone line to a receiving fax device (which can be a traditional fax machine or a fax-enabled computer). Other than needing to provide
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
a phone number and the occasional cover sheet, faxing a document is just
like printing a document. To send a fax, just select the New Fax option from
the File menu of Windows Fax and Scan, begin formatting or typing your message, and then click Send.
The first time you attempt to send a fax, the Fax Configuration Wizard is
launched. This wizard is used to define information about your fax system,
such as the phone number, area code, and sender information.
Windows Fax and Scan is used to track and manage incoming and outgoing
faxes, in much the same way as you might manage e-mail in Outlook. If you
want to change your sender information, choose Tools➪Sender Information
from the Windows Fax and Scan console. To receive faxes, you have to enable
incoming faxes and set the Answer After Rings control.
Keep in mind that you can have only one answering service per modem
device. So, if you need a telecommuter to call in to connect to your system,
don’t set up that modem to wait for faxes. The device that is waiting for
incoming faxes can still be used to send faxes or even for normal dial-out
connections. If you find that you need more help with the fax capabilities
of Windows 2008, check out the help file and the Windows Server 2008
Resource Kit.
Chapter 10
IP Addressing: Zero to Insane
in Two Seconds Flat
In This Chapter
Working with TCP/IP and NetBIOS names
Understanding IP addressing, nets, and subnets
Obtaining Internet-ready IP addresses
Using private IP addresses
Using proxy servers and address translation
Working with DHCP
Dealing with problems
he Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) drives the
Internet and makes it accessible around the world. However, TCP/IP is a
lot more than just a collection of protocols: Many elements in TCP/IP marry
protocols to related services to provide complete capabilities. Important
examples include dynamic address allocation and management, known as the
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), plus domain name to address
resolution services, known as the Domain Name Service (DNS).
In this chapter, you find out about TCP/IP names, addresses, and related standard services, as well as other related services hosted in Windows Server 2008.
Resolving a Name: TCP/IP and NetBIOS
Whenever you issue a command in Windows Server 2008, you’re expected to
use the proper syntax. Otherwise, your efforts may not produce the desired
results. For example, when you issue a net use command from a command
prompt, you must enter the server name and a share name, as well as the
drive to which you want to map. Therefore, a simple command such as
net use G: \\ORWELL\APPS
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
associates the drive letter G with a share named APPS on the ORWELL server.
If you use the TCP/IP protocol to convey the data involved, the protocol
doesn’t know how to interpret the name ORWELL as a server. Instead, it
understands Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, such as
If you use TCP/IP on your network, you need some way to convert IP
addresses into names and vice versa. Just as the United Nations requires
translators so that everyone can communicate, so too does Windows Server
2008, which is why understanding naming conventions and name-to-address
resolution are such an important part of working with TCP/IP on Windows
Server 2008.
NetBIOS names
If you’re like most folks, you freeze like a deer in the headlights when you
hear the word NetBIOS. Don’t worry. Only a small number of people really
understand NetBIOS in detail, and figuring out what you need to know is easy.
A NetBIOS name is often called a computer name. When you install Windows
Server 2008 on a network, each computer that runs Windows requires a
unique computer name. This allows all NetBIOS-based utilities to identify
each machine by name. When you enter a command that includes a computer name, Windows 2008 knows which computer you’re talking about.
If you try to give two devices the same name, you run into trouble — like
trying to use the same Social Security number for two people. Each time a
computer joins the network, it registers its name with a browser service that
keeps track of such things. When the second computer with the same name
tries to register, it’s rejected because that name is already taken. In fact, that
machine will be unable to join the network until its name is changed to something unique.
When creating NetBIOS names, you need to work within some limitations,
which are as follows:
NetBIOS names must be between 1 and 15 characters long.
NetBIOS names may not contain any of the characters shown in the following list:
double quotation mark
right slash
left slash
left square bracket
right square bracket
Chapter 10: IP Addressing: Zero to Insane in Two Seconds Flat
vertical slash
equal sign
plus sign
question mark
left angle bracket
right angle bracket
In addition, dollar signs aren’t recommended because they have a special meaning. (A NetBIOS name that ends in $ doesn’t appear in a browse
Don’t use lengthy names or put spaces in names. Windows Server 2008
doesn’t care if you use longer names or include embedded spaces, but
other networking clients or systems may not be able to handle them.
Choose names that make sense to users and are short and to the point.
Don’t name machines after users or locations, especially if users come
and go regularly or if machines move around a lot. When it comes to
servers, name them to indicate their organizational role or affiliation (for
example, Sales, Accounting, or Engineering).
What’s in a NetBIOS name, you ask? A NetBIOS name should provide a short,
clear indication of what’s being named so users can recognize what they see.
At best, this type of naming convention makes sense without further explanation. At the least, you can do what we do and put a sticker with the machine’s
name on each monitor or computer case for identification. You can view a list
of your network’s NetBIOS names by expanding the My Network Places section of Windows Explorer. See Figure 10-1 for a sample list of NetBIOS names
taken from our network (such as Hush and Pentium_m).
Figure 10-1:
names on
our network.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
TCP/IP names and addresses
TCP/IP uses a different naming scheme than NetBIOS does. TCP/IP uses 32-bit
numbers to construct IP addresses (for example, Each host or
node on a TCP/IP network must have a unique IP address.
IP addresses aren’t meaningful to most humans and are difficult to remember.
Therefore, it’s helpful to have some way to convert IP addresses to meaningful names. On a Windows Server 2008 network, you use computer names
(also known as NetBIOS names). The Internet community uses a different
naming convention called domain names. Translation methods, such as
Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) and Domain Name Service (DNS),
maintain databases to convert IP addresses to computer names (WINS) or
domain names (DNS).
If you’ve ever used a Web browser on the Internet, you know that you can
type a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), such as www.wiley.com, or an IP
address, such as, to obtain access to a Web page. You
can do so because the Internet uses DNS to resolve IP addresses to domain
names and vice versa. If you type an IP address, the Web browser jumps
straight to that address; if you type a domain name, your request goes
through a DNS server that resolves the name to an IP address, and then the
browser jumps to that address.
In the IP world, the naming scheme you can use is limited if you plan to connect your network directly to the Internet. VeriSign (www.verisign.com) is
one of many domain name registrars in charge of approving and maintaining
a database of legal Internet top-level domain names. You can request any
domain name you want, but if someone else is using it or has a legitimate
claim to a trade or brand name, you won’t be able to use it. For example, you
probably won’t be able to use mcdonalds.com or cocacola.com as domain
names. In fact, if someone else has already registered xyzcorp.com, you
wouldn’t be able to use that name, even if your company is named XYZ
The format for a typical IP name is host.domainname.suffix. The domain
name is something you can’t guarantee, but typically represents your organization. The suffix, called a top-level domain, sometimes identifies the country
of origin (for example, .ca is Canada and .de is Germany) or the type of
organization (.gov is government, .edu is education, .com is a commercial
business, .org is a nonprofit organization, and so forth).
Some domain names are more complex; they can take a form such as
host.subdomain.domainname.suffix, as in jello.eng.sun.com,
where the host name is jello, the subdomain is eng (for engineering),
and the domain name is sun (the domain name for Sun Microsystems, Inc.),
which is a commercial (.com) entity. The only parts of the name under
Chapter 10: IP Addressing: Zero to Insane in Two Seconds Flat
control of the various Internet domain name registrars (such as VeriSign
and other companies and organizations identified at www.norid.no/
domenenavnbaser/domreg.en.html) are the domain name and the
suffix — every domain name must be unique in its entirety to be properly
Names that include the host part, the domain name, and the suffix (plus
any other subdomain information that may apply) are called Fully Qualified
Domain Names (FQDNs). To be valid, any FQDN must have a corresponding
entry in some DNS server’s database that allows it to be translated into a
unique numeric IP address. For example, the Web server for this book’s
publisher is named www.wiley.com, which resolves into an IP address of
As long as you’re completely isolated from the Internet and intend to stay
that way, you can assign any names and IP addresses you like on your network. If you ever connect your network to the Internet, however, you’ll have
to go back and change everything! If your network will be — or simply might
ever be — connected to the Internet, you have one of two options for assigning addresses:
You can obtain and install valid public IP addresses and domain
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can provide these for you. When
you obtain a range of IP addresses for your network — remember, each
computer needs its own unique address, and some computers or
devices need multiple addresses (one for each interface) —, make sure
you get enough to leave some room for growth.
You can (and should) obtain a valid domain name from VeriSign or
another domain name registrar, but you can use any of a range of
reserved IP addresses, called private IP addresses, to number your
These addresses may not be used directly on the Internet; they’ve been
set aside for private use. When used in concert with a type of software
called Network Address Translation (or NAT for short), this approach
requires you to obtain only a small number of public IP addresses but
still allows Internet access for every computer on your network. This
topic is discussed in more detail later in this chapter in the section
“Address translation: The new magic.”
To find out more about the process of obtaining a domain name, visit
VeriSign’s Web site at www.verisign.com. The form for researching domain
names (determining whether a FQDN is already in use) and registering
domain names (applying for a new FQDN) is on the main page. You’ll find
details on name registration services as well as on directory and database
services that support the Internet’s distributed collection of DNS servers.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Calling Everything a Node
A unique numeric identification tag, called an IP address, is assigned to each
interface on a TCP/IP network. Every IP address in a TCP/IP network must be
unique. Each device on a TCP/IP network is known as a host. Each host has at
least one network interface with an assigned IP address. However, a host can
have multiple network interface cards (NICs), and even multiple IP addresses,
assigned to each NIC.
To network ID or host ID?
That is the question
An IP address consists of two components:
Network ID: Identifies the network segment to which the host belongs.
Host ID: Identifies an individual host on some specific network segment.
A host can communicate directly only with other hosts on the same network segment.
A network segment is a logical division of a network into unique numeric network IDs called subnets. A host must use a router to communicate with hosts
on other subnets.
A router moves packets from one subnet to another. In addition, a router
reads the network ID for a packet’s destination address and determines
whether that packet should remain on the current subnet or be routed to a
different subnet. When a router delivers a packet to the correct subnet, the
router then uses the host ID portion of the destination address to deliver the
packet to its final destination.
A typical IP address looks like
(This example address matches the domain name www.microsoft.com.)
This numeric IP address format is known as dotted-decimal notation. However,
computers see IP addresses as binary numbers. This same IP address in
binary form is
11001111 00101110 11111001 11011110
and is written in collections of eight bits called octets. Each octet is converted
to a decimal number and then separated by periods to form the dotted-decimal
notation format shown at the beginning of this paragraph.
Chapter 10: IP Addressing: Zero to Insane in Two Seconds Flat
The dotted-decimal version of IP addresses is more human-friendly than the
binary version. As you may already know, domain names and NetBIOS names
are even more friendly because they use symbolic names that make sense to
An IP address requires 32 binary digits and defines a 32-bit address space
that supports nearly 4.3 billion unique addresses. Although this seems like a
lot of addresses, the number of available IP addresses is quickly dwindling.
Consequently, several plans exist to expand or change the IP addressing
scheme to make many more addresses available. For more information on
such plans, search for IPng Transition in your favorite search engine.
IP designers carved the entire galaxy of IP addresses into classes to meet different addressing needs. Today, there are five IP address classes labeled by
the letters A through E. Classes A, B, and C are assigned to organizations to
allow their networks to connect to the Internet, and Classes D and E are
reserved for special uses.
The first three classes of addresses differ by how their network IDs are defined:
Class A addresses use the first octet for the network ID.
Class B addresses use the first two octets.
Class C addresses use the first three octets.
Class A addresses support a relatively small number of networks, each with a
huge number of possible hosts. Class C addresses support a large number of
networks, each with a relatively small number of hosts, as shown in Table
10-1. (Class B falls in the middle.) Therefore, branches of the military, government agencies, and large corporations are likely to need Class A addresses;
medium-sized organizations and companies need Class B addresses; and
small companies and organizations need Class C addresses.
Table 10-1
Address Classes and Corresponding
Network and Host IDs
High-Order Bits
First Octet Range
# Networks
# Hosts
Class A
Class B
Class C
When it comes to recognizing address Classes A through C, the network ID
for Class A addresses always starts its first octet with a 0. Each Class B network ID always starts with 10, and Class C network IDs always start with 110.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Consequently, you can determine address classes by examining an address,
either in binary or decimal form. (See Tables 10-1 and 10-2.)
Table 10-2
Division of IP Address Component Octets
According to Class
IP Address
Network ID
Host ID
Network ID 127 is missing from Table 10-1 because that ID is a loopback
address. Loopback addresses are used when testing IP transmission — they
transmit to themselves.
Subnetting: Quiet time for IP addresses
Subnets represent divisions of a single TCP/IP network address into logical
subsets. The motivation for subnetting is twofold:
It reduces overall traffic on any network segment by collecting systems
that communicate often into groups.
It makes it easier for networks to grow and expand and adds an extra
layer of security control. Subnets work by “stealing” bits from the host
part of an IP address and using those bits to divide a single IP network
address into two or more subnetworks, usually called subnets — hence,
the term in the preceding heading.
Network administrators typically use subnet masks to divide IP address
blocks into smaller subnetworks. A subnet mask is a special bit pattern that
takes over part of the host ID portion of an IP address and permits a larger
network to be subdivided into two or more subnetworks, each with its own
unique network address. The base subnet masks for Classes A, B, and C
networks are,, and, respectively. You can
create additional subset masks by adding extra bits set to 1 in the space
occupied by the 0 that appears next to the rightmost 255 in any such number.
This transformation is illustrated in Table 10-3, which shows some typical
values for usable subnet masks.
Chapter 10: IP Addressing: Zero to Insane in Two Seconds Flat
Table 10-3
Subnet Masks and Results
Binary Mask
Decimal Equivalent
Number of New
Number of Hosts
A: 16,777,214
B: 65,534
C: 254
A: Not valid
B: Not valid
C: Not valid
A: 4,194,302
B: 16,382
C: 62
A: 2,097,150
B: 8,190
C: 30
A: 1,048,574
B: 4,094
C: 14
A: 524,286
B: 2,046
C: 6
A: 262,142
B: 1,022
C: 2
A: 131,070
B: 510
C: Not valid
Not valid
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
What about IPv6?
Those who know a little bit about TCP/IP already
are also likely to know it comes in two flavors.
The current, predominant flavor (the one we
describe at length in this very chapter) is called
IPv4. It features 32-bit addresses broken into
four 8-bit octets. There’s a newer version of IP
around, however. It’s known as IPv6 and features 128-bit addresses (16 8-bit octets but
seldom represented as such; these numbers
are so big you see them primarily in hexadecimal or base 16 form if not plain old decimal
form). In addition to a much bigger address
space, IPv6features enhancedsecurity, multiple
automatic addressing schemes, improved routing, and much more. But it’s seldom used on
small networks and despite a U.S. government
mandate to switch over to IPv6 addressing in
June 2008, that event looks increasingly unlikely
as the date looms ever closer. Because it’s very
rarely used on small networks, we don’t cover
IPv6 in this book. Those readers who want to
learn more, and work with IPv6 on Windows
Server, should check out the TechNet IPv6
clearinghouse at technet.microsoft.
Because routers are required to communicate across IP subnets, a router’s IP
address on each subnet must be known to every client on that subnet. This
address is called the default gateway because it’s where all out-of-subnet
transmissions are directed by default. (It’s the gateway to the world outside
each local subnet.) If no default gateway is defined, clients can’t communicate outside their subnets.
Hanging your shingle: Obtaining
IP addresses
Deploying your own network or using a stand alone system with Network
Address Translation (NAT) to connect to the Internet requires that you obtain
one or more valid IP addresses. For some uses, you may simply contract with
an ISP to use a dial-up connection. Each time you connect, you’re assigned an
IP address automatically from a pool of available addresses. After you disconnect from the ISP, that IP address is returned to the pool for reuse. This works
equally well for stand alone machines and for the servers that might dial into
an ISP to provide an on-demand connection for users who have private IP
addresses but can attach to the Internet using NAT software.
One way to attach an entire network to the Internet is to lease a block, or
subnet, of IP addresses from an ISP. However, leasing IP addresses can be
Chapter 10: IP Addressing: Zero to Insane in Two Seconds Flat
expensive and can limit your growth. Also, many ISPs can no longer lease
large blocks of IP addresses, so you may have to limit Internet access to specific machines or subnets.
For more information about taking this approach, you must contact your ISP
to find out what it offers by way of available addresses and contiguous subnets. For some uses, public IP addresses are required because security needs
dictate a true end-to-end connection between clients and servers across the
Internet. In plain English, true end-to-end connection means that the IP
address that a client advertises to the Internet is the same one it uses in reality. In the next section, you discover an alternate approach where an IP
address advertised to the Internet is different from the private IP address
that a client uses on its home subnet.
For some applications, particularly where secure IP-based protocols such as
IP Secure (IPSec) or particular secure sockets layer (SSL) implementations
are involved, network address translation techniques may not work! Make
sure you understand your application requirements in detail before you
decide whether to lease public IP addresses or use private IP addresses with
network address translation.
Address translation: The new magic
If you don’t want to pay to lease a range of IP addresses and your application
requirements allow you to use private IP addresses, you can employ IP
addresses reserved for private use in RFC 1918 on your networks. When used
with network address translation software to connect to an ISP, a single
public IP address (or one for each Internet connection) is all you need to service an entire network.
Routers move packets among subnets and networks
Only routers can transfer packets from one
subnet to another, or from one network ID to
another, in the TCP/IP world. Routers are specialized, high-end, high-speed devices from
companies such as Cisco Systems or Extreme
Networks. However, any computer with two or
more NICs installed (where each NIC resides on
a different subnet) can act as a router, provided
that the computer can forward packets from
one NIC to another (and thus, from one subnet
to another). Right out of the box, in fact,
Windows Server 2008 includes software and
built-in capabilities to work as a router.
Computer nerds like to call such machines
multi-homed computers because the machines
are “at home” on two or more subnets.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
RFC 1918 (which you can find at www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1918.html)
defines special IP addresses for use on private intranets. These addresses,
which appear in Table 10-4, cannot be routed on the Internet. This approach
provides improved security for your network as a fringe benefit because it
means that any impostor who wants to break into your network can’t easily
masquerade as a local workstation. (Doing so would require routing a private
IP address packet across the Internet.) Because all of these addresses are up
for grabs, you can use the address class that makes sense for your organization. (And for Class B and Class C addresses, you can use as many as you
need within the legal range of such addresses.)
Table 10-4
Private IP Address Ranges from RFC 1918
Address Range
# Networks
Using address translation software to offer Internet access reduces your
costs and allows nearly unlimited growth. If you think private IP addresses
combined with NAT software make sense for your situation, consult with
your ISP for specific details and recommendations on how to use this technology on your network.
You’ve probably seen the terms firewall and proxy thrown about when reading about Internet access. Firewalls and proxy servers are network tools that
are little more than special-purpose routers. A firewall may be used to filter
traffic — both inbound and outbound.
Firewall filters may be based on a source or destination address, on a specific
protocol, or port address, or even on patterns that appear in the contents of
a data packet. A proxy server is an enhanced firewall, and its primary purpose
is to manage communications between an in-house network and external networks such as the Internet. Proxies hide the identity of internal clients and
can keep local copies of resources that are accessed frequently. (This is
called caching, and it improves response time for users.)
You can check out several great online resources for firewalls, but online
information on proxies is limited to product documentation. In addition to
consulting the Windows Server 2008 Resource Kit and TechNet (http://
technet.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx), here are several online
resources you may want to check to discover more about these technologies:
Chapter 10: IP Addressing: Zero to Insane in Two Seconds Flat
NIST Guidelines on Firewalls and Firewall Policy: http://csrc.
Microsoft’s Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA) 2006: www.
Zone Lab’s ZoneAlarm: www.zonealarm.com
Cisco’s Self-Defending Networks: www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/
WinGate proxy server: www.wingate.com
In addition to these excellent third-party products, Windows Server 2008
offers a built-in native firewall product known as the Windows Firewall (previously called the Internet Connection Firewall, or ICF), which is enabled and
configured on the Advanced tab of a connection object. Windows Firewall is
a host-based solution that can provide stateful filtering for inbound and outbound traffic with integrated IPSec protection settings, which may or may not
offer the versatility and capabilities that your production network requires in
a firewall. If you want to find out more about Windows Firewall, check the
Help and Support Center and the TechNet article at http://technet.
Forcing IP Down the Throat
of Windows Server 2008
Configuring TCP/IP on Windows Server 2008 can range from simple to complex. We review the simple process and discuss a few advanced items. For
complex configurations, consult a reference such as the Windows Server
2008 Resource Kit or TechNet.
Three basic items are always required for configuring TCP/IP:
IP address
Subnet mask
Default gateway
With just these three items, you can connect a client or server to a network.
Basic configuration
The protocol is configured on the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties
dialog box. To access this dialog box, follow these steps:
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
1. Choose Start➪Control Panel➪Network and Sharing Center.
2. Under Tasks, click Manage Network Connections.
The Network Connections dialog box appears.
3. In the Network Connections dialog box, right-click Local Area
Connection and select Properties.
The Local Area Connection Properties dialog box appears.
4. In the list of installed components, select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).
Note: If TCP/IP isn’t already installed, follow these steps to install it:
a. In the Local Area Connection Properties dialog box, click Install.
The Select Network Component Type dialog box appears.
b. Select Protocol and then click Add.
The Select Network Protocol dialog box appears.
c. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) and then click OK.
d. If prompted, provide a path to the distribution CD.
5. Click Properties to open the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP)
Properties dialog box, shown in Figure 10-2.
The Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties dialog box offers fields to
define the three IP configuration basics. Note the selection to obtain an
IP address automatically. This setting configures the system to request
IP configuration from a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
server. Because most servers don’t work well using dynamic IP
addresses, you may want to define a static IP address for your Windows
Server 2008 instead of using DHCP. (Or use DHCP to make a manual or
static address allocation.)
Figure 10-2:
The Internet
dialog box.
Chapter 10: IP Addressing: Zero to Insane in Two Seconds Flat
6. To enter your IP settings, select the Use the Following Address option
in the dialog box and fill in the fields as follows:
• IP Address: Either obtain a public IP address from your ISP or use a
private IP address from one of the reserved address ranges defined
in RFC 1918.
• Subnet Mask: You must also calculate a subnet mask for your network. (That is, as long as you aren’t using DHCP.) Here again, you
may obtain this from your ISP if you’re using public IP addresses,
or you may calculate your own if you’re using private IP addresses.
In most cases where private IP is used, the default subnet mask for
the address class should work without alteration or additional calculations, as described in Table 10-3.
• Default Gateway: Finally, you must also provide a default gateway
address for your server (unless you just don’t want this system to
communicate with other hosts outside of its subnet). The default
gateway should be the address of the router on the local subnet to
which the server is attached that can forward outbound traffic to
other network segments. On networks using public IP addresses,
this is probably a router, firewall, or proxy server that connects the
local subnet to other subnets or to the Internet. On networks using
private IP addresses, this is usually the machine on which the
proxy and NAT software resides, which mediates between the local
subnet and an Internet connection.
7. The Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties dialog box also offers fields
to configure Domain Name Service (DNS). You can leave these fields
blank — at least for now.
We talk more about DNS in the “DNS Does the Trick” section later in this
8. After you define an IP address, a subnet mask, and a default gateway,
click OK, and then close all the windows you’ve opened and reboot.
That’s all there is to basic TCP/IP configuration on Windows Server 2008!
Advanced configuration
More complex configurations become necessary when your network is larger
and, therefore, more complicated. To deal with such complexity, you have to
do some advanced work. Click the Advanced button in the Internet Protocol
(TCP/IP) Properties dialog box (we tell you how to open that dialog box in
the preceding section) to reveal the Advanced TCP/IP Settings dialog box,
complete with its four tabs (see Figure 10-3). The tabs (along with brief
descriptions) are as follows:
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Figure 10-3:
dialog box.
IP Settings: This tab allows you to define multiple IP address and subnet
mask combinations for a single NIC. You can define also additional
default gateways, as well as an interface metric, which is used by routers
(or the routing service of Windows Server 2008) to determine which
path to send data to — the path with the lowest metric is used first.
DNS: This tab allows you to define additional DNS servers — the one or
two you define on the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties dialog box
appears here as well, so don’t get confused. In addition, you can specify
how to search or resolve issues based on DNS server, DNS domain, and
DNS parent domains. The two check boxes at the bottom of the DNS tab
allow you to use dynamic registration to automatically add your server’s
IP address and domain name to your local DNS. For more information
about DNS, please consult the “DNS Does the Trick” section later in this
WINS: This tab is where IP addresses for Windows Internet Name
Service (WINS) servers are defined. WINS servers resolve NetBIOS
names into IP addresses. WINS is convenient for Windows Server 2008
networks with multiple servers and network segments. This tab also
offers you control over how or whether NetBIOS operates over TCP/IP.
For more information about WINS, please consult the “Everyone WINS
Sometimes” section later in this chapter.
Options: This tab is where you can define alternate settings associated
with TCP/IP. This tab offers access to only TCP/IP filtering by default, but
the layout of the interface seems to hint that other optional features or
services may be configured here if they’re installed later. TCP/IP filtering
allows you to define TCP, User Datagram Protocol (UDP), and protocol
Chapter 10: IP Addressing: Zero to Insane in Two Seconds Flat
ports that will be allowed to function. In other words, it blocks all traffic
except the traffic for the ports that you choose to allow in. This interface
is rather limited because it doesn’t tell you which ports you need to
allow in. We recommend deploying a proxy or firewall to perform TCP/IP
filtering because these devices are more user-friendly and tell you which
ports you need.
Everyone WINS Sometimes
In a Microsoft Windows network, TCP/IP hosts can be called by NetBIOS
names instead of IP addresses or domain names. Because NetBIOS names
are more or less unique to Microsoft networks, there’s no current standard
for associating NetBIOS names with IP addresses. On a Microsoft network
that uses TCP/IP as its only networking protocol, it’s essential to be able to
resolve NetBIOS names to IP addresses. This is where Windows Internet
Name Service (WINS) comes in.
A glimpse at WINS
Because resolving NetBIOS names to IP addresses is the key to providing
access to many of Windows Server 2008’s built-in services and facilities,
Microsoft provides two methods to handle this process:
LMHOSTS: You can use a file named LMHOSTS to create a static table
that associates specific NetBIOS names with specific IP addresses. (LM
stands for LAN Manager and points to the network operating system
that preceded Windows NT in the Microsoft product world.) Such a file
must be present on every machine to provide the necessary name-toaddress resolution capabilities.
For small, simple networks, using LMHOSTS files is an acceptable
method. On large, complex networks, the busywork involved in
maintaining a large number of such files can quickly get out of hand.
WINS: Larger, more complex networks are where WINS comes into play.
WINS runs on Windows Server 2008 machines as a service that automatically discovers NetBIOS names and manages a dynamic database that
associates NetBIOS names with TCP/IP addresses. As networks grow,
multiple WINS servers sometimes become necessary to help speed up
the time it takes to handle name resolution requests.
A single WINS server can handle an entire network. On networks that
include multiple sites or thousands of users, however, multiple WINS
servers can distribute the load involved in providing name resolution,
and speed users’ access to NetBIOS-based resources.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
WINS has several advantages over LMHOSTS files. For one thing, it’s built on
a dynamic database, which means that as networks change and names and
addresses come and go, the database changes as the WINS server detects
new name and address relationships or finds old names with new addresses.
WINS can be especially important on networks where DHCP is used, if clients
also share files or printers on their machines. Also, WINS is something like a
Spanish-English dictionary that’s constantly updated as new words — or in
this case, names — are added.
WINS servers
A WINS server maintains a database that maps computer names to their
respective IP addresses and vice versa. Rather than sending broadcasts for
address information, which eats excess network bandwidth, a workstation
that needs a NetBIOS name resolved makes a request directly to a designated
WINS server. (That’s the real purpose of the WINS tab in the Advanced TCP/IP
Settings dialog box.)
This approach lets workstations take advantage of a well-defined service and
obtain address information quickly and efficiently. Also, when workstations
with NetBIOS names log on to the network, they provide information about
themselves and their resources to the WINS server. Then, any changes automatically appear in the WINS server’s database.
Although WINS is much simpler than DNS, it still isn’t an easy process. You
need to install WINS as a network service component through the Local Area
Connections applet and corresponding network interfaces. We recommend
seeking guidance from the Windows Server 2008 Resource Kit or Technet
before starting on that journey.
WINS clients
When configuring workstations or servers (at least, those servers that
don’t play host to the WINS server software) on your network, you provide
an IP address for one or more WINS servers on your network. When those
machines boot, they provide the WINS server with their computer names,
share names, and IP addresses. The WINS server handles everything else. If a
workstation needs an IP address that corresponds to a NetBIOS name, it asks
the WINS server to supply that information.
Chapter 10: IP Addressing: Zero to Insane in Two Seconds Flat
The bane of many security consultants, NetBIOS over TCP/IP is a piggyback
application programming interface (API) employed by Windows Server 2008
for all of its internal and server-to-server communications. Within a secured
environment, such as behind firewalls and proxies, NetBIOS over TCP/IP is
beneficial because it supports many of the user-friendly features of Windows
Server 2008 networking. But without adequate security, it’s a gaping hole
that devious individuals can exploit to overtake your network or stand alone
system. The WINS tab offers you the ability to disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP
on the current system (meaning NetBIOS will not be transmitted over
network links from this computer) or allow it to mimic its DHCP server.
(If the DHCP server disables NetBIOS, this system will as well.) You should
consider disabling NetBIOS over TCP/IP only if all systems on the network
are Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows 2003 and no application or
service on the network requires NetBIOS to function. In other words, you’ll
need to live with NetBIOS for a bit longer.
DNS Does the Trick
One way to simplify TCP/IP host identification is to use Fully Qualified
Domain Names (FQDNs) instead of IP addresses. An FQDN is the type of name
used to identify resources on the Internet to make access easier for humans
(such as www.microsoft.com). Resolving domain names and FQDNs to IP
addresses is a crucial service on TCP/IP networks in general and especially
on the Internet, where hundreds of millions of names and addresses can be
found. This is where the Domain Name Service — sometimes called the
Domain Naming Service or Domain Name System, but always abbreviated
as DNS — comes into play.
As with NetBIOS names and IP addresses, the association between FQDNs
and IP addresses can also be maintained in two ways:
HOSTS file: You can create a HOSTS file on each system. The HOSTS file
maintains a local table that associates specific FQDNs with specific IP
addresses. When such associations change, the HOSTS file must be
updated manually and copied to all machines on a network.
HOSTS files aren’t suited for interaction with large IP-based networks,
especially the Internet. This explains why HOSTS files are mostly relics
of an earlier, simpler era of IP networking. Except as a fallback in case
access to DNS fails, no one uses HOSTS files anymore.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
DNS: Access to a DNS server allows network machines to request name
resolution services from that server instead of maintaining name-toaddress associations themselves. Although DNS servers must be
configured manually, a DNS server can handle the name resolution
needs of an entire network with ease. DNS servers can also communicate with one another, so a name resolution request that the local server
can’t handle can be passed up the FQDN name hierarchy until it reaches
a server that can resolve the name into an address or indicate that the
name is invalid.
The Internet includes tens of thousands of DNS servers. ISPs manage many of
these DNS servers; others fall under the control of special top-level domain
authorities. To stake out an Internet presence, you must obtain a unique
FQDN through the InterNIC (or let your ISP do it for you). After you obtain
this name, it’s associated with a special root IP address in some DNS server
(probably at your ISP, unless you decide to set up a DNS server of your own).
Whether to DNS
Unless you manage a large, complex network, chances are better than average that you’ll work with someone else’s DNS server — probably your ISP’s —
rather than managing your own. However, if you have a large network with
more than 1,000 computers, or if your network spans multiple sites using
private wide-area links, a DNS server may be just the thing to help you stake
out the right type of Internet presence.
One unique feature of Windows Server 2003 is that it automatically installs
three services on the first server of a domain: Active Directory, DHCP, and
DNS. Although you don’t actually have to employ DHCP and DNS, they’re
still installed by default. Installing these services is therefore a breeze. (So
much so that the Configure Your Server Wizard does it for you automatically.)
The real headaches come when you try to configure DNS (or DHCP, for that
The deans of DNS
If you think you may be interested in setting up a DNS server, you need to
consult a technical resource, such as the Windows Server 2008 Resource
Kit or TechNet. We also highly recommend DNS on Windows Server 2003, a
book by Matt Larson, Cricket Liu, and Robbie Allen (published by O’Reilly
Chapter 10: IP Addressing: Zero to Insane in Two Seconds Flat
& Associates), as the ultimate resource for using Windows 2003 as a DNS
server. Even though the title says Windows 2003, this is also a great resource
for Windows Server 2008 because DNS is almost exactly the same. Paul Albitz
and Cricket Liu also wrote a general DNS book called DNS and BIND, now in
its fifth edition (also published by O’Reilly) that is widely regarded as the
best general reference on DNS. Both of these books should be updated or
revised soon to encompass new material for Windows Server 2008.
DHCP: IP Addressing Automation
DHCP, the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, is used to dynamically
assign IP addresses and other configuration settings to systems as they boot.
This allows clients to be configured automatically at startup, thus reducing
installation administration. DHCP also allows a large group of clients to share
a smaller pool of IP addresses, if only a fraction of those clients needs to be
connected to the Internet at any given time.
What is DHCP?
DHCP is a service that Windows Server 2008 can deliver. In other words, a
Windows Server 2008 can run DHCP server software to manage IP addresses
and configuration information for just about any type of TCP/IP client. In fact,
it can even perform this role in a completely stripped-down way if Windows
Server 2008 is installed as Server Core with additional service roles.
DHCP manages IP address distribution using leases. When a new system
configured to use DHCP comes online and requests configuration data, an IP
address is leased to that system. (Each lease lasts three days by default.)
When the duration of the lease is half expired, the client can request a lease
renewal for another three days. If that request is denied or goes unanswered,
the renewal request is repeated when 87.5 percent and 100 percent of the
lease duration has expired. If a lease expires and isn’t renewed, the client
can’t access the network until it obtains a new IP address lease. You can initiate manual lease renewals or releases by executing ipconfig /renew or
ipconfig /release at the Windows Server 2008 command prompt.
You can view the current state of IP configuration using the ipconfig command. Issuing the ipconfig /all|more command at the command prompt
displays all of a machine’s IP configuration information, one screen at a time.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Is DHCP in your future?
We can think of two profound reasons why DHCP is a godsend to Windows
Server 2008 administrators who need to use it:
DHCP enables you to manage an entire collection of IP addresses in one
place, on a single server, with little effort beyond the initial configuration
of the address pool (the range of addresses that DHCP will be called
upon to manage). In the old days (before DHCP), managing IP addresses
usually required walking from machine to machine on a far too frequent
DHCP automates delivery of IP addresses and configuration information
(including subnet mask and the default gateway addresses) to end-user
machines. This makes it astonishingly easy to set up IP clients and to
handle configuration changes when they must occur.
To configure IP on a new client, all an end user (or you) must do in
Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows NT, or Windows
9x is click the single option in the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties
dialog box that reads, Obtain an IP Address Automatically. DHCP does
the rest!
When configuration changes occur, these changes are automatically
introduced when IP leases are renewed. You can even cancel all existing
leases and force clients to renew their leases whenever major renumbering or configuration changes require immediate updates to their IP configurations.
Enough TCP/IP to choke a hippo
If this chapter whets your appetite for TCP/IP,
you can obtain more details and information
from the following great resources:
Stevens, and Michael Evangelista (published by Prentice Hall) in various editions
from 2nd through 5th
Windows Server 2008 TCP/IP Protocols and
Services, by Joseph Davies (published by
Microsoft Press)
TCP/IP For Dummies, 5th Edition, by
Candace Leiden, Marshall Wilensky, and
Scott Bradner (published by Wiley
The TCP/IP Guide, by Charles Kozierok
(published by No Starch Press; check
out the complete online version at www.
Internetworking with TCP/IP, Volumes I, II,
and III, by Douglas E. Comer, David L.
If that’s still not enough, one of your authors
pulled together a more comprehensive TCP/IP
bibliography for NetPerformance.com. Check
it out at www.netperformance.com/
Chapter 10: IP Addressing: Zero to Insane in Two Seconds Flat
The ultimate reason for using DHCP is that it makes your job much easier.
DHCP is recommended for all networks that use TCP/IP with ten or more
clients. The first Windows Server 2008 in a domain has DHCP installed
automatically, but you still need to enable and configure it properly before it
will do you any good. So, if you think you may be interested in setting up a
DHCP server, consult a technical resource, such as the Windows Server 2008
Resource Kit or TechNet, for all the details of installation and configuration.
Ironing Out Problems
Problems that occur on TCP/IP networks are almost always associated with
incorrect configurations. The wrong IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, DNS server, WINS server, or DHCP server can bring a system, if not an
entire network, to its knees. Therefore, you need to take extra caution to
double-check your settings and changes before putting them into effect.
If you connect to an ISP, you should contact the ISP’s technical support personnel early to eliminate as much wheel-spinning as possible. You may discover the problem isn’t on your end, but theirs. If so, your only recourse is to
wait it out, and then complain. If problems occur too often for your comfort,
take your business elsewhere.
Windows Server 2008 includes a few TCP/IP tools that you can employ to help
track down problems. We already mentioned ipconfig; here are the others:
ping: This tool tests the communications path between your system and
another remote system. If a PING returns, you know the link is traversal
and the remote system is online. If the PING times out, either the link is
down or the remote system is offline.
tracert: This tool reveals the hops (systems encountered) between your
system and a remote system. The results inform you whether your trace
route packets are getting through and at what system a failure is occurring.
route: This tool is used to view and modify the routing table of a multihomed system.
netstat: This tool displays information about the status of the current
TCP/IP connections.
nslookup: This tool displays DNS information that helps you manage
and troubleshoot your DNS server.
telnet: This tool is used to establish a text-based terminal emulation
with a remote system. Telnet gives you access to a remote system as if
you were sitting at its keyboard. Windows Server 2003 doesn’t include
an inbound Telnet server.
Complete details on these tools are included in the Windows 2008 help files,
the Windows Server 2008 Resource Kit, and TechNet.
Part II: Servers, Start Your Engines
Part III
Running Your
In this part . . .
fter Windows Server 2008 is up and running, the real
fun — namely, maintaining the server and network
you’ve so laboriously constructed — begins. Or at least,
so goes the conventional wisdom. In a very real sense,
therefore, Part III begins where Part II leaves off.
First, there’s managing the users (and their groups) who
will work on your network and use your server. Then, it’s
on to how to set up and handle NTFS and share permissions, with a heaping order of file systems and related
topics on the side. Once you have data and users to protect, backing up your system is no longer an option —
it’s a downright necessity — so it’s the next topic on our
systems-management agenda. Part III closes out with an
exercise in positive paranoia, where you find out about
computer and network security in a discussion that
covers the bases from physical security all the way up to
how to build a solid password.
Thus, Part III covers all the key topics involved in managing a Windows Server 2008–based network to prepare
you to live with one of your own (or to work on someone
else’s). Use these chapters to establish a systematic
routine — not only will your users thank you, but you’ll
also save yourself some time and effort!
Remember this: Maintenance activities and costs usually
represent 90 percent of any computer system’s life cycle.
That’s why establishing a solid maintenance routine and
sticking to it religiously are the keys to running a successful network. Do yourself a favor and don’t learn this lesson
the hard way. . . .
Chapter 11
Managing Users with Active
Directory Users and Computers
In This Chapter
Defining user account properties
Creating new user accounts and groups
Managing user accounts
Understanding groups
Assigning profiles
Governing activities with policies
Solving problems
ser accounts are indispensable elements in the Windows Server 2008
environment. They’re central management and control tools for the
operating system to authenticate users and manage access to the resources
on a local system and in the domain and forest as well. If you don’t have
a defined user account on a Windows Server 2008 stand-alone system or a
Windows Server 2008 domain, you can’t gain access to that system or to
available resources in the forest. This chapter looks at managing domain
user accounts and policies through the Active Directory Users and
Computers console.
User Accounts Have Properties
Computers are typically used by more than one person. Even systems that
workers use exclusively on their desks allow system administrators to log on
locally. If these systems have computer accounts in the domain, it’s possible
for other users with domain accounts to log on to those systems as well. The
computer distinguishes between one person and another by employing a
security device called the user account object. Each user on a computer or a
network has a unique user account that contains details about the user, such
as his or her rights and restrictions to access resources and more.
Part III: Running Your Network
A Windows Server 2008 domain-based user account contains, is linked to, or
is associated with the following items:
Password security: User accounts are protected by passwords so that
only authorized persons can gain access to the systems.
Permissions: Permissions are the access privileges granted to a user
account. These include group memberships and user-specific settings to
access resources.
Identification: A user account identifies a person to the computer system
and the network.
User rights: A user right is a high-level privilege that can be granted to
users or groups to define or limit their actions on a computer system.
Roaming: You can define user accounts so that a user can log on to
any system that is a member of a domain by using a domain user account
(certain users may be able to log on to local accounts in certain
situations), a Remote Access Service (RAS), or a gateway.
Environment layout: Profiles are user-specific and store information
about the layout, desktop, and user environment in general, unless they
are specifically restricted through the use of mandatory profiles. You
can define profiles so that they follow the user account no matter where
the user gains access on the network.
Auditing: Windows Server 2008 can track access and usage by domain
user accounts if that level of auditing has been enabled in the domain.
Access to Windows Server 2008 requires that users successfully authenticate
themselves with a domain user account. This means that when a user with
the proper permission level (not everyone has permission to log on locally to
all systems in a domain) sits down at a Windows Server 2008 system, he or
she can log on at the local machine with a local account (called an interactive
logon) by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete to start the logon process. Then the user
must provide a valid username and password. He or she may also log on to a
domain user account in the same manner if the server is a member of the
domain. After the system verifies this information, the user is granted access.
When the user is finished, he or she can log out and leave the system available
for the next user to log on.
With Windows Server 2008 installed, three user accounts are automatically
created by default on stand-alone (non-domain-member) systems:
The Administrator account is used to configure the system initially and
to create other user accounts.
The Guest account is a quick method to grant low-level access to any
user — but is disabled by default.
Chapter 11: Managing Users with Active Directory Users and Computers
The HelpAssistant, often named Support_<random characters>, is the
primary account used for Remote Assistance sessions. Remote Desktop
Help Session Manager services manage this account, which is also
disabled by default.
Administrators rule!
The Administrator account is the primary means by which you initially configure Windows Server 2008. It’s also the most powerful local account on the
Windows Server 2008 system; therefore, you should make sure that the password for the Administrator account is complex and secret. The Administrator
account has full-control access to almost everything in Windows Server 2008
(the exceptions are a few system processes that the Administrator doesn’t
own and therefore doesn’t have access to), such as managing user accounts,
manipulating shares, and granting access privileges.
The Administrator account boasts the following features:
You can’t delete it.
You can lock it out or disable it.
You can (and should) rename it. (Right-click the account and choose
Although defining a blank password on a local Administrator account is
allowed, it’s actively discouraged as a bad security practice. In certain
situations, some services don’t function properly if you don’t provide a
password. Therefore, you should provide a valid, complex password for
this account.
Renaming this account is a good security practice. Would-be hackers (that is,
people who want to gain unauthorized access to your system) need only two
bits of information to gain access to your system: a user account name and a
password. Unless you rename this account, they already have half of what
they need to gain access to the most powerful account on your system. That
ends up being the only thing they need if you don’t define a password for
this account!
Guests can wear out their welcome
The Guest account is the second default account created by Windows Server
2008. You can use this account as a temporary public-access method. It has
minimal access rights and restricted privileges to resources.
The Guest account boasts the following features:
Part III: Running Your Network
You can’t delete it.
You can disable it and lock it out. (It’s disabled by default.)
You can rename it.
It can have a blank password. (It has a blank password by default.)
Changes to the guest environment aren’t retained by this account.
(That is, the user profile is mandatory because user changes to the
environment aren’t retained.)
The Guest account can be a security hole. Good security practices suggest
that you keep this account disabled, rename it, and assign it a valid password.
Creating Active Directory Accounts
Creating accounts in Active Directory for users to log on to the domain and
forest to access resources is a common and simple task. You use the Active
Directory Users and Computers console (see Figure 11-1) in Windows Server
2008 to create and manage domain user accounts and domain groups.
Creating user accounts isn’t difficult, but you need to pay attention to lots of
details. First, we walk you through creating a quick-and-dirty user account.
Then, we talk about all the fine-tuning you can perform on this account:
1. To get to Active Directory Users and Computers, choose Start➪All
Programs➪Administrative Tools➪Active Directory Users and
2. In the console tree, click the folder that corresponds to the domain or
organizational unit to which you want to assign this new account.
You see all the default settings for this domain or organizational unit,
including user accounts. If you’re assigning the user account to the
Users container, when you initially click it, you see the Administrator
and Guest accounts, plus other accounts that Windows Server 2008 set
up, depending on the services you installed.
An organizational unit is an Active Directory container that holds other
organizational units, computers, user accounts, and groups. For more
information on organizational units, see Chapter 7.
3. In the details pane, right-click the group and then choose Properties.
4. On the Members tab, click Add.
(You can also right-click the container and choose New➪User from the
pop-up menu.) This reveals the Create New Object – User Wizard, shown
in Figure 11-2. When you create a user object from scratch, you should
pay attention to every detail of that account.
Chapter 11: Managing Users with Active Directory Users and Computers
Figure 11-1:
The Active
Users and
console is
the primary
tool that
administrators use
to create
and groups.
Figure 11-2:
Use the New
Object –
User Wizard
to create a
user object.
5. Fill in the following information:
• First Name; Last Name; Initial: Type the user’s first name, last name,
and middle initial, if applicable.
• Full Name: This is how the name will be displayed on the system.
Notice that the Setup Wizard has entered the name for you. You
can replace what’s filled in for you and arrange the display of the
full name any way you like. Usually, the first name is displayed,
then the last name.
• User Logon Name: Type the information you want the user to use
to validate himself or herself to the network. You should create a
company standard such as last name, first initial, or something
similar. (See the “What’s in a name?” sidebar later in this chapter.)
Part III: Running Your Network
Pre–Windows 2000, the user logon name is the name given to the
user for pre–Windows 2000 systems. Notice that the wizard fills in
this information for you. You won’t need to change this unless
you’re a tech head.
6. Click the Next button to continue setting up this new user account
In the next screen, you’ll enter information about the password.
7. Type a password for this account and then confirm that password to
the system by retyping it.
8. Configure the password settings using the options described in the
following list:
• User Must Change Password at Next Logon: Forces users to change
their passwords.
• User Cannot Change Password: Prevents users from changing their
• Password Never Expires: Exempts this account from the policy that
can require a password change after a specified time period.
• Account Is Disabled: Ensures that this account can’t be used to gain
access to the system. Chances are, if you’re creating a new user,
you don’t want to select this option because you want the user to
be able to access the system.
9. Click the Next button when you’re finished marking your selections.
You’re presented with a confirmation screen about the choices
you’ve made.
10. Click the Finish button if everything is correct. If you think of something else that needs to be added, click the Back button to add it now.
If you need to add data later, you can edit the properties of the account
as well.
You’ve just created a new domain user account object, and you’ll see that
object in the Active Directory Users and Computers console window. In Step
5, we mention the way the name is displayed, and that’s how you should see
the object’s name listed.
If you right-click the new object and then click Properties, you’ll see several
tabs, including General, Address, Account, Profile, and many more. You can
use these tabs to enter more information about the new user account object,
such as the groups to which it belongs. You may see other tabs, depending
on the services installed on your Windows Server 2008 system and whether
the server is a stand-alone server, a domain member server, or a domain
In the following sections, individually we go through some of the default tabs
of a member server so that you’ll know what to fill in and why.
Chapter 11: Managing Users with Active Directory Users and Computers
What’s in a name?
Windows Server 2008 doesn’t actually use or
even care about the human-friendly name
assigned to a user account. Instead, Windows
Server 2008 uses a Security Identifier, or SID, to
recognize and track user accounts. But, because
you’re human, you should employ humanfriendly names whenever possible. This reduces
stress and makes user management easier.
What we’re trying to say is that you should
employ a naming convention. A naming convention is just a predetermined method for creating
names for users, computers, resources, and
other objects. The two key features of a naming
convention are the capability to always create
new names and that the names created provide
descriptive information about the named object.
Small networks rarely need complex or even predefined naming conventions. However, when the
number of named items on your network
exceeds about 100 or so, you may find it increasingly difficult to remember who or what jackal,
herbie, and 8675309 actually are. Therefore,
starting a small network with a naming convention can ease the growth process later.
Windows Server 2008 doesn’t impose or suggest
a naming scheme. It just lets you define names
as you please. If you decide to use a naming convention, you need to be diligent in enforcing and
employing that scheme.
The naming convention you choose or create
doesn’t matter; as long as it always provides new
names and those names indicate information
about the objects they label. Here are some
general naming-convention rules:
The names need to be consistent across all
element types (user names, computer
names, share names, directory names, and
so on).
The names should be easy to understand. (If
they’re too complex or difficult, they won’t
be used.)
The names should somehow identify the
types of objects.
You can create new names by mimicking the
structure of existing names. Here are some
examples of partial naming conventions that you
can customize for your network:
Create user names by combining the first
and last name of a user (for example,
JohnSmith or JSmith).
Create user names by combining the last
name of a user and a department code (for
example, SmithAcct and SmithSales5). With
Active Directory, this type of design is less
needed because, in many cases, the layout
of your OU structure reflects the organizational areas of your company.
Create computer names by combining the
user name, a computer type code, and room
number (for example, SmithW98 and JS102).
Create group names by combining resource
descriptor, location, project, or department
names (for example, Tower12, Planning2,
and Conference12).
Create share or directory names by combining the content or purpose descriptor
with a group or project name (for example,
Documents, SalesDocs, and AcctSheets).
Create printer names by combining the
model type, location, department, and group
names (for example, HP5Sales, CLJRm202,
and HP4Acct).
As you can see, each of these suggested partial
naming schemes always creates new names
and provides enough information about the
named object to determine where it is and
whether it’s a user account, computer, share,
or printer.
Part III: Running Your Network
General tab
When you click the General tab, you can type more information about the
account, such as a description (additional location information, what
the account is used for, or whatever you want), office address, telephone
number, Web page address, and e-mail address. The more information you
provide at this time, the more you’ll appreciate it later when you need this
information. The description information shows up in the Active Directory
Users and Computers console if you have the detail view selected.
(Choose View➪Detail to see it.)
Address tab
Click the Address tab to type information about the user’s physical mailing
address. Although this information isn’t required, it’s good to have handy.
Account tab
Click the Account tab to reveal the logon name, logon name for pre–Windows
2000 systems, logon hours, workstation restrictions (which can be set
with the Log On To button), and account expiration information. Most of
the options in this tab are self-explanatory — except the logon hours and
expiration information, which are described as follows:
Logon hours: Click the Logon Hours button to reveal the Logon Hours
dialog box. (See Figure 11-3.) In this dialog box, you can define the hours
during which a user can gain entry to the system. If this user account
attempts to log on during off hours, the logon fails. If the user is already
online when the hours expire, the user remains online but can’t establish any new network connections. (That is, the user can’t send a document to a printer or open a new file.) You define hours by selecting the
day and hour sections and selecting the Logon Permitted or Logon
Denied option. This option is mostly used for contractors who are
allowed to use the system only during regular working hours.
Account expiration: Select the Account Expires End Of option to
define when (if ever) the account expires. This is useful for contract or
temporary employees who have been granted access to the system for
a specified period of time.
Profile tab
Click the Profile tab in the Properties dialog box to reveal current information
about the user account’s profile. (See Figure 11-4.) In this dialog box, you can
define the following:
Chapter 11: Managing Users with Active Directory Users and Computers
User Profile Path: The location where the roaming profile for this user is
stored. The roaming profile makes a user’s working environment available to him of her on any workstation on the network. (See the “Giving
Your Users Nice Profiles” section later in this chapter.)
Logon Script: The filename of the script file to be executed at logon.
Logon scripts are usually batch files that define paths, set environmental
variables, map drives, or execute applications. You typically use logon
scripts only in Windows Server 2008 for compatibility with older servers
or DOS applications or to automatically configure settings for NetWare
server access.
Home directory: The default storage location for this profile as a local
path or as a mapped drive letter to a network drive.
Figure 11-3:
Access can
be set by
time of day
and day of
Figure 11-4:
Examples of
a User
Profile and
its profile
path, logon
and Home
Part III: Running Your Network
Telephones tab
Click the Telephones tab in the Properties dialog box to enter every imaginable phone number a person can have these days, such as pager, fax, and
mobile. There’s even a Comments section where you can add whatever
you want.
Organization tab
Click the Organization tab in the Properties dialog box to enter information
about the user’s title in the organization and the names of the people to
whom the person reports to directly. If your organization is prone to
restructuring, you may opt to leave this tab blank.
Member Of tab
Clicking the Member Of tab in the Properties dialog box reveals information
about the account’s group membership status. This is where you can add a
user account object to a group or remove a user account object from a group.
(See Figure 11-5.) If you want to add this object to another group, click the
Add button and select the group. As we discuss later in this chapter,
group membership determines the resources to which you grant a user
account access.
Figure 11-5:
memberships are
Chapter 11: Managing Users with Active Directory Users and Computers
Dial-in tab
Click the Dial-in tab in the Properties dialog box to enable or disable the
account from dialing into the network. This is also where you can set any callback options. Callback means that, as users dial into the network, the server
dials back a preset telephone number to verify that the users are in fact who
they say they are. This number can be preset or set by the user. Callback is
often used in security situations, but dial back doesn’t work particularly well
when a user is on the road and staying in different hotels, which all have
different telephone numbers. Use this option with caution.
Getting Pushy with Users
At some point during your management lifetime, you may need to disable,
rename, or delete user accounts. You can do all this using Active Directory
Users and Computers, as described in the following list:
Disabling a user account is when you turn off the account so that it
can’t be used to gain entry to the system. To disable an account, highlight the user account and then choose Action➪Disable Account. When
you create a user using the Setup Wizard (see the “Creating Active
Directory Accounts” section earlier in this chapter), you can select the
Account Disabled check box, and the user account is disabled until
you enable it.
Renaming a user account changes the human-friendly name of the
account. Just select the user account and then choose Action➪Rename.
A dialog box prompts you for the new name. Note that a name change
doesn’t change the Security Identifier (SID) of the account.
Deleting a user account removes the user account from the system.
Highlight the user account you want to delete and then choose
Action➪Delete. You’re prompted to confirm the deletion. When you
delete an account, it’s gone for good. The SID used by the deleted
account is never reused. Creating a new account with the same configuration as the deleted account still results in a different account because
a new SID is used; therefore, as far as the accounts database is
concerned, it’s a new account.
When users leave your organization, you need to decide whether you want to
retain their old user accounts to use for their replacements. This is your best
option because it retains all department and group settings, but it does mean
that you have to change all the personal information so that it relates to the
new user.
Part III: Running Your Network
What about Groups?
A group is a collection of users who need similar levels of access to a
resource. Groups are the primary means by which Windows Server 2008
domain controllers grant user access to resources.
Groups simplify the administration process by reducing the number of
relationships that you have to manage. Instead of managing how each individual user relates to each resource, you need to manage only how the smaller
number of groups relate to resources and to which groups each user belongs.
This reduces the workload by 40 to 90 percent. Windows Server 2008 has a
Best Practices section under its Help guide that encourages you to use
groups in as many situations as you can.
Understanding group scopes
A group is nothing more than a named collection of users. There are two
different types of groups, and each type can have any one of three scopes
(described next):
Security groups are used to assign user rights to objects and resources
in Active Directory. A secondary function of a security group is that it
can also be used to send e-mails to all the members of the group.
Distribution groups are used only for sending e-mail to all the members
of the group. Distribution groups can’t be used to define permissions to
resources and objects in Active Directory.
Both group types can have any of the following scopes:
Global groups exist on a domain level. They are present on every computer throughout a domain and are managed by any Active Directory
for Users and Computers tool hosted by Windows Server 2008. When the
domain is running in Windows 2000 native mode or Windows Server
2008 mode, members of global groups can include accounts and global
groups from the same domain. When the domain is running in Windows
2000 mixed mode, members of global groups can include accounts from
the same domain.
Domain local groups exist only on a single computer. They aren’t
present throughout a domain. When the domain is running in Windows
2000 native mode or Windows Server 2008 mode, members of domain
local groups can include accounts, global groups, and universal groups
from any domain, as well as domain local groups from the same domain.
When the domain is running in Windows 2000 mixed mode, members
of domain local groups can include accounts and global groups from
any domain.
Chapter 11: Managing Users with Active Directory Users and Computers
Universal groups extend beyond the domain to all domains in the current forest. When the domain is running in Windows 2000 native mode
or Windows server 2008 mode, members of universal groups can include
accounts, global groups, and universal groups from any domain. When
the domain is running in Windows 2000 mixed mode, security groups
with a universal scope can’t be created. When the domain is running in
Windows 2000 native mode or Windows Server 2008 mode, universal
groups can be created and used to house other groups, such as global
groups, to facilitate the assignment of permissions to resources in any
domain in the forest.
The three group scopes simplify the user-to-resource relationship. Using
groups greatly reduces the management overhead for a medium or large network, but it may seem a bit complicated for a small network. You can use
groups like this:
Local groups are assigned access levels to resources.
Users are assigned membership to a global group or a universal group.
A global group or a universal group is assigned as a member of a local
Therefore, users are granted access to resources by means of their global or
universal group membership, and, in turn, that group’s membership to a local
group has access to the resource. Whew, now it’s time for a drink!
Here are a few important items to keep in mind about groups:
A user can be a member of multiple global or universal groups.
A global or universal group can be a member of multiple local groups.
A resource can have multiple local groups assigned access to it. Using
multiple local groups, you can define multiple levels of access to a
resource from read/print to change/manage to full control.
Although it’s possible to add user accounts directly to a universal group, best
practices dictate that you should add them only to global groups and add
global groups to universal groups. When membership changes in a universal
group, such as the addition or removal of user accounts or groups, the
change must be replicated throughout the forest through the global catalog
servers. Adding and removing user accounts often from universal groups will
cause a great deal of forest-wide replication traffic on the network.
If you add a global group to a universal group, user accounts and nested
global groups can be added to and removed from the global group without
causing a single replication. This is because the membership of the universal
group hasn’t changed. It still has the same global group or groups in it. Only
the membership of the global group changes when you add or remove user
accounts or nested global groups.
Part III: Running Your Network
Although you can assign a user direct membership to a local group or even
direct access to a resource, doing so subverts the neat little scheme that
Microsoft developed to simplify your life. So, just follow this prescription,
and you’ll be vacationing on the beach in no time.
Whereas any other group can be a member of a local group, a local group
can’t be a member of any other group when the domain is running in mixed
mode. Domain local groups can be placed in other domain local groups from
the same domain when the domain is running in Windows 2000 native mode
or Windows Server 2008 mode.
Creating and managing groups
You manage groups on Windows Server 2008 using Active Directory Users
and Computers. To create a group using Active Directory Users and
Computers, follow these steps:
1. In the console tree, right-click the folder to which you want to add the
group (Active Directory Users and Computers/domain node/folder)
and choose New➪Group.
The New Object – Group dialog box appears. (Refer to Figure 11-5.)
2. Type the new group name.
The group name for pre–Windows Server 2008 machines is filled in
automatically. By default, the name that you type is also entered as the
pre–Windows 2000 name of the new group.
3. In Group Scope, select one of the options: Domain Local, Global, or
Universal groups are powerful because they extend to all domains in the
current forest.
4. Select the group type: Security or Distribution.
You’ll almost never use the Distribution group setting because it does
not contain the access control list (ACL) information necessary for
security purposes. The Distribution group setting is used mainly for
e-mail operations, where you’d want to send an e-mail to a collective
group of users and don’t need security attached to it. We recommend
always using the Security type.
5. Click OK.
Chapter 11: Managing Users with Active Directory Users and Computers
After the group object is created, you can double-click the object to add more
attributes to it. You see several new tabs called General, Members, Member
Of, and Managed By. These tabs are fairly self-explanatory, but here’s a little
bit about them:
General: This tab contains the same information you filled in when you
created the group, such as group name, description, e-mail, group scope,
and group type.
Members: This tab shows the users who are members of the group. This
is where you add users to the group.
Member Of: This is where you can add this group to other groups.
Managed By: This tab allows you to specify who manages the group.
You can provide information about the user, such as name, address, and
phone number.
Using built-in groups
You don’t have to create your own groups: Windows Server 2008 domain controllers have several built-in security domain local groups that you can use.
The groups are in the Builtin container, by default. The following lists just a
few of them (the default members are in parentheses):
Administrators (administrator, domain admin, Enterprise admin)
Guests (domain guests, guests)
Pre–Windows 2000 Compatible Access (anonymous logon, everyone)
Users (domain users, authenticated users)
Note that your screen may show that these built-in groups have more
members than we’ve listed, depending on which services are installed on
your server. For example, if you’ve installed Internet Information Services
(IIS), you’ll see more members in the built-in Guests group.
These default, built-in security domain local groups have both predefined
built-in capabilities (see Figure 11-6) and default user rights. You can modify
the user rights of these groups (see this chapter’s section titled “User
Accounts Have Properties”), but you can’t change the built-in capabilities.
Part III: Running Your Network
Figure 11-6:
The built-in
groups of
Server 2008.
Windows Server 2008 domain controllers include the following additional
security groups as well, which can be found in the Users container by default:
Cert Publishers (domain local)
Debugger Users (domain local)
HelpServicesGroup (domain local)
RAS and IAS Servers (domain local)
Telnet Clients (domain local)
Domain Admins (global)
Domain Computers (global)
Domain Controllers (global)
Domain Guests (global)
Domain Users (global)
Group Policy Creator Owners (global)
Enterprise Admins (universal)
Schema Admins (universal)
Other groups may exist, such as DnsAdmins, which would be created if the
domain controller hosted DNS services. For the most part, however, the
preceding list is inclusive for the forest root domain controller.
Windows Server 2008 has three more groups that it classifies as special
identities: Everyone, Network, and Interactive. These are built-in groups that
you can modify only indirectly. The following list describes these groups:
Chapter 11: Managing Users with Active Directory Users and Computers
Everyone: This group, for example, may reflect a membership of 20 user
accounts until you add another account to the domain. The user is
automatically added to the Everyone group with no intervention by you.
Therefore, although you didn’t specifically make the new account a
member of the Everyone group, you did affect its membership. Guests
are also added to the Everyone group, so be careful and modify the
guest account to restrict access to the network. (See the “Guests can
wear out their welcome” section earlier in this chapter for more
Network: This group is for those who use the network as a means to
access resources. When you give users access to resources across the
network, they’re automatically added to the Network group.
Interactive: This group represents users who access resources by
logging on locally.
Again, you can’t change who is a member of these groups in a direct sense.
However, when you set permissions to resources, these groups will appear,
and you should modify the access levels of these groups to specific
resources. For example, when giving users access to the root level of a
volume, you can restrict access to the Everyone group so those users have
only Read permissions.
You should create groups that make sense to your organizational pattern,
method of operations, or just common sense. Groups should be meaningful,
and their names should reflect their purposes. Naming a group Sales isn’t
very useful, but a name such as SalesPrintOnly is very informative. You
should create groups so that users are divided by purpose, access levels,
tasks, departments, or anything else you consider important. Remember that
groups exist for your benefit, so try to get the most out of them.
Giving Your Users Nice Profiles
A user profile is the collection of desktop, environment, network, and other
settings that define and control the look, feel, and operation of the workstation or member server. Windows Server 2008 records profile information
automatically for each user. However, unless you make them roaming profiles
(which you find out about later in this chapter), these profiles are accessible
only locally.
A user profile records lots of information about the user’s environment and
activities, including the following:
Start menu configuration
Screensaver and wallpaper settings
Part III: Running Your Network
List of recently accessed documents
Favorites list from Internet Explorer
Network mapped drives
Installed network printers
Desktop layout
In addition, a profile includes a compressed copy of the HKEY_CURRENT_
USER Registry key in a file named NTUSER.DAT. To find definitions for all the
various Registry keys, you can use the Registry Tools utility in the Windows
Server 2008 Resource Kit and access REGENTRY.HLP.
You can turn profiles into roaming profiles. (Note that a nonroaming profile
is called a local profile.) A roaming profile is a profile stored on a networkaccessible drive; therefore, no matter which workstation is used to gain access,
the user’s profile is available. As a result, the user’s working environment follows him or her from one computer to the next. (You can also set the profile so
that the user can’t customize his or her roaming profile, which is called a
mandatory user profile. See the last paragraph of this section for details.)
To create and enable a roaming profile for a specific user, follow these steps:
1. On the domain controller, start Active Directory Users and
Computers. (Choose Start➪Control Panel➪Administrative Tools➪
Active Directory Users and Computers.)
2. In the console tree, right-click the domain or organizational unit for
which you want to set a policy and choose Properties.
3. Click the Group Policy tab.
4. If you want to modify an existing group policy, select it in the Group
Policy Object Links portion of the window and choose the appropriate
5. Click the Copy To button.
6. Define a network accessible path for the new storage location for
the profile.
For example, \\domain controller\users\<username>, where
domain controller is the name of the domain controller, users is the
share name, and username is the name of the user account that is tied
to the profile.
7. On the domain controller (or any domain member that has the
ADMINPAK.MSI tools properly installed), launch the Active Directory
Users and Computers. (Choose Start➪Programs➪Administrative
Directory Users and Computers.)
8. Right-click the user object you just copied to the domain controller
and then choose Properties.
Chapter 11: Managing Users with Active Directory Users and Computers
9. Click the Profile tab.
10. In the Profile Path box in the User Profile section, type the same path
from Step 6.
11. Click OK.
The profile for the selected user is now a roaming profile. After a user has a
roaming profile, the local profile is no longer used. It remains on the system,
but the user account is now associated with the roaming profile.
By default, each time a user logs out, all changes made to his or her profile
during that logon session (no matter which workstation he or she uses) are
saved to the profile on the domain controller, unless you specifically made
this a mandatory profile. The next time the user logs on, the work environment is exactly the same as when he or she logged off. Local and roaming
profiles should be used only by a single user. If multiple users need to use
a single profile, you should employ a mandatory profile.
A mandatory profile doesn’t save customized or personal changes to the
profile when a user logs out. Instead, the profile retains the same configuration at all times. This type of profile is used mainly when system or network
administrators want to control or limit the end users’ ability to modify
their profiles beyond a standard one that may be employed throughout the
You create a mandatory profile by simply renaming the NTUSER.DAT file to
NTUSER.MAN in either a local or roaming profile. After this change is made,
the profile remains consistent no matter who uses it. You can always reverse
this process by renaming the NTUSER.MAN file back to NTUSER.DAT.
Where You Find Profiles, Policies
Are Never Far Away
Group policies are the collections of rules governing, controlling, or watching
over the activities of users. You can set group policies based on sites,
domains, or organizational units. In Windows NT Server 4.0, this was known
as the System Policy Editor. In Windows Server 2008 (as it was in Windows
2003 and 2000), you set these policies using the group policy and its snap-in
extensions, such as Administrative Templates, Security Settings, and Scripts.
Administering a group policy
One way to administer (manage or modify) the group policy from Active
Directory Users and Computers is to do the following:
Part III: Running Your Network
1. Start Active Directory Users and Computers. (Choose Start➪Control
Panel➪Administrative Tools➪Active Directory Users and Computers.)
2. In the console tree, right-click the domain or organizational unit for
which you want to set a policy and choose Properties.
3. Click the Group Policy tab.
4. If you want to modify an existing group policy, select it in the Group
Policy Object Links portion of the window and choose the appropriate
The following options are available on the Group Policy tab. (We list them in
alphabetical order.)
Add: This opens the Add Group Policy Object Link dialog box. If you
want to add an existing group policy object to the domain or organizational unit you’re viewing, you do so under this option.
Block Policy Inheritance: Select this option to prevent the directory
object you choose from inheriting its group policy from its parent
Delete: Use this option if you want to remove the group policy object.
Edit: Allows you to make changes to the selected group policy.
New: Allows you to create a new group policy object.
Properties: Opens the Group Policy Properties dialog box. You can
find all sites, organizational units, and domains using the selected
policy. In addition, you can set permissions on a user or group basis
to this object.
In addition, there’s an Options button. When you click it, the following
options are available:
Disabled: This temporarily disables the group policy from the directory
No Override: This is similar to a veto. If this is selected, child directories must inherit group policy from their parent directory. Not even the
Block Policy Inheritance setting can keep this group policy from being
forced after No Override is set.
If more than one group policy object is listed, you can use the Up and Down
buttons to change the group policy order. Policies are enforced from the
bottom of the list to the top. The one at the top is enforced last and thus
takes priority over any of the others in the list or any of the others processed
at higher points in the inheritance scheme, such as at the parent OU or
domain or site levels.
Chapter 11: Managing Users with Active Directory Users and Computers
Understanding how group
policies are processed
A group policy is processed in the following manner:
1. All Windows 2000, XP Professional, and 2003/2008 systems have one
local group policy object, and it’s processed first when the system is
started. In a domain scenario, because the subsequent group policy
objects are likely to overwrite these settings, this group policy object
will probably have the least amount of effect on the local system when
it’s in a domain. On a stand-alone Windows system, it’s usually the only
group policy object processed; in this situation, it will have a large
effect, if not the only effect.
2. The next set of group policy settings that are processed are the
settings for all and any site group policy objects. These group policy
objects are processed synchronously. (The domain administrator sets
the order in which these will execute.) They’re processed from the
bottom of the list to the top, with the one at the top enforced last at
this level.
3. After all site group policy objects are run, the next set of group policy
objects to be deployed are the ones set at the domain level. These too
are executed synchronously, processed from the bottom of the list to
the top, with the one at the top enforced last in the event that there is
more than one set to be deployed.
4. The final set of group policy objects to be executed are any set at the
organizational unit level. All group policy objects linked to the uppermost (parent) organizational unit in the inheritance tree are executed
first, followed by those in the next highest level, and so on, until you
reach the local organizational unit, which is executed last. At each
organizational unit in the hierarchy, there may be several group policies.
They are processed in a specific order set by the domain administrator
and are executed synchronously. This means that all group policy
objects in the highest point of the inheritance tree are executed first in
the specific order set by the domain administrator, and then all group
policy objects at the next point of the inheritance tree are executed in
the specific order set by the domain administrator, and so on all the way
down to the local organizational unit.
Two rules apply when there are conflicting settings. At any particular group
policy object, the computer setting prevails over the user configuration setting. For example, if GPO3 at the bottom of the list set at the domain level has
a computer configuration setting set to do one thing and the same group
policy object user section is set to do the opposite, the settings outlined in
the computer configuration are enabled. The second rule is that anything
executed next takes precedence. Following along with the preceding example,
if the next group policy object set at the domain level (GPO2) has another
setting that conflicts with a previous one, it takes precedence.
Part III: Running Your Network
Here is an example:
1. The local system GPO says to remove Run from the Start menu.
(It’s removed.)
2. GPO2 at the domain level (bottom of the list) says to remove Run from
the Start menu. (It’s removed.) GPO1 at the domain level (top of the list)
says to enable Run on the Start menu. (It’s added.)
3. GPO2 at the parent OU level (bottom of the list) says to enable Run on
the Start menu. (It’s added.) GPO1 at the parent OU level (top of the list)
says to enable Run on the Start menu. (It’s added.)
4. GPO3 at the local OU level (bottom of the list) says to enable Run on the
Start menu. (It’s added.) GPO2 at the local OU level (middle of the list)
says to enable Run on the Start menu. (It’s added.) GPO1 at the local OU
level (top of the list) says to remove Run from the Start menu. (It’s
You’re probably asking, “What does all this mean?” The example policy you
create in the next section guides you through the setup.
Creating a group policy
Suppose you want to set a group policy to apply to all users in the domain.
The policy will prevent the users from changing their passwords. Follow
these steps to implement this new group policy:
1. Open the Group Policy Management Console. (Choose Start➪All
Programs➪Accessories➪Run, and then type gpmc.msc and
press Enter.)
2. In the console tree, select the forest name, expand the Domains
branch, and then select the domain where you want to implement the
3. Right-click the domain name and choose Create a GPO in This Domain
and Link It Here.
The New GPO dialog box appears.
4. Specify a name for the new GPO and then click OK.
5. In the right window pane, right-click the new policy name and choose
6. Navigate your way down through the left window pane to User
Configuration➪Administrative Templates➪System➪Ctrl+Alt+Del
Options, as shown in Figure 11-7.
7. Double-click the Remove Change Password object in the right pane.
Chapter 11: Managing Users with Active Directory Users and Computers
Figure 11-7:
options that
can be set
with the
8. In the Setting tab, select Enabled, click the Apply button, and then
click OK.
This new policy affects all current and future user accounts in the domain
because it’s created and linked to the domain container. However, it doesn’t
affect those accounts that are logged on. The effect takes place after those
users log out and then log back on to the system.
Notice when you opened the Group Policy tab and clicked the Edit button,
you saw information relating to computer configuration and also to user configuration. If there’s a conflict between the two, the computer configuration
takes precedence in Windows Server 2008.
The preceding steps allow you to add a group policy and then edit the policy
using the administrative templates that were visible to you. Other templates
are available but simply not loaded. To add another template for use,
go back to the left window pane under User Configuration and right-click
Administrative Templates. Next, select Add/Remove Templates to display
a list of policies. Click the Add button to view other available templates.
You’ll find a lot of useful policies already preconfigured for you in Computer
Configuration➪Windows Settings➪Security Settings. For example, there’s a
template for setting a policy to force unique passwords for accounts.
If you’re concerned about security, you should employ an accounts policy
that requires regular password changes (a new password every 30 days or
so) and locks out accounts that fail to log on successfully after three tries.
Part III: Running Your Network
Auditing for trouble
To look at the access control information for any given group policy, you can
look at which locations are associated with the policy, who has permissions
in the policy, and how it’s audited (which is what we cover in this section).
All this is accomplished by clicking the Properties button in the Group Policy
dialog box.
Auditing information on the network allows you to track activities throughout
your network. This process can help you locate configuration problems,
security breaches, improper activity, and misuse of the system. To enable
auditing on your local system, do the following:
1. Open the Group Policy Object Editor. (Choose Start➪All Programs➪
Accessories➪Run, and then type gpmc.msc.)
2. In the console tree, click Audit Policy.
3. Navigate the left results pane to select an event category that you
want to change.
4. Double-click the option you want to audit.
The Security Policy Setting dialog box appears.
5. Choose to audit either Success or Failure attempts (or both).
(This dialog box is displayed so that the administrator can choose to
audit successful attempts, failed attempts, or both.)
6. After making your selection, click OK.
You can add the Local Group Policy Object snap-in by opening Microsoft
Management Console (MMC). Click Start and then in the Start Search text,
type mmc. Press Enter when the appropriate entry on the Start menu is
highlighted. From the File menu, click Add/Remove Snap-In to open the Add
or Remove Snap-Ins dialog box. Under Available Snap-Ins, choose Local
Group Policy Object and click Add to include it with selected snap-ins; then
specify GPO properties and click Finish.
It’s beneficial to audit failed attempts for certain objects, such as logon
attempts and object access. This can warn you of an impending intruder.
The information obtained through auditing is recorded in the Event Viewer’s
Security Log. Launch the Event Viewer from the Administrative Tools menu
and select Security Log. The right pane displays a list of the items you chose
to audit. It’s a good idea to check this log regularly, and then clear the log so
it doesn’t fill up.
Another point to remember is that this example uses the local security
policy. If a domain policy is different, it takes precedence. For example, if you
set to log all successes and all failures for all local security policy elements
and the domain security policy is set to Not Configured, no logging is enabled
because the domain security policy is enabled after the local security policy.
Chapter 11: Managing Users with Active Directory Users and Computers
When Access Problems Loom . . .
User accounts govern who can access a computer system and what level of
access that person enjoys. Sometimes, though, users run into problems that
prevent the normal operation of the logon process.
Most logon problems center on an incorrectly typed password. Therefore,
users should take the time to type their passwords correctly. This is good
advice only if their accounts haven’t been locked out because of failed logon
attempts. If your user’s account is locked out, it must be re-enabled. This can
occur in one of two ways. If the lockout policy is set with a duration, you
need to only wait until the time expires and try again. If the lockout policy
requires administrative intervention, you have to reset that user’s account.
When a user can’t log on or communication with the network seems sporadic,
check the following:
Make sure that the network interface card (NIC) and other physical
network connections are solid.
On any Windows system — Windows NT Workstation, Windows 2000,
Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server
2008 — you must ensure that the computer is a member of the domain
to log on to the domain with an account listed in Active Directory to
access network resources.
If using the Internet Protocol (IP) and a statically assigned IP address,
check the configuration settings to ensure that the computer is using
the correct IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway, and be sure
that it has the proper DNS settings for the network.
If your network employs Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
to assign IP settings from a small pool to a larger group of computers,
you may be stuck as the last person standing when the music stops and
all available connection addresses are in use. You can verify whether
this would have happened by going to a command prompt, typing
IPCONFIG /ALL, and reviewing the settings. If you have an IP address
that falls in the through Automatic Private
Internet Protocol Address (APIPA) range, it’s possible that the DHCP
server ran out of available addresses to assign, or your system had
trouble communicating with the DHCP server.
If users can log on but can’t access all the resources that they think they
should be able to access, you need to verify several items:
Group memberships
Physical network connections to resource hosts (That is, check that
a server’s network cable isn’t disconnected.)
Presence of group policies restricting the user’s action
Part III: Running Your Network
If everything we mention checks out, you may have a fairly esoteric problem.
Consult a Microsoft resource (online or through TechNet) to search for a
solution. Yeah, that’s weak advice, but it’s the most valuable thing we can tell
you. The Microsoft information database is expansive — if someone else has
had the same problem, you can probably find information posted about its
Chapter 12
Managing Shares, Permissions,
and More
In This Chapter
Exploring objects, rights, and permissions
Understanding how permissions apply to NTFS objects
Considering FAT and FAT32 partitions
Understanding how permissions apply to file shares
Determining actual permissions
Making access controls work
n large part, working with Windows Server 2008 means using the Windows
NT File System, usually called NTFS. This file system’s advanced features
include attribute-level access control lists (ACLs) for objects, so you can
control not only which users or groups can access a volume, directory, or
file, but also which operations users or groups can perform against it.
Transactional NTFS and the kernel transactional technology called
Transactional Registry are enhanced in Windows Server 2008. These transactions are necessary to preserve file system integrity and handle error
conditions reliably.
Windows 2008 also supports FAT and FAT32 file systems (FAT stands for File
Allocation Table), which don’t include object-level access controls. However,
FAT and FAT32 do support so-called file shares (shared directories with the
files they contain) that support access controls. Understanding how shares
work and how NTFS permissions combine with share permissions are major
concerns in this chapter. We show how to figure out what a user can (and
can’t) do to files based on his or her account permissions, the groups to
which he or she belongs, and the underlying defaults that apply to Windows
Server 2008 itself.
Chapter 8 discusses this information as it applies to Active Directory.
Part III: Running Your Network
More about Objects, Rights,
and Permissions
Before you can revel in the details of the rights and permissions that apply to
Windows Server 2008, you should ponder some technical terminology. That’s
why we take a brief detour to dictionary-ville — right here, right now.
An object lesson
Windows Server 2008 treats all user-accessible system resources — including
users, groups, files, directories, printers, and processes — as objects. The
term object has special meaning to programmers and tech-heads: This term
refers to a named collection of attributes and values, plus a named collection
of methods, which Microsoft calls services.
For example, a file object has a variety of attributes that you already know
about, if you’ve spent any time at all around computers: Files have names,
types, lengths, owners, plus creation and modification dates. For an object,
each attribute also has an associated value; therefore, the attributes and
values of an object that is a file might be as follows:
Name: BCD (boot configuration data)
Type: Boot configuration and boot environment settings
Contents: Information on how to boot Windows Server 2008 (also used
in Windows Vista; resides in $HOMEDRIVE\Boot)
Size: About 32KB
Attributes identify individual objects of some specific type — in this case, a
type of file — and define what they contain, where they’re located, and so on.
However, it may not be so readily apparent why methods or services are
important for objects. If you examine a file object, you can see that its methods describe operations that you would want to apply to a file. Therefore,
the methods or services that apply to file objects include things such as read,
write, execute, delete, rename, and other typical file operations. In short,
methods define the operations that can be applied to a particular object.
Among other things, this makes objects pretty much self-defining because
they include in their attributes complete descriptions of themselves and
include in their methods or services complete descriptions of what you can
do to them. Other object types have different associated methods or services
that reflect the objects’ capabilities and the data that the objects contain.
Chapter 12: Managing Shares, Permissions, and More
When you examine the attributes for specific objects in Windows Server
2008, things start getting pretty interesting. Every single attribute of every
single object has an ACL (this is sometimes pronounced ackle, to rhyme with
cackle). ACLs identify those individual user accounts or groups that may
access a particular object (or one of its attributes) and also indicate which
services each user or group may apply to that object (or one of its attributes).
Administrators use ACLs to control access to objects (and, logically, their
attributes), giving themselves free rein to troubleshoot objects while limiting
ordinary users’ abilities to accidentally (or purposefully) harm the system.
When is a file not an object?
Windows Server 2008 uses objects for most everything in its operating
environment that users can access. In fact, NTFS volumes, directories, and
files are Windows Server 2008 objects with associated attributes and a set
of well-defined services that may be applied to those objects. However,
because older FAT file systems (and the newer Windows 98 FAT32) don’t
include built-in support for ACLs, FAT and FAT32 files are not objects.
Therefore, even though FAT and FAT32 volumes, directories, and files still
have attributes similar to those for NTFS files (namely, name, type, creation
date, modification date, and so forth), FAT and FAT32 volumes, directories,
and files aren’t Windows Server 2008 objects, per se. The lack of built-in
support for ACLs explains why FAT volumes and their contents are inherently
insecure (because normal permissions don’t apply to them).
More important, this also explains why default logon behavior for Windows
Server 2008 is to deny everyone but server operators, administrators,
backup operators, and printer operators the right to log on locally. That’s
because anyone who can access a FAT or FAT32 volume can do anything they
want to it. By denying ordinary users the right to log on to a Windows Server
2008 at its keyboard and requiring them to log on only through the network,
Windows Server 2008 can control access to FAT and FAT32 volumes through
shares. Shares function as Windows Server 2008 objects and therefore have
built-in access controls.
Users have rights; objects
have permissions
In Windows Server 2008, standard usage is to speak of user rights and object
permissions. Because object permissions are rather vague, permissions are
commonly used to refer to a specific object class, such as file permissions
or printer permissions.
Part III: Running Your Network
A user’s rights define what he or she can do to objects (or their attributes) in
the Windows Server 2008 environment. A user obtains rights to objects in
one of three ways:
Those rights are explicitly assigned to an individual user account.
Those rights are assigned to the groups to which the user belongs. This
is where users can be granted privileges to perform specific tasks, such
as backing up files and directories.
Those rights are assigned through the Group Policy window. To access
that window, open one of the Active Directory Administrative tools, rightclick a site, an organizational unit, a domain, or a local computer. Choose
Properties, click the Group Policy tab, and then click Edit. You edit user
rights in the Group Policy window under Computer Configuration➪
Windows Settings➪Security Settings➪Local Policies➪User Rights
When a user logs on to a Windows Server 2008 domain (or a stand-alone
system), a special key called an access token is generated. The access token
represents the user’s explicit individual rights and the groups to which the
user belongs. It takes some time to generate an access token, which is one
reason why logging on to Windows Server 2008 isn’t instantaneous.
Every object (and its attributes) in the Windows Server 2008 environment
includes an attribute called permissions (which is found on the Security tab
of each object). This permissions attribute includes an ACL that identifies all
users and groups allowed to access the object’s attributes as well as services
that each user or group may apply to the object’s attributes.
Each time a user requests an object, Windows Server 2008 uses a built-in
facility called the Security Reference Monitor (SRM) to check the user’s
access token against the permissions for that object. If the SRM finds that the
user has permission, Windows Server 2008 fulfills the request; otherwise, the
user is denied access. It’s possible for users to have access to specific attributes of objects, but not other attributes. For example, Nancy may be granted
access to view part of JoAnne’s account information, such as her telephone
number, but not JoAnne’s street address.
Of Windows Server 2008
NTFS and Permissions
NTFS is a file system just as FAT and FAT32 (the 32-bit File Allocation Table
used in Windows 98) are file systems. The difference between NTFS and these
other file systems is that NTFS is object-oriented. Unlike FAT and FAT32, NTFS
sees everything in NTFS partitions as objects of some specific type that have
Chapter 12: Managing Shares, Permissions, and More
attributes and to which methods and services can be applied. The benefit
of using NTFS is that you can set permissions for the volumes, files, and
directories that use NTFS.
In fact, NTFS recognizes three types of objects:
Volumes: The NTFS-formatted drive partitions that show up as disk
drive icons. A volume object may contain files and directories.
Directories: Named containers for files that occur in a volume or in
some other directory. In fact, Windows Server 2008 allows you to nest
directories however deep you want, which means that you can put as
many directories within directories within directories as you like.
(Although nested directories reach a point of diminishing returns fairly
Files: Named containers for data that include type, size, dates, and
content among their attributes. Files are where information actually
resides in NTFS.
To examine permissions for any object in NTFS, right-click that object in
Windows Explorer, My Computer, or Active Directory Sites and Services. In
the pop-up menu, select Properties and then click the Security tab. At the
bottom of the Security dialog box, you see the Permissions section (as shown
in Figure 12-1). From here, you can investigate a list of available permissions
for this object (volume E on our hard drive, in this case) through the list that
appears in the Permissions section in the lower half of the screen.
Figure 12-1:
list shows
you all the
that apply to
the object.
Part III: Running Your Network
Taking ownership of objects in NTFS
An owner of an object can always modify its permissions, no matter which permissions are
already set for that object. This permission exists,
at least in part, to sidestep the Deny trap that
can occur when an object’s owner mistakenly
sets permissions for a general group, such
as Everyone or Authenticated Users. (These
two default groups are discussed further in
Chapter 14.)
If the Everyone group is assigned Deny for all
permissions of an object, that group includes
anyone who may want to access that object.
Unless an administrator or the object’s creator
(its owner, by default) resets permissions to be
less restrictive, no one can access that object —
or any objects that it contains.
Full Control is important because it grants the
object’s owner the power to change access to
that object and to change services that apply to
the object. In essence, Full Control is your getout-of-jail-free card!
NTFS permissions
The Permissions list shows permissions for files, volumes, and directory
objects in NTFS. NTFS file, volume, and directory permissions are similar. The
only real differences are that container objects offer child inheritance options
and a few permissions apply only to containers. We use the generic term
container to refer to volumes and directories — in other words, objects that
act as parents to child objects.
Windows Server 2008 has a slightly different method of permission assignments and permission restrictions than what is used in Windows NT, but
the same method as used in Windows 2000. First and foremost, it doesn’t
have a No Access permission. Instead, all permissions are either granted or
restricted using an Allow or Deny setting. Selecting Deny for all possible
permissions for an NTFS object under Windows Server 2008 is the same as
the No Access setting in Windows NT.
The standard or normal NTFS permissions are as follows:
Read grants users the ability to view and access the contents of the
folder or file.
Write (folders) grants users the ability to create new folders and files
within the folder.
Write (files) grants users the ability to change the contents of a file and
to alter its attributes.
Chapter 12: Managing Shares, Permissions, and More
List Folder Contents (folders only) grants users the ability to see the
names of the contents of a folder.
Read & Execute (folders) grants users the ability to view and access the
contents of the folder or file and to execute files.
Read & Execute (files) grants users the ability to view and execute files.
Modify (folders) grants users the ability to delete a folder and its
contents, to create new files and folders within a folder, and to view and
access the contents of a folder.
Modify (files) grants users the ability to delete a file, change the contents
of a file, alter a file’s attributes, and to view and access a file.
Full Control (folders) grants users unrestricted access to all of the
functions of files and folders.
Full Control (files) grants users unrestricted access to all of the functions
of files.
Advanced permissions
Advanced permissions are detailed controls that can be used to create special
access rights when the standard complement of permissions don’t apply
properly. Advanced controls are accessed by clicking the Advanced button
on the Permissions tab of an NTFS object. This reveals the Advanced Security
Settings dialog box, which has four tabs:
The Permissions tab is used to define special-detail permissions.
The Auditing tab is used to define the auditing scheme.
The Owner tab is used to view the current owner or take ownership of
an object.
The Effective Permissions tab displays the permissions a user or group
has on the current object, based on all applicable permission settings.
On the Permissions tab, users or groups can be added and their specific
permissions defined. The possible selections are
Full Control
Traverse Folder/Execute File
List Folder/Read Data
Read Attributes
Read Extended Attributes
Part III: Running Your Network
Create Files/Write Data
Create Folders/Append Data
Write Attributes
Write Extended Attributes
Read Permissions
Change Permissions
Take Ownership
If you really must dig up all the details on special access rights, please
consult Microsoft’s TechNet CD and the Windows Server 2008 Resource Kit.
FAT and FAT32 Have No Permissions
Because the FAT and FAT32 file systems that Windows Server 2008 supports
along with NTFS include no mechanisms for associating attributes with
files and directories, files stored in a FAT or FAT32-formatted volume have
no associated permissions, either. Anybody who’s allowed to log on to a
Windows Server 2008 Server with a FAT or FAT32 partition can access any
files in that partition. This helps explain why you may want to restrict who’s
allowed to work on your servers, as well as why you should lock them up.
The reason that FAT partitions are still around is that a dual-boot machine
that runs Windows 9x or some non-Windows operating systems (such
as Linux or some version of UNIX) as well as Windows Server 2008 must
include a FAT partition from which the other operating system can boot. This
might be a FAT32 partition for Windows Server 98, but we recommend FAT
because Windows Server 2008 can read that partition when it’s running —
and more operating systems can read FAT partitions than any other kind of
file system.
Only Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows
XP, Windows 2000, and Windows NT can read NTFS partitions, so be careful
when reformatting partitions on dual- or multi-boot machines! Plus, Windows
Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and
Windows 2000 all use NTFS version 5. Windows NT uses NTFS version 4 by
default, but if you apply Service Pack 4 or later, Windows NT is upgraded
to include NTFS version 5.
Chapter 12: Managing Shares, Permissions, and More
Share Permissions
When users access files on a Windows Server 2008 machine, they usually
do so across the network, especially if you restrict who’s allowed to log on
to the server and limit physical access to the machine. Therefore, most users
who access files on a Windows Server 2008 do so through a network share,
which is a directory on a Windows Server 2008 that you’ve shared to the
network for public access.
Shares are also objects for Windows Server 2008, so permissions do apply.
The list of applicable permissions consists of the following entries, managed
using the same Allow/Deny method as for direct NTFS object permissions:
Read permits viewing of files in the share, loading of files across the
network, and program execution.
Change includes all Read permissions, plus creating, deleting, or
changing directories and files within the share.
Full Control includes all Change permissions plus changing permissions
for and taking ownership of the share.
No Special Access exists for shares. Table 12-1 summarizes the basic
permissions for shares.
Table 12-1
Share Permissions and Basic Permissions
Full Control
If you want to expose the contents of a FAT partition on a Windows Server
2008 to network users, doing so through a share automatically gives you
some degree of access control, which is yet another advantage to using
a network!
To create a share, right-click a directory in My Computer or Windows Server
2008 Explorer, and then choose share. The Properties window for that directory appears with the Sharing tab selected, as shown in Figure 12-2.
Part III: Running Your Network
Figure 12-2:
The Sharing
tab provides
easy access
to a share’s
name, user
and caching
Click the Share button to open the new File Sharing window, which offers
these options:
User name (input box): You can manually type, select from a list, or
search the network for applicable user names for this share.
Name (list box): By default, you see an entry for the file or directory’s
original owner usually accompanied by an entry for the system administrator. This represents the active list of users who may utilize shared
resources according to specified permissions.
Permission Level: The Permission Level grants encapsulated rights —
privileges defined by certain roles — to specified user names. Default
definitions include reader (view-only), contributor (view all files, add,
change, and delete new files), and co-owner (view, change, add, or delete
all files). You may also remove entries here.
A more comprehensive method of managing shares and storage volumes is to
navigate to Start➪Administrative Tools➪Share and Storage Management.
This management application gives you a centralized perspective over all
drives and drive shares on the system with more advanced properties and
settings dialog boxes than the right-click context menu provides. Take any
usual safety precautions when sharing files and data, ensuring that only
appropriately shared data resides in such directories at all times.
Chapter 12: Managing Shares, Permissions, and More
Calculating Actual Permissions
Users have rights not only as a result of the NTFS permissions explicitly
assigned to specific files or directories for their accounts but also by virtue
of the groups to which they belong. Because NTFS shares exist, figuring out
permissions can get pretty interesting when you have to combine NTFS and
share permissions for a particular file or directory while also taking user
settings and group memberships into account. To help you figure out what’s
what, we give you a recipe for calculation, plus a few rules to use, and then
we walk you through an example to show you how things work.
The rules of calculation
To figure out which permissions apply to a share on an NTFS object, you
must first determine which permissions apply to the NTFS object by itself.
This could include inheritance features from parent to child object. (See
Chapter 8 for a refresher on inheritance.) Next, you must determine the
permissions that apply to the share. (The rules for this process appear in the
following section.) Whichever of the two results is more restrictive wins and
defines the actual permissions that apply to the file or directory in question.
This process isn’t difficult, but it may produce some counter-intuitive results.
You must apply these rules exactly as they’re stated, or we can’t guarantee
the results. Here goes:
1. Determine the permissions on the object.
2. Determine the permissions on the share.
3. Compare the permissions between the share and the object.
The more restrictive permission is the permission that applies.
Whenever you or your users can’t obtain access to a particular file-system
object through a share (or NTFS by itself, for that matter), always check
group memberships and their associated permissions.
Figure this!
The formal explanation may not completely illuminate the process of figuring
permissions, so this section provides a couple of examples.
Betty belongs to the Marketing Dept, Domain Users, and Film Critics groups.
She wants to delete the file in an NTFS share named Rosebud.doc. Can she
do it? Table 12-2 shows her individual and group permissions.
Part III: Running Your Network
Table 12-2
Betty’s NTFS and Share Permissions
User Account
Marketing Dept
Domain Users
Film Critics
User Account
Marketing Dept
Domain Users
Film Critics
On the NTFS side, Read plus Change equals Change; on the share side, Read is
the only game in town. The most restrictive of Read and Change is Read. Read
doesn’t allow Betty to delete, so Betty’s out of luck! Maybe next time. . . .
Let the OS do it for you
Now that you know how to figure permissions manually, we show you a
shortcut. In fact, we already told you about it earlier in this chapter. If you
display the Advanced Properties dialog box from an object’s Security tab,
you can access the Effective Permissions tab. By selecting a specific user or
group, this tab displays its effective permissions, as shown in Figure 12-3.
Figure 12-3:
tab from the
dialog box.
Chapter 12: Managing Shares, Permissions, and More
But What about Access Control
with Active Directory Objects?
We talk about objects and access control, but with Active Directory, you must
be aware of two more features: delegated access control and property-based
inheritance. The following sections describe these two features in general;
turn to Chapter 8 for the gory details.
Delegation of access control
You can enable others to manage portions of your network for you —
otherwise, you’d be working 24/7! You can slice up the management by way
of the domain, or you can give someone else rights to manage the organizational unit for you, depending on the functions you want that person to
perform. This is accomplished through the Delegate Administration Wizard,
which is in the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in. (Choose
Start➪Administrative Tools➪Active Directory Users and Computers, click
a domain, and then choose Delegate Control from the Action menu.)
An organizational unit is an Active Directory container that holds other
organizational units, computers, users, and groups. For more information
on organizational units, see Chapter 7.
Before you can give others access to manage Active Directory objects, you
must first have the proper permissions to delegate that object authority. In
addition, you must give the proper permissions to others to manage that
object. For more information on this, see Chapter 8.
Property-based inheritance
Just as you might inherit money from a relative, the lower levels of your
network structure can inherit access control information set at a higher level
of the structure. Inheritance, as its name suggests, always flows in a downward direction. We want to touch briefly on two methods of property-based
inheritance. (For more information and detail on how this inheritance works,
see Chapter 8.)
The first method is called dynamic inheritance. As the word dynamic suggests,
the access control information for this type of inheritance is calculated on the
fly every time a read/write to the object is requested. This results in some performance overhead (such as extra traffic) that should be considered on a busy
network. (Extra traffic on a busy network can slow things down significantly.)
Part III: Running Your Network
The second method is called the static model, also referred to as Create Time
Inheritance. This means that the access control information for an object is
set when the object is created by looking at the parent object permissions
and combining those permissions with the new object permissions. Unless
the new permissions are set at a higher level, the access control doesn’t
change for the object. Therefore, when a request is made to read or write
to the object, no recalculation is necessary to determine the permissions.
However, if permissions are changed at a higher level, these changes are
propagated downward to change permissions or reset combined permissions
at lower levels — similar to dominoes toppling over. The only time there’s
a recalculation is when the permissions at higher levels are set and the
propagation is in progress.
Chapter 13
Preparing for That Rainy Day
In This Chapter
Understanding why backing up data is important
Planning your backups
Looking at Windows Server 2008 backup methods
Finding out how to restore from a backup
Discovering third-party alternatives
Using the Backup Operators group
backup recovery scheme for your data is important because of the
critical business applications and functions that typically reside on networks. Without a plan to protect data, disruptions to an entire organization’s
data and workflow process can occur, resulting in loss of revenue.
Unfortunately, many organizations place little emphasis on protecting their
data until some actual loss occurs. In this chapter, you find out about
different methods for protecting your organization’s data to prevent losses.
Why Bother Backing Up?
Backing up is the process of copying data from one location to another —
either manually or unattended. Copying data from one directory on a hard
disk to another directory on that same hard disk is effective until the hard
disk crashes and both copies of the data become inaccessible. Also, by copying data to the same drive, you neglect to copy any of its security or account
information. This means you must re-enter that information manually. Don’t
you think it’s a better idea to back up all files (such as system, application,
and user data) to another physical medium (such as a tape, CD/DVD, or other
backup device) and then rotate that device off-site periodically?
Part III: Running Your Network
Many organizations place their critical business functions and data on the
network, including e-mail, accounting data, payroll, personnel records, and
operations. Loss of just one element of that collection hinders operations,
even if it’s just for a short time. Imagine if payroll information disappeared
from the system and some employees didn’t get paid on time. We wouldn’t
want to go there!
Data losses can be as simple as one corrupt file or as complex as the entire
contents of a server’s hard disk becoming unreadable. Organizations can
avoid data loss problems almost entirely by backing up on a regular basis.
Considering potential threats
All kinds of threats pose danger to data. Anything from fires to computer
viruses can obliterate data on a network. Planning for each type of disaster
helps secure and restore your organization’s data should that disaster occur.
Data loss on a network can occur in many ways. If you understand the potential threats and plan for them, you can prevent serious damage to your
network and loss of data. We urge you to back up your network regularly and
to rotate a recent copy off-site.
Here are some potential threats you and your network can encounter:
Hard disk crash: Even if you’ve built fault tolerance (such as mirroring
or duplexing) into a server, don’t expect those methods to always work
and recover everything 100 percent. We’ve seen mirrored drives go out
of synch without notice until the hard disk crashes. Without backups,
you can lose all your data or segments of it. It’s a good idea to
complement mirroring and duplexing with regular backups.
Ungraceful shutdown: Every once in a while, you get a smart-aleck
employee who hits the on/off switch to the server, causing it to shut
down improperly. Most servers today come right back up — but not
always. Shutting the server down in this manner can render its hard
disks unreadable. You should put your servers in a secure location away
from end users. And don’t forget to back up on a regular basis!
Viruses: Many organizations connect to the Internet, allowing employees
to download all types of data to the local area network that could introduce viruses. Viruses pose a real threat to organizations. One virus can
ruin an entire computer and render it useless in a short time. If this
computer happens to be a server on your network, someone’s going to
be reading the employment classifieds. Installing virus protection software on the server allows you to check for viruses before they’re stored
on the server. Put a backup plan in place that allows you to restore the
data on your network as it was before the introduction of the virus.
Chapter 13: Preparing for That Rainy Day
Environmental disasters: We’ve seen many organizations lose data
during environmental disturbances, such as bad storms. If lightning can
zap the electronics in your home, it can do likewise to data on a network.
Some environmental disasters you should plan for include the following:
• Fire: One fire in a building or on a floor can annihilate an entire
organization. If your organization loses everything in a fire, you’ll
be the savior if you produce a recent copy of the network stored
safely off-site. If you store backup media on top of your server in
the computer room, however, you’ll be the one who’s pounding
the pavement.
• Floods: Placing a computer room, server, or backup equipment in
the basement or first floor of a building is a bad idea, particularly
in flood-prone areas. One flood can obliterate an entire organization. Even if a flood occurs, you’re safe with backup media
off-site — away from the flood zone.
• Hurricanes: Hurricanes bring high winds and rain with them. Don’t
put your server or backup equipment in a computer room with
outside windows. You could come back and find everything strewn
around and sopping wet — and have no backup media to restore.
• Temperature: Placing a server or a backup machine in a closed
room lacking proper ventilation can cause problems. Don’t
put servers or backup equipment in small rooms with other heatproducing equipment, such as a copier, without forced air cooling.
Buildings do shut down A/C systems on weekends and holidays,
and heat can kill servers.
Some viruses have a gestation period; therefore, they can be inserted into
your network but go unnoticed until after a set number of days. We’ve
seen disgruntled employees place viruses on networks and then leave a
company — 30 days later, a virus appears. Incorporate this thought into your
backup plan by always backing up on a 30-day rotation scheme. If a virus like
this is introduced onto your network, you can go back at least 30 days in
your backup media to try to restore the network prior to the virus’s introduction. If you have only a week’s worth of backup, all the backups you have
contain the virus.
How many backup types are there?
The computer world recognizes five types of backup methods, and the same
is true with the Windows Server 2008 backup facility. The five types of
backups available in Windows Server 2008 are:
Part III: Running Your Network
Before you can truly understand backup methods, you must understand a
little attribute called the archive bit. Files have attributes, which are the properties of a file. One of the attributes found in Windows Server 2008 is the archive
bit. After a file is created or modified, its archive bit is automatically reset
by the operating system. This archive bit indicates that the file needs to be
backed up, even if backup software isn’t installed or configured on the computer. Backup software looks for this bit to identify the status of files. Think of
this as a seal on every file on your system. When the operating system, a user,
or an application modifies the file, the seal is broken. The backup software
then goes through the files and “re-seals” them by backing them up.
The normal backup copies all selected files and sets the archive bit, which
informs the backup software that the files have been backed up. This type
of backup is performed the first time computer data is backed up. With this
type of backup, only the most recent backup image is needed to restore
all files. (See the “Local backup” section, later in this chapter, for more
information on normal backups.)
The copy backup is useful because it doesn’t set the archive bit and, therefore, doesn’t affect normal and incremental backups. It can be used to copy
selected files between scheduled normal or incremental backups. (See the
“Incremental” section later in this section for more information.)
The daily backup copies selected files that were changed the day the backup
job started. A daily backup doesn’t set the archive bit. This backup can be
used to copy only those files that were changed on that day, and because the
archive bit isn’t set, the regular backup goes on as usual.
Like the copy and daily backups, the differential backup also doesn’t
set the archive bit. It copies all files that were created or modified since
the last normal or incremental backup. One practice is to use a combination
of normal and differential backups to configure the backup job for the
computer. In this combination, a normal backup is performed weekly, and
differential backups are performed daily. If this is the backup job used and
a restore is being performed, only the last normal and the last differential
images are required.
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The incremental backup is similar to the differential backup in that it backs up
only those files that have been created or modified since the last normal or
incremental backup. Unlike differential backups, however, incremental backups do set the archive bit, which indicates that the files have been backed
up. A combination of normal and incremental backups can be used to configure a backup job. In this combination, a normal backup is used once a week
and incremental backups are performed on a daily basis. To restore the files
using this type of backup combination, the last normal and all incremental
sets are required.
Configuring a backup job to use this combination is fast and utilizes storage
space efficiently because only those files that were modified get backed up.
However, it’s important to note that restoration is more difficult and takes
longer compared to a combination of differential and normal backups, simply
because you have to use a whole set of incremental images. This type of
backup combination or configuration is ideal for an enterprise in which an
Automated Tape Library (ATL) can be used. Using an ATL, the backup
software controls the entire restore operation, including the decision to
load the correct tape sequence using its robotic arm.
An ATL is basically a software-controlled backup system in which loading
or changing tapes isn’t necessary. A typical ATL system is usually designed
around a container/library, which can hold from just a few tapes to several
hundred, with each tape identified by a unique bar code. Inside the library
are one or several tape drives to read and write to tape. An ATL system also
includes a mechanism responsible for moving the tape to and from the tape
drive. This mechanism can be a robotic arm (in the case of large ATLs) or a
simple system similar to those found in a cassette tape recorder. The backup
software controls the entire operation by instructing the robotic arm to load
a specific tape in a specific tape drive and start the backup or restore job.
Network versus local backup
When backing up information on a network, you have a choice between
performing a network backup or a local backup. In this section, we cover the
particulars of each option.
Network backup
Network backups are used in large network environments. When you use a
network backup, a host computer is configured to back up remote computers
attached to the host computer through the LAN. In this scenario, data travels
Part III: Running Your Network
from the remote computer over the network to reach the host computer —
the one configured with backup storage. After data is off-loaded from the network interface to the computer’s bus, the data is treated as if it were a local
backup. (See “The Windows Server 2008 Backup Facility” section, later in this
chapter, to find out how to configure your server to back up a remote
The transfer rate can be a problem with this type of backup because data
must traverse and share the LAN with regular traffic. It’s more than likely
that the LAN is designed around a 10-Mbps Ethernet or a 100-Mbps Fast
Ethernet. In any case, data speed would be greatly reduced, compared to the
local backup. To deal with this problem and to accommodate the needs of an
enterprise in which a large amount of data must be backed up each night, the
industry has developed the storage area network (SAN). In this architecture,
all computers and storage device(s) are attached directly to the loop using
either 1,000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) links or a Fibre Channel Arbitrated
Loop (FC-AL), with a bandwidth of 100 Mbps. Furthermore, only computers
and the backup device(s) share this bandwidth. Such architecture is
expensive, but its benefits for the enterprise more than justify its high cost.
Local backup
The local backup configuration consists of a local tape drive attached to or
installed in the computer by means of an Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE)
interface, a Small Computer System Interface (SCSI), or — as is most recently
popular — Serial ATA (SATA) drives and connections. Local backup is fast
because when you use these interfaces, backup storage is directly attached
to the computer bus. On some of the new SCSIs, such as the Ultra-640 SCSI,
the transfer rate can reach 640 Mbps. It’s more likely that this transfer rate
won’t be achieved, however, because even fast hard drives can achieve only
a fraction of that actual wire transfer rate, depending on the drive type. With
today’s advances in hardware, it’s possible to get close to 30GB or more per
hour with existing SCSI or SATA II gear.
Local backup is relatively inexpensive because it involves the price of only
the backup storage and its interface (and media, where applicable). Most
computers are already configured with extra SATAs or SCSIs that can be used
for this purpose. One additional cost is the price of a license for the backup
software, if third-party software is used. However, Windows Server 2008
comes with powerful backup software that’s free!
Understanding the technology
Regardless of whether you choose a network or local backup, and regardless
of how often you decide to back up, you must understand some terminology
and technology used in backup systems and the different methods involved.
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Online, nearline, offline
You hear a lot of buzz about online, nearline, and offline storage options.
Choose the method that suits your organization’s retrieval time and effort,
depending on how often you find yourself restoring data and how fast you
want data retrieved. Descriptions of these three backup types follow:
Online: This type of backup is typically performed on your server, usually in the form of a second hard disk that is mirrored or duplexed. Data
is readily available to users through their desktops with no intervention
from you except that you must regularly check the status of this fault
tolerance. Drives can go out of synch without notice unless you monitor
the drives manually or through software.
Nearline: This type of backup is performed on a device attached to the
network. A nearline backup requires some work on your part because it
usually uses some method unknown to the user, such as compression
techniques. The data is there, but your users won’t know how to
perform functions, such as decompressing the files, to access the data.
Offline: This type of backup involves devices that include their own
software and hardware and are separate from the server. You need
to know how to operate these devices because the users won’t know
how or might not have the security access to do so. These devices are
typically the slowest because data must go from the server to another
device. Many organizations place these devices on the network
backbone and connect them through fiber-optic cable for higher
transmission rates.
As you progress downward in the preceding bulleted list, options become
more expensive, it takes longer for you to retrieve information, and more
interaction on your part is required. In return, capacity and capability
increases dramatically.
What’s in the hardware?
Backup systems are composed of backup units, backup media (where applicable), and software components (oh, and you, the operator). These systems
come in all sizes, shapes, and dollar signs, depending on your needs. In this
section, we describe the most common ones you encounter so you can talk
with your vendor about meeting your network needs.
Backup units
A backup unit is hardware that can be as simple as a tape device with one
slot or a single network-attached storage device, or as complex as a jukebox
platter system with mechanical arms or an entire storage area network. If you
have low data-storage requirements, a simple backup unit with more capacity
than your server will suffice. These units aren’t terribly expensive and are
available at local computer stores. Some of these units can be daisy-chained
if you need more space.
Part III: Running Your Network
If your organization has lots of data to back up, you might consider a jukebox
approach or a sizable network-attached storage device. A jukebox is a device
that looks like a little computer tower with a door. Inside, it has several slots
plus a mechanical arm that can insert and move around tapes or CDs. With
this type of system, you typically can insert a week’s worth of backup tapes
and let the system back up unattended. A network-attached storage device is
basically a specialized server with LOTS of hard disks. Its sole function is to
store and retrieve files and disk images upon request.
Backup media
Backup media means tapes, cartridges, CD-WORMs (write once, read many),
erasable CD or DVD discs, diskettes, and more. Any device on which a
backup unit stores data becomes the medium. Backup media come in many
shapes and sizes. You want to make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s
recommendation for purchasing the right medium for your unit.
Don’t buy video-grade tape cartridges at your local discount store for your
backup purposes. Purchase data-grade tapes, which cost more but are
designed for more rugged use.
Backup media come not only in different physical sizes but also in different
capacities. Some tapes store as much as 800GB of uncompressed data.
Erasable CD-ROMs store as much as 700MB in uncompressed mode and up to
1GB or more of textual data in compressed mode. Better yet, high-definition
DVD-ROM storage capacities reach upwards of 25GB per disc using raw,
uncompressed formatting. Regardless of which unit and medium you select,
get plenty of them so you can work on a rotational scheme without continually using the same medium. We’ve seen folks who buy just one tape and use
that tape over and over until it’s time to restore from that tape. And guess
what, the tape was defective; therefore, there was no backup! Spread out
your backups over multiple tapes to minimize putting all your eggs in one
tape basket!
You can use the Windows Server 2008 built-in backup software on a thirdparty backup device, or you can use the software that comes with the device.
We prefer to use third-party software because it’s designed to work with
certain manufactured devices, and the drivers are always readily available —
and sometimes offer greater flexibility or features over native tools. However,
that’s not to say these native backup facilities aren’t worth your time — there
are plenty of compelling reasons why you should use Windows Server 2008
Backup, including faster backup technology using Volume Shadow Copy
Service, simplified restoration and recovery, improved scheduling, backup
capability for applications, support for DVD media, and much more.
Chapter 13: Preparing for That Rainy Day
One caveat, however small or large, is that you can’t back up to tape in
Windows Server 2008 Backup. Be prepared for a bumpy ride if you’ve been
using ntbackup.exe for all your archival tasks — so much has changed that
configurations and interfaces are entirely incompatible. Backup settings will
not be upgraded, images created in ntbackup can’t be recovered in Backup,
and you need a separate disk to run scheduled backups. However, you may
download a copy of ntbackup for Windows Server 2008, but you can utilize
only legacy ntbackup images — you can’t create new ones. For more details,
visit http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=82917.
Installation of the devices goes much smoother when you use the recommended software. Always keep a copy of the backup software off-site in
case of a fire or other disaster. If you lose all your equipment, you’ll need to
reload this software on another machine before you can restore data. And
this brings up another new feature to Windows Server 2008 Backup: offsite
backup removal for disaster protection. Now you can save backup data to
multiple participating disks and sites, enabling scheduled backup locations
to automatically seek the next disk in the event a primary selection fails or
becomes inaccessible. Isn’t that nice?
Beep! Beep! Planning Backups
One of the most important tasks that you can perform is to plan your backup.
Some of the best backup systems and methods can still fail, so it’s smart to
always test them first.
Storing backup tapes off-site
It’s common for companies to store their backup tapes in a fire-proof safe —
usually in the computer room where the fire might occur. These safes are
great for one thing, and one thing only: paper. They’re designed to withstand
enough heat so paper doesn’t burn. This heat, however, is more than sufficient to melt any tapes that may be stored in them.
For this reason, smarter companies store tapes off-site on a daily, weekly, or
monthly basis, depending on how often data changes. Companies that use
drives instead of removable media often make arrangements with Internet
backup services to copy their backups to a remote site across the wire.
Storing data off-site ensures data availability in case of a disaster, such as a
fire or a flood. If a disaster were to occur, a new system could be installed,
and data could be restored.
There are companies that provide off-site data vaulting for a fee. The tapes
are picked up periodically and transferred to an off-site safe facility for vaulting. If needed, customers can call to get the required tapes for a restore. Such
Part III: Running Your Network
companies might have different service contracts. Although it’s more costly
to have this service 24 hours and 7 days a week, spending the extra funds to
ensure access to tapes might be justifiable, depending on the operation and
how critical the data is.
Documenting your hardware
and its settings
It’s especially important to document your hardware and its settings because
it saves time that would be spent guessing and trying different configurations
to get the system back up and ready for data to be restored from tape.
Generally, accurate and comprehensive documentation ensures fast and
reliable recovery.
Document all important settings, such as the following:
The size of volumes or drives
The type of file system used
Whether the file systems are File Allocation Table (FAT) or NT File
System (NTFS)
Whether you’ve been using any kind of fault tolerance on your disk
subsystem, such as mirroring or some type of Redundant Array of
Inexpensive Disks (RAID)
The part numbers of all the components installed in your systems
All the vendors and your contacts. If the components in your system are
from one of the large server manufacturers, such as Compaq or Hewlett
Packard, they might loan you a system to recover your data.
Finally, have all your device drivers readily available.
Practicing disaster recovery
for your system
It’s wise to practice disaster recovery periodically to ensure its success
whenever it’s required after a real disaster. In large companies, it’s normal
practice and, in fact, mandated by management. Whereas it’s easy to make
this statement, actually implementing this practice is harder than you may
think. The problem is that you can’t attempt to recover your data on a production system (which is a system already used for another function). If you
do and the backup is corrupt, your live data will become corrupt as well.
Chapter 13: Preparing for That Rainy Day
Many organizations purchase a second system with the same specifications
as the production system as a backup. These systems tend to get “borrowed”
for other pilot projects and come into production.
Windows Server 2008 has a new feature that makes disaster recovery much
easier. This feature is similar to a third-party solution in which a total system
recovery is possible with a few diskettes. Search for disaster recovery in the
Windows Server 2008 Help and Support Center for more information.
The Windows Server 2008
Backup Facility
Microsoft used to include a backup program called ntbackup with its
Windows NT operating systems. Windows Server 2008 ceases this tradition,
opting instead for a much revised (and entirely incompatible) and optional
Backup facility. The Windows Server 2008 version of Backup retains the capability to back up to nontape media and access network resources, and it
includes built-in scheduling capabilities. These features were present in the
Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 version of ntbackup but absent from
the Windows NT version.
Great features of Windows Server 2008 Backup
As mentioned earlier, Windows Server 2008
Backup doesn’t use tape storage devices. It opts
instead to use internal and external disks, shared
folders, and — perhaps most impressive of all —
DVD media. Windows Server 2008 still supports
tape storage drivers, which may be utilized in
custom or third-party archival applications.
Backup’s simplified design is ideal for mediumsized organizations or individuals not working as
IT professionals, such as small business owners,
but it can work for just about anyone. IT analysts
and planners, early platform adopters, and security architects are chief among this collective
who are often responsible for safekeeping or
archiving various types and amounts of data in a
number of occupational capacities.
Removable Storage Manager (RSM) — now an
aspect of Server Manager — is an integrated
part of the Windows Server 2008 operating
system. This service is responsible for managing
tasks such as the mounting and dismounting of
storage devices on behalf of Windows Server
2008 Backup software. Relieving the backup software of these tasks and making them part of the
operating system, unlike previous versions of
Windows NT, makes the software much more
reliable and robust.
Finally, you can back up (and restore) using the
Backup Wizard. The wizard will ask you all the
questions that you need to answer for a backup
to be completed properly. See the “Scheduling
backup jobs” section in this chapter for more
details on the Backup Wizard.
Part III: Running Your Network
Looking at the big picture
Windows Server 2008 ships with a completely new Backup facility that
includes two methods for backing up your server: a GUI interface
(Start➪Administrative Tools➪Windows Server Backup) and command line
execution (\WINNT\system32\ntbackup). We prefer the advanced mode
of the GUI interface (shown in Figure 13-1) for quick manual backups and the
command line interface for batched and scheduled backups.
These methods aren’t exactly unattended because you have to start them to
run manually — unless you set them up with a scheduler task to run automatically at a preset time. Although somewhat crude and not so fancy, Windows
Server 2008 Backup is better than nothing. If your budget is low and you can’t
afford to purchase a solution from a third-party vendor that specializes in
backup software, this is the way to go. And the best part is that it’s free! (It’s
included in the price of Windows Server 2008.)
Before purchasing a third-party backup product or using the Windows
Server 2008 built-in backup program, search the Microsoft Knowledgebase
(support.microsoft.com) for known bugs and problems regarding
backup issues. Be specific in the search (that is, search for Windows Server
2008 BACKUP). Also, always install the latest service pack, which will correct
most minor bugs known to Microsoft.
Figure 13-1:
The built-in
GUI backup
in Windows
Server 2008.
Chapter 13: Preparing for That Rainy Day
You may install Backup through Windows Server 2008 Server Manager. Just
follow these instructions:
1. Choose Start➪Server Manager.
The Server Manager console appears.
2. Select Features Summary and then click Add Features.
The Add Features Wizard appears.
3. Under Select Features, choose Windows Server Backup and then
click Next.
4. After you reach the Confirm Installation page, click Install.
5. Click Close.
This provides you with the basic ability to back up and recover Windows
Server 2008 applications and data.
Performing command line backups
You execute ntbackup from the command prompt using the following syntax:
ntbackup backup [systemstate] “@bks file name”
/J {“job name”} [/P {“pool name”}] [/G {“guid name”}]
[/T { “tape name”}] [/N {“media name”}] [/F {“file name”}]
[/D {“set description”}] [/DS {“server name”}]
[/IS {“server name”}] [/A] [/V:{yes|no}] [/R:{yes|no}]
[/L:{f|s|n}] [/M {backup type}] [/RS:{yes|no}]
[/HC:{on|off}] [/SNAP:{on|off}]
Yikes, that looks complicated! But don’t worry, it really isn’t that bad. In most
cases, you’ll need only a handful of parameters rather than all of them. The
best place to get more details on using ntbackup from a command line is the
Command Line Reference, which you can access by typing ntbackup /? from
the Run command. This displays a help window that contains the correct
syntax for ntbackup, along with excellent descriptions, restrictions, requirements, and suggested uses of each parameter. Plus, several examples help
you figure out how to use the command line syntax.
However, we really don’t see much of a need for command line operation of
ntbackup, especially because the GUI tool offers scheduling. But if you’re
really into batch scripts and would rather do things the hard way, be
our guest.
Some files that are hard coded into ntbackup don’t get backed up, and you
can’t change or alter this. Following are some of the files and other things
that don’t get backed up:
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Open files: Users can’t have files open while the backup is running.
Those files won’t be backed up. Have the users log off the system and
disconnect them from any shares.
Temporary files: No temporary files, such as PAGEFILE.SYS, are
backed up.
File permissions: The account used to perform the backup must have
permission to read files.
Other Registries: Only the local Registry is backed up. Registries on
other servers are not backed up.
Selecting targets and volumes
In the Windows NT version of ntbackup, you could choose the files that you
want to back up only through the GUI. The Windows 2000 and Windows
Server 2003 versions allow you to either select a root drive or directory from
the command line or use the GUI to define a backup selection file (a .bks
file). Windows Server 2008 changes the game slightly and permits you to
select among the local drive volumes.
To create a Backup image of select volumes, follow these steps:
1. Choose Start➪Administrative Tools➪Windows Server Backup.
The Welcome to the Backup or Restore Wizard screen appears.
2. Under the Actions pane at right, choose Backup Once.
The Backup Once Wizard appears.
The first time through, you may only choose Different Options. After you
specify a default backup schedule, you can select the option The Same
Options That I Use for Scheduled Backups.
3. Click Next.
4. Under Select Items, choose Custom and click Next.
5. Select or deselect the selected volumes and click Next.
There may be several to choose from, and you may also select whether
this should be a recovery image, which is selected by default.
(See Figure 13-2.)
6. Under Specify Destination Type, select the appropriate target(s) and
click Next.
The options are Local Drives or Remote Shared Folder.
Chapter 13: Preparing for That Rainy Day
Figure 13-2:
volumes to
be backed
7. Click the Start Backup button to back up to the location you selected
in Step 6.
Windows Server Backup will create images of all the drives you selected
in Step 5.
If you prefer to use the Windows Backup and Restore center, please read
the next section for information on using that version instead.
Specifying backup destination
and media settings
Now that you’ve selected the files that you want to back up, you can choose
the backup destination. If you don’t have a tape drive installed on your
system, the ntbackup program defaults to a file as its backup destination.
Otherwise, simply select the backup device to which you’d like to back up
the information as follows:
1. Choose Start➪All Programs➪Accessories➪System Tools➪Windows
Server Backup.
The Welcome to the Backup or Restore Wizard screen appears.
2. Click Advanced Mode.
Part III: Running Your Network
3. Click the Backup tab.
4. Choose the backup destination (File or Tape):
• File: Choose File in the Backup Destination drop-down list. In the
Backup Media or File Name box, type the full path and filename
(or click the Browse button to find it).
• Tape: Choose a tape from the Backup Destination drop-down list.
5. Click the Start Backup button.
Scheduling backup jobs
As mentioned previously, scheduling backup jobs is a built-in feature of
Windows Server 2008 Backup. Scheduling backup jobs is as simple as
following these steps:
1. Choose Start➪All Programs➪Administrative Tools➪Windows Server
2. In the Actions pane at left, choose Backup Schedule.
3. Click Next.
4. Choose whether to create a Full Server (Recommended) or Custom
Backup selection.
5. Answer the questions presented to you by the wizard.
You’ll notice that you’re prompted for a username and password. The
user performing the backup (probably you) must be either an administrator, a member of the Backup Operators group, or have equivalent
rights of these groups.
6. Under Specify Backup Time, specify the frequency of the job and
click Next.
The options are Once a Day or Multiple Backups Every Day. If you
choose the second option, select the appropriate time slots.
7. Continue through to the Confirmation dialog box to complete this task.
The calendar in the Schedule Jobs tab changes to reflect the jobs.
Restoring from a Backup
Backing up your data is only half the picture. The other half involves restoring files on the network. We hope that you have to restore only a few files for
users from time to time. Making regular backups along the way makes this
Chapter 13: Preparing for That Rainy Day
task friendly and easy. However, in a fire or other disaster, you might lose
your data and computer equipment, including the server to which you need
to restore. We hope that you heed our advice when we say to rotate tapes
off-site each week to plan for this catastrophe. If you also lose the server, we
hope that you have a good working relationship with your local vendors so
you can get equipment in a hurry.
The most important thing to remember when restoring your network is to
practice the restoration process when you aren’t under the gun. This not
only gives you confidence in performing the task, but also periodically tests
the integrity of your backup. Although you can examine log files each morning, it’s better to perform real restore tests — just like a dress rehearsal.
When disaster does strike and you need to perform a real restore, all sorts of
people will be looking over your shoulder asking you when things will be up
and running. If you confidently know your backup system, you can perform
this task under extreme pressure. Don’t wait until the last minute to test and
learn the system.
Always restore the system files (\SYSTEM32\CONFIG and Registry files) first,
reboot, and then take a peek at the system to make sure everything looks like
it’s in place. Then restore the data files. If you plan your network directory
and volume structure to segment system and data files, this task is much
easier. Know ahead of time whether certain business departments require
that their data be restored first. Sometimes this isn’t necessary, but in
instances where a customer service department exists, they usually want the
network back up right away with immediate access to their data. Why?
Because they’re servicing the external customers that generate the revenue
for your organization! Before restores become necessary, try to devise a
restoration order plan for your network and practice it.
Note that sometimes you can’t restore Windows Server 2008 system files; you
may have to reinstall Windows Server 2008 and then restore the system files.
Third-Party Backup Options
Because Windows Server 2008 is such a new operating system, currently no
third-party options are specifically designed for it. Rest assured, however,
that this won’t remain so for long.
We always recommend going with well-recognized, name-brand, third-party
companies to ensure good compatibility with Windows Server 2008 and
other network operating systems. Most of the popular packages support the
capability to back up several different network operating systems at one time
and contain easy-to-use interfaces for backup and restore options.
Part III: Running Your Network
Finding third-party packages
One easy way to find other third-party backup software is to visit popular
search engines on the Internet, such as www.search.com, and enter the
keywords Windows Server 2008 Backup. Discount Internet shops, such as
CDW (www.cdw.com), provide information about various backup devices in
one handy location. On the CDW Web site, go to the Hardware section, click
the Data Storage option, and look at how much information you have.
The backup market has two types of vendors: small-business backup
solutions and enterprise backup solutions. We list the top vendors in each
category to get your search started:
Small business:
• Exabyte, www.exabyte.com
• ADIC (Advanced Digital Information Corporation), www.quantum.
• Hewlett-Packard,
Enterprise business:
• Symantec Veritas,
• Legato, www.software.emc.com
Search the backup vendors’ Web sites for white papers and cost of ownership
documents. This information is free, and a lot of research has been compiled.
You can use this information to convince management of your backup
Evaluating backup systems
Regardless of which vendor you choose, the following checklist provides
some helpful criteria in evaluating tape systems. Determine the requirements
for your organization and query the vendor as to whether their product has
the features you desire — and whether you have to pay extra for some
add-on modules.
This list should give you a good idea of what you may need when choosing a
tape backup system:
Chapter 13: Preparing for That Rainy Day
Critical system files: An essential feature in any tape system that you
purchase is that it can back up the Windows Server 2008 system files —
such as the Registry and event logs, security information, user accounts,
and access control lists — in addition to the actual data.
Fast media index: When backing up large amounts of data, it’s critical
that during the restore process you’re able to obtain a catalog of the
media contents within a minute or two. You don’t want to wait 30 minutes each time you need to see the contents of a particular medium.
Multiplatform support: Networks that support multiple platforms, such
as Novell, Microsoft, and UNIX, are easier to back up if one backup
system can support more than one platform.
Client backups: Some users simply refuse to store files on the network.
In this case, look for a package that automates client workstation backups across the network to your tape backup system. Some popular
systems already include this option. Ask which client operating systems
it supports — for example, Macintosh, UNIX, Windows, and OS/2.
Unattended operation: Some tape systems work like jukeboxes and
have a mechanical arm that inserts and removes tapes, so you can go
home while the backup runs. These systems are expensive, but if you
have a lot of data to back up and don’t want to insert tapes all night,
look for this feature.
Scheduling features: If you want to perform incremental and full backups on different days, look for a system that is flexible and allows you
to automate the scheduling features based on the day of the week.
Open files: Open files are files in use during the backup operation. Not
all backup systems are designed to back up open files, and some even
halt when they get to one that’s open. Most systems skip over the file
and write an exception to a log file. More than likely, you want a backup
system that backs up open files.
Security and encryption: For small operations, this feature may not be
as critical. For larger environments, ask the vendor how its system
handles passing information through the network, such as passwords
and account information.
Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM): You want to make sure the
vendor’s product supports online, nearline, and offline storage and can
manage using all three at one time.
Data storage size: You want to find out how much data you can back up
to the system (MB or GB), the size of the tapes the system uses (4mm,
8mm, DLT, or others), and whether it compresses data.
Remote management: Getting to monitor backup status and progress
remotely instead of being in front of the console is a handy feature.
Scalability: Find out whether this system can be scaled to a larger
environment should your network grow.
Part III: Running Your Network
Security access: Running an unattended backup means that a device
must either log on to the network while you’re gone or remain logged on
with the keyboard locked. Check with the vendor as to how the product
logs on to the network and maintains security.
The Backup Operator
Before a user is allowed to back up or restore the system, he or she must be a
member of the Backup Operators group. This group is the same as the Backup
Operators group in Windows NT, but Windows Server 2003 (and by extension,
Windows Server 2008) has changed the procedures for adding users to the
group and changing the group’s policies. Depending on whether you’re running Windows Server 2008 with Active Directory, the steps involved in adding
a user to the Backup Operator group will be slightly different.
By default, the Backup Operators group doesn’t have any members. It’s
simply an empty container or a placeholder for when you need to assign
backup and restore rights to users.
To modify the membership of the Backup Operators group when Active
Directory isn’t installed (in other words, when your server is configured as a
normal server instead of a domain controller), follow these steps:
1. Choose Start➪All Programs➪Administrative Tools➪Computer
2. In the left pane, expand the System Tools icon and highlight the Local
Users and Groups icon.
If you don’t see Local Users and Groups, it’s probably because that
snap-in hasn’t been added to the Microsoft Management Console, or it
may be that you’re working on a domain controller, which is strictly
controlled through Active Domain Users and Computers. If you’re not
working on a domain controller, you can type dsadd.exe into the Search
box that pops up above the Start button when you click it. If you are
working on a domain controller, you must use the Active Domain Users
and Computers utility, which you can launch by typing dsa.msc into the
aforementioned Search box instead.
3. In the right pane, double-click the Groups option.
At this point, all the groups that currently exist on your system are
displayed in the right pane.
4. Highlight and right-click the Backup Operators group and choose the
Add to Group option.
5. Click the Add button and type the username that you’d like to become
a member of the Backup Operators group.
Chapter 13: Preparing for That Rainy Day
6. Click Check Names and then click OK.
To modify the membership of the Backup Operators group when Active
Directory is installed, follow these steps:
1. Choose Start➪All Programs➪Administrative Tools➪Active Directory
Users and Computers.
2. In the left pane, double-click the tree to expand it.
3. In the right pane, double-click the Builtin folder.
4. In the right pane, double-click the Backup Operators group.
5. Click the Members tab.
6. Click the Add button to add users.
Part III: Running Your Network
Chapter 14
Network Security Management
In This Chapter
Finding out about basic network security
Understanding how Windows Server 2008 handles security
Applying service packs
Developing the right security attitude
Finding and filling Windows Server 2008 security holes
Examining security resources
n the ever-changing world of information technology, protecting private
data from prying eyes is becoming increasingly important. Maintaining
a solid security posture that prevents access to internal information,
processes, and resources is critical to sustaining a competitive edge and
to ensure self-preservation in hostile environments. In this chapter, we
discuss how to impose tight security on Windows Server 2008.
When you install Windows Server 2008 out of the box, it doesn’t provide a
totally secure environment, although it’s much more secure than previous
editions. You must customize security details on Windows Server 2008 to
best suit your operating environment. This process involves executing
multiple steps, careful planning, double-checking your settings, and a few
noncomputer activities. If you don’t care about the security of your data,
you can skip this discussion entirely, though we can’t imagine this applies to
too many of our readers.
The goal of security isn’t to create a system that’s impossible for a hacker
or misguided user to compromise. Instead, the goal is to erect a sufficiently
imposing barrier against intruders so that the difficulty they encounter while
attempting to break in is significantly higher than on someone else’s system.
It’s kind of like building a brick wall around your yard so tall that it discourages an intruder from climbing over — so that the intruder goes into your
neighbor’s yard instead. Your goal is to convince attackers to go after
easier targets. By following the prescriptions in this chapter, you can deploy
a Windows Server 2008 system that’s not only harder to crack than your
neighbors’ but also nearly watertight!
Part III: Running Your Network
Protecting proprietary and private electronic property defends against
outside attackers, but it also involves erecting a barrier against inside
assaults and taking precautions against other threats to your data as well.
Network Security Basics
The basic precepts of network security require you to keep unauthorized
people out of your network, to keep unwanted data out as well, and to keep
wanted data in. Leave it to us to point out the obvious!
Creating a secure environment requires you to pay attention to three key
areas, or martial canons:
Understanding the operating system (or systems)
Controlling physical access to the computer
Educating human users
These three areas are like legs on a barstool. If any one of these legs is weak,
the person on the stool will hit the floor. Nobody wants to be that person.
It hurts!
In this section, we briefly discuss the issues involved with maintaining
physical control and educating users. The third leg, the operating system
itself, is our subject for the remainder of this chapter.
Getting physical
Controlling physical access means preventing unauthorized people from
coming into close proximity to your computers, network devices, communication pathways, peripherals, and even power sources. A computer system
can be compromised in several ways. Physical access is always the first step
in breaking into a system. Remember that physical access doesn’t always
mean a person must be in your office building. If your network has dial-up
access, someone can gain access remotely.
Controlling physical access means not only preventing access to keyboards
or other input devices but also blocking all other means of transmitting to or
extracting signals from your computer system. You want to exercise great
care over what goes into and flows out of your network, thereby safeguarding
everything within it.
Protecting the computer room and operating environment
Some physical access controls are obvious to everyone:
Chapter 14: Network Security Management
Locking doors
Using security badges
Employing armed guards
Using locking cases and racks
If you address only these items, you still leave other access methods wide
open. You must think about the architecture, structure, and construction of
your building. Can ceiling or floor tiles be removed to gain entry over or
under the walls? Do ventilation shafts or windows provide entry into locked
rooms? Are you feeling paranoid yet?
A person getting into your computer room isn’t the only concern you
should have. You also must think about the environment in which computers
operate. Most computers operate properly across only a limited range of
temperatures. Therefore, if intruders can gain access to thermostat controls,
your system can become compromised. What is the one thing that all computers need? Electricity. Is your power supply secure? Can it be switched off
outside your security barriers? Do you have an uninterruptible power supply
(UPS) attached to each critical system? Did you install a backup phone line
independent of the regular land line in case of emergency?
Even after preventing entrance into the computer room and protecting the
operating environment, you still haven’t fully secured your computers
physically. You need to think about your trash — yes, the trash! You would be
amazed at what private investigators and criminals can learn about you and
your network from information discarded in your trash. If you don’t shred or
incinerate all printouts and handwritten materials, you may be exposing
passwords, usernames, computer names, configuration settings, drive paths,
or other key data. Trust us, this happens more often than you’d care to know,
occasionally with enough oomph to make the nightly news.
Do you think we’ve covered everything now? Wrong! Ponder these issues:
Does the nightly cleaning crew vacuum and dust your computer closet?
Is that crew thoroughly screened and properly bonded?
How often does the crew unplug computer systems to plug in cleaning
Is the key that unlocks your front door also the key that unlocks the
computer room?
How do you know that the cleaning crew isn’t playing with your
computer systems?
How do you know that the members of the cleaning crew are who you
think they are?
Are floppy drives installed on servers and other critical systems?
Part III: Running Your Network
Can systems be rebooted without passwords or other authentication
controls (for example, smart cards)?
Do servers have extra ports ready to accept new attachments?
Are your backup tapes stacked beside the tape drive?
Are your backup tapes protected by encryption and passwords?
Are all backup tapes accounted for? If some are missing, do you know
what information was stored on them?
What really happens in your office building after business hours? Are
the doors locked every night?
If you can still sleep at night, you probably have most of these items under
control. If you can’t answer some of these questions with a solid, reassuring
response, you have work to do. Get going!
Guarding against notebook theft
So far, physical access issues we’ve discussed focus on stationary computers. But what about mobile machines? Remember that expensive notebook
system you purchased for the boss, that manager, and a system administrator so they could work while traveling and connect to the network over the
phone? Should one of those notebooks fall into the wrong hands, somebody
might have an open door through which they could access your network and
take or ruin whatever they please.
Notebook theft is becoming the number one method for gaining access to
company networks. Most notebooks are stolen at the airport. (We bet you
could’ve guessed that one!) Although most travelers are smart enough not to
check notebooks as luggage, there’s one common location where notebooks
and their owners are separated — the metal detector. All it takes is a few
moments of delay while waiting to walk through the metal detector after
you’ve placed a notebook on the x-ray conveyer, and poof — the notebook is
gone by the time you reach the other end.
And despite all the precautions taken while traveling with notebooks,
lapses in routine or procedures can allow opportunistic miscreants to take
advantage: leaving one unattended. It may be in the car while retrieving
out-of-town mail piling up at the post office, or making a quick stop at a
corner store on the way home. In such unguarded moments, notebooks can
and will disappear, and their absence may go completely unnoticed until you
arrive home to collect your travel gear.
Controlling physical access in the workplace is also important because without
access to a computer system, hackers can’t break in. If you fail to manage
physical access to your network, you’re relying on operating-system-supported
Chapter 14: Network Security Management
software security to protect your data. In that case, there’s another glaring
problem to contend with — if you’ve failed to properly educate network
users, your security may already be compromised.
Informing the masses about
security policies
The most secure network environment is useless if users don’t respect
the need for security. In fact, if left alone, most humans find the path of least
resistance when performing regular activities — like leaving a notebook
unattended in an unlocked car. In other words, users will do anything to make
traversing security simple — such as automating password entry, writing
down passwords in plain view, mapping unauthorized drives, installing
unapproved software, transferring data to and from work and home on flash
drives, and attaching modems to bypass firewalls or proxy servers. If you use
software-based or operating-system-based security measures, users often
find ways around them, or to reduce their effectiveness.
User education is a two-pronged process:
First, network users must understand what security means, why it’s
important, and what measures are in place on your network.
Second, violations of security policy and practice must be dealt with
swiftly and strictly.
Educating network users
In most cases, educating network users means preparing an official document that details and explains all security restrictions, requirements, and
punishments. This document, known as a security policy, serves as a network
constitution, or its governing body of regulations. It also helps maintain
network security and lets violators know they’ll be prosecuted.
So, what does a user need to know about security imposed on an organization’s network? Here’s a brief list of highlights:
Use passwords properly and choose them wisely. (Don’t use an obvious
name or number, such as a pet’s name or your birth date.)
Never write down or share passwords.
Never share security badges and smart cards or leave them unattended.
Restrict network access to authorized employees only.
Don’t share user accounts with other employees or with anyone outside
the organization.
Part III: Running Your Network
Don’t distribute data from the network in any form outside the
Don’t step away from your workstation while you’re logged on to
the system.
Understand the various levels of security in place on the network and
the purpose of the stratification.
Don’t install unapproved software.
Make it clear to all employees that tampering, subverting, or bypassing
security measures is grounds for termination of employment.
Respect the privacy of the organization and other users.
Deal with violations of the security policy in a swift and severe manner
without reservation or exemption.
Punishing users for violating the security policy
If a user violates a significant clause in the security policy, a severe punishment must be applied. In most cases, firing the individual is the only form of
punishment that controls the situation effectively and prevents other users
from making the same mistake. The repercussions of violating the security
policy must be detailed in the policy itself. And if you spell out the punishment, you must follow through. Even if your top programmer is the culprit,
he or she must receive the same punishment as a temporary mail handler.
Most analysts have discovered that deploying a severe security policy results
in a common pattern — a short-term improvement in security, followed by a
brief period of laxness, which results in violations, causing several users to
be fired, which then results in an overall sustained improvement in security.
Companies have reported that the loss of manpower because of violations
was negligible in comparison to the prevention of security breaches.
You should create your own security policy that includes details about physical control, user education, and operating-system-level security measures.
Remember the adage about the ounce of prevention. (It beats a pound of
cure, every time.)
Windows Server 2008 and Security
Windows Server 2008 security adheres to several significant principles, chief
among which is access control. Access control depends on user identity, and
normally attaches to user accounts. To access a Windows Server 2008 computer or network, users must possess a user account with a valid username
Chapter 14: Network Security Management
and password. But then, anyone who knows a valid username and password
combination can gain access. Thus, both usernames and passwords for user
accounts must be protected.
Windows Server 2008 includes several new features and functions to help
make it more robust, secure, and reliable than its predecessors. Its services
can be componentized into discrete roles necessary to sustain specific network functions such as DHCP or DNS, and they’re hardened against various
forms of remote attack. Windows Server 2008 also incorporates Network
Access Protection, Federated Rights Management, and Read-Only Domain
Controller capability to further strengthen its security posture to help
protect your organizational assets.
Let’s briefly define what some of these features do:
Network Access Protection isolates noncompliant computers that
violate organizational policy to provide restriction, remediation, and
Federated Rights Management services provide persistent protection
for sensitive information, reduce risk, enable compliance, and deliver
comprehensive data protection.
Read-Only Domain Controller capability enables Active Directory
Domain Services deployments with restriction to replication of the full
Active Directory database for stronger protection against data theft.
The following paragraphs define and detail the fundamental principles, policies, and procedures behind a solid security posture. These apply equally to
any organization, no matter how large or small its operational capacity.
Usernames are more than just names
Protecting usernames isn’t always simple, but a little effort subverts easy
attacks. Here are a few precautions you can take:
Make usernames complex. Don’t create usernames that employ just the
first or last name of a person. Combine two or more elements to create
a name, such as first name, last name, initials, department code, or division name. You should also avoid using users’ e-mail addresses to name
accounts. This makes guessing user names a bit more difficult. Even
if a hacker knows your naming convention, making usernames complex
makes brute-force attacks, in which every likely or possible password is
attempted, more difficult. (See Chapter 11 for more information on
naming conventions.)
Part III: Running Your Network
Rename common accounts. These include the Administrator, Guest,
and IUSR_<servername> (created by Internet Information Services,
or IIS) accounts. Rename these to something descriptive but not easily
guessed. Then, create new dummy accounts with the original names
that have absolutely no access. This serves as a decoy for hackers,
effectively wasting their time and giving you more opportunity to
discover who they are. You can even monitor access to these accounts
to observe when would-be attackers are seeking unauthorized access.
Include a restriction to prevent users from employing their network
logon usernames as logon names anywhere else. In other words, a
user’s network logon name shouldn’t be used as a logon name for Web
sites, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) sites, or other external systems. If
users don’t use the same logon names everywhere, they’ll be less
tempted to use the same passwords everywhere as well.
Even with these precautions, usernames can be discovered. The important
issue here is to make obtaining any data item needed to log on to your network as difficult as possible. After a username is known, the responsibility
of protecting your network rests on the strength of its associated password.
Passwords and security
Passwords are the primary means by which unauthorized access to a system
is prevented. The stronger the password, the more likely security will remain
intact. As part of your security policy, you must require that strong passwords
be used by each and every user. (See the upcoming “A few more things about
passwords” section for guidelines for crafting strong passwords.) A single
account compromised can result in unfettered access to entire systems.
Strong passwords can be enforced using built-in controls in Windows Server
2008. By employing all system-level controls that force strong passwords,
little additional effort is required to ensure that users comply with the
security policy. New to Windows Server 2008 is password-setting granularity:
You may implement password settings on a user or group basis. No longer
are you restricted to single, all-encompassing settings for a whole domain,
which requires separate domains for separate settings. This occurs commonly where an organization requires different password settings that affect
multiple, different administrative accounts.
Accounts Policies define restrictions, requirements, and parameters for the
Password, Account Lockout, and Kerberos policies. To access Accounts
Policies, follow these steps:
1. Choose Start➪Run.
2. Type gpmc.msc into the Start Search field and press Enter.
3. Double-click your forest name to expand its settings.
Chapter 14: Network Security Management
4. Expand Domains, select your domain name once more, and
double-click to expand.
The Group Policy Management Console appears. An additional dialog
box may also appear, stating that you’ve selected a link to a Group
Policy Object (GPO) and that any changes made here are exercised globally wherever this GPO is linked (except for changes to link properties).
5. Right-click the Default Domain Policy entry and choose Edit.
The Group Policy Object Editor appears.
6. Under the Computer Configuration node, expand the Windows
Settings item.
7. Under the Windows Settings node, expand the Security Settings item.
8. Under the Security Settings node, expand the Account Policies item.
Now you can see the Password, Account Lockout, and Kerberos policies
in the right pane of the Local Security Settings window, as shown in
Figure 14-1.
Figure 14-1:
Lockout and
appear on
the right.
Password Policy
After you’ve found the Account Policies option, you can access the Password
Policy by choosing Account Policies➪Password Policy. The six options shown
in Figure 14-2 allow you to control the requirements for user passwords. The
higher you raise the bar in each of the six options, the stronger the password
requirements become, thereby making it increasingly less likely that
brute-force attacks will succeed against your system.
Part III: Running Your Network
Figure 14-2:
The Group
editing tool,
In the following list, we briefly explain each option, spell out the default
setting, and recommend the most appropriate settings for general use:
Enforce Password History: We recommend a setting of 5 or greater,
which means that the system remembers the last five passwords used
so he or she can’t reuse any of them.
Maximum Password Age: Use this option to define when passwords
expire and must be replaced. We recommend settings of 30, 45, or
60 days.
Minimum Password Age: Use this option to define how long a user must
wait before changing his or her password. We recommend settings of
1, 3, or 5 days.
Minimum Password Length: Use this option to define the smallest
number of characters that a password must include. We recommend at
least eight characters for best results.
Passwords Must Meet Complexity Requirements: (Astute observers
may notice that this was disabled by default in previous versions.)
Complexity requirements are rules, such as, requiring both capital and
lowercase letters, requiring use of numerals, and requiring nonalphanumeric characters. If native password requirements aren’t sufficient, we
recommend that you research complexity requirements further by using
the Windows Server 2008 Help and Support feature or the Windows
Server 2008 Resource Kit.
Store Password Using Reversible Encryption for All Users in the
Domain: By enabling this attribute, you can use Shiva Password
Authentication Protocol (SPAP), which is a security authentication
mechanism for the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) developed by Shiva
Corporation. Leave this disabled unless SPAP is required by a client.
Chapter 14: Network Security Management
Account Lockout Policy
The next policy in Account Policies is the Account Lockout Policy, which
governs when user accounts are locked out because of repeated failed logon
attempts. (Choose Account Policies➪Account Lockout Policy.) Lockout
prevents brute-force logon attacks (in which every likely or possible password is attempted) by turning off user accounts. The options are as follows:
Account Lockout Duration: Use this option to define how long to lock
out an account. A setting of Forever requires an administrator to unlock
an account. We recommend a setting of 30 minutes or more.
Account Lockout Threshold: Use this option to define how many failed
logon attempts result in lockout. We recommend a setting of 3 to 5
invalid logon attempts.
Reset Account Lockout Counter After: Use this option to define the time
period after which the failed logon count for an account is reset. We
recommend a setting of 15 minutes.
Kerberos Policy
The last policy in Account Policies is the Kerberos Policy, which governs the
activity of secured communication sessions. (Choose Account Policies➪
Kerberos Policy.) Kerberos is an advanced network authentication protocol.
Using Kerberos, clients can authenticate once at the beginning of a communications session and then perform multiple tasks during that session without
having to authenticate again. Kerberos is used to prove the identity of a
client and a server to each other. After such identity verification occurs,
communications can occur without repeating this process (or at least until
the communications link is broken).
The options for this policy are specified in the following list with their
recommended settings:
Enforce User Logon Restrictions: Enabled
Maximum Lifetime for Service Ticket: 600 minutes
Maximum Lifetime for User Ticket: 10 hours
Maximum Lifetime for User Ticket Renewal: 7 days
Maximum Tolerance for Computer Clock Synchronization: 5 minutes
For more information on establishing a secure baseline in Windows Server
2008, please download the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Security Guide
and visit the Microsoft Security Web site (www.microsoft.com/security/
Part III: Running Your Network
A few more things about passwords
Whether you enable software controls to restrict passwords, we recommend
that you include the following elements in your organization’s security policy
regarding passwords:
Require a minimum of six characters; longer is better.
Prevent the e-mail address, account name, or real name from being part
of the password.
Don’t use common words, slang, terms from the dictionary, or other real
words in passwords.
Don’t write passwords down, except to place them in a vault or safety
deposit box.
Don’t use words, names, or phrases associated with users, such as
family, friends, hobbies, pets, interests, books, movies, or workspace.
If real words are used, garble them using capitalization, numbers, or
nonalphanumeric characters — for example, Go7Ril-la instead of gorilla.
Use numbers or nonalphanumeric characters to replace letters — for
example, ALT3RN8 L3TT3R1N9 (or “alternate lettering”).
Use at least three out of four types of characters: uppercase, lowercase,
numerals, nonalphanumeric (symbols, punctuation).
Create acronyms to use as passwords from sentences — for example,
Fifty-five dollars will pay a parking ticket = 55DwPaPt.
Through a combination of Windows Server 2008–enforced password
restrictions and company security policy rules, you can improve the security
of your system through the use of strong passwords.
A Look into the Future: Service Packs
Microsoft regularly releases updates and fixes for its products, called patch
releases. It did so for Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000/2003, and will do so
for Windows Server 2008. Because patches from Microsoft correct all kinds of
bugs, problems, and other issues, it’s inevitable that some of these patches
address security problems. Therefore, it’s vital to keep informed about the
release and content of such patches.
Microsoft releases patches in two forms:
Hotfixes: A hotfix is a patch for a single problem. Hotfixes aren’t fully
tested or supported by Microsoft. A hotfix should be applied only if
you’re actually experiencing the problem it corrects because a hotfix
can sometimes cause other problems.
Chapter 14: Network Security Management
Service packs: A service pack is many hotfixes, tested and combined
into a single Band-Aid. Service packs are cumulative, meaning that each
new release of a service pack includes the previous service pack plus
all hotfixes and other improvements since that time. You need to apply
only the most current service pack and any required hotfixes.
Service packs are thoroughly tested and therefore safer for deployment
than hotfixes. However, we recommend that you delay application of
a new service pack until it’s about two months old. This gives the rest
of the Windows Server 2008 community the time to install and test the
patch for you. It’s always better to learn from the mistakes of others
than to fall into the pit yourself.
Before you apply any patch to Windows Server 2008, you should read the
documentation included with the patches. Then make the following
Back up the system — or at least your data and the Registry.
Reboot the system.
Close all applications and stop any unnecessary services.
If you don’t know which level of a service pack you applied, you can check
by looking at the Help➪About page from some native Windows Server 2008
applications (such as Windows Internet Explorer).
In the past, the Microsoft Web site has been secretive about the location of
service packs and hotfixes, but recently they’ve been much more forthcoming. The best place to find service packs is through the Windows Update tool.
(It’s in the All Programs section of the Start menu and appears as a command
in the Tools menu of Internet Explorer.) You can also check out the download
section of the Windows Server 2008 Web area at www.microsoft.com/
Copping an Attitude
To maintain a secure networking environment, you must be a pessimist. View
every user as a potential security leak. The key to this philosophy is to grant
only the exact level of access that users or groups need to perform their
work tasks and absolutely nothing more. To take this to its logical end, you
need to deal with the Everyone group and user rights. This is called the
principle of least privilege, and you should exercise it rigorously.
Part III: Running Your Network
The Everyone group
The Everyone group is a default group created by the system that includes
all defined users and all anonymous users. Although it isn’t the catchall
group it was in Windows NT 4.0, the expansive nature of the Everyone group
can still cause security problems because Windows Server 2008 defaults to
grant Read access to the Everyone group on new volumes and new shares.
This means that you should watch closely where this group appears in your
system. You may be granting blanket access where you really don’t want any
snuggling going on.
The Everyone group might seem hard to track down. It doesn’t appear
in the list of built-in groups as viewed through Active Directory Users and
Computers, for example. However, it does appear in the list of groups when
setting security on objects. The Everyone group can’t be removed from the
system, but it can be effectively managed with a little effort. See Chapter 11
for more information on the Everyone group.
The Authenticated Users group is a standard feature of Windows Server 2008.
It contains all defined users but doesn’t contain anonymous users. Generally,
you want to use the Authenticated Users group instead of the Everyone
group when you need to grant blanket access. The Everyone group must
remain on your system for backward compatibility and system-level
requirements (such as allowing your system to boot).
Don’t set all permissions for the Everyone group to Deny because you’ll
prevent anyone from accessing resources. Instead, just remove the Everyone
group from the list of users and groups granted access.
Each time you create a new drive or a share, remove the Everyone group and
then add only those users or groups that need access to the resource. Just as
you don’t want everyone gaining access to your computer, you don’t want
“everyone” to be allowed access to areas where it isn’t required.
User rights
User rights are system-level privileges that control what types of activities
can be performed. The default setting for user rights is reasonably secure,
but you can make a few improvements. The User Rights management interface is accessed using the Group Policy editor. (See the “Passwords and
security” section earlier this chapter.) The User Rights Assignment is located
under Security Settings➪Local Policies➪User Rights Assignments. Through
this interface, user rights are granted or revoked. Here are some changes you
should consider making:
Chapter 14: Network Security Management
Remove the Guests group from the Allow Log on Locally right: This
inhibits nonauthenticated users from gaining unauthorized access.
Remove the Everyone group from the Access This Computer from the
Network right: This inhibits nonauthenticated users from gaining access
to hosted resources over the network.
Remove the Everyone group from the Bypass Traverse Checking right:
This inhibits nonauthenticated users from jumping into subdirectories
when they don’t have access to parent directories.
Remove the Backup Operators group from the Restore Files and
Directories right: This inhibits nonadministrators from restoring files
from backup tapes. Because files can be restored to file allocation table
(FAT) partitions where access control lists (ACLs) are lost, this is an
important security modification.
After you make these changes, double-check that regular users still have
the capabilities they need to perform their required tasks. You may need to
grant a few users or groups added user rights. For example, if you want users
to access resources on a server from across the network, you should add
a group, such as Users, to the Access This Computer from the Network
user right.
Plugging Common Mouse Holes
Windows Server 2008 has a handful of common security holes that you need
to look for and fill. Fortunately, we crawled around on our hands and knees so
you don’t have to. Just follow our advice, and you’ll be all snug and secure.
Unseen administrative shares
Each time Windows Server 2008 boots, a hidden administrative share is
created for every drive. These shares are backup paths for the system just in
case direct access to system files is somehow interrupted. In other words, it’s
a redundancy you don’t need! The administrative shares are disabled by
adding AutoShareServer to the following Registry key:
A value of 0 turns administrative shares off, and a value of 1 turns them back
on. Consult Microsoft TechNet for info about disabling administrative shares.
Part III: Running Your Network
A hidden share is just like any other share, except a dollar sign appears as
the last character in its name. This tells the system not to display that share
in standard browser share listings. You can use the System Manager to view
hidden shares. You can create your own hidden share just by adding a dollar
sign to the end of the share name.
The problem with administrative shares is that they offer unrestricted access
to every file on a drive. If the username and password of an administrator
account ever get compromised, anyone can map to any administrative share
on the network. Therefore, it’s a good idea to turn off the administrative
shares just as a precaution.
Decoy accounts
Everyone knows the name of the most important user account on your
system. Because Windows Server 2008 creates the Administrator account
when Windows Server 2008 is installed, everyone already knows that you
have such an account and exactly what its name is. Therefore, you must
change it!
Don’t just change the name. Go one better and create a new dummy account
with absolutely no access or privileges and name it Administrator. This
dummy account can serve as a decoy to lure hackers away from real access.
Creating decoys for other common accounts, such as the Guest account and
IUSR account (the one created by IIS), is also a good idea.
Last logged on username
By default, when Ctrl+Alt+Delete is pressed, the logon dialog box displays
the username of the last person to log on successfully. This is insecure. To
prevent this dialog box from appearing, enable the option titled Interactive
Logon: Do Not Display Last User Name Policy. This option appears in the
Security Options area of the Group Policy. (See the “User rights” section for
details on finding this area.)
When good floppies go bad
A nifty tool called NTFSDOS v3.02 (which you can find by searching your
favorite search engine) enables anyone to read NTFS files after booting
from a DOS floppy. (This utility was once part of Winternals, now owned by
Microsoft, which has since been abandoned and all traces removed from the
Microsoft site.) The NTFSDOS drivers make possible what Microsoft once
Chapter 14: Network Security Management
claimed was impossible. Now, anyone with physical access to your system can
reboot with a floppy and copy files right from NTFS-protected drives. If you
value your data (and your job), remove floppy drives from critical systems.
Security Equals Vigilance
Maintaining a secure environment is an ongoing process. Keeping up with
security fixes, system changes, user activity, and a security policy is often a
time-consuming task. In your efforts to protect Windows Server 2008, take
the time to review the following Web sites, newsgroups, and other resources:
Microsoft Security & Privacy Web page: www.microsoft.com/
Microsoft Security Partners:
Windows & .NET Magazine: www.windowsitpro.com
Somarsoft: www.somarsoft.com
CERT Coordination Center: www.cert.org
Xtras, Inc.: www.xtras.net
Microsoft TechNet: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/
Here are some books you may find helpful, too. (Yes, most of these titles have
Windows 2000 in them. In most cases, the information applies to Windows
Server 2003, and to some extent 2008. But keep an eye out for new editions
focused on Windows Server 2008.)
Microsoft Windows 2000 Security Handbook, by Jeff Schmidt (published
by Que)
Configuring Windows 2000 Server Security, by Thomas W. Shinder, Stace
Cunningham, D. Lynn White, Syngress Media, and Garrick Olsen
(published by Syngress Media)
Windows 2000 Security Little Black Book, by Ian McLean (published by
Coriolis Group)
Maximum Security, by various authors (published by Sams.net)
Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker, by William
R.Cheswick, Steven M. Bellovin, and Aviel D. Rubin (published by
Building Internet Firewalls, by D. Brent Chapman and Elizabeth D. Zwicky,
and Simon Cooper (published by O’Reilly & Associates)
Part III: Running Your Network
Part IV
Serve It Yourself
In this part . . .
hose computer-friendly folks who aren’t afraid of PC
hardware, or who revel in their sense of adventure,
are likely to find the prospect of building their own
servers both fun and interesting. But even those of you
who might be more amenable to saving money than going
boldly where you’ve never gone before can get something
out of this part of the book, wherein we explore what’s
involved in putting together your own server PC on which
to run Windows Server 2008.
The adventure begins with a review of what goes into a
low-end server PC and what makes it different from an
ordinary desktop. You explore the key components of a
server from its motherboard to its processor and memory
to its storage and network connections as you find out
what makes servers special and what kinds of hardware
they thrive best upon.
After that, you get the chance to walk down the two primary paths to server hardware. First, you take the Intel
path and look at that company’s server processors and
the motherboards, memory, and other parts that building
an Intel-based server is likely to incorporate. Second, you
repeat this exercise with AMD components and check out
their processors, motherboards, and so forth that harmonize with their use. Either way, you discover how to roll
your own server and put it to work at sometimes
considerable savings over store-bought models.
Chapter 15
How to Be a DIY Guru
In This Chapter
Revisiting server requirements and expectations
Multiplicity in processing and networking
Server-specific memory for application services
Understanding redundancy for storage array options
Server-related power supply considerations
Building a better buyer’s budget
PC component shopping tips
here is perhaps no greater satisfaction and no better sense of pride of
ownership than in being a do-it-yourselfer. A properly motivated individual can get the job done and seeks out the appropriate resources when his
capability or experience falls short of what’s needed to get the job done. A
tremendous amount of knowledge and personal gratification comes from the
experience garnered from doing it yourself.
Instead of wasting too much time backpedaling mentally in search of probable
causes or guilty parties, you formulate plausible solutions or workarounds
and scramble to put your own plans into action. You are a budding PC guru,
a veritable technology ninja. Okay, maybe nobody else in your office sees it
quite that way, but an undeniable pleasure comes from doing things yourself.
Just remember the old saying, “Everything is easy when you know how
to do it!”
Of course, it often takes an advanced degree from The School of Hard Knocks
to become a competent DIY guru. But we know of only one surefire way to
acquire the necessary experience — just do it! The following chapters cover
material for both Intel (Chapter 16) and AMD (Chapter 17) components and
configurations to give you a fair assessment of the construction phase for
both products.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Server Requirements Revisited
Windows Server 2008 challenges the notion that you always need more
hardware to keep pace with new Microsoft software platforms, an assumption
that otherwise rings true. Windows Server 2008 has some interesting tricks
up its technical sleeves that actually make it possible to operate using fewer
resources — not more — than even an existing Windows Server 2000 or
Windows Server 2003 installation.
Although you must still meet the minimum processing requirements
(memory, CPU, storage capacity, and so on as outlined in Chapter 1),
Windows Server 2008 features an installation option called Server Core that
lets you establish a minimal server operating environment that contains
only enough programs to support specific service roles. These core roles,
such as DNS or DHCP, export only a few functions to the connected world
and therefore need very little local capability, such as desktop or multimedia
applications. In addition to reduced management, improved maintenance,
and a smaller attack surface, the Server Core option enables you to proffer
a server tailored to deliver only a certain set of capabilities and components.
Because it’s remotely manageable, you can skip a full-time keyboard or
heads-up display after you’ve completed the installation process.
With that in mind, consider the operational capacity of your server and its
services. Will these include only DNS and DHCP, or will it service e-mail
clients as well? When you begin processing higher volumes of data for a given
service or set of services, you must increase hardware resources to accommodate predictable upswings in demand, which can change dynamically and
geometrically on any given workday.
Processors: Cores, counts, and options
Keep score on your core count. Traditionally, only high-end server processors had any concept of multiple CPUs or cores working in tandem. Originally
this meant having a multiple of two processors per motherboard all operating in concert, usually on portions of the same data or separate streams of
data for a similar service. Recent designs have taken on an entirely new
approach, using multiples of two cores per CPU die, which increases processing power within about the same footprint. Today, it’s common to see desktop computers using multiple multicore CPUs to handle compute-intensive
tasks (perhaps video editing, multimedia processing, and — yes it’s true —
high-end multiplayer 3-D games).
You can, therefore, combine multiple multicore processors into a single
multiple-socket motherboard. Crazy concept, yes? But multiplicity is a
guiding principle for many modern computer components and subsystems,
Chapter 15: How to Be a DIY Guru
especially on servers. These include dual integrated networking interfaces,
dual on-board disk array controllers, dual redundant power supplies, and
matched-pair memory modules in doubled-up memory slots . . . and the list
keeps growing. There are even dual separate 12 V power rails in many topof-the-line power supply units (PSUs). Nowadays even desktop processors
receive dual-core processor treatment from the likes of AMD and Intel.
Furthermore, there is another dividing line: processor bits. Typically, the
modern CPU in your garden-variety desktop or workstation computer is a
32-bit little endian processor, which means it reads 32-bit words backwards
(so that “ABCD” would appear “DCBA”, if you didn’t apply what you know
about order when retrieving register contents). These words are the chunks of
basic information that your processor processes in a single processing cycle,
and the real distinction here is that newer makes and models increasingly
offer 64-bit capability. This doubles the word length, acquires an entirely
different designation (x64), and can support both 32-bit and 64-bit software.
Windows Server 2008 supports 32-bit and 64-bit operation with Intel’s Itanium
64 (IA-64) platform fully supported in the Datacenter Edition, which is optimized for high-workload scenarios (as opposed to file or media services).
Incidentally, Windows Server 2008 will also be Microsoft’s last 32-bit Windows
Server platform.
Motherboards can support anywhere from one to 32 processors depending
upon make and model, so choose the right ones to meet your business needs.
Memory: You can’t have too much
Main system memory is the intermediate workbench upon which all largescale data is placed and used. Several computer applications may find
themselves underserved and competing for a limited amount of resources,
which will be highlighted and underscored during intense durations of heavy
utilization. Memory is one of a few components you really can’t “outsource” —
like external drive storage arrays — and you absolutely should not skimp on
it, regardless of the cost of acquisition. There’s simply no justification for
running the bare minimum in anything bigger than a small office.
That said, you can never really have too much memory because utilization
spikes should never exceed current capacity anyway. It’s better to have more
headroom for all that data jumping around than to give it a glass ceiling to
bump its head on.
There are also features found in the server memory that may or may not
be required, depending on the hardware and software applications involved.
Soft errors commonly occur in system memory, particularly where large
volumes of data are processed in rapid succession. All this hyperactivity can
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
cause subtle changes in the representation of data, which can potentially
corrupt mission-critical information in a very bad way. Error Correcting Code
(ECC) memory is an expensive, fault-tolerant variant of normal memory that
can detect and correct soft errors as they occur, or on the fly. Contrasted with
the unbuffered memory that desktops typically use, ECC memory is more
robust and reliable, which explains why it’s typically used with servers and
server applications. See the nearby sidebar for more about system memory.
Weigh these options carefully and consider carefully whether you should use
ECC memory in your servers, especially if they handle large volumes of (or
any) mission critical data. (Hint: Most servers use buffered, ECC memory to
maximize accuracy and reliability.)
Disk space: Look out, it’s a RAID!
Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) remain a bastion of serveroriented data storage. Considering that, can you select the correct answer to
this question: RAID combines several disks in a variety of ways that better
serve data and its users by making it: A) faster, B) fault tolerant, or C) faster
and fault-tolerant?
If you answered “faster and fault-tolerant,” you’re correct. RAID physically
combines several separate disks into a single logical unit, which is then logically perceived and utilized by end-users as if it were a single storage volume
and not a consolidation of multiple drives. This feat requires at least specialized software, and — at the very best — specialized hardware and software
working as a cohesive unit capable of handling RAID capabilities. We won’t
delve into the finely-detailed distinctions and advantage hierarchies of the
many RAID variations here. Just know that software and hybridized integrated chipset solutions operate at nowhere near the performance and reliability level that dedicated add-in RAID controller cards can deliver. If you’re
running a business that’s sustained by timely and accurate data, don’t waste
time on second-best options. Protect your data with the very best coverage
money can buy.
That said, RAID configuration subtly influences performance as follows:
Increased disk count improves chances of single-disk failure.
Error Checking Code (ECC) offers reliability with performance penalties.
Mirroring data speeds up read access but slows down write operations.
Striping enhances performance at the cost of reliability.
RAID system design is a constant compromise in performance and
Chapter 15: How to Be a DIY Guru
Much ado about memory
There are three types of main system memory,
and you might have to know which type is most
appropriate for your motherboard and processor
selection. All three items must match for compatibility purposes, so check with the motherboard for ECC support if that’s what you need.
Unbuffered memory uses a chipset controller that deals directly with main system
memory. No buffers or registers withhold
data, and unbuffered memory is the choice
for desktop and workstation computers.
Registered or buffered memory uses additional chips to delay passing of data to retain
integrity for data in transit.
ECC (Error Correcting Code) memory provides greater data accuracy and runtime
durability by preventing soft errors from
occurring in the first place.
Some of the best RAID solutions support hot-swappable drives — that is, they
allow you to extract a defective drive from the array and insert a new one —
while the system remains online. Less capable systems require a full shutdown and offline processing of data, which is a personal choice you make
according to your business needs. Hot-swappable hardware costs more and
is more flexible and reliable. If continued operation and data availability are
worth the added cost, look into such systems. If not, skip them.
Network access: Internal,
add-in, and counts
Network interfaces are another area in server design that tends to
incorporate the power of two. Dual network interfaces integrated onto the
motherboard layout are becoming increasingly common, generally with
Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) capability. Add-in cards also appear with two or four
network RJ-45 ports, each capable of servicing thousands of connections.
Network connections occur across the Internet in the millions; locally, a
domestic network may generate thousands of internal connections. Individual
endpoints may generate several hundred connections by themselves.
The point we’re trying to illustrate here is that the number of connections
increases easily and geometrically in proportion to available bandwidth, line
speed, and interface thresholds. It’s better to have more operational capacity
to deal with any sudden increase in processing overhead than to be underserved by under-performing hardware that just manages to squeak by under
normal load.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Levels of RAID
No discussion of RAID capability is complete
without at least a cursory breakdown and fundamental examination of its inherent properties
and native advantages. There are many variations on the RAID theme that can easily confuse
those of you who come from modest computing
backgrounds, with no real exposure to high-end
storage concepts.
RAID 0: Minimum of two disks; striped set
without parity for improved performance and
additional storage without fault tolerance.
A number of standard schemes, called levels,
have evolved into a series of nested and (in some
cases) nonstandard variations that seek to divide
and/or replicate data among multiple drives to
achieve increased reliability, enhanced performance, or both. The three elemental concepts to
RAID include the following:
RAID 2: Minimum of three disks; uses nonstandard bit-level striping techniques with
ECC hamming parity; cost and complexity
make it impractical (see RAID 3/5 for
Mirroring: The simultaneous duplication of
data to more than one disk
Striping: The splitting of data across several
participating disks
Error correction: The native ability to detect
and possibly correct data errors
RAID systems employ one or several of these
elements in combination, depending on the
intended results and final application. A system
delivering video-on-demand services may opt for
striping but not mirroring, whereas an SQL database server might be interested in both data
replication and striped access for speed.
Here are the most commonly used RAID levels:
RAID 1: Minimum of two disks; mirrored set
without parity for improved fault tolerance
against disk errors and failure, with
increased performance toward read operations but slower writes.
RAID 3 and RAID 4: Minimum of three disks;
striped set with dedicated parity for
improved performance with fault tolerance
using a dedicated parity disk.
RAID 5: Minimum of three disks; striped set
with dedicated, distributed parity, which creates an array with fault tolerance against
single drive failure.
RAID 6: Minimum of four disks; striped set
with doubly-distributed parity for fault tolerance against double drive failure.
Also, various nested RAID levels combine many
of these features within layers. For example, a
RAID 0+1 system is a mirrored (RAID 1) array
whose segments are striped (RAID 0) arrays,
which has a benefits structure similar to RAID 5.
Multiple interfaces facilitate better failover servicing for high-availability
servers and server applications. The presence of a second, third, or fourth
network interface enables meaningful reliability, such as the following:
A backup network connection in the event that a primary interface fails
Load-balancing features that help maintain optimal operational efficiency
under heavy loads
Chapter 15: How to Be a DIY Guru
Specially screened traffic that may impose separate rules on different
These are only a few concepts currently in daily use in networking
environments around the world.
Case and power supply
After the CPU and graphics card, case design and form-factor are other
crucial components in the case/power supply equation. You may have some
prior experience with desktop and workstation PSU (power supply unit)
designs; they’re relatively predictable and boxy and lack any truly distinguishing features (until you get into the designer PSUs that are typically
designated for gaming or enthusiast applications). However, the same source
of power varies quite differently from most desktop and workstation units.
Much can be said about server case design without specifically citing the
innumerable examples that all qualify in this category. Server cases can be
reissued desktop enclosures, or they can be special designs custom crafted
for particular environments or purposes, like Sun’s Blade servers or any 1U,
2U, or 4U rack-mount design. (Space in equipment racks is measured in terms
of equipment units, which translate into just under 3 inches high and 19
inches wide, just right for standard rack dimensions.)
Some embedded server platforms have the dimensions of a pack of gum,
whereas others are large enough to fill a 1950 Cadillac’s trunk. In any case,
a server case design must include at least three major elements:
Adequate airflow (for ventilation)
Easy accessibility (for servicing)
Simple extensibility or scalability (for upgrading)
These properties change from one case design to the next, incorporated in
about as many ways as there are case designers, but they remain constant
fixtures for any well-crafted server case design.
Case design should reflect the motherboard and CPU choice because of
the direct correlation between a suitable case and its internal components.
A standard ATX form-factor motherboard won’t fit in a Mini-ITX enclosure,
no matter how cleverly you repurpose all the other hardware and software
to run as a server platform. There are specific, fixed mount points for every
form-factor, with only a few deviations in the arrangement of motherboard
components. Be sure to shop for cases in the appropriate category. Mixing
and matching (for example, pairing an ATX case with a BTX motherboard
or vice versa) simply doesn’t work.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Server power supply units, or PSUs, are manufactured in various dimensions
and designs, some of which aren’t used in the desktop/workstation scene.
Rack-mount PSUs are built in various sizes to meet small-footprint requirements in those environments. As such, they lack the mount points for a typical PSU case and are thus incompatible with conventional computer cases.
Likewise, a standard workstation PSU doesn’t make a viable substitute for the
much smaller 1U, 2U, or 4U designs (all incompatible amongst themselves).
Pick your form-factors wisely and consistently!
Perhaps more important is an uninterruptible power supply, or UPS, which
is more important for servers than for desktops or workstations. As the
power source for any computer, a power supply provides the vital energy it
needs to operate all its parts. Without power, nothing works at all. In power
sag or spike condition, this means critical business applications may not be
available, which may not be in the best interests of your business operation.
A UPS includes a built-in battery that can take over from the power company
when power gets wonky or goes missing. (Small units usually offer 15 minutes of reserve power, enough to shut down systems gracefully; large units
extend that time frame and may be integrated with backup power delivery
from diesel or gasoline generators.)
You should consider purchasing a UPS rated for a specific load (expressed in
volts, amps, and watts). Such units are often guaranteed to protect a specific
maximum dollar amount of equipment. Also make note of the rated runtime
for a UPS, which varies according to the load — anywhere from 15 minutes
to an hour or more. Quality UPS units also act as line or power conditioners
and clean up surges or sags in power that may adversely affect connected
hardware. All mission-critical hardware running business-critical applications
should receive UPS coverage without question.
Use the following guidelines to calculate the power consumption needs for
any given server you build or buy:
Approximate 25 watts for every optical drive and around 30 watts for
every disk drive.
A CPU can range between 55–100 watts, with system memory drawing
around 14 watts per 512MB memory bank. Then consider that multicore
arrangements also increase this consumption from the PSU and that
disk drives surge around twice their operational draw when starting up.
That is part of the reason you can find disk controllers with staggered
startup features.
PCI add-in cards can draw around 5 watts on the low end, and some PCI-X
and even PCI-E add-in cards vary in consumption trends. If you installed
a graphics card, you might also check its wattage ratings — they vary
between 20–60 watts on the low end and 60–100 on the high end.
Tally up this count and then aim for a PSU with at least two-thirds more
headroom or greater.
Chapter 15: How to Be a DIY Guru
What about graphics?
Indeed, what about them? Many kinds of server capacities, including
Windows Server 2008’s new Server Core installation method, can largely go
without a proper graphics card, which is ideal anyway because who wants
to spend extra money on a graphics card for a single display per server in a
cluster or farm formation, especially where there isn’t a proper desktop? In
fact, it isn’t entirely uncommon to forego the use of expensive video adapters
on many kinds of server platforms because you don’t have graphical
user interfaces.
Ideally, you’d want to share at least one graphics card per several servers,
even if it means having groups of servers all feeding off a single heads-up
display. This can even be done remotely with server management tools and
remote procedure calls, which require no graphics card on the remote end.
However you want to work it is your business.
We recommend that you find either an integrated video solution for that
first install or last-resort scenario and avoid buying anything fanciful or
feature-rich for your server.
Important miscellany (cooler, fans,
optical drive, monitor, keyboard, mouse)
We haven’t yet mentioned some crucial components that are essential to
good server design. For many of you, these items are no-brainers, but maybe
we don’t entirely appreciate the full beauty behind some of these necessities.
Even though this bit is for the uninitiated crowd, you could benefit from reading the following paragraphs at any experience level.
An enormous amount of processing ability comes at an enormous cost: heat
buildup. The thermal footprint of a given processor increases by surface area
and increases geometrically with the inclusion of multiple cores and larger
caches. Invisible heat pockets develop in these target areas where processing
is most frequent and intense: CPU, memory, network interfaces, and drives. It
is essential to cool these problem areas properly, which changes from one
case design and component build to another.
Not only are CPUs passively and actively cooled through a series of heatsinks
and ball-bearing fans, but memory is now produced with heat spreaders to
better distribute heat over a wider surface that can be cooled easier than
isolated chips on the silicon surface. Fan designs for server computing tend
to be larger and produce greater airflow, which automatically implies higher
noise levels. This is in stark contrast to quiet-running, more efficient desktop
and workstation components designed not to distract their users.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Because there’s no GUI — or not much use for one — on a server, there’s no
graphics adapter or even a monitor, nor will you find elaborate audio interfaces, joystick and gamepad connections, pluggable peripherals and other
such elements, either. Likewise, peripheral input devices are much less
necessary with all the centralized network-based management tools popularized and already present in Windows Server 2008. You should probably have
a few spare keyboards and mice around in case you need to work on several
servers simultaneously, but other than that you can get by nicely with a very
small inventory of such items.
Building a Better Budget
Another powerful and potential cost-saving feature of Windows Server 2008
is its native operating system–level virtualization strategy. Virtualization
utilizes a hypervisor at the operating system’s kernel layer — at the very
core of the system — that can partition a single installation into several independently working parts. Enabled this way, you can experience and share a
single server hardware build among several server software instances.
There are two big caveats here:
This functionality will not initially be part of the platform; it will actually
arrive much later, around 180 days after the market release of Windows
Server 2008.
It will be available to only the 64-bit (x64) versions of Windows Server
2008, so be prepared to step up components (such as the CPU) and
drivers (like the network interface) to capably handle x64 processing.
CPU speed is less critical on server platforms than for desktops and workstations, so don’t be drawn to the idea that you need fast clock cycles to do
intensive computing. You tend to get more done with two or more slowerclocked CPUs than an individual desktop processor operating at much higher
frequencies, where applications are specifically designed to multithread and
properly utilize several separate processors.
Also consider that, instead of drawing up specs for a bunch of different
servers, you can virtualize several simultaneous instances of the operating
system and effectively produce multiple servers from a single hardware
build. The basic principle at work here is to emulate a larger number of
smaller, less capable servers using a smaller number of larger, more capable
ones. The budgeting trick is to figure out how to spend less money on those
more powerful machines than you would on the combined total of a larger
number of small, less capable ones. Fortunately, this is an eminently workable solution and explains why so many companies and organizations, large
Chapter 15: How to Be a DIY Guru
and small, are making increased use of virtualization in their day-to-day
operations. If you’re interested in finding out more about virtualization,
check out Virtualization For Dummies by Bernard Golden (Wiley).
PC Component Shopping Tips
In the server shopping world, it sometimes pays to stay slightly behind the
curve. By that, we mean you should purchase a few steps back from bleedingedge or latest-and-greatest parts. Reserve most of your budget for all of the
most crucial system components (CPU, memory, and storage) and tweak
your leverage in those areas.
Perform a little capacity planning beforehand to get an idea of what scale of
operation is needed. Will your network remain relatively static over a period
of months or years, or do network loads and demand change dynamically on
a daily basis? Will interruptions to power or service have costly adverse
effects on business? Know in advance what sorts of challenges you face and
the sorts of solutions you desire.
When shopping for server hardware, you might notice an entire cottage
industry built around specialty applications and designs that incorporate
proprietary protocols, hardware, or various combinations thereof. We recommend that long-term strategists stick with reputable industry leaders like
Dell, Compaq, or HP instead of leaning on smaller companies that specialize
in proprietary solutions. That’s not to say they’re entirely bad — but what
would happen if an up-and-comer goes belly up two years before you find out
that a critical piece of hardware needs their specialized treatment? It’s also
by no means a bad thing to use the parts list for a commercial turnkey server
when picking components for a do-it-yourself server that you may seek to
build on your own.
Also consider the footprint for any given server you build. Sure, opting for
rack-mount server hardware may save you some space, but it’ll cost you
more for components specifically tailored for rack-mount use. In that regard,
there’s always a substantial trade-off worth considering. Also consider that
quad-core CPUs may be more beneficial in enterprise computing environments than in moderate or small office environments with up to a few hundred users, so you can definitely hit a point of diminishing returns with CPU
speed and numbers. However, there really isn’t a foreseeable excess of
memory because that’s the veritable workbench upon which all significant
CPU tasks and projects are completed. Maybe a trade-off in CPU clock
cycles/numbers versus memory capacity is your answer.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Dual network interfaces are almost a standard in today’s world, but that
doesn’t mean you’ll always get double-duty pulling power on the wire. You
need solid GbE capability all around to adequately sustain high levels of
bandwidth utilization, where a large part of the business environment hosts
rich presentations, distance learning courses, and meetings online from a
number of remote sources. In short, there’s little justification for building 100
Mbps Fast Ethernet networks when GbE is so readily available and affordable.
Assessing Windows Server
2008 Compatibility
Microsoft gives you two options to perform a quick compatibility check that
applies equally to Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (because the two
openly share a common code base). These two tests are a clean installation
of Windows Server 2008 or an upgrade to Windows Vista from Windows XP
(SP2) on the target hardware. If you encounter any errors, you’ll know that
your hardware is in some way unfit for operating both Windows Server 2008
and Windows Vista.
We would like to see a much stronger solution made generally available
for the public to examine hardware fitness for suitability with Windows
Server 2008, but there doesn’t appear to be a straightforward answer at the
time of this writing. Currently, you can use the Microsoft Application
Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) to roughly gauge the compatibility for certain
builds, even though it’s actually designed for software. You may explore the
ACT and other compatibility toolkits and information at the Microsoft
Web site at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/
ACT utilizes compatibility evaluators to collect application, device, and hardware information from your desktop without interruption to any users. It then
returns this information for your analysis prior to deployment of Windows
platforms. Such is the case with Windows Vista’s Hardware Assessment inventory tool, which examines an organization’s readiness to run Vista. Best of all,
you can use one PC to investigate an entire network of Windows computers
and create a comprehensive report specific to individual computers and their
respective recommendations. ACT also has the Vista Upgrade Advisor, a
downloadable Web application that helps XP users identify upgrade path
options, but more importantly makes suggestions as to what (if any) hardware
changes are necessary for certain editions of Windows Vista. You may obtain
the Vista Upgrade Advisor at www.microsoft.com/windows/products/
Chapter 15: How to Be a DIY Guru
There’s a huge difference between true workstation and true server
hardware. What works on a workstation may work as a server, but what’s
designed specifically for server use won’t likely work on the desktop. Using
these Vista-specific tools only gives a false sense of readiness for Windows
Server 2008 for those of you using specialty hardware; otherwise a
workstation-turned-server will do just fine with these evaluators. Perhaps the
one true, time-tested compatibility evaluator really is the actual installation
medium itself. So far, it remains that way.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Chapter 16
Servers the Intel Way
In This Chapter
Intel server hardware installation step by step
Intel CPU and motherboard selection
Sizing up your memory requirements and disk utilization trends
Case and power supply considerations
Installing server hardware components
Server software installation time
e maintain the politically correct position that there is no inherently
superior hardware component or server build. In our view, there’s no
need for religious debate or fanatical proselytizing about the advantages or
benefits of one platform or part over another — we generally view those who
engage in such behavior as having an agenda to push. The plain fact of the
matter is this: Whatever works for you in your situation with your conditions
and considerations is the best or perfect solution — for you!
Lots of unsubstantiated claims, anecdotal advice, and assumed truths about
server solutions are floating around. After you discount all the superimposed
mysticism, empty marketing rhetoric, and bad suggestions, there’s usually
not much left behind. We tend to stick to what we know holds true, both
universally and for ourselves.
AMD processors, whatever you may hear, are just as good for most server
computing tasks as Intel processors. Reading about benchmarks only tells
you about the performance ratings a given system achieves in some particular test-environment scenario for an isolated set of variables and individual
enhancements. What those benchmarks don’t tell you is how well-suited or
well-constructed your hardware is as it applies to your environment and its
unique conditions. Especially when it comes to entry-level or low-end
servers, neither AMD nor Intel enjoys a lasting or definite advantage, perhaps
apart from what readers may know best or be most comfortable with.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
In this chapter, we offer you the build-up walkthrough on an Intel server,
not that it’s that much different from our AMD procedure in the next chapter.
The process is pretty much identical, although the parts are quite different.
Get geared up and ready to roll out on your new server hardware hog, easy
rider. We’re about to take a Sunday cruise through the build phase.
Choosing a CPU and Motherboard First
Although most of us don’t make car-buying decisions based on the engine
and chassis, a well-trained computer hardware hound sniffs out these traits
much like a sports enthusiast shops for a Sunday speedster. You know that
only high-performance equipment is capable of handling the power curve
and dynamically changing conditions on a busy raceway circuit. In the same
vein, server computers aren’t garden-variety grocery getters with a sports
package added on; they’re certifiable performance platforms around which
all else is designed, built, and implemented.
But our analogy stops there. Unlike true sports cars, server computers
usually don’t match or beat the fastest production quality products on the
market, and that’s because they don’t aim to win that kind of race. Rather,
servers are the cornerstones of business computing; they’re the stable-kept
workhorses that plow the fields and sow the land. They aren’t show horses
meant for exhibition. In fact, deep down a lot of server hardware is unassuming, perhaps even ugly to people who see only the most visible machines
used in business operations: workstation computers.
The short of it is, the CPU and motherboard are the most important elements
in your server foundation. They should be scrutinized and carefully selected
according to their business value and processing power.
Intel first stabilized low-voltage chip designs, which is one of the compelling
reasons Apple Computer switched platforms from the Freescale PowerPC
core. Intel has an enormous production capacity and prides itself on creating
stable processing platforms for workstation and server computing tasks. We
see low-voltage parts as one small stride in the direction of greener computing environments, which you should consider in the design phase of your
server build. Excess electricity and air conditioning cost more.
Low-cost Intel-focused motherboards are comparably less impressive,
feature-wise, than comparable AMD-based motherboards, but they typically
aim at more business-like uses. Even Intel’s own business-class motherboards
follow a similar form and format: a typical green plank loaded with
unassuming chips and controllers.
Newer Intel processor types typically range from the Celeron D and Pentium
4 to the Pentium D and Core 2 Duo platforms, each with its own unique
Chapter 16: Servers the Intel Way
advantages and disadvantages. There are also enterprise-worthy Xeon and
Itanium processor platforms for servers, plus high-efficiency Pentium and
Celeron M cores and bleeding-edge Pentium Extreme Edition (EE) processors
to choose from. Each CPU has its own corresponding set of requirements for
compatible memory, core chipsets, and device controllers that provide
varying degrees of capability and integrated features. That’s why you must
shop around for a platform to suit your business needs.
Intel processor packages also come in a variety of formats, sizes, and
pinouts. There are pinned and pinless CPUs in 90 or 65nm die sizes reaching
nearly to 4 GHz speeds, with varying on-board cache sizes. Some are even
finished in 64-bit trim with dual and quad-core processing capabilities. In
general, we recommend simple single- or dual-processor server motherboards with basic graphics, ports, and connectors, with an emphasis on disk
drive support and memory capacity.
Selecting and Sizing Memory
Imagine having a workspace the size of your footrest. You can build and
complete small projects in it just fine. You can even complete lots of little
projects in that small footprint over a period of time — but that’s entirely
the point. Other projects are lined up, waiting to advance through the task
queue, hoping to get processed in an orderly and timely manner. Their
frequency may be regular or sporadic, occurring at any given time in various
numbers, but every one must be completed in turn and on time.
Next, imagine you’re a factory worker assembling lots of little pieces into
slightly larger combinations that then contribute to another, much larger
project that may or may not involve other completed workbench projects as
well. You couldn’t possibly assemble that massive monstrosity in your tiny
workspace! This is precisely the analogy we use to convey the working relationship of your RAM to your CPU.
A large workspace offers you more than capacity: It also delivers confidence
from knowing you can handle tasks of any size along with a large series of
smaller, easily completed tasks, all within the same workspace, often around
the same time. Main system memory offers your CPU a temporary residence
for information in active use, providing room for intermediate building blocks
in larger applications and processes. Imagine your server is the factory floor
of a massive assembly plant where you oversee the production line. You want
all the factory floor space you can get, right?
Memory not only needs to be available in the right quantity, but it must be of
the proper type as well. There are several types of memory, none of which
are interchangeable, all suited for particular products and specific purposes.
There is memory in buffered and unbuffered flavors that can correct errors
on the fly, and it’s packaged in various formats that include Rambus Dynamic
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
RAM (RDRAM), synchronous Dynamic RAM (DDR and DDR2 SDRAM),
SODIMM (Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module, the type used in most
notebook PCs), and others we won’t even mention. What we will say is that
you must be keen to match your memory selection to your motherboard
and processor.
In our case, the Intel server motherboard uses two socket 771 bases and
requires buffered, error correcting (ECC) DDR2 memory that works at speeds
up to 667 MHz. For that motherboard, we chose 4GB of Kingston Value RAM,
pictured in Figure 16-1, and it’s an excellent bang for the buck choice rated
as PC2 5300 (runs at 667 MHz).
Figure 16-1:
Value RAM
with ECC.
Selecting and Sizing Disk Space
Remember, Windows Server 2008 minimum requirements demand at least
10GB — unless you’re using 16GB or more of RAM — and recommend
40GB of free drive space for server installation alone. That doesn’t include all
the extraneous applications and data you’ll invariably need, either.
Realistically, you should probably include at least two drives of at least
200GB in size for system use and anywhere from three to six drives from
320GB to 1TB each for data. Nowadays, pricing on SATA drives has dropped
below 25 cents per gigabyte, so there’s no excuse for equipping a server
with too little storage space.
Accessing current needs and
anticipating future growth
When you outfit your server with storage, be sure to make allowances for
long-term growth and expansion to support maximum flexibility and scalability. Only you can know what kinds of data and how much must be stored and
processed on your servers, so make a rough guesstimate to quantify all that
data. Let’s assume this, for example: Your server processes audio sound bites
from a department of journalists. These files average around 5MB per clip,
Chapter 16: Servers the Intel Way
with a single user processing perhaps hundreds at any given time for any
given project. If you impose a cap of 5GB (or approximately 1,000 audio clips)
per user directory and you have 20 active users on that server, you require
at least 100GB of storage space. Subject each key application to the same
metrics. (E-mail, project documents and spreadsheets, and graphics files may
all be sized using the same kind of approach.) Let’s say you come up with
a grand total of 800GB of storage space required.
Next, assume you must mirror all these presumably valuable files so that
they may be recovered in the event of disk failure or data corruption. You
now need 1.6TB of storage space just to house user data alone. See how
easily that adds up? And this naïve example takes into account only a narrow
and specific selection of data — these same users are also likely to have
other written records, annotated quotes, reference materials, citations, and
other research data stored alongside these sound bites. You also haven’t
considered any video footage that may be necessary for the same user group,
or taken into account other roles this same storage server may take on
throughout its lifetime.
Planning for RAID
You must also plan carefully for any RAID server storage technologies you
wish to employ on your server. These schemes generally require at least
two disks (or some multiple thereof) and in some cases additional third or
odd-numbered drives for checksum storage. There is also just a bunch of
disks (JBOD), which creates a single logical storage volume from multiple
physical drives that you can use to expand server with different-sized drives.
For RAID use, make certain that all drives are identical (including make,
model, size, and interface). There are several types of hard disk interfaces,
none of them compatible, from SCSI to SATA. Some use serial connections,
others parallel, but what matters is that you identify and acquire the
appropriate interface type for your motherboard or add-in drive controller.
Lastly, when purchasing new drives, be aware of the distinction between
our decimal definition system reference and actual disk capacity that a
computer reads as a binary number. In human terms, one gigabyte equals
1,000 megabytes; however, a computer sees one gigabyte as 1,024 megabytes,
which makes a considerable difference at very large capacities.
Making Network Connections
You must decide if your server can do its job properly using built-in network
interfaces. (Server motherboards generally include them in pairs. Our
SuperMicro X7DAE extended ATX motherboard includes two Intel-based
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
gigabit Ethernet interfaces.) Or you may need to install and use additional
Ethernet interface cards instead. This would generally occur if you expect
your server to handle huge volumes of network traffic, where you could benefit from a TCP/IP Offload Engine, or TOE, on the interface card.
For our test purposes — and for most home office/small office situations —
the built-in network interfaces are perfectly okay. Given that TOE cards usually cost at least $100 each (and as much as $250) this represents a considerable savings — but only if you don’t need the extra networking horsepower.
When you do need it, such cards tend to pay for themselves pretty quickly.
Picking the Right Case
and Power Supply
Cases and power supplies are generally closely associated, for multiple reasons. First, when you purchase a case, it may include a built-in power supply.
Second, cases tend to dictate the size, shape, and set of features (or their
orientation) that can or should be present on the power supply. To many, this
seems only natural because these two parts are analogous to the skeleton
and the heart, crucial for sustaining form and function for other internal
organs — err, components.
Case designs vary so wildly you wouldn’t recognize many modern examples
as even having sufficient operating room for a proper server installation.
Units can be as small as or smaller than your cell phone to larger than your
refrigerator. For our build, we used a so-called bench case: It’s really an open
platform where the motherboard simply rests on the top shelf and the wire
and cable cards emerge at the back. There is room underneath the top shelf
and on a bottom shelf for the power supply, optical drive, and as many disk
drives as you care to stack within its confines. We also chose a quiet,
capable, and efficient Seasonic S12 650-watt power supply (which retails
for about $165).
For ordinary business use, most SOHO buyers purchase either mid-tower or
full-size tower cases. We’ve had good luck with the Antec Atlas and Titan
models (which include their own power supplies in sizes from 550 to 650
watts), and the SuperMicro 743T case, which has the advantage of coming
from the same company that made the motherboard, so you can be sure of a
good fit (it also includes a built-in 650-watt power supply). All of these cases
retail for between $100 and $200, which is about typical for a good-quality
server case with a built-in power supply.
Chapter 16: Servers the Intel Way
Testing as you go
Make sure that you’re well-grounded when handling any computer components. Discharge any
static electricity that may linger on your person
by grasping some unpainted metal surface such
as your toolbox, a nearby computer case, or an
enclosure part. Basically, physical contact with
anything grounded will draw static away from
you and discharge safely.
Negligible though it may seem, sufficient static
discharge can easily incapacitate hardware on
first contact. We’ve yet to seriously damage any
new hardware ourselves, but we can attest to
occasions where all it took was a little discharge
to do a lot of damage to well-worn or in-use
parts — often resulting in their premature and
untimely passing.
Grounding yourself regularly lets you test hardware for fit and function as you proceed through
the build process. One common issue that
causes initial lift-off failure is an improperly
plugged or incompletely seated component.
(Memory modules are particularly prone to this
kind of fault.) Here are some areas to pay particular attention to:
Be mindful of every beginning and end of
every cable.
Be certain that each component connector
is correctly oriented and snug; otherwise, a
slight tug — perhaps as you reach across to
fix something — can dislodge and disrupt
your work.
Make sure that socketed components —
memory, CPUs, and motherboards — are
snugly seated in their sockets and avoid too
much force when checking them. (A surprisingly small amount of brute force, improperly
applied, can also spell doom for fragile computer components, especially CPUs with
hundreds of tiny and delicate metal pins.)
Building an Intel-Based
Server from A to Z
Our examples in this section can be extrapolated to other server builds that
incorporate different hardware components just on basic principles. The
techniques and procedures you may encounter when installing foreign or
nonstandard hardware will vary by the product and its peculiarities, but
otherwise, these concepts remain largely the same.
We selected components you might expect to encounter in a common
Windows Server 2008 networking environment. Our walkthrough is tailored
to be generic enough to follow even if you’re using entirely different components, such as SCSI rather than SATA drive interfaces or DDR instead of
DDR2 memory.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Insert the PSU
On to the power supply, or PSU, veritable heart to the host body that is a
server case. If the CPU is the brain and RAM acts as memory workspace for
that brain, the PSU is the heart that drives energy into an otherwise inanimate server. Without its correct and proper fit, there can be no function.
Critical issues arise when even a minor detail is amiss on the PSU — an
unplugged connection or an under-powered voltage rail, for example. Take
special care and pay close attention to connectors on your PSU and where
they must plug in.
The following example assumes that your PSU is new and therefore likely to
be free of defects or malfunctions. However, this might be yet another unwarranted assumption — you could conceivably get through an entire server
build and never realize the PSU is kaput. We recommend putting the PSU
through some formal or informal preliminary testing to make sure it delivers
sufficient power. You can purchase basic CPU testers from companies like
Antec or StarTech for between $10 and $15; we urge you to do so and put
them to work when you start building.
Also consider that your motherboard and CPU selections will impose
different demands and requirements on a PSU, so choose your PSU wisely.
Server-specific motherboards often incorporate specialized plugs or power
interfaces for multiple CPUs, enhanced graphics cards, and other advanced
features. Explore these options thoroughly before making any buying
decisions, so that all three of these critical elements match up.
Follow these steps to insert the PSU:
1. Locate the mount point for the PSU.
Mount points on the case, usually indicated by threaded screw holes,
should align perfectly with those bored into the PSU case. Correctly
orient these holes to properly position the PSU before inserting any
mounting hardware.
2. Orient the PSU properly.
Power supplies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you should
check for fit and identify any clearance or access issues, including cable
reach. If your PSU includes an auxiliary fan on its bottom surface, with
the exhaust out the back, as shown in Figure 16-2, be sure there is
adequate clearance for the fan to move airflow properly (in the bottom,
out the back).
3. Securely fasten the PSU in place.
It doesn’t matter what pattern you follow when screwing in the mounting hardware; we prefer making an X pattern, traveling diagonally to
mount and tighten screws. Never tighten them enough to deform the
metal enclosure or server case material.
Chapter 16: Servers the Intel Way
Figure 16-2:
A power
supply unit
with a large
auxiliary fan
resting on
its top
showing at
the front,
intake fan at
the top.
4. Plug the primary 20- or 24-pin power plug into its socket.
This is by far the largest and most recognizable plug on the PSU harness.
You should have the proper PSU selection for your motherboard.
5. Optionally, bind each of the cables.
This enables better airflow and encourages a clean workspace for other
administrators, integrators, or technicians who may do follow-up work
inside the case.
Seat the CPU and cooler
Easily, the most expensive single-item purchase is the CPU; that goes double
for dual-CPU rigs like the one we chose for our build. The CPU also happens
to be the least accessible component in a completed system build because to
get at it you must open the case and remove the cooler (which sometimes
poses its own unique challenges) to expose it to view. We’ve encountered
some coolers that required removing some or all of the nearby hardware,
including magnetic and optical drives, socketed memory, and add-in cards.
You perform all that work, just to free up sufficient work space around the
cooler so that it can be dismantled, removed, and the CPU made accessible
for service.
Ideally, you should install the CPU and cooler onto the motherboard before
affixing the motherboard inside your server case. It’s much easier to ensure
proper placement and adequate workspace for tools when your movement
isn’t restricted by interior elements of the server case and other neighboring
components. Usually the CPU has a small footprint, so pulling or placing one
into its socket is a non-issue; however, coolers aren’t nearly as predictable as
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
CPUs. Some designs are either so large or the case so cramped that working
in a confined space is virtually impossible, so please heed our advice —
it’s based on painful experience.
Depending on the make and model of your CPU, there may be delicate pins
on its underside or integrated into the CPU socket itself. This latter design
is a more modern concept that presumably saves on replacement costs
because a single server CPU at market price can cover the cost of several
server-worthy motherboards. In short, if you bend a pin out of place on a
CPU socket, you must replace a less expensive motherboard; force the
CPU into place and bend some pins, and you must pay for a more expensive
processor, if you can’t gently persuade those pins back into alignment.
Seating the CPU
To seat the CPU, follow these steps:
1. Locate the CPU socket.
Specialty designs often feature multiple sockets for multiple processors,
so you may in fact identify several sockets. Primary and secondary
sockets on the motherboard may be protected by a graphite-colored
plastic shield, which should be removed for installation, that protects
the CPU socket from incidental damage.
Take a look at Figure 16-3, where we show two Intel Xeon 5000-series
processor sockets on an Intel server motherboard.
2. Check the CPU socket.
Modern CPU sockets are frail enough that they can break on the slightest provocation, and the only surefire fix is motherboard replacement.
Don’t be clumsy or overly forceful when examining the socket for
defects, or when seating the CPU in a later step. CPU handling calls for
a careful, delicate touch.
3. Unlatch and uncover the CPU socket.
The socket will be guarded by a pressure plate and latching swing arm.
You should be gentle when working with the latch. It should never bind
or demand significant exertion to operate. Closely observe Figure 16-4,
where we unlatch the arm that holds a tension plate over the CPU to
keep a snug fit.
4. Check for proper CPU orientation.
Also check that the CPU is free from defect in workmanship or finish
quality to avoid complications later during the build.
5. Socket the CPU.
Work the CPU gently into its socket; it should fit into place without
much pressure or persuasion. Don’t force it to fit; any resistance should
provoke immediate action, which means repositioning the CPU into its
correct orientation.
Chapter 16: Servers the Intel Way
Figure 16-3:
Intel Xeon
sockets on a
Figure 16-4:
socket arm
on a
6. Repeat Steps 1 through 5 as necessary for multiple CPUs.
7. Identify motherboard power plug points for the CPU.
The appearance and arrangement will change from one motherboard to
the next. In most garden-variety single-processor boards, you’ll have a
4-pin auxiliary cable plug situated near the CPU. This is a main (and
necessary) source of power for the CPU. Multiple-core motherboards
may have several such plugs; sometimes they require a special 8-pin
plug instead, as with our SuperMicro X7DAE motherboard. See
Figure 16-5.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Figure 16-5:
CPU power
socket, of
which there
may be one
or more,
on the
Seating the cooler
Follow these steps to seat the cooler into its socket:
1. Locate the cooler mount points.
Identify placement for the cooler, noting any retention brackets, retainer
clips, or pilot holes that correspond to the cooler hardware assembly.
Also observe placement of the power connector for later use.
2. Dry-fit the cooler once.
A dry-fit approach lets you check any clearance issues you may have
with access or placement of the CPU and/or its cooler. Situate your CPU
into the socket, but do not mount it in place yet.
You should dry-fit the CPU cooler into its socket at least once to learn
the proper fit and orientation.
3. Check its orientation and airflow path. You may have to opt for a less
favorable or reversed orientation to achieve optimal airflow.
4. Inspect the underside of the CPU cooler. Check for a patch of grayish,
silvery, or whitish thermal paste underneath the copper or aluminum
base. Where there isn’t already one, you’ll have to apply thermal
paste, which we recommend be spread directly atop the processor.
Follow these steps:
a. Remove the CPU from the socket and set it on top of a folded-up
paper or cloth towel or a foam pad.
b. Apply a thorough, consistent layer of thermal paste. Use a credit card
or business card to smooth the paste into a thin layer that covers the
entire top of the CPU package.
c. Reseat the CPU into its socket.
If you need to apply thermal paste, use either a manufacturer-supplied
single-shot portion or some other source for thermal paste. It often
comes in plastic syringes from which you can extrude just a dab and
then use a business or credit card to spread a thin, smooth layer across
Chapter 16: Servers the Intel Way
the surface. We’re fond of the Arctic Silver brand, a well-known and
widely used thermal paste.
5. Securely fasten the cooler mount plate to the motherboard.
Retention clips or a retainer bracket may interface with the motherboard and cooler; assemble these in their correct orientations. There’s
almost always some clamp or screw that keeps the cooler securely
in place.
6. Connect the cooler power cable (see Figure 16-6).
Never omit this step or intend to connect it later — this isn’t a minor
detail that you can leave unfinished or overlooked. Otherwise your CPU
will get overcooked!
Our setup, pictured in Figure 16-6, shows that we have one power plug
situated catty-corner just outside our main processor socket on the
Intel motherboard.
Figure 16-6:
CPU cooler
fan power
plug located
on an Intel
Seat the RAM modules
Memory modules all have their own distinctive and predictable footprints,
and their actual formats can change in subtle ways that require a keen
eye. For example, discriminating DDR from DDR2 memory takes a bit of
basic product knowledge; differentiating ECC or registered from unbuffered
memory takes a keen eye and strong product knowledge. We don’t expect
you to have that ability. Leave that for the propeller heads and, at the very
least, the retail associates and sellers of such hardware.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
You should already know what kind of RAM works with your CPU and
motherboard. There are some dangerous (read: fiery) incompatibilities that
can arise from mixing memory rated for different interfaces at different
voltages. And despite the fact that memory designers and circuit engineers
try to make it difficult to plug the wrong component into the wrong socket,
some ingenious installer invariably finds a way to do so with lethal effect
(for the RAM, not the installer). Pay attention to what you’re doing.
To seat RAM modules, follow these steps:
1. Locate the RAM banks.
Long, parallel rows of memory sockets stretch alongside or nearby the
CPU socket.
2. Identify socket keying for orientation.
Memory and memory banks are keyed for a specific fit and orientation.
Carefully observe which way the memory fits. Selecting the proper
memory type from the very beginning ensures no complications here.
Match up the short segment of pin on the module with the short
segment in the memory socket, and you’re ready to go.
In Figure 16-7, we install DDR memory into the Intel motherboard
for our two-way Intel Pentium processors. Our memory banks on this
motherboard aren’t color coded in a manner that visually indicates
matched banks, but some motherboards employ color-coding for your
Figure 16-7:
Banks of
memory in
our Intel
3. Unlatch the toothed latches on each socket.
Each latch tooth corresponds to a groove cut into the sides of the
memory module. These teeth lock into place to hold memory securely
inside the socket.
4. Gently press the memory modules into place.
Memory should slide into the socket with little resistance. You should
never force-fit memory modules because they can break under pressure.
If you encounter any resistance, rotate and retry.
Chapter 16: Servers the Intel Way
5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for multiple modules or multiple processor
memory banks.
In a multiple-socket motherboard, you’ll have to make special
considerations as to how much memory you allocate per processor.
Install the hard disk drives
Disk drive formats haven’t really changed much over the years. Disk platters
have gotten increasingly dense while the overall width has remained constant.
The interfaces have gone through many fundamentally different changes that
both enhance and better the lifespan of our most precious storage long-term
volumes, but overall the procedure for installing them remains unchanged.
Whether your hardware includes SCSI, Parallel ATA (PATA), or Serial ATA
(SATA) cabling, it’s all the same: You install a cable between the drive and
the controller. It’s really as simple as that. For the purposes of this demonstration, we use SATA because our motherboard (pictured in Figure 16-8)
includes a SATA controller with connectors. But you can mentally substitute
whatever interface you’re currently working with and follow along with
these steps:
Figure 16-8:
SATA drive
1. Locate the nearest appropriate disk drive bay.
Disk drive bays are generally cages of stacked 3.5-inch drive slots that
appear much smaller across than do 5.25-inch accessory drive bays.
These may be self-contained cages capable of being extracted entirely
from within the case, or they may use fixed or removable drive
mounts or rails.
2. Identify the nearest drive connector.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Sometimes the best slot isn’t in the most convenient or accessible location. Avoid stretching the drive cable. Reposition the drive as necessary
to achieve an optimal distance from its controller connection.
3. Insert the disk and fasten securely.
Slide the drive into its slot. It should take no persuasion. Be sure to use
the screws that came with the drive because they’re properly threaded,
and never over-tighten any fastening hardware. An inappropriate thread
count can strip the drive threads and lock the fastener in place or
damage overly-tightened mount points.
4. Cable the drive to the motherboard.
Always utilize the first drive slot designation — usually indicated as
IDE0/IDE1, SATA0/SATA1, or SCSI0/SCSI1. (Check your motherboard
reference manual.) Link all additional drives in sequence on the
controller or motherboard, whichever is the intended target.
5. Connect the drive to the power supply.
The standard power connector is a 4-pin Molex type that features
beveled edges on only two corners so that you can never plug it
in wrong. For SATA drives, a keyed power connector may be used
instead. (It’s also oriented to resist improper hook-ups.)
Install the optical disk
As with magnetic storage, little has changed so significantly that you’ll find
this new encounter unfamiliar. An optical disk, for all its apparent qualities,
appears either as a tray or slot-loading device with an activity light (or
several) and at least one button (eject) and possibly some decals (indicating
drive capability and type).
Whatever underlies that façade can change randomly, for all we know —
that’s one yard we hardware hounds tend not to dig holes in. As long as we
keep connecting their cables in a predictable, adaptable fashion, we don’t
much care either. Here are the steps for installing an optical disk:
1. Locate the nearest appropriate optical drive bay.
In a multiple-slot or tower configuration, we recommend placement
furthest away from nearby heat-producing parts. This can even mean
staggering drive placement between slots (leaving an opening between
each drive) so that heat has less chance to pocket and build up.
2. Check for proper fit.
Whether going in from the front or pushing through the back, perform a
dry-run once through so you can identify any potential hang-ups. This
may include removing a faceplate or shield, clearing an obstruction, or
Chapter 16: Servers the Intel Way
relocating the drive. Also make sure all your drive mount holes line up
3. Insert the drive into the bay.
It should slide easily and freely into place with little persuasion.
4. Fasten the drive securely in place.
Again, don’t over-tighten the screws so that they deform any softer parts.
5. Cable the drive to the motherboard.
Identify the proper slot for your drive, typically not the first channel on
the first drive controller bank of the motherboard. Drive connections on
the motherboard are numbered sequentially from first to last, and we
recommend you not interleave hard drives and optical drives.
When using an on-board RAID controller, use only those drives specifically involved in the RAID array on that controller. Where there are two
separate controllers, use one RAID-specific setup for optical drives and
the other for hard disks, no matter how many plugs may remain unused
on the hard disk array.
6. Cable the power supply to the drive.
After establishing all other steps, connect power to the drive. Ensure
proper fit.
Set up the hardware
After you have all the hardware seated, cabled, and primed for action, you
can begin your crucial first boot-up. Assuming that you plugged in every
cable and included every component, the system should at least show you
the initial Power-On Self-Test (POST) warm-up phase — it’s like calisthenics
for computers.
If nothing happens, you should check your power source. Or if you observe a
little activity and then nothing, that indicates some sort of component incompatibility or a faulty power source (among other possible causes). If you
hear any beep codes, be aware that they provide audible indicators for various sorts of operational issues — memory isn’t seated correctly, the CPU is
missing or can’t be detected, or a USB drive is plugged in and just isn’t
wanted there.
Barring any such complications, you’ll be presented with a startup screen.
This may flash instantly before your eyes, but hopefully you get a chance to
see whatever key sequence is necessary to trigger the BIOS setup screen.
From here, you must make all the necessary server-specific changes to settings that require them — such as any ECC memory settings, CPU identifiers,
and the initial boot order. This is important for the next step, where you
install Windows Server 2008.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Install the OS
We cover more detailed instructions governing the installation process,
with a qualifying explanation of the entire procedure, in Chapter 5. There are
a number of ways you can install Windows Server 2008 (or upgrade from an
eligible software platform), so we can’t reasonably cover them all. Here’s
a synopsis for the straightforward process, as described more thoroughly
in Chapter 5.
If your server will include an earlier version of Windows kept alongside
Windows Server 2008, install it first. This permits the Windows Server 2008
boot manager (which uses boot configuration data, or BCD, stores) to
identify and utilize that installation.
After you complete the Initial Configuration Tasks setup (Chapter 6), spend
some time getting to know the Server Manager interface and all its functionality. You’ll be spending a considerable amount of your administrative time on
the server managing, monitoring, and modifying attributes through this
interface. Don’t be afraid of trying new installation methods, either. You’ll
eventually want to perform a remote network install, an unintended install,
or perhaps both. Try everything at least once!
Ready to Rock-and-Roll?
We’ve walked you through the process of installing the server hardware and
software necessary for your first build, which we assume went smoothly. The
next step is to purpose this server for your network and all its users by including features and functions that are vital to sustaining your business processes.
Now that you have your server hardware assembled and operating under
the control of Windows Server 2008, you’re ready to start adding users,
network roles, and server responsibilities. Prepare to begin operation as a
newly-fledged server administrator!
Chapter 17
Servers the AMD Way
In This Chapter
AMD server hardware installation step by step
AMD CPU and motherboard selection
Sizing up your memory requirements
Sizing up your disk utilization trends
Case and power supply considerations
Installing server hardware components
Server software installation time
s explored in more detail in the preceding chapter, we maintain an
objective view regarding the relative advantages and benefits of Intel
and AMD processors, including server models. At some times, Intel may
enjoy an apparent advantage, at others, the balance tips toward AMD. But
either way, when you’ve made your choice, you must live and work with
the resulting system, and that’s when the real effort gets underway.
To us, what’s most important is an easy trio to remember. We call them the
three Cs:
Comfort refers to what you know and are familiar with and rests on the
tendency, that all humans share, to repeat successful or positive experiences. Those who know Intel best usually stick with what they know,
and those who know AMD best do likewise.
Cost lets budget limits or thriftiness come to the fore. We know plenty
of system builders and buyers who have opted to go with what they
perceive to deliver the best bang for the buck at the time of purchase,
even if that means leaving comfort behind to try something new.
Convenience addresses the tendency to build or buy what’s most
readily available and, therefore, easiest to come by.
As you make your own server selections, whether you’re choosing components to build a server yourself or evaluating turnkey server systems, you’ll
find all three Cs coming into play at one time or another. Comfort usually
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
governs the big decisions (motherboard and CPU); cost usually governs how
much you’re willing to spend on parts both big and small; and convenience
invariably rules when you put everything together and discover you need
another fan, some cables, or other miscellany.
In this chapter, we offer you a build-up walkthrough on an AMD server, not
that it’s terribly different from the Intel procedure discussed in the previous
chapter. We discuss component selections and take you through the
assembly process.
Choosing the CPU and Motherboard First
As in the previous chapter, we maintain that choosing a motherboard and
one or more CPUs to populate it are the key elements in any system build.
After you’ve chosen those items, everything else follows naturally and nicely
from that decision.
What we chose for our example build
For our AMD build, we selected a dual-processor motherboard with two midrange processors from the company’s second-generation dual-core Opteron
family in its value-priced 2000 series — namely, two Opteron 2114 CPUs and
a Gigabyte GA-3CCWV-RH motherboard to match.
Interestingly, the Gigabyte motherboard costs between $280 and $320 as
we write this chapter — about $100–120 less than the SuperMicro X7DAE
featured in the preceding chapter. The 2114 is a 2.2 GHz dual-core processor
that retails in the neighborhood of $215, while the Intel 5110 we chose in the
preceding chapter retails for about $220 and runs at 1.6 GHz. Thus, our AMD
system clocks at about 30 percent faster and costs $110–130 less. Given
Intel’s commanding market position, especially in the server market, this
is a very typical situation, where AMD comes out slightly ahead in price
performance, and Intel comes out ahead in options and availability.
Exploring your options
An AMD CPU’s real advantage — insofar as we’re concerned here — is usually
its price point. Apart from that difference, however, we find no significant
advantage or disadvantage that should persuade you for or against AMD or
Intel. We don’t really care, as both are excellent choices. You just can’t lose
going either way.
Chapter 17: Servers the AMD Way
AMD processor packaging appears in a few variations, depending which segment of the market you shop within — recent, near recent, or not-so-recent
past. Today’s server-worthy AMD processors range from 754 to 939 and 940
pinned sockets to a more recent unpinned socket AM2 design, all of which
require different processors, memory types, and — in some cases — an
almost entirely different component selection. As we write this chapter, the
market includes K8 processor cores, which include everything from rocksolid server Opterons to cutting-edge desktop Athlon 64 FX processors and
the low-cost Sempron and mobile Turion processors. Most of these come in
32-bit and 64-bit models, where some include dual-core processing, with
quad-core models coming to market for the first time ever from AMD.
AMD processor dies also range from the relatively standard 90nm unit size
to a smaller, more efficient 65nm unit size. Herein lies a crucial distinction:
A smaller unit size is geared toward higher energy efficiency, which lessens
the financial burden and overall power consumption impact on your business
or organization. This can be a significant advantage for large-scale operations
looking to reduce their operational energy footprint to conserve longterm costs owing to cumulative excessive heat build-up and increased
cooling costs.
The logic that drives high efficiency circuitry works like this: It’s okay to pay
more for a lower-powered part upfront because you’ll save more money in
the long run on energy costs. Thus, for example, the Opteron 2114 we chose
for our build also comes in a high efficiency model, the Opteron 2114 HE.
The standard part is rated at 95 watts while the HE part is rated at 68 watts,
indicating that, cycle for cycle, the HE part consumes about 30 percent less
energy than the standard model. The price differential is a mere $20 or so and
argues strongly in favor of buying a more power-efficient part not only
because it saves energy but also because lower power consumption means
cooler operation and a longer device lifetime.
Perhaps the most significant point to bring up is that when buying a serveroriented (as opposed to workstation-oriented) processor and motherboard
combination, you’ll generally have to step up all other parts to match, which
costs more. If you want strong results on a smaller scale or at a lower price
point, opt instead for high-end desktop components that also work as
server hardware.
Selecting and Sizing Memory
Our Gigabyte GA-3CCWV-RH motherboard houses two Opteron 2000-class
server processors, which require DDR2 ECC memory. That’s the kind we must
use. Because we’re installing the 32-bit version of Windows Server 2008, we
opt for two 2GB modules, the maximum memory that the 32-bit version
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Selecting and Sizing Disk Space
We repeat the same choice we made for the Intel build in Chapter 16 —
namely, two 320GB Seagate 7200.10 perpendicular magnetic recording
(PMR) hard disks. These offer an unbeatable combination of speed, quiet,
and affordability (at about $80 each as we write this chapter). A production
server build would probably add three or four more such drives, if not
bigger ones. (The 7200.10 models also come in 400, 500, and 760GB sizes
at prices in the $100, $120, and $210 range, which makes the 500GB models
best buys in this product family.)
Making the Network Connections
As with the Intel motherboard in Chapter 16, the GA-3CCWV-RH motherboard includes two GbE RJ-45 ports in its rear port block. For most small
office/home office environments, this is more than sufficient network connectivity. Only if you’re serving a large number of users or hosting extremely
network-intensive applications or services on your server will you need more
networking horsepower. In that case, you’ll want to investigate PCI or PCIe-x1
network interface cards with TCP/IP Offload Engine (TOE) capabilities. These
generally retail for $100 to about $250 each for single- or dual-port GbE
models. If you need them, you’ll generally not be bothered much by the
extra expense they entail.
Picking the Right Case
and Power Supply
Cases and power supplies are closely linked for at least two reasons:
When you purchase a case, it often includes a power supply.
It’s important to make sure that the case accommodates the type of
power supply you wish to use. This won’t affect your choices much if
you build in a standard mid-tower or full-sized tower case, as we recommend — in that case, any modern ATX 12 V power supply rated at 550
watts or higher should do the trick. But if you’re building in any kind of
compact or rack-mount enclosure, matching PSU and case becomes a
veritable mandate.
Please consult the section on case and power supply in Chapter 16 to get our
recommendations for some good server cases in the $100–200 price range.
Other good case vendors include Cooler Master, Thermaltake, and
Athena Power.
Chapter 17: Servers the AMD Way
Construction from A to Z
Our illustrated examples in this section can be applied to other server builds
utilizing different hardware just on basic principle. The techniques and procedures you may have to call upon when installing foreign-made or nonstandard hardware will vary according to each product and its peculiarities, but
the underlying concepts and sequence covered here remain largely the same.
We selected components you might expect to see in a common Windows
Server 2008 networking environment. Our walkthrough is tailored to be
generic enough to follow along even if you’re using entirely different components, like SCSI instead of SATA drive interfaces or DDR instead of DDR2
Insert the PSU
On to the power supply. You’ll begin by installing it inside your case, and
then routing power leads to the motherboard connections. Before you do
anything else with it, however, you may want to pick up a cheap PSU tester
(models usually cost from $10 to $15 and plug into the same 20- or 24-pin
connector that serves as the motherboard’s primary source of juice) and
check to make sure your PSU works properly. A green light at this stage
simply means you can expend the time and effort necessary to mount the
PSU inside the case and start stringing power leads.
The steps that follow assume that the PSU is new and therefore relatively free
from defect or malfunction. However, this is yet another unsafe assumption —
you could conceivably get through an entire server build and never realize
that the PSU is defunct. We recommend putting the PSU through some
formal or informal preliminary testing to make sure it at least delivers
sufficient power.
If you buy a power supply rated at 550 watts or higher, it’ll generally include
the kinds of power leads you need for a server motherboard. (Generally,
this requires a 20- or 24-pin ATX lead plus either a 4-pin or 8-pin motherboard
lead, if not both varieties.) All of the 550-watt power supplies we looked at
while researching this book (which included models from Gigabyte, Corsair,
Zalman, NorthQ, Sea Sonic, and Antec) included at least two 4-pin leads, two
6-pin leads (used for SLI and CrossFire dual graphics card setups), and at
least one 8-pin lead for auxiliary motherboard power. We reused the same
power supply for our AMD system that we used for our Intel system —
namely, a Sea Sonic S12 650-watt power supply (retails for about $145). Here
are step-by-step installation guidelines:
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
1. Locate the mount points on the PSU and case.
Mount points on the server case, usually indicated by threaded screw
holes, should align perfectly with those bored into the PSU case. Orient
these holes to properly position the PSU before inserting or tightening
any fasteners. You may also want to look at sound insulation kits for
PSUs available from vendors like Antec. These cost less than $15 and
include silicon dampening materials on the mounting screws, as well as
a form-fitting silicon gasket that slips between the PSU and your case.
These serve to eliminate metal-to-metal contact and eliminate noise that
vibration might otherwise induce.
2. Orient the PSU properly.
Power supplies come in any number of treatments and a variety of
shapes and sizes, so you should check for fit and identify any clearance
issues including cable reach. If your PSU includes an auxiliary intake fan
underneath, as most of them do, be sure there is adequate clearance for
the fan to draw air into the PSU inside the case and for it to exhaust
warm air out the back of the case.
3. Securely fasten the PSU in place.
It doesn’t matter what pattern you follow when screwing in the mounting hardware; we prefer making an X pattern, traveling diagonally to
insert and tighten screws. Never tighten them enough to deform the
enclosure or server case material.
4. Plug the primary 20- or 24-pin power plug into its socket on the
This is by far the largest and most recognizable plug on the PSU harness.
Your PSU should include all the power cables your motherboard
5. Optionally, tie each of the cables down.
This enables better airflow and encourages a clean workspace for other
administrators, integrators, or technicians who may do follow-up work
inside. It’s also a good idea to coil up unused cable strands next to the
PSU, and then use cable ties to secure them out of the way as much
as possible.
Seat the CPU and cooler
Easily, the most expensive single-item purchase for any computer is its CPU.
For the motherboards we chose for these chapters, that goes double because
each one accommodates two processors. The CPU also happens to be the
least accessible component in a completed system because you must open
the case and then remove the cooler to get at this device. We’ve encountered
cooler designs that required us to remove some or all of the nearby hardware
components, including magnetic and optical drives, socketed memory, and
Chapter 17: Servers the AMD Way
other adapter cards, just so we could get the cooler out and get at the CPU.
That’s a lot of extra work just to do what’s really necessary. Try to pick the
smallest workable cooler, and you probably won’t have to go through such
contortions yourself.
Ideally, you should install the CPU and cooler onto the motherboard before
it’s seated inside the server case. It’s much easier to mount these parts
when you have adequate workspace for tools, and when your movement isn’t
restricted by interior elements inside the server case and other neighboring
components. Usually, the CPU has a small footprint, so pulling or placing
one into its socket is easy. Coolers are nowhere near as predictable as CPUs.
Some coolers are either so large or the case so cramped that working in
confined spaces is virtually impossible, so please heed our advice — it’s
based on prior, painful experience.
Installing the CPU
Depending on the make and model of your CPU, it may include delicate pins
on the underside of the processor die. Otherwise, such pins may be integrated
within the CPU socket. Either way, you want to proceed with care and caution
when seating, socketing, and locking the CPU into place. This is an extreme
case, where a little brute force improperly expended can result in major
replacement expenses, whether for a new CPU or another motherboard.
Here’s our step-by-step guide for CPU installation:
1. Locate the CPU socket.
Specialty motherboards often include multiple sockets for multiple
processors, so you may identify several sockets. Some primary or
secondary sockets on the motherboard may be protected by a graphitecolored plastic shield, which must be removed prior to installation, that
protects the CPU socket from incidental damage.
Take a look at Figure 17-1, where we zoom in on the AMD Opteron
processor socket on a Gigabyte server motherboard.
2. Check the CPU socket carefully.
Modern CPU sockets are sufficiently frail to break at the slightest
provocation, where the only surefire fix is total replacement. Don’t be
clumsy while examining the socket for defects or problems.
3. Unlatch and uncover the CPU socket.
The socket will be guarded by a pressure plate and latching swing arm.
Be gentle when working the latch; it should never bind nor require
significant effort to operate.
4. Check for proper CPU orientation.
Also check that the CPU itself is free from defects in workmanship or
finish to avoid complications much later during the build.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Figure 17-1:
CPU socket
on a
5. Socket the CPU.
Work the CPU gently into its socket; it should drop into place without
much pressure or persuasion. Never force the fit; any resistance should
provoke immediate action, which usually means repositioning the CPU
in the correct orientation.
6. Repeat Steps 1 through 5 as necessary for multiple CPUs.
7. Identify motherboard power plug points for the CPU (see Figure 17-2).
The appearance and arrangement of this will change from one motherboard to the next. In most garden-variety single-processor boards, you’ll
have a 4-pin auxiliary cable plug situated nearby the CPU. This is a main
(and necessary) source of power for the CPU. Multiple-core motherboards will have several, sometimes requiring a special 8-pin plug. See
Figure 17-2 for an example. (In the figure, note the 4-pin cover designed
to accommodate older 20-pin ATX cables; for modern 24-pin PSUs, you
must remove this as well.)
Figure 17-2:
The 8-pin
CPU power
socket is
next to the
power plug.
Chapter 17: Servers the AMD Way
Installing the cooler
Follow these steps to install the cooler:
1. Locate the cooler mount points.
Identify placement for the cooler, noting any retention brackets, retainer
clips, or pilot holes that correspond to the cooler’s hardware assembly.
Also observe placement of the cooler’s 3- or 4-pin fan power connector
for later use.
2. Dry-fit the cooler once.
A dry-fit approach lets you check any clearance issues you may have
with access or placement of the CPU and/or its cooler. Situate your CPU
into the socket, but do not mount it in place yet.
You should dry-fit the CPU cooler into the socket at least once to learn
its proper fit and orientation. Check its orientation and airflow path. You
may have to opt for a less favorable or reversed orientation to achieve
optimal airflow.
3. Inspect the underside of the CPU cooler.
Check for a patch of grayish, silver, or white thermal paste beneath the
copper or aluminum base. Where it’s absent, you will have to apply
thermal paste yourself, which we recommend you smear directly onto
the processor. Follow these steps:
a. Remove the CPU from its socket and place it gently on a paper or
cloth towel to protect delicate pins or contact points on its bottom
b. Apply a thin, consistent layer of thermal paste.
A couple of small blobs in the middle is usually enough, which you
must spread out into a thin, smooth layer that covers the entire
top surface of the CPU package. Use a credit card or cardboard
business card to smooth the paste into a thin, even layer.
c. Reseat the CPU into its socket.
If you need to apply thermal paste, use either a manufacturer-supplied
single-shot portion or some other source for thermal paste. It often
comes in plastic syringes from which you can extrude just a dab and
then use a business or credit card to spread a thin, smooth layer across
the surface. We’re fond of the Arctic Silver brand, a well-known and
widely used thermal paste.
4. Securely fasten the cooler mount plate to the motherboard.
Retention clips or a retainer bracket may interface with the motherboard
and cooler; assemble these in their correct orientations. There’s almost
always some clamp or screws to keep the cooler securely mounted.
5. Connect the fan power cable to the CPU fan block on the motherboard.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Never omit this step or leave it for later — this isn’t a minor detail that
you want to leave unfinished or overlooked. Otherwise, your expensive
CPU could wind up overcooked!
Our setup, pictured in Figure 17-3, shows one of the CPU fan power
blocks situated just behind the main power plug on the Gigabyte motherboard. To power up the fan, simply slide the 3-pin connector over the
three rightmost pins in the 4-pin block. (It’s made to accommodate both
3- and 4-pin CPU fan power leads.) We chose a pair of common and
popular Zalman CNPS 7000 coolers for our two Opteron processors;
these retail for about $40 each.
Figure 17-3:
CPU cooler
fan power
plug on the
Seat the RAM modules
Memory modules all have distinctive and predictable footprints, but the
actual format can change in subtle ways that require a keen eye to spot. For
example, differentiating DDR from DDR2 memory takes a bit of basic product
knowledge; differentiating ECC or registered from unbuffered memory takes a
keen eye and strong product knowledge. We don’t expect you to have that
sort of ability. Leave that one for the propeller heads and at the very least the
retail associates and sellers of such hardware.
By doing your homework in advance, you should’ve already identified and
obtained appropriate RAM for your motherboard. There are some dangerous
(read: fiery) incompatibilities that can arise from mixing memory rated for
different interfaces at different voltages. And despite memory designers’ and
circuit engineers’ best efforts to make it difficult to plug the wrong component into the wrong socket, some ingenious installers invariably find some
way to do it, sometimes with lethal effects to the hardware itself. Please pay
attention to what you’re doing.
Chapter 17: Servers the AMD Way
Testing as you go . . . redux
In Chapter 16, we exhort our readers to ground
themselves before they handle any computer
equipment, especially circuitry such as memory
modules or CPUs. Consider that same request
firmly but politely stated here, too.
This time around, we want to encourage you to
check your work at each step along the way, as
it makes sense to do so. A minimal operational
PC consists of a power supply, motherboard,
processor, and cooler (or multiples thereof, as on
the server boards in these chapters), and
memory. After you stick them inside your case
and hook up the power and reset leads, you
should flip the power switch and see if the board
lights up and the cooler fan(s) begin to spin. If so,
you can keep on building. If not, you need to
check your connections and wiring to make sure
that the power leads from the PSU to the motherboard are all properly attached, and the control leads from case to motherboard likewise.
As you complete each additional step along the
way — adding disk drives, optical drives, and so
forth — repeat the power-up test to see if LEDs
turn on, drives spin up, and so forth. If you test as
you go, by the time you’re ready to boot up for
real, your chances of getting a splash screen and
a set of POST messages will be pretty high. That
means less time wasted getting the hardware
working before installing Windows Server 2008.
We think this is the right way to do it and hope
that, with practice, you’ll think so, too.
The quickest way to make sure everything is copasetic is to put the memory
module next to the memory socket and make sure that the slots in the middle
line up exactly. If so, please proceed with the following step-by-step guide; if
not, get the right RAM and try again!
1. Locate the RAM banks.
Long, parallel rows of memory sockets stretch alongside or nearby a
CPU socket.
2. Identify socket keying for orientation.
Memory modules and memory banks are keyed for a specific fit and
orientation. Carefully observe which way the memory fits (or doesn’t).
Selecting the proper memory type from the get-go ensures no
complications here.
In Figure 17-4, we install DDR memory into the Gigabyte motherboard for
our two-way AMD Opteron processors. This board contains color-coded
memory banks as a visual indicator to match rows where you should
insert the memory, which is by no means a standard feature. This lets
you take advantage of the performance boost that dual-bank memory
can deliver.
3. Unlatch the toothed latches on each memory socket.
Each tooth corresponds to a groove fashioned into the memory module.
These teeth lock into place to keep memory secure in the socket.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Figure 17-4:
It’s best to
each into a
samecolored slot.
4. Gently press memory modules into place.
Memory should slide into its socket with little or no resistance. Never
force-fit a memory module; it can break under pressure. If you encounter
resistance, rotate and retry.
5. Repeat Steps 3 through 4 for multiple modules or multiple processor
memory banks.
In a multiple-socket motherboard, you’ll have to make special considerations
as to how much memory you allocate per processor.
Installing hard disk drives
Disk drive formats haven’t really changed much over the years. Disk platters
have gotten increasingly dense, but overall width has remained constant.
Interfaces have gone through many important changes that both enhance
and improve the lifespan of our precious storage volumes, but overall the
installation procedure remains unchanged.
Whether your hardware includes SCSI, Parallel ATA (PATA) or Serial ATA
(SATA) cabling, it’s all the same: You install one cable between drive and
controller and another from a power supply cable to the drive itself. Simple
as that. For the purposes of our demonstration, we assume you have SATA;
our build (pictured in Figure 17-5) includes a SATA controller. Feel free to
substitute whatever interface you’re currently working with, if it’s something
other than SATA, and follow our step-by-step guide:
Chapter 17: Servers the AMD Way
Figure 17-5:
SATA drive
with leftfacing SATA
1. Locate the nearest appropriate disk bay.
Disk drive bays are generally cages of stacked drive slots that are
narrower (3.5 inches versus 5.25 inches) than the accessory drive bays.
These may be self-contained cages that you can extract from the case
completely, or they may use a series of fixed or removable drive mounts,
clips, or rails.
2. Identify the nearest suitable drive connector.
Sometimes the best slot isn’t in the most convenient or accessible location. Avoid stretching the drive cable. Reposition the drive as necessary
to achieve optimal distance from its controller connection. Consult the
motherboard manual to identify where the boot drive (or mirrored pair
of drives) must connect.
3. Insert the disk and fasten it securely.
Slide the drive into its slot. It should take no persuasion. Be sure to use
the screws included with the drive because they’ll be properly threaded,
and never over-tighten any fasteners. A mismatched screw can strip the
drive threads and lock the fastener in place. If in doubt, try the screws
on the drive before you mount it in the case, and use only screws that
thread in and out without resistance or binding.
4. Cable the drive to the motherboard.
Always utilize the first drive slot designation — usually indicated as
IDE0/IDE1, SATA0/SATA1, or SCSI0/SCSI1. (Check your motherboard
reference manual.) Link all subsequent drives in an orderly fashion to
the controller or motherboard, as your configuration dictates.
5. Connect the drive to the power supply.
The de facto standard power connector is a 4-pin Molex type that
features beveled edges on only two corners so that you can never plug
it in wrong. SATA drives tend to use modular power connectors, like the
one shown above the left-hand bank of SATA controller plugs on the
motherboard in Figure 17-5.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Installing the optical disk
As with magnetic storage technology, little has changed where optical drive
installation is concerned. An optical disk, for its apparent qualities, appears
either as a tray or slot-loading device with an activity light (or several) and
at least one button (eject) and possibly some decals (indicating drive capability and type). That said, with an increasing selection of SATA-attached
optical drives available nowadays, we prefer those because SATA data cables
are much more compact and easy to install than IDE data cables.
Whatever underlies an optical drive’s front panel can change randomly, for
all we know. As long as those drives keep working when we cable them up
properly, we don’t much care either. Here’s a step-by-step guide to optical
drive installation:
1. Locate the nearest appropriate optical drive bay.
In a multiple-slot or tower configuration, we recommend placing your
optical drive as far away as possible from heat-producing parts, such as
disk drives. This often means staggering drive placement across slots
(leaving an opening between drives) to give air more room to circulate
within the server case.
2. Check for proper fit.
Whether going in from the front or pushing through the back, make a
dry-run to identify potential hang-ups. These may include removing a
faceplate or media tray shield, clearing obstructions, or relocating the
drive to a different 5.25-inch bay. Next, make sure all your drive mount
screw holes line up with slots or mount points in the case.
3. Insert the drive into the bay.
It should slide easily and freely into place with little persuasion.
4. Fasten the drive securely in place.
Again, don’t over-tighten the screws; snug is good enough.
5. Cable the drive to the motherboard.
Identify the proper slot for your drive, typically not the first channel on
the first drive controller bank of the motherboard. Drive connections on
the motherboard are numbered sequentially from first to last, and we
recommend you not interleave hard drives and optical drives. If you’re
using IDE cables, don’t connect a hard drive and an optical drive to the
same cable.
When using an on-board RAID controller, use only those drives specifically involved in the RAID array on that controller. Where there are two
separate controllers, isolate each RAID setup completely from any
optical drives, no matter how many plugs may remain unused in the
RAID array.
Chapter 17: Servers the AMD Way
6. Cable the power supply to the drive.
After establishing all other steps, connect the power to the drive.
7. Make sure the drive tray opens and closes properly.
Ensure proper fit, especially in a case with front panel doors or built-in
media tray covers. Sometimes, you may have to slide the drive forward
or back a little (or a lot) so that the switch on the front of the case
engages properly with the switch on the front of the drive.
Setting up hardware
When you have all your hardware seated, cabled, and primed for action, you
can begin your crucial first real boot-up. Of course, this means you must
hook up a monitor and a keyboard as well so that you can provide input and
view output from your server. Assuming you’ve plugged in every cable and
included every component you need, your system should at least show you
the initial Power-On Self-Test (POST) warm-up phase — like calisthenics
for computers.
If nothing happens at all, you should check the power supply and its various
connections. A little activity and then nothing usually spells some sort of
component incompatibility or a faulty power source (among other possible
causes). If you hear beep codes, please note that they provide audible
indications for various operational issues — memory isn’t seated correctly,
the CPU is missing or can’t be detected, or a USB drive is plugged in and just
isn’t wanted.
Barring any such complications, you’ll be presented with a startup screen.
This may flash instantly before your eyes, but hopefully you get a chance
to see whatever key sequence is necessary to trigger the motherboard’s
BIOS setup. From here, you must make all necessary server-specific changes
to settings that require them — such as any ECC memory settings, CPU
identifiers, and the initial boot order. This is important for the next step,
where you finally install Windows Server 2008.
Installing the OS
We provide detailed instructions about the installation process, with a
qualifying explanation of the entire procedure, in Chapter 5. There are many
ways you can install Windows Server 2008 (or upgrade from an eligible
software platform). We can’t reasonably cover them all here (or in Chapter 5,
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
either). Here’s a synopsis for the straightforward process described more
thoroughly in Chapter 5: We inserted the DVD, ran the install process, and
got Windows Server 2008 up and running without encountering anything out
of the ordinary. It found our drives, both optical and hard disks, without
difficulty, and we were able to load drivers for key motherboard components
without problem in the final, post-install configuration and networking phase.
We can only hope your installation goes as well as ours did.
If your server will include an earlier version of Windows alongside Windows
Server 2008, install that software first. This permits the new Windows Server
2008 boot manager to identify and offer that installation as a boot option
as well.
After you complete the Initial Configuration Tasks setup (Chapter 6), spend
some time getting to learn the Server Manager interface and all its functionality. You’ll be spending a considerable amount of your administrative time
on the server managing, monitoring, and modifying attributes through this
interface. Don’t be afraid to try new installation methods, either. You’ll
eventually want to perform a remote network install, an unintended install,
or perhaps both. Try everything at least once!
Ready to Rock-and-Roll?
We’ve walked you through the process of installing server hardware and
software necessary for your first build, which we anticipate went smoothly.
You must now customize and configure this server for your network and all
your users by including the accounts, features, and functions they’ll need.
Now that you have your server hardware assembled and operating under
the guidance of Windows Server 2008, you’re ready to start adding users,
network roles, and server responsibilities. Prepare to function as a
newly-fledged server administrator!
Chapter 18
Taking Care of Your Own Issues
In This Chapter
Introduction to the troubleshooting methodology
Defining your troubleshooting methodology
Diagnosing setup failures
Dispatching startup issues
Run-ins with run-time errors
Monitoring server operations
Tweaking Windows Server 2008 for performance
ny proper troubleshooting process begins with a basic format or formal
structure. Generally, from a technician’s perspective, we envision a
pyramid of prioritized checkpoints that we run through when investigating a
problematic piece of hardware or software. This methodology remains
roughly the same no matter how we apply it, even if the conditions and variables change considerably within the context of exercising that methodology.
When you troubleshoot a car engine problem, you don’t normally check tire
pressure or trunk contents. In the context of an engine bay issue, that just
doesn’t make any sense. Instead, you probably check engine fluid levels, battery terminals, spark plugs and distributor caps, serpentine belts, and various other interconnections. These things make perfect sense in the context
of troubleshooting an engine problem. Now suppose you had some sort of
tire traction or roadway handling problem, would you first check the engine
bay? We don’t think so.
Likewise, you need a proper format to approach server-related issues or
problems. Even if you don’t fully understand the nature of the problem, you
need a working structure to begin analyzing and identifying a probable cause.
If your server experiences some form of connectivity issue, the first thing we
recommend checking is the cabling — it will fail on you more often than
you’d like to think possible. The same applies to hard drive cables as well as
network interface cables. Sometimes this is the only source of a seemingly
critical error that, if overlooked, will confuse and baffle you into submission.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Equally important is your thoroughness and adherence to a formal diagnostic
methodology or troubleshooting format — that is, never overlook any step,
no matter how seemingly benign or unimportant it may appear to be. Such
casual assumptions really can get the best of you, and we don’t want to see
you wipe egg off your face simply because you made an easily avoidable but
utterly unwarranted assumption.
Troubleshooting Common Windows
Server 2008 Problems
In the following sections, we sketch an informal methodology for approaching several troublesome Windows Server 2008 problems. We feel that giving
you a more flexible framework or a set of universally-applicable procedures is
more beneficial than citing a few narrow, specific examples.
Setup failures
Installation or setup failures are a common occurrence, but they won’t
normally recur with appreciable frequency. Unattended installations may be
crippled by an incorrect parameter or incompatible setting, the network may
become inaccessible during a remote install, or user error may cause failure
during a manual installation procedure.
Generally, begin troubleshooting such an issue by checking the
Setupact.log and Setuperr.log files, which will be located in one of two
places according to when the installation failed: If setup only has sufficient
time to copy files, these files are located in $WINDOWS.~BT\Sources\
Panther; otherwise, if setup halted in the midst of expanding or implementing software, try Windows\Panther on the partition that contains the
Windows Server 2008 installation.
Unavailable partition
A partition may become inaccessible to the installer for a number of reasons.
Some of the known reasons are described in the following list:
Insufficient storage space: An inadequate partition requires resizing
(just click Extend) or another partition deleted to clear sufficient space.
Insufficient free space: Again, adequate space must be cleared by
deletion of unnecessary files and perhaps reclamation and reallocation
of other partitions.
Chapter 18: Taking Care of Your Own Issues
Invalid volume format: If the designated partition is prepared as a
non-NTFS format, Setup will invalidate its use as an installation target.
Reformat as NTFS.
Invalid volume type: If the target partition is neither a basic disk nor a
simple dynamic volume, Setup will deem it ineligible as an installation
medium. Create or select an appropriate volume type from your available storage media.
Initialized raw disks: Your server may contain a single uninitialized raw
disk; two or more require partitioning, which requires running Setup
twice. Either partition and initialize disks prior to use, or (as with new
builds) just endure the inevitable double-reboot setup process.
Invalid BIOS settings: Disk and optical drives may be disabled or not
flagged as bootable media in the BIOS. Reboot and trigger the BIOS
setup menu, then flag the appropriate bootable disk volume.
You may encounter issues that aren’t described here, but those are
exceptional cases.
Restart failure
Occasionally, Windows Setup will fail to rediscover its installation source (for
example, disk or optical drive). Often, this requires you to load a driver so
that it can be identified after Windows Setup readies for first boot, much like
what occurred with early Windows XP installations and SATA disk or optical
Follow these steps to prepare Windows Setup with the appropriate drivers:
1. Save the driver to an appropriate storage medium (such as a USB
drive, CD or DVD, and so on).
2. Start the Windows Server installation DVD to invoke Windows Setup.
3. Under Disk Selection, click Load Driver and follow the onscreen
If the system fails to start following this driver inclusion, it may not have
been digitally signed. Where possible, try using only digitally-signed
device drivers.
Startup failures
Windows Server 2008 may fail to start up for a number of reasons, with
system failure occurring in a number of areas. Some startup errors are duly
noted: Incompatible or incorrectly installed hardware might elicit a series of
diagnostic BIOS beep codes, or state that it can’t find a working boot volume.
Other errors aren’t so obvious, such as those that crash Windows as it
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
attempts to bootstrap itself, which triggers an instant reboot, which repeats
the process all over again.
Common causes of startup failure are ranked below in descending order of
Hardware failure
Driver failure
Corrupt file or volume
Misconfigured setting
Malware or viral infection
We explore these top-level topics in better detail throughout the following
Hardware failure
A server system can fail to initialize and start up due to hardware failures
of all kinds (for example, a bad or disconnected plug or electrical damage).
We’ve personally experienced such grief with developmental or experimental
quality driver controllers that systematically and independently ruined drive
after drive until we recognized them as the true source.
Chipset issues are probably the most difficult to diagnose without some
specialized skills and toolsets. Some drive failures are self-evident (the sound
of galloping coconuts suggests the drive arm is contacting the platters), and
others are easily resolved, although just as easily overlooked (unseated or
defective drive cable). For the most part, you can use most of your senses
(including common sense) to diagnose many hardware issues.
Driver failure
Driver and system data updates can also be a source of run-time woes. Again,
drawing on our recent experiences, we’ve seen seemingly benign processes
result in total disaster, often repeatedly on the same or separate machines
despite our best efforts.
Windows Update has occasionally triggered some series of unfortunate
events that conspire to ruin mission-critical data and files, which fortunately
affected only a few Windows XP installations — so far, no such bad luck with
Windows Server products! The point is, it happens, and even we wouldn’t
believe it possible had we not directly experienced it ourselves.
Corrupt file or volume
Corrupted files and volumes are common and usually easily corrected.
Windows Server 2008 has modified the entire boot infrastructure so that it no
longer resembles its predecessors (except Windows Vista), but we’re willing
Chapter 18: Taking Care of Your Own Issues
to wager any boot-time issues will be relatively similar. Granted, each solution will be entirely different.
Corruption happens any number of ways: A drive controller goes bad, a drive
cable gets disconnected, a drive volume is unexpectedly taken offline when
updating data, and so forth. You could be creating a backup image onto an
external USB drive plugged into your Windows Server 2008 server when
another administrator, unaware of your workload, unplugs it for use elsewhere. Experimental drive utilities could potentially make an incorrect write
or overwrite to an incorrect place and make an entire volume unreadable.
Misconfigured settings
Misconfigured settings can occur anywhere, often in places you can’t predict
or expect and manifesting in ways you may not anticipate. Even a simple
Group Policy setting can be overridden in some indirect manner that leaves
you baffled as to why your Local Policy settings just aren’t taking effect.
Important registry settings or other startup and run-time parameters may be
altered in some manner that brings about chaos and disorder, which can
happen with an installed or improperly installed application, an unassuming
although disastrous configuration change, or some other unintentional and
apparently innocuous act.
Malware or viral infection
On the malignant side of change lies malware and viral infection. These
automata of anarchy seek to ruin stability and security stance for individual
computers and entire organizations alike. They usually aren’t coded with the
best intentions or by the best programmers fully capable of what they’re
doing, and every so often you encounter one such beast that undeniably and
perhaps irreparably damages something sacred.
Our intent isn’t to leave you grief-stricken by all that can possibly go wrong;
we just want to foster a healthy situational awareness about your server environment and its operating conditions. Lots of little things can go wrong,
plenty of them can be fixed, and few are really worth losing sleep over.
Diagnosing startup errors
Here are the five senses you may use to diagnose a given problem:
Sense of smell
Sense of sound
Sense of sight
Sense of feel
Common sense
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We appropriately omit the sense of taste because you really shouldn’t be
found tasting your hardware components. It’s just not right.
Sense of smell
Your sense of smell can alert you to an electrical or thermal issue. The smell
of hot and burning hardware gives off a powerful smell that is very distinct,
much like cooking in the kitchen. When you’ve been around hot hardware
situated in poorly ventilated or inadequately conditioned environments,
you’ll know the kind of odor we’re talking about.
Sense of sound
After you’ve become acclimated to the operational quirks and characteristic
properties of your server hardware, it becomes like your daily commute. You
notice when your car sounds a little out of tune, or emits a sound you haven’t
heard before. Sensing that something is wrong becomes second nature to you;
the very server you operate is sufficiently familiar that you’re fully aware of
its baseline behavior and condition.
Sense of sight
Sometimes you have to crack open the case to investigate what’s going on
inside. How do things look? Is there sufficient dust buildup to impede airflow?
Are any components showing visible signs of wear or tear? Simple observation can reveal many clues about what probably or potentially causes
Sense of feel
Occasionally, you’ll have to place your hand near or on hardware to see how
it feels. Do you feel any excess heat or vibration? Any residues or particles
that don’t belong? Hot and humid operating environments can create unfavorable conditions inside a server case. Servers like to stay cool, much as we
do, and appreciate around the same climate and temperature that keeps us
humans comfortable, too.
Common sense
We say common sense, but these things really aren’t that common until you
experience them routinely and repeatedly. It’s uncommon to instantly know
all the particularities and oddities about the mechanical operation of your
server prior to its construction. You can’t know if “that clicking noise” is actually an acceptable byproduct or something to investigate. Common sense is a
skill honed with experience. Just pay attention to the fundamental aspects of
your server hardware so you can grow to understand what it does, and how
to identify and mend what breaks before or as it happens.
Chapter 18: Taking Care of Your Own Issues
Troubleshooting problems while in safe mode
Safe mode is a troubleshooting option for
Windows that starts your computer with only
basic services and functionality. If an existing
problem doesn’t reappear when you start
Windows in safe mode, you can eliminate the
default settings and basic device drivers as
possible causes.
Should your computer automatically restart in
safe mode, use the process of elimination to isolate the source. Individually start all commonlyused applications, including those contained
in the system Startup folder, to identify the
probable cause.
Run-time issues
After you get past all the setup and first-boot issues, there still remains a vast
expanse of unforeseeable complications that may arise before you reach the
desktop and after you log in. There are higher-level application or system
configuration settings that manifest problems only in the user domain or
when administering server operations.
We can’t possibly conceive of every potential avenue of attack, but we do
cover considerable ground in the first few subjects because they specifically
concern Windows Server 2008 and not third-party or additional applications
installed afterward.
User Account Control
Windows Server 2008 defaults to running applications as a standard user,
even if you’re currently logged in with an administrative group account.
Users who attempt to launch applications marked with administrative properties will be asked to confirm their intentions, and only applications operating under administrative credentials may affect system-wide and global
settings. All this is handled in User Account Control, or UAC.
Custom or in-house installers/uninstallers and software update programs may
not be properly detected or permitted to run with administrative credentials.
Standard user applications may fail to perform their tasks or be inaccessible,
particularly if marked to require administrative privilege. Applications with
insufficient credentials may run incorrectly or not at all, which can be
manifested in any number of ways.
We highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the UAC’s format and structure, learn how it does and does not function, and so forth. Teach applicable
users to launch their privileged programs with the right-click context menu
feature to run applications as administrator. Observe file and directory permissions and group memberships and reduce any restrictive Access Control
Lists (ACLs) that prove prohibitive. Custom applications should be written
to operate in a least-privileged environment scenario, require the lowest
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
workable level of user credentials, and present the smallest window of
exposure when operating under administrator rights.
Group Policy infrastructure
The Group Policy infrastructure delivers and enforces preferential configuration settings and organizational policy settings for a given set of targeted
users and computers within the scope of an Active Domain unit. It comprises
a Group Policy engine and multiple client-side extensions, responsible for
reading and applying these settings for individually targeted client computers.
That level of complexity and interdependency can make troubleshooting Group
Policy problems downright vexing. Thus we can only hope that Microsoft
will update its Group Policy Diagnostic Best Practice Analyzer (GPDBPA),
which currently works for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, to do likewise for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. It’s an extremely helpful
tool designed to “help you identify Group Policy configuration errors or other
dependency failures that may prevent settings or features from functioning as
expected.” (Microsoft’s own wording is so appropriate, we just had to quote
it here.) You can find this tool by visiting the Microsoft Download center at
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940122. Hopefully, by the time you
read this, a similar tool for Vista and Windows Server 2008 will be available!
Printing infrastructure
The printing infrastructure for any Windows Server 2008 print server is organized into a hierarchy of managed entities that collectively permit local and
remote users to utilize and manage printers and all print-related activities.
This defining structure is shown in Figure 18-1, with each relevant aspect
summarized in Table 18-1.
Print Server
Print Tools
Print Queue
Print Spooler
Figure 18-1:
Hierarchy of
Print Infrastructure.
Chapter 18: Taking Care of Your Own Issues
Table 18-1
Printing Infrastructure
Print server
A computer attached to a print device that is accessible to
other users locally logged on and remotely connected through
the shared printers folder.
Print queue
The task list representation of a print device.
Spooler device
The governing server process, also called a print spooler, that
manages all print jobs and print queues for any given server.
A high-availability system distributed among two or more computers that share a given print queue workload in the event that
one of the computers fails or becomes inaccessible.
The basic software instructions that make computer control
possible over hardware devices.
An input or interface type that enables communication
between computer and device; typically a parallel, USB, or
TCP/IP connection.
Print tools
All local and remotely-situated applications that are responsible for print queue management or printer-related tasks.
Physical printer
The actual device that processes information and produces
When you begin troubleshooting this hierarchy, start by eliminating all the
most obvious and simple causes first. Check for paper feed or supply issues,
cable connections, power and activity light illumination, and so on. Next,
work your way to the computer, analyzing software settings and relevant configuration settings for remote connections, including networking properties.
How you individually process these elements is entirely up to you; all we
suggest is a regular, thorough sequence upon which to base your work.
Windows Activation
After installing Windows Server 2008 in evaluation mode, should you attempt
to restart the computer in Diagnostic mode beyond its expiration you won’t
be able to log in. You’ll receive a message that the activation period has
expired. Try the following two solutions in this order:
1. Start msconfig.exe.
2. Under the General tab, select Diagnostic Startup.
3. Under the Services tab, choose Plug and Play.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
4. Click OK and then click Restart.
This lets you to restart the computer in Diagnostic mode by configuring the
Plug and Play service. Otherwise, you may recover from this issue by setting
the computer to start normally. Follow these instructions:
1. In the Windows Activation dialog box, select Access Your Computer
with Reduced Functionality.
The Internet Explorer window appears.
2. In Internet Explorer 7’s address bar, type %windir%\system32\
msconfig.exe and press Enter.
The MSConfig configuration utility appears.
3. Click General and select Normal Startup.
4. Click OK and then click Restart.
Hardware upgrades and software updates
You may encounter run-time errors long after installation, perhaps after introducing a new piece of hardware or upgrading an old one. If after installing a
new device, your Windows Server 2008 install or the device itself fails to
work, run through the following checklist:
Ensure hardware device compatibility with both your server computer
and Windows Server 2008.
Install any necessary device drivers from their respective install media.
Reboot the server to reinitialize or retry the driver.
Reconnect any present USB devices to alternative ports.
Check for update drivers through Windows Update.
Apart from checking Windows Update, always check the manufacturer’s Web
site for any updated driver versions, particularly those that might resolve the
issues you experience. If installing a new driver is the source for instability or
incompatibility, you can also restore a driver to its previous — presumably
known-good — version (Device Manager➪Driver Category➪Driver➪Roll Back
Driver). You must be logged in as administrator when performing most
driver-related tasks.
If you suspect Windows Update had something to do with your latest issue,
or if you want to eliminate it as a possible cause, you may also remove
updates. (Choose Control Panel➪Programs➪Installed Updates➪Update
Entry➪Remove.) Generally, this isn’t recommended because many updates
address or enhance server security. Start by opening Windows Update and
clicking View Update History to see a list of applied updates.
Chapter 18: Taking Care of Your Own Issues
If you’re prohibited from removing an update when connected to a network,
there may be a Global Policy curtailing your activity, or it could be a securityspecific update that can’t be retracted. A network-wide Global Policy and
Windows Automatic Update may automatically reinstall updates when you
restart Windows Server 2008, so be prepared to handle such cases where
Last, always check Device Manager (click Start and type device manager
into the search field) when you suspect a hardware and/or driver issue. An
entry indicated by an exclamation point icon signifies a driver issue: Either
an inappropriate or approximate match has been substituted in lieu of a
proper or more recent driver. These devices may work in some cases yet fail
in others; the only real remedy is to find, install, and use the right driver.
Device Manager is always your looking glass into the hardware and driver
Monitoring Server Operations
Put Server Manager high on your priorities list when it comes to gathering
initial intelligence on the issue at hand. Server Manager consolidates several
subsets of system management functionality that were otherwise spread
among many independent and diverse applets. Along with some preexisting
capability come new or newly-revised components that further facilitate
system management tasks.
In many cases, Server Manager is the oracle into your server, a window
through which you can peer and observe its innermost workings. Open
Server Manager and expand your domain name to reveal a tree of entries
where you’ll find an appropriately-named Diagnostics subsection. In this subsection, you’ll encounter three categories: Event Viewer, Reliability and
Performance, and Device Manager.
We recommend that you check applications and services logs, particularly
any warnings or errors topics that are relevant to the problem you’re currently investigating. Sometimes the most minute details will escape observation, only later found to be the culprit. As a matter of principle, you should at
least eliminate any question that the cause left an electronic paper trail
through the system’s highly active logging and filing facilities, before digging
into detailed research and diagnostics.
Event Viewer
Windows Server products have long included the Event Viewer application,
which has remained relatively unchanged since its debut in Windows NT.
Microsoft has redesigned this applet to supply a more aggregated view of
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
system-wide events that previously appeared only in individual event logs.
Each of the initial primary categories remains the same (Application, System,
and Security logs), but Event Viewer (shown in Figure 18-2) now provides a
consolidated perspective on the overall health of your server.
You may observe errors, warnings, and informational and successful
audit details as they’ve occurred in the last hour and last 24 hours to gauge
recent activity. Expand each container for in-depth coverage of each event.
Underneath the Event Viewer category branch lurks a Windows Logs container, a storehouse for event logs that appear in their old, familiar format.
Figure 18-2:
The Event
Custom Views
Windows Server 2008 presents large amounts of data at your request. All
Windows applications, components, and security parameters may be represented, so Event Viewer provides you with filters necessary for deep inspection. You may find that default methods for presenting such data doesn’t suit
your needs or preferences, which is what motivates the Custom Views dialog.
This container is designed to permit dynamic content filtering based on
simple rules that you specify to Event Viewer for information display. Open a
menu to select the Create Custom View dialog box by right-clicking the
Custom Views container. Here, you can specify filters based on time period,
event level (critical, error, warning, information, and verbose), event log,
event source, include/exclude event IDs, task category, keywords, user, and
computer entries.
Chapter 18: Taking Care of Your Own Issues
Windows Logs
Two additional categories (Setup and Forwarded Events logs) are included
with the standard entries (Application, Security, and System logs). Setup logs
contain information relevant to any system configuration changes, but the
information isn’t always detailed or descriptive. Only a simple statement to
the effect of a role being installed or uninstalled will appear. Forwarded
Events logs contain entries based on subscriptions to remote system event
log services, which are filtered against some criteria and sent here.
Applications and Services Logs
Application and Services logs are general events related specifically to the
Windows operating system. Previously, you would browse the event logs for a
particular issue you wanted to troubleshoot; Windows Server 2008 nicely categorizes and sorts events related to specific criteria (such as Active Directory).
When no events of interest appear in an event log, it’s reasonable to suspect
that logging has been disabled or log files have been cleared. Confirm that
logging is indeed enabled (choose Log➪Properties➪Enable Logging) and —
barring that — determine if logs have been cleared by searching the System
log for event ID 104 — the value generated whenever a log is cleared. Analytic
and debug logs aren’t visible by default and must be specifically enabled for
viewing. (Choose Event Viewer➪View➪Show Analytic and Debug Logs.)
Reliability and Performance
Windows Server 2008 also consolidates Performance Monitor and other
such relevant run-time information into a single applet, also made accessible
through the Server Manager interface. If you’ve spent any amount of time
with Windows platforms, you may already be familiar with its Performance
Monitor tool — we use it as a barometer for the general well-being of our
workstations and servers.
Monitoring Tools
Expand this container category to view the resource utilization overview,
which has that familiar line-graph illustration and real-time update activity
you’re already accustomed to seeing. CPU, RAM, disk, and network activity
are summarized in frequency of activity and a graph illustrating peaks and
valleys of activity throughout the observational time frame.
Each of these sub-elements in the performance dialog box can be further
expanded to reveal more detailed information about operational parameters.
Underneath the CPU section, for example, there appears a list of active
processes and CPU time dedicated to each individual process, all of which
makes up the utilization trends charted therein.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Performance Monitor
Apart from its integration into Server Manager, Performance Monitor appears
similar in form and function since Windows Server 2003. This diagnostic
utility facilitates troubleshooting hardware issues, primarily processor utilization. The line graph charts CPU activity history as a running track record,
with spikes indicating surges in activity for the noted time period. A high percentage of processor utilization is indicative of overload and a potential
Performance monitoring consists of performance counters, performance logs
and alerts, and the System Monitor. Counters provide utilization information
regarding how well the platform or its applications, drivers, and services
are performing. This helps you to identify bottlenecks and better fine-tune
application performance through graphical charts and timeline indicators.
Performance logs and alerts generate alert notifications based on these
counter thresholds. As an API, it can be used programmatically to query
performance data, create event trace sessions, capture a configuration, and
track API calls throughout some of the Win32 dynamic libraries. System
Monitor is an API that enables you to view real-time data and track record
performance counter data related to the CPU, RAM, and all of your disk
Reliability Monitor
Windows Server 2008 is really good at keeping track of records for its daily
operations and activities. It dutifully logs, dates, and sorts its entries and
applies your specially-defined filtering rules so that information is presented
in a manner you see fit. We’ve grow familiar with its form and become
expectant of its function.
What happens when you work remotely or on a foreign system? Problem history and server history are usually two key issues that are addressed within
the opening of a trouble-ticket field dispatch or on-site servicing procedure.
You can’t possibly know what that system’s performance has been over any
length of time, but the Reliability Monitor (shown in Figure 18-3) absolutely
does know. This is an index into the running track record for system stability
to include keeping tabs on software installs/uninstalls, application failures,
hardware failures, windows failures, and a catch-all miscellaneous failures
Chapter 18: Taking Care of Your Own Issues
Figure 18-3:
Steep drops, which level out again quickly, accompany installation of a new
application. Any noteworthy event is detailed on the day of failure, and
double-clicking a specific entry provides more detailed information about
the event.
Data Collector Sets and Reports
Data collector sets are the cornerstones of performance monitoring and
reporting within the new Windows Server 2008 Reliability and Performance
Monitor. Data points are collected and organized into a single component to
facilitate performance tracking and periodic review. Collector sets can be
individually created and recorded or grouped with other collector sets and
configured to generate alerts at specified thresholds. Sets contain performance counters, event trace data, and system configuration information.
You can create a collector set from existing templates or predefined collector
sets, or through individual configuration. These sets enable you to better utilize the Windows Reliability and Performance Monitor to track overall system
health and progress in a completely customizable way.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Device Manager
Underneath Reliability and Performance resides the Device Manager; click its
label to produce the details pane for system-wide device properties. This is
another holdover from Windows Server products past. This application is
responsible for inventorying and reporting low-level hardware presence and
facilitates troubleshooting problematic devices or drivers.
The Device Manager maintains a catalog of devices installed on the system so
that you can identify any and all components. Use the Device Manager as a
window into your system whenever a device is improperly functioning or not
identified. Defective drivers are indicated by an exclamation point icon to signify where you should begin diagnosing issues. You can also centrally
manage all drivers, versions, and updates.
Tweaking Windows Server 2008
for Efficiency
During the setup and install process, many additional components, packages,
and language features are often included unnecessarily into your server
build. When you discover a need to reclaim precious native storage space
and begin a process of elimination for all but the more critical parts, start by
cleaning out any leftover installation material. This includes any Microsoft
Office suite products as well — they tend to generate a lot of supportive
install-time files that tend to get left behind unless manually specified for
removal when installation completes.
Managed entities
The hierarchy of managed entities is pictured in Figure 18-4. Each element is
described briefly in Table 18-2.
Chapter 18: Taking Care of Your Own Issues
Component and
Package Setup
Figure 18-4:
Hierarchy of
Pack Installation
Language Pack
Pack Cleanup
ComponentBased Servicing
Table 18-2
Managed Entities
Optional Component
and Package Setup
OCSetup.exe is a command line tool that
installs, updates, and uninstalls optional
Windows components. We recommend using
it for bare-bones Server Core installations;
full-blown installs should use Server Manager.
Package Manager
This is the underlying tool that OCSetup.exe
uses to install Windows components and particularly facilitates unintended installations and
disabling options in an offline Windows image.
Component-Based Servicing
This is part of the servicing stack (files and
resources required to service a Windows
image or live OS) that provides APIs to client
installers such as Windows Update or
Windows Installer.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Table 18-2 (continued)
Language Pack Installation
Supplemental language support files make
dialog boxes, menus, wizards, and built-in help
topics accessible to non-native speakers.
Language Pack Setup
Lpksetup.exe installs and removes multilingual user interface (MUI) language packs and
language interface packs (LIPs).
Language Pack Cleanup
This is an automatically-scheduled, run-once
application that operates in silent mode on the
first boot after installation completes, and then
removes any unused language pack files.
Run-time optimization
Windows Server 2008 does a fair job of minimizing unnecessary components
bundled with the default install. This confers several immediate advantages:
It shortens the install phase, creates a more flexible minimal foundation upon
which to build your specific features, and gives you greater control over
setup aspects. Typically, there isn’t a whole lot to the default install that you
need to strip away to streamline your server.
Over time, or through a timeline of developmental periods or experimental
phases, you may experience sluggish system performance owing to an abundance of unnecessary or resource-intensive system processes and components.
We like to maintain a conservative profile and remove parts that aren’t vital to
system or business functions. In the sections that follow, we cite a few such
examples to inspire your own excursions into the realm of server optimization.
Turn off Indexing Service
Windows Indexing Service generates search content properties for all files
targeting local and network-attached storage volumes to optimize return-time
for results. This service runs continuously and can potentially slow the PC’s
performance, particularly on servers with revolving data storage and
continuous cyclic indexing.
If you don’t need fast file searches, turn off Indexing Service by following
these steps:
1. Open Computer.
2. Select the target volume, right-click, and choose Properties.
Chapter 18: Taking Care of Your Own Issues
3. Deselect the Allow Indexing Service to Index This Disk check box.
4. Click OK.
Disable unnecessary services
Services run continuously in the background and even consume resources in
their idle states awaiting some event or receipt of data. Not all that is loaded
is needed, which is particularly why Microsoft wisely chose to componentize
and modularize Windows Server 2008 into a Server Core build option.
Over time, you may find your system consumed by many services ravaging
many shared resources, only to realize that some of those processes are no
longer necessary. Either they’ve fallen into disuse, never found utilization, or
since been replaced by the next best thing. Either way, you neither want nor
need them there, so you should remove them.
To view startup services and statuses, open Start and type services.msc in
the Start Search bar. Left-click a service entry to view its description and
become informed of what other dependent functionality will be affected by
its removal from operation.
To disable a service, follow these steps:
1. Right-click the service and choose Properties.
2. Change its startup type to Manual.
3. Click Stop to halt the service.
Schedule Disk Defragmenter
If not already set, schedule disk defragmentation at regular intervals that
correspond to local usage. Disk defragmentation realigns file segments to
optimize their arrangement on disk so that they may be read and written
to most efficiently. This ensures optimal disk performance, especially for
drives that process large numbers of files of various sizes.
Making the Most of Your Server
As you build your own body of experience in working with Windows Server
2008, you’ll become more confident in using its tools and in tweaking, optimizing, and adjusting it to better fit your business needs. In the meantime, we
hope these troubleshooting tips — and the rest of this book, in fact — will
help you cultivate the skills and knowledge that you’ll employ to keep things
up and running.
Part IV: Serve It Yourself
Part V
The Part of Tens
In this part . . .
hen Moses came down from the mountain, how
many commandments did he carry? Ten. How
many fingers do most people have? Ten. On a scale of one
to ten, what’s a perfect score? Ten. We aren’t entirely sure
that all these things are necessarily connected, but that
number shows up everywhere, even on the Late Show with
David Letterman. Perhaps that’s why The Part of Tens is a
key ingredient in this and all other For Dummies books.
Then again, it could just be a coincidence. . . .
Each chapter in this part includes a list of tips, tricks, techniques, reminders, and resources for inspired information
about your Windows Server 2008 system and its network.
We’d like to claim the same source of inspiration that
Moses had for his commandments, but our Part of Tens
comes only from the “School of Hard Knocks” next door.
These chapters are constructed to save you time, steer
you around common networking potholes, and get you
safely past common sources of chaos and confusion. The
best part of tens, however, is one that doesn’t appear
directly in this part of the book — that’s the part where
you hold your breath and count to ten as you begin to lose
your cool. If you try that part first, the other Part of Tens
will do you a lot more good!
Chapter 19
Ten Tips for Installation
and Configuration
In This Chapter
Exceeding minimum requirements gives you peace of mind
Using real server hardware really makes a difference
Installing Windows Server 2008 across the network
Automating Windows Server 2008 installation
Troubleshooting installation problems
Defaulting to VGA display mode
Booting from the Last Known Good Configuration or the installation media
Backing up may be hard, but it’s good to do!
Planning a successful server installation
f you spend enough time working with Windows Server 2008, you
undoubtedly will be required to install this software on multiple systems.
This job can be more “interesting” than it has to be — not to mention that it
can take more time than you want it to.
This chapter provides some fact-filled sources of information, some triedand-true guidelines, and some great repair tools and techniques to help
you successfully survive the Windows Server 2008 installation process.
Knowing these tips and not needing them is better than not knowing but
needing them.
Part V: The Part of Tens
Exceed the Minimum Requirements
Table 19-1 offers a quick rundown of the minimum requirements to run
Windows Server 2008 (and bonus realistic recommendations).
Table 19-1
Windows Server 2008 Minimum Requirements
(Plus Realistic Recommendations)
Minimum Requirement
1 GHz
2 GHz
Disk space
Optical drive
Integrated chip
Add-in card or two (TOE
is best)
Super VGA (800 x 600)
Super VGA (800 x 600) or
Pointing device
MS Mouse or compatible
MS Mouse or compatible
To configure a production server to conform to minimum requirements
is a recipe for disaster. The performance (or lack thereof) you’d be able to
squeeze from such a machine would have a mob of users at your heels in
no time at all.
When building a Windows Server 2008 computer, more of just about everything is better: This applies to more powerful (and more) CPUs, more RAM,
and more powerful network interface cards (NICs). Servers do their jobs in
quiet obscurity in most cases, so you don’t have to install a 512MB graphics
card, a fancy flat-panel monitor, or a top-dollar mouse or touchpad. You can
opt to skip the DVD player on the Windows Server 2008 computer as long as
you can access the server across the network from another machine where
the contents of the DVD-ROM have been copied to a hard drive.
If you install Windows Server 2008 on a machine that doesn’t include a NIC,
you won’t be able to install or configure any of its network-related aspects.
We’re convinced that there’s no point to installing a server that isn’t attached
Chapter 19: Ten Tips for Installation and Configuration
to a network, so don’t install Windows Server 2008 on a machine unless it has
a NIC. (Even better, use a NIC connected to a real, live network, if not multiple
NICs, preferably with a TCP/IP Offload Engine, or TOE, to help max out
network performance.)
Use Only Qualified Server Hardware
Before you even think about installing Windows Server 2008 on a machine,
be sure that the hardware you’re considering will make a good home for that
software. Nevertheless, without a formal seal of approval or a guarantee
from a vendor, how can you be sure that the software will work with your
Fortunately, you can be sure by checking the Windows Server Catalog. This is
a comprehensive list of hardware that’s been tested and certified to be compatible with Windows Server 2008 (or other server versions). This catalog is
available online at www.microsoft.com/whdc/hcl/default.mspx.
You can also use the installation utility to automatically check your hardware
for you. However, to use the latest catalog available, the system must also
have Internet access. There are two ways to test your system for catalog
Insert the DVD and let the auto-run mechanism start. (Or execute from
startup.exe from the root of the DVD.) Click Check System
Compatibility and then click Check My System Automatically.
Execute the following from the command prompt or Run dialog box:
i386\win32 /checkupgradeonly
Both methods attempt to first download the latest hardware catalog and then
test your system’s hardware for compliance with the requirements of
Windows Server 2008. If any problems or incompatibilities are found, you see
an onscreen report.
Many hardware vendors offer server machines with Windows Server 2008
preinstalled. When you’re buying new servers, price one that includes the
Windows Server 2008 operating system and one that doesn’t. You may be
pleasantly surprised by the price breaks you can get when buying a
preinstalled system.
Part V: The Part of Tens
Install from Your Network
The following may seem counterintuitive, but here it goes: Copying files from
a hard drive elsewhere on a network is faster than copying files from a local
DVD-ROM player (even a 36x or 40x player). Why? Because hard disks are as
much as 40 times faster than DVD ROM drives.
Savvy network administrators create a set of directories on a network drive
and install Windows Server 2008 across the network when they can. This
tactic is fast, easy, and requires only that you load a DVD once, no matter
how many times you install from it. In fact, network installation is what
makes the next topic — automated installations — feasible.
Let the Software Do the Work:
Automating Installation
Normally, user input drives the Windows Server 2008 installation program:
from character-based prompts during the initial load phase and by user
navigation of menus and input items during the later phases. As an alternative, text files called answer files may drive Windows Server 2008 installation,
making it possible to automate installation more or less completely. Scriptdriven installation can be especially handy when you must install more than
two or three copies of Windows Server 2008 at any given time.
Windows Server 2008 supports more methods for automating installation
than previous implementations (such as Windows Server 2003 and NT 4.0),
including the following:
You can create a single variation or several variations of base installation material and deploy them in enterprise-wide computers all at once
with company-specific applications, configurations, and data.
You can create a set of automated commands to complete the Setup
process without requiring human intervention (at least, as long as no
errors are encountered).
You can create a separate specialty recovery partition using the
Windows Preinstallation Environment to create a Windows Recovery
Environment for on-the-go or self-service users.
You can even automate the first logon after Windows Server 2008’s setup
completes to install and configure selected applications, and then shut
down the system thereafter — all from the magic of answer files!
Chapter 19: Ten Tips for Installation and Configuration
How do you get a piece of this magic? Well, you can dig into the Windows
Server 2008 Technical Library, available online at http://technet2.
microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/library, and dig into
the Server Manager entries available there. Or you can go straight to work
with a utility called Server Manager command, also known as Server
ManagerCmd.exe, which gets installed as part of the base Windows Server
2008 installation.
The Windows Server 2008 ServerManagerCmd utility supports scripting
and unattended deployment of Windows Server 2008 roles using XML-based
answer files. Their structure and syntax is explained in the Server Manager
Technical Overview Appendix (available through the Server Manager
entry through the preceding Technical Library link), along with complete
documentation for the command line arguments available that determine
how the answer file will be interpreted.
Windows Server 2008 also includes two utilities that are somewhat Ghost-like
in their capabilities. (Ghost is a popular system-imaging utility for Windows
computers that allows administrators to set up a single installation, take a
snapshot, and then customize that same snapshot to install one machine or
several machines at the same time.) These two utilities follow:
Sysprep: A utility designed to duplicate disk contents when installing
multiple, identically configured machines at the same time. First, you
create a normal installation on a single machine, and then you install the
applications you want to distribute. Next, you use Sysprep to distribute
copies of this configuration to other identical systems elsewhere on the
network. It doesn’t get much easier than this!
Syspart: A utility designed to clone installations across multiple
machines where the hardware is dissimilar. It works as an extension of
the unattended install facility with a default unattend.txt answer file.
You can also consult the Windows Server 2008 Resource Kit (published by
Microsoft Press) or the TechNet CD or Web site to find out all you can about
the various installation files before starting any big jobs. We also advise you
to try a couple of trial runs using these tools before attempting to automate
the installation of one or more production servers.
You can access Microsoft TechNet content by using the search engine
available online at http://technet.microsoft.com. Check the Microsoft
Press Web site at www.microsoft.com/learning/books/default.mspx
for availability of the Windows Server 2008 Resource Kit.
Part V: The Part of Tens
Beat Installation Weirdness:
Be Persistent
Despite your best efforts, and even if you’ve taken all the proper precautions,
the occasional Windows Server 2008 installation will fail. We’ve seen causes
of failure that range from defective media to network congestion (trying to
copy files to too many machines at once) to boot sector viruses. (We hate
when that happens!)
When an installation fails, take a deep breath, count to ten, and try any or all
of the following corrections:
Restart the installation: If you get past the initial parts of the character
mode portion of the installation, the software is often smart enough to
pick up where it left off and carry on from there. If you’re that lucky,
count your blessings and then go out and buy a lottery ticket!
If installation won’t pick up where it left off, look for a directory
named $WIN_NT$.~LS: Delete this directory and its contents. The
Windows Server 2008 installation program looks for these directories
and attempts to save time by picking up where it left off. We include the
DOS DELTREE command in our emergency install disk tool kit because it
lets us dispatch these directories and their contents quickly and easily.
If all else fails, repartition and reformat the boot drive to remove all
vestiges of your failed attempt: You’ll start over with a clean slate! Our
emergency install disk toolkit also includes a DOS Fdisk and a handy
utility called Delpart.exe, which can remove even non-DOS partitions
(such as NTFS) from a PC hard drive. Delpart.exe is available for free
download from several Web sites. Search your favorite search engine for
If the final technique doesn’t work, recheck the Windows Server 2008
Hardware Catalog for potential sources of difficulty. (See the “Use Only
Qualified Server Hardware” section earlier in this chapter for details on
this catalog.) Otherwise, look for guidance on your problems on Microsoft’s
TechNet CD or the Windows Server 2008–related newsgroups on the
news://msnews.microsoft.com news server.
Let Lo-Res Come to Your Rescue!
You’ll find out that Windows Server 2008 doesn’t care a bit whether the
display on your Windows Server 2008 machine is working. Windows Server
2008 continues to chug along quite happily — even if you can’t see what the
Chapter 19: Ten Tips for Installation and Configuration
system is doing because the screen is totally confusing or nothing is showing
at all. The leading cause of display problems is loading a display driver that
doesn’t work with your graphics adapter, or your monitor, or both!
When this problem happens (and it’s a common post-installation problem),
don’t panic. Simply reboot the machine. (Press the Reset button on the computer case if you can’t read the screen at all.) When the boot menu shows up,
press F8 to access the Advanced Options, and then select Enable LowResolution Video (640x480).
Doing so boots Windows Server 2008 with a plain-vanilla VGA driver. Then you
can try a different driver (or troubleshoot the hardware). This time, use the
test button to make sure the driver works before you change your display!
Use “Last Known Good” to Do Good!
After installation is complete, you must continue to configure your Windows
Server 2008 to install additional software and add all types of information
about system and user policies, account and group names, and so forth. If
you encounter trouble along the way, or Windows Server 2008 balks for some
reason and won’t boot, you can always use the F8 technique described in the
previous section to view and select from its advanced boot options. This
time, pick the entry that reads “Last Known Good Configuration.” Also known
as the LKGC, this uses the last working set of startup settings to restart the
machine, and usually suffices to escape the malign effects of a bad driver
installation or faulty configuration setting. After using this option, you’ll
have to repeat everything you did since the last time you rebooted — and
hopefully, fix whatever broke in the meantime — but at least you’ll be
able to keep chugging along in forward motion.
A Custom Installation Saves Systems!
The problem with Startup disks is that it takes six of them to boot older
Windows Server 2003 installations. Using disks also forces you through a
time-consuming set of steps to get a machine running. Fortunately, creative
minds decided to develop a generic Windows Server 2008 and Windows
Vista installation Windows Image Format (WIF) and a new disk-imaging tool
called ImageX.
You can even install a preinstallation setup environment onto the target
computer so that the DVD media needn’t even be accessible for self-service
and repair in the field by the system end-user. The Windows Recovery
Environment (Windows RE) is an extensible recovery platform based on the
Part V: The Part of Tens
Windows Preinstallation Environment (PE), which is triggered any time
Windows fails to startup. A Startup Repair tool automates system diagnosis
and repair for the unbootable installation and serves as a starting point for
manual troubleshooting and recovery.
Newer server hardware configurations may exclude floppy drives in preference for the now prevalent CD and DVD drives. However, the theory of
preventive maintenance and a bootable recovery medium remains much the
same. Server motherboards with compliant BIOS settings can even boot from
USB drives and storage devices, which further increases your recovery
options in the event of failure.
Every time you make a change to Windows Server 2008, those changes are
recorded in the Windows Server 2008 Registry. Sometimes, those changes
can have unforeseen side-effects — especially if you’ve been editing the
Registry directly — and can make your machine falter or even fail to boot.
When your machine does falter or fails to boot, always try reverting to the
last working version of the Registry. When the boot menu shows up,
press F8 to access Advanced Options, and then select Last Known Good
Configuration. You roll back to the version of the Registry that was in use the
last time your machine booted successfully. The good news is that your
machine will probably boot; the bad news is that you’ll lose all the changes
you’ve made since the last time you rebooted the machine. Bummer!
When you make lots of changes, either back up the Registry or reboot
frequently. This keeps the amount of work you can lose — from an ill-advised
Registry change, a bad driver selection, and so on — to a minimum. Restore
points include Registry backups as part of what they capture, so they’re
just as good as a Registry backup per se, only easier! Choose Start➪Control
Panel➪System➪System Protection, then click the System Restore button to
create a restore point at any time.
Use the Windows Server
2008 DVD to Boot
The Windows Server 2008 DVD is bootable, which means that you can boot
your server from the DVD. You no longer need to mess with startup boot
floppies. To boot your system from the DVD, make sure your server BIOS
includes the optical drive in its boot priority settings, preferably at or near
the top of that list.
If your system won’t boot from the DVD, it needs to boot from something. If
that’s the case for your system, there are ways to work around this problem.
Worst case, you can create a minimum boot image on a USB flash drive
Chapter 19: Ten Tips for Installation and Configuration
and take that route, or do likewise with a USB-attached hard disk. Microsoft
TechNet provides a helpful article that explains just how to do that at
Microsoft soars to new heights with its latest bootable DVD media, but you
have to experience this at work to appreciate the difference. For starters,
the same installation DVD doubles as a diagnostic and troubleshooting disk
that can boot a dead installation, perform basic startup repair, or enable an
administrator to select from restore or backup options without booting into
Windows. What isn’t so obvious is the underlying Windows Image Format
(WIF) that drives the entire installation — it’s essentially a template image
that you can recreate and custom tailor to suit your personal or business
needs. Whether deploying a single workstation and server or several
workstations and servers, the new WIF framework lets you customize
Windows installations to meet your needs.
When in Doubt, Back Up!
Windows Server 2008 is a reliable operating system, but accidents do
happen. Make sure you back up your Windows Server 2008 before you make
any significant changes to that machine. Significant changes include adding
beaucoups of new users or groups, making Active Directory changes, adding
services or applications, or doing anything else that significantly updates the
Registry. Then, if the server goes down after those changes are applied, you
can always restore the backup after booting from your startup disks and
reactivating the backup software to get back to where you started. Don’t
leave home without it!
Prepare for the Real Work!
Although installing Windows Server 2008 by itself is no mean feat, the real
work begins when that job ends. Formulate and then translate your plans for
domain and directory structures, machine names, usernames, group names,
and disk structures from concept to reality. This is the real work that makes
Windows Server 2008 usable to your audience and able to deal with the
demands they’ll put on your system. And again: Remember to back up your
system on a regular basis!
Part V: The Part of Tens
Chapter 20
Ten Steps to Networking Nirvana
with Windows Server 2008
In This Chapter
Starting with the usual suspects
Making routing work
Curing IP indigestion
Speeding up the network at the interface
Conquering network congestion
Investigating network services
Resolving address issues
Backing out changes
Learning how to ask for help
Preventing problems beats fixing them
indows Server 2008 without a network is like a bicycle without wheels
or chips without salsa. (Our apologies in advance to the unicyclists
and fat-free members of our audience.)
Because Windows Server 2008 and networking go together like gangbusters,
your gang (of users) may try to bust you whenever the network stops working. Try as you might to avoid it, it will happen from time to time. When the
network goes on vacation but you’re still in the office, read over these tips
and tricks to get things shipshape again.
Part V: The Part of Tens
Never Overlook the Obvious
The number one cause for failed networks is — you guessed it — loose connections. Always check a server’s network interface cards (NICs) to
make sure that cables are still plugged in or otherwise attached. Also, check
all hubs, routers, the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) box, the
modem, and anywhere else those cables go (including client machines).
Networking experts often talk about a troubleshooting pyramid that follows
the progression of network capabilities up from the hardware and cables
through the protocol stack to the applications that request network services.
In this analogy, the base of the pyramid is far bigger than the top. This pyramid illustrates that problems are most likely to occur at the physical level of
networking. Why? Because that’s where the cables and connections are. Go
ahead — check them again.
Check Windows Server 2008 Routing
Windows Server 2008 happily lets you insert two or more network adapters
or other devices that can carry network traffic — such as modems,
Fibre Channel interfaces, or even Channel Service Unit/Data Service Units
(CSU/DSUs) for high-speed digital networking. Doubling up on network
adapters (or other network traffic handling devices) lets Windows Server
2008 move traffic from one connection to another. This capability, known
as routing, enables Windows Server 2008 to interconnect separate pieces
of a network.
The most exposed and important part of many networks is the link that
ties a local network to the Internet (or at least, to your local Internet Service
Provider). If Windows Server 2008 fills that role on your network, be prepared
to perform regular troubleshooting rituals to keep this all-important link to
the outside world running.
If you can, you should isolate this function on a separate computer or a network appliance designed for that role. This is a good idea for two reasons:
Adding the burden of routing traffic and managing an Internet interface
requires additional software and services that can tax (and possibly
overburden) a Windows Server 2008 system.
Limit the impact of system failure to as few services as possible.
Chances are that your users will be less unhappy if they lose only
Internet access or only access to shared files and applications, rather
than losing both at the same time.
Chapter 20: Ten Steps to Networking Nirvana with Windows Server 2008
If you do use a Windows Server 2008 system as a router, especially if an
Internet link is involved, think about installing or using firewall software, such
as Microsoft’s Windows Firewall and Network Access Protection (NAP), on
that machine. A firewall protects your network from interlopers and allows
you to monitor and filter incoming (and outgoing) content and information,
while NAP lets you quarantine remote users who don’t meet your security
policy requirements (current anti-virus software, OS patches, and so forth).
Open Your TCP/IP Toolkit
If you’re going to attach to the Internet (and who isn’t, these days?), you want
to build a TCP/IP toolkit to help with the inevitable troubleshooting chores
involved in keeping a TCP/IP network working properly.
Fortunately, Windows Server 2008 includes a fine collection of TCP/IP tools
and utilities that you can use immediately. Table 20-1 includes some prime
candidates for your IP troubleshooting toolbox. Given this arsenal of tools,
you should be well prepared to shoot TCP/IP troubles before they shoot you!
Table 20-1
TCP/IP Diagnostic Utilities
Displays the address translation tables used by the IP Address
Resolution Protocol (ARP). Helps detect invalid entries and
ensure proper resolution of numeric IP addresses to Media
Access Control (MAC) addresses.
Displays your IP host name onscreen. Use this to check your
machine’s current name.
Displays all current network configuration values for all
interfaces. Use this to check address assignments for your
machine, the default gateway, and the subnet mask.
Shows protocol statistics and active connections using
NetBIOS over TCP/IP. Use this to troubleshoot Microsoft
naming issues.
Shows active TCP and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) connections. Use this to check TCP/IP network connections and
Displays information about known DNS servers.
Part V: The Part of Tens
Table 20-1 (continued)
Verifies basic connectivity to network computers. Type PING
loopback to check internal capabilities first, and then check
local and remote machines to check overall connectivity.
Displays network routing tables and enables you to edit entries;
useful primarily when static routing is in effect.
Determines the route from the sender to a destination by
sending Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echo packets that cause all stations between sender and receiver to
announce themselves.
Use One or More Fast Server
Network Adapters
On a Windows Server 2008 Server, performance is the name of the game.
In networking, because network traffic tends to congregate at the server,
spending extra bucks on a fast, powerful network adapter makes sense. At a
bare minimum, you want a Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI)–based
NIC, if not a PCI-e x4 or x8 card or a PCI-X 133 MHz card. Other hardware
enhancements worth purchasing for Windows Server 2008 network adapters
include the following:
TCP Offload Engine (TOE): Permits the network adapter to handle TCP
packet processing without requiring the CPU to get involved very much.
This requires a network adapter that supports the Windows Server 2008
TCP Chimney with a driver that can handle TCP offload functions, but
such cards are widely available. (See Appendix A for details.)
Direct Memory Access (DMA): Enables the network adapter to transfer
data directly from its onboard memory to the computer’s memory
without requiring the CPU to mediate.
Shared adapter memory: Enables a network adapter’s onboard RAM
to map into computer RAM. When the computer thinks it’s writing (or
reading) to its own RAM, it’s writing (or reading) straight to (from) the
card. Shared system memory works the same way, except the card reads
from and writes to the computer’s RAM instead of its own onboard RAM.
Extra memory for network adapters is almost as good as more RAM on
Windows Server 2008 PCs!
Chapter 20: Ten Steps to Networking Nirvana with Windows Server 2008
Bus mastering: Lets the network adapter manage the computer’s bus
to coordinate data transfers to and from the computer’s memory. Bus
mastering enables the CPU to concentrate on other activities and can
improve performance by 20 to 70 percent. This is the most worthwhile
of all the enhancements mentioned here.
The idea is to put the processing power and speed where it does the most
good: on the network adapter with which all users interact to obtain data
from (or move packets through) a server. A high-speed backbone (Gigabit
Ethernet or better) is also an extremely good idea for modern networks.
Know When to Divide
and When to Conquer
When traffic reaches high levels on a network segment, traffic jams occur
just like they do at rush hour on the highway. When this happens, you need
to improve the existing roads (switch to a faster network technology) or add
more roads (break up the existing network and put one subset of users on
one new piece, another subset on another piece, and so on).
How can you figure out when traffic is starting to choke your network? Easy!
Windows Server 2008 includes a service called Network Monitor (affectionately called NetMon) that you can install on your server to monitor the traffic
moving into and out of your server (and on the cable segment or segments to
which that server is attached).
NetMon doesn’t install on Windows Server 2008 by default, but it’s easy to
add. Choose Start➪Control Panel➪Add or Remove Programs➪Add/Remove
Windows Components➪Management and Monitoring Tools. Then click the
Details button, select the Network Monitor Tools check box, and click OK.
After you follow the instructions from there, NetMon shows up in the
Administrative Tools folder (Start➪Administrative Tools➪Network Monitor).
Get to know NetMon, and you get to know your network much better!
When in Doubt, Check Your Services
What do network servers do? They provide network services. When things
get weird with Windows Server 2008 and you can’t find anything wrong
with the network, visit the Services tool, as shown in Figure 20-1.
Part V: The Part of Tens
Figure 20-1:
the status
for all
installed on
Server 2008.
To view this display, follow this menu sequence: Start➪Administrative
Tools➪Services. Then click the Services entry to view the list of services
currently installed on Windows Server 2008.
Be sure to check the entries for key services such as Computer Browser, the
Server service, and the Workstation service. Make sure that the Status field
says Started and that the Startup field is properly set. (It should read
Automatic for services that are supposed to launch upon startup.)
Many times, when the network shows no obvious problems, you may find
that a key service has been paused or stopped or has simply quit for some
reason. If a service has stopped, refer to the Event Viewer to find out why
because a stopped service usually indicates a serious problem that will recur.
Handle Names and Addresses Efficiently
The only way to find something on a network is to know its address. Alas,
human beings are better at remembering symbolic names than numeric
addresses (or worse yet, the arcane bit patterns that computers use to
address one another).
This means a lot when you operate a working network, but two primary
concerns from a troubleshooting perspective are:
Chapter 20: Ten Steps to Networking Nirvana with Windows Server 2008
The services that provide name-to-address translation must be properly
configured and working correctly for users to use a network effectively.
Network addresses, subnet masks, and related information (such as
default gateways, router addresses, and so on) must be unique, properly
specified, and in substantial agreement for computers to use a
network properly.
Symptoms of trouble in this area are many and varied. Duplicate addresses
usually cause all holders of the same address to drop off the network. Invalid
names or addresses simply can’t be reached and may require serious troubleshooting to correct. Active Directory may be unavailable or not working
for some reason or another. (In general, check the spelling of names carefully
and the numeric values for addresses equally carefully.)
Fortunately, problems in this arena usually make themselves known during
initial configuration or when settings change. If you simply check your
settings and assumptions against a known, working set of values, you can
usually undo such woes quickly and painlessly.
Ask What’s New or Different
When troubleshooting a network, what’s new or what’s changed is often a
source of trouble. Thus, when you investigate network snafus, be sure to ask
yourself, “What’s new?” and “What’s different?” right away, and then answer
in as much detail as possible. While digging up those gory details, you will
often uncover the source of the trouble and can determine its solution, all in
one swift fell swoop.
Savvy network administrators keep a log of changes and additions to servers
on their networks, so when those key questions get asked, answers are immediately forthcoming. You could do worse than to emulate these professionals!
If You Need Help, Ask
Occasionally, when troubleshooting a system, you run into problems that are
so mysterious or baffling that you won’t have a clue about how to correct
them. When that happens, don’t tear out your hair — ask for help instead.
Part V: The Part of Tens
If you’re having a problem with Windows Server 2008, your first (and hopefully, last) source of support should be the various Microsoft Web pages on
the product. The Microsoft Small Business Center is a good place to
start (www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/support/technicaloverview.aspx). If you get stuck, you can always visit the online forums
where other Windows Server 2008 users and experts congregate. You can
also check the TechNet CD (you can order it from www.microsoft.com/
technet) or the Microsoft Developer Network (which you can join at www.
If the problem is with a piece of hardware, check the manufacturer’s Web site
or bulletin board for a driver update. If that doesn’t lead to a happy dance,
you may have to pay that vendor’s tech support operation for some advice,
too. If you can determine a problem’s root cause, you can often get help from
those who know that root the best. Even if it costs you, think of the valuable
time (and aggravation) you’ll save. Better to light a candle than curse
the darkness!
Watch Network Trouble Spots
The best way to shoot network trouble and other types of system problems
is to stop them before they happen. The only way to prevent problems and
keep your network running is to study your network environment closely
and carefully and figure out where its weak points are. Do this before your
network demonstrates its weaknesses to the world at large by breaking.
If you keep an eye on potential trouble spots and perform regular maintenance and upkeep activities (such as scheduled backups, file-system
cleanups, upgrades, service packs, and hotfixes), you can prevent problems.
And believe us, preventing problems isn’t just less work, it’s also the cause
of far less unwanted notoriety than fixing things after they break. Don’t feel
compelled to learn this the hard way!
Part VI
In this part . . .
onsider this part of the book a no-charge added
bonus to the preceding primary chapters, and you’ll
get a good sense of why this stuff is in here. We want to
provide our readers with some additional information and
background to help them appreciate why server PCs are
different from desktops, and we want to help them adapt
to the brave new world of Windows Server 2008–based
In one of our appendixes, we tackle networking components and technologies most likely to be of interest to
those who work with network servers, such as TOE (not
those little wrinkly things at the end of your feet, rather
special hardware called a TCP/IP Offload Engine, which is
designed to take the work involved in processing network
packets from your CPU and turn it over to your network
interface card instead — and you thought you didn’t need
this, eh?). And last but by no means least, we provide
peerless pointers to nonpareil sources for Windows troubleshooting. You may not find them interesting to read for
entertainment value, but when you need them, you’ll be
glad you have them!
Appendix A
Server Components
and Technologies
ike most server operating systems, Windows Server 2008 performs at
its best if equipped with more of everything: more CPUs (and more CPU
power), more RAM, more storage, and more and faster network interfaces. In
this appendix, we cover key server components, explain briefly how they
work and what kinds of options you have available, and describe price and
performance tradeoffs you’ll encounter when pondering spending more or
less money to acquire more or less performance.
In the sections that follow, we discuss the following topics as they relate to
server platforms and hardware:
Server motherboards: What makes them different and special as
compared to their desktop brethren
Processors: Why more CPUs with more cores get more work done, as
well as what makes server processors different from desktop CPUs
Memory (RAM): Why more is nearly always better, and what makes
server RAM different from desktop RAM
Disk drives, controllers, and RAID arrays: High-speed disk drives,
special-purpose disk controllers, and disk arrays all combine to give
servers a decidedly different take on storage than is typical for
Network interfaces: TCP/IP Offload Engines (also known as TOE),
higher speeds, and multiple interfaces put servers on a different
networking path than most desktops or workstations walk.
Our goal is to describe what kinds of things are available and how much
they cost, what kinds of features and functions you should look for, and what
kinds of tradeoffs you’ll have to make between cost and performance.
Part VI: Appendixes
Server Motherboards
Your choice of server motherboard will determine most of the other
components that go into a server, so in many ways, it’s both heart and soul
of any resulting server. The motherboard
Includes one or more CPU sockets (which determine what kind of
central processor you use) and memory sockets (which determine how
many and what kind of memory modules you use).
Includes (usually) two GbE network interfaces and sets the foundation
for networking capability.
Defines base-level RAID support.
Includes bus slots to accommodate additional network interfaces or
RAID controllers you may decide to use instead.
Table A-1 describes the basic options to which you should attend when
choosing a server motherboard.
Table A-1
Windows Server Motherboards
CPU sockets
For low-end servers, one or two CPU
sockets usually suffice.
CPU types
Important to check what kinds of
CPUs will fit, both for matching and to
meet performance requirements.
Bus speed
800–1333 MHz
Faster buses provide better performance but require more expensive
hardware devices.
Determine memory handling, disk I/O,
graphics, and bus access.
Disk controllers
Look for SCSI and RAID or SATA and
RAID support.
Memory (RAM)
4–8 slots
Look at number of slots, maximum size
and speed per module, also look for
dual-channel and ECC support.
Appendix A: Server Components and Technologies
PCI Express slots
Look for one or more 8x slots, plus one
or more additional PCI-e x1, PCI-e x4,
and PCI-X slots.
Built-in graphics
Nice to have, but not strictly required
as long as one PCI slot is available for
a graphics card.
You need at least two USB ports, plus
the means to connect a mouse and
Whereas very few desktop and only some workstation motherboards include
two or more CPU sockets, many server motherboards support two or more.
And whereas $300 is a lot for a desktop motherboard and $400 is a lot for a
workstation motherboard, many server motherboards cost $500 or more.
You’ll want to make sure the motherboard supports the type of disk drives
you wish to use and can accommodate enough memory to meet your
performance requirements.
Good server motherboard manufacturers are many but the best-known
players include Intel Corporation, Tyan, and Asus. On the Intel side, look for
motherboards that support Socket 771 for one or two Xeon processors; on
the AMD side, look for 2000 or 8000 series Socket F processors.
Server Processors
You’ll want to attend to many things when choosing CPUs for server use.
Chief among those are the number of cores per processor, which defines the
number of independent working units inside each processor package, or chip.
We recommend at least two cores per processor and at least four cores per
server, which means you can purchase a motherboard with a single socket as
long as you’re willing to buy a quad-core processor; if you buy a two-socket
motherboard, you can go with two dual-core units. See Table A-2 for more on
our recommendations for Windows server processors.
Part VI: Appendixes
Table A-2
Windows Server Processors
CPU cores
For low-end servers, two or four cores per
processor usually suffice.
CPU speed
1.8–3.0 GHz
Faster processors perform better but also
consume more power and produce more
waste heat.
memory speed
266–667 MHz
Faster memory performs better but
costs more.
For most of the readers of this book, the AMD 1000 and 2000 series Opteron
processors and the Intel Xeon 3000 series processors will probably make the
most sense. These come in single, dual, and quad-core models, and prices
range from a low of around $120 to as much as $300 each. Count on buying
two, and your budget will be appropriately conservative.
Server Memory (RAM)
The kind and amount of memory that servers use differs drastically from
that found in most desktop and workstation PCs. All of these kinds of PCs
use memory modules, which are usually called DIMMS (double inline
memory modules), that indicate support for a 64-bit-wide data path to the
memory chips onboard. To begin with, most servers use a special type of
random access memory (RAM) that’s called registered ECC. Each of these
words has a special meaning:
Registered: This means that the memory uses a special storage area
called a memory register (register, for short) in which it stores information to be written to the memory module. This slows down memory
access by one clock cycle to access the register (instead of directly
reading from or writing to memory locations), but ensures that data is
both stable and reliable, which are eminently desirable characteristics
for server use.
ECC: This stands for Error Checking and Correction, which basically
uses additional memory chips to hold error check data about values
stored in memory. As values are read, error check data makes sure the
data is correct, and when a single-bit error is detected, this kind of
memory can fix such errors. ECC memory generally runs a little bit
slower (two percent slower, according to some estimates) than conventional non-ECC memory, but it ensures that data is correct and error
free, which are also eminently desirable characteristics for server use.
Appendix A: Server Components and Technologies
ECC memory modules must be purchased as such and generally cost
anywhere from two to three times as much as non-ECC memory of the same
speed. Is it worth it? For server use, most definitely. Typical price ranges for
DDR2 ECC memory appear in Table A-3.
Table A-3
Windows Server Memory
Low $
High $
400 MHz
400 MHz
533 MHz
533 MHz
667 MHz
667 MHz
When it comes to buying server memory, get the fastest that your motherboard will support. Experience has also taught us that you should fill slots in
pairs (to make best use of dual-bank capabilities) and that you should fill as
many slots as you can afford when you put your system together. (Because
memory technology changes rapidly, newer, faster memory often costs less
than older, slower memory.) We recommend nothing less than 4GB for a
Windows Server 2008 32-bit system and nothing less than 8GB for a Windows
Server 2008 64-bit system.
Disk Drives, Controllers, and RAID
When it comes to choosing storage for a server, one fundamental selection
drives the rest of the process. Modern servers tend to use either the SCSI
(Small Computer Systems Interface) or SATA (Serial Advanced Technology
Attachment, also known as Serial ATA) hard drives. Each type of drive
requires its own unique disk controller, so choosing SCSI means that you
must also use a SCSI controller, and choosing SATA means that you must also
use a SATA controller.
Windows servers also have another typical wrinkle — namely, a typical setup
approach where one drive, or a pair of mirrored drives, is used for operating
system files and information, and other drives (often in a RAID array) are
used to store data and applications for user access. Thus, it isn’t unusual to
use two disk controllers on a server: one to handle the operating system
image and related files and the other to handle data drives.
Part VI: Appendixes
Windows distinguishes between two primary sets of disk structures related
to any Windows system, including a Windows server. The system volume
(also known as the system partition or system drive) contains the hardwarespecific files needed to start Windows up, including Ntldr, Boot.ini,
and Ntdetect.com, among others. The boot volume (also known as the
boot partition or boot drive) contains the Windows operating system and
supporting files (which typically reside in the ...\WINDOWS and ...
WINDOWS\System32 folders, respectively).
Because most modern server motherboards usually include both SCSI and
SATA controllers (although not always with RAID for both types of drives),
it’s a fairly common practice to use SATA for the Windows operating system
drive, and SCSI for the data drives, usually in a RAID 5 or RAID 10 array. (We
explain these terms later in this section.) Sometimes, you’ll use a pair of
mirrored drives for the Windows operating system to ensure extra reliability
and improved performance.
SCSI versus SATA drives
The short version of this discussion is that SCSI is faster and more expensive
than SATA. The longer version gets a little more complicated. Let’s start by
looking at typical drive speeds for the two technologies, as shown in Table
A-4. Because 3.5" drives are invariably used in servers nowadays, we restrict
ourselves to that form-factor. (Other form-factors are smaller and slower
anyway, the laws of rotational physics being what they are, but smaller drives
are used far more frequently in notebook PCs than any other kind, and almost
never in servers.)
Table A-4
Typical SCSI and SATA 3.5” Drive Speeds
Larger, more capable
drives cost more; sizes
range from 80GB to 1TB.
WD Raptor models, available in only two sizes, are
the only 10,000 RPM SATA
drives available.
Appendix A: Server Components and Technologies
Most major drive
manufacturers offer such
drives but none in sizes
larger than 4xxGB.
Same as for 10K RPM
SCSI drives, except sizes
top out at 146GB.
There’s a very interesting moral to be drawn from the foregoing table. Unless
your server must absolutely scream with disk speed, the best storage value
comes from 7,200 RPM SATA drives. With Seagate now offering perpendicular
magnetic recording (PMR) drive technologies that basically stand bit regions
sideways on the disk platter and therefore cram data into hitherto unheard-of
data densities, you can get very good performance from drives that range
from 320 to 750GB in size, at prices from 25 cents to 28 cents per GB.
High-performance junkies will often use a WD 10,000 RPM Raptor or a 10,000
or 15,000 RPM SCSI drive for the Windows system drive, but even these folks
are increasingly turning to 7,200 RPM SATA drives for data RAID arrays.
The whole SCSI versus SATA subject continues to be a raging debate in server
hardware circles. Some of the most interesting outlooks on this subject come
from well-known system builder Puget Custom Computers. Its “SCSI vs SATA,
Which is Faster?” article includes fascinating explanations and test results to
back up its contention that SATA is more or less edging SCSI out of the server
storage game. Find it online at www.pugetsystems.com/articles.
SCSI versus SATA controllers
The other side of the storage equation is the disk controller. Those who need
fast storage usually also opt to purchase add-in disk controller cards, and
eschew controllers and RAID circuitry built into most modern server motherboards. Those who can stomach the higher costs of 10,000 or 15,000 RPM
SCSI drives should also prepare to swallow additional costs for suitable
disk controllers.
Part VI: Appendixes
Even modest SCSI RAID controller cards (like the Adaptec 2246200-R) cost
more than $300, and a high-end version (like the Adaptec 2185900) costs
more than $700. A minimal RAID array usually requires at least three disk
drives, where it isn’t unusual for them to include as many as seven drives.
(The max for most SCSI controllers is 15 devices per SCSI channel.) On the
SATA side, costs are pretty similar: Low-end RAID controllers start at about
$200 (like the Adaptec 2220300-R) and approach $700 at the high end (like the
Adaptec 2251600). SATA controllers can typically handle many more devices,
however, where high-end controllers top out at 128 devices in total.
When choosing a disk controller for your server, two additional selection
factors come into play:
Bus slot: A disk controller is an interface card and, therefore, must plug
into an interface slot. Most servers come equipped with one or more of
each of the slot types described in Table A-5. Be aware that the faster
the bus speed for a given slot, the more a controller card that uses such
a slot typically costs.
Slot contention: When designing a server, multiple interface cards
may end up competing for scarce slot space. This makes the number
and type of slots available on a motherboard an important consideration
for its purchase, and putting some thought into what kinds of cards
you want to put in your service is equally important. You may have to
balance the need for fast storage — which requires a disk controller
card — against the need for fast network access — which may mandate
one or two high-speed TCP/IP Offload Engine (TOE) network adapters.
This can force some tough choices, and may occasionally appear to argue for
the wisdom of Solomon in choosing faster storage versus faster networking.
Table A-5
Server Bus Slot Speeds and Feeds
Bus Speed
Bit Width
33 MHz
32 bits
132 MB/s
Common PC utility bus.
133 MHz
64 bits
1066 MB/s
Occasionally found on
server motherboards.
PCI-e x1
33 MHz
1 bit
250 MB/s
All PCI-e buses are bidirectional. (Throughput
shown is one-way only;
total possible amount is
Appendix A: Server Components and Technologies
Bus Speed
Bit Width
PCI-e x4
33 MHz
4 bits
1.0 GB/s
Used for some disk
PCI-e x8
33 MHz
8 bits
2.0 GB/s
Used for many disk controllers and TOE network
66–133 MHz
64 bits
1.08 GB/s
Popular server bus
Typically, you find between one and three PCI-e x8 slots on a server motherboard, and one or two PCI-X slots as well. If the numbers permit, you can use
either one for disk controllers and network adapters. The important thing
is to purchase a motherboard that has enough of the right kinds of slots to
meet your needs.
There’s also a case to be made at the low end of the server spectrum that
you should try to use built-in controllers and adapters first and move to more
expensive add-in cards only if built-ins don’t cut it. But because this means
you still need the right number and kind of bus slots to add any adapters
you need, it’s wise to pay attention to bus slots even if you don’t intend to
stuff them immediately after the purchase of the motherboard on which
they reside.
Building RAID arrays
The full expansion for the RAID acronym holds the meat of its technology
story: A redundant array of inexpensive disks uses conventional disk drives in
a group and achieves performance, reliability, and availability gains by doing
so. Using RAID of any kind requires multiple drives to work — at least two
and as many as six (for the various types of RAID we’re about to explain,
compare, and contrast in this very section) drives are needed to support
different RAID schemes.
RAID schemes go by the numbers, starting with 0 through 6, plus 10, 50, and
other designations. Here we examine only those types of RAID most often
used on Windows servers (but we do provide a couple of pointers at the end
of this section to where the curious or the technically motivated can learn
about “missing numbers” if they like). For convenience, we list them in
numerical order in Table A-6, starting with zero.
Part VI: Appendixes
Table A-6
RAID Schemes and Characteristics
Striping across multiple
drives; no redundancy or fault
tolerance; offers best performance improvement; easy to
Also known as disk mirroring
or duplexing, copies everything onto each drive in a pair;
easiest recovery from failure;
hardware controller recommended.
Stripes across mirrored pairs;
expensive with high overhead
but offers very high data
transfer performance.
Striping with parity, 1/n overhead (n = number of drives);
keeps running even if a single
drive fails; hardware controller required.
Combines striping with
mirroring (all drives are in
mirrored pairs and all pairs
are striped); expensive and
high overhead but high
reliability and performance.
Combines parity and striping
across two or more RAID 3
(parity) sets; very expensive
but very resilient to drive
In RAID arrays, all disks are usually the same kind, make, and model to permit
them to work together most effectively. Another technology, called JBOD
(just a bunch of disks), works like RAID 0 to stripe data across any number of
disks (2 to 15, practically speaking) where the disks need not be the same.
Striping essentially distributes data across all drives in an array so that reads
and writes can be broken up and distributed across all of them. This provides
Appendix A: Server Components and Technologies
a nice boost to overall performance. People usually use RAID 0 or JBOD for
a performance boost, but because it confers no added reliability, these
technologies aren’t used very often on servers.
Disk mirroring or duplexing requires 100 percent overhead in exchange for
increased reliability. Essentially, two drives each contain a copy of the same
thing so that if one fails, the other one can keep chugging right along.
Mirroring generally refers to “two drives, one controller,” so that if the
controller fails, the whole array goes down.
Duplexing refers to “two drives, two controllers,” so that if one drive or
controller fails, the working drive and controller keep on truckin’.
When RAID 1 is used on servers, it’s most often used for the Windows
system/boot drive, because that allows it to keep working even if one of the
drives fails with little or no downtime for repairs and reconstruction. When
both drives are working, two reads are possible for the set, which effectively
doubles read speed as compared to a single drive. Write speed remains
unchanged because data must be written to both drives to keep the mirror
Disk striping with parity enables control data about a collection of data
blocks to be written to the only drive where none of that data resides. If a
single drive fails, this lets any single stripe be reconstructed from the
portions on the still-working drives that are intact, plus the parity data on the
parity drive for that stripe. The controller mixes things up so that no single
drive failure results in the loss of parity data needed to reconstruct missing
stripe elements. RAID 5 also offers the highest read data transaction rates
and medium write data transaction rates, and it’s widely used on servers that
need improved performance and reliability.
RAID 0+1, 10, and 50 are all pretty complex and expensive, and they’re used
more often in high-end, high-volume environments than on servers in small
businesses or SOHO situations. You’ll see that many of the disk controllers
that support RAID offer these options, but they aren’t as applicable for
low-end to medium-demand server situations.
High-End Network Adapters
As with disk controllers, network adapters for various server buses are
available. You can find versions of such adapters for the PCI, PCI-e x1 and x4,
and the PCI-X buses. When shopping for such cards, make sure that Windows
Server 2008 drivers are available for them, or you won’t be able to put them
to work on your server.
Part VI: Appendixes
Vendors who offer TCP Offload Engine adapters invariably also require installation of the Windows TCP Chimney Offload on those Windows Server 2008
systems on which they’re to be used. This essentially equips the driver to
hand over TCP processing, including IP address information, ports in use,
packet sequence numbers, and so forth, without requiring the server CPU(s)
to get involved. For any kinds of connections that persist over time and use
large packet payloads — such as network storage access, multimedia streaming, and other content-heavy applications — TCP Chimney Offload reduces
CPU overhead by delegating network packet processing, including TCP
segmentation and reassembly, to the network adapter. In turn, the CPU is
freed up to do other things, such as handle additional user sessions or
process application or service requests more quickly.
Vendors that offer network adapters that work with Windows operating
systems are listed in Table A-7, along with price ranges, product descriptions,
and URLs.
Table A-7
Windows TOE Network Adapters
1–4 ports, fiber
& copper, PCI,
2–4 ports, copper, www.chelsio.com
PCI-e x1, x4,
NetXtreme II
Model 5708,
1 port, PCI-e x1
1 or 2 ports,
PCI-X, NC370i,
For servers that support less than 25 simultaneous users, a network adapter
with TOE capability is overkill. If servers support 25–100 users, a network
adapter with TOE becomes increasingly helpful, and when handling over 100
users, it helps to keep the server available to handle other tasks as well as
managing its network connections.
Appendix B
Windows Troubleshooting
indows Server 2008 is something of a world unto itself. In fact,
it’s a large, complex, and pretty interesting world, as the attached
collection of recommended Windows Server 2008 resources in print and
online illustrate.
In the sections that follow, we look at books and magazines that address
Windows 2008 topics, as well as a plethora of Web sites, forums, newsgroups,
and more. We start with a series of enthusiastic nods to the source for
Windows Server 2008 and a whole raft of additional information and
resources — namely, Microsoft itself. After that, we trip over numerous third
parties in print and online. Along the way, you should find some fabulous
goodies to help you learn more about Windows Server 2008, understand it
better, and deal with troubles, trials, and tribulations related to that
operating system as and when they should happen to come up.
Marvels from Microsoft
As the company that built the Windows Server 2008 operating system, it’s
only natural that Microsoft should also have a lot of information to share
about this product. And it doesn’t disappoint in any way, either in terms of
volume, coverage, technical depth, and more, more, more than many will
ever want to know about Windows Server 2008. We present all of the
important online links at the Microsoft sites in Table B-1, each of which
includes a name so we can also expand a little on this content in a bulleted
list of explanations that follows the table.
Part VI: Appendixes
Table B-1
Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Resources Online
Microsoft Press
TechNet forums:
Server 2008
TechNet SysInternals
Web page
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2008
home page
Windows Server 2008
Learning Portal
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008
Technical Library
Blogs: Important categories include Windows Server 2008, Windows
Longhorn Beta 1, and Windows Longhorn Beta 2. This is where you
can find developers, trainers, and key “idea people” from Microsoft
explaining what’s up and what’s going on with Windows Server 2008.
Microsoft Press: This organization publishes lots of materials about the
company’s platforms, most notably the Resource Kit titles that act as
general technical encyclopedias for the company’s operating systems.
This Web page tells you what’s coming down the pike from the press,
and while we see numerous interesting Windows Server 2008 resource
kit titles on IIS 7.0, Group Policy, Active Directory, productivity solutions,
and more as we write this list, we don’t see a single monolithic Windows
Server 2008 Resource Kit. (These sometimes take 6–12 months after
product release to arrive in print, however.)
TechNet forums: TechNet is the Microsoft Technical Network, itself a
huge compendium of technical information on Microsoft offerings.
Among those offerings are online forums, including those for Windows
Appendix B: Windows Troubleshooting Resources
Server 2008 mentioned in the URL (but you can find information about
anything and everything Microsoft-related through TechNet).
TechNet SysInternals Web page: SysInternals is a formerly independent
company that’s now part of Microsoft, and its outstanding library of
Windows administration tools is still available online. Check out the free
tools available at this URL in all of these covered categories: file and
disk utilities, security utilities, networking utilities, system information
tools, process utilities, and miscellaneous stuff. You’ll find a surprising
number of real gems here. (We’re especially fond of TCPView, BgInfo,
ProcessMonitor, and the Registry defragmentation tool, PageDefrag.)
Windows Server 2003 newsgroup: As we write this, no official Windows
Server 2008 newsgroups are defined yet, but we expect them to show
up in a windowsserver2008 directory like the windowsserver2003/
newsgroups entry we include by way of indirect reference here.
Windows Server 2008 home page: This is the primary jumping off point
in the Microsoft Web pages for all things related to Windows Server
2008. You’ll find pointers to all the other Microsoft resources mentioned
here, and more, on this Web page.
Windows Server 2008 Learning Portal: This is where you can turn for
access to official Microsoft Windows Server 2008 training materials and
information. At present, Microsoft is offering a free e-book and a free
four-part introductory online course on Windows Server 2008 to all
comers, but by the time you read this, you’ll probably find different
offers and information there instead.
Window Server 2008 TechCenter: This is home to the Windows Server
2008 Technical Library, related community resources online, links to
popular downloads and recent Knowledge Base articles, and additional
resources as well. It’s an outstanding clearinghouse for technical
Windows Server 2008 information. Elements of the Technical Library
are also available in convenient downloadable form from the Windows
Server 2008 Step-by-Step Guides page (www.microsoft.com/down
loads/details.aspx?FamilyID=518d870c-fa3e-4f6a-97f5acaf31de6dce&DisplayLang=en). We also provide a direct link to the
Windows Server 2008 Technical Library, which is starting to flesh out
significantly as this new OS is readied for release.
Windows Server 2008 Books
A quick hop up to your favorite online bookstore will no doubt augment this
list immediately, but here are a couple of titles we’ve heard good things about
as we’re working on our own book (and as Microsoft continues to ready
Windows Server 2008 for its commercial release).
Part VI: Appendixes
Administering Windows Server 2008 Server Core, by John Paul Mueller
(Wiley Publishing, February 2008) is designed to serve as both a tutorial
and a desk reference for administrators. This book includes a discussion
of the new interface, describes how to perform all kinds of tasks, and
provides a complete reference for relevant Server Core commands.
Topics included cover performing essential maintenance, executing
registry hacks, automating routine tasks, managing hardware, managing
the network, working with TCP/IP, working with applications and data,
monitoring system events and performance, managing users, and
securing your system. Mueller’s book makes an excellent supplement
to this one.
Windows Server 2008 Implementation and Administration, by Barrie
Sosinsky (Wiley Publishing, February 2008). This book provides a concise
instruction for IT professionals already trained to use earlier versions
of Windows Server. It dispenses with common networking Windows
technology and concepts that administrators already know, such as
DHCP, DNS, and basic Active Directory to concentrate on the crucial
features of the new operating system. This book seeks to bridge the old
to the new without making readers relearn familiar material. Thus, this
book contains topics that might be found in other Windows Server 2008
books, but it’s organized to enable the reader to use these technologies
more quickly. As much as possible, the book presents instructional
how-to material with an eye toward teaching administrators to use
Windows Server 2008 in new and more productive ways.
Server-Friendly Publications
The entire computer trade press always covers Microsoft, to a greater or
lesser extent. Table B-2 points you to publications where you’re most likely
to find information relevant to the needs and interests of system or network
administrators, and other IT professionals, who are among the people
most likely to work with Windows Server 2008 on a day-to-day basis.
Table B-2
Windows Server Publications
Microsoft Certified Professional
Magazine Online
Windows IT Pro Magazine
Redmond Magazine
Appendix B: Windows Troubleshooting Resources
MCP Magazine, as this publication is better known, caters to certified
Microsoft professionals, most of whom manage Windows systems and
servers for a living. This isn’t an exclusively server-focused publication,
but it provides lots of useful information about Microsoft operating
systems and technologies.
WindowsITPro Magazine is probably the best and most highly regarded of
the specialty publications that focus on Windows-oriented IT professionals. This publication does a great job of covering server hardware, software, and operating systems and should continue to be a great source of
information on Windows Server 2008 for interested professionals.
Redmond Magazine is another publication that caters to the needs of
working IT professionals with a Windows focus. This publication also
does a good job of covering server hardware, software, and operating
systems, and it’s also devoting increasing coverage to Windows
Server 2008.
Other Third-Party Windows
Server 2008 Sources
To some extent, we appreciate the existence and variety of third parties
who also provide information about Windows Server 2008. That’s because
Microsoft sources must toe the company line and can’t always be as exact
(or as direct) when it comes to identifying trouble spots and how to work
around them. Typically, that’s where the third parties really come into their
own, and it’s what makes them so worth attending to, as listed in Table B-3.
Table B-3
Other Third-Party Windows Server Resources
Windows Server
ZDNet Troubleshooting
Windows Server 2003
Part VI: Appendixes
Windows Server Troubleshooting: The Canadian Team Approach group
has put a stellar server troubleshooting guide together here. Although
it doesn’t yet include many Windows Server 2008 specifics, we expect
them to remedy this in the near future. It’s one of the best general
troubleshooting references we’ve ever seen anywhere.
WindowsNetworking.com: This is a Web site that caters to professional
IT administrators who manage Windows servers, among other elements
of the IT infrastructure. Among this site’s many attractions are articles
on current and emerging technologies, a large collection of information
and tips under an “Admin KnowledgeBase” heading, plus tutorials on all
kinds of subjects bound to be of interest to anybody who manages a
Windows Server of just about any vintage, including Windows Server
2008. See a collection of Windows Server 2008 articles and tutorials at
ZDNet Troubleshooting Windows Server 2003: The editors at ZDNet
have done a great job of assembling a detailed, thorough Windows
Server 2003 troubleshooting guide. While we hope they’ll do likewise for
Windows Server 2008 ASAP, there’s a lot in here that remains fresh and
relevant, even for those who use Windows Server 2008 instead.
• Symbols and Numerics •
100 Mbps Ethernet, 67
100BaseT standard (Fast Ethernet), 67
100BaseVG-AnyLAN standard, 67
802.11 wireless support, 64
AAM (Admin Approval Mode), 17
to applications, 33–34
authenticated, 16
controlling, 36
printer, 167–168
problems with, 225–226
remote, 109
to trusts, 154
unauthenticated, 16
user, 275–277
Access Control Lists (ACLs), 149,
227–229, 337–338
access methods, 66
access points (APs), 16
access tokens, 230
Account Lockout Policy, 273
Account tab, 208
Account Lockout Policy, 273
Administrator, 202–203
decoy, 278
domain user, 202
dummy, 278
Guest, 202–204
HelpAssistant, 203
SAM (Security Accounts Manager),
118–119, 140
UAC (User Account Control), 17, 337
managing, 211
properties, 201–204
user account objects, 201
ACLs (Access Control Lists), 149,
227–229, 337–338
ACT (Application Compatibility Toolkit),
75, 294
activation, 88–89
Active Directory (AD). See also Active
Directory Users and Computers
directory permissions, 149–152
directory services, 115–116
domain controllers
overview, 118–122
roles, 137–139
global catalogs, 125–126
overview, 121–122
replication, 122–124
schemas, 124–125
installing, 129–132
locating data, 118
management of
ADSI, 148
creating directory objects, 145–147
finding directory objects, 148
overview, 144
Users and Computers console,
managing data, 117–118
multimaster replication, 141–144
multiplying domains, 133–136
organizing data, 116–117
overview, 36, 115, 137
planning for, 126–129
trust relationships, 140, 152–154
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
Active Directory Certificate Services
(AD-CS), 97
Active Directory Domain Services
(AD-DS), 97
Active Directory forests, 122, 125
Active Directory Installation Wizard,
127, 137
Active Directory Lightweight Services
(AD-LDS), 98
Active Directory Rights Management
Services (AD-RMS), 98
Active Directory Scripting Interface
(ADSI), 144, 148
Active Directory Users and Computers
access problems, 225–226
creating accounts
Account tab, 208
Address tab, 208
Dial-in tab, 211
General tab, 208
Member Of tab, 210
Organization tab, 210
process of, 204–211
Profile tab, 208–209
Telephones tab, 210
group policies
administering, 219–220
auditing, 224
creating, 222–223
overview, 219
processing of, 221–222
built-in, 215–217
creating, 214
managing, 215
overview, 212
scopes, 212–214
overview, 144–145, 201
user accounts
managing, 211
properties of, 201–204
user profiles, 217–219
Active Server Pages (ASP), 11
AD. See Active Directory; Active
Directory Users and Computers
AD Directory Service (DS), 36
AD-CS (Active Directory Certificate
Services), 97
Add Printer icon, 160–161
add-in cards, 287–289
address pools, 196
Address tab, 208
addresses, network, 368–369. See also
Internet Protocol (IP) addresses
AD-DS (Active Directory Domain
Services), 97
AD-LDS (Active Directory Lightweight
Services), 98
Admin Approval Mode (AAM), 17
administrative control, delegating,
administrative shares, 277–278
Administrator accounts, 202–203
administrator role, 330
AD-RMS (Active Directory Rights
Management Services), 98
ADSI (Active Directory Scripting
Interface), 144, 148
advanced permissions, 233
Advanced Security Settings dialog box,
150, 233–234
Advanced tab, 170
Allow or Deny setting, 232
AMD servers
administrator role, 330
inserting PSU, 319–320
installing hard disk drives, 326–327
installing optical disk, 328–329
installing OS, 329–330
overview, 319
seating CPU and cooler, 320–324
seating RAM modules, 324–326
setting up hardware, 329
cases, 318
CPUs, 316–317
disk space, 318
memory, 317
motherboards, 316–317
network connections, 318
overview, 315–316
power supplies, 318
answer files, 356
API (application programming interface),
28, 193
application access, 33–34
Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT),
75, 294
Application logs, 343
application programming interface (API),
28, 193
Application Server (AS), 98
Applications and Services logs, 343
APs (access points), 16
archive bit, 244
AS (Application Server), 98
ASP (Active Server Pages), 11
ASR (Automated System Recovery),
ATL (Automated Tape Library), 245
atomic operations, 123
attribute-level ACLs, 227–229
attributes, 121, 228–229, 244
auditing, 224
authenticated access, 16
automated installation, 37, 92, 356–357
Automated System Recovery (ASR), 90
Automated Tape Library (ATL), 245
automatic address allocation mode, 31
automatic client addressing, 14
defined, 43
overview, 69–70
testing, 47
Background Intelligent Transfer Service
(BITS), 100
backup destinations, 255–256
backup domain controller (BDC),
119–121, 138, 140
Backup facility
command line backups, 253–254
destinations, 255–256
media settings, 255–256
overview, 102, 251–253
scheduling jobs, 256
targets, 254–255
volumes, 254–255
backup media, 248
Backup Operators group, 260–261
backup units, 247–248
AD, 130
Backup facility
command line backups, 253–254
destinations, 255–256
media settings, 255–256
overview, 102, 251–253
scheduling jobs, 256
targets, 254–255
volumes, 254–255
Backup Operators group, 260–261
evaluating tape systems, 258–260
before making changes, 74, 361
network versus local, 245–246
overview, 241–242
planning, 249–251
potential threats, 242–243
restoring from, 256–257
storage options, 246–249
third-party options, 257–260
types of, 243–245
bad splices, 61
bandwidth, 59, 65–68
banner pages, 170
baseband cable, 58–59
BDC (backup domain controller),
119–121, 138, 140
binary buffer comparisons, 124
binary numbers, 180–181
BitLocker Drive Encryption, 17, 35, 99
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer
Service), 100
blueline copying system, 49
books, Windows Server 2008, 387–389
boot drive, 378
boot partition, 378
Boot Protocol (BOOTP), 31
boot volume, 378
BOOTP (Boot Protocol), 31
broadband transmission, 59
brute-force attacks, 269–271
budgeting, 292–293
buffer coating, 60
built-in groups, 215–217
built-in network interfaces, 52–55
bus mastering, 367
bus slots, 380–381
cable contractors, 58, 65
cable installers, 46, 50
cable segments, 69
baseband, 58–59
coaxial, 61–62
fiber-optic, 59–61
HFC networks, 62–63
installing, 46, 64–65
overview, 57–59
plenum-rated, 65
twisted-pair, 59
UTP, 61
cabling plans, 49–50
CAD (Computer Aided Design), 42
callback, 211
Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision
Avoidance (CSMA/CA), 66–67
Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision
Detection (CSMA/CD), 66–68
Cartridge Maintenance tab, 170
cases, 289–290, 302, 318
catalog compliance, 355
Cheops application, 52
chimney offload architecture, 28
chimneys, 28
chips, 375
cladding, 61
automatic addressing, 14
management of, 37
networking, 21–23
preferences of, 30–35
setting up printing for, 168
WINS, 192
clustering, 15–16, 42
CMAK (Connection Manager
Administration Kit), 100
coaxial (coax) cable, 61–62
collapsed backbones, 43
collisions, 66–68, 124
Color Management tab, 170
command line backups, 253–254
compatibility checks, 294–295
componentization, 94
controllers, 377–381
disk drives, 377–379
motherboards, 374–375
network adapters, 383–384
overview, 373
processors, 375–376
RAID, 377–378, 381–383
RAM, 376–377
shopping for PC, 293–294
Compound TCP (CTCP), 26
Computer Aided Design (CAD), 42
computer names, 176–177, 191–193
computer rooms, protecting, 264–266
ICT dialog box, 94–95
overview, 93
remote connections, 111–114
Server Manager application
console, 96–103
DHCP and DNS, 109–111
directory trees and forests, 103–108
IIS and WMS, 108–109
overview, 95–96
Connection Manager Administration Kit
(CMAK), 100
connection state, 28
connection-oriented protocols, 54
container objects, 145–146, 232
context driven, 145
contiguous namespaces, 134
contractors, cable, 58, 65
disk, 377–381
backup (BDC), 119–121, 138, 140
modes, 131–132
overview, 104, 118
PDC emulator, 139
primary (PDC), 119–121, 137
promoting, 130
read-only (RODC), 103, 269
upgrading, 126
importance of, 291–292
installing, 323–324
seating, 308–309, 320–324
copy backups, 244
cores, 284–285, 375
CPUs (central processing units)
choosing, 316–317
installing, 321–322
overview, 375–376
seating, 305–308, 320–324
speed of, 292
Create Custom View dialog box, 342
Create Time Inheritance, 240
CSMA/CA (Carrier Sense Multiple
Access/Collision Avoidance), 66–67
CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple
Access/Collision Detection), 66–68
CTCP (Compound TCP), 26
custom installation, 359–360
Custom Views container, 342
daily backups, 244
data collector sets, 345
data losses, 242–243
data transfer rates, 64
database, AD, 130–131
database size, 143–144
data-based services, 35
Datacenter Edition, Windows Server
2008, 11
decoy accounts, 278
deep searches, 125
default gateways, 184
Default-First-Site, 127
Delegate Administration Wizard, 239
access control, 239
administrative control, 151–152
Delegation of Control Wizard, 152
Desktop Experience, 100
Developer Network, Microsoft, 370
Device Manager application, 341, 345
Device Settings tab, 170
DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration
Protocol), 31–32, 98, 109, 195–197
Dial-in tab, 211
dial-up clients/hosts, 111
differential backups, 244
DIMMS (double inline memory
modules), 376
DIP (dual in-line package) switches, 82
Direct Memory Access (DMA), 366
directory objects, 145–148
directory permissions, 149–152
directory restoration mode, 130
directory services. See Active Directory
directory trees, 103–104
disabling unnecessary services, 348
disaster recovery, 250–251
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
disk controllers, 377–381
disk defragmentation, 349
disk drives, 377–379
disk duplexing, 383
disk mirroring, 383
disk space, 169, 286–287, 300–301, 318
distribution groups, 212
DMA (Direct Memory Access), 366
DNS (Domain Name Service)
Active Directory, 118–119
client networking, 22
IP addresses, 178, 193–195
domain controller roles, 137–139
domain controllers
backup (BDC), 119–121, 138, 140
modes, 131–132
overview, 104, 118
PDC emulator, 139
primary (PDC), 119–121, 137
promoting, 130
read-only (RODC), 103, 269
upgrading, 126
domain name registrars, 179
Domain Name Service (DNS)
Active Directory, 118–119
client networking, 22
IP addresses, 178, 193–195
domain trees, 122, 134–136
domain user accounts, 202
domains, 103–104, 118–121
dotted-decimal notations, 180–181
double inline memory modules
(DIMMS), 376
drive letters, 86
dry-fit approach, 308
DS (AD Directory Service), 36
dual in-line package (DIP) switches, 82
dual network interfaces, 287, 294
Dummies.com Web site, 5–6
dummy accounts, 278
DVD-ROM, 75, 360–361
dynamic address allocation mode, 31
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
(DHCP), 31–32, 98, 109, 195–197
dynamic inheritance, 239
ECC (Error Correcting Code) memory,
286–287, 376–377
ECN (Explicit Congestion Notification), 26
education, security, 267–268
Effective Permissions tab, 238
electromagnetic interference (EMI),
Enable low-resolution video option, 359
encapsulated data, 28
end-to-end connection, 185
Enterprise Edition, Windows Server
2008, 11
enterprise forests, 125
enterprises, needs of, 35–38
Error Correcting Code (ECC) memory,
286–287, 376–377
Ethernet cable notation, 58
Event logs, 342–343
Everyone group, 276
Exchange Server, Microsoft, 118
Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN), 26
explicit permissions, 150–151
extender cards, 52–55
extensibility, 121
eXtensible Markup Language (XML)
services, 11
“faceless” computers, 76
Failover Clustering (FC) feature, 102
failover clusters, 15–16, 42, 102
fans, 291–292
Fast Ethernet (100BaseT standard), 67
FAT (File Allocation Table) file system,
79, 227–229, 234–235, 250
Fax and Scan applet, 172–174
faxing, 172–174
FC (Failover Clustering) feature, 102
FC-AL (Fibre Channel Arbitrated
Loops), 246
Federated Rights Management, 269
fiber-optic cables, 59–61
Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loops
(FC-AL), 246
field-serviceable parts, 12
File Allocation Table (FAT) file system,
79, 227–229, 234–235, 250
file permissions, 229
File Services, 98
file shares, 227
File Transfer Protocol (FTP), 15, 151
firewalls, 18, 95, 186–187, 365
Flexible Single Master Operation (FSMO)
roles, 120, 138
floppy disks (floppies), 278–279
Forefront Security Technologies,
Microsoft, 17
forest root domains, 104
forests, 103–104, 122, 135–136
form-factor, 10
Forward RTO-Recovery (F-RTO), 27
FQDNs (Fully Qualified Domain Names),
106, 179, 193
F-RTO (Forward RTO-Recovery), 27
FSMO (Flexible Single Master Operation)
roles, 120, 138
FTP (File Transfer Protocol), 15, 151
Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs),
106, 179, 193
GbE. See Gigabit Ethernet
GDI (Graphics Device Interfaces), 156
General tab, 170, 208
Gigabit Ethernet (GbE)
motherboards, 52–53, 287
network backups, 246
network implementation plans, 40–42
overview, 68
global catalogs, 122, 125–126, 148
global groups, 213
globally unique identifiers (GUID), 124
GPDBPA (Group Policy Diagnostic Best
Practice Analyzer), 338
graphical user interfaces (GUI), 80, 111
graphics cards, 291
Graphics Device Interfaces (GDI), 156
group policies
administering, 219–220
auditing, 224
creating, 222–223
overview, 219
processing of, 221–222
Group Policy Diagnostic Best Practice
Analyzer (GPDBPA), 338
Group Policy dialog box, 224
Group Policy tab, 220
built-in, 215–217
creating, 214
managing, 215
overview, 212
scopes, 212–214
Guest accounts, 202–204
GUI (graphical user interfaces), 80, 111
GUID (globally unique identifiers), 124
hard disk drives, 311–312, 326–327
for backup systems, 247–249
checking, 364
diagnosing startup errors, 335–336
documenting, 250
enhancements, 366–367
requirements, 78–81, 354–355
server, 355
setting up, 313, 329
“headless” computers, 76
health checks, 36
heat buildup, 291
HelpAssistant accounts, 203
hertz (Hz) ratings, 59
HFC (hybrid fiber-coaxial) networks,
Hierarchical Storage Management
(HSM), 259
high watermark vector, 124
high-loss environments, improving, 27
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
home theater PCs (HTPCs), 10
host IDs, 180–182
hotfixes, 274
hot-swappable drives, 287
HSM (Hierarchical Storage
Management), 259
HTPCs (home theater PCs), 10
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol), 122
hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) networks,
HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), 122
Hz (hertz) ratings, 59
ICMP (Internet Control Message
Protocol), 55
icon tray, 89
icons used in this book
Key Concept, 5
Remember, 5
Technical Stuff, 6
Tip, 6
Warning, 6
ICT (Initial Configuration Tasks) dialog
box, 73, 94–95, 104
IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics)
interfaces, 246
IEEE (Institute of Electrical and
Electronic Engineers), 58
IETF (Internet Engineering Task
Force), 134
IIS (Internet Information Services), 11,
35, 79, 99, 108–109
ILDs (injection laser diodes), 61
ImageX tool, 359
implementation plans, network, 39–42
incremental backups, 245
Indexing Service, 348
inherited permissions, 150–151
Initial Configuration Tasks (ICT) dialog
box, 73, 94–95, 104
injection laser diodes (ILDs), 61
AD, 129–132
cable, 46, 64–65
cooler, 323–324
CPU, 321–322
network printing, 160–161
optical disk, 312–313, 328–329
OS, 314, 329–330
Windows Server 2008
across the network, 75, 87–88, 356
automated, 75, 92, 356–357
custom, 359–360
DVD-ROM, 75, 360–361
from existing OS, 85–87
failures, 358
hardware requirements, 79–81,
LKGC, 359
low resolution video, 358–359
overview, 73, 353
planning, 73–79
post-installation tasks, 88–90, 361
problems with, 91–92
process, 82–85
professional, 46
pushing, 75
RIS, 88
troubleshooting, 358
Institute of Electrical and Electronic
Engineers (IEEE), 58
Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE)
interfaces, 246
Integrated Services Digital Network
(ISDN), 109, 364
integrated virtualization, 12
Intel servers
administrator role, 314
cooler, 305–309
CPU, 305–309
hard disk drives, 311–312
optical disks, 312–313
OS, 314
overview, 303
PSU, 304–305
RAM modules, 309–311
setting up hardware, 313
cases, 302–303
CPUs, 298–299
disk space, 300–301
memory, 299–300
motherboards, 298–299
network connections, 301–302
overview, 297–298
power supplies, 302–303
interactive logon, 202
Interactive Logon: Do Not Display Last
User Name Policy option, 278
interdomain parent-child
relationships, 127
internal network access, 287–289
International Organization for
Standardization (ISO), 116
Internet Control Message Protocol
(ICMP), 55
Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF), 134
Internet Information Services (IIS), 11,
35, 79, 99, 108–109
Internet Printing Client (IPC), 100
Internet Protocol (IP) addresses
classes of, 181–182
components of, 180
configuration of
advanced, 189–191
basic, 187–189
overview, 187
DHCP, 195–197
DNS, 193–195
leasing, 184–185
NetBIOS, 176–177
overview, 175–176
TCP/IP, 178–179
NetBIOS over TCP/IP, 193
network IDs versus host IDs, 180–182
obtaining, 184–185
overview, 175
private, 179, 186
problems with, 197
subnetting of, 182–184
translation of, 185–187
WINS, 191–192
Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties
dialog box, 187–188
Internet Protocol Security (IPSec),
18, 32, 185
Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), 25–26,
29, 184
Internet SCSI (iSCSI), 54
Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA)
Server, 16–17
Internet Service Providers (ISPs),
Internet Storage Name Server (ISNS), 100
intersite replication, 141–143
intrasite replication, 141–142
inventories, network, 50–52
IP (Internet Protocol) addresses
classes of, 181–182
components of, 180
configuration of
advanced, 189–191
basic, 187–189
overview, 187
DHCP, 195–197
DNS, 193–195
leasing, 184–185
NetBIOS, 176–177
overview, 175–176
TCP/IP, 178–179
NetBIOS over TCP/IP, 193
network IDs versus host IDs, 180–182
obtaining, 184–185
overview, 175
private, 179, 186
problems with, 197
subnetting of, 182–184
translation of, 185–187
WINS, 191–192
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
IP masquerading, 32
IPC (Internet Printing Client), 100
IPng Transition, 181
IPSec (Internet Protocol Security),
18, 32, 185
IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6), 25–26,
29, 184
ISA (Internet Security and Acceleration)
Server, 16–17
iSCSI (Internet SCSI), 54
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital
Network), 109, 364
ISNS (Internet Storage Name Server), 100
ISO (International Organization for
Standardization), 116
ISPs (Internet Service Providers), 111–113
Itanium-Based Systems, Windows Server
2008 for, 11
lightweight filter (LWF) drivers, 29
listener process, 15
LKGC (Last Known Good Configuration),
load-balancing, network, 16
local area networks (LANs), 58, 109
local backups, 246
local profiles, 218
logical printer assignments, 158–160
logical printers, 156
logon process, 225–226
logs, 342–343
Longhorn, 9, 126
loopback addresses, 182
low resolution video, 358–359
LPR Port Monitor (LPM), 100
LSO (large send offload), 29
LWF (lightweight filter) drivers, 29
jukebox devices, 248
managed entities, 346–347
mandatory profiles, 219
manual address allocation mode, 31
manuals, installation, 77
maps, network
capturing data, 49–50
inventories, 50–52
overview, 48–49
updating, 52
IP, 32
network, 32
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT), 134
master-slave relationships, 119
backup, 248
cable installation, 64–65
fiber-optic and coax cables, 60–63
overview, 57–59
wireless, 63–64
media settings, 255–256
Kerberos, 134, 273
kernels, 13
Key Concept icons, 5
keyboards, 291–292
lab certification, 80–81
LANs (local area networks), 58, 109
large send offload (LSO), 29
Last Known Good Configuration (LKGC),
LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access
Protocol), 36, 117–120, 139
LEDs (light-emitting diodes), 61
legacy clients, 119
light-emitting diodes (LEDs), 61
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
(LDAP), 36, 117–120, 139
Member Of tab, 210
main system, 285–287
random access (RAM), 376–377
selecting and sizing
AMD servers, 317
Intel servers, 299–300
server versus computer, 10
memory modules, 309–311, 324–326
memory registers, 376
Message Queuing (MQ), 100
methods, 228
mice, 291–292
hardware catalog, 81
lab certification, 80–81
troubleshooting resources, 385–387
Web site, 2–3, 80, 148
Microsoft Application Compatibility
Toolkit (ACT), 75, 294
Microsoft Developer Network, 370
Microsoft Directory Synchronization
Services (MSDSS), 116
Microsoft Exchange Server, 118
Microsoft Forefront Security
Technologies, 17
Microsoft Management Consoles
(MMCs), 16, 128, 144, 224
Microsoft Small Business Center, 370
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of
Technology), 134
mixed mode domains, 131
MMCs (Microsoft Management
Consoles), 16, 128, 144, 224
modems, 112
AAM (Admin Approval Mode), 17
automatic address allocation, 31
directory restoration, 130
domain operation, 131–132
dynamic address allocation, 31
manual address allocation, 31
native, 131
.NET, 131
monitoring tools, 344
monitors, 78, 291–292
motherboards, 298–299, 316–319,
MPIO (Multipath I/O), 100
MQ (Message Queuing), 100
MSDSS (Microsoft Directory
Synchronization Services), 116
multiboot systems, 74
multi-homed computers, 185
multimaster replication, 120–123,
Multipath I/O (MPIO), 100
multiple NICs, 23
name services, 33
names. See also Internet Protocol (IP)
NetBIOS, 176–177
overview, 175–176
problems with, 368–369
TCP/IP, 178–179
namespaces, 127, 134
naming conventions, 207
NAP (Network Access Protection), 18, 36,
64, 269, 365
NAS (network attached storage) devices,
NAT (Network Address Translation),
32–33, 179, 184–185
native mode, 131
NDIS (Network Driver Interface
Specification), 16, 28–30
NDS (Novell Directory Services), 116–117
nearline backups, 247
.NET Framework 3.0, 99
.NET interim mode, 131
.NET mode, 131
NetBIOS (Network Basic Input-Output
System), 118–119, 176–177, 191–193
NetMon (Network Monitor), 367
NetWare, 116
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
Network Access Protection (NAP), 18, 36,
64, 269, 365
network adapters, 366–367, 383–384
Network Address Translation (NAT),
32–33, 179, 184–185
network addresses, 368–369
network attached storage (NAS) devices,
network backups, 245–246
Network Basic Input-Output System
(NetBIOS), 118–119, 176–177,
network connections, 318. See also
transmission media
Network Connections Property page, 113
Network Driver Interface Specification
(NDIS), 16, 28–30
Network File System (NFS) Services, 101
network IDs, 180–182
Network Load Balancing (NLB), 16, 102
network maps
capturing data, 49–50
inventories, 50–52
overview, 48–49
updating, 52
network masquerading, 32
network media
cable installation, 64–65
fiber-optic and coax cables, 60–63
overview, 57–59
wireless, 63–64
Network Monitor (NetMon), 367
Network Monitor Tools check box, 367
network name resolution, 14
Network Operating System (NOS), 116
Network Policy and Access Services
(NPAS), 98
Network Policy Server (NPS), 37
Network Printer Installation Wizard, 169
network protocol stacks, 15, 23–24
network segments, 180
network shares, 235–236
network visualization, 52
access to, 287–289
backups of, 245–246
basics, 42–45
cables, 46
checking installations, 47
devices, 45–46
equipment, 46
evaluation, 47–48
guidelines, 42–45
implementation plan, 39–42
interfaces, 52–55
maps, 49–52
overview, 39
devices for, 45–46
drivers, 15
educating users of, 267–268
installing Windows Server across, 75,
87–88, 356
ports, 44
accounts policies, 223–224
common weaknesses, 277–279
education, 267–268
features, 13, 16–18
maintaining, 279
overview, 263–264
passwords, 270–274
physical access, 264–267
service packs, 274–275
user access, 275–277
usernames, 269–270
NewReno algorithm, 27
Next Generation TCP/IP stack, 24–27
NFS (Network File System) Services, 101
NICs (network interface cards)
versus built-ins, 52–54
cabling needs, 58
inventory of, 51
minimum requirements, 354–355
multiple, 23
NLB (Network Load Balancing), 16, 102
noises, hardware, 336
normal backups, 244
NOS (Network Operating System), 116
notebook theft, 266–267
notification area, 89
Novell Directory Services (NDS), 116–117
Novell NetWare, 116
NPAS (Network Policy and Access
Services), 98
NPS (Network Policy Server), 37
nslookup tool, 197
NT 4.0, 118–119
ntbackup program, 251–254
NTFS file systems, 230–233, 250
object permissions, 229
object replication, 143
object-oriented, 230–231
objects, 228–230
octets, 180
odors, hardware heating, 336
offline backups, 247
offloading protocol processing, 27–29
online backups, 247
Open Packaging Conventions (OPC), 155
operating environments, protecting,
operating systems (OS), 85–87, 314,
operations master roles, 120, 138–139
optical disks, 312–313, 328–329
optical drives, 291–292
optimization, server
disabling unnecessary services, 348
disk defragmentation, 349
managed entities, 346–347
overview, 346
turning off Indexing Service, 348
Options button, 220
Organization tab, 210
organizational units (OUs), 126, 129,
145–146, 204, 239
originating updates, 141
OS (operating systems), 85–87, 314,
OUs (organizational units), 126, 129,
145–146, 204, 239
P2P (peer-to-peer) relationships, 22–23,
120, 138
Packet Internet Groper (ping)
command, 55
Password Policy, 271–272
passwords, 223–225, 270–274
patch releases, 274
PDC (primary domain controller),
119–121, 137
PDC emulator, 120, 139
PE (Preinstallation Environment), 360
Peer Name Resolution Protocol (PRNP),
peer-to-peer (P2P) relationships, 22–23,
120, 138
performance, evaluating, 47–48
Performance Monitor tool, 344
peripheral input devices, 292
access control, 239–240
AD, 149–150
advanced, 233–234
calculating, 236–238
defined, 202
explicit, 150–151
FAT and FAT32 file systems, 234
inherited, 150–151
NTFS, 232–233
and objects and rights, 228–230
overview, 229–230
printer, 229
share, 235–236
shortcuts, 238
perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR)
hard disks, 318
physical print devices, 158
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
ping (Packet Internet Groper)
command, 55
ping tool, 197
plenum-rated cables, 65
plenums, 65
PMC (Print Management Console), 169
PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording)
hard disks, 318
PRNP (Peer Name Resolution
Protocol), 100
Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) feature,
113, 272
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)
feature, 113
policy-based controls, 36–37
pooling, print device, 158–160
Ports tab, 170
POST (Power-On Self-Test), 313, 329
post-installation tasks, 88–90, 361
power supplies, 289–290, 302, 318
power supply units (PSUs), 285, 289–290,
304–305, 318–320
Power-On Self-Test (POST), 313, 329
PowerShell, 13, 102
PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) feature,
113, 272
PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol)
feature, 113
Preboot Extension Environment (PXE), 88
Preinstallation Environment (PE), 360
preinstallation tasks, 75–76
primary domain controller (PDC),
119–121, 137
principle of least privilege, 275
print devices
attaching to print servers, 164–166
attaching to servers, 162–164
attaching to workstation PCs, 166–167
drivers, 156
installing, 160
managing, 169
memory, 169
overview, 158, 161–162
pooling, 158–160
Printers folder, 171–172
sharing, 167–168
print jobs, 157
Print Management Console (PMC), 169
print models
devices, 158
logical assignments, 158–160
overview, 156–157
print process, 156
print queues, 157
print servers, 157, 164–166
Print Services (PS), 98
print users, 156
printer access, sharing, 167–168
printer permissions, 229
Printer Set Up Wizard, 162–163
printers, 156. See also print devices
Printers and Faxes folder, 166–168
Printers folder, 160–161
printing. See also print devices
faxing, 172–174
installing on servers, 160–161
overview, 155–156
print model
devices, 158
logical assignments, 158–160
overview, 156–157
problems, 171–172
setting up on client side, 168
sharing printer access, 167–168
Windows 2008–based printers, 169–171
private IP addresses, 179
processors, 284–285, 298–299, 375–376
production systems, 250
Profile tab, 208–209
propagation-dampening schemes, 124
property replication, 143
property version numbers (PVNs), 124
property-based inheritance, 239–240
protocol stacks, 15, 23–24
proxy servers, 186–187
PS (Print Services), 98
PSUs (power supply units), 285, 289–290,
304–305, 318–320
publications, Windows Server, 387–389
pushing installations, 75
push/pull concept, 22, 33
PVNs (property version numbers), 124
PXE (Preboot Extension Environment), 88
Quality of Service (QoS), 13, 25–26
Quality Windows Audio/Video
Experience (qWave), 101
RA (Remote Assistance), 101
RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In
User Service), 37, 114
RAID (redundant arrays of inexpensive
building, 381–383
documenting, 250
overview, 286–288, 377–378
planning for, 301
Raise Domain Functionality dialog box,
random access memory (RAM)
overview, 376–377
seating modules, 309–311, 324–326
RAS (Remote Access Services),
79, 109, 202
RD (Recovery Disc) utility, 101
RDC (Remote Desktop Connection),
34, 37
RDMA (Remote Direct Memory
Access), 54
RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol),
34, 37, 95
RE (Recovery Environment), 359–360
read-only domain controller (RODC),
103, 269
receive window auto-tuning, 25–26
receive window size, 25
receive-side scaling, 29–30
Recovery Disc (RD) utility, 101
Recovery Environment (RE), 359–360
redundancy, 23, 37
redundant arrays of inexpensive disks
building, 381–383
documenting, 250
overview, 286–288, 377–378
planning for, 301
registered ECC, 376
Relative ID (RID) master, 139
Reliability Monitor, 344–345
Remember icons, 5
Remote Access Services (RAS),
79, 109, 202
Remote Assistance (RA), 101
Remote Authentication Dial-In User
Service (RADIUS), 37, 114
Remote Desktop Connection (RDC),
34, 37
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP),
34, 37, 95
Remote Direct Memory Access
(RDMA), 54
Remote Installation Service (RIS), 75, 88
Remote Server Administration Tools
(RSAT), 97, 101
Removable Storage Manager (RSM),
101, 251
replicated updates, 141
replication, 122–124, 141–144
replication cycles, 123, 139, 141–143
Requests for Comments (RFCs), 134
resources, third-party Windows Server,
RFCs (Requests for Comments), 134
RID (Relative ID) master, 139
RIS (Remote Installation Service), 75, 88
roaming profiles, 217–219
RODC (read-only domain controller),
103, 269
root domains, 122
round trip time (RTT), 27
route tool, 197
routers, 54, 180, 185
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
Routing and Remote Access
management console, 109–111
routing capability, 109, 364–365
RSAT (Remote Server Administration
Tools), 97, 101
RSM (Removable Storage Manager),
101, 251
RTT (round trip time), 27
SACK (Selective Acknowledgement)
option, 27
SAM (Security Accounts Manager),
118–119, 140
SAN (storage area networks), 11, 246
SATA (Serial Advanced Technology
Attachment) hard drives
overview, 377–378
versus SCSI controllers, 379–381
local backup, 246
overview, 377–380
scanning, 172–174
schemas, 124–125, 138–139
SCSI (Small Computer System Interface)
hard drives
overview, 377–378
versus SATA controllers, 379–381
drivers, 78
local backup, 246
overview, 377–379
Search components, 148
secure sockets layer (SSL), 17, 185
Security Accounts Manager (SAM),
118–119, 140
security groups, 212
Security Log, 224
security, network
accounts policies, 223–224
common weaknesses, 277–279
education, 267–268
features, 13, 16–18
maintaining, 279
overview, 263–264
passwords, 270–274
physical access, 264–267
resources, 279
service packs, 274–275
user access, 275–277
usernames, 269–270
security policies, 267–268
Security Reference Monitor (SRM), 230
Security tab, 150, 170
cable, 69
network, 180
Selective Acknowledgement (SACK)
option, 27
sequence identifiers, 29
Serial Advanced Technology Attachment
(SATA) hard drives
overview, 377–378
versus SCSI controllers, 379–381
local backup, 246
overview, 377–380
Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP)
feature, 113
Server 2008
basics of, 18–19
DVD-ROM, 75, 360–361
editions of, 11–12
minimum requirements for, 354
networking features
overview, 14
security, 16–18
Server Manager, 16
server services, 14–16
online resources, 386–387
overview, 9–11
problems, 332–337
publications, 387–389
reasons to use, 12–14
security features, 269
third-party resources, 389–390
utilities, 81
server clusters, 15–16
Server Core installation option, 284
Server Manager application
directory trees and forests, 103–108
features, 99–102
overview, 12–13, 16, 96–103
server roles, 97–99
WMS, 108–109
server networking
versus client networking, 21–23
enhancement of
NDIS, 28–30
Next Generation TCP/IP stack, 24–27
offloading protocol processing, 27–28
overview, 24
TCP Chimney, 28
multiple NICs, 23
overview, 21–38
client preferences, 30–35
enterprise preferences, 35–38
overview, 30
server optimization
disabling unnecessary services, 348
disk defragmentation, 349
managed entities, 346–347
overview, 346
turning off Indexing Service, 348
server roles
list of, 97–99
overview, 95–96
cases, 289–290
components of, 291–292
graphics, 291
hardware, 9–10, 293
memory, 285–286
prices, 377
selecting and sizing, 299–300, 317
server versus computer, 10
motherboards, 374–375
network access, 287–289
overview, 284
power supply, 289–290
preparing for installation, 82
processors, 284–285, 375–376
RAID, 286–287
setting up, 104–108
WINS, 192
service applications, 15
Service Hardening, 17
Service logs, 343
service packs, 89–90, 274–275
defined, 228
disabling, 348
Services tool, 367–368
session serialization, 29
Setup logs, 342–343
setup process, 78–79, 82–85
share system volume (SYSVOL), 130–131
shared system memory, 366
SharePoint Services, 35
administrative, 277–278
file, 227
network, 235–236
sharing printer access, 167–168
Sharing tab, 170
Shiva Password Authentication Protocol
(SPAP), 272
shopping, PC component, 293–294
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
(SMTP), 101
sites, 127–129, 141
SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol)
feature, 113
Small Business Center, Microsoft, 370
Small Computer System Interface (SCSI)
hard drives
overview, 377–378
versus SATA controllers, 379–381
drivers, 78
local backup, 246
overview, 377–379
smart cards, 114
smells, hardware heating, 336
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer
Protocol), 101
backup, 248–249
deployment, 37–38
installation, 77–78
SPAP (Shiva Password Authentication
Protocol), 272
splicing cables, 61
spooling, print job, 157, 169
SRM (Security Reference Monitor), 230
SSL (secure sockets layer), 17, 185
stacks, network protocol, 15, 23–24
staged backbones, 43
Standard Edition, Windows Server
2008, 11
static discharge, 303
static model, 240
storage area networks (SAN), 11, 246
Storage Server 2008, 11
striping, 382–383
subnet masks, 182–183
subnetting, 182–184
Super Video Graphics Array (SVGA)
monitors, 78
support, troubleshooting, 369–370
SVGA (Super Video Graphics Array)
monitors, 78
Syspart utility, 357
Sysprep utility, 357
system drives, 378
system partitions, 378
system testing, 47
system tray, 89
system volumes, 378
SYSVOL (share system volume), 130–131
Account, 208
Address, 208
Advanced, 170
Cartridge Maintenance, 170
Color Management, 170
Device Settings, 170
Dial-in, 211
Effective Permissions, 238
General, 170, 208
Group Policy, 220
Member Of, 210
Organization, 210
Ports, 170
Profile, 208–209
Security, 150, 170
Sharing, 170
Telephones, 210
tape backup systems, 249–250, 258–260
targets, 254–255
TCP Chimney feature, 28
TCP/IP (Transmission Control
Protocol/Internet Protocol)
configuring requirements, 187–191
names, 178–179
NetBIOS, 193
problems, 197
resources, 196
toolkits, 365–366
TCP/IP Offload Engine (TOE) cards, 54,
302, 318, 366, 383–384
TechNet CD, 370
Technical Stuff icons, 6
technology. See components
Telephones tab, 210
Telnet application services, 15
Telnet Client, 101
Telnet Server, 101
telnet tool, 197
Terminal Services (TS), 33–35, 98
test plans, 40–42
TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol), 101
thermal paste, 308–309, 323
third-party backup packages, 258
third-party Windows Server resources,
threats, data, 242–243
throughput, 59
time stamps, 124
Tip icon, 6
TOE (TCP/IP Offload Engine) cards, 54,
302, 318, 366, 383–384
top-level domains, 178
TPM (Trusted Platform Module), 17
tracert tool, 197
transceivers, 61
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet
Protocol (TCP/IP)
configuring requirements, 187–191
names, 178–179
NetBIOS, 193
problems, 197
resources, 196
toolkits, 365–366
transmission media
backbones, 69–70
bandwidths, 65–68
network media
cable installation, 64–65
fiber-optic and coax cables, 60–63
overview, 57–59
wireless, 63–64
overview, 57
transparent infrastructure, 30
directory, 103–104
domain, 122, 134–135
Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP), 101
hardware and software updates, 340–341
hardware problems, 364
names and addresses, 368–369
network adapters, 366–367
Network Monitor, 367
overview, 363
preventing problems, 370
recent changes, 369
routing, 364–365
Services tool, 367–368
support for, 369–370
TCP/IP toolkits, 365–366
overview, 331–332
resources for
Microsoft, 385–387
overview, 385
publications, 387–389
third-party sources, 389–390
run-time issues
Group Policy infrastructure, 338
overview, 337
printing infrastructure, 338–339
User Account Control, 337–338
Server Manager
Event Viewer, 341–343
overview, 341
Performance Diagnostics, 343–345
Services, 343
setup failures
overview, 332
restart failure, 333
unavailable partition, 332–333
startup errors, 335–336
startup failures
corrupt file or volume, 334–335
driver failure, 334
hardware failure, 334
malware or viral infection, 335
misconfigured settings, 335
Windows activation, 339–340
trust relationships, 120, 133–134, 140,
Trusted Platform Module (TPM), 17
TS (Terminal Services), 33–35, 98
twisted-pair cables, 59
two-way transitive trusts, 104
UAC (User Account Control), 17, 337
UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery,
and Integration), 99
unattended installation, 37, 92, 356–357
unauthenticated access, 16
Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), 178
uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
devices, 76, 265, 290
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
backup, 247–248
organizational (OUs), 126, 129, 145–146,
204, 239
Universal Description, Discovery, and
Integration (UDDI), 99
universal groups, 131, 213
unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cables, 61
update sequence numbers (USNs),
upgrade installation, 73–74
UPS (uninterruptible power supply)
devices, 76, 265, 290
up-to-date vectors, 124
URLs (Uniform Resource Locators), 178
user access, 275–277
User Account Control (UAC), 17, 337
user account objects, 201
user accounts
managing, 211
properties, 201–204
User Creation Wizard, 146–147
user objects, 146–147
user profiles, 217–219
user rights, 202, 229–230, 276–277
usernames, 269–270, 278
USNs (update sequence numbers),
UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cables, 61
VeriSign domain name registrar, 178–179
VGA (Video Graphics Array) monitors, 78
Video Graphics Array (VGA) monitors, 78
video, low resolution, 358–359
virtual private networks (VPNs), 17
virtualization capability, 14, 115, 292–293
viruses, 242–243
Visio application, 52
Vista, 9
Vista Upgrade Advisor, 294
visualization, network, 52
volumes, 254–255
VPNs (virtual private networks), 17
WANs (wide area networks), 57, 109, 127
Warning icons, 6
WCF (Windows Communication
Foundation) Web Services, 34
WDS (Windows Deployment Services), 99
Web Edition, Windows Server 2008, 11
Web Server, 11, 35, 79, 99, 108–109
Web-based services, 35
WER (Windows Error Reporting), 345
WID (Windows Internal Database), 102
wide area networks (WANs), 57, 109, 127
WIF (Windows Imaging Format), 38,
WiFi (wireless) devices, 63–64
Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2), 64
Windows Communication Foundation
(WCF) Web Services, 34
Windows Deployment Services (WDS), 99
Windows Fax and Scan applet, 172–174
Windows Firewall, 18, 95, 187, 365
Windows Imaging Format (WIF), 38,
Windows Indexing Service, 348
Windows Internal Database (WID), 102
Windows Internet Name Service (WINS),
33, 102, 178, 191–193
Windows Management Instrumentation
(WMI) enhancements, 16
Windows Media Services (WMS), 108–109
Windows NT 4.0, 118–119
Windows PowerShell, 13, 102
Windows Preinstallation Environment
(PE), 360
Windows Process Activation Service
(WPAS), 102
Windows Recovery Environment
(Windows RE), 359–360
Windows Server 2008. See also Active
basics of, 18–19
DVD-ROM, 75, 360–361
editions of, 11–12
minimum requirements for, 354
networking features
overview, 14
security, 16–18
Server Manager, 16
server services, 14–16
online resources, 386–387
overview, 9–11
problems, 332–337
publications, 387–389
reasons to use, 12–14
security features, 269
third-party resources, 389–390
utilities, 81
Windows Server Backup (WSB) facility
command line backups, 253–254
destinations, 255–256
media settings, 255–256
overview, 102, 251–253
scheduling jobs, 256
targets, 254–255
volumes, 254–255
Windows Server Catalog, 355
Windows Server Virtualization, 14, 115,
Windows Service Hardening, 17
Windows SharePoint Services (WSP), 99
Windows Storage Server 2008, 11
Windows System Resource Manager
(WSRM), 102
Windows Vista features, 9
WINS (Windows Internet Name Service),
33, 102, 178, 191–193
wireless (WiFi) devices, 63–64
Wireless LAN (WLAN) Service, 102
wireless networks, 63–64
wiring systems, 59
WLAN (Wireless LAN) Service, 102
WMI (Windows Management
Instrumentation) enhancements, 16
WMS (Windows Media Services),
WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2), 64
WPAS (Windows Process Activation
Service), 102
WSB (Windows Server Backup) facility
command line backups, 253–254
destinations, 255–256
media settings, 255–256
overview, 102, 251–253
scheduling jobs, 256
targets, 254–255
volumes, 254–255
WSB facility. See Windows Server Backup
(WSB) facility
WSP (Windows SharePoint Services), 99
WSRM (Windows System Resource
Manager), 102
X.500 directory, 116–118, 121
XML (eXtensible Markup Language)
services, 11
XPS (XML Paper Specification), 155
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies
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