Standard Management Console in Windows Small Business Server 2003 (SBS) [book excerpt]

Harry brelsford here, author of Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best PRactices and just posting up more of my book for you, the reader. My goal is to have the entire book posted by the time SBS 2008 ships!

harrybbbb

Harry Brelsford, ceo at smb nation  | www.smbnation.com

Standard Management

Consider this both the “noun” and the “verb” of the Server Management console. The objects listed here are “things” you do such as faxing. What’s important to understand here is that you are not exposed to the application name at this time (e.g., Exchange). Microsoft has, in its wisdom that I respect here, elected to be task-oriented, such as Backup (i.e., Backup is something that we “do”). The components of Standard Management are described below.

                      To Do List. This is covered in extensive detail in the next section but cuts to the heart of the SBS 2003 deployment methodology. Read on whilst I write on.

                      Information Center. This is your SBS portal for seeking help or more information. You can click over to Microsoft update site, view internal documentation, click over to the SBS public product Web site at Microsoft and commence an online technical support request.

                      Internal Web Site. This allows you to manage your Windows SharePoint Services internal Web site. I’ll feature many of the links on this page in Chapter 7.

                      Fax (Local). This obviously relates to the SBS 2003 faxing function which is awesome. I cover this area in Chapter 9.

                      Monitoring and Reporting. Covered in more detail in Chapter 12, this relates to configuring the Server Status Report and the Health Monitor tool in SBS 2003.

                      Internet and E-mail. This is the page for all matters related to Internet connectivity and e-mail. We’ll spend some time here in Chapters 6 and 10.

                      Shares (Local). Not surprisingly, this page displays the folders that are shared on the SBS server including administrative (hidden) shares that end with the dollar sign ($) in the share name. I’ll mention it in Chapter 11 again, but be advised that the View Connected Users on this page is the easiest way to discover who is currently logged on the network.

 

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                      Backup. WOW! Much improved in SBS 2003, this is where the backup and data protection experience commences. Lots of discussion on this in Chapter 11.

                      Licensing. A few changes here that I think you’ll like. No longer is client access licensing information hidden on an “About…” dialog box (as it was in SBS 2000). No sir! It’s now presented front and center on the Manage Client Access Licenses from the Licensing link.

 

BEST PRACTICE: Client Access Licenses (CALs) have really changed in SBS 2003. First, there are two types of CALs: devices and users. Long-time SBSers are familiar with device-based management, where a certain number of client computers are allowed on the network (say 55 PCs based on the number of CALs you have purchased for the SBS 2003 network).

User-based licensing is new to us SBSers and might be implemented under a scenario where device-based licensing doesn’t make sense. For example, imagine a small software development company with ten employees using SBS 2003. Each employee has four PCs for development and testing purposes (for a total of 40 devices). Here the customer is better off by using the user-based licensing and purchasing ten CALs.

So you want more licensing chatter? You can mix and match device and user-based licensing to optimize the amount of bucks you drop on CALs, pardner! And remember that the licensing model is EXACTLY THE SAME as Windows Server 2003 which helped me when I had to learn about SBS 2003 licensing and then proceed to go out and give speeches on it. So in addition to the licensing discussion found at the main SBS 2003 Web page (from the Information Center link above), you are highly encouraged to view the traditional Windows Server 2003 CAL licensing discussion at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/howtobuy/licensing/ caloverview.mspx.

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Other licensing tidbits include the online purchase of CALs and the elimination of the CAL licensing diskette (thank you). You purchase CALs by the five pack (as was the case in the SBS 2000 time frame).

Note in my advanced SBS 2003 book, due mid-2004, I’ll delve deep into the depths of SBS licensing, but for the purposes of this book and SPRINGERS, this is far enough for now! Also be advised that I won’t have you add more CALs to the SPRINGERS network as part of this step-by-step book (even though you add ten users later in the chapter). That’s because I never have you log on more than one user at a time as we work through this SBS tome.

                      Users. This link displays the Manage Users page where much of the support and configuration for users can occur.

                      Client Computers. This link displays the Manage Client Computers page.

 

BEST PRACTICE: Aside from your performing client computer management duties here, this is the one place that you can start the Setup Computer Wizard (SCW) natively without having to rerun the Add User Wizard (to which the SCW is chained). Huh? Say that again and don’t use ten dollar words?!?! Okay – what I meant to say is that if you have a user, let’s call her “Sally,” and she purchases a new HP laptop, you really only want to run the SCW to add existing user Sally’s new HP laptop. You don’t need to run Add User Wizard to get to the SCW to configure Sally’s new HP laptop. If this still doesn’t make sense, it will later in the life of SBS when users start to replace client computers. Trust me.

BEST PRACTICE: Each release of SBS has a “paradigm” combined with a “raison d’etre” (which I’ll call a “paradigm d’etre”). In the first releases, SBS was the BackOffice bundle at a competitive price. The SBS 2000 time frame had “server-side stability” as its reason for being. SBS 2003 has a couple of paradigm shifts and I’ll share one here: client computer setup. Here’s what I mean. In the SBS 2000

time frame, there was such an emphasis on the server-side that the client computers were much ignored. The damn Define Computer Applications link from the SBS 2000 To Do List basically didn’t work. And the SBS 2000 To Do List and consoles didn’t natively take advantage of Group Policy Objects (GPOs). That’s all changed in SBS 2003 where client computer setup, configuration, and management received much attention! The results show.

I’ll share another SBS 2003 paradigm d’etre in just a moment.

          Server Computers. This is the interface for the management of server computers.

BEST PRACTICE: There is nothing like timing in business. As I was writing this chapter, I was working with my client, a cardiology clinic, who wanted to move to SBS 2003. In the planning phase, the managing doctor (that’s Dr. Paul to you) held the belief that SBS can be the only server on the network. Such is not the case, as you have member servers and even other domain controllers on the network (as I discussed earlier in Chapter 1). However, you can have only one SBS 2003 server machine on the network.

So, assuming you might have additional server computers on an SBS 2003 network, how might you manage them? From the Server Computers link we’re discussing right here, right now!

                      Printers. Printers are printers (what can I say?). Once the primary rea­son we even had networks in small businesses (to share printers), print­ers are managed here. This is also where you manage the fax device that we treat like a printer.

                      Distribution Groups. You use distribution groups to send e-mail to a specific set of people. By default, everyone you add to the SBS net­work will appear in the default distribution group named after the information you provided in the Organization field in Figure 3-4

 

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earlier in this book (when you were in the GUI-based phase of the Windows Server 2003 setup). In the case of SPRINGERS, the default distribution group would be called Springer Spaniels Limited.

          Security Groups. This relates to grouping users together for the pur­pose of granting permissions. For example, the folks in the bookkeep­ing department might belong to a security group called Accounting that has specific permissions related to the Timberline accounting folder. Please click over and view all the security groups created by default in SBS 2003. (Hint: There should be 22 security groups by default which would make a great exam question.)

BEST PRACTICE: You might not have known that security groups are actually e-mail enabled by default in SBS 2003. You would care about this because, for instance, the Accounting security group example I mention above might be the same group of people whom you want to receive an important e-mail about a Timberline accounting upgrade, etc., and you wouldn’t need to plop all these folks in a new distribution group to accomplish this. Rather, you could simply e-mail the security group (which should be security@springersltd.com by default once you create such a security group).

          User Templates. User templates are really nothing more than a disabled user account that has certain settings you want to easily apply to new user accounts you are creating. Each of the templates is self-explana­tory by reading the Description field on the Manage Templates page that appears. However, what is interesting is the addition of the Mobile User Template to provide remote access support for worthy users.

BEST PRACTICE: Time for another paradigm d’etre! So another big deal in SBS 2003 is the support for mobile worker bees. The Mobile User Template is only the start of how this paradigm d’etre plays out, and I continue the mobility discussion in Chapter 8.

BEST PRACTICE: Around when SBS 2003 was being released in October 2003, I was teaching a hands-on lab in Orange County, California, when a student, totally enthusiastic about SBS 2003, asked if he could fine-tune a user template on his SBS 2003 network and then deploy it in its exact form at his customer SBS network sites. That is, suppose he sold a customer relationship management (CRM) application that required specific settings, could it be created once and cloned over to his customer base? The answer is yes. You’d create a user template on the master network and use the Export Templates link (to launch the Export Templates Wizard) and get the configuration out to a floppy disk (the export function assumes Drive

A: by default) or a USB hard disk key (my favorite approach to transfer information in the 21st century!).

To import the user template at the customer site, just reverse the process – click the Import Templates link and complete the Import Templates Wizard.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Standard Management Console in Windows Small Business Server 2003 (SBS) [book excerpt]

  1. I manage a few SBS2003 for small companies. The owner indicated to me that he cannot open server management when login remotely. I also noticed that some user logon cannot open server management. Are there restriction on who can open server management?

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