Internet Information Server (IIS) in SBS 2003

Happy Saturdy to u….

I am Harry Brelsford, the author of Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices and each day I post up a few pages from my book for your pleasure. I typically do this when having my first cup(s) of coffee in the morning! I will post up until SBS 2008 ships!

Today we are into Chapter 10 and starting to go under the hood in IIS in SBS 2003.

So I got run refill my coffee



Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation

Microsoft Small Business Specialist SBSC, MBA, MCSE, MCT, MCP, CNE, CLSE, CNP

PS – did u know I host an annual conference in Seattle each october for SBSers and SMB consultants? This year we help launch SBS 2008 and Essential Business Server (EBS) between October 4-6!

Under the Hood: Internet Information Server

Internet Information Services (IIS) is the Web-engine component that has its paws into more things than you might imagine. I’ll highlight a few of those features in a moment. It’s also something that, while assuming a larger IIS foreground role at the enterprise-level, where things like Web hosting (for external Web sites) make sense, such roles are deemphasized in SBS 2003. And you can’t deny IIS has occasionally had something of a publicity problem, being best known for its susceptibility to worm attacks such as CODE RED,

CODE RED II, NIMBA, and countless Microsoft security bulletins. As spoken by Microsoft itself, “…IIS 6.0 provides a highly reliable, manageable, and scalable Web application infrastructure for all versions of Windows Server 2003.” It is locked down by default as part of Microsoft’s out-of-the-box experience and you effectively turn it on with some of the SBS Internet configuration options discussed immediately above.

BEST PRACTICE: You are highly encouraged to visit the IIS site at Microsoft (Figure 10-2) and delve deeper into this product. Seriously! Grab a fresh soda and click over to and read all the IIS news that’s fit to print for at least 20 minutes. Catch the discussion on better memory management and steps taken to improve reliability (those are two “delta” points Microsoft is emphasizing).



Figure 10-2

Instead of rewriting deep discussion on IIS in this chapter, I’d rather you went to this site.


IIS is managed from the Internet Information Services snap-in seen in Figure 10-3.

Figure 10-3

Observe the default Web sites supported by IIS on a configured SBS 2003 server machine.

BEST PRACTICE: So how much will you interact directly with IIS on any given day? The answer is not much. IIS should basically run itself. But if you’re bored, consider playing around with the memory recycling capabilities built into IIS 6.0. This can be found be selecting Properties (right click and select from the secondary menu) for any Application Pool (the DefaultAppPool is displayed in Figure 10-4). In SBS 2003, the default recycling period is 4:00am for work processes. Configure away, but I’ll warn you. When I’ve lectured on this capability in the past, it’s the enterprise-crowd running Web server farms that gets the most excited about this capability.

 Visit for the latest updates for any Microsoft product.

Figure 10-4

This is where you can recycle worker processes and memory on an application pool basis.

So how might IIS affect SBS 2003? How is IIS integrated with SBS 2003? One example is Figure 10-4 above where you can see the IIS application pools for Exchange and SharePoint on the left. You can also see the Web sites supported by IIS in SBS 2003 include CompanyWeb (this was discussed more appropriately in Chapter 7). Finally, consider how IIS support Exchange and SharePoint Web service extensions as seen in Figure 10-5.


Figure 10-5

Server extension support also glues SBS 2003 to IIS 6.0.

Chapter 10 Internet and the Web

BEST PRACTICE: To be brutally honest and nothing less, it is possible that you’ll never click the Internet Information Services snap-in. Seriously, you could operate just fine as an SBSer on an SBS network without ever interacting with IIS. That would assume that you’re not going to implement much more than basic IIS functionality supported by the official SBS 2003 deployment approach.



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