Windows Server 2003 Modules

You feel confident enough with the other Windows versions that you are now thinking of tackling Server 2003. The idea can be a little intimidating, but it is not as bad as you think. This is a basic tutorial on the different modules available in Windows Server 2003. Depending on how you are planning on using the server, that will determine the hardware requirements of the machine. Just because this is a “server”, you do not need to spend over $5,000 on the machine. That is a very big misconception. My recommendations for minimum requirements are as follows:- Motherboard With Onboard Video/Sound/Lan- 1 GB Of Memory- P4 3.0 Ghz or Athlon 64 3200+- 160GB SATA Hard Drive- DVD-RW- An External Backup Device (i.e USB Hard Drive or Tape Drive)Server 2003 loads the same way XP does. Set the bios to boot from the CD/DVD drive, pop the disk in and follow the instructions. Once it is fully installed and loaded you will be taken to the “Manage Your Server” screen. On this screen you can enable and configure the following options:- File server- enabled by default. Basically allows folders to be shared from the server- SharePoint Services- Creates a web where users can share information- Print Server- A printer installed directly to the server will act as a network printer- Application Server- Turn you server into a web server as well as FTP host- Mail Server – Kinda useless unless you have exchange installed- Terminal Server- Lets users login directly to the server to run applications- Remote Access/VPN Server- Connect to the server remotely via VPN- Domain Controller (Active Directory)- Server controls policies for the entire network domain- DNS Server- Controls name to IP address resolution- DHCP Server- Assignees IP addresses to DHCP clients- Streaming Media Server- Streams video content over the web- WINS Server- Older name to IP address resolution method.Whatever your needs are will determine which of these options get enabled and configured. In this article we are going to briefly touch on Terminal Server, Remote Access, Domain Controller w/Active Directory and DNS Server. I will get into further details about all of them in future articles.Terminal Server: As mentioned earlier Terminal Server allows users to login to the server to run applications installed on the server. Besides enabling Terminal Server you will also need a Terminal License Server. This is where the licenses, to user Terminal Server, are installed. Depending on the amount of licenses you have that will determine how many users can login. Terminal Server and Terminal License Server can both be on one machine. To enable the licensing server go to control panel -> add/remove programs -> add/remove windows components -> select “Terminal Server Licensing” and install.To login to the server from a workstation you can use Remote Desktop which is built directly into Windows XP and Vista. To find remote desktop click start -> all programs -> accessories -> communications -> remote desktop. When remote desktop appears enter in the server name or IP address to connect.Remote Access/VPN: Virtual Private Networking gives you the ability to remotely connect to your server and share it resources. The server will assign you an IP address either from its DHCP pool or you can manually enter a range of IP addresses the server will hand out to its remote clients. Once connected the next step will be establishing a connection to the server’s shared resources. To do this click start -> run -> and type in server name orserver IP Address (replace with your server’s name or IP address) if everything is configured correctly your server’s shares will appear.Domain Controller: Setting your server as a Domain Controller means you can control network policy through your server. If all the workstations are on the server’s domain, through group and/or domain policy you can restrict user’s movements. Control where they are allowed to go and what they are able to change. With the Domain Controller comes the Active Directory. In the Active Directory you can add network/server users, view/configure domain controllers and domain workstations. This is where you assign users their privileges and whether they can login to the server via Terminal Services.DNS Server: As stated DNS resolves IP addresses to easier to remember names. Lets say your server’s IP address is 192.168.1.2 and its name is PCServer. DNS allows you to search using PCServer instead of remembering 192.168.1.2. Out of all the modules this is the one that is most confusing in setting up properly.This was a very basic introduction to some of the modules available in Windows Server 2003. In future articles I will be going into further details about each one.

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