Saturday, February 20, 2010

Windows Server 2008 R2 1

(Note that as some of these systems are used in production environments, I'll have to censor off the domain name)
There is a new way to manage Active Directory in R2 through the Active Directory Administrative Center. Microsoft has also included a "Best Practices Analyzer" which works at a per-server-role level. A new version of RSAT for Windows Server 2008 R2 can also be installed on Windows 7, which allows remote administration.

Active Directory Administrative Center gives a quick interface that consolidates all commonly used features in one place. For example, you can quickly reset passwords or search for specific users or domains from the main page.

From the Administrative Center, the user properties page has also been changed to include less tabs. Things are all displayed all in one scrollable screen.

You can also disable sections in the properties page that you don't usually use. You can turn them back on later when you need them.

If you visit certain OUs often, you can click on the Add Navigational Node button which lets you create shortcuts to the Navigation Pane.

Here's how it looks like:
1) Click on Add Navigation Nodes

2) Select the OU you which to create a shortcut for

3) You now have it on your Navigation Pane

The Best Practices Analyzer can be accessed from the classic Server Manager. It looks through all the roles for security and optimization features and displays them all in one convenient screen.

For each item, there's a properties page which details the problem and the solution. This is a very good way to keep your server optimized and secure.

You can download RSAT from Microsoft. RSAT is a 220MB download.

During the RSAT installation, it automatically check for updates. This would deter some piracy as well.

RSAT is a KB file, so it can be easily deployed through Group Policy if required. RSAT is only for some Administration tasks, so you can't install new roles from RSAT. After installation, we need to go to:
1) Control Panel
2) Programs
3) Turn Window features on or off

We can now turn on RSAT from here:

After enabling RSAT, you can access things you've enabled through Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools.

For RSAT to work, you need to enable Server Manager Remote Management from the actual server. This will allow RSAT to modify firewalls settings and other tweaks. However, you will still not be able to add roles.

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