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Windows Essential Business Server Administration Console

Updated: March 10, 2009

The Administration Console is an integral component of the Windows EBS infrastructure. It enables you to monitor and manage many of the Windows EBS features from a single interface. This section describes the primary features that are managed through the Administration Console.

The features that are available in the Administration Console include:

  • System Health

  • Security

  • Computers and Devices

  • Users and Groups

  • Licenses

  • Extensibility

System Health

The System Health tab displays the status of network business functions. These functions govern the ability of a user to log on to the network, access network resources and the Internet, and send and receive e-mail. Health information is provided for each of the servers running Windows EBS. The key applications, roles, or services that are monitored to provide this overview of system health include:

  • Active Directory Domain Services role status, domain controller status, and forest trust status.

  • Security component status (for example, Kerberos authentication)

  • Network adapter configurations

  • Exchange Server 2007 component status

  • Firewall service status

  • Count of servers in the domain

  • Windows EBS licensing status

The status for each of the System Health items is depicted by icons, which show Normal or Critical status.

The System Health monitoring feature uses a combination of System Center Essentials, Operations Manager agents (which are installed on the monitored servers and the display capabilities of the Administration Console to show the health status.

Security

The Security tab displays the current status for all the security components that are installed as part of Windows EBS. These include the status for the network firewall, antivirus, and anti-spam applications, and the status of recent security updates.

The status for each monitored component is depicted by icons, which show Normal or Critical status.

The Security tab receives data from Forefront TMG, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, Exchange Server 2007, and System Center Essentials. This information is collected through agents that are installed on the monitored servers and reported to the System Center Essentials reporting services. The data is then sent to the Administration Console for display.

Computers and Devices

The Computers and Devices tab contains views and tasks that you can use to manage computers, printers, and other devices on your network. You can review and manage software updates, discover computers and devices, install agents to manage them, and configure a variety of operational settings from this tab.

To use this feature, click Managed Computers and Devices. For each device detected in your Active Directory domain, information is provided about the device IP address, critical alerts that may apply to the device, the current device status for critical updates, the device type, and whether it is managed. You can obtain additional detailed information by selecting a device from the list and reading the information in the details pane.

The Computers and Devices tab enables you to select any device that is discovered on your network, and then apply a task to it. Some of these tasks are applied by starting a companion tool, wizard, or console that is native to one of the Windows EBS component products, such as the Windows Server 2008 Services Console.

The Managed Computers and Devices feature displays data from a combination of sources. These include Active Directory Domain Services, System Center Essentials, and System Center Essentials agents that are installed on the monitored devices.

Users and Groups

The Users and Groups tab contains views and tasks for creating and managing user accounts, distribution lists, and security groups. You can reset user passwords, add or remove users from lists or groups, and disable user accounts. The Users and Groups tab includes the User Management page and the Group Management page. Through these pages, you can manage user accounts or e-mail distribution groups.

On the User Management page, you can create new user accounts, delete accounts, disable accounts, and edit the properties of existing accounts. By selecting an existing account in the list view, you can view details for the account and perform applicable tasks by clicking them in the task pane.

On the Group Management page, you can create new groups, delete groups, and edit the properties of existing groups. You can access group details and tasks as you do on the User Management page.

The Users and Groups features display data from several sources. User and group data from Active Directory Domain Services, licensing information from the Windows EBS licensing service, and distribution group details from Exchange Server 2007 are displayed.

Licenses

The Licenses tab displays information to help you install and manage your Windows EBS client access licenses (CALs). The data is supplied from the Windows EBS Licensing service and Active Directory Domain Services.

Licensing for the products in Windows EBS has been integrated into a single license. For example, instead of requiring separate licenses and product keys for Windows Server 2008 technologies, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and Microsoft System Center Essentials, you need to enter only a single product key to install the products and to receive client access to the network services.

Pages accessed through the tabs on the Licenses tab enable you to:

  • Review your compliance with licensing agreements (License Management tab)

  • Manage licenses at the user and device levels (User Licenses and Device Licenses tabs)

  • Review your license installation history (Installation History tab)

You can install additional licenses by starting the Install CAL Packs Wizard from any of the pages, and you can assign or revoke licenses from individual user accounts or managed devices from the applicable management pages.

Extensibility

The Administration Console has an extensible architecture, which can incorporate add-ins from Microsoft or non-Microsoft developers. These add-ins extend management capabilities to additional applications. The details for this architecture are described in more detail in the Windows EBS Software Developers Kit (SDK), available at the Windows EBS TechCenter Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=116909).

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