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Overview of Remote Management Planning

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Although local administration is the most secure way to manage the computers in a networked environment, cost, staffing, and system availability requirements typically preclude this approach in medium to large organizations. Remote management can solve many of these problems by increasing productivity, decreasing time to resolution, decreasing staffing requirements, and allowing more flexibility in server placement. Remote management can also resolve physical accessibility issues for servers that are remotely located or rack mounted — whether they are remotely administered or use keyboard-video-mouse (KVM) switches.

Windows Server 2003 provides a variety of tools and technologies to help you remotely administer the servers in your network. Conventional tools help you perform common tasks on computers that are functioning and available over the network. These tools are sometimes referred to as in-band tools because they function through the standard network connection. Other tools allow you to connect to a computer that is not responding to the standard network connection for some reason, such as when a Stop error occurs or the network adapter fails. These tools are sometimes referred to as out-of-band tools because they use a connection that does not depend on network drivers.

Emergency Management Services is a new feature in Windows Server 2003 that supports out-of-band connections. Emergency Management Services is included with Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003, Standard Edition; Windows® Server 2003, Enterprise Edition; Windows® Server 2003, Datacenter Edition; and Windows® Server 2003, Web Edition.

Before you begin managing servers remotely using in-band or out-of-band tools, you need to develop a remote management plan. A remote management plan ensures that you choose the appropriate remote management tools and management configurations for your organization and that you address all the impacts they might have on your infrastructure.

To develop your plan, you first need to know the server configuration in your organization: where the servers are located and what roles they perform. You also need to know the availability requirements for the servers you plan to manage remotely and who the administrators are.

Follow the planning process presented here to develop a plan for remotely managing the servers in your environment. This planning process addresses tools for Windows Server 2003 remote installation, in-band management tasks — such as configuring, monitoring, and troubleshooting — and out-of-band management tasks — such as restarting the computer and viewing Stop error messages. It does not address workstation management or software distribution tools for applications and updates.

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