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Management and deployment

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

Management and deployment

This topic contains a brief overview of the application management and deployment features in the Windows Server 2003 family. It is divided into two sections: New and updated features since Windows NT 4.0 and New and updated features since Windows 2000.

For links to more information about the features in this release, see New Features.

The following features help simplify the deployment of applications on desktop and portable systems. Terminal Server provides additional options and features that simplify deployment. For more information, see Terminal Server features.

New and updated features since Windows NT 4.0

The Windows Server 2003 family offers the following improvements (in comparison to Windows NT 4.0) that help provide increased levels of support for management and deployment:

Change and configuration management with Group Policy
You can use policy settings to define the permitted actions and settings for users and computers. In contrast with local policy, Group Policy can be used to set policy settings that apply across a given site, domain, or organizational unit in Active Directory. For more information about Group Policy, see Group Policy (pre-GPMC). The Windows Server 2003 family includes more than 200 new policy settings.

Directory consolidation in Active Directory
With Active Directory, you can organize and simplify the management of users, computers, applications, and devices and make it easier for users to find the information they need. You can take advantage of synchronization support through Lightweight Directory Access protocol (LDAP)-based interfaces and work with directory consolidation requirements that are specific to your applications.

IntelliMirror
To help reduce costs, administrators need the highest levels of control over portable and desktop systems. IntelliMirror provides this control on client systems running Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional. You can use IntelliMirror to define policy settings based on business roles, group memberships, and locations. With these policy settings, Windows 2000 Professional desktops and Windows XP Professional desktops are automatically reconfigured to meet a specific user's requirements each time that user logs on to the network, regardless of where the user logs on. For more information about IntelliMirror, see IntelliMirror.

Remote Installation Services
With Remote Installation Services (RIS), you can create installation images of operating systems or even of complete computer configurations, including desktop settings and applications. You can then make these images available to users at client computers. The client computers must support remote booting with the Pre-Boot eXecution Environment (PXE) ROM, or else they must be started with a remote-startup floppy disk. For more information, see Remote Installation Services.

This feature is not included on computers running the Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003, Web Edition, operating system. For more information, see Overview of Windows Server 2003, Web Edition.

Windows Management Instrumentation
Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is a scalable management infrastructure that is based on the Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) initiative. Using WMI, which includes command-line and scripting capabilities, you can monitor, track, and control system events that are related to software applications, hardware components, and networks. WMI is both standards-based (coming out of the Common Information Model (CIM)) and flexible, allowing you to customize the way that information is gathered and filtered. For more information about WMI, see WMI Overview.

Side-by-side component sharing
Side-by-side sharing minimizes application fragility by enabling multiple versions of the same Component Object Model (COM) or Win32 component, such as a .dll file, to run at the same time in memory. This means that applications can use the specific components that they were designed for and tested with, even if another application requires a different version of the same component. This allows developers to build more reliable applications, because developers can choose the version of the component that they want to use for their application, independent of the other applications on the system.

Add or Remove programs
With Add or Remove programs, you can easily add or remove programs or components and keep track of the list of programs that are currently installed.

Windows Installer
With Windows Installer, you can customize your deployments of software components, as well as monitoring file resiliency and maintaining basic system recovery with rollbacks. For more information, see Windows Installer.

Application management
With application management, you can make changes in controlled ways to applications, without recompiling or rereleasing.

New and updated features since Windows 2000

The Windows Server 2003 family offers the following improvements (in comparison to Windows 2000) that help provide increased levels of support for management and deployment:

Remotely administered server support
Remotely administered server support provides the ability to install and manage a computer that does not have a monitor, VGA display adaptor, keyboard, or mouse. This feature also includes Emergency Management Services, which provides a mechanism to manage the remotely administered server when the operating system is not functional, such as when the computer is restarted, when the server is unavailable on a network, or during use of Remote Installation Services (RIS).

Windows Management Instrumentation improvements
Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) filtering enhances the Group Policy infrastructure by helping you to determine the effect of a Group Policy object (GPO).

Scripting support
The Windows Server 2003 family has better scripting support, including new command-line tools and improvements to Windows Script Host. For a list of new command-line tools, see New command-line tools. For more information about the improvement to Windows Script Host, see Windows Script Host overview.

Resultant Set of Policy
You can use Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) to simulate and test policy settings that are applied to computers or users through Group Policy. RSoP is a query engine that polls existing policy settings--and also planned policy settings--and then reports the results of those queries. It polls existing policy settings based on site, domain, domain controller, and organizational unit. RSoP gathers this information from Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).

Remote Installation Services improvements
Enhancements to Remote Installation Services (RIS) include support for both Windows Server 2003 family and Windows XP product installations, more control over answer file processing for a Remote Installation Services installation, and access to network files in recovery modes.

This feature is not included on computers running the Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003, Web Edition, operating system. For more information, see Overview of Windows Server 2003, Web Edition.

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