Updated: January 21, 2005
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
This topic contains a brief overview of the features that support server manageability. 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.
Improved manageability in the Windows Server 2003 family makes it easy to deploy and maintain Windows applications and systems.
New and updated features since Windows NT 4.0
The Windows Server 2003 family offers the following improvements (in comparison to Windows NT) that help provide increased levels of server manageability:
- 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.
- 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 includes a uniform scripting application programming interface (API) that defines all managed objects under a common object framework based on the Common Information Model (CIM). WMI makes it possible for applications and scripts to discover what information is available for a system by enumerating the classes that are available. WMI can submit queries that filter requests for very specific information, and it can subscribe to WMI events based on your particular interests, rather than being limited to events that are predefined by the original developers. For more information about WMI, see WMI Overview.
- Active Directory Migration Tool
- The Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT) can help you migrate user accounts, groups, and computer accounts from Windows NT 4.0 domains to Active Directory domains (that is, domains in which the domain controllers run Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003). For more information, see Active Directory support tools and Designing and Deploying Directory and Security Services at the Microsoft Windows Server System Web site.
- 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.
- Manage Your Server
- Manage Your Server provides a central location for you to set up various server roles and perform daily administrative tasks. For more information, see Configuring Roles for Your Server.
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 server manageability:
- Remote Desktop for Administration
- With Remote Desktop for Administration (formerly known as Terminal Services in Remote Administration mode), you can administer a computer from virtually any computer on your network. Based on Terminal Services technology, Remote Desktop for Administration is specifically designed for server management. For more information about this feature, see Remote Desktop for Administration.
- 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).
- User State Migration Tool
- The User State Migration Tool (USMT) aids deployment by capturing and restoring user settings, files, and documents. Users do not have to reconfigure desktop settings for such things as e-mail servers, proxy servers, desktop color schemes, and desktop wallpaper.
- Emergency Management Services
- With Emergency Management Services, combined with the appropriate hardware, you can perform remote management and system recovery tasks, even when the server is not available through the standard remote administration tools and mechanisms. For more information, see Emergency Management Services.
- 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 policies--and also planned policies--and then reports the results of those queries. It polls existing policies based on site, domain, domain controller, and organizational unit. RSoP gathers this information from Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). For more information, see Resultant Set of Policy.
- 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).
- 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 an RIS 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.
- Authorization Manager
- Authorization Manager is a new tool for authorization-related tasks. It is helpful for application developers who use authorization services in their applications, as well as for administrators who define groups and assign security principals to perform roles and tasks requiring appropriate user rights and permissions. For more information, see Authorization Manager.