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Remotely administered servers

Remotely administered servers

For servers equipped with the proper firmware, Emergency Management Services provides functionality that you can use to administer a server remotely. You can usually do so without a local keyboard, mouse, or display device. Except for hardware maintenance and replacement, all administrative functions that you can accomplish locally should be available remotely. This includes starting your system and performing system-recovery tasks.

Remote administration does present security issues, however. For more information on securing a system that is managed with Emergency Management Services, see Best practices for implementing security measures.

You should be able to perform the following administrative tasks on a remotely administered server:

  • Start up a server.
  • Change basic input/output system (BIOS) settings.
  • View power-on self test (POST) results.
  • Install Windows using a standard mechanism such as Remote Installation Services (RIS).
  • Select which operating system to start.
  • Manage Windows using standard management tools such as Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), Terminal Services Remote Desktop for Administration, Microsoft Management Console (MMC), Telnet, Windows Script Host, and non-Microsoft tools.
  • Manage a Windows Server 2003 operating system when it is unavailable over the network.
  • View system Stop errors.
  • Reset a server.

To support operations performed without a keyboard, mouse, or display device attached to the system, Windows Server 2003 operating systems are able to boot without most video card support. For Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) systems, the Windows Server 2003 family supports operating without a legacy keyboard controller. Universal serial bus (USB) systems running these operating systems can also support optional keyboard and mouse attachments. Consult your hardware documentation to determine whether your system supports this functionality.

Windows Server 2003 operating systems use the out-of-band management port to support Remote Installation Services (RIS). This makes it easier to install and repair servers remotely. For more information about RIS, see RIS and PXE requirements.

Managing a server that is running normally is referred to as in-band management. It typically involves connecting through the network directly to the server. A server that is functioning normally can be administered remotely with tools provided in the Windows Server 2003 family and listed earlier in this topic.

Troubleshooting a server that is not functioning normally often requires out-of-band management because you must access the server without relying on the network. To perform out-of-band management, you must establish a secure connection through a phone line or serial port, or through an additional network connection (possibly on a secondary network). The goal of out-of-band management is always to return the server to a fully functioning state where in-band connection is available.

Although you can use Emergency Management Services to manage the server remotely when the system is not functioning normally, Emergency Management Services must be set up and configured with the appropriate hardware and firmware. This is necessary so you can access the full range of its out-of-band management capabilities. When you have the proper hardware and Emergency Management Services configuration, out-of-band console input/output (I/O) support is provided for all kernel components, the loader, Setup, Recovery Console, and Stop errors.

When the server is functioning properly, support is also provided for a text-mode management console called Special Administration Console (SAC). For more information, see Emergency Management Services components.

For more information about hardware requirements for Emergency Management Services, see Selecting Hardware for Emergency Management Services.

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