Tips for Techies - October 2001

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Building a New Server

By Steve Riley

When I build a new server, there are a few things I do to make it easier to manage.

First, make sure you install Terminal Services in remote administration mode. There's nothing quite like being able to manage a server in a freezing cold computer room from the comfort of my office--or my house, even! Since TS requires authentication and supports encryption, you can run it securely over the Internet.

Then right-click "My Computer" and rename it to the NetBIOS name of the server. This easy trick helps you keep track of which computer you're working on when you TS into a box or use a KVM console switch.

Always copy the I386 directory from your Windows 2000 CD-ROM to the C: drive for easy installation of additional services in the future, and install both the Support Tools and the Resource Kit on every server--many of the utilities and documentation here are invaluable.

Finally, create an MMC (Microsoft Management Console) icon on your desktop with snap-ins for all of the services installed on your server. This saves a lot of time over opening the default MMCs in the Administrative Tools folder for everything you've got running.