Overview of Windows EBS Preparation and Planning

Updated: March 10, 2009

Applies To: Windows Essential Business Server

This guide provides you with information about performing the first two steps in the deployment of Windows® Essential Business Server:

  • Preparing your current network environment to work with Windows EBS

  • Planning how to integrate Windows EBS into your current network environment

During the preparation and planning steps, you take actions and make decisions to answer the following questions:

  • Is my network environment functioning properly, and is it compatible with Windows EBS?

  • How will I configure Active Directory Domain Services to run with Windows EBS?

  • How will Windows EBS fit into my existing network?

  • How will Windows EBS work with my existing firewall?

The Preparation Wizard and the Planning Wizard

To help you perform the preparation and planning steps, two wizards are provided with the Windows EBS deployment tools:

  • Preparation Wizard   Run the Preparation Wizard to scan your network environment and identify issues that you need to correct to be able to deploy Windows EBS.

  • Planning Wizard   After you complete the Preparation Wizard, run the Planning Wizard to collect information about the network settings that you will need to install Windows EBS.

When you complete the Planning Wizard, you save and print a custom report that contains data to use during the Windows EBS software installation.

You may need to perform additional preparation and planning tasks before you begin the Windows EBS software installation. The Preparation Wizard may require that you make specific changes to your environment to prepare it to install Windows EBS. You should also perform planning tasks that are not included in the Planning Wizard, including evaluating your options in Windows EBS for the DHCP Server service, the Domain Name System (DNS) role, and data storage. These additional planning options are described later in this guide.

After you complete the preparation and planning steps, you are ready to install the Windows EBS software.

Completing the Preparation Wizard and the Planning Wizard is a prerequisite for installing Windows EBS. To make planning decisions about your Windows EBS environment, you must complete the wizards even if you are creating a new Active Directory forest or a new network environment. If you are evaluating Windows EBS, see the considerations for a test environment in Evaluating Windows Essential Business Server later in this section.

When to prepare and plan for deployment

Preparing and planning for a deployment of Windows EBS can take several days to complete, depending on the complexity of your environment. We recommend that you start this activity at least three weeks before your planned installation date.

The deployment tools for Windows EBS make sure that you are using current information about your network in each step of the deployment process:

  • You must run the Planning Wizard within 14 days of completing the Preparation Wizard.

  • You must begin the Windows EBS Management Server Installation Wizard within 30 days of completing the Planning Wizard.

If the Planning Wizard or the Installation Wizard detects that information about your environment is not up-to-date, you are notified to run the Preparation Wizard and the Planning Wizard again. You may run the Preparation Wizard and the Planning Wizard as often as necessary.

As a best practice, you should run the Preparation Wizard and the Planning Wizard twice: during initial preparation and planning, and again within one week before you install Windows EBS software. You should then maintain your network settings until you install Windows EBS. Completing these wizards again on a date close to the installation date helps to detect any changes in your environment that may interfere with a successful deployment of Windows EBS.

Evaluating Windows Essential Business Server

The Preparation Wizard and the Planning Wizard help you plan your deployment of Windows EBS, even if you are not deploying Windows EBS in your production network or joining an existing Active Directory domain. For example, you must run the wizards before you install Windows EBS in an isolated test network to ensure that Windows EBS functions properly in that environment. Because your test environment in most cases is less complex than your production environment, there may be fewer preparation and planning tasks. Or you can run the wizards on a computer that is connected to your production network to determine that your environment is ready for a later deployment of Windows EBS.

Observe the following guidelines when you run the Preparation Wizard and the Planning Wizard in a test environment:

  • Install the Preparation Wizard and the Planning Wizard on a computer that is separate from the ones that you are using to install the servers for Windows EBS.

  • Complete the Preparation Wizard and the Planning Wizard. If the Preparation Wizard detects a condition in your test environment that requires attention, you must correct the condition to complete the wizards.

  • Type data in the wizards that is valid for your test environment, even if your firewall and network settings in you production environment are different.

    The Preparation Wizard and the Planning Wizard assume that your environment has a network firewall or a gateway device that provides an Internet connection. When you run the wizards in your test environment, when prompted, type appropriate address settings for your environment.

  • Save the data file that is created when the Preparation Wizard finishes. We recommend that you copy this data to an external storage device. This data is required when you install Windows EBS, and you must access the data file from the Windows EBS Installation Wizard.