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Management strategies and tools overview

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

Management strategies and tools overview

When deciding to use a tool or feature available in the Microsoft® Windows Server 2003 family operating systems, it is helpful to have an understanding of:

  • The technology or feature set a tool is based on, or part of

  • Whether you can perform a task using a graphical user interface (GUI)-based tool, command-line tool, or script

  • How security and remote administration issues apply to your daily and long-term IT operations goals and objectives.

Adding the scope and limitations of your IT environment and corporate business goals to your analysis of this information, you can make optimal choices about which tools to use.

Management technologies and feature sets

Most of the tools and features available in Windows Server 2003 family operating systems are based on, or are a subset of, the following technologies and feature sets. For more information about each technology or feature set, see its corresponding link under Overview.


Technology or feature set Overview

Microsoft® Active Directory directory service

Active Directory Overview

Group Policy

Group Policy overview

Microsoft® IntelliMirror management technologies


Microsoft Management Console (MMC)

MMC overview

Terminal Services

Terminal Services overview

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

Windows Management Instrumentation overview

Choosing a management method

You can perform management tasks using one, some, or all three of the following types of management tools:

  • graphical user interface (GUI)-based

  • command-line

  • script or script-based

You can perform many of the same tasks using any of these methods, but based on your network environment and management goals and objectives, there might be advantages to using one type of tool over another.

Advantages to using GUI-based tools

  • You can use Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Consoles to group the tools you use most often so that you can view and modify your client, server, and network components and services from a single location.

  • You are less likely to type a command and related parameters incorrectly because you configure tasks through a GUI.

  • You do not need to remember a lot of syntax and parameters--again, there is less opportunity to make mistakes.

Advantages to using command-line tools

  • You can more easily automate a variety of management tasks.

  • You have more options to customize a task because a number of parameters might be available to use with the command-line tool.

Advantages to using scripts or script-based tools

  • You can customize a task or set of tasks down to the last detail.

  • You can use scripts to fully automate a task or set of tasks.

  • You can run a script from either a GUI-based or command-line tool

For more information about creating and using scripts, see the "System Administration Scripting Guide" at the Microsoft Windows Resource Kits Web site.

Issues important to system administrators

As more and more business is done over the Internet and from remote locations, security and remote administration will continue to be among the most important considerations in managing your Windows environment. For more information about these issues, click the corresponding links under Overview.


Issue Overview


Security overview

Remote Administration

Remote administration overview

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