Network Administration: Microsoft Management Console Overview - dummies

Network Administration: Microsoft Management Console Overview

Microsoft Management Console, also known as MMC, is a general-purpose management tool that’s used to administer many different types of objects on a Windows system. The Start→Administrative Tools menu gives you direct access to many useful management consoles. The following paragraphs give you a brief overview of the most important of these consoles:

  • Active Directory Domains and Trusts: Manages the domains and trusts relationships for the server.

  • Active Directory Sites and Services: Manages Active directory services.

  • Active Directory Users and Computers: This is the console where you create and modify user accounts.

  • Certification Authority: If you’ve configured your server to act as a Certificate Authority, you can use this console to manage certificate services.

  • Cluster Administrator: This console is available only on Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Server. It lets you manage clustering, which allows several servers to work together as a single unit.

  • Component Services: This console lets you manage how COM+ (Component Object Model) services work on the server. You mess with this console only if you’re involved in developing applications that use COM+ services.

  • Computer Management: This console provides access to several useful tools for managing a server. In particular, the Computer Management console provides the following management tools:

    • Event Viewer: Lets you view event logs.

    • Shared Folders: Lets you manage shared folders for a file server. In addition to finding out what shares are available, you can use this tool to find out which users are connected to the server and which files are open.

    • Local Users and Groups: This tool is available only on servers that are not domain controllers. It lets you manage local user and group accounts. For a domain controller, you use the Active Directory Users and Computers console to manage user accounts.

    • Performance Logs and Alerts: Use this tool to monitor system performance counters.

    • Device Manager: This tool lets you manage the hardware devices connected to a server. You’ll probably use it only if you’re having a problem with the server that you suspect may be hardware related.

    • Removable Storage: You can use this tool to manage removable storage devices such as CD-ROM drives and tape drives.

    • Disk Defragmenter: This tool lets you defragment the server’s disks.

    • Disk Management: This console tool lets you view the physical disks and volumes that are available to the system. You can also use this tool to create and delete partitions, set up RAID volumes, format disks, and so on.

    • Services: This tool lets you manage system services. You can use this tool to start or stop services such as Exchange e-mail services, TCP/IP services such as DNS and DHCP, and so on.

    • WMI Control: This tool lets you configure Windows Management Instrumentation services, which are used to track management data about computers, users, applications, and other objects in large Enterprise networks.

    • Indexing Service: The Indexing Service dynamically builds indexes to make searching for documents easier. Although these indexes are useful, keeping them constantly up to date can consume a lot of system resources, thus slowing down the server. As a result, many administrators disable this service to improve the server’s performance.

    • Telephony: This console lets you configure telephony services if you’ve enabled them on the server.

  • Data Sources (ODBC): Manages database connections that use ODBC. You’ll probably use this console only if you’re a developer or database administrator.

  • DHCP: Manages the DHCP server.

  • Distributed File System: Manages Distributed File System, which lets you create the appearance of a single disk file structure from multiple shares that may be located on different drives and even different servers.

  • DNS: Manages the DNS server.

  • Domain Controller Security Policy: Lets you set security policy for a domain controller.

  • Domain Security Policy: Lets you set security policies that apply to an entire domain.

  • Event Viewer: Lets you view event logs.

  • Group Policy Management: Lets you set system policies that can be applied to objects such as users and groups.

  • Health Monitor: Displays a console that lets you monitor the health of the server.

  • Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager: If IIS (Microsoft’s web server) is installed on the server, this console lets you manage the services it provides.

  • Performance: This console lets you monitor a server’s performance and twiddle with various settings that can have a positive or negative effect on performance.

  • Routing and Remote Access: This console lets you manage Routing and Remote Access Services, also known as RRAS. The first R in RRAS refers to routing, which essentially lets you configure Windows Server 2008 to function as a router. The RAS in RRAS refers to setting up the server so that remote clients can access it via dialup lines or VPN connections.

  • Server Management: The Server Management console is a general-purpose console that combines several of the most commonly used management consoles for specific server roles, such as file servers, web servers, and so on.

  • Services: This console lets you start and stop Windows services. (It’s also available via the Computer Management console.)