Set Server Roles in Windows Server 2003

by Jason Zandri

With Server Roles in Windows Server 2003, you can designate which services your system will run, from Applications Server to WINS Server. Jason Zandri walks us through the basics.

Server Roles in Windows Server 2003 allow you, as the Administrator, to configure specific roles for your system by using the Configure Your Server Wizard.

Depending on your settings, the Mange Your Server window may be automatically available upon login. If it is not it can be found on the Start Menu under All Programs - Administrative Tools.

From this screen you can add a role to your existing server, which will allow you to configure it for a specific task. You can also manage the current role from this page as well.

From this point you can pick one of the listed roles, all of which are pretty self explanatory by their titles.

  • File server
  • Print server
  • Application server
  • Mail server
  • Terminal server
  • Remote access/VPN server
  • Domain controller
  • DNS server
  • DHCP server
  • Streaming media server
  • WINS server

The steps for configuring the server in any role are pretty straightforward. You would select "Add or Remove a Role" from the main Manage Your Server window to launch the Configure Your Server Wizard. Once you have read the information on the screen, ensured that all of the network connections are verified, and that you have the needed installation path information (or the CD) for the Windows Server 2003 setup files, you can click NEXT to continue.

The setup wizard will test your available and enabled network connections and bring you to the Server Role screen.

Here you will be able to setup the server for one or more roles. In order to set up a second or third role for a server you would need to run the Configure Your Server Wizard again, since only one role can be established at a time.

In the example above, we have selected "Application Server" in order to configure the system as an IIS server.

The next screen that shows up for us is the Application Server Options page as it relates to the function of the role we have chosen. Here we can elect to install additional software for use on the server or not and click NEXT to continue.

The next screen is the Summary of Selections which will show us the options we have elected to install.

From here IIS is installed and configured automatically by the Configure Your Server Wizard. During the install you will see the Windows Components Wizard appear as software is installed from the software distribution point or the original CD-ROM.

Once the process is complete the final page of the Configure Your Server Wizard appears stating that "This Server is Now an Application Server" (or whichever type you chose).

You have the options of reviewing your Configure your Server.log file, which shows this exciting information:

(3/4/2003 1:03:51 PM)

Configurations for an Application Server

IIS installed successfully.

You can also view the next steps for this role by selecting that hyperlink from the Configure Your Server Wizard completion page.

This will open the Help File for Configure Your Server and it will bring you right to the Next steps: Completing additional tasks page, which highlights additional tasks that you might want to perform on the application server.

You can go to Start - All Programs - Administrative Tools - and find that the Internet Information Services Manager MMC is now installed.

A quick look will show that only the World Wide Web service is installed. FTP, NNTP and SMTP are not added by default when you establish the server role in this way.

You could have also gone about adding the IIS services by going to the Control Panel and selecting Add/Remove Programs and choosing Add/Remove Windows Components.

Well, that wraps up this article. I hope you found it informative. If you have any questions, comments or even constructive criticism, please feel free to drop me a note. I want to write solid technical articles that appeal to a large range of readers and skill levels and I can only be sure of that through your feedback.

Until the next time, remember,

Windows 2000 is almost 4 years old.

Jason Zandri

This article was originally published on Friday Mar 28th 2003
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