Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2008 R2 : Performing postinstallation tasks (part 2) - Windows Server 2008 R2 roles

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3. Windows Server 2008 R2 roles

In this section, we will review each of the roles available in Windows Server 2008 R2. You should understand these roles and the services they provide prior to installing them on your server. Tables 1 and 2 provide a description of the available server roles and features, respectively.

Table 1 Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Roles

Active Directory Certificate Services The Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) role provides the necessary functionality to support a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). AD CS can manage certificates for users, computers, or applications.
Active Directory Domain Services The Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) role adds the necessary components needed to allow the server to become an Active Directory Domain controller. After installing the AD DS role, you will still need to perform the traditional DCPromo process.
Active Directory Federation Services The Active Directory (AD FS) role adds the necessary components required to support a federated Active Directory configuration. AD FS provides a service known as claims-based authentication allowing organizations to extend authentication for their applications to other Active Directory forests on the same network, or across the Internet.
Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services The Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) role adds the necessary components required to support applications that traditionally would use Active Directory Domain Services to store data specific to that application. Applications can be used to store data in AD LDS instead of the production Active Directory domain data store.
Active Directory Rights Management Services The Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) role adds the necessary components to support rights management features within applications such as Microsoft Office, SharePoint Server, and Exchange Server. Rights Management depends on PKI services, such as those provided by Active Directory Certificate Services, to add specific rights or limits to documents or email messages. For example, by using AD RMS, you can do things such as prevent others from printing a Microsoft Word document, or forwarding a sensitive email outside the company.
Application Server The Application Server role adds the necessary components to support ASP.Net Web applications. This role will add things such as .Net Framework and Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.5.
DHCP Server The DHCP server role adds the necessary components to support Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) IP assignment and configuration on your network.
DNS Server The DNS Server role adds the necessary components required to support Domain Naming System (DNS) servers on your network. DNS provides name resolution and is a necessary role required to support Active Directory Domain Services.
Fax Server The Fax Server role adds the necessary components to support and manage fax services on your network. This includes managing other faxing hardware or faxing software installed on the server.
File Services The File Services role includes components necessary to support and manage file servers. The File Services role can include components to build a Distributed File System (DFS) name space, support Distributed File System Replication (DFSR), or allow Unix machines to access the file server via Network File System (NFS).
Hyper-V The Hyper-V role adds virtualization capabilities to the server. The Hyper-V role installs all necessary components to allow the server to support and manage virtual machines using Microsoft Hyper-V.
Network Policy and Access Services The Network Policy and Access Services role adds components necessary to support network admission services first introduced in Windows Server 2008 R1. Network Access Protection (NAP) allows you to ensure that network computers meet certain criteria, such as having up-to-date antivirus definitions, before they are allowed to communicate with other systems on your network. The Network Policy and Access Services role also adds traditional network access components such as Routing and Remote Access Services.
Print and Document Services The Print and Document Services role provides necessary services to support print servers within your organization. This includes sharing, managing, and deploying network printers. This role also supports management of document scanners on your network.
Remote Desktop Services Remote Desktop Services, formally known as Terminal Services, provides the ability to centrally manage and run network applications on a Remote Desktop server, opposed to on the local PC workstation. The Remote Desktop Services role also includes components that allow access to the applications from outside the network and via a Web interface.
Web Server IIS The Web Server role adds necessary components to allow the Windows Server to act as an Internet or Intranet Web Server. Internet Information Services (IIS) has been a component of the Windows Server operating system for years. Beginning with Windows Server 2008 R1, and now in R2, IIS is added via the Web Server role.
Windows Deployment Service Windows Deployment Services provides a way to easily and rapidly deploy Windows operating systems to computers on your network.
Windows Update Services Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) allows you to centrally manage and control patch management for Windows computers on your network. WSUS can be used to build an internal Windows update infrastructure to ensure that your network computers are updated as patches are released from Microsoft.

Table 2 Windows Server 2008 R2 Features

.Net Framework 3.5.1 Features .Net Framework 3.5.1 features provide the necessary components to support .Net-based applications such as those written in ASP.Net
Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) The Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) feature is a file transfer technology developed by Microsoft to ensure that large network file transfers are throttled and managed to occur in the background on network client PCs. BITS ensures that processes such as Windows Updates do not take network bandwidth priority over other network application usage.
BitLocker Drive Encryption The BitLocker Drive Encryption feature provides full disk encryption for the Windows operating system.
BranchCache The BranchCache feature is new to Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. The BranchCache feature installs the necessary components to allow the server to cache remote file servers and Web Servers locally. This helps increase performance of opening files and Web sites for users in branch offices.
Connection Manager Administration Kit The Connection Manager Administration Kit feature allows you to generate profiles for client computers that use Windows remote network services such as VPN and Dial-Up.
Desktop Experience The Desktop Experience feature adds the Windows 7 specific features to the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system installation. This feature is helpful if you use Windows Server 2008 R2 as your primary desktop operating system, or if you use the server as a Remote Desktop server for end users.
DirectAccess Management Console The DirectAccess Management console allows you to manage and configure DirectAccess components on your network.
Failover Clustering The Failover Clustering feature provides traditional clustering services to provide high availability to server roles and other cluster aware applications such as Microsoft SQL Server.
Group Policy Management The Group Policy Management feature installs the management console to manage and support Group Policy Objects on the local server or in an Active Directory domain.
Ink and Handwriting Services Ink and Handwriting services include handwriting recognition and ink services typically used by tablet PCs. This feature may be helpful if you run Windows Server 2008 R2 as the primary operating system on a tablet PC.
Internet Printing Client The Internet Printing Client allows the server to connect and print to Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) based printers.
Internet Storage Name Server The Internet Storage Name Server (iSNS) feature allows the server to support discovery on iSCSI SAN networks.
LPR Port Monitor The LPR port Monitor feature allows the Windows server to print to Unix-based LDP print services.
Message Queuing The Message Queuing feature supports Microsoft Message Queuing services used by applications requiring guaranteed message delivery.
Multipath I/O The Multipath I/O feature allows the Windows operating system to use multiple, redundant paths to access back-end storage systems such as those used on iSCSI networks.
Network Load Balancing The Network Load Balancing feature provides high availability and scalability services to applications such as Internet Information Server (IIS) Web sites.
Peer Name Resolution Protocol The Peer Name Resolution Protocol (PNRP) feature allows computers to use a new multicast name resolution technology to locate and communicate with other systems on the network
Quality Windows Audio Video Experience The Quality Windows Audio Video Experience (qWave) provides QoS services to AV streaming technologies.
Remote Assistance The Remote Assistance feature allows users of the server to request or offer remote assistance desktop sharing. This allows another person to securely see and control the desktop of the person needing assistance.
Remote Differential Compression The Remote Differential Compression feature provides compression and difference only transfer capabilities to services such as Distributed File System Replication (DFSR).
Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) The Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) provides a series of MMC snap-ins and command line utilities for remotely managing Windows Server 2008 R2.
RPC over HTTP Proxy The RPC over HTTP proxy feature allows client RPC based communications to be sent over an encrypted HTTP(s) tunnel. Outlook Anywhere capabilities of Microsoft Exchange Server is an example of an application that uses this feature.
Simple TCP/IP Services The Simple TCP/IP services feature allows the server to support some of the traditional TCP/IP services, such as Daytime, and Quote of the Day.
SMTP Server The SMTP Server feature enables Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) services on the server. SMTP allows the transfer of email messages between servers.
SNMP Services The SNMP Services feature provides Simple Network Management Protocol services on the server. This allows the server to respond to remote SNMP requests or accept traps for SNMP-based monitoring applications.
Storage Manager for SANs The Storage Manager for SANs feature allows administrators to connect to SAN storage systems and manage storage volumes or logical unit numbers (LUNS) within Windows without having to access the storage-specific management application.
Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications The Subsystem for UNIX-based applications allows you to run applications written for UNIX-based systems on the Windows platform.
Telnet Client The Telnet Client feature allows you to connect to remote systems via the telnet protocol.
Telnet Server The Telnet Server feature allows users to connect to the Windows server via the telnet protocol and perform basic command line administration tasks.
TFTP Client The TFTP client provides a command line client that can connect to and download files from Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) based servers.
Windows Biometric Framework The Windows Biometric Framework feature allows you to use biometric devices such as fingerprint readers to log on to the Windows operating system.
Windows Internal Database The Windows Internal Database provides traditional database services for Active Directory Rights Management, Windows Server Update Services, and Windows System Resource Manager. For these specific services, the Windows Internal Database can be used instead of downloading and installing Microsoft SQL Server.
Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment The Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment feature provides enhancements to PowerShell including a graphical debug environment for PowerShell scripts.
Windows Process Activation Service The Windows Process Activation Service (WAS) is used by .Net 3.5.1 applications and IIS 7.5. The WAS extends the IIS process model to Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services.
Windows Server Backup Feature The Windows Server Backup Feature allows you to perform file-level and full system image based backups of your Windows Server 2008 R2 servers.
Windows Server Migration Tools The Windows Server Migration Tools include various utilities to help you migrate older operating systems to Windows Server 2008 R2. These tools can also be used to transfer data and settings from one Windows Server 2008 R2 installation to another.
Windows System Resource Manager The Windows System Resource Manager allows you to manage how CPU and Memory are allocated to applications and services. This allows you to ensure that certain applications receive all resources required to function optimally.
Windows TIFF IFilter The Windows TIFF Ifilter feature provides Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on TIFF-based images such as those used by Fax services.
WinRM IIS Extension The Windows Remote Management (WinRM) IIS Extension allows the server to be remotely managed using WS-Management Web services.
WINS Server The WINS server provides preDNS NETBIOS based name resolution.
Wireless LAN Service The Wireless LAN service manages autoconfiguration features for the server if it is connected to any Wireless LAN networks.
XPS Viewer The XPS viewer can be used to open XPS documents.

Installing additional software

In most cases, you will also need to install additional management software, such as antivirus applications, after you get Windows up and running. Be sure that you have tested these applications and services in your lab prior to installing them on production servers. The following are some important applications that you may need to install after the installation of Windows:

  • Antivirus/AntiMalware Software

  • Enterprise Backup Agents

  • Server Monitoring Agents

  • Configuration and Hardware/Software Inventory Agents

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