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Windows Server Essentials

jczr2

OSNN Junior Addict
#1
First, Hello to everyone, as I do not post often.

I am working on a new project in work, and I am trying to come up with a good list of essential apps for a windows server. Here is a small list of what I have so far:

• Administrator password reset tool
• Norton Ghost
• ISO burner (Nero)
• ISO editor
• Backup boot drive

I would love to hear of some good recomendations. I think I may add VMware to the list also. The main type of server work with ar HP's (DL's, blades, Integrity)

Thank You
 

fitz

Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
#2
Well, define essential? :) It's a very open ended question.. for essential deployment tools, I would put an imaging tool (doesn't have to be ghost - many here prefer Acronis).

Essential daily/productivity tools? Don't really see how burning software is essential on a server.. usually you would do that on a workstation.

Backup boot drive? huh? it's called RAID and redundancy and backups in general.. hey, there's an essential piece of software - Backup software!

Admin password reset tool? If you can't get into the server to login, what use will having the software on the server do for you? Better to have that on a boot disk off the server.

VMWare is not essential software.

So, what is essential?
* Backup software
* Some kind of AV software

Beyond that are nice to have but not essential.
* Sysinternals Utilities
* Resource Kit Utilities
 

jczr2

OSNN Junior Addict
#3
Well, define essential? :) It's a very open ended question.. for essential deployment tools, I would put an imaging tool (doesn't have to be ghost - many here prefer Acronis).

Essential daily/productivity tools? Don't really see how burning software is essential on a server.. usually you would do that on a workstation.

Backup boot drive? huh? it's called RAID and redundancy and backups in general.. hey, there's an essential piece of software - Backup software!

Admin password reset tool? If you can't get into the server to login, what use will having the software on the server do for you? Better to have that on a boot disk off the server.

VMWare is not essential software.

So, what is essential?
* Backup software
* Some kind of AV software

Beyond that are nice to have but not essential.
* Sysinternals Utilities
* Resource Kit Utilities

I am aware of RAID, but not every server uses it. Actually only about 10% of the requests I receive have RAID.

I do think it is good to be able to burn an ISO image just incase.

Password reset for if the only admin of the server becomes unavailable, or shuts down the server. Boot back up to administrator without the password.

I appriciate your input.
 

fitz

Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
#4
I am aware of RAID, but not every server uses it. Actually only about 10% of the requests I receive have RAID.
What do you think backup boot drive is other than a RAID 1 mirror? If you have a second drive that you will be using as a "backup" then you have enough to setup at the minimum a software RAID.

I do think it is good to be able to burn an ISO image just incase.
I never said it wasn't a good thing to burn the ISO image.. just not really off the server. 99% of any new workstation you buy will have a CD/DVD burner. Offload this to the workstation - not on your server.

Password reset for if the only admin of the server becomes unavailable, or shuts down the server. Boot back up to administrator without the password.
Again, having password reset software available is not a bad thing - I will, however, argue that having such software available on the server is a BAD thing. What's to stop someone else from going in and running the software and resetting the admin password and gaining admin access to the server?

Much better practice to keep software that resets passwords somewhere safer.
 

jczr2

OSNN Junior Addict
#5
Again, having password reset software available is not a bad thing - I will, however, argue that having such software available on the server is a BAD thing. What's to stop someone else from going in and running the software and resetting the admin password and gaining admin access to the server?

Much better practice to keep software that resets passwords somewhere safer.

You have very valid points. I should have clarified. The password reset will not be on the server, but a bootable cd that a top level person will have.

With raid, they need to be the same drives. I am thinking of just a small drive with like say XP Pro on it to be able to boot to to access the server drive in an emergency.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

fitz

Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
#6
ahh.. I misunderstood your original post. I took it to mean software installed on the server.

*light bulb goes on*

Very different then :)
 

madmatt

Bow Down to the King
Political User
#7
Norton Ghost on Windows Server? No, Symantec Backup Exec.

RAID? I have never configured or sold a server without a RAID controller, using at least RAID 1, but pref RAID 5.

Lastly, a server shouldn't run more than what the server is purposed for. There is no need, in my opinion, to have Nero installed on a server. That's what desktops are for.

That's all I have.
 

fitz

Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
#8
matt, as mentioned, it's not stuff on the server itself. Having an imaging solution *in general* is a "good thing"(tm) - but I would agree that having it installed on the server is a "bad thing"(tm)
 

madmatt

Bow Down to the King
Political User
#9
I must've missed that. Anyway...

Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery can do imaging, and is designed for Windows Server.
 

clifgriffin

OSNN One Post Wonder
#10
Depending on the use of the server, all or none of those things could be labeled essential. Personally, I would not install Nero or Norton Ghost on a server. Both of them attach themselves to the operating system and are more likely to complicate troubleshooting in the future than prove to be a constant neccessity.

Use another system to burn DVDs/edit ISOs. If you need to ghost the drive, take it out and put it in an external enclosure.

I tend to approach things from a minimalist standpoint. I install only what is needed and no more.

Beyond configuring essential features (like Remote Desktop), my essentials would be:

Spacemonger (http://www.sixty-five.cc/index.php) (beautiful tool for figuring out why a drive is filling up.)
All of the sysinternals tools. (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/...px?PHPSESSID=9692e65a5ee7da54b8d439d907f7965b)
WinRAR

...and that's about it.
 

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