Getting Started with Windows Small Business Server 2011
- By Craig Zacker
Using the Windows SBS Console
Performing Post-Installation Tasks
The Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2011 installation process performs a large number of configuration tasks that administrators have to perform manually in the case of a standalone Windows Server 2008 R2 installation. However, this is not to say that a server running Windows SBS is ready for users when the installation is finished. You still must perform a variety of tasks to prepare the server for use, not the least of which is familiarizing yourself with the Windows SBS Console.
Using the Windows SBS Console
The Windows SBS Console is an administrative tool, first introduced in Windows SBS 2008, which replaces the Server Management Console from Windows SBS 2003. Unlike Server Management, Windows SBS Console is not a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in; it is a standalone application that groups together many of the basic server management and monitoring functions that require separate applications in Windows Server 2008 R2.
Starting Windows SBS Console
When you log on to Windows SBS 2011 for the first time after the installation, the Windows SBS Console window opens by default and displays the interface shown in Figure 4-1. You can also start the program at any time by selecting Start > Administrative Tools > Windows SBS Console, and then clicking Yes in the User Account Control dialog box.
Figure 4-1 The Windows SBS Console.
You might notice that the Administrative Tools group also contains a Windows SBS Console (Advanced Mode) shortcut. Selecting this shortcut opens a version of the Windows SBS Console that includes links to other Windows Server 2008 R2 tools, such as the Active Directory Users And Computers, DHCP, and DNS Manager Consoles.
Using the Windows SBS Console Interface
The Windows SBS Console has seven main pages represented by seven buttons at the top of the window. Clicking Home displays a page, different in appearance from the other six, which consists of two task panes and a status area. Each of these two panes has an arrow button on the right. Clicking the down arrow on the open pane minimizes it and moves it to the bottom, so that the other pane can open and take its place, as shown in Figure 4-2.
Figure 4-2 Swapping the Task pane in the Home page of the Windows SBS Console.
The other six pages in the console consist of tabbed lists of operating system elements on the left, as shown in Figure 4-3, and a context-sensitive task list on the right, which you can use to perform specific actions.
Figure 4-3 The tabbed interface of the Windows SBS Console.
The functions found in the main pages of the Windows SBS Console are as follows:
Getting started tasks Contains a list of post-installation tasks to perform on your server
Frequent tasks and community links Contains links to the console’s most frequently used functions and to Windows SBS resources on the Internet
Network essentials summary Contains status displays for the servers on your network, along with links to appropriate pages with more information
Users and groups
Users Contains a list of the user accounts you have created in your domain and enables you to create new user accounts and manage existing ones
User roles Enables you to create and manage templates that simplify the process of creating user accounts
Groups Contains a list of the Windows SBS security and distribution groups in your domain and enables you to create new groups and manage group memberships
Computers Contains a list of the computers on your network and enables you to add new computers and monitor existing ones
Devices Contains a list of shared print and fax devices on the network, and enables you to manage existing devices and share additional ones
Connectivity Contains a list of Windows SBS network and Internet resources and enables you to manage their properties
Shared folders and web sites
Shared folders Contains a list of the shared folders on the network and enables you to create new shares and manage existing ones
Web sites Contains a list of the intranet and Internet websites for the organization and enables you to manage their properties and permissions
Backup and server storage
Backup Contains a list of the scheduled backup jobs for the server and enables you to configure the jobs, check their status, and restore files from backups
Server storage Contains a list of the server’s storage volumes and enables you to move specific data stores to other locations
Reports Contains a list of the Windows SBS reports that the system is configured to generate and enables you to view the reports and create new ones
Security Contains a list of the security mechanisms on the server, and enables you to check their status and view their properties
Updates Contains a list of the updates downloaded by Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), tracks their status, and enables you to deploy or decline them