Monitor File and Print Servers

Monitoring file and print servers

To set up a file or a print server, you can use Manage your Server as shown below:

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If you click on Add or remove roles, it will tell you what roles you currently have on your server and give you the option to add more roles or remove existing roles.

If you select Manage this file server, the screen shown below is displayed:

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 Configuring a file server

If you want to configure a file server, click File Server and the Configure your Server Wizard configures the file server role. The first option it sets is Configure Disk Quotas on the File Server. If you configure disk quotas for individual users or groups, this overrides the default. The default applies to new users of this NTFS file system.

You are now given the option whether to use Indexing Service or not. The Indexing Service can slow down the performance of your server but if users frequently search the contents of your file server, then the time it saves in searches will make up for the performance degradation. The default is ‘off’. After this, you are taken into the Share a Folder Wizard, which is covered in Section 3 of this unit. Once you have completed this wizard your File Server is set up.

There are still additional tasks you should carry out. If you click View the next steps for this role, you are taken into Microsoft’s comprehensive built-in Help system and you are given a list of tasks that have still to be carried out, what they are for, and a link to how to do them

Not all of them will be applicable to your file server, but at a minimum you should configure the NTFS permissions on your shared files and folders to limit access to authorised users only and enable Shadow Copies to allow users to retrieve previous copies without you having to restore them, if they accidentally delete the wrong file.

When you have finished setting up your file server, should you wish to carry out further management open Manage your Server and select Manage this file server . The Microsoft Management Console usefully groups together all the common administrative tasks in administering a file server.

Set up and configure a file server

To set up and configure a file server, follow the step-by-step instructions below:

  1. Select Manage your Server from the Start menu.
  2. Select Add/remove a role, which opens the Configure your Server Wizard, and click Next.
  3. Select File Server and click Next.
  4. On the File Server Disk Quotas screen, click Setup default disk quotas for new users of this server.
  5. Limit disk quota space to 8 Mb and set the warning level at 7 Mb.
  6. Select Deny disk space to users exceeding limit. Click Next.
  7. Keep clicking Next until you have finished. The system will give you the option to share folders if you have not done so.

Share a folder

  1. When the Share a Folder Wizard opens, select Browse.
  2. Select C:/ and click Make New Folder, call the folder fileshare. Click Next.
  3. On the Name, Description and Settings screen, select Change.
  4. Select Optimise for Performance, click OK, then click Next.
  5. Select Use Custom Share and Folder Permissions. Select Customize.
  6. On the Share Permissions tab, select Add and add the Comedy group created earlier.
  7. Remove the Everyone group.
  8. Select Security and note that the Everyone group is already selected.
  9. Click Finish and print out the summary screen of your shared folder settings.
  10. Click Close.

Configure shadow copies

  1. You are now taken to a screen saying your server is now a file server. Select View the next steps for this role.
  2. This takes you into Windows Help, select To enable shadow copies of shared folders.
  3. Select the Computer Management hyperlink.
  4. Right-click Shared Folders, then select All Tasks and Configure Shadow Copies.
  5. Select the C:/ drive and select Enable. Click Yes (this creates shadow volumes with the default schedule, if you want to alter it click on Settings), click OK.

Manage servers remotely

You can use built-in system functions or you can create customised MMCs (Microsoft Management Consoles) to manage servers remotely. A MMC consists of a group of tasks. If you want to create one, enter MMC from Run on the Start menu and you will see the following screen:

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You can add the tasks that you want by adding snap-ins. Once you have completed this, you might not want your users to change it when you distribute it so change the mode from Author mode to User mode. Within User mode there are three options for setting the level of access which users can be given:

  • full access – users have full access to the console tree and the windows management functionality, but they cannot add or remove snap-ins or change console file options.
  • limited access, multiple window – users can access the areas of the console tree that were visible when the console was saved. They can create new windows but cannot close existing windows.
  • limited access, single window– users can access the areas of the console tree that were visible when the console was saved, but cannot create new windows.

Computer management

You can remotely administer a remote computer using the Computer Management console by doing the following:

  1. Right-click My Computer from the Start menu.
  2. Choose Manage, this opens up Computer Management.
  3. Choose Connect to Another Computer.
  4. Enter the IP address (if you know it) of the computer you wish to manage remotely, otherwise browse the network to find it. Once you are connected to the remote computer, you can use all the administrative tool available under Computer Management.

Web Interface for Remote Administration

You can also use Web Interface for Remote Administration to remotely manage a server using a web browser on a remote computer. This option is not available to remotely manage domain controllers because of the security risk. It is installed using Add/Remove Programs from the Control Panel.

When you are using the Web Interface for Remote Administration to administer a server:

  1. Open Internet Explorer (version 6 or greater).
  2. Navigate to https://Computername:8098 (using secure socket layer and port 8098).

Remote Desktop for Administration

The components of Terminal Server and Remote Desktop For Administration that are installed by default are the following:

  • Terminal Services Configuration: sets the properties on the terminal server, e.g. client desktop, client remote control settings.
  • Terminal Services Manager: concerned with managing sessions. This involves sending messages to clients, establishing remote control or shadowing of client sessions and disconnecting or logging off sessions.
  • Remote Desktop Connection Installation Files: these do just what they say, install client side of Remote Desktop Software.
  • Terminal Services Licensing: you need this if are going to use Terminal Services for application sharing. You do not need it if you only use Remote Desktop for Administration.

Manage servers remotely

Work in groups of two (or three if there is an odd number) to do the following.

  • Go to Computer Management, right-click My Computer and click Manage.
  • When it opens up, the default is the local machine to manage another server remotely. Click Action and from the drop-down menu, select Connect to Another Computer. Once you have connected to it you can manage it as if you were logged on locally.
  • Once you have connected to the remote server, navigate to Services and Applications and click on DNS. You should see the name of the other server, take a screen print of this.

Make sure everyone in the group carries out this task. Follow the step-by-step instructions below:

  1. From the Start menu select Computer Management.
  2. Right-click My Computer and select Manage.
  3. Select Action.
  4. Select Connect to Another Computer.
  5. Select another computer in your group.
  6. Navigate to Services and Applications.
  7. Select DNS (you should see the name of the remote computer you are managing).

Remote Assistance

Sometimes you want a friend or colleague to see the same screens as you to help you solve a problem. You can do this if your colleague has Windows by using the remote assistance facility. With an Internet connection you can let someone you trust work on your computer, chat with you and see the same screens as you. By default Remote Assistance is disabled on Windows servers. Enable Remote Assistance, select the Remote tab in System Properties in the Control Panel. To access Remote Assistance from the Start Menu, select Help and Support Center, then select Support and then select Get Remote Assistance. The screen shown below is displayed:

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With Remote Assistance you are in control: you can terminate the remote session at any time and access is by invitation only. To issue an invitation, select Invite someone to help you. This does not work on domain controllers (because of security implications). There are a number of ways you can issue a request for help, they are:

  • If the contact is a Windows Messenger contact you can use Windows Messenger
  • Use e-mail to send an invitation.
  • Save the invitation as a file that your invited helper must have the ability to access. You have the option of password protecting; it is recommended that you do and use another method of communication to transfer the password.

Once your helper has accepted the invitation, there are various levels of access you can give them from viewing your screens to taking control of your computer.

 

Configuring a print server

Using the Configure Your server Wizard to configure a print server is similar to using it to set up a file server, except the prompts are to do with settings tailored for a print server. To start, select Print Server from the Your Server Role screen. The first option is whether the print server is just going to be servicing Windows 7 or other versions too. The wizard needs to know so that it can install the printer drivers for these clients.

Next you are taken into the Add Printer Wizard to configure the printers your print server will be managing. You can add local, network and plug ‘n’ play printers. Windows searches for each printer and if it cannot find it, you are given the option to install it manually. Next you need to choose the printer port as shown below:

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Context-sensitive help is available if you want to create a printer port but are not sure which kind of port you want to create. Next you have to choose the printer driver for your printer. You are given a list of printer drivers that Windows has installed by default. You can scroll down the list and pick a printer if you can see you printer on the list. All these drivers are digitally signed, which means they have been tested for quality and can be relied upon.

If your printer is not on the list, you have two options: you can use Windows Update to get more printer drivers downloaded from Microsoft or you can use the installation disk that came with the printer. The Windows Update option to access more drivers from Microsoft is new to Windows server operating systems and Windows XP client systems. Once you have selected the printer driver, you are given an option to share your printer and the share name associated with it as shown below:

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Printer sharing

The next screen prompts for a location and a comment. It is useful to users if they know where the printer is located, so they can collect their output. Also if they want to print in colour and the printer is monochrome only, it is not going to be suitable. This kind of information can be included in the comment.

The last option is to print out a test page. It is advisable always to print a test page so that you can check the printer is working correctly. You are now given a summary of the printer settings as shown in below:

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Printer permissions

To set printer permissions, go to Printers and Faxes, right-click the printer you wish to configure permissions for, select Properties:

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  • Administrators, as you might expect, have all three permissions. To modify special permissions, click the Advanced button.
  • Members of the Creator Owner group are allowed to manage documents (this means users can manage documents that they have created but not documents that others have created).
  • Users in the Everyone group are allowed to print.
  • Print operators have all three permissions.
  • Server operators have all three permissions.

You should consider at least removing the Everyone group and adding the Authenticated Users group, so that only users logged on can print. If you had an expensive to run colour printer, you might want the only graphics artists to be able to use it. In that case you would remove the Everyone group and replace it with the Graphics Artists group.

Advanced options

  • Change printing time (you might want all printing from a particular printer to occur overnight, or if it is for sensitive data, during the day only.) From Printers and Faxes, select the printer you want to set the printing time for, then click Properties on the Advanced tab (see screenshot below). Click the Available from radio button and select the times you want this printer to be available from and to:image082
  • Set print priorities (managers might want their output to print before the rest of the staff). To do this, add multiple logical printers for the same physical printer, then using printer permissions, limit some logical devices to certain groups, e.g. managers only. In the advanced properties of these logical devices, change the priority from the default of 1 to a higher number. Jobs sent to this logical device will then print before jobs sent to the logical device with the lower priority number.
  • Keep a copy of everything printed (sometimes output goes astray and if you have a copy it is less work to reprint it). This is not enabled by default, however. If you want to enable it click on Keep printed documents from the Advanced tab.
  • Set a printer to print to multiple print devices (this is useful to spread the load). This is done by enabling printer pooling. Printer pooling is enabled from the Ports tab in printer properties (see below) and by selecting the Enable printer pooling radio button. To enable printer pooling, the printers you wish to pool must already be in the Printer and Faxes folder. They must also be the same type of printer and be using the same printer driver.

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  • Start and stop the print spooler (you might need to do this to clear a print job). The print spooler is a service that runs under the Local Computer system account by default. If you want to stop and start it, go into Services and Applications, which is available in Computer Management as shown in below.

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Computer Management

Click on Services and Applications, then click on Services. This gives a list of services, a brief description, whether the service is started, its startup type (some services are started automatically by Windows 2003) and what it is logged on as. When you scroll down to Print Spooler, you can see it is automatically started by Windows Server.

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To stop or start the print spooler, select it. If it is running, you can select Stop or Restart. You would be able to select Start if the print spooler was not running.

  • Publish your printer in Active Directory. This is done automatically if you selected Share this Printer in the Add Printer Wizard. A printer has to be shared before it can be published in Active Directory. To do this manually, select the printer from Printers and Faxes. Click on Sharing, make sure the printer is shared, and check the List in the directory box.

Once you have configured the file and print servers (they could be on the same server; a server can carry out more than one role.) you are going to monitor and manage it. There are two sets of system tools that you can use to monitor your file server: Performance Tools and the Task Manager. We will next look at the Task Manager and then how you would use the Performance Tools to monitor your File Server.

Next – Monitor and Optimise