Several tools are available for managing Windows Server 2008 remotely (when physical access to the server console is not possible). Normally, this would be when seated at a Windows XP or Windows 7 Workstation that is connected to the domain, either on the local network or via a VPN link.
- Remote Desktop Session
- Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools
- RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools)
- Exchange 2007 Management Tools
- Computer Management Snap-In
Remote Desktop Session
From the remote workstation, Start Menu => Accessories => Remote Desktop Connection. Type the Server (Computer) Name; click “Connect”; and enter the admin credentials when prompted. It is important to note that for when adding new users within a Small Business Server (SBS) environment, you MUST use a Remote Desktop Session in conjunction with the “Windows SBS Console”.
Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools (AdminPak.exe)
”AdminPak” is a download from the Microsoft Web Site. Even though these tools were designed for Server 2003, they can be installed onto a Windows XP Professional Workstation in order to administer SOME of the features of Windows Server 2008. The following can be used: Active Directory Users & Computers; Active Directory Domains & Trusts; Active Directory Sites & Services; Computer Management (see below); WINS; DHCP; Event Viewer.
RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools)
A new set of administration tools is released for each version of Windows Server. Generally speaking, you would use Windows Server 2008 tools from a Windows Vista (or newer) Workstation (as they are both the same generation of operating system). For the same reason, you would use Windows 7 to remotely administer a Windows 2008 R2 Server. Download the appropriate version of RSAT for the server / workstation combination you wish to use. The tools must then be enabled on the workstation from within: Control Panel => Programs = Program & Features => Turn Windows Features On or Off.
Exchange 2007 Management Tool (E2K7SP1EN32)
Small Business Server 2008 includes a copy of Exchange Server 2007. The Exchange Management Tools can be downloaded from the Microsoft Web Site (and will run on Windows XP / Server 2003 SP1 or newer). Make sure Custom Install / Management Tools is selected.
Computer Management (compmgmt.msc)
For certain basic tasks (such as starting and stopping services), the standard “Computer Management” snap-in can be used from almost any workstation (including Windows XP). From within the console, just select “Connect to another computer” on the Action Menu.