Installing Windows Small Business Server 2011 (part 2) - Understanding the Installation Process

9/25/2012 9:23:08 PM

2. Performing an OEM Windows SBS 2011 Installation

If you purchase a server with the OEM version of Windows SBS 2011 preinstalled, the software is already on the computer’s hard disk, but you must perform an abbreviated version of the setup procedure. The OEM setup procedure omits the generic operating system installation tasks, which the computer manufacturer has already performed at the factory, leaving only the tasks that require company-specific input to proceed.

When you turn on the computer for the first time, the Install Windows Wizard displays the same first three pages as a DVD installation (shown in steps 1 to 5 of the procedure in the previous section). These pages enable you to change the language, time, and currency format, and keyboard settings (if necessary); start the installation; and accept the license terms. In an OEM package, the manufacturer usually supplies the Windows SBS 2011 product keys on a Certificate of Authenticity sticker attached to the computer. You might also find that you do not have to enter the product key yourself because the manufacturer has entered it as part of the factory setup.


If you purchase an OEM version of Windows SBS 2011, the Certificate of Authenticity sticker on your server should contain both the physical and virtual product keys.

After you have completed the initial pages, the setup procedure skips to the Continue Installation page and resumes from there (starting at step 12). The installation is identical to the DVD-based procedure from this point.


REAL WORLD One additional thing to remember is that when you purchase Windows SBS 2011 in a bundle with a computer, you might not receive installation DVDs. If this is the case, the media are on the computer’s hard disk. One of the first things you should do after completing the setup procedure is to create a set of installation DVDs in case you ever have to reinstall the computer.

3. Understanding the Installation Process

When you install the standalone Windows Server 2008 R2 product, you are left with what is essentially a clean slate. The operating system includes a large collection of services, packaged in groups called roles, but the setup program does not install any of them by default. You must add and configure them yourself. With Windows SBS 2011, the situation is extremely different. The setup program not only installs the operating system; it also adds and configures many of the supplied roles to create a default server environment that requires relatively little additional configuration.

Most of the configuration tasks that the setup program performs are invisible to the user during the installation process. However, it is a good idea for administrators to know what the setup program has done so that they can work with the various server components later. The following sections list the various roles the setup program installs and describe how the program configures them.

3.1. Active Directory Certificate Services

A digital certificate is an electronic document, issued by a trusted source called a certification authority (CA), that verifies the identity of a user or computer. When you connect to a secured website on the Internet, for example, your browser downloads a certificate from a third-party CA that verifies that you really are connecting to the correct site. The setup program for Windows SBS 2011 installs the Active Directory Certificate Services role, which enables your server to function as a CA for your internal network.

In addition to installing the role, the setup program uses the new CA to issue two certificates to your server: a Domain Controller certificate and a Web Server certificate. These two certificates, self-signed by your server, enable clients on the network to establish secured connections to the websites hosted by your server and to the authentication services provided by the AD DS role.

3.2. Active Directory Domain Services

One of the most important roles of your server running Windows SBS 2011 is that of an AD DS domain controller. Among many other functions, the domain controller maintains a central database of your user and computer accounts, which is accessible to all the computers on the network. Without an AD DS domain, you would have to create and maintain separate user accounts on each of the network’s computers. With AD DS, your users log on to the domain, not individual computers. The domain controller is responsible for authenticating the users and granting them access to network resources.

During the Windows SBS 2011 installation process, the setup program adds the Active Directory Domain Services role on your server and, using the internal domain name you specified on the Personalize Your Server And Your Network page, promotes the server into a domain controller. On a standalone computer running Windows Server 2008 R2, these are both tasks that you must perform manually. When the installation is finished, you can begin creating AD DS user and computer accounts immediately.

3.3. Application Server

The Application Server role provides an integrated environment for deploying and running server-based business applications developed by or for the organization, including those requiring the services provided by Internet Information Services (IIS), Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1, TCP Port Sharing, and Windows Process Activation Service.

3.4. DHCP Server

The DHCP Server role enables your server to issue IP addresses and other TCP/IP configuration settings to other computers on your network automatically. The Windows SBS 2011 setup program always installs the DHCP Server role, but it configures and activates the DHCP server only if it can obtain the information that it needs from a router on the network.

If the server does not detect a router during the installation, it leaves the DHCP server unconfigured and does not start the DHCP Server service. You must then start the service manually and configure it using the DHCP Console.

3.5. DNS Server

The Domain Name System (DNS) stores information about domains and computers, most particularly their names and IP addresses. The computers on your network use the DNS server to resolve domain and host names into the IP addresses they need to initiate TCP/IP communications with other computers, locally and on the Internet.

In addition to this basic connectivity function, DNS also plays a vital role in AD DS. As the setup program promotes the server into a domain controller, it installs the DNS Server role and creates a zone representing your internal domain. In this zone, the program creates a variety of resource records that enable clients on the network to locate not only the server but also specific websites and AD DS services on that computer, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Resource records in a DNS zone.

For example, the zone for your domain contains a Host (A) resource record for the server name you specified during the installation, with the IP address that the program configured the server to use. The program also created an Alias (CNAME) record for the name Companyweb, which points to the server’s Host (A) record. When a client uses a Web browser to connect to the http://companyweb.yourdomain.local address, the client uses the DNS server to resolve the Companyweb alias and receives the server name in return. The client then resolves the server name and receives the server’s IP address in return. The client can now send a message to the specific website on the server.

3.6. File Services

The Windows SBS 2011 setup program installs the File Services role, but does not add all the available role services. In addition to the File Services role, which enables the computer to share its files, and which all computers running Windows Server 2008 R2 run by default, the program installs the File Server Resource Manager role service. This role service, using the File Server Resource Manager Console shown in Figure 2, enables you to establish storage quotas for your users, which limit how much server disk space they can consume; define file-screening policies, which limit the types of files that users can store on the server; and generate reports on storage consumption.

Figure 2. The File Server Resource Manager Console.

3.7. Network Policy and Access Services

When the setup program installs the Network Policy and Access Services role, it selects only the Network Policy Server and Routing and Remote Access Services (RRAS) role services. Network Policy Server enables you to specify conditions that clients must satisfy before the server allows them to establish a connection.

Windows SBS 2011 uses network policies to control server access through VPN connections and the Remote Desktop Gateway. For the server to grant them access, users must be members of the correct security groups and connect with a specific authentication protocol.

The setup program installs the Routing and Remote Access role service, but only with its Remote Access Service capabilities. The Routing option, which the program does not install, is intended to enable a computer running Windows Server 2008 R2 to function as a router, connecting two networks and forwarding traffic between them. Windows SBS 2011 is designed to support only one network interface on its primary server, so the server configuration omits the Router module.

The Remote Access Service option enables you to configure your server to host incoming VPN connections, which enables users at remote locations to connect to the server through the Internet. Although the setup program installs the role service required for this function, it does not configure it. You must do this manually using the Routing and Remote Access Console, shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. The Routing and Remote Access Console.

3.8. Web Server (IIS)

Windows SBS 2011 uses web interfaces for a variety of its applications and services, so the Web Server (IIS) role is a critical part of the product installation. The setup program installs the role with many of its dozens of role services, and also creates a large number of websites and applications, as shown in Figure 4. These websites include the default SharePoint Foundation site, the SharePoint Central Administration site, the WSUS administration site, and the Outlook Web Access site for Exchange Server.

Figure 4. The Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager Console.

3.9. Windows Server Update Services

The Windows Server Update Services role enables the Windows SBS server to store operating system and Microsoft application updates for approval by administrators and deployment to client computers on the network. Using Group Policy settings that the Windows SBS setup program creates, Windows SBS configures all the computers on the network to obtain their updates from WSUS, rather than from the Microsoft Update servers on the Internet. Using the Update Services Console, shown in Figure 5, administrators can review the latest updates received from Microsoft, evaluate them, and approve them for release to clients.

Figure 5. The Update Services Console.

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