Manage your server from your desktop!

In this post, I am going to talk about an interesting way to manage your Windows Servers. One of the things that would certainly be a good thing to have is the freedom to use your desktop environment to monitor and configure your servers. The advantages of the above method are the following:

1) General Ease of configuration: Sometimes it is difficult to physically reach the actual server you want to configure. I know the dhcp-mmc snap-in can remotely configure a DHCP server but the problem is that you need to get your hands on a Win2k3 server machine to do this.

2) Reliability: When you monitor your servers from your desktop or other server machines you make sure that you cause the least disturbance on the target server. That is the extra load of running the management application is removed from the DHCP server.

Now for the part which actually explains how to get to a state when you can use your desktop to configure and monitor the DHCP server. I won’t go into details of it as it has been clearly documented here: How to install adminpak to configure DHCP server from your Desktop. Here is the download link: 

The installation will pull in all the binaries which are needed for remote configuration and management of the Windows server. Primarily these are the MMC-snap-ins for the various windows services. After the installation you can immediately test your new setup by doing the following:

1) Type mmc.exe in the run command window.

2) Click File->Add Remove Snap-in and select dhcpmgmt.msc

3) If everything went well you would be seeing a DHCP console similar to the one you see on your server. From here you can do all the operations you want to do.

If you want to use the netsh command-line interface to configure your DHCP server then you need to do the following:

1) First open a command prompt.

2) Type netsh add helper dhcpmon.dll This command will formally install the netsh dhcp helper dll which would have already been pulled to system32 as a part of the install process.

3) If everything goes fine, you should be able to manage your DHCP server from the netsh interface as well.