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Chapter 9. Networking with Microsoft Win... > Choosing a Server’s Role

Choosing a Server’s Role

Once the server software (Windows Server 2003) has been installed on a server (especially in situations where you have done a fresh install), you can configure the server for a specific role or roles. Some of the common server roles on a Microsoft network are

  • Domain Controller. As already mentioned, a Windows domain will require a domain controller. The domain controller authenticates users to the Active Directory as they attempt to log on to the network. The domain controller also provides the global catalog for the domain, which is a listing of all the objects in the domain such as users, groups, and printers.

  • File Server. A file server’s job is to serve as a repository for the files that are needed by users on the network. These files are typically held in what is called a public folder, which can include private folders that are specific for a particular user.

  • Print Server. A print server is used to host a network printer. It is basically the control conduit for the printer. Because print jobs need to be spooled (placed on the computer before they are sent to the printer) before they are printed, the print server supplies the hard drive space needed.

  • Web Server. Web servers provide you with the ability to create a Web site that can be accessed by the general public via the World Wide Web. Web servers can also be used to create private Webs called intranets. Deploying a Web site is discussed in Chapter 16, “Hosting a Web Site”.

  • Communications Server. A communication server runs specialized software that allows users on the network to communicate. It provides services such as electronic mail and discussion groups. Microsoft Exchange is an example of a communication server software package. It is installed on a server that is already running one of the Microsoft network operating systems. Communications servers are discussed in Chapter 11, “Working with Applications on the Network”.

  • Remote Access Server. A remote access server (or RAS server) provides offsite users with the ability to dial-in or access the private company network using such strategies as virtual private networking. Remote access is discussed in Chapter 17, “Networking on the Run”.



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