OpsMgr by Example: Server 2008 POC – Part 1 (Domain Controller)

This is the first of a five part series that discusses lessons learned when installing System Center Operations Manager in a Windows 2008 environment. Windows Server 2008 introduces some features that impact how applications are deployed and configured. Specific areas that affect application deployment and configuration are server roles and the Windows 2008 firewall.

Windows 2008 Server Roles

Windows 2008 uses server roles to simplify the process of installing and to minimize the maintenance and potential security vulnerabilities of the system. Windows 2008 Server initially installs without activating any of these server roles. Examples of server roles include:

  • Active Directory Certificate Services
  • Active Directory Domain Services
  • Active Directory Federation Services
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services
  • Active Directory Right Management Services
  • Application Server
  • DHCP Server
  • DNS Server
  • Fax Server
  • File Services
  • Hyper-V (64-bit OS only)
  • Network Policy and Access Services
  • Print Services
  • Terminal Services
  • UDDI Services
  • Web Services
  • Windows Deployment Services

The Windows 2008 Firewall

The Windows 2008 firewall, by default, is active on Server 2008. As you install various roles, the Operating System adapts the firewall rules so that the new roles will function. As an example, port 80 is opened inbound to the server if web services are activated.

Since Windows 2008 does not define SQL Server as a server role, firewall rules are not automatically configured when you install SQL Server. http://cameronfuller.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!A231E4EB0417CB76!1427.entry includes a discussion on how SQL Server needs to have firewall rules changed so the configuration manager can access the SQL Server databases.

Server Roles for our OpsMgr Configuration

The servers involved in the configuration we will be discussing in this series include a domain controller, database server, Root Management Server (RMS), data warehouse, and reporting server. We will discuss them in the following order:

  • OpsMgr by Example: Server 2008 POC – Part 1 (Domain Controller)
  • OpsMgr by Example: Server 2008 POC – Part 2 (DB)
  • OpsMgr by Example: Server 2008 POC – Part 3 (RMS)
  • OpsMgr by Example: Server 2008 POC – Part 4 (DW)
  • OpsMgr by Example: Server 2008 POC – Part 5 (Reporting)

Installing the Domain Controller

The first step to build our Windows 2008 environment was installing a Windows 2008 domain controller using default configurations. Each server in our configuration was installed within Windows 2008 Hyper-V (a good discussion on installation of Hyper-V is available as part of http://cameronfuller.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!A231E4EB0417CB76!1273.entry, look at the first step). The following video shows the steps involved in the installation of a new domain controller into a new forest/new domain.

Once the domain controller reboots, validate that Active Directory Users and Computers shows the new DC appearing in the Domain Controllers container. DNS should also be validated by verifying the DNS Server role is installed and the forward lookup zone is created correctly.

With the domain controller installed and DNS functional, we can begin installing prerequisites on the various Operations Manager components. The first step in this process is the Operations Manager database, discussed in part 2 of this series.

Lessons Learned

Windows Server 2008 impacts how applications are installed and configured – through the use of server roles, and through configuration changes required to the Windows 2008 firewall.

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