Longhorn:: 10 Reasons to look at Windows Longhorn Part 3: IIS 7.0

This week I was preparing for my TechNet evening session about longhorn server and I was looking at what we have done with the Internet Information Services 7.0. It's more than just a webserver , it's an easy to manage, deploy and extend platform.

Talking about IIS 7.0 to a IT Pro audience we have to mention the following improvements:

  • Unified, Distributable Configuration Model
  • Administration Tools
  • Powerful Diagnostic Capabilities
  • Modular Architecture

Lets have a look in detail what those improvements mean:

Unified, Distributable Configuration Model

Say goodbye against the metabase and enjoy the easy to understand and well structured webconfig.config and applicationhost.config XML files. The config files share the same syntax of the ASP.Net configuration files, in fact the configuration of both can coexist in the same file. With IIS 7.0 we can now store the web.config file within the same location of the application or site content. Welcome to a world of Xcopy, just use the Xcopy tool to copy the configuration, content and applications from site to other web servers.

It's easy to change the configuration of the sites,applications , just go to the configuration properties in the config file. For example you can go to the <sites> section, scroll to the site you want to change and for example the bindings from port 80 to 81.

Another improvement many admin's will love is the delegated administration. You will be able to specify which configuration items can be changed. Open the IIS manager and go to feature delegation. There you can select which item you want and set the rights to Read Only, Read-Write or just inherit the settings. You are able to define the security  for all sites or create security settings site by site. Another tool to change to configuration of an IIS Web server is appcmd.exe. This tool can also be used to delegate the administration. 

Here’s how you unlock the custom errors configuration for all sites:

appcmd unlock config –commitPath:APPHOST –section:httpErrors 

The next step in admin delegation is to define which user can administrate the website.  


Note that configuration locking alone can’t secure your configuration system – you need to ACL configuration files appropriately.  Locking and file ACL’s together make a complete configuration security story.

This is a great feature that many administrators and developers will love.

Administration Tools

In the previous section I briefly mentioned the IIS 7 manager. The complete new IIS Manager offers a new, more efficient tool for managing the web server. It provides support for both IIS and ASP.NET configuration settings.

IIS7 supports a new command line tool for administering the server. This powerful utility makes it easy to read and write configuration values, and access site and application pool state information, all from the command prompt

Powerful Diagnostics Capabilities

With the built-in diagnostics and tracing tools troubleshooting has never been easier.

One of the most important features which helps improve IIS7 troubleshooting support is the Runtime Status and Control API (RSCA), which is designed to give detailed runtime information about the server from deep within IIS7. With RSCA, it is possible to inspect and manage various entities including sites, application pools.

IIS7’s Automatic Failed Request Trace Logging feature enables the server administrator to define error conditions for IIS to look out for. Error conditions can range from “slow” or “hung” requests, to the familiar status codes IIS sends back during error conditions like “Server 500 Error”. Once configured, if IIS7 detects an error conditions, it can automatically log detailed trace events of everything that happened during the request which led up to the error.

Instead of seeing a terse error code, you’ll now see detailed information about the request, what potential issues may have caused the error, and how to fix it.


Modular Architecture

IIS has been designed to let you decide which feature you want to install. We have modularized the WebServer with up to 40 modules that can be individually installed. This also means that we can dramatically reduce the attack surface and lowering the footprint requirements.

Because of this modularity we can deploy different servers for different roles. It will also facilitate the ability to the community to build and deploy new features.


Additional Improvements

  • IIS 7 features all built on public APIs
    • Enable community to extend, replace, and add functionality
  • Deeper integration across IIS and ASP.NET
    • ­ASP.NET services now work for all types of applications and content
  • Native Win32 and .NET Framework APIs
    • Harness developer productivity with .NET
  • Seamless support for 3rd party extensions
    • Extend configuration, admin tool, event logging

IIS 7 is a great web-platform and is already available for Windows Vista. You want to have more in depth information about IIS 7 go check the IIS.Net website.


Previous Blogposts in this series:

Part 2: Windows PowerShell

Part 1: Server Management Improvements

Comments (6)

  1. Anonymous says:

    With Windows Vista we’ve improved the security of the platform dramatically, because Windows Vista and

  2. Anonymous says:

    When I talked about the server management improvements in the first part of this series I explained that

  3. Anonymous says:

    poki co tylko trzy, ale w przyszlosci bedzie wiecej: Server Management Improvements PowerShell IIS7.o

  4. Anonymous says:

    It has been quite a while now since I wrote part 8 of this series. I must admit I tried to start this

  5. Anonymous says:

    Arlindo Alves the Belgian IT Pro Evangelist wrote a blogpost series about 10 Reasons you want to look

Skip to main content