It used to be that cars were relatively easy to diagnose and repair. I’m no mechanic, but I know that troubleshooting, diagnosing and repairing a ‘53 Chevy was much different than doing the same for a Toyota Prius. As the systems in cars have become more complex and interdependent, so too has Microsoft networking software. And just as car manufacturers have integrated diagnostic and maintenance codes in car computers to make problems easily diagnosable and help with maintenance, we at Microsoft are integrating systems into Windows Server to make it easier to maintain, troubleshoot and repair.
Mechanics nowadays can plug modern cars into a computer and obtain information about the functioning of most electrical and mechanical systems in the car. Some cars can even send a “health” report via e-mail offering maintenance tips or advising of problems. Similarly, Microsoft has built in several Windows Server maintenance and diagnostic tools that I will describe over the course of several blog entries here in coming weeks. I will start by describing the benefits and workings of our Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd392255.aspx) for Windows Server, a new feature in Windows Server 2008 R2.
In Windows Server Manager (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732131.aspx), you can use the BPA to scan your installed server components (server roles) to see if you’ve set up Windows Server and your network the way that Microsoft would recommend. The following screen shot shows Server Manager with the DNS Server server role installed. To run the DNS BPA, first click DNS Server as shown in the highlighted screen below.
Then click Scan This Role, in the Best Practices Analyzer.
For a detailed description of BPA, and instructions for using BPA advanced features such as scanning roles that are running on remote computers and scanning roles by using Windows PowerShell cmdlets, click Help in the Best Practices Analyzer.
Microsoft engineers have determined a number of best practices, or rules, with which the analyzer scans your system. When the analyzer finds a misconfiguration, it notifies you and suggests a resolution based on the best practice.
The resolution is where we, the Windows Server User Assistance team, help you understand what the analyzer has found and what to do to fix it. We have taken the complex engineering algorithms of the analyzer and turned them into instructions that we hope you’ll find intelligible and easy to use. You can see an example of the information the analyzer provides here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd378900.aspx. Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 includes BPAs for the following server roles:
Additional BPAs will be added to Server Manager by Windows Update as they become available.
Tune in next time for “Health Models: What the Health?"
Windows Server UA Networking Writing Team