Choosing Windows Components

An unwritten rule of system administration is to never install any components unless they are required. Although that might seem moronic at first, the point to take is that systems that operate only with the components required for their daily work are far easier to manage. There’s less to go wrong, less to secure, and less to administer. Microsoft has embraced this maxim in a lukewarm sort of way by eliminating the ability to customize components (including adding them) at the time of a standard installation. You can add and remove Windows components only after installation is complete. (I’ll cover ways around that limitation later in this chapter, but for now, note that you can’t customize an installation while that installation is in progress.)

However, even before you install the operating system, you should spend some time looking over the components to figure out which ones you need, using as a guide Table 2-1, which lists the components available for installation onto machines with Windows Server 2003 loaded.

Table 2-1. Windows Server 2003 installation components




Compilation of small applications software such as WordPad and Paint.

Certificate Authority

Secure authentication support for email, web-site access, and smart cards and LDAP directory services (among others) using X.509 authenticity certificates.

Cluster Services

Provides for real-time failover in the event that one or more servers in a ...

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