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Server Software and Applications Installation for the Security of your server.

Software and Applications Installation for servers some tips, hints, and tricks...

Imagine rows of Racks, large companys have rooms full of these, these rooms are called Data Centers.For server software and applications installation: do not use the default drive!

You may have a lot of server software applications to install on your new server, so why would you choose to install them on a drive other than the 'default' drive that the software publisher picked when they wrote the installation program?

Good question and it is on most certification tests.

Need a server? You can build your own!

So lets look at the logic behind the software company's (all of them!) using the default drive of C:\. Consider this: When you setup the server OS what drives did you have when you checked the Drive Manager? C for the OS and D for the CD ROM drive. Unless this was a rebuild then all bets are off.

So the software publishers know that when you complete the OS install that at a minimum you will have the OS drive of C:\ and the CD ROM drive of D:\. You can not install the software on the cd, it is read only so that leaves C:\ as the default drive.

Software and Applications Installation Instructions:

One of the main reasons for installing your software applications on a drive other than default is security. When you setup your server you will want secure the Operating System volume as tight as possible. That means you want to restrict the access to only those that actually have a need to access the volume.

The access list is very small: administrators, Server Operators, the system, and some processes.

Now where does it say guests, users, or power users?

But the users and power users need access to the applications. Ok, put the application on a different volume and give them access they require to do their tasks. The only exception is for IIS (Internet Information  Service) this application has a special user id that allows 'guests' or 'anonymous' users access to your web site, see my IIS installation guide for this application.

Another reason you would not want to install all your applications on the Operating System volume is storage space. Normally you would create a small (compared to the rest of the volumes) volume for your OS, say 20 to 72 gig. Applications take up a lot of storage especially those that create data such as a data base program.

Portions of this page about Server  Software and Applications Installation were extracted from Build a Server Guide.

Scenario:

You have just completed your new server build, it is not a domain controller but an application server. You have gone through the installation guide and have hardened the server against cyber attack. Now you have a hand full of CD's that you need to install and your job is complete.When you setup your Raid Array, split up the partitons in to more than two volumes.

You have backup, data base, and fax applications to install.

Solution:

You would install your applications on different volumes because:

The backup application can reside on the OS volume but the logs will have to be located on another volume because of the storage requirement for the catalogs and backup logs. (Backup catalogs and the backup logs will become quite large as time goes by).

The Data Base software should reside on a separate volume due to the fact that the data will consume large amounts of storage over time and you don't want the OS volume to run out of space and crash the server.

The Fax application will also need to be installed on a separate volume because of the requirement that all faxes sent or received have to be stored for certain time period and this will also consume large amounts of storage over time.

In planning stage you should know how many partitions you need to make and how many volumes on each partiton.Before you begin you installations it would be better for you to setup your security. It will be faster and easier to set the default security at the root before all the applications create their directory structures. Once the application is installed if a special security access is required on separate directories then the task is simplified to just those directories and not the complete directory structure. Large directory structures that have to have a security change can take up to 24 hours to complete and then you may instigate errors into the security data base also.

Server Software and Applications Installation Summery:

You should consider the application and company defined needs when installing new applications, this includes long term storage and security.

You should always lock down your Operating System volume and restrict access to the minimum of only those that need to maintain the server and Operating System.

Is this your It Tool Box?

Did you know you can use a Windows 7 ERD on server versions 2008 and newer? Need to make a custom Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) for yourself? Check this out.



Emergency Repair
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