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Windows Server: Install and Storage
The company Tech2much has put together an environment to test the skills of a network administrator. They have provided VMware Workstation 15 Player to simulate on. Below will be the steps performed to install a virtual machine with the Windows Server 2016 Datacenter operating system, running as a domain controller with Active Directory Domain Services, a web server, and with DNS and DHCP capabilities.
Part 1. Choose the most fitting Operating System.
Having the correct operating system is the foundation for your system. If the computer will be used to administer the network, then Windows Server is the choice. If the computer will be a regular client on the network than a simple operating system like Windows 10 would be sufficient.
For this instruction Windows Server 2016 will be used. The Windows Server software can be purchased directly from the Microsoft website. For testing purposes, the free Microsoft Evaluation software for Windows Server 2016 will be installed. This software is available for 180 days. We will use an ISO image of Windows Server 2016. An ISO image is a compressed archive of a file that contains everything that would be on a disk. In this case it is like having a soft copy of the Windows Server installation. Once the operating system has been downloaded we can begin creating the virtual machine.
Part 2. Building a Virtual Machine:
- “Create a New Virtual Machine” located on the right column of VM ware Workstation 15 Player.
New Virtual Machine Wizard will display
- Choose the “Installer disc image file (iso)” and browse to the correct path of the Windows Server 2016 ISO file. > Next. (See Figure 1.)
Figure 1. Create VM and Install ISO
- Provide the Windows product key that was given at download of the Windows Server 2016 software.
- Make sure the correct version of Windows to install.
(optional) You can choose to personalize your Windows machine with a login and password. > Next (See Figure 2.)
Figure 2. Windows Product key and Version
- Name your virtual machine (ERIN-PC) and make sure the location of the operating system is accurate. > Next (See Figure 3)
Figure 3. Virtual Machine Name and Location
- Keep default of disk capacity > Next
- Review configurations and choose the “Power on this virtual Machine after creation” radio button. > Finish
The installation of the Windows Server 2016 Datacenter has begun. You can monitor the process as it is installing. (See Figure 4.)
Figure 4. Windows Server 2016 install
After the completion of the Windows Server installation we can begin to configure its roles and features to support in administering the network.
Part 3. Statically assign an IP address to the server.
This is an important step because once Active Directory is installed it will act as the DNS server. We cannot assign any of these roles to the system if it does not have a static address assigned. We will set the server IP address as the primary DNS server.
To locate the IP address of the newly created virtual machine we will open a command prompt. Type “ipconfig /all” and locate the preferred IPv4 address (192.168.1.222). You will also use ipconfig for the default gateway and preferred DNS IP addresses. (See Figure 5.)
Figure 5. Ipconfig /all preferred IP address
To statically assign an IP address:
- right click the monitor icon located at the bottom right of the taskbar.
- Select “Open Network and Sharing Center”
- Select “Change adapter settings” in left pane. (See Figure 6.)
Figure 6. Change adapter settings
- Right click Ethernet0 adapter > Properties (See Figure 7.)
- Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) > Properties (See Figure 8.)
Figure 7. Ethernet0 properties
Figure 8. IPv4 properties
Select Use the following IP address. (See Figure 9.)
- IP address: 192.168.1.222
- Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
- Default Gateway: 192.168.1.1
- Preferred DNS server: 192.168.1.1 >OK
Figure 9. IPv4 properties.
A static IP address is now assigned to the system.
Part 4. Install Active Directory
Active Directory is a service used for centralized management in Windows domain systems. To install Active Directory using Server Manager:
- Open Server Manager > Manage in top right corner.
- Select Add Roles and Features (See Figure 10.)
Figure 10. Add Roles and Features
- Wizard opens > Next
- Role-Based or Feature-Based installation > Next (See Figure 11.)
Figure 11. Role-Base or Feature Based installation
- Select appropriate destination server from the server pool (Erin-PC) > Next (See Figure 12.)
Figure 12. Destination Server
Select server role (Active Directory Domains Services)
Add features that are required pop up > add features > Next (See Figure 13.)
Figure 13. Active Directory Role and Features
- Add features that are required pop up > add features > Next (See Figure 13.)
- Features > Next
- Active Directory Domain Services Role summary > Next
- Select “restart the destination server automatically if required” > Install
Figure 14. Installation completion
The installation process will begin. Once completed the system will need to run through a post-deployment configuration task. (See Figure 14.)
Part 5. Promote server to a Domain Controller
After Active Directory has been installed on the system a post-deployment configuration task will need to be ran. You will find the notification for this task located at the top right of Sever Manger with a yellow caution sign. The task will be to complete post-installation steps and promote the server to a domain controller.
To promote the server:
- Select yellow caution sign > promote this server to a domain controller (See Figure 15)
Figure 15. Post-deployment config. promote sever to domain controller
Active Directory Domain Services Wizard
- add a new forest > root domain name: erin.com > Next (See Figure 16.)
Figure 16. deployment configuration
Keep default forest and domain functional levels / domain controller capabilities
- Type directory restore mode services password and confirm (any password. Just don’t forget it) (See Figure 17.)
Figure 17. Domain controller options
- DNS Options > default
- Additional Options > Next
- Paths > Next
- Review Options > Next
- Prerequisites Check (if successful) > Install (See Figure 18.)
Figure 18. Prerequisites check
Figure 19. Installation complete
The installation process will begin, and the computer will restart automatically when completed. (See Figure 19.) The Windows server has been promoted to a domain controller and you will now be able to manage your resources using Active Directory. If you would like to verify your domain (erin.com) you can use the “nslookup” command. (See Figure 20.)
Figure 20. nslookup
This validates the IP address associated with the domain.
Part 6. Install DHCP Server
The DHCP Server is designed to assign IP addresses, default gateways and other network parameters to client devices. This will be useful for the company and managing its clients. Just like installing DNS, the server must have a statically assigned IP address to continue. We will be following the same steps as installing Active Directory by using Server Manager.
To install a DHCP Server:
- Server Manager > Manage > Add Roles and Features
- Wizard opens > Next
- Role-Based or Feature-Based installation > Next
- Select appropriate server from the server pool (Erin-PC) > Next
Select server role (DHCP Server) (See Figure 21.)
- Add features that are required pop up > add features > Next (See Figure 22.)
Figure 21. DHCP Server role
Figure 22. DHCP Server role features
- Features > Next
- DHCP Role summary > Next
- Select “restart the destination server automatically if required” > Install (See Figure 23.)
Figure 23. DHCP confirmation
There is also a post-deployment configuration task associated with DHCP. You will find the notification for this task located at the top right of Sever Manger with a yellow caution sign. The task is “Complete DHCP configuration”. (See Figure 24.)
Figure 24. DHCP post-deployment configuration
Select the task and the DHCP post-install configuration wizard will display:
- Description > Next
- Authorization > specify the credentials you would like to use > Next
- Summary > Close (See Figure 25.)
Figure 25. DHCP post-deployment summery
The post-deployment configuration task for DHCP is complete.
Part 7. Install Web Server / Internet Information Services (IIS)
IIS is the web server that is used on most windows systems. With IIS you can create sites, applications and share information with other users. This can be don’t over the internet or internally to the network. Web Server has the option to be installed through Server Manager like the other roles but for this example we will use the PowerShell tool.
To install Web Server (IIS) through PowerShell:
- Start > right click Run as Administrator on Windows PowerShell (See Figure 26.)
Figure 26. PowerShell
Type: Install-WindowsFeature -Name Web-Server -IncludeAllSubFeatures -IncludeManagementTools -ComputerName -ERIN-PC -Credential erin.com\administrator > Enter (See Figure 27.)
- Prompted for a password for the “administrator” account.
Figure 27. Install-WindowsFeature
- The screen should display success (See Figure 28.)
Figure 28. Install success
We can double check the success of the installation by using the cmdlet “Get-WindowsFeature Web-Server”. This command displays the install state and as shown it says “Installed”. (See Figure 29.)
Figure 29. Get-WindowsFeature
To check the services of a local site for IIS we can create our own alongside the actual default website in IIS Manager. By using the address 127.0.0.1. also known as the “localhost”, we can browse to our default website.
Part 8. Create Site on IIS Manager:
The first thing I will do is create a new folder in “C:\inetpub\wwwroot” named “naylor_site”. This will house the file I will create to display as a website for my server.
- Create a text file in notepad. (See Figure 30.)
Figure 30. Create text document
- Save text file in “C:\inetpub\wwwroot\naylor_site” (See Figure 30.)
Now the website can be created:
Server Manager > Tools > Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager (See Figure 31.)
Figure 31. IIS Manager
- Right pane ERIN-PC > Site (See Figure 32.)
Figure 32. Sites
- Right click “Default Web Site” > manage website > Stop (See Figure 33)
- Stopping the Default site to make the site that we will create the default.
Figure 33. Stop Default Website
- Right click Site > Add Web Site (See Figure 34.)
Figure 34. Add Website
- Add site name
- Map to “C:\inetpub\wwwroot\naylor_site”
- Accept default items below > OK (See Figure 35.)
Figure 35. Add Website parameters
Select the newly created site
- Center pane double click “Default Document” (See Figure 36.)
Figure 36. Default Document
Actions > Add > add the document name including the file extension (erin_naylor.txt) document should be at top of list. (See Figure 37-38.)
Figure 37. Add Default Document
Figure 38. Document listing
Verify the website works by opening Internet Explorer and typing 127.0.0.1 in the address bar. The page should display the created website. (See Figure 39.)
Figure 39. Newly created website
Part 9. Install Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox
It is always nice to have option when web browsing. Some websites respond better to a certain browser. We will now install both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. The easiest way to install is go to Google and search “Google Chrome download” or “Mozilla Firefox download”
To download the browser:
- Google search “Google Chrome download”
- Choose appropriate site (best to download from company website) (See Figure 40.)
Figure 40. Chrome download
- Download > Accept and Install > Run (See Figure 41-42.)
Figure 41. Chrome Terms of Service
Figure 42. Chrome run and install
- After Google Chrome has finished Installation complete steps 1-3 for “Mozilla Firefox download) (See Figure 43-44.)
Figure 43. Firefox download
Figure 44. Firefox run and install
Once both installations are complete you are free to use the Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. (See Figure 45-46)
Figure 45. Chrome Browser
Figure 46. Firefox Browser
In conclusion, the Windows Server 2016 system has now been configured with the necessary parameters to manage a network. The guidance provided should aid any user in accomplishing the task of setting up Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, Web Server or just running a basic command like ipconfig. With these step-by-step instructions even the most junior staff member can practice running their very own virtual server to tighten up their skills and better understand Windows Server.
- Francis, D. (2017, February 22). Step-By-Step: Setting up Active Directory in Windows Server 2016. Retrieved from https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/canitpro/2017/02/22/step-by-step-setting-up-active-directory-in-windows-server-2016/
- Stackify. (2017, November 14). PowerShell Commands Every Developer Should Know: 50 Cmdlets for Getting Things Done, Monitoring Performance, Debugging. Retrieved from https://stackify.com/powershell-commands-every-developer-should-know/
- Posey, B. (2017, August 04). 11 networking commands every Windows admin should use. Retrieved from http://techgenix.com/top-11-networking-commands/
- Microsoft. (2018, April 17). How to set up your first IIS Web site. Retrieved from https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/323972/how-to-set-up-your-first-iis-web-site
- Microsoft. (n.d.). Install-WindowsFeature (servermanager). Retrieved from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/servermanager/install-windowsfeature?view=winserver2012r2-ps
- Microsoft. (n.d.). Get-WindowsFeature (servermanager). Retrieved from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/servermanager/get-windowsfeature?view=winserver2012r2-ps
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