Easily manage multiple systems using MMC

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Even in this age of server consolidation, you may still have two or more servers on your network. If you are responsible for monitoring and managing multiple servers (or even workstations), you will find that it can be time consuming to physically move to each system to check on their individual status (event logs, services, performance logs, alerts, etc.).

Even with the advent of Terminal Services Administration Mode (which allows you to remotely log onto a system with Terminal Services installed), you still waste time logging into each and every system. An easier way to administer your systems is to create a one-stop shop, from which you can easily navigate through each and every system you wish to manage. Here are the steps to do this:

  1. Open an MMC console by going to Start -> Run. At the program to run line type: MMC.
  2. In the newly created console, select the Console menu and choose Add/Remove Snap-in.
  3. In the Add/Remove Snap-in window, click on the Add button.
  4. In the Add Standalone Snap-in window, navigate to Computer Management, select it and click on the Add button.
  5. In the Computer Management window, select Another Computer and click on the Browse button.
  6. In the Select Computer window, verify that the Look In dropdown has the appropriate area where your system resides.

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  1. Select the system you wish to monitor (server or workstation), then click OK.
  2. Click Finish in the Computer Management window to add the system to the console.

    Behind the Add Standalone Snap-in window, you should see the system you selected inside the Add/Remove Snap-in window, indicating that it has been added to the console. Repeat steps four through eight for each additional system you wish to monitor from this console.

  3. After adding all the systems you wish, choose Close on the Add Standalone Snap-in window to finish adding new systems to the console.
  4. You can also limit what parts of the Computer Management's features you wish to make available for the added systems in this console by performing the following (this limits features for all added systems to this console):

    a. Choose the Extensions Tab at the top of the Add/Remove Snap-in window.
    b. Uncheck Add All Extensions.
    c. Then choose which features you wish to make available in the console.

  5. Choose OK on the Add/Remove Snap-in window to return to the main Console window.
  6. You now have an MMC dedicated to the management of the servers on your network. Expanding each of the servers gives you the computer management features you would have if you were logged on locally or connecting remotely. However, now you can save this console and its added systems, giving you a one-stop shop to check up on any system, just by opening this console.
  7. Use the Console menu to save the MMC for later use.

This was first published in October 2003

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