Remotely administer IIS with HTML tool

Until now, the only choice for administering Internet Information Server (IIS) was through the IIS console, which was primarily intended for administration on the internal network of a company.

However, by using the Remote Administration (HTML) tool, administrators can manage most aspects of IIS from remote locations, even over a non-secure connection on the Internet and through a proxy server or firewall (if configured properly).

The Remote Administration (HTML) tool is an optional component of IIS, but it is automatically installed when you install Windows Server 2003. Once that happens, you will see in the console tree of the IIS console window the Administration Web Site. This is basically an Active Server Pages (ASP) application that allows administrators to manage IIS using any Web browser that supports JavaScript.

To use the Remote Administration (HTML) tool, administrators need only to connect to the Administration Web Site. To do this:

  1. Open the Properties window for the Administration Web Site in the IIS console.
  2. On the Web Site tab, find the TCP port number assigned to this site and write it down. By default, the TCP port is 8099. If you want secure access, set the SSL port to something appropriate. By default, the SSL port is 8098.
  3. Switch to the Directory Security tab.
  4. Open the IP Address and Domain Name Restrictions dialog box. By default, all IP addresses are granted

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  1. access; you'll probably want to limit this to a set of IP addresses you know are safe. Note that the remote clients need to have static IP addresses.
  2. Apply the changes by closing the Properties window for the Administration Web Site.

Now you are all set. To access IIS remotely, start Internet Explorer on the machine whose IP address you have granted access and open the following URL: https://Server_Name:Admin_Port, where Server_Name is the IP address or DNS name of the IIS server, and Admin_Port is the SSL port number you noted for remote administration.

About the author: Rahul Shah currently works at a software firm in India, where he is a systems administrator maintaining Windows servers. He has also worked for various software firms in testing and analytics, and also has experiences deploying client/server applications in different Windows configurations.

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This was first published in October 2006

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