IIS is an important component in an SBS installation because many of the SBS administration modules and user applications are web based. The Backup tools, Monitoring and Reporting components, and Connect Computer Wizard are all administration modules that run in the web space, as are the Outlook Web Access and Remote Web Workplace user tools. IIS is comprised of several modules that all work together to serve web applicationsApplication Pools, Web Sites, and Web Service Extensions. This structure affords a level of security and stability not found in earlier versions of IIS.
Although most SBS installations perform sufficiently with the default IIS configuration, it is possible to customize the configuration of IIS by adding additional websites or virtual directories to the Default Web Site. Because the IIS configuration is stored in a text file in XML format, it is not only less likely to get corrupted when changes are made, but backing up the configuration prior to making changes is much easier.
SBS 2003 includes the capability to generate a self-signed SSL certificate so that key tools can be accessed securely, including Outlook Web Access and Remote Web Workplace. In cases where the self-signed certificate is not sufficient to handle all security needs, a third-party SSL certificate can be purchased and installed on the server.
Troubleshooting IIS issues on an SBS server is fairly straightforward because the default configuration of IIS during server installation is stable and well documented. Common issues encountered in an SBS environment include services or components not running, misconfigured port numbers, and web-based applications that have modified the default configuration. In many cases, simply restoring the IIS configuration from a backup will recover from the problems. Alternatively, details in the error messages displayed in the web browser can help identify the source of the problems.
Best Practice Summary