Windows Server 2003 – IIS 6.0

Internet Information Service version 6.0


IIS 6.0 is bigger, faster and definitively more security.  Is it easier to configure?  Judging by the extra menus, new features, new acronyms and backwards compatibility – no.  But then if everything was easy you would not need the likes of you and I!

Microsoft’s philosophy on security is changing and the proof is here in IIS. Microsoft default used to be for ease of now they are committed to locking down settings, and their strategy is to disable services that are not required for example, FTP and NNTP disabled on pure web servers.  Why not try the IIS Security Lockdown wizard which you can download from Microsoft’s site?

Does IIS 6.0 have major differences compared with Windows 200 – yes.  New application pool and area for Web Service Extensions.  An indication of all the development work lies in the version number, while other Windows Server 2003 components report to version 5.x, IIS is version 6.0.

Where is the IIS Install gone?Check out Add Remove Programs / Windows Components – Application Server/IIS Details

Which components use IIS?  – More than you think!

Firstly, a reminder that the main purpose of IIS is to respond to HTTP get page requests.  Now think of all the applications that rely on web components.

  • WWW Web service for displaying web pages
  • SQL 2000.  HTTP queries and also the Monitor service
  • Exchange uses the SMTP virtual server
  • OWA (Outlook Web Access) thin clients of Exchange
  • FTP if you allow client to load up files
  • NNTP another virtual server this time for network news groups.  NNTP is also needed by Exchange 2000/3
  • SharePoint Portal server needs the FrontPage Web Extensions
  • Web or Internet based printing another use of Web Extensions

Technical Information

HTTP.SYS is well named as its job is to route HTTP requests to applications.  Think of HTTP.SYS as a good listener that manages TCP/IP connections and sends requests to the correct queue. It works by fetching stored procedures, however, there are no worries that user mode code can execute directly in the kernel.  In addition Kernel mode caching results in a 70% improvement in dealing with http get requests.

INETINFO.EXE is still there running the following components:  FTP, SMTP, NNTP,ADO and ODBC connections

The Metabase – that strange registry for IIS, has been replaced with Metabase.xml in the %windir%\system32\inetsrv folder.

N.B. the default %windir% would be Windows not WINNT.

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Mega Technical

  • Fusion Support – Precise versions of runtime COM components
  • Partition Support Different COM+ permissions for different users
  • Tracker Support – Help to debug applications
  • MSMQ – Microsoft Message Queuing
  • Receive and send messages.  Used with BizTalk server, works with C#, and VB.NET
  • Database Support forADO, ODBC.
  • IIS integrates withKey Management andCertificate Authority

.NET Framework

  1. Supersedes .asp?  Active server pages where clever html code runs on the server.
  2. Runtime language
  3. Unified class libraries

See Also