Managing your servers from Windows 7

Most companies and home computing enthusiasts keep their servers running in some back room of sorts (data center, server closet, home office).  Physical visits to these rooms should be kept to a minimum and are typically reserved for hardware upgrades/repairs and server installations and decommissions.  This article outlines how to remotely manage your servers (ex. Windows 2008 R2, Windows 2003) from Windows 7:

Remote Desktop Connection
Remote Desktop Connection
allows you to connect to and control a remote computer.  You can connect to the console session (i.e. what you see at the server’s monitor) or a “private” session that runs in the background on the remote server.  To connect to a remote server through Remote Desktop Connection on a Windows 7 computer:

  1. START | RUN | MSTSC (or START “R D C” and then ENTER)
  2. Enter the name or IP address of the remote server and click connect
    1. Note:  You can also click the Options button to configure how the connection should be made (ex. disable audio).


Remote Server Administration Tools
Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) allows you to remotely view and edit a server’s roles, services, features, etc.  To use RSAT to manage a server from a Windows 7 computer:

  1. Download and install RSAT:
    1. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=7d2f6ad7-656b-4313-a005-4e344e43997d&displaylang=en
    2. Note that the tools can only be run by certain editions of Windows 7
  2. START | P A F – to launch Windows Programs and Features
  3. Select the RSAT features you wish to install and click OK
  4. START | ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS and then select the RSAT feature you wish to run (ex. Hyper-V Manager)