Saturday, 23 December, 2000

Installing a New Windows Server

The Inquisite Solutions team got our new server today, an 800 MHz Compaq rack mount system with 18 gigs of hard drive space and 512 KB of memory.  Since I'm the one who will be administering the system, I got to install it.  Rack mount hardware is amazingly different from your standard desktop fare:  dual power supplies, RAID drives, cable harnesses, and a generally more reliable system.  This was my first real experience with this type of hardware.

Like everything else, installing a new server takes longer than you expect, especially if you've never done it before.  Fortunately, Compaq's instructions for mounting the thing in the rack are reasonably well-written, and our systems guy was there to help me with running a cable to the router, connecting it to the proper port, and assigning the correct IP address.  The software installation instructions were a bit fuzzy, but I appear to have Windows 2000 Server installed correctly, and IIS passed my (admittedly minimal) smoke test.  I have to actually build the web site now, but that's another matter entirely.  All in all, though, what I thought would be a 3-hour part-time job turned into a 6-hour chore, and I'm not even all done.  For reasons that have to do with routers, tunnels, and other stuff that I don't understand, the server isn't yet visible from outside the firewall yet.

Oh well.  It was a good low-stress way to spend the last working day before taking five days off.