Managing multiple IIS servers over RDP can be quite inconvenient, especially if you need to administer dozens of such servers. It is much more convenient to manage IIS servers from a single standard IIS server management console that is installed on your workstation. If you are using Server Core, there is simply no other choice, you will have to manage the IIS server remotely in any case. In this article we will describe the process of configuring remote management on the client (Windows 10) and server side (Windows Server 2016/Server Core).
Installing the IIS Management Service on the IIS Server
Management Service is required for remote management of the IIS server, so you need to install and run it on all IIS servers. It is one of the components of the Web Server (IIS) role.
You can install Management Service from graphical Server Manager console (Web Server (IIS) -> Management Tools -> Management Service).
Of course, you can install it by using single PowerShell command:
Enabling Remote Management in IIS
If the IIS server is installed on a Windows Server with a GUI (Full GUI installation), then enabling the remote management can be performed in IIS Manager.
Select your server name in the left pane and click on the Management Service option.
- Check the option Enable remote connections;
- On the right pane click Apply;
- Click Start.
After starting the WMSVC (Web Management Service) service, you need to change its startup type to automatic. You can do this from the Services Management console (services.msc).
You can also do this by using command (run it in elevated Command prompt)
sc config WMSVC start= auto
If the IIS server is installed on the Server Core, you must first enable remote management in the registry, and then start the WMSVC service and switch it to automatic startup mode.
Open Registry Editor (Regedit.exe), go to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWebManagementServer and change the value of the EnableRemoteManagement from 0 to 1.
It remains to configure the automatic start of the Web Management Service and run it.
sc config WMSVC start= auto net start WMSVC
Remote Connection to IIS Using the IIS Manager Console
When connecting to an IIS server from another Windows server, there should be no problems. And if you need to connect with the client OS (for example Windows 10), then an additional configuration is required.
At first, you need to install the IIS Management Console (Control Panel -> Programs -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows Features on or off -> Internet Information Services -> Web Management Tools -> IIS Management Console).
However, there is a difference between the IIS management console in the server OS and the client OS. As you can see, there is no remote server connection options in the client console.
In order for appropriate dialogs to appear, it is necessary to install a special extension on Windows 10 — IIS Manager for Remote Administration.
After installing the component, restart the IIS console and verify that the remote connection options have appeared.
If the version of the console and the server which you are connecting are different, you will see a dialog in which you need to install the required components of the corresponding versions. This happens both when connecting the console version above to the server version below, and vice versa.
That’s all! Now you can remotely manage your IIS servers. Configuring the remote management in IIS 8.0 (Windows Server 2012, Windows 8) and 8.5 (Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1) can be done in an identical way.