This is for those of you familiar with Presentation Server, to let you know that Access Essentials 2.0 is a little ‘different’…

Here’s my, slightly tongue-in-cheek, ten things you should know about Access Essentials 2.0 in Advanced Mode:

  1. Access Essentials only supports use of the Access Database. It’s pre-selected, and you’re not given an option running chfarm / dsmaint is officially cheating.
  2. Running chfarm / dsmaint isn’t just cheating, you can break things. Yeah, really…
  3. Access Essentials stores important info in Active Directory, which chfarm and dsmaint know nothing about, which is why they can break things. Now do you believe me?
  4. Farms are called Server Groups in Access Essentials. Yep, you’re right, we do just like changing the names of things for the fun of it.
  5. A Server Group has an OU in Active Directory, all the servers are held within that OU. I hope I don’t have to warn you about messing with this!
  6. Not all servers are equal. special one, called the Master Server, holds the IMA datastore, and runs Web Interface and Secure Gateway. It gets kind-of busy serving apps as well, so make sure it’s the best one.
  7. If the Master Server fails, the Server Group can automatically recover without the need for any fancy-schmancy load-balancers. There’s a magic floating IP address instead, which is the contact address of the Server Group. And no, we don’t use NLB, but yes, it really is magic in that not-really-very-magic-at-all sense.
  8. If the Master Server fails so badly that not coming back, can recover. We replicate configuration data to all of the servers every 24 hours, no you don’t have to go scratching around to find those backup tapes you think you made 6 months ago.
  9. For simple cases, you can configure roaming profiles and folder redirection right out of a simple wizard in the Quick Start tool – we’ll even remotely create the shares on the file server for you. Probably best not to choose the Master server as the profile server – hint: if nothing else, you probably have a Domain Controller around somewhere…
  10. There’s only one zone, it’s really important there’s only one, and we control server precedence as part of configuring automatic recovery. You know the drill by now – mess with this either.
  11. OK, I’m cheating There’s also a maintenance button. It makes it really easy to take a server down for maintenance, probably best not to use it on all the servers at 9am your excitement…
  12. Even if you ‘know what you’re doing’ *cough*, try using the Quick Start tool first. We do automatic cross-server application discovery, it’s cool.
    Oh, and if you get stuck, do by visit us at the support forums (v1.0, v1.5, v2.0) we do monitor in the engineering team and try to help out on most threads. I promise I won’t try out my sense of humour on you there.

Oh, and if you get stuck, do come by and visit us at the support forums - we do monitor them in the engineering team and try to help out on most threads.  I promise I won’t try out my highly-suspect sense of humour on you there.