This course covers the Server Administration objectives, domain 2.0, for the CompTIA Server+ exam. You'll learn how to operate a virtualization platform, install and configure operating systems, administer servers locally and remotely, perform maintenance tasks, monitor performance, and document your environment.
Building a Virtual Lab Environment Hello, and welcome to Pluralsight. My name is Mike Pfeiffer. I'll be your instructor for this course on Server Administration for the CompTIA Server+ exam. Now, obviously, the goal with this course is to get you ready for the Server+ exam, specifically the Server Administration portion of that exam. But we also want to take a practical approach to learning server administration, and that's what we're going to do starting in this module by building a virtual lab environment. We've got a lot to cover. Let's take a look at the module overview. To get started, one of the first things we're going to do is talk about hypervisors and how they work. Now hypervisors are what enable you to run a virtualization platform and run virtual machines. And virtualization is a big topic on the Server+ exam. After we talk about hypervisors, we'll move on to talking about understanding your hardware's capabilities. So believe it or not, not every single computer in the world can actually run a hypervisor, so we'll take a look at how to make that determination. Next, we'll move onto actually installing a hypervisor. And then we'll address the important concept of allocating CPU, storage, and memory to your guest machines. In order to get all of your virtual machines talking to each other over the network, we'll have to set up and manage virtual networks. And then we can get onto installing operating systems. So we'll take a look at installing Windows Server 2012 R2, along with Ubuntu Server for the Linux platform. Next, we have important network services that need to be covered, and this applies to the physical world, as well as the virtual world with things like DHCP, which is responsible for handing out IP addresses to your client machines, also DNS that allows your client machines to resolve hostnames to IP addresses. We'll take a look at how those work and what you need to know in order to pass the exam. Next, we'll talk about creating a directory service and actually joining your machines to that domain environment. So in this course, we'll set up Active Directory domain services on Windows Server 2012 R2, and we'll take some of our other servers and join those into that domain environment. Finally, we'll take a look at performing unattended and remote installations and the requirements that need to be in place for you to be able to do that. So I hope you're excited about this course and about this module. Let's go ahead and get started.
Common Server Configuration Tasks In this module, we're going to take a look at common server configuration tasks, some tasks that you might do either before or after you've deployed brand-new servers into your environment. First, we'll take a look at partitioning and formatting disks. Now we did this earlier when we installed our servers in the previous module. But if you add new hard drives to existing servers, you'll need to know how to partition and format disks, so we'll take you through that and take a look at what the requirements are and how that works. After we do sort of a deep dive on partitioning, we'll take a closer look at file systems. There are various file systems you can use to format your disks with, so we'll look at all of the ones that you'll need to know on the Server+ exam. Then we'll talk about optimizing swap and page files. And this is a task you'll need to be familiar with and how it works on both Windows and Linux. Next, we'll talk about configuring server hostnames. We've already looked at this for the Windows platform, so we'll see how to do this with Linux. Then we'll talk about installing additional components. Next, we'll look at enabling services. So if you want to have things run in the background on your servers, you want those services to automatically start in the event of a reboot of a server. So we'll see how we can configure that. We'll look at managing local accounts. So, we'll see how we can create local user accounts on both the Linux and Windows Server platforms. And then we'll take a look at hardening servers so we can provide the most secure environment possible for our servers. And then we'll wrap things up by taking a look at updating server firmware and the things that you need to think about when it comes to maintaining your systems over time.
Common Server Roles In this module, we're going to take a look at common server roles. So we'll focus on server architecture, as well as ports and protocols that are involved in client use cases. So let's take a look at what's covered in this module. First, we're going to talk about understanding the web, application, and database servers. So all of these different server types can be used in a stand-alone kind of fashion, or they can be used together for larger web application stacks. So we'll take a look at that. Next, we'll talk about providing file and print services. We'll move onto mail servers and take a look at all of the aspects of sending and receiving messages through a mail system. And then we'll wrap things up by talking about using servers for routing and remote access to power the networks in your IT environment.
Accessing Servers Locally and Remotely In this module, we're going to take a look at the important concept of accessing your servers both locally and remotely. First, we'll cover working at the local console. So the idea of walking up to a server, managing it at the local console whether it's a physical server or a virtual server. So we'll look at both of those cases. We'll also talk about using hardware-based network administration devices that allow you to connect to the local console of your servers even though you might be in a remote location. Then we'll wrap up with managing servers over the network. So this is going to be more of what you do on a day-to-day basis connecting to servers remotely from your administrative workstation to perform work. And we'll look at common protocols like RDP, SSH, and VNC.
Server Availability and Maintenance Unfortunately, at some point, your servers are going to fail, and they're going to go offline, and you're going to have to fix those. Or you might even have to explicitly power them off to do maintenance. So in this module, we're going to talk about how you can create server high availability and redundancy for your servers, and also what you need to think about in terms of doing maintenance on those servers. So, first, we're going to start off by talking about designing for fault tolerance and high availability. And this is going to be key when it comes to implementing servers and rolling out server workloads in your production environments because you want to make sure that you design a system that is resilient and will continue to function if one of the servers in your environment goes offline. And this is true both for unexpected outages or for maintenance that you decide has to be done over the weekend or at night or something like that. We'll get into more detail talking about outages and Service-Level Agreements. And then we'll talk about using change management systems to make sure that everyone in the organization is onboard with what you're doing, so you can get approval for your changes, make sure that they're tested before rolling them out into production. We'll talk about patch management or patching servers, and that's something that every server administrator is going to end up doing quite a bit. And then, finally, we'll talk about some of the things you need to think about in terms of performing hardware maintenance on the servers in your environment.
Performance Monitoring In this module, we're going to talk about performance monitoring both for the Windows Server platform, as well as Linux servers. We'll start things off by monitoring CPU and memory and looking at the tools that you can use on both operating systems to check these items. We'll move on to talking about disk utilization, how you can track that, and also how you can track free space and the total capacity of your disks. We'll discuss monitoring the network and the tools you can use for that. We'll talk about the important concept of creating performance baselines and how you can use those to troubleshoot performance issues as time goes on. And then we'll wrap things up by talking about the log files on your servers and how you can review those in the event of a performance-related issue.
Asset Management and Documentation In this module, we're going to take a quick look at asset management and documentation so you can record information about all the resources that you have in your environment. First, we'll start off by understanding asset management and what goes along with recording all of the hardware and software information that you have in your environment. We'll talk about visualizing your environment with diagrams. And this is something that most everybody does these days because it really helps eliminate confusion and helps give you a visual representation of what the network and what your servers actually look like. We'll talk about maintaining server build documentation. This is important for not only rebuilding existing servers but also building up brand-new servers with specific settings doing things the right way. And we'll wrap up with a quick discussion about disaster recovery documentation.