Comparison reports in ARK for Internet Information Services (7.5/7)

IIS 7.0 with its scalable architecture is bound to increase the number of web applications hosted on a single server. But are the IIS administrators ready for the challenge? IIS7.0 certainly provides for a cost-effective and secure web server platform capable of hosting thousands of websites. While managing just a single web server with numerous web applications in itself is a challenge, imagine the arduous task before the IIS administrators to manage multiple web servers. Given the number of configuration parameters that have to be referred to, it is almost impossible for the administrators to pull out information manually, compare the settings with another website for reference and carry on configuring a new website, change the settings of an existing website or migrate websites from one server to another.

Admin Report Kit for IIS 7.5/7 (ARKIIS) has come out with a powerful comparison feature to address the plights of the IIS administrators. Comparison reports in ARKIIS allow you to compare IIS configuration settings with a baseline reference across virtual directories, websites and servers as detailed as following,

Comparing websites with a baseline website:

ARKIIS allows IIS administrators to compare the IIS configuration settings of numerous websites across multiple web servers with a single baseline (reference) website. Comparing against a standard baseline website would allow them to configure the web site same way or would help them troubleshoot issues, if any. A standard website is chosen as the ‘Baseline Website’ and the ‘Web Site(s) to be compared’ is chosen from the populated list. The scope of the comparison can include all Web site and ASP.NET reports (settings) or can be restricted to include only selected reports. A summarized view of the websites to be compared and the reports selected is also generated. Specific reports can be chosen from the ‘Report Pane’ and the comparative properties with their corresponding baseline website values and the Compared Website values are reported. The differences in the values against specific properties are displayed in red for the IIS administrators.

Compare virtual directories with a baseline virtual directory:

Not just websites, with ARKIIS it is possible for IIS administrators to compare multiple virtual directories across web servers against a single baseline (reference) virtual directory. A baseline virtual directory is selected from the enumerated list of web sites belonging to different servers and the virtual directories that are to be compared against are also selected. The scope of the comparison can again be restricted to include only specific Website settings reports and ASP.NET settings reports or can be expansive enough to include all the Website and ASP.NET settings reports. A summary of the virtual directories to be compared and the reports to be generated is displayed. To report information about specific parameters the corresponding reports are chosen from the ‘Report Pane’.

Comparing the whole IIS server with another:

What if the IIS administrator wishes to compare the whole IIS server with another? ARKIIS provides for an efficient way to compare a whole IIS server with another. The comparison can be between websites and/or virtual directories within the servers. The baseline server and the server to be compared are selected. The websites and virtual directories that are to be compared are selected from the list. The excluded entities can be viewed from the ‘View Excluded Lists’ button. The comparison can be defined to all Website and ASP.NET settings reports or can be restricted to include only selected reports. A summary of the compared websites and the corresponding selected reports is also displayed. The difference in values corresponding to the properties compared is displayed in red for the IIS administrator to draw inferences from.

Let’s see how ARKIIS draws a comparison between two servers ‘RD58’ and ‘RD41’.

Screenshot of Comparison reports-Comparison options:

comparison option

The comparison option to compare two IIS servers is first selected. The scope of the comparison is to be specified by selecting the entities to be compared, i.e. websites and virtual directories.

Screenshot of Comparison reports-Selection of Web sites, virtual directories to compare:

web sites

‘RD58’ is selected as the Baseline Server and ‘RD41’ is the server to be compared against. The list of common websites and their virtual directories is displayed and the corresponding web sites and virtual directories which are to be compared are selected.

Screenshot of Comparison reports-Selection of reports to compare:

Reports to compare

The reports to be generated i.e.website settings and virtual directory settings to be compared are selected.

Screenshot of Comparison reports-Summary:

summary

The summary of the virtual directories and websites selected and reports that are to be generated is displayed.

Screenshot of Comparison report:

Comparison report

The above screenshot shows the Comparison report comparing the IIS configuration settings of Baseline Server ‘RD58’ and Compare Server ‘RD41’. Specific websites and virtual directories can be compared one to one against the baseline settings by choosing them from the list box above. The differing Baseline Web Site Values and Compared Web Site Values are displayed in red. To compare other web site settings or virtual directory settings, the corresponding reports are to be chosen from the ‘Report Pane’.

Admin Report Kit for IIS (7.5/7) with its comparison feature is sure to make life easy for the IIS administrators in managing complex web applications across multiple web servers.

For a free 15 day trial version, visit our product home page at http://www.vyapin.com/products/iis7-audit/iis-reports.