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MSDN Flash feature article: IIS 7 and Web Application Management Overview

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MSDN Flash feature article: IIS 7 and Web Application Management Overview

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My name is Finbar Ryan and I am an Escalation Engineer in Customer Services and Support at Microsoft.
I’ve been at Microsoft for nearly 14 years (where did the time go?) and since 1998 I’ve been supporting mostly IIS. I also support other things like Microsoft Commerce Server, Silverlight and Asp.Net.

I recently put together a summary of how you can manage your web applications with IIS across a web farm scenario and thought I would share it with the MSDN Flash Newsletter.

There are lots of great things in IIS 7 and the released extensions that can help you easily manage your applications.

IIS 7 and Shared Configuration
When IIS 7 included a shared configuration feature to ensure that the configuration replication would be easier across servers that are hosting the same sites.
You can read more about this at
http://learn.iis.net/page.aspx/211/shared-configuration/

This means when you add a new server you just point it to the shared configuration and it’s ready to go. In my role as a support engineer I often see issues where servers are meant to be the same but are slightly different when I dig deeper. This shouldn’t happen with shared configuration.

IIS and Application Deployment
The modular system of IIS 7 allows you to easily develop your own extensions for IIS. The IIS Product team have done this and one of them is the Web Deploy tool which assists you in deploying your applications and sites across the Web Servers in a packaged way.
You can read more about this at
http://www.iis.net/download/webdeploy.

This technology is also built into Visual Studio 2010 to allow developers to quickly create packages that can be used with Web Deploy.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/webdevtools/archive/2009/02/04/web-deployment-with-vs-2010-and-iis.aspx has more on this.

If you want to do this today then here’s how.

1) I opened Visual Studio 2010 and created a new web site on my File System called TestDeploy.
2) In Solution Explorer I right clicked the Solution and added a new Web Deployment project.

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3) I gave it a name and a location.

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4) Then I can either build it manually or build it as part of the Solution.
5) I built it manually by right clicking on the project and choosing “Build Deployment Package”.


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6) Then I can copy this to my IIS Server running Web Deploy and deploy it using the UI.
When Web Deploy is installed you will get a new option on the Actions Tab.
I navigated to my Web Site and choose “Import Application” and pointed it at my Zip file.
(Yes, the Web Deploy package is just a zip file so you can inspect its contents if you’d like.)

7) If you prefer the command line then the Web Deployment Project will create you a command line sample that you can use to deploy your application.

E.G.

  Sample script for deploying this package is generated at the following location:  C:\TestDeploy\TestDeploy_deploy\obj\Debug\Package\TestDeploy_deploy.deploy.cmd
  For this sample script, you can change the deploy parameters by changing the following file:   C:\TestDeploy\TestDeploy_deploy\obj\Debug\Package\TestDeploy_deploy.SetParameters.xml”


One of the additional benefits of Web Deploy is that it allows users to deploy applications onto a server where they might not have the necessary permissions. My colleague Amol has helped a customer with the steps necessary for non-administrative users to deploy applications onto IIS.
His post is at
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/amol/archive/2011/02/09/allowing-non-admin-users-to-deploy-web-applications-on-iis-7-using-web-deploy-2-0.aspx

Finally I should mention that the Web Deploy toolkit was updated recently just before Mix 11.

http://blogs.iis.net/msdeploy/archive/2011/04/05/announcing-web-deploy-2-0-refresh.aspx



IIS and Platform\Application Provisioning
The next extension released to make it easier to scale, provision and manage multiple servers was the Web Farm Framework.
You can learn more about this at
http://www.iis.net/download/webfarmframework.
It uses the Web Platform Installer (
http://www.iis.net/webpi) to provision the platform i.e. IIS and the various extensions and tools that you are using in your servers. This also can include the most commonly used applications from the Microsoft Web Application Gallery (http://www.microsoft.com/web/gallery/).

It also uses the Web Deploy Tool which I have mentioned above to deploy your applications across the site and finally it uses the Application Request Routing extension to help with the load balancing and scaling out of your site. (
http://www.iis.net/download/ApplicationRequestRouting)

IIS and Hosting
When I work with my customers I see how external hosting and hosting in the enterprise share some of the issues and so a lot of the IIS extensions will work in both environments.

A lot of my enterprise customers host line of business applications for their sites.

The IIS team have some great hosting guidance at
http://learn.iis.net/page.aspx/31/hosting-guidance/.

I personally believe that this will continue in the future and a good place to watch for new things are the following blogs.

Bill Staples is the General Manager of our Web Platform and Tools teams and he blogs at
http://blogs.iis.net/bills/
Scott Guthrie is our Corporate Vice President in charge of the tools including Asp.Net and IIS and he blogs at
http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/

We also have a regular event every year about how to build exciting and innovative web sites called Mix.
Mix 11 happened and you will be able to watch at the keynotes and the sessions again at
http://live.visitmix.com/.

The April 2011 edition of the MSDN UK Flash has a great summary about Mix 11.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ukmsdn/archive/2011/04/20/flash-featured-article-mix-2011.aspx

In closing I would also like to mention some exciting things that are happening in the cloud space which are related to this topic of Application Management.

Private and Public Cloud Application Management
At the Microsoft Management Summit in March we announced how System Center 2010 will allow you to build private clouds on your own infrastructure.
We also showed code name “Concero,” the new System Center 2012 capability that empowers department-level application managers to deploy and manage their applications on private and public cloud infrastructure while helping IT managers deliver greater flexibility and agility to their business teams.

Here is some links to the announcement and some supporting links.


http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2011/mar11/03-22systemcenter12pr.mspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/edge/edwin-and-paul-on-private-cloud-and-virtualization.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/edge/mms-2011-day-1-keynote

There was a UK event on the 3rd May in London that will also cover this.

http://www.microsoft.com/uk/events/bestofmms2011/?WT.mc_id=VNTY_UK_BESTOFMMSUK2011


  • Nice Information and really helpful. I have also subscribed the RSS of the website to get regular updates, Looking more information on the same!

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