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Exporting Server Manager Configuration

When installing roles or features using Server Manager, there is an option to export these settings to a file. Using this file, you can install the same roles and features on another server. This video looks at how to make best use of that feature.

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Exporting Server Manager Configuration
When installing any role or feature using Server Manager, at the end of the wizard is the option to export the settings to an XML file. This XML file when exported can be read in by another server and thus be used to install the same roles and features on that server. This will only install the roles or features, it does not configure them. For example, there are a number of roles that require post configuration wizards to be run. For example, Active Directory Domain Services, Active Directory Federation Servers and DHCP all have post configurations that need to be performed. So once the role or feature is installed, it is up to the administrator to perform any post configuration required. If you are installing only a simple role, it probably is not necessary to export the settings to repeat the install. If however, you are installing roles like IIS which has a lot of components in it, it may be worth the administrator’s time to export the settings for this install, especially if they need to perform the install on multiple servers.

Demonstration capturing settings
It is important to remember that exporting the settings will only export the options that were ticked during the install. If an option is already installed, it will not be added to the settings file. For this reason, it is recommended that you use a server that has not been configured yet. This will allow you to select all roles and features required. At the end of the wizard you will have the option to export the settings before installing so you can export the settings and then cancel the wizard, meaning no changes will be made to the server.
1. To export the settings, start server manager and select the option add/role or feature.
2. It is just a matter of selecting the options in the install wizard. In this case the local server was chosen; however, you are free to select any server that you wish.
3. When you get to the confirm installation selections screen, select the option “Export configuration settings” at the bottom of the screen. This option will export the settings to a file. Once this is done, you have the option “press install” to install the roles or features or you can cancel the wizard.
4. When hovering your cursor over the option “Export configuration settings” this will show you the command that needs to be run to use the settings file to install the roles and features on another server. This command is “Install-WindowsFeature –ConfigurationFilePath FILENAME”.

Demonstration using a settings file
1. Commands need to be run from PowerShell. In order to open PowerShell, run PowerShell from the command prompt.
2. On the server that you want to install the roles or features using the settings file, run the command “Install-WindowsFeature –ConfigurationFilePath FILENAME”. In this example the command Install-“WindowsFeature –ConfigurationFilePath e:\IISInstall.xml”
3. Once the command has finished running, it will inform you if you need to perform a reboot in order to complete the install.

References
“Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 Exam Ref 70-410” pg 33 – 34

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