One of the better ways of managing IIS is by doing it remotely from your local computer instead of logging in to the server itself. The Web Management Service (WMSVC) in IIS allows a remote connection into a Windows Server 2012 R2 by using the IIS Manager GUI. This is a much lighter connection compared to do an RDP connection to the server.
Here are the steps we need to do before we can use our local IIS Manager to control other remote IIS servers:
Install Management Service Role
- Launch IIS Manager and click on Add roles and features.
- Click Next > three times until you’re on the section called Server Roles on the left pane.
- Go to the right pane called Roles and expand on Web Server (IIS) and Management Tools and check the Management Service.
- Click Next > two times until you see the confirmation screen and click on the Install button. You can click on the Close button even before it’s finished the installation. The only downside if you close it early is that there’s no explicit way for you to see if the installation is already completed.
Configure IIS Remote Connection
- Still on the server side, launch IIS Manager to configure the Management Service. On the center pane, you should see an icon called Management Service now under the Management area. Double-click on the icon to launch it.
- On the Management Service window you can do all other configurations here, but at the very least you need to check the Enable remote connections and click on Apply to save it. Afterwards, click on Start hyperlink to activate it.
For increased security you might want to restrict certain IP addresses allowed to connect remotely by configuring the IP Address Restrictions on the Management Service. But basically, this is all you need to enable the IIS server for a remote management.
Configure Remote IIS Manager
Now we’re done with the server side, we just need to configure the remote desktop (or your local PC) that we want to use to manage the IIS from.
- Launch IIS Manager on the remote computer by opening Control Panel, then click on System and Security, Administrative Tools.
- On the Connections, you can either do a right-click on the Start Page or on the connection icon and select Connect to a Server.
If you don’t see the Connect to a Server option, then you have to install IIS Remote Administration on your local PC first.
- Enter the Server name and click Next.
- Type in your NTID credentials and click Next. After a successful confirmation, just click Finish.
That’s all the minimum configurations you need to do to manage IIS servers remotely via Web Management Service (WMSVC).