We’ll just be offering up a quick guide today – we’re going to go over a few of the core services and applications in your Windows Server 2012 installation. Newer sysadmins can think of this as something of a primer, while those with a bit more experience can potentially use it as a cheat sheet. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
As the name suggests, this utility provides the autoproxy service in a Windows Server installation. It’s really only relevant to you if you’re using automatic proxy configuration. Otherwise, you can safely disable it.
You’re probably already familiar with this service – it’s the primary tool through which most installations of Windows report and record system errors. The problem, of course, is that it’s not set to automatically report server errors. Thankfully, enabling it is simple – just open Server Manager, go to your local computer, and change “Windows Error Reporting” to “on.”
Network Access Protection (NAP) Agent
Primarily meant for network-based remediation, the NAP agent collects and manages information regarding the health of client computers on a network. A client computer that doesn’t have the required software and settings can be quarantined from the network until its configuration is updated. Granted, not every administrator will use this – those of you who manage single servers won’t have much use for it, nor will those of you who manage your network through a secondary tool.
WSUS (Windows Server Update Services)
Now we’re getting into the important stuff. WSUS is a tool that allows administrators to easily manage and configure updates for client computers, allowing the users to download updates from an internal server rather than connecting through Windows update. This tool’s essential if you want to avoid stuff like, say, Microsoft’s forced Windows 10 ‘upgrades.’
Again, the details are in the name here. The suite of utilities that fall under the umbrella of this service allow administrators to configure, manage, and run Microsoft’s SQL Server Database Engine. Depending on what you’re using your Windows server for, there’s a good chance this service will go hand-in-hand with it.