A change log should be created that documents all change requests, technical information about a change, and dates and times that changes were deployed to various servers. It should contain enough information about each change and how it was implemented so that a change can be reversed or replicated in the future.
While there are some very nice change control applications for Windows, a simple spreadsheet will also suffice in most cases.
The log sheet is useful in that you can reference changes quickly. Such sheets can be created per server, per-cluster, or for the entire environment. The larger the environment, the more granular the change logs should be.
In Figure 15.4 (next page) you'll notice that each entry has a "Change Document" reference. This slot should be used to reference external documents pertaining to the change, including the change request with signoffs and the detailed technical procedure that was used to implement the change.
Date: Dec 12, 2003
Requestor: Brian Madden
Signed Off By: Holli Madden
Change Description: Install Windows SP4 on all servers
Affected Servers: ALL
Affected Users: ALL
Change Document: DOC ID 1247
Date: Dec 14, 2003
Requestor: Ron Oglesby
Signed Off By: Ron Oglesby
Change Description: Disable auto-created Client printers since AA users are confused by number of printers they are seeing. This was done at the connection level.
Affected Servers: chictx01 - chictx05
Affected Users: AA users
Change Document: DOC ID 1252
Figure 15.4: A sample change control log entries
Terminal Server 2003 is a robust platform on which to deploy applications. However, as with many Microsoft products, there are situations in which you might want to extend the base capabilities. Several third party vendors offer middleware components and utilities for Terminal Server that help increase the reach of the product.
Two companies offer end-to-end server-based computing solutions: Citrix and Tarantella. Citrix MetaFrame and Tarantella New Moon Canaveral iQ are products that install on top of Terminal Server and offer advanced loadmanagement, security, client options, and administrative tools. While this book won't go into the details of these two products, we will provide you with a solid foundation of knowledge that you can use to determine if your environment's requirements can be met with pure Terminal Services or if a third-party solution is required. A comparison of third party products and Terminal Server can be found in the appendix.)
Furthermore, there are dozens and dozens of specialty software products designed specifically for server-based computing environments. From security to printing to performance enhancement to management, these products can simplify your life as a Terminal Server administrator. Rather than focusing on all these products at once, this book mentions relevant third-party products as they are relevant, and includes a full list of third-party products and vendor websites in the appendix. (You may always refer to www.brianmadden.com for a current list of third party products and vendors.)