Once you’ve worked out which servers in your organization are hosting IIS, you need to determine which websites and web applications are hosted on those servers.
In the best of all worlds, you’ll know exactly which websites and web applications are deployed on your Windows Server 2003 IIS servers. The reality is likely to be more complicated.
The challenge with Server 2003 is that in many organizations the servers have been deployed longer than many of the staff that work at the organization have been employed. This means that there are likely to be derelict web applications hosted on the servers. A derelict web application is one that once was utilized, but has since been abandoned by its users because the purpose for which it was originally deployed is no longer relevant to the organization.
Every administrator has heard of an admin discovering a dated application that they believe no one is still using. The administrator removes the application, only to then have a support ticket lodged indicating that at least one person in the organization does actually require it to perform their work. In some cases, the web application is only used intermittently and it can be weeks between an administrator removing a web application from a server and someone noticing that it is gone.
There are a variety of third party tools that you can use to generate a list of web applications and websites in your environment. You can also use products such as System Center Operations Manager with appropriate management packs to discover all of the web applications and websites in your environment. You can also use these tools to determine web application utilization. This will not only tell you what web applications are in your environment, but will also give you an idea of how important each application is through looking at how often it is utilized.