Rem: Cloning Web Servers

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I'm the Web administrator for a large enterprise that has Windows 2000 Server farms with complex Microsoft IIS configurations. I've tried to use third-party IIS import utilities to clone the IIS configuration from one server to another server, but the utilities rendered the cloned server unstable or unusable. I understand that cloning might be possible with Microsoft Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI), but I have little scripting experience. Do you have any suggestions?

I can offer three suggestions. First, you can check out the Microsoft Internet Information Services 5.0 Resource Guide, which the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit includes. This resource guide includes information about upgrading, migrating, and replicating IIS servers. For information about the resource kit, go to

Second, you can check out the Microsoft Internet Services Network (ISN— ISN is a portal dedicated to providing information and tools for ISPs, application service providers (ASPs), and related communities. Items that you might find useful include the

  • IIS Migration Tool Set. The ISN Web page at provides links to download the resource kit's IIS Migration Tool Set. You can use this tool set to migrate configuration settings and content from Internet Information Server (IIS) 4.0 servers to Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0 servers and from Apache 1.3 servers to IIS 5.0 servers. You can also use this tool set to clone configuration settings and content from one IIS 5.0 server to another. The tool set includes an option to migrate or clone users and groups.

  • Automated Purposing Framework (APF). The ISN Web page at discusses APF. APF is a collection of scripts and utilities that you can use to configure computer hardware and install Win2K Server and other products on multiple servers.

Finally, Windows .NET Server (formerly code-named Whistler) will include an IIS 6.0 provider that's based on Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). Using the WMI-based IIS 6.0 provider, you can write scripts that perform the same operations that you can perform with the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Internet Information Services snap-in. .NET Server beta 2 includes seven Windows Script Host (WSH) scripts (IIsApp.vbs, IIsBack.vbs, IIsCnfg.vbs, IIsFtp.vbs, IIsFtpdr.vbs, IIsVdir.vbs, and IIsWeb.vbs) that use the provider to perform a variety of IIS 6.0 setup, configuration, and management tasks, including site configuration and export, import, backup, and restore operations. The seven scripts are in the \%systemroot%\system32 directory. See the .NET Server beta 2 Help and Support documentation for usage instructions.

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