|By Dave Watts||
|August 12, 2003 12:00 AM EDT||
With the release of ColdFusion MX 6.1 (Red Sky), ColdFusion will now run on the latest version of the Windows operating system. This article takes a brief look at the new features in Windows Server 2003 that may be of interest to CF developers and administrators. We'll also see how CFMX 6.1 integrates with Internet Information Services 6.0, the Windows Server 2003 version of the Microsoft Web server.
What's New in Windows Server 2003?
The most apt description of Windows Server 2003 I've heard is, slightly paraphrased, "It's the best version of Windows 2000 yet!" That is, it's not a sea change, but rather a welcome revision to an existing operating system. In that respect, I suspect it will be very exciting to those who currently manage numerous Windows servers.
There are four new versions of Windows Server 2003. As with Windows 2000, there are Standard and Enterprise Editions, but there's also a Datacenter Edition that supports high-end Intel servers. Of more interest to most of us is the Web Edition, which is designed for one thing: running Web servers. This edition should be suitable for most ColdFusion application servers, although it does have some significant limitations - it supports only 2GB of RAM and dual processors, and allows only 10 concurrent SMB connections for file and print services. This won't affect most production Web servers, but if you're planning on publishing an intranet, it may affect you. Best of all, though, Windows Server 2003 Web Edition is a lot cheaper than previous Windows licenses. It's approximately $400 and available only through OEMs, so you'll be able to get it when you buy a new Web server from your hardware vendor.
Some nice touches have been added to the OS to make it easier to manage. For example, functionality that's not especially useful to servers, like DirectX, is disabled by default. Internet Explorer is configured, by default, to disallow all functionality beyond basic HTML rendering, so you can't easily download malware onto your server console if you forget that you shouldn't be using the browser on your server console. The "Remote Assistance" functionality introduced in Windows XP is also included here, which should make it a bit easier for server administrators to help each other out. Fortunately, it didn't borrow the default look and feel of Windows XP, but provides a relatively spartan Windows 2000 style.
Internet Information Services 6.0
In the new version of Windows is a completely new version of IIS as well, with several substantial changes. Prior versions of IIS had a lot of security problems and required quite a bit of management knowledge to configure securely. IIS 6 is a lot closer to "secure by default," with ISAPI extensions and filters disabled unless you specifically enable them yourself. In addition, most IIS functionality runs within a very low privileged security context; in IIS 5 and earlier versions, security holes in ISAPI extensions or filters could allow malicious code to run as SYSTEM.
There are lots of other interesting changes to IIS 6. Some functionality has been moved into a kernel-mode driver to improve performance. IIS management has been significantly improved; IIS configuration information, or the "Metabase," has been converted into an XML text file so you can work with it directly without needing a special editor. From within the IIS management console, you can easily work with portions of the Metabase, exporting and importing text files. You have more control over ISAPI application isolation as well - you can create your own application pools directly, and place each virtual server or directory within the application pool of your choice. This allows you to keep one ISAPI application from bringing down the whole server.
ColdFusion MX 6.1: 'Red Sky'
The next release of ColdFusion MX will be available at almost the same time as Windows Server 2000 - probably by the time you're reading this. ColdFusion MX 6.1, code named "Red Sky," will be the first version of ColdFusion to support the new Windows OS, and it provides lots of new features.
To investigate these features, I installed the release candidate of CFMX 6.1 onto Windows Server 2003 Web Edition. Before installing, I configured several virtual servers, but otherwise left IIS settings at their default values.
Anyone who's heard anything about Red Sky probably knows that Macromedia has taken great pains to simplify and ease the installation process. Many people have had quite a bit of difficulty installing the initial releases of CFMX, especially when it comes to integrating CFMX with a Web server. I'm happy to report that there were no such problems during this installation - CFMX 6.1 detected all of my virtual servers and configured each one appropriately (see Figure 1).
After the installation, a "configuration wizard" will open within a browser window. However, if you're installing to multiple virtual servers, you may have to edit the URL within the browser window, as it'll use 127.0.0.1 by default; if you're using host header names or don't have the right virtual server bound to that IP address, it won't resolve correctly. Fortunately, that's easy to address.
In addition, the CFMX installer provides many other niceties (see Figure 2); for example, it allows for a "standalone" install like CFMX Enterprise or Professional, a full J2EE install including JRun, or a J2EE application package for deployment to an existing J2EE application server if you have one. It also makes installing to a production server easier by allowing you to disable RDS during the install rather than by editing a text file afterwards.
As mentioned earlier, ISAPI extensions and filters don't work by default, but the CFMX 6.1 installer takes care of that for you by creating an entry called "Macromedia Server Extensions" and enabling it.
In prior versions of CFMX, you could integrate it with IIS via an ISAPI filter or extension, and it wasn't too clear how this should be done or what the ramifications would be either way. CFMX 6.1 takes another approach - it creates something new in IIS 6 called a "Wildcard Application Map" (see Figure 3). This is similar to a filter in that it's not invoked based on the filename requested (for example, "*.cfm"). However, it's not a filter either, which means that it's not subject to the security problems that ISAPI filters may face; since ISAPI filters execute so early in the request process, in some cases they may sidestep things like filesystem permissions and the like. Also, if an ISAPI filter has a security problem, like a buffer overflow, it will typically execute within a more privileged security context, although that's been addressed somewhat within the IIS 6 security architecture anyway.
Another nice touch about the CFMX 6.1 install was that it automatically configured the appropriate IIS virtual servers to enable "index.cfm" as a default document and ensured that the Flash Remoting gateway was set up. It appears that Flash Remoting requests are handled by the "Wildcard Application Map."
If you're currently managing Windows servers and you're getting ready to deploy CFMX, make sure you look at CFMX 6.1 on Windows Server 2003 - it's a lot easier to install and manage than it used to be. Current Windows Web server administrators can take advantage of new IIS management functionality to make their lives a lot easier by working directly with the Metabase using their tools of choice, rather than limiting themselves to writing WMI and ADSI scripts to manage IIS. Current CFMX administrators can ease their server deployments by taking advantage of the much cleaner and easier installation process of CFMX 6.1.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Dec. 21, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,361
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 21, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,988
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Dec. 21, 2014 11:30 AM EST Reads: 2,418
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
Dec. 21, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,151
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Dec. 21, 2014 08:30 AM EST Reads: 2,278
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Dec. 21, 2014 06:15 AM EST Reads: 2,119
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
Dec. 20, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 1,354
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 20, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,370
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:45 PM EST Reads: 1,233
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,375
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
Dec. 18, 2014 06:00 AM EST Reads: 919
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:15 PM EST Reads: 1,413
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 1,456
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,451
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Dec. 17, 2014 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,384
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:45 AM EST Reads: 1,559
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Dec. 16, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,401
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
Dec. 15, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,748
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Dec. 15, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 6,921
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
Dec. 15, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,990