The Microsoft Management Console in Windows 2000: Where Management Begins
When Microsoft released the Windows NT Option Pack version 4.0, it introduced a new tool known as the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Microsoft's vision was that this tool would become the de facto tool for administering anything and everything in future versions of Windows NT. This vision is a reality in Windows 2000.
What makes the MMC different from earlier versions of Windows NT administration tools is that the MMC itself does none of the administration. Instead, it is simply a shell into which administration tools can be added, modified, and removed. As you can see in Figure 1, when the MMC is launched (by running the MMC.EXE command), it brings up a blank window.
Figure 1 The Microsoft Management Console screen.
The administrative tools that can be added to the MMC are known as snap-ins. The capability to pick and choose which administrative tools a console is to have makes MMC extremely flexible, especially in an environment in which several administrators perform different tasks. Each administrator can create (or have created for him by the system administrator) an MMC that has only the tools that he requires. For example, Sue may be responsible for monitoring server performance, the Event logs, and the Domain Name Service, whereas Joe's job is to create users and groups and set security policies for each user. For example, to create Joe's MMC, follow these steps:
Select Start, Run, type MMC.exe in the field, and click OK.
Choose the Add/Remove Snap-In option from the Console menu and click the Add button.
Select the Group Policy snap-in and click Add.
Select the Local Users and Groups snap-in and click Add.
Click the Close button.
Click OK. The MMC as shown in Figure 2 should appear.
The Customized MMC.
The rest of the tools that appear in Chapter 2, "Common Windows 2000 Administrative Utilities," of Windows 2000 Power Toolkit can be accessed either through their own administrative tool or by creating a custom MMC and adding their respective snap-in.