Best practices: Windows Server 2003 SP1
Test, test, test The service pack should be tested in a preproduction environment before it is deployed onto production servers. Test all business-critical applications against the service pack to ensure compatibility and to mitigate risks.
Ensure everything is up-to-date Check all drivers, firm-ware, BIOSes, and monitoring and management tools and make sure they have been updated.
Application compatibility is key Understand the changes introduced by SP1 and test for changes to application compatibility. To better secure Windows Server 2003, Microsoft has included more computerwide restrictions that may disrupt what are insecure computing methods already in place within your organization. Keep an eye on changes to DCOM (Distributed Component Object Model) and RPC (remote procedure call), in particular.
Educate yourself Check the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP1 support site (www.support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb;en-us;896367&spid=3198) for updates that fix regressions found in application testing.
Source: Microsoft and eWEEK reporting
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