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Need Java for Windows Server Standard 2003

Posted on 2009-04-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I am trying to set up a LAN behind a SonicWall Pro 100 firewall.  I am using a new installation of Windows Server Standard 2003.  This firewall is currently in use by my old server running Windows 2000 SBS.

The newer server has Windows Explorer 6.0.3790.3959 SP2.  The older one has as slightly older viesrion of Windwos Explorer 6.0.2800.1106.  

The new server is able to access the internet when I connect it directly to the dsl router, but when I put it behind the firewall there is no internet access.  When I try to navigate to the SonicWall setup page in the browser, I can't log in because  I get the request "Please turn on Java to log in."

I have tried to duplicate the Windows Explorer settings between the old server and the new server but I notice in the options for the older server under the Security Tab there is a Microsoft VM option for Java which the newer browser doesn't show.

Is this the probem?  That for some reason I don't have the Microsoft VM for Java option in the browser?  If so, what do I do next so that I can set up my firewall.

rreiss60
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Question by:rreiss60
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Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
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Why must you setup the firewall from the server?  Why not set it up from a workstation?  If you MUST set it up from the server, I would suggest you download and install Java.  
http://www.java.com/en/download/index.jsp
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by:rreiss60
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Is it unwise to put Java on the server? Is it unwise to set up the firewall from the server?  You ask if I MUST set it up from the server.  I don't  think I MUST as I can navigate to the SonicWall setup page using the browser of another computer.  Anticipating that the Server didn't have Java at all (as opposed to finding the right setting to activate it) I downloaded it to the server but I can uninstall it just as easily.


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by:rreiss60
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Points awarded but I'm still not sure why the idea of using the server was made to sound like a bad one.
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by:CoryDambach
CoryDambach earned 250 total points
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It is not a Boolean issue.  Java is well tested and very stable yes...So the client VM on a machine will likely cause no problems so long as you aren't getting downloading pr0n via IE on your server machine after hours...However, what leew failed to express was why you should be hesitant to install something like Java on your server.  

The reason you should be hesitant is, servers by nature and by definition ought to be reliable and as efficient as possible, having as little downtime as possible.

Every installed program takes a toll on a computer system whether through disk space, run-time memory footprint, or processor usage.  

You should consider every element of a server as a possible point of failure.   Which is to say, even something as seemingly reliable as java, could cause trouble for you in the future, so if you dont need it on your server, why have it there?  After you install Java it creates a startup entry in the registry for jusched.exe (The Java Update Scheduler) and suppose that a month after you install Java it auto-updates (I dont believe it autonomously updates by default but suppose for the purpose of instruction that it does, many things do) the Java runtime and jusched.exe to a version in which jusched.exe has a memory leak.  Since jusched.exe is installed by default this situation is believable, and in reality, quite possible.  So suddenly after a few days running on this memory leak, nobody can run their credit card on your server because jusched.exe is taking up 7 of your 8GB of memory.  Granted, I doubt jusched.exe will ever have a memory leak...But I believe I have made my point sufficiently clear.  
I did have a real problem, similar to the fictional one I just described, running a UPS monitoring program on a server, it had a memory leak, and after the server would run for about 24 hours, the server would run out of memory and response times grinded to a halt, luckily I was able to fix it very easily by looking under the task manager and seeing what was hogging up all of the memory.  I just uninstalled it.  I could have avoided the entire issue if I hadnt installed the unnecessary program in the first place, as windows already has all of the functionality necessary to make intelligent use of the UPS.

If you can configure your firewall from somewhere else.  Do it.

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -Antoine de Saint-Exuper
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by:CoryDambach
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I do want to temper the strong words above with some realism as well...It probably will be fine to install Java on the server to set up the firewall.   And if you can't configure the firewall from another computer, then I do not think that you have much of a choice.  If it were me, I'd only keep java on the server if I absolutely had to, and the same goes for any software that the server doesn't need to perform its duties.  However having certain software not needed to perform the servers duties may be beneficial in certain cases, especially if the software is of a supplementary nature.  

Software that might help fix problems with software that does perform a duty.  Debuggers, Loggers, backup software,  and Performance Analysis Tools are often welcome additions to a Server as they are often more beneficial with regard to efficiency, reliability, or time to recovery, than any magnitude of overhead, or penalty they might initially incur.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
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CoryDambach MISSED my point - but did make another good point.  I don't really agree with the resources argument, especially in a small environment.  BUT, memory leaks and otherwise bugs can be a potential problem and cause potential issues with stability and/or other applications.

The reason you should not use Java on a server that I was thinking of is SECURITY related.  Java will provide another attack vector into your computer.  The more that's installed, the more you have to maintain and keep patched and worry about a hacker exploiting.  That's part of the point to Server Core 2008 - Reduce the attack surface to reduce the possibility of having a security issue.
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by:rreiss60
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These more complete answers are very helpful, thank you.
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