What's the recommended way to manage an ASP.NET web application, running under IIS 7 (on Windows Server 2008 R2)?

By "manage", I mean (at least):

  1. Stop a web application,
  2. Fetch (update to) the latest SVN revision,
  3. Start the web application again.

I am not sure if I should go for a full remote desktop connection for this (if that is even appropriate for a server machine), or there is a simpler and safer way to do this limited set of actions.

If remote desktop is the only/preferred way to do it, I would appreciate at least a link to some safety considerations.


Connecting to your IIS server via RDP is fine as long as you do not have it open to a public interface (i.e dont just open 3389 in your firewall and point it at the server). With Server 2008 you can specify to allow for secure authentication but that will be an issue if using XP or Server 2003 to connect with as they cannot provide authentication to the remote server.

For my clients I connect via VPN tunnels to their offices or connect via Citrix to get inside the network. Allowing RDP direct to the machine on an outside interface is not recommended (but I've found a lot of people doing this.)

If the machine is on your local network, powershell can be used to remotely restart the IIS service. If the SVN update can be scripted, you can also create a batch file task that runs, say, weekly, that would stop IIS, update your application and then restart IIS.

  • Thanks a lot. It's not on my local network, it's a company server, behind the firewall, and I am using Windows 7 on the client side. I am basically looking for a safe way to avoid being called in the middle of the night for a quick patch, not something I would do regularly (and therefore I want to avoid things like opening ports on our firewall). – Groo Jul 23 '11 at 17:43
  • If this is to be part of your job function you should get VPN access to your company network which would then give you access to the IIS server, securely. If you cannot get VPN access then I would find a way to script the halt to IIS/update and restart. – Greg Merideth Jul 24 '11 at 20:58

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