As part of a reorganization, we want to rename our Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0 servers. How will this change affect our IIS implementation?

Without knowing your implementation details and how you've configured IIS in relation to the server's name, answering your question is difficult. (I assume you're referring to the NetBIOS name, not the DNS name.) IIS doesn't use the NetBIOS name, so you can change the server's name without adversely affecting IIS. (Note that IIS 5.0 differs from Internet Information Server—IIS—4.0 in this regard. For information about IIS 4.0 name changes, see the Microsoft article "Updating IIS After You Change the Computer Name" at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=234142.)

However, the situation is different if you implement a feature that requires a specific server name. For example, administrators often install on intranets a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate that uses the server's NetBIOS name as the common name (CN). This approach lets them type https://servername to obtain an encrypted connection for transferring sensitive content or logons. Also, if you use shared folders to publish content to the IIS server, you'll need to update the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) pathnames on the remote systems. Other considerations exist as well, but the main point is that IIS doesn't require the server name to be anything specific.

The fact that the IUSR and IWAM accounts that IIS creates have the form IUSR_servername and IWAM_servername might lead you to believe that changing the server name will affect IIS operations; however, when you change the server's name, these accounts remain unchanged, thereby keeping intact any NTFS permissions and COM+ objects that use these accounts. Even though the IUSR and IWAM accounts don't match the new computer name, they'll still function properly.