Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Administrator's Companion
||Author: Sharon Crawford, Charlie Russel, Jason Gerend|
List Price: $69.99
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Publisher: Microsoft Press (23 April, 2003)
Sales Rank: 2,472
Average Customer Rating: 5 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 5 out of 5
Worthwhile desk reference. No coverage of the Web Edition.
This 40 chapter 1500 page Administrator's Companion is aptly named as you will refer to it extensively over time. Out of the 5 different versions of Windows Server 2003, the book covers the Standard Edition and the Enterprise Edition extensively. The Datacenter Edition is very similar to the Enterprise Edition so this book could suffice. The Web Edition is significantly different and is NOT covered in this book.
The Small Business Server is kind of the fifth and unofficial version of Windows Server 2003 and I am not very familiar with this Edition yet. This last version is not explicitly covered in the book but it is possible that it is actually only a slight variation of one of the other four versions. I am not familiar enough with this last version to make any other comments.
Windows Server 2003 is not as much of a jump from Windows 2000 as Windows 2000 was from Windows NT. This is good news for those familiar with Windows 2000 and hence can start using this book as a desk reference immediately. If you are new to the Windows Server family, then it is important to read through the first few chapters and take your time absorbing basic networking and operating system concepts before delving deeper into the book. Regardless of your level, you will find that this book is written in a very simple yet detailed fashion. Of course, the advanced users will find it the most useful.
The book is divided into six parts plus the Appendices. The different parts are - Preparing for Installation, Installation and Configuration, Network Administration, Support Services and Features, Internet Servers and Services, and Tuning, Maintenance & Repair.
I plan to take the MCSE for Windows Server 2003 (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) sometime next year and I am finding that this is a valuable addition to my preparation book list. There are plenty of books out there that help you prepare for this set of exams but you will still need a good reference on Windows Server 2003 in order to pull all the knowledge together.
Overall, I am happy with the money I spent on this book and I am using it quite often as I design and set up my own small business corporate network. All the way from setting up the Exchange Server for e-mail to Windows XP Professional clients for the different people using the network. The network devices are so easily found by Windows Server 2003 even if the device is attached to one of the client machines and not directly on the network.
One final note - even though this book is an excellent desk reference, I am finding that you still have to supplement this book with others depending on your goals. For example - if you are preparing for any of the MCSA/MCSE exams, you will need exam preparation guides. If you are installing specific software like Visual Studio.NET, you may run into some issues that are not covered in this desk reference. The bottom line is that when you get to the Advanced User stage, you will probably need a whole host of other books to supplement your knowledge. And some people find this book to be too heavy to carry around so it may be worthwhile to find a pocket reference type of book for that purpose. I hope you find this review helpful and good luck!
Rating: 5 out of 5
I only picked up my copy of this book days ago, and no I am not all of the way through it yet. Excluding the index and TOC, its 1492 pages...its big! The first 4 chapters cover Active Directory Theory and Planning. Surprisingly I found these chapters to be better than most publications that devote the entire book to the subject. From Chapter 5 onwards, it starts stepping you through installation and configuration of Server 2003. I won't bore you with a list of chapters (there are 40 of them!), you can get that info from microsoft's site, but I haven't really found anything that appears to be missing from this book. It is extremely thorough.
Pluses: The author explains his topics very well. There are even chapters on ISA Server, IEAK, a very good chapter on Services (I liked the configuring the Indexing Service Part - very good). The book itself (Hardcover reviewed) seems very sturdy - it needs to be as it will be around for a while and the type is just about the perfect size for comfortable reading. I particularly like the 'Real World' examples that list gotchas and things to be aware of.
Minuses: Its too thick to carry around. But don't let that stop you adding it to your shelf. A couple of chapters, eg. 10. Group Policy and 12. Scripting will of course never replace a good dedicated book on Group Policy or Scripting, but is a good primer for those new to it and will set you well on your way to tackling these technologies head on.
I was tossing between buying this book and Mastering Windows Server 2003 which has received good reviews. I only chose this one based on the reviews from the 2000 edition and the fact that it was in stock locally.
This is easily one of the best books on my shelf right now and certainly the best Server 2003 book I have. Most IT books I never completely read, I just pick out the bits I need, but this is the first book I actually have sat down and read from the start. Go buy it, I am glad I did. Highly recommended!
Rating: 5 out of 5
Another solid Companion
Having used Russel & Crawford's Windows 2000 Companion book for the last 3 years, I looked forward to their latest edition for Microsoft's 2003 Server.
It has a solid clustering chapter, extensive planning and preparation chapters for those planning to migrate to Server 2003, and is simply the best single reference out there. Clearly another winner from Russel and Crawford.
· Microsoft IIS 6.0 Administrator's Pocket Consultant
· Mastering Windows Server 2003
· Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Administrator's Companion
· Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit: A Microsoft Resource Kit
· Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Administrator's Pocket Consultant