For the experienced network engineer tasked with a large-scale Windows Server 2003 migration, Windows Server 2003: Best Practices for Enterprise Deployments by Nelson and Danielle Ruest is a must.
|Bernie Klinder, Contributing Editor|
The book is organized along the principle that migrations are 80% planning, preparing, and testing and 20% implementation. It is divided into 10 chapters that build on themselves as you go along. The chapters are well organized and filled with useful tables, checklists, datasheets, critical tips, roadmaps and blueprints. The book also has a companion Web site that provides downloadable .pdf versions of many of the charts in the book. (Free registration is required.) Here's what you'll find between the covers:
- Chapter 1 begins with an overview of the planning and preparation process, building migration teams, server roles, migration considerations, then moves into installation methods and testing methodologies in Chapter 2.
- Chapters 3 and 4 cover Active Directory and network infrastructure design considerations, and how to begin the parallel installation of your Windows Server 2003/Active Directory network.
- Chapters 5 and 6 discuss the management of PCs and user objects with AD and group policy.
- Chapter 7 looks at network services, including file and print, application servers, Terminal Services and design of the services organizational unit structure.
- Chapter 8 examines enterprise security and introduces the five-layer Castle Defense System that is invaluable for creating effective security policies.
- Chapter 9, Creating a Resilient Infrastructure, provides numerous suggestions for increasing the availability of your new network by using clustering, network load balancing, effective backups and developing disaster recovery strategies.
- Finally, Chapter 10 shows you how to put it all together and migrate your users to your new Windows Server 2003 network.
The authors walk you over a well-designed route that leads you to a parallel Windows Server 2003 environment that can be switched into production whenever you are ready. But before you get going, consider the following:
First, this book is rather technical and written with the experienced MCSE in mind. If you are unfamiliar with the new features of Windows Server 2003, Active Directory and enterprise network infrastructure requirements, Windows Server 2003: Best Practices for Enterprise Deployments is not the place to start. In addition, the authors only discuss Windows Server 2003 features that impact enterprise environments, and then only in the scope of migrations.This approach is absolutely necessary to focus the content so it doesn't turn into a 4,000-page tome that tries to be all things to all people.
Overall, this is an indispensable reference that will save you time and countless headaches during your Windows Server 2003 migration.The roadmaps and blueprints provide a thorough planning framework that is easily adaptable to almost any environment. And the numerous checklists will help eliminate costly oversights that could be very expensive on an enterprise scale. While it may be wise to learn from your own mistakes, it's even better to learn from the mistakes of others.
About the author: Bernie Klinder is the founder and former editor of LabMice.net, a comprehensive resource index for IT professionals who support enterprise Windows and BackOffice products. Before joining SearchWin2000.com as a contributing editor and operating system troubleshooting expert, Bernie worked as a technology consultant for several Fortune 500 companies in northeast Ohio. For his contributions to the technical community, Bernie was reselected as an MVP (Most ValuableProfessional) by Microsoft in 2004.