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April 9, 2004

"Windows Server Hacks": Harness the Power Behind the GUI

Sebastopol, CA--One of the secrets to the ever-increasing popularity of Windows Server can be found in the simplicity of its administration. The easy-to-use GUI, consistent set of tools, and wizards that walk you through complex tasks allow you to install, configure and maintain Windows servers without any knowledge of programming or scripting languages or having to learn complicated command-line syntax. It's possible, in fact, to accomplish about 90% of all Windows administration without ever opening a command prompt or running a script.

But what of the other ten percent of the time? While it's true that most common, day-to-day tasks of Windows administration can be performed from the GUI, it's not always the best way, especially with complex or repetitive tasks. Scripts and command-line tools often provide a faster, more flexible approach. Windows Server Hacks (O'Reilly, US $24.95) by Mitch Tulloch reveals techniques that go well beyond basic management tasks found in most handbooks to help busy system administrators master the more powerful features of Windows Server.

"Windows servers are powerful but tricky to manage," notes Tulloch, "and with Windows Server 2003 the platform has really come of age. People need to know what it can do when pushed to the limit."

Windows Server Hacks focuses on scripts and other tools that will make life as an administrator much easier. The hundred hacks in the book were contributed by Tulloch himself and a team of experts, many of whom are columnists on the popular myITforum site (www.myitforum.com), managed by CEO Rod Trent, a forum that allows for the exchange of knowledge and information among IT professionals. Tulloch is himself a regular contributor to the site. "I wanted to see what it was like to write a book that was a collaborative effort involving expertise from many individuals," says Tulloch. "It turned out to be a lot of fun and I learned lots too; the members of the myITforum community are a great bunch of people to work with.

"I also wanted to write a book that went beyond the limitations of the Windows Server GUI to really see what this thing could do, especially by leveraging the power of WMI and ADSI scripting," Tulloch adds. "Since I'm not an expert in scripting, I relied a lot on the myITforum community's expertise and was impressed by what they came up with."

The book includes little known tips, tools, and tricks in such areas as Active Directory, User Management, Group Policy, DNS and DHCP, File and Print, IIS, performance, and security. The hacks range from those that deal with general administration to more esoteric hacks in the areas of network deployment, patch management, and backup and recovery. The book explains how to:

  • Take charge of Active Directory
  • Manage networked users and their accounts using scripting and automated tools
  • Wrangle networking services, including file and printer sharing, DHCP, DNS, and WINS
  • Perform magic with IIS that's just not possible with the standard Internet Services Manager console
  • Deploy Windows across your enterprise using Remote Installation Services (RIS) and Sysprep
  • Secure your network, servers, and administrative accounts from attack by hackers and viruses
  • Understand the three keys to patch management: smart business practices, proper tools, and knowledge
  • Use effective backup techniques, from backing up individual files to restoring an entire system using Automated System Recovery (ASR)
  • No matter which Windows server you use--NT, IIS, 2000, or 2003--Windows Server Hacks will put the knowledge and expertise of veteran system administrators and hackers to work for you, making your job easier while expanding your understanding of the capabilities of Windows Server.

    Additional Resources:

    Windows Server Hacks
    Mitch Tulloch
    ISBN 0-596-00647-0, 357 pages, $24.95 US, $36.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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