April 12, 2005
"Windows Server Cookbook": Step-by-Step Procedures and Scripts for Solving Day-to-Day Problems with Microsoft's Latest Servers
Sebastopol, CA--Although they're asked to diagnose highly technical
problems, perform intricate surgery on hardware, and tend to software
issues, system administrators don't get the credit they deserve. At least,
that's the view of Robbie Allen, a longtime veteran of Windows
administration and prolific author of many insightful articles and books
on the subject, including his latest volume, Windows Server Cookbook
(O'Reilly US $49.95).
"System administrators are the unsung heroes of the IT revolution," Allen
asserts. "There are thousands of programs, tools, commands, screens,
scripts, buttons, tabs, applets, menus, and settings that Windows
administrators in particular need to know about and understand if they are
to do their job." And, as most Windows administrators learn quickly, the
difficult part is not in using the tools, he says, but knowing which ones
are best for various tasks.
"It's hard to remember every nook and cranny of Windows Server," Allen
says. "Both Server 2003 and Windows 2000 have been out for a while, and
most administrators no longer need a tutorial. What they do need is a
quick reference to help them get specific tasks done. My book lets them
free up some brain cells by providing an easy reference they can go to
when they're stuck."
Windows Server Cookbook offers hundreds of solutions to common problems
that system administrators are likely to face in their daily management of
Microsoft's latest servers. Beginners and advanced users alike will find
troubleshooting recipes with step-by-step instructions for solving tasks
from configuring the system to dealing with the registry, files, event
logs, the Domain Name System (DNS), DHCP server, security, backup/restore,
and more. Each recipe includes a discussion that explains how and why it
works, along with references to other solutions in the book that may
"There are plenty of books that go into detail about the theory behind a
particular technology or application. But what if an administrator knows
the theory but just can't--or doesn't want to--remember the exact command
line or graphical sequence to configure an application? Very few books cut
through the fluff and provide only the essentials for getting the job
done. This book is intended to do just that."
With Windows 2000, Microsoft introduced an operating system for servers
that was much more scalable and manageable than Windows NT. Windows Server
2003 is an even more mature platform, "that supports all of the major
information technology services that administrators need to run a business
or organization," Allen points out. But you can't get all of this
capability wrapped up into a single OS without some tradeoffs.
"To take full advantage of Windows 2000 or Server 2003," Allen explains,
"administrators have to know lots of gory technical details." Such as how
to navigate through hundreds of dialogs and menus, which command-line
utilities are available and where to find them, and what scripting
interfaces are available to automate tasks in order to keep support costs
low. "I've been doing Windows system administration for eight years and I
still have a difficult time recalling the correct tool or command or
scripting interface for certain tasks."
Based on his own experience, hours of research, and years of involvement
with newsgroups and mailing lists, Allen compiled over 300 recipes for
Windows Server Cookbook. Along with solutions for general administration
duties, the book includes dedicated chapters on many of the services that
administrators will end up running, such as Internet Information Services
6.0 (IIS) web server, Active Directory, and Exchange Server. And because
different administrators prefer to work in different ways, Allen's recipes
offer up to three specific solutions using GUI tools, the command-line
interface, and scripts using VBScript that can be converted to Perl or
Visual Basic easily.
The purpose of the book is simple, Allen says: to save a Windows
administrator hours of searching through documentation or a knowledge
base. "In the past couple of years, Microsoft's documentation has actually
been more of a help than a hindrance," he contends. "But it still isn't
enough. What Windows system administrators really need are quick and easy
ways to find what they need to get the job done."
Early praise for Windows Server Cookbook:
"What do you get when you bring a bunch of Microsoft MVPs together who
want Windows admins to be effective and competent with basic Windows
Server 2003 management? This cookbook has recipes touching on nearly every
aspect of Windows Server 2003, a must-have for any discerning Windows
Server 2003 chef."
--Joe Richards, Microsoft Directory Services MVP
"Authored by a well-known and respected member of the Windows technical
community who actually uses many of the tools and techniques that he
writes about, the information is clear, concise, and useful. I can give it
no higher compliment than 'useful.' So many books discuss the theory and
'maybe' and 'perhaps'--this book provides tools and techniques to get the
--Michael B. Smith, Microsoft Exchange Server MVP
"You need a book like this. Robbie has done a fantastic job of identifying
common Windows management tasks, investigating the tools available for
those tasks, figuring out how to get the most out of them, testing them in
real-world environments, and serving it to you in a no-nonsense reference.
This book will save you precious time that will reimburse your investment
in it many times over."
--Mark Russinovich, co-founder of Wininternals Software and creator of the
Sysinternals web site
Windows Server Cookbook
ISBN: 0-596-00633-0, 670 pages, $49.95 US, $62.95 CA
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