Chapter 1. Why Network?

If you're reading this book, then you have an interest in Microsoft networking. For some people, networking sounds like a scary topic, but it really isn't. Getting a network running doesn't need to be hard, and this chapter explains many of the reasons why you want to set up a network when you have multiple machines to use. Windows Server 2008 makes networking considerably easier than ever, in fact, so you'll find that you do less work than ever before to get a network up and running.

In this chapter, we'll give you a bit of history on Server 2008 and then take a very high-altitude look at why we're using Microsoft's networking software in the first place. This is not intended to prepare you for a test on networking essentials, nor is it a complete book on Windows past and present. What I'm trying to accomplish in this chapter is to answer these questions:

  • Why should you care about all of this networking stuff, anyway?

  • What do you need to create a simple network?

  • Why does Microsoft's networking software approach networking the way that it does?

What's the Point of Networks and Networking?

In a way, this chapter is penance for my youthful misdeeds.

When I was in the seventh grade, I had a math teacher named Mr. Schtazle. Seventh-grade math was a kind of potpourri of mathematical topics — I recall one chapter that took pains to drill into our heads the difference between precision and accuracy — and I'd plague the poor man at the beginning of every chapter by asking ...

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