Windows Server 2008 Administrator's Pocket Consultant (Pro - Administrator's Pocket Consultant

Windows Server  2008 Administrator's Pocket Consultant (Pro - Administrator's Pocket Consultant
William Stanek
02 Jan 2008
Purchase online

Here s the practical, pocket-sized reference for IT professionals who administer and support Windows Server 2008. Designed for quick referencing, this portable guide covers all the essentials for performing everyday system administration tasks. Written by an award-winning author of more than two dozen computer books, this guide puts expert installation, migration, administration, and troubleshooting advice right at your fingertips.

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  1. Editorial Reviews
  2. Customer Reviews

Customer Reviews

This is my third book by William Stanek and as expected, it delivers. Since my first, the Windows 2000 Administrator's reference book, I've had a number of Stanek's quick reference' books and they are all great.

At a little over 600 pages, the book presents useful information and seems to focus on the core features of the operating system. I like the Pocket Consultant series because many times when Microsoft releases a new product, I look to these `quick reference' books to get me up to speed. I would highly recommend this book to anyone upgrading from previous versions and for current administrators.

This book starts things off with information that is easy to find and easy to understand; a must have for many administrators. It zeros in on core support and administrative tasks, is focused and precise. For seasoned administrators, much of this is fundamental, so 'm inferring it is aimed at the junior administrator/part-time administrator?

I found the following sections especially useful:
-2008 Administration Fundamentals - great section that highlights many of the new features, functions and technologies introduced in Server 2008.
-Core Active Directory administration - especially liked the command line references.
-Managing File Screening and Storage Reporting - a great new feature that was presented well.
-Data Backup and Recovery - details the changes in the backup tools; good details on using the wbamdin tool.
-Networking Enhancements - an excellent section that not only reveiws fundamentals but also outlines some of the new technologies in Windows 2008.

Good, practical examples - `Real World' examples and `Tips' - were presented throughout the book and mirror best practices and Microsoft's preferred configurations/implementations. This book is great for people who have never used Windows Server 2008 and those that have used it. I have never been disappointed with the Administrator's Pocket Consultant series of books. I always learn something new!

Chris said
If you've never used a Windows Server platform, this book might be useful.

For someone very familiar with the Windows Server platform, and looking to learn more about Server 2008, I found this book to be too high level to be useful for any practical uses.

Things you will NOT find:
Information highlighting new features to Windows 2008 (for administrators of 2003)
Security best practices / recommendations

You will however find a good number of step-by-step instructions, unfortunately that feel like they were written for someone who has never used a computer before.

A great example of what you'll find is something like this step by step:
For domain users, you define permitted logo workstations by following these steps:
1. Open the user's Properties dialog box in Active Directory Users and Computers and then click Account tab
2. Open the Logon Workstations dialog box by clicking Log On To.
3. Select The Following Computers as shown in Figure 11.6
4. Type the name of the permitted workstation and then click Add. Repeat this procedure to specify additional workstations
5. If you make a mistake, select the erroneous entry and then click Edit or Remove as appropriate.

For something that is a "pocket" guide, there is a lot of filler (like the laughable step 5 above) and discussion of topics which someone administrating a server should already know (e.g. disk formatting, folder user permissions, etc) and don't belong in a "pocket consultant".

Furthermore, the book does have some incorrect statements, for example, it says that Windows Server Web only supports 2GB of RAM. It actually supports 32GB. 2GB was a Server 2003 limit [...]

P. Cofrancesco said
Update: 02-26-2010 I'm brought this book into work and I'm getting ready to read about group policies. I was a little disappointed with DFS since it really glosses over it. But as I wrote - this book gives a lot of basic info. The group policy section has at least 10 pages?

BOTTOM LINE: Don't hesitate to buy this book, but realize you will need TechNet and other resources to learn. Too many tech books are bloated with legacy inforation from previouse versions that have been hastily freshened-up; they are filled with information you can't possibly remember and will probably never use.

Why 3 stars? As another reviewer said its just a collection of cut and paste from TechNet and doesn't not have enough original high quality content or links to more in-depth info so giving it 4 stars trivializes 4 starts

Smaller than other books, gives you basic info on many topics. The books best strength is that it recognizes that admins limited time. It provides very light reference - if you need to go beyond just understanding how something works and need to understand how to implement it you will need to visit TechNet. Only books that cover a single set of related topics like Active Directory will provide this kind of depth. Even full sized books will still give you the basics.

Remember, it's one thing to set something up in the lab or in a small network with a few hundred users and quite another to do it in an enterprise with thousands or tens of thousands of users or where you servers must interact over a WAN for centralized management. Also, often we inherit systems that someone else setup and we don't have the time or authorization to correct so we must use them as-is.

The reality is that server 2008 does so much that it must be approached in small chunks that are relevant to what you need to accomplish the rest is left on autopilot.

As an aside, one of the strengths of the mainframe and UNIX is that the basic commands never change. There is a steep up front learning curve but the pay off is a fairly static and consistent environment. Server Core 2008 is Ms's way or recognizing the benefits of a stripped down faster and more secure command-line environment.

Microsoft has had to evolve from something with low security to higher security being overly integrated with very complex FAT clients. In order to keep the number of pages to the minimum - you get about as much info as a brief help file pop-up box would provide.

From windows 2000 on I feel that things have become so complex in the enterprise that the server must be split up in to specialities: Storage & backup, ntfs file / user permissions / group policies. Active Directory, security hardening, cluster / farm / high availability / network ip4 /ip6, scripting WMI etc, server and backup device hardware / complex storage arrays, and so on.

Marc Grundfest said
The Pocket consult series has the virtue of being short, but not short enough. I do not know why it is so difficult to find authors who get the point in a clear precise manner,but I remain amazed that even in a book so short the fluff factor remains as high as 50%.

Moreover definitions are unclear and the procedures listed suffer from excessive and meaningless detail. This is not my first exposure to Mr Stanek's work and thus I have come to expect this -- still I remain disappointed.

I recently learned from Mr. Stanek's web site that he had early aspirations as a writer of fiction -- it shows in his style. Fiction exists to entertain non-fiction to inform-- his books do neither in this case. Get the point and then get out. Give only the detail that is needed no more.

Given its price and the fact that most books are far worse I rate it good, but I would not want to may full price -- its just not worth that much.

Gary Gauvin said
I thought that with the previous reviews all my answers would be solved with my Server 2008 Standard installation and maintenance.

I found most if the book irrelevant for a basic domain controller and file server installation and haven't found any answers when I did need help. To be fair, MS support pages haven't been that great either. It could be that Server 2008 just has too many issues to cover in any depth that could be relevant, in a book this size. That's a comment on the software, not the book itself.

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