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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Windows 2000 Server has now been through one “security rollup package,” two large service packs, and three years of real-world production usage. Over the past few years, an awful lot has been learned about what it’s really like to run Win2K Server. What works. What doesn’t. How to streamline deployment and support. How to organize your enterprise network and maximize its performance. Above all, how to avoid problems (especially the security-related problems that’ll land you on the front page of The Wall Street Journal).
Mark Minasi travels the country teaching enterprise professionals how to manage Windows 2000 -- and learning from them, as well. Mastering Windows 2000 Server, Fourth Edition offers more insights into making Windows 2000 Server-based networks work well than any other book we’ve seen.
Let’s start by saying that at nearly 1,600 pages (and in this edition, they’ve even shrunk the type a bit), this book covers every imaginable Windows 2000 Server nook and cranny. Managing and creating user accounts and shared folders. Running Windows Terminal Services. Connecting Macintoshes to Windows 2000 systems (Minasi offers a highly sympathetic view of Macs, plus detailed solutions for issues like AppleShare’s problematic clear-text authentication.)
There’s a full chapter on configuring and troubleshooting network print services (including a great section on web print services that first explains all the reasons they’re not as useful as you might expect, then shows you how to secure them, and finally offers a really creative tip for using them to streamline the printer setup process for clients -- something you probably wouldn’t have thought of in a million years.
But the heart of this book is what’s new for the first time in this Fourth Edition. And there’s a lot.
Once, Windows admins could get away without knowing DNS, but no longer. From edition to edition, Minasi’s gradually improved the book’s DNS coverage. In this edition, he takes a quantum leap forward. You’ll not only learn how DNS works for once and for all: you’ll master difficult stuff like primary/secondary replication, securing zone transfers between servers, subnet mask ordering, and blending mixed environments that combine Windows 2000-based DNS systems with legacy DNS servers.
There’s completely new and very thorough example, based on the widely-used “split-brain DNS architecture,” and using only a single routable address (more realistic than previous editions). There’s even a great example of using round-robin DNS to provide a sort of “poor man’s fault tolerance” for Web sites -- not 100 percent foolproof, but a whole lot cheaper than true clustering.
In Windows 2000 Server, DNS is inextricably linked with Active Directory. Minasi has thoroughly revamped his AD coverage to include much more planning, installation, management, and troubleshooting coverage. (Those maddening domain controller and global catalog discovery problems you’ve been coping with -- finally solved in Service Pack 2. Already know how to delegate control of an organizational unit? Here’s how to undelegate control.)
The book’s full of undocumented goodies. For example, most people only know Indexing Service as the home of the security hole that Code Red exploited, but it’s a great tool for building fast, flexible search engines for both the Web and your own network. If only it was documented well. Now it is. Want to use the free NTBackup for scheduled backups? Not easy, but Minasi’s plug-in batch files will do the job. Got one of those NT4 applications that demand their own system DLLs and just won’t run under Windows 2000? Minasi walks you through a breathtakingly obscure solution called “DLL redirection.”
Wherever there’s something new to say about Windows 2000 security, Minasi says it. There’s 16 pages of new coverage on securing web services. Extensive new explanations of Microsoft’s security templates and SECEDIT tool -- powerful stuff. A new 20-page section IPSec -- essential if you’re creating a VPN.
Last but not least, the book comes with a fully searchable electronic copy in Acrobat PDF format. That’s not just nice: it’s a necessity for support professionals who aren’t chained to a desk and can’t carry this book everywhere --- a book that, at 6-1/2 lbs., outweighs many newborn babies. (Bill Camarda)
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.