Server+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide

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All-in-One is all you need! Written by the #1 author in PC hardware,this authoritative reference offers complete coverage of all material on the Server+ exam. You'll find exam objectives at the beginning of each chapter,helpful exam tips,end-of-chapter practice questions,and photographs and illustrations. The bonus CD-ROM contains practice tests,hundreds of questions,and LearnKey(tm) video clips. This comprehensive guide not only helps you pass the Server+ certification exam,but...
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Overview

All-in-One is all you need! Written by the #1 author in PC hardware,this authoritative reference offers complete coverage of all material on the Server+ exam. You'll find exam objectives at the beginning of each chapter,helpful exam tips,end-of-chapter practice questions,and photographs and illustrations. The bonus CD-ROM contains practice tests,hundreds of questions,and LearnKey(tm) video clips. This comprehensive guide not only helps you pass the Server+ certification exam,but will also serve as an invaluable on-the-job reference.

Get Certified with Help from this Authoritative Exam Preparation Tool Prepare to pass CompTIA's Server+ exam with this comprehensive exam preparation tool. Written by the #1 author in PC hardware,this expert resource covers everything you need to know to pass this challenging vendor-neutral exam. Inside,you'll find exam objectives at the beginning of each chapter,helpful exam tips,end-of-chapter practice questions,and hundreds of photographs and illustrations. This comprehensive guide not only helps you pass the Server+ exam,but also teaches you how to be an expert server and network hardware technician.

Get full details on all exam topics,including:

  • Server types,including proxy,database,application,and FTP servers
  • Network architectures—Ethernet,Fast/Gigabit Ethernet,and Token Ring
  • Network operating systems,including Windows NT/2000,Novell NetWare,UNIX,and AppleTalk
  • Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) technologies,including ATA/100 and Ultra-DMA
  • SCSI adapters and devices,FireWire,and FibreChannel
  • Fault tolerance using RAID
  • Single- and multi-processor motherboard architectures
  • NIC adapters
  • Troubleshooting tools,including digital multimeters,oscilloscopes,and protocol analyzers

The CD-ROM features:

  • Hundreds of all-original questions in an adaptive test engine
  • Six practice tests
  • Useful tools and utilities
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072131611
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Series: All in One Certification Series
  • Pages: 670
  • Product dimensions: 7.68 (w) x 9.42 (h) x 2.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen J. Bigelow is the founder and president of Dynamic Learning System, a technical research and writing firm specializing in PC and peripheral service. An experienced electronics engineer, he is the author of several popular computer books, including Troubleshooting and Repairing Computer Monitors, Troubleshooting and Repairing Computer Printers, Troubleshooting and Repairing PC Drives and Memory Systems, now all in second editions. The editor of The PC Toolbox newsletter and the author of more than 90 articles, Bigelow teaches PC online courses at Ziff Davis University.
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Read an Excerpt

...workstation. The document stored on the file and print server is loaded into your workstation's memory so that you can edit or use it locally. In other words, file and print servers are used for file and data storage. If you wish to print the document, the file and print server manages the transfer of that file to the network printer.
  • Database servers In most cases, a database server is a server that runs an SQLbased database management system (DBMS). Client computers send the SQL requests to the database server. The server accesses the stored database to process the request, and then returns the results to the client computer. When referring to a database server, the term "server" may refer to the computer itself or the DBMS software that manages the database (such as Microsoft SQL Server).
  • Application servers Where file and print servers will download a file to the requesting client PC, an application server does not-only the results of a request are sent to the client PC. For example, you might search the employee database for all employees who were born in November. Instead of the entire database being downloaded to your PC so that you can search it, the search is performed on the application server itself, and only the result of your query is sent from the server to your computer. This subtle but powerful difference makes application servers (such as Lotus Domino) ideal for maintaining vast quantities of data and efficiently providing that data to clients.
  • Mail servers E-mail is an important part of modem communication, so mail servers (such as Microsoft Exchange Server) handle the flow of e-mail and messaging between network.-users. In most cases, mail servers are similar to application servers because the e-mail typically remains on that server. When you check your email, you only see the e-mail intended for your screen name. Storing e-mail in a central fashion such as this allows for better security and e-mail management (i.e., old e-mails can be purged after so many days in a system-wide fashion). A variation of this is the mailing list server (a.k.a., list server), which is needed for creating, managing, and serving mailing lists. Stand-alone list servers (such as Majordomo) generally offer more features arid better performance than their integrated counterparts. Uses for mailing lists and list servers include the distribution of e-zines, newsletters, product updates, technical support documents, classroom schedules, and product brochures, along with discussion forums for clubs and groups, electronic memos, and so on.
  • Fax and communication servers Networks rarely exist in a vacuum, and there are generally several ways to access the network from outside. Two popular means of external network access are faxes and dial-up. A fax server (such as FaxMaker) manages fax traffic into and out of the network using one or more fax/modem cards. This allows network users to send faxes outside of the network (and vice tea). Communication servers handle data file and e-mail transfers between your own networks and other networks, mainframe computers, or remote users who dial in to the servers over modems and telephone lines. For example, a network user may access the Internet through a communication server.
  • Audio/video servers Audio and video servers deliver multimedia capabilities to Web sites by giving users the ability to listen to sound or music and watch movie dips through Web browser plug-ins. While the use of traditional formats like .WAV, .MIDI, .MOV, or .AVI on Web sites doesn't really demand a specialized server, the recent emergence of streaming audio and video content has made the audio/video server a necessity in many cases (with tools such as RealServer Plus). New streaming technologies mark an important transition for multimedia on the Web, and will undoubtedly become one of the Internet's most exciting technologies as it evolves.
  • Chat servers It is common practice for two or more users to exchange real-time messages. This is called a chat, and chat servers (using tools like MeetingPoint) provide the management for real-time discussion capabilities for a large number of users. Potential chat uses include teleconferences, private meeting areas, help support forums, and employee recreational get-togethers. The three major types of communications servers are Internet Relay Chat (IRC), conferencing, and community servers. The most advanced chat servers have recently started augmenting the text-based medium of conversation with dynamic voice (and even video) support. It is common for IRC-based chat to use dedicated IRC servers (with software like IRCPlus).
  • FTP servers From downloading the newest software to transferring corporate documents, a significant percentage of Internet traffic consists of file transfers. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers make it possible to move one or more files between computers with security and data integrity controls appropriate for the Internet (using tools like ZBServer Pro). FTP is a typical client/server arrangement. The FTP server does the main work of file security, file organization, and transfer control. The client (sometimes part of a browser and sometimes a specialized program such as FTP Voyager) receives the files and places them onto the local hard disk.
  • News servers News servers function as a distribution and delivery source for over 20,000 public newsgroups currently accessible over the USENET news network (the largest news and discussion group-based network on the Internet). News servers use tools (like INN News Server) that employ the Network News Transport Protocol (NNTP) to interface with other USENET news servers and distribute news to anyone using a standard NNTP newsreader (such as Agent or Outlook Express). News servers also make it possible to serve your own news and discussion groups publicly over the Internet-or privately over your own local network.
  • Gateway servers A gateway is a translator that allows differing networks to communicate. For example, one common use for gateways is to act as translators between personal computers and minicomputer or mainframe systems. In a LAN environment, one computer is usually designated as the gateway computer. Special application programs in the desktop computers access the mainframe by communicating with the mainframe environment through the gateway computer, and users can access resources on the mainframe just as if those resources were on their own desktop computers.
  • Firewalls and proxy servers Simply stated, a firewall is a feature designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network (i.e., a corporation's LAN), and is generally considered to be a first line of defense in protecting private information. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software (and often involve a combination of both). When properly implemented, firewalls prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks that are connected to the Internet-especially intranets. All messages entering or leaving the intranet pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the required security criteria. There are numerous firewall techniques including packet filters, application gateways, circuit level gateways, and proxy servers. The proxy server is perhaps the most popular form of firewall. In actual practice, a proxy server sits between a client program (i.e., a Web browser) and some external server (usually another server on the Web f . The proxy server effectively hides the true network address, then monitors and intercepts any requests being sent to the external server, or that come in from the Internet connection. This allows the proxy server to filter messages, improve performance, and share connections.
Filtering is a security feature. Proxy servers can inspect all traffic (in and out) over an Internet connection and determine if there is anything that should be denied transmission, reception, or access. Since this filtering works both ways, a proxy server can also be used to keep users out of particular Web sites by monitoring for specific URLs, or restrict unauthorized access to the internal network by authenticating users. Since proxy servers are handling all communications, they can log everything the user does. For HTTP (Web) proxies, this includes logging every URL.For FTP proxies this includes tracking every downloaded file. A proxy server can also amine the content of transmissions for "inappropriate" words or scan for . Proxy servers can also improve performance by proxy server caching. The Proxy server analyzes user requests and determines which (if any) should have the content stored temporarily for immediate access. One example might be a company's home page located on a remote server. If many employees visit this page several times a day, the proxy server can cache it for immediate delivery to the Web browses Some proxy servers-particularly those targeted at small businessprovide a means for sharing a single Internet connection among a number of workstations. While this has practical limits in performance, it can still be a very effective and inexpensive way to provide Internet services (such as e-mail) to an entire office.
  • Web servers Web servers allow you to provide content over the Internet using the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). A Web server (with software like Microsoft PWS) accepts requests from browsers like Netscape and Internet Explorer, and then returns the appropriate HTML document(s) to the requesting computer. A number of server technologies can be used to increase the power of the server beyond its ability to simply deliver standard HTML pages-these include CGI scripts, SSL security, and Active Server Pages (ASPs).
  • Telnet/WAIS servers Telnet servers give users the ability to log on to a host computer and perform tasks as if they're actually working on the remote computer itself. Users can access the host system through the telnet server from anywhere in the world using a telnet client application. Before the arrival of the Web, Wide Area Information Server (WAIS) servers were critical for allowing users to perform searches for keywords in files. While telnet and WAIS are really not that popular today, network developers looking to broaden their selection of Internet services may consider supporting telnet or WAIS services.
Server Software

One major issue that separates servers from peer computers is the use of software. No matter how powerful a server may be, it requires an operating system (i.e., Windows NT/2000 or Novell NetWare) that can take advantage of the servers resources. Servers also require their specific server applications in order to provide their services to the network. For example, a Web server may use Windows NT and Microsoft PWS. It's not important for you to fully understand software issues at this point. Chapter 2 covers network protocols and operating systems in more detail.

Client/Server Advantages There is little doubt that server-based networks are more complicated to install and configure, but there are some compelling advantages over peer-to-peer networks:

  • Sharing Servers allow for better resource organization and sharing. A server is intended to provide access to many files and printers while maintaining performance and security for the user. A server's data and resources can be centrally administered and controlled. This centralized approach makes it easier to find files and support resources than would otherwise be possible on individual computers.
  • Security In a server-based environment, one administrator can manage network security by setting network policies and applying them to every user.
  • Backups Backup routines are also simplified because only servers need to be backed up (client/workstation PCs do not). Server backups can be scheduled to occur automatically (according to a predetermined schedule) even if the servers are located on different parts of the physical network.
  • Fault tolerance Because data is mainly held on servers, fault-tolerant data storage (i.e., RAID) can be added to the servers to prevent data loss due to drive failures or system crashes. This creates a more reliable server subject to less downtime.
  • Users A server-based network can support thousands of users. Such a large network would be impossible to manage as a peer-to-peer network, but current monitoring and network-management utilities make it possible to operate a server-based network for large numbers of users.
Server Reliability Reliability is basically the notion of dependable and consistent operation-the probability that a component or system will perform a task for a specified period of time. This includes the server as well as the network, and is often measured as a function of the time between system failures using the term mean time between failure (MTBF). Data integrity and the capability to warn of impending hardware failures before they happen are two other aspects of reliability. Servers frequently include reliability features such as redundant power supplies and fans, predictive failure analysis for hard drives (SMART), and redundant array of independent disks, (RAID) systems to ensure that a server continues to function and protect its data even when trouble occurs. Other reliability features include the memory self-test at boot time where the system detects and isolates bad memory blocks, as well as error checking and correcting (ECC) memory to improve data integrity...
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Ch. 1 Network Hardware Concepts 1
Ch. 2 Network Software Concepts 51
Ch. 3 Network Planning and Setup 93
Ch. 4 Server Configuration Issues 131
Ch. 5 Server Maintenance and Upgrade Issues 179
Ch. 6 IDE Technology 251
Ch. 7 SCSI Technology 311
Ch. 8 RAID Technology 363
Ch. 9 Core Processing Technologies 429
Ch. 10 NIC Adapters and Troubleshooting 541
Ch. 11 Troubleshooting Servers and Networks 593
App. A: Network Acronyms 645
Index 653
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Foreword

Understanding Certification

Whether you're starting a new career, planning a change, or hoping for an important promotion, the most difficult thing to show a prospective, employer is qualification- how "qualified" are you for a given role in the company. One of the easiest ways to demonstrate your qualifications is to hold a suitable certification in a corresponding technology A certification that has been accepted by the industry will indicate that you've completed the educational background and have the base of knowledge required to perform at a specified level. Today, virtually every technology professional can benefit by pursuing a well-chosen certification. Being certified can increase your salary, enhance your skills, and make your job more satisfying.

There are many different certifications in the computer industry, and most manufacturers offer proprietary certifications for their own products. However, some of the most popular and well-respected certifications are "industry-neutral" (such as A+, Network+, and Server+ sponsored by CompTlA and administered by Prometric and VUE). That is, the certification covers popular practices and commonly used equipment. Certification offers many compelling advantages that should be seriously considered by employees and employers alike:

  • Objective Recruiting-Requiring an appropriate industry-neutral certification assures a minimum knowledge level for all prospective applicants. This makes it easier to screen applicants, and promote only applicants that are qualified.
  • Broader Knowledge-While manufacturer-specific certifications are certainly helpful, industry-neutral certifications generally support a broader range of knowledge and equipment, resulting in more well-rounded individuals. This flexibility is a substantial advantage in the fast-changing technology marketplace.
  • Greater Prestige and Credibility-Certification provides a competitive advantage in today s busy technology marketplaces. Both the certificate holder and the hiring company enjoy the advantage of this credibility.
  • Better Job Opportunities-By incorporating certifications into company structures, it's easier to define the role(s) that a certified employer may perform, and identify new/alternative certifications needed to improve the company's skills base. This makes more job and educational opportunities available to employees.
  • Better Career Enhancement-Because certifications also highlight skills, it is possible to create objective pay levels based on the level of an employee's certification(s).
To learn more about the certifications offered by CompTIA check the Compm Web site at www.comptia.com. You can schedule and pay for exams through Prometric (http://www.2test.com/index.jsp) and VUE (www.vue.com/comptia).
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2002

    This Book Doesn't Cut It

    This text fails to prepare readers for the Server + exam. It contains some misspellings and inconsistencies here and there, but I really began to worry when answers to some of the practice test questions directly contradicted the text, such as the maximum throughput of a ATAPI-4 device. The text says 33MB/sec, but the practice test answer is 66MB/sec. The text also contains pages and pages of codes particular to individual brands of controllers and operating systems. The term ?Windows 98? is mentioned countess times throughout the text. Much of the information in this text appears dated but with just a few words amended here and there to update it. For example, although this book was published in 2001, one sentence reads in part that ?by late 2000, the PC industry will likely move to the Ultra-ATA/100 drives.? This book was poorly edited. Unlike this book, the actual certification exam made no mention of Windows 98 and rarely focused on specific operating systems. The exam also contained questions about topic mentioned absolutely nowhere in the text. Two examples are Grandfather-Father-Son backup routines and terminology involving server rack measurements, just to name a few. I could locate no addendums or software updates on the Osborne website prior to and during my study, indicating that neither the publisher nor the author intends to correct these critical discrepancies. I have successfully self-studied for both Novell and Microsoft certification exams. I know the amount of effort required to succeed. But even if I had had this book at my side during the exam, it would not have helped because it simply does not contain vital topics. I hope both the author and the publisher remove this bound snake oil from the market so others don?t make the same expensive mistake as I.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2001

    FAR FAR TOO MANY DETAILS

    This is the wrong book to read if you are studying for the Server+ exam. This book is full of page after page of useless tables with information nobody needs.

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