Deploying a Windows Server 2003 network is 80 percent planning and preparation, and 20 percent implementation. Windows Server 2003: Best Practices for Enterprise Deployments is indispensable for both the 80 percent and the 20 percent.
Nelson Ruest and Danielle Ruest introduce PASS, a systematic architectural model for server construction and management. This model intelligently organizes all the services the network must provide -- and, in so doing, simplifies planning and makes it far easier to deploy Windows Server 2003 reliably. (Elements of PASS were first introduced in the authors' previous book, Preparing for .NET Enterprise Technologies.)
The Ruests next walk you through designing enterprise network architecture, and preparing for massive installations of Windows Server 2003. If possible, they recommend using Windows Server 2003 migration as an opportunity to implement a new network, using new principles and architecture. They present a complete "Parallel Network Approach" for doing this with as little risk and disruption as possible.
You'll find thorough chapters on both Active Directory and IP design; preparing and building PC and user organizational unit infrastructure; and designing network service infrastructure. The authors then turn to implementing a "Castle Defense" security system based on multiple, cumulative barriers to entry. After a full chapter of best practices for improving resiliency, they walk through taking your new network into production.
Each chapter is complemented by many downloadable tools: enterprise network, Active Directory, and security design blueprints, server sizing exercises, group policy documentation spreadsheets, print and terminal server preparation process documents, and much more. If you're able to follow the authors' reasonable approach, this book will be of immeasurable value. 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.