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Inside Windows Server 2003

by William Boswell

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Book Description

This book is designed to lead a class through the complexities of a full Windows Server 2003 deployment. Each chapter starts off with a list of new features in Windows Server 2003, along with any significant improvements to features carried over from Windows 2000. It then presents design principles, followed by procedures to install and configure the aspects of Windows Server 2003 covered in that chapter. The coverage is comprehensive, in-depth, practical, and authoritative. Many helpful examples are presented to illustrate the concepts. All along the way the author includes proven advice for improving stability and performance. Windows Server 2003 represents a new emphasis from Microsoft on trustworthy computing, so security issues are covered extensively.

From the Back Cover

Comprehensive, authoritative, and eminently practical, Inside Windows® Server 2003 is an essential resource for IT professionals.

Containing in-depth coverage of the newest Windows server technology, this book guides you through the complexities of installing, configuring, and managing a Windows Server 2003 system. Thousands of practical tips, recommendations, diagnostic aids, and troubleshooting techniques based on actual deployments and migrations help you set up and maintain a high-performance, reliable, and secure server that meets or exceeds the needs of its users.

You will find coverage of the more than 200 new features incorporated into Windows Server 2003, along with numerous updates and improvements, including:

  • Volume Shadow Copy feature that permits taking snapshots of changes to files
  • Forest Trust type that permits two-way, transitive trusts between forests
  • 64-bit architecture that supports Intel Itanium and Itanium-2 servers
  • Many new command line tools, including how to manage a headless server with no keyboard, video, or mouse
  • Dozens of features to improve your system¿s security

For each feature, the book discusses underlying design principles, provides process descriptions that help identify interoperability issues, and details procedures for installation and configuration. In particular, the book focuses on the increasingly critical issues of security, remote access, and system interoperability.

Specific topics covered include:

  • Performing upgrades and automated installations
  • Adding hardware
  • Managing DNS
  • Managing Active Directory replication and security
  • Working with network access security and Kerberos
  • Managing group policies with a mixture of platforms
  • Managing shared resources
  • Managing file encryption and a public key infrastructure
  • Managing remote access and Internet routing
  • Recovering from system failures

With the information and experience-based advice in Inside Windows® Server 2003, you will be well equipped to deploy and manage a highly effective and smoothly functioning system.


About the Author

William Boswell, MCSE, is the principal engineer for the Windows Consulting Group based in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to training and consulting, he writes the popular "Windows Insider" column for MCP Magazine and is a sought-after speaker for conferences such as TechMentor and SANS.


Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The release of a new version of an operating system always brings up lots of questions. Is it worth the time and trouble to upgrade? What are the potential problems? How do I prepare for testing and evaluation and maybe for deployment? These decisions are especially complex in this situation because Windows Server 2003 is not a revolutionary change from Windows 2000. Instead, it incorporates hundreds of improvements, large and small, that you'll need to evaluate, both separately and as a whole, to justify an upgrade.

Windows Server 2003 also represents the first time in the history of Microsoft's NT-based product line that the desktop code has been released separately from the server code. By the time Windows Server 2003 products reach the market, XP will have been available for over a year. To deploy Windows Server 2003, then, you'll need to know how to manage a complex mix of Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 and NT servers accessed by any one of a half-dozen Windows clients, not to mention a wide variety of third-party clients.

This book is designed to lead you through the complexities of a full Windows Server 2003 deployment in a mixed operating environment. It starts with installing a single server and moves in logical progression through upgrading additional servers, installing hardware, handling name resolution, deploying and integrating Windows Server 2003 DNS, installing and configuring Active Directory, and making Windows Server 2003-based resources available to authorized clients, both on the local network and across the Internet. The release of Windows Server 2003 also represents a milestone because Microsoft has finally gotten truly fanatical about security, so this book pays special attention to the new security features.

Each chapter is constructed to present design principles first, followed by process descriptions that help you identify interoperability issues, and finally the procedures you'll need to install and configure the Windows Server 2003 features covered by the chapter. Each chapter starts off with a list of new features in Windows Server 2003 along with any significant improvements to features carried over from Windows 2000. Experienced Windows 2000 designers and administrators can use this list as a checklist to guide their evaluations.

My approach to presenting process details for Windows Server 2003 features reflects my background as a Naval nuclear power plant operator. In the nuclear program, it's not enough to know how to operate a piece of equipment. You have to know the principles behind each element of the equipment's design, how the equipment integrates into the plant as a whole, and how the equipment will affect plant operations if it fails in a variety of circumstances. I was fortunate because this experience allowed me to see how a team of operators, each with an encyclopedic knowledge of the equipment under his control, can keep complex systems running smoothly and even make the job seem easy. I hope to contribute something to your knowledge of Windows Server 2003 so that you can build the same kind of team in your IT organization.

Who Should Read This Book

Any IT professional who designs, manages, or works with Windows technology should evaluate the features in Windows Server 2003. This book will help you with that evaluation. If you plan on installing one or more of special-function Windows Server 2003, or upgrading to Windows Server 2003 Active Directory, this book will show you how to prepare for the deployment and how to troubleshoot problems that might crop up along the way.

If you have already migrated, or are in the process of migrating, to Windows 2000 and you want to know if Windows Server 2003 has any advantages for you, the New Features checklist at the beginning of each chapter will help guide you to the items you need for your evaluation. At a macro level, I was particularly impressed with the attention to security at all levels, especially IIS, and the improvements to Windows DNS, Active Directory replication, trust relationships between forests, the new Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT), the integrated Resultant Set of Policies (RSoP) tools for group policy management, and the significant new features in Terminal Services, the Encrypting File System (EFS), Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), and the Distributed File System (Dfs). I would also call to your attention the overall improvement in performance, stability, and memory handling.

It takes time and money to upgrade a large infrastructure, but with Windows Server 2003, you will be rewarded with a system that is fast, handy to manage, and delivers benefits to your users in the form of speed and convenience.

Who This Book Is Not For

I've made the assumption throughout the book that you have experience with Windows NT servers and classic NT domains. If you have an IT background with other operating systems, and you prefer diving into the deep end of the pool when you approach a new subject, I think you'll find sufficient background explanations and references to help guide you through all but the most arcane subject areas. If you are just setting out to learn about Windows and networking technologies, this is not a good place to start.

Because this is a book about Windows Server 2003, if you are primarily concerned with deploying and managing desktops, you may want to check out one of the many books on Windows XP. If you want to know how the server-side features in Windows Server 2003 interoperate with XP and Windows 2000 clients so you can effectively troubleshoot features such as folder redirection, offline files, group policies, resource sharing, name resolution, remote user access, certificate enrollment, EFS, and smart cards, you'll find plenty of details here.

If you are primarily interested in certification on Windows Server 2003, most of the information you need to pass the exams is here, but you may not find it arranged in a way that is conducive to exam preparation. If you want the hands-on experience to go with the paper on the wall, I think you'll benefit from the deployment format of this book as you prepare for the exams.

Because of space limitations, this book does not cover the many new features of Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 or all the myriad aspects of Application-mode Terminal Services. It also does not cover the interoperability features for Novell NetWare and Novell Directory Services (NDS), Services for Macintosh (SFM), or Services for UNIX (SFU). Chapter 11, "Understanding Network Access Security and Kerberos," contains details of Windows Server 2003 Kerberos interoperability with UNIX-based MITv5 Kerberos.


This book uses the following typographical conventions:

  • A new term is set in italics the first time it is introduced--for example, Microsoft defines a site as an area of reliable, high-speed network communications.
  • Paths for files, Active Directory objects, Registry keys and values, and group policy settings are set in fixed font--for example, the Hosts file is located in the \Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc folder, and DNS zone configuration information is stored in the Registry under HKLM Software Microsoft Windows NT CurrentVersion DNS Server Zones.
  • Screen elements that are clicked, selected/deselected, checked/unchecked, opened/closed, or called out for specific attention are set in a fixed-pitch font--for example, click Add to open the Add Standalone Snap-In window; or, deselect the Bridge All Site Links option to remove global transitive bridging for site links.
  • Menu items are set in small caps--for example, right-click the MY NETWORK PLACES icon and select PROPERTIES from the flyout menu.
  • Names of graphical utilities and command-line utilities with specialized consoles are shown with an initial capital letter--for example, the Certificates console allows you to view your personal certificates, and objects representing disabled domain controllers are removed using Ntdsutil.
  • Command-line utilities are set in uppercase when identified by name and in lowercase, fixed font when shown at the command line--for example, you can clear negative responses from the local DNS cache using the IPCONFIG utility as follows: ipconfig /flushdns.
  • In paths and commands, placeholders are shown in italics--for example, the syntax for the RUNAS command is runas /u:user@domain.root /smartcard.




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