Certification: Pro-Level Windows Server 2008 Training Kit Debuts
Reviewed by Ken Jones, product planner; Maria Gargiulo, content project manager; and Laura Sackerman, content development manager, Microsoft Press
Last month, the first of the Windows Server 2008 Training Kits, covering MCTS exam 70-643, shipped. This month we’re introducing the first of our pro-level Training Kits for Windows Server 2008: MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-646): Windows Server Administration
As many of you have heard by now, the familiar MCSA and MCSE certifications for Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Server have evolved into two Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certifications for the Windows Server 2008 operating system:
• MCITP: Server Administrator
• MCITP: Enterprise Administrator
The 70-646 exam—PRO: Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator—is one of the three required exams for the MCITP: Server Administrator certification. The other two are MCTS exams 70-640: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration, and 70-642: Windows Server 2008 Networking Infrastructure Configuration.
You can think of the MCITP: Server Administrator credential as the successor to the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) certification. This credential focuses on the day-to-day operations and management of Windows Server 2008.
The 70-646 Training Kit covers all the Pro-level exam objectives. You’ll get lessons and exercises on planning server deployment and management; monitoring and maintaining servers; planning application and data provisioning; and designing for storage, high availability, and backup and recovery—all this plus the usual Training Kit benefits: practice tests, case scenarios and practice exercises, lesson review questions, a fully searchable eBook, and a discount voucher for the exam.
As with all the Windows Server 2008 Training Kits, we’re publishing the 70-646 title just a few weeks after the exam itself goes live. That was no easy feat and is a testament to the dedication and expertise of the book’s authors: the dynamic authoring duo of Ian McLean and Orin Thomas.
For more information on the new Windows Server 2008 MCITP: Server Administrator certification, please visit the Microsoft Learning site
For IT Professionals
Windows Group Policy Resource Kit: Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista
, by Derek Melber, Group Policy MVP, with the Windows Group Policy Team
Reviewed by Valerie Woolley, content project manager, Microsoft Press
Derek Melber is a leading expert and trainer on Windows Server Active Directory, Security, and Group Policy. In Windows Group Policy Resource Kit: Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, Derek covers the history and evolution of Group Policy. He drills down on all the essential details that readers will need as they use this book as their desktop reference.
To build upon Derek’s knowledge, several team members of the Group Policy team at Microsoft and a few Microsoft MVPs provide “Direct from the Source” sidebars that give the reader unique insider information. A great example is “Direct from the Source: The Scripting Group Policy Landscape,” by Darren Mar-Elia, located in Chapter 8, “Controlling GPOs with Scripts and Automation.” Darren talks about the advantages of using GPMC [Group Policy Management Console]as a scripting tool for automated tasks, but acknowledges that GPMC isn’t the most efficient tool when it comes to modifying settings within GPOs [Group Policy objects] via scripts. He then gives the readers a third-party alternative. “Direct from the Source” sidebars also offer crucial tidbits of information, such as this one by Judith Herman:
Automatically importing .adm files into Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista:
If you copy your custom .adm file into the %windir%\inf directory, the GPME [Group Policy Management Editor] will automatically import into any GPO that is edited, relieving you of having to manually add the file to each GPO in which you want to use the custom setting. The disadvantage is that all GPOs that you edit will have the extra files added to the GPT.
From the Introduction:
"Group Policy has been upgraded, expanded, and enhanced with features, functionality, and capabilities. Group Policy has more than 5,000 individual settings, nearly 40 client-side extensions, and managed capabilities that make Group Policy administration so simple, so you will have no choice but to start to use Group Policy more in your Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista environments. If you are an IT professional who works in any way with Windows Active Directory, this book will make you more adept, efficient, and competent at designing, implementing, and troubleshooting Group Policy."
This book will pair well with Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Resource Kit
by Stan Reimer, Conan Kezema, Mike Mulcare, and Byron Wright with the Microsoft Active Directory Team.
Simple Architectures for Complex Enterprises
, by Roger Sessions
The following is an excerpt from the Preface of Simple Architectures for Complex Enterprises, by Roger Sessions, which will be available from Microsoft Press in May.
It is important not to confuse the complexity of the problems we are trying to solve with the complexity of the solutions we are trying to create. The problems on the business side are certainly complex. Businesses are struggling to adopt new technologies, deal with increasingly stricter regulatory requirements, and trade in a world that is shrinking rapidly. All of these are complex problems, and only getting more so. On the IT side, too, complexity is also the norm. Software systems are becoming more distributed, more heterogeneous, more connected, more critical to the organizations. All of these are also complex problems, and they, too, are only getting more so.
As both business and software systems become more complex, the relationships between them become harder to keep in alignment. Those working on the two sides become more specialized. They develop their own languages, even their own culture. They have less time to relate to those who do not share their overwhelming concerns. A growing separation develops between the business and the IT organizations.
In most organizations, the chasm between the IT and the business organizations is growing worse. This will not be news to most readers. Most are painfully aware of the chasm. Few, if any, understand why this chasm exists. IT blames the business side. The business side blames IT. Distrust becomes widespread. Finger-pointing becomes the norm. The business people are making unreasonable demands on IT, preventing them from getting their increasingly stressful jobs done. The IT people are slowing down the business, impeding sales in an increasingly competitive environment.
But the problem is neither IT nor business. The problem is a more fundamental issue that is common to both IT and business. The real problem is complexity. And complexity is everybody’s problem.
So yes, the problems are complex. But complex problems do not ipso facto require complex solutions. Au contraire! The basic premise of this book is that simple solutions are the only solutions to complex problems that work. The complex solutions are simply too complex. The antidote to complexity is simplicity. Replace complexity with simplicity and the battle is three-quarters over. Of course, replacing complexity with simplicity is not necessarily simple. But this book will tell you how to do it.
The first thing you need to do to achieve simplicity is focus on simplicity as a core value. We all discuss the importance of agility, security, performance, and reliability of IT systems as if they are the most important of all requirements. We need to hold simplicity to as high a standard as we hold these other features. We need to understand what makes architectures simple with as much critical reasoning as we use to understand what makes architectures secure, fast, or reliable. In fact, I argue that simplicity is not merely the equal of these other characteristics; it is superior to all of them. It is, in many ways, the ultimate enabler.
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April 16, 2008
For DevelopersMicrosoft Visual Basic 2008 Step by Step
, by Michael Halvorson
Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Step by Step
, by John Sharp
For Home and Office UsersWindows Vista Plain & Simple
, by Jerry Joyce and Marianne Moon
Windows Vista Step by Step
, by Joan Preppernau and Joyce Cox
For IT ProfessionalsWindows Vista Resource Kit
, by Mitch Tulloch, Tony Northrup, and Jerry Honeycutt with the Microsoft Windows Vista Team
Windows Server 2008 Administrator's Pocket Consultant
, by William R. Stanek
For CertificationMCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-620): Configuring Windows Vista Client
, by Ian McLean and Orin Thomas
MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-431): Microsoft SQL Server 2005—Implementation and Maintenance
, by Solid Quality Learning
For DevelopersProgramming Microsoft Visual C# 2008: The Language
, by Donis Marshall
Programming Microsoft LINQ
, by Paolo Pialorsi and Marco Russo
Simple Architectures for Complex Enterprises
, by Roger Sessions
For Home and Office UsersMicrosoft Office Live: Take Your Business Online
, by Katherine Murray
Windows Vista Inside Out Deluxe Edition
, by Ed Bott, Carl Siechert, and Craig Stinson
For CertificationMCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-640): Configuring Windows Server 2008 Active Directory
, by Dan Holme, Nelson Ruest, and Danielle Ruest
MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-632): Managing Projects with Microsoft Office Project 2007
, by Joli Ballew, Deanna Reynolds, and Bonnie Biafore
MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exams 70-640, 70-642, 70-646): Windows Server 2008 Server Administrator Core Requirements
, by Dan Holme, Nelson Ruest, Danielle Ruest, Tony Northrup, J.C. Mackin, Ian McLean, and Orin Thomas