Pros: Comprehensive, complete; best reference book for Windows 2003; includes Win2003 (180-day) Evaluation disc.
The Bottom Line: Truly the most comprehensive upgrade guide I have ever used; in fact I could use it to administer a Windows 2003 environment.
As some of you may have already have surmised from some of my previous reviews, I work in the Information Technology arena. It started out as a hobby, back in the early eighties, and by the time I left the Navy in the mid-㣾s after fifteen years of service, I knew enough about computers, networking and Information Technology to make it my second career.
Eleven years and several jobs later, I hold several industry-standard IT related certifications including the much sought after Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MSCA) & Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MSCE), both for the Windows 2000 Network Operating System (NOS). Now that Windows 2003 Server is solidly entrenched in the corporate environment, I (and the people I work for) felt it was time I upgraded my MCSA/MCSE credentials to demonstrate my proficiency in the NOS. So I did what any self-respecting IT professional would do, I bought a book, actually two. One book is the MCSA/MCSE Windows Server 2003 Upgrade, by Sybex, and the other is the MCSA/MCSE Upgrading Your Certification to Windows Server 2003: Self-Paced Training Kit Exams 70-292 and 70-296 by Microsoft Press. Yes, the title is a mouthful.
The MCSA/MCSE Upgrading Your Certification to Windows Server 2003 is the most comprehensive study guide I have read to help me prepare for the (very grueling) Microsoft Exams, 70-292 and 70-296, the two tests needed to wear the MCSA/MCSE lapel pin for Windows 2003 Server.Note: To obtain the MCSA/MCSE certification is usually a seven test ordeal, but those who already hold the credential for Windows 2000 Server only have to take two upgrade exams. MCSA/MCSE Upgrading Your Certification to Windows Server 2003: Self-Paced Training Kit Exams 70-292 and 70-296 provides the following:
o In-depth coverage of every exam objectives; o Practical information on planning, implementing, and maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment; o Case scenarios and troubleshooting labs for real-world expertise; o Readiness Review Suite featuring 425 questions per exam and multiple testing options; o 180-day evaluation copy of Windows 2003 Server Enterprise Edition; o Fully searchable e-book in Adobe PDF format; o Microsoft Encyclopedia of Security and Encyclopedia of Networking (2nd Ed) e-books; MCSA/MCSE Upgrading Your Certification to Windows Server 2003 is broken down into two parts, in some 30 chapters, the first of which concentrates on the Operating System (OS) and how to install, configure, administrator, and manage it. Part 2 prepares you for the exams serving up test questions first of 70-292 and then on 70-296.
Part 1, entitled Learn at You Own Pace fills up clearly 2/3 of the 1100 pages of this thick tome; the following topics are covered:
o Introduction to Windows Server 2003 o Implementing and Active Directory Infrastructure o Managing and Maintaining an Active Directory Implementation o Managing Users, Computers, and Groups o Planning, Implementing, and Troubleshooting Group Policy o Managing the User environment with Group Policy o Planning a Host Name Resolution Strategy o Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining Name Resolution o Planning and Implementing, Server Roles and Security o Managing and Maintaining a Server Environment o Securing Network Communications o Managing and Implementing Disaster Recovery o Clustering Servers
Part 2 (Preparing for the Exam) deals with Exam 70-296: Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment for an MCSE Certified on Windows 2000. The following exam sections are covered:
o Exam 70-292: Managing Users, Computers, and Groups o Exam 70-292: Managing and Maintaining Access to Resources o Exam 70-292: Managing and Maintaining a Server Environment o Exam 70-292: Managing and Implementing Disaster Recovery o Exam 70-292: Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining Name Resolution o Exam 70-292: Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining Network Security o Exam 70-296: Planning and Implementing, Server Roles and Security o Exam 70-296: Planning and Implementing, and Maintaining a Network Infrastructure o Exam 70-296: Planning and Implementing, and Maintaining Server Availability o Exam 70-296: Planning and Maintaining Network Security o Exam 70-296: Planning and Implementing, and Maintaining Security Infrastructure o Exam 70-296: Planning, and Implementing and Active Director Infrastructure o Exam 70-296: Managing and Maintaining an Active Directory Infrastructure o Exam 70-296: Planning and Implementing User, Computer, and Group Strategies o Exam 70-296: Planning and Implementing Group Policy o Exam 70-296: Managing and Maintaining Group Policy
The (1100) page book is well laid out and contains a plentitude of graphics and tables to help illustrate and expand on difficult concepts. At the end of each chapter there are a Lesson Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions, and Scenarios all designed to test your knowledge and understanding of the concepts just presented.
And to help you further prepare for the Exams, the book ships with a CD-ROM full of helpful e-books in PDF format and that can be loaded on Pocket PC and Palm devices, or right on any PC desktop. This feature is called the MCSA/MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit. The Kit also includes a Readiness Review Suite powered by Measure-up a well known and respected self-test company. Also included is the Windows Server 2003 Sampler, which cobbles together several chapters and excerpts from other Microsoft Press Windows 2003 Server book in PDF format.
The other CD-ROM contains a 180-day evaluation copy of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition. By loading the OS, one can practice the concepts presented in the book and actually set up and administer a live Windows 2003 installation.
Utilizing this bookand other study materialI have successfully updated my credentials; yes I am happy to report that I passed the 70-292 and 70-296 exams this past week. But, as I was reading this book I realized that MCSA/MCSE Upgrading Your Certification to Windows Server 2003: Self-Paced Training Kit Exams 70-292 and 70-296 is far more that an exam preparation tool, it is also a reference manual filled with indispensable how-tos for implementing, managing and administering almost every facet of the Windows 2003 Server environment. Heretofore such an invaluable tool was not a part of my administrators toolbox.
Sure I have a lot of books that touch some aspect of Windows 2003 Server or another, but MCSA/MCSE Upgrading Your Certification to Windows Server 2003: Self-Paced Training Kit Exams 70-292 and 70-296 is the first book I have read that seems to cover it all, and for that reason along the book is a must have to the Windows 2003 Administrator. But if you are just looking to upgrade your credentials this book is the one you need!
Editors: Dan Holme and Orin Thomas Book Type: Hard-cover; 1100 pages Publisher: Microsoft Press Publishing Date: 2004 Language: English ISBN: 978-0-7356-1971-5
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About the reviewer
Vincent Martin (vemartin)
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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