Pros: Small, concise, comprehensive, well written, timely
The Bottom Line: If you need a comprehensive reference guide to (almost) everything SB 2003 R2, you cant go wrong with the Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 R2 Administrator's Companion.
Book Type: Hard-cover; 701 pages Publisher: Microsoft Press; Bk&CD-Rom edition Publishing Date: February 2006 Language: English ISBN: 0-7356-2280-7
Part of my portfolio as a small business consultant entails building and administering Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 (SBS) installations. Although I have installed, configured and administered a plentitude of Microsoft Windows 2003 Servers, I was new to the SBS 2003 environment. And I was to discover that SBS and SBS Release 2 (R2) has quite a few difference from the full blown NOS is was used to dealing with. So I picked a copy of the Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 R2 Administrator's Companion. Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 R2 Administrator's Companion is divided into the following six parts:
o Part I Preparation and Planning o Part II Installation, and Setup o Part III Performing the Basic Tasks o Part IV Performing Advanced Tasks o Part V Maintenance and Troubleshooting o Part VI Appendixes
The 701 page SBS 2003 R2 Administrator's Companionpublished coincidentally by Microsoft Pressis a standard size reference guide that provides step-by-step instructions for planning for, installing, administering, and troubleshooting of SBS 2003 R2. These instructions include Planning the Network Infrastructure, Installing SBS 2003, Upgrading or Migrating to SBS 2003, Patch Management, Software Distribution and Management, Remote Control of Client Systems, Disaster Recovery, Site Administration and other issues. I like that the guide takes the user from the planning stage, through installation and administration of the product on the troubleshooting. SBS 2003 R2 Administrator's Companion is very much a one stop guide to everything youd need to know to properly administer SBS 2003 R2. The book is replete with documented procedural examples that cover administration fundamentals (site administration as well as client, Exchange, and ISA server administration), active directory services, SQL database administration, as well as Site database maintenance, query creation and reports, and backup procedures. The book is specifically designed for beginning SBS 2003 R2 administrators and those who have more than a passing familiarity with the NOS and Active Directory (AD). The Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 R2 Administrator's Companion allows you to:
o Plan, install, configure and administer your SBS R2 server and it various components. o Prepare existing SBS 2.0 installation for migration. o Construct a administrative hierarchy for managing resources through AD or built-in tools such as the server administrator. o Understand Microsoft patch management and how to set the SBS 2003 R2 server to download and roll out new patches to the installed client workstations. o Walk through resource discovery and client installation methods. o Implement and administer standard or advanced security modes. o Monitor site activity, track information flow, and analyze network and server performance remotely. o Setup Exchange, SQL, and ISA servers. o Setup and administer remote client and email access via a secure connection over the Internet. o Plan your disaster recovery strategy, including maintenance and backups.
Since I started installing SBS 2003 R2 for clients I have found SBS 2003 R2 Administrator's Companion an invaluable ally in the almost daily barrage of administrative chores associated with even a mid-sized SBS 2003 installation. From monitoring and managing the Exchange 2003 Server and SQL database, to tracking processor, disk, and memory usage, to creating and managing users and client workstations, the functionality built into SBS can be overwhelming.
This is where the SBS 2003 R2 Administrator's Companion really makes a difference in the amount of time I can spend looking for answers. Most of the answers I have sought have been within the pages of this very concise and mostly complete book.
That is not to say that the SBS 2003 R2 Administrator's Companion has all of the answers; it doesnt, nor would I expect it to, but it does contain the most common administrative tasks one might encounter.
SBS 2003 R2 Administrator's Companion is well laid out, and I believe written in an easy to follow, logically flowing format that make finding the answer easy. Is it the only book or reference material you should have at your disposal? Of course not, but it can certainly enhance your Microsoft SBS 2003 R2 reference arsenal, and give you a quick a compact guide to look for answers. Dont want to carry the book? Carry the companion CD-ROM instead; it contains a complete copy of the book in .PDF format.
Could I be a successful SBS R2 Administrator and user without the SBS 2003 R2 Administrator's Companion? Sure, but it would be a lot harder and a lot more time-consuming; and time is not something I have a lot of. : If you need a comprehensive reference guide to (almost) everything SB 2003 R2, you cant go wrong with the Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 R2 Administrator's Companion, from Microsoft Press.
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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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