Mastering Windows Server 2003

Mastering Windows Server 2003

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The Only Windows Server Resource You Need

The single most comprehensive and understandable book on the subject, Mastering Windows Server 2003 continues author Mark Minasi's award-winning tradition of clear and comprehensive coverage of Microsoft's Windows Server products. This book shows you how to plan, configure and install your network, keep it running its best, and fix it if it breaks. And you still get all the coverage you need for the Windows 2000 Server installations that remain part of your environment.

Coverage includes:

• Configuring IP, DHCP, DNS, and WINS to achieve the right foundation for your network

• DNS explained in everyday English, from basics to advanced design

• Designing, running, and maintaining Active Directory-based domains with Server 2003 and 2000 Server

• Running your own Web, FTP, and e-mail server with 2003

• Controlling hundreds, even thousands, of workstations with group policies and security templates

• Tuning and monitoring your network

• Securing your network from split-brain DNS to AD delegation to group policies, logs, IPSec, PKI and more

• Using Windows Server 2003 to share Internet connections

• Complete coverage of all new 2003 features
Real Solutions to Real Challenges
If improving the real-world performance of your network is the bottom line, this book delivers the goods. It shows you how to design and manage a multiple-platform network, build a Windows-based intranet, find the right data backup strategy, prevent and recover from disasters, and much more. There's no end to what you'll accomplish with practical, step-by-step instruction from the expert who has actually done it all on live networks!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780782141306
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/07/2003
Edition description: Book and CD-ROM
Pages: 1792
Product dimensions: 7.54(w) x 9.18(h) x 2.81(d)

About the Author

Mark Minasi has 25 years of experience in the computer business. He has been teaching professional seminars on networking since 1985, and has experience with IBM, Novell, and Microsoft-based networks. Mark has been a columnist for BYTE, AI Expert, Compute, and NT Magazine and is CNN's resident computer expert.

Read an Excerpt

Mastering Windows Server 2003

By Mark Minasi

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7821-4130-7

Chapter One

Windows Server 2003 Overview

If you lived through the change from NT 4 Server to Windows 2000 Server, then you might be a bit gun-shy about Windows Server 2003; how much more will you have to learn, and how hard will it be? If so, then I have good news: while Server 2003 offers a lot of new stuff, there's not nearly as much new stuff-if 2000 was a tsunami, 2003 is just a heavy storm. (If, however, you're an NT 4 guy getting ready to move to 2003, then yes, there's a whole lot of new stuff to learn. But don't worry, this is the right book, and I'll make it as easy as is possible!)

Clearly explaining what Server 2003 does is the job of the entire book, but in this chapter I'll give you a quick overview of what's new. I'm mainly writing this chapter for those who already know Windows 2000 Server and are looking for a quick overview of what's new in 2003, so if you're just joining the Microsoft networking family then don't worry if some of this doesn't make sense. I promise, in the rest of the book I'll make it all clear.

Four Types of Server

Once, there was just one kind of NT Server. Under 3.1 it was called NT Advanced Server 3.1, which confused people-was there a cheaper "basic" server available?-and so Microsoft just renamed it NT Server 3.5 for its second outing, and it stayed that way through NT Server 3.51. But with NT 4 came a slightlymore powerful (and expensive) version called Enterprise Edition, which offered a different memory model and clustering but not much else, so not many chose it.

Pre-Server 2003 Varieties

Under Windows 2000, the basic server was just called Windows 2000 Server, and Enterprise became Windows 2000 Advanced Server. It offered a bit more incentive to buy it than Enterprise had, but not much; its most enticing feature was a new tool called Network Load Balancing Module, something that Microsoft had purchased and decided to deny to the buyers of basic Server. (But it's now shipped in the basic Server, thankfully.)

Microsoft also started releasing a third version of Server called Datacenter Server, but you couldn't just go to the store and buy it-they only "OEMed" it, which means that they allowed vendors to buy Datacenter and tune it very specifically for their particular hardware. The only way that you're going to get a copy of Datacenter is if you spend a whole lot of money on a high-end server computer, and then you get Datacenter with it.

Should you feel left out because you can't buy a copy of Datacenter 2000 and slap it on your TurboClone3000 no-name Web server? Probably not. Yes, there are a few things that Datacenter 2000 can do that the others can't: eight-computer clusters is the main one, but for most of us the loss isn't great. Unfortunately, that changes with Windows Server 2003.

Windows Server 2003 Flavors: Web Edition Makes Four

As you'd expect, Microsoft introduced a number of new features with Windows Server 2003 but didn't make them available in all of the versions. It also added a new low-cost version, Web Edition, and reshuffled the features among the four versions. There are actually a whole pile of different versions of Server 2003 if you include the 64-bit versions, the embedded versions, and so on, but the main product grouping is the four "product editions":

* Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition

* Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition

* Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition

* Windows Server 2003, Web Edition

I'm going to focus on Standard Edition in this book, but let's take a very quick look at each edition.

"Regular Old Server" Gets a Name

For the first time since 1983, the basic variety of server has a name; it is now Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition. (I suspect I may have to sue Microsoft for the extra carpal tunnel damage that I'm getting writing this book-where I could once just say "NT 4," now I'm typing half a sentence just to identify the product.) In general, it has just about all of the features that it did back when it didn't have a name.

Standard Edition comes with a bunch of new features that are new to all of 2003's editions, as you'd expect, but it also comes with a bit of quite welcome news: Standard Edition includes Network Load Balancing (NLB). NLB's not new, as it was included in Windows 2000 Advanced Server, the more expensive version of Windows 2000 Server. But where Microsoft once required you to buy the pricier version of 2000 Server to get this very useful feature, it's now included in all four editions of Windows Server 2003. (You'll learn how to set it up in Chapter 6.) But that's not all that's new in Standard Edition-for instance, how does, "You finally get a complete e-mail server free in the box" sound? But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Web Edition Debuts

The newest and fourth option for Server is Web Edition. The idea is that Microsoft really wants their Web server, IIS, to completely crush, overtake, and overwhelm the competition: Apache and Sun Web servers. So they ripped a bunch of things out of Server and offered it to hardware vendors as an OEM-only copy of Windows Server 2003. It can only address 2GB of RAM (NT has always been able to access 4 or more GB) and cannot

* Be a domain controller, although it can join a domain

* Support Macintosh clients, save as a Web server

* Be accessed remotely via Terminal Services, although it has Remote Desktop, like XP

* Provide Internet Connection Sharing or Net Bridging

* Be a DHCP or fax server

So it's unlikely that you'll actually see a copy of Web Edition, but if you do, then don't imagine that you'll be able to build a whole network around it. As its name suggests, it's pretty much intended as a platform for cheap Web servers.

What You're Missing: Enterprise and Datacenter Features

Back in the NT 4 days, Microsoft introduced a more expensive version of Server called NT 4 Server, Enterprise Edition. It supported clusters and a larger memory model. When Windows 2000 Server came around, Microsoft renamed it Windows 2000 Advanced Server. With Server 2003, Microsoft still offers this higher-end version of Server, but with yet another name change. Now it's called Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition. Yes, you read that right: once it was Enterprise Edition, then it became Advanced Server, and now it's back to Enterprise Edition. (Don't shoot me, I just report this stuff.)

Enterprise Edition still does clusters-four-PC clusters now. It also lets you boot a server from a Storage Area Network (SAN), hot-install memory like Datacenter can, and run with four processors.

With Windows Server 2003, Microsoft has finally made me covetous of Datacenter. It has this incredibly cool tool called Windows Resource Manager that basically lets you do the kind of system management that you could do on the mainframe years and years ago. How'd you like to say to your system, "Don't let SQL Server ever use more than 50 percent of the CPU power or 70 percent of the RAM?" WRM lets you do that, and it only ships with Datacenter. Datacenter also now supports eight-PC clusters as well as hot-installing RAM-yup, that's right, you just open the top of the server while it is running and insert a new memory module, wait a second or two and poof! the system now recognizes the new RAM, no reboot required.

XP Support Comes to Server

For the first time in a long time, Microsoft shipped NT in two parts, delivering NT Workstation version 5.1-that is, Windows XP Professional and its sadly eviscerated sibling, XP Home-over a year earlier than its NT Server counterpart, Windows Server 2003. I don't think that Microsoft originally intended for there to be a year and a half interregnum, but that unintended extra time let Microsoft make Windows Server 2003 much more than "XP Server"-it's NT Server version 5.2.

XP was a nice upgrade from 2000 Professional but not a great one, not a must-upgrade for current Windows 2000 Professional systems, but a very attractive step up for those running NT 4 or Windows 9x/Me on their desktops. Okay, I might have understated things a bit there-let's go back and italicize that "very." And for people running-auggh-Wintendo (9x and Me) put that "very" in double-sized bold text. (This assumes, of course, that you have the minimum reasonable hardware to run XP-128MB RAM and a 600MHz processor.) But, again, if you're already running 2000 Pro and you want some you-are-a-fool-if-your-company-doesn't-upgrade-to-XP reasons, then I can't help.

But that doesn't mean that XP didn't introduce some neat features, and now with the introduction of Windows Server 2003, the server side of the NT house has them as well.

XP Integration

Windows 2000 Server came with a file named adminpak.msi, which would let you install all of the administrative tools for a 2000 network on a 2000 Pro desktop. I loved that, as NT Workstation never really did a great job as an administrator's desktop and I always ended up running Server as my desktop OS. But 2000 Pro was a different story; get adminpak.msi on the Win2K Pro box and you could do all the server administration that you wanted. But then XP arrived.

I was perfectly happy with my Win2K desktop, but it's kind of my job to use the latest version of NT, so I upgraded to XP, only to immediately find that none of the server administration tools worked anymore-the only way to control my DNS server, AD domain controllers, DHCP server, and the like was by either keeping a Win2K machine around somewhere, walking over to the server to work on it, or just using Terminal Services to remotely control the server. It was irritating. Microsoft soon shipped a beta version of administrative tools that worked on XP, but I'm kind of leery of running my actual commercial network with beta tools, if you know what I mean.

So it's good news that Server 2003 brings a welcome addition: a new set of administrative tools that run fine on XP.

Server Understands XP Group Policies

To my mind, XP's two absolute best features from an administrator's point of view were its remote control/support and software restriction capabilities. Both of those capabilities either absolutely require or considerably benefit from group policies, but Server 2000 knew nothing about them, and so required some tweaking to support XP-specific policies on a Windows 2000-based Active Directory. That's all taken care of now.

New Free Servers: An E-Mail Server and SQL Server "Lite"

Thank you, Microsoft.

Not too many people remember this, but back when Server first came out, it wasn't all that impressive in terms of performance. But over time, it took market share away from network OSes that were, in many ways, faster, more flexible, or more reliable. How'd they do it? Many reasons, but I've always thought that there were two biggies. First, NT used the Windows interface, which meant that once you'd mastered Solitaire you were well on the way to administering an NT Server.

The second reason was that NT came with a lot of stuff free in the box. From the very beginning, NT contained software that most vendors charged for. At one time, most server OS vendors charged for the TCP/IP protocol, but NT always had it. Ditto remote access tools, or Macintosh support, or a Web server, FTP, and a dozen other things. In terms of features, Microsoft made NT an attractive proposition.

So I could never understand why they didn't include an e-mail server. Well, okay, I understood it-they wanted to sell you MS-Mail (you in the back there, stop laughing) or Exchange, and didn't want to offer a free alternative. But I've never understood that. Exchange is a mail server that, while powerful, is complex, difficult to set up, and expensive. Why not offer an e-mail server that is nothing more than an SMTP and POP3-based system? It would serve that five-person office well, and they're probably not about to buy Exchange. Nor would it keep the 100-person (or 100,000-person) enterprise from buying Exchange, as they're probably large enough that they want support of shared calendars, IMAP, mailbox forwarding, antivirus add-ons, and so on, and a super-basic POP3 service wouldn't do it.

I got my wish. Windows Server 2003 in all flavors includes a POP3 service. The other part, SMTP, has always existed, so between the two of them, you've got a complete low-end mail server. Again, there are no hooks for antivirus software, no way to set a mailbox to automatically forward somewhere else, and no way to create an autoresponse message for a mailbox a la, "Jack doesn't work here anymore, please don't send anymore mail here to his address," but it may still do the job for you.

The next goodie wasn't on my wish list, but I'll bet it was on a lot of other peoples': a free database engine. Even better, it's a free database engine that is a copy of SQL Server 2000, although with a "governor" and no administrative tools.

For years, Microsoft has offered a thing called Microsoft Database Engine or MSDE. It was never generally available to NT users, but it was available to various groups of developers. The idea with MSDE was that Microsoft took SQL Server 2000-a fairly expensive piece of software-and crippled it in three ways:

* First, they limited the database size to 2GB. That may not sound like much, but a "real" application of any size could grow beyond that in not too much time. But it's a great size for testing and developing database-driven apps, or for managing a database that will never get very big.

* Second, they put a "throttle" (Microsoft's word) on it so that if more than five people access it, it slows down. Again, it's a barrier to using this for member registration on a thousand-member Web site, but fine for testing and small networks.

* Finally, they do not ship any administrative tools for MSDE. If you want to do something as simple as changing the password on the default "sa" account, you'll have to do some scripting.

None of that is intended to sound negative, even though it's true the MSDE is a severely cut-down version of SQL Server 2000. The price is right and once you get past the basic lack of admin interface-the hard part-then you'll find that it's a pretty nice add-on.

General Networking Pluses

XP's new networking features made it to Windows Server 2003, with some extras as well.

NAT Traversal

First, XP introduced NAT Traversal. For those who don't know what that is, NAT Traversal tries to solve the problem of "how do I communicate from inside one NAT network to another?"

More specifically: suppose you've got a cable modem or DSL connection with a connection sharing device of some kind, like a DSL router. The DSL router has two IP addresses. First, there's the honest-to-God, fully routable IP address that it got from your Internet provider, connected to the DSL or cable modem connection. Then there's the connection to a switch that you've got all of your internal machines connected to-the old Windows 9x boxes, NT machines, 2000 systems, Macintoshes, or whatever. The DSL router's job is to share the one "legal" Internet address among several devices. But every device needs a unique IP address. Lots of devices, but just one IP address-what to do?

As you may know, DSL routers solve this problem by giving all of the internal systems-those Windows, NT, 2000, and Mac machines-IP addresses from a block of addresses set aside to be nonroutable. Anyone can use them.

Note By the way, if you've never worked with IP, don't worry too much about this-read Chapter 6 on the basics of TCP/IP on Server 2003. (Continues...)

Excerpted from Mastering Windows Server 2003 by Mark Minasi Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Windows Server 2003 Overview.

Chapter 2: The Basics: Networking Software, Servers, and Security.

Chapter 3: Configuring Windows Server: The Microsoft Management Console.

Chapter 4: Configuring Windows Server: The Windows Server 2003 Registry.

Chapter 5: Setting Up and Rolling Out Windows Server 2003.

Chapter 6: Understanding and Using TCP/IP in Server 2003.

Chapter 7: TCP/IP Infrastructure: DHCP, WINS, and DNS.

Chapter 8: Active Directory.

Chapter 9: Managing and Creating User Accounts.

Chapter 10: Managing Windows Server Storage.

Chapter 11: Creating and Managing Shared Folders.

Chapter 12: Software Deployment.

Chapter 13: Configuring and Troubleshooting Network Print Services.

Chapter 14: Connecting Microsoft Clients to the Server.

Chapter 15: Macintosh and Windows Server Integration.

Chapter 16: Supporting Clients with Windows Terminal Services.

Chapter 17: TCP/IP Server Services (IIS, NNTP, Telnet, SMTP, POP3, and FTP).

Chapter 18: Tuning and Monitoring Your Windows Server Network.

Chapter 19: Preparing for and Recovering from Server Failures.

Chapter 20: Installing and Managing Remote Access Service in Windows Server 2003.

Chapter 21: Novell NetWare and Windows Server.


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Mastering Windows Server 2003 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Friends, if you really want to become webhosting or network buy this book ! I am telling you this fromm deep of my heart.... Trust Me !!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have Minasi's Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 Mastering books. I would recommend them to most but I would also recommend Windows Server 2003 Inside Out. Having both books is a Godsend. Windows Server 2003 Inside Out has become my goto book for the indepth stuff especially monitoring, maintenance, Active Directory, networking, printing. Inside Out has the best coverage of DNS, DHCP, and TCP/IP. Mastering is still my goto book when I have to deal with Mac to Windows support or Unix to Windows issues or NetWare to Windows. Mastering is good for issues with older OSs like connectivity to Windows for Workgroup clients.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is simply the best book that you can buy, it has examples and reasons for every step explained. they should have named this book 'steal this book'