The wisdom captured in this messaging book
required time, experience, and service packs.
With the onslaught of Exchange Server books,
it can be quite difficult to find one that suits your exact
needs. Sybex’s 24seven Exchange Server 5.5 was written
to benefit the Exchange administrator as a whole. Throughout
its 622 pages, this book covers virtually every aspect of
Exchange, from planning to its core functionality to troubleshooting.
It assumes you have Exchange and networking experience. For
those new to Exchange Server, the author actually recommends
another book, from the same publisher, in the introduction.
Like most Exchange books, this text begins
by discussing planning and preparation and then moves on to
administration and troubleshooting. However, unlike many others,
this one dives deeper into the product than most and extends
beyond Exchange Server. Things like NT domain structures,
password security, network monitoring, and IP/name resolution
troubleshooting are often overlooked when discussing Exchange—but
not in this book.
I particularly liked Part V, which includes
three chapters on Exchange security. The author spends a great
deal of time explaining how an e-mail message is encrypted
(or not) and what can be done to protect both your users and
servers. Areas such as message encryption and NT Server/physical
network security are covered to show the reader what’s
actually involved in maintaining confidentiality. Many of
your users will consider this to be one of the most critical
components of an email system.
What also makes this book stand out from
the rest is the use of the “Exchange@Work” and “Case
Study” sidebars, as the author calls them. These are
observations and recommendations that the author makes based
on years of practical Exchange Server experience. The benefit
of this is that it gives someone a realistic example of how
all of this information can be put to use.
It’s nice to see that someone waited
for Exchange 5.5 to go through varying degrees of implementations
and a couple of service packs before writing a book like this.
All too often books come out claiming to be perfect for the
advanced administrator and are really filled with out-of-date
screenshots and incorrect information. If you’re looking
for one Exchange book that will cover every aspect needed
for Exchange administration, you’d be wise to invest
your money here.
Michael Tedesco, MCSE, MCT, serves as
the Enterprise Messaging Specialist for Latham & Watkins,a Los Angeles-based law firm. He has taught classes on Exchange Server for the past couple of years and is now leading a conversion
of 2,500 users from cc:Mail to Exchange.