Introducing Active Directory
Look to this book for a well-rounded overview of Windows 2000 Active Directory.
- By Mark England
This volume by Robert R. King serves as an excellent
introduction to Active Directory for Windows 2000, providing
a solid Active Directory overview, plus detailing the
differences between Windows NT 4.0 and Win2K. The book
describes step-by-step procedures related to Win2K configuration
and will help even the most novice administrator quickly
come up to speed on Active Directory.
Nicely laid out, the book is divided into three parts:
networks background, Active Directory, and Active Directory’s
future. A “two-level” table of contents makes navigating
the book easy—Contents at a Glance provides a broad chapter
view, while the Complete Table of Contents offers a detailed
breakdown of each chapter.
The book starts with the networks background, discussing
the different protocols a network directory service can
use and helping readers understand why Active Directory
came into existence. Readers also learn to make the terminology
changes and shifts required to become efficient in designing
an Active Directory.
The volume’s second section dives into Active Directory
itself. The major categories (sites, policies, domains)
making up Active Directory are explained. On some complex
topics—for example, Group Policy Objects (GPO) and implementing
Active Directory—the book takes a detailed look, offering
real-world examples and implementation ideas that help
make difficult concepts easier to comprehend. The book
author also understands that Light Weight Directory Protocol
(LDAP) is essential to successfully installing and supporting
Active Directory. He does a good job of explaining how
LDAP came to be and why Microsoft chose it as the base
protocol for Active Directory.
In the third section, discussing Active Directory’s future,
the book takes a general look at how tighter integration
among Microsoft BackOffice products such as Exchange,
Site Server, and Active Directory should be able to offer
end users and administrators more functions and flexibility
on a network. This section also touches on how Active
Directory and third-party products can work together to
provide more seamless data integration.
If you plan to use this book for Win2K certification,
you’ll find it lacks the detail surrounding Active Directory
design concepts that is critical to passing the certification
exams. As an Active Directory reference guide, however,
this book is excellent.
If you’re a novice network administrator or totally new
to Win2K and Active Directory, you’ll find this book helps
you quickly come up to speed on Active Directory. Meanwhile,
experienced network administrators and engineers will
find this volume a good Active Directory resource and
Mark England, MCSE, MCT, MCNE, is a principal technology consultant with HP Services, Microsoft Infrastructure Practice, where he specializes in Windows and Exchange. He is a regular contributing author for Microsoft Certified Magazine, a presenter at MEC, as well as an evening instructor in Sacramento.