Introducing Active Directory

Look to this book for a well-rounded overview of Windows 2000 Active Directory.

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 overview.

About the Author

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.

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