Planning an Active Directory Implementation
Implementing Active Directory (AD) is a daunting task requiring extensive planning and testing, and this New Riders' release emphasizes just how important this preparation is.
AD designers and architects will benefit from the suggested
planning processes, but the network administrator looking
for Windows 2000 tidbits will be disappointed. The authors
clearly state that Windows 2000 Active Directory
isn't a reference guide for
the Win2K administrator. Nor is it a gold mine of formerly
undisclosed Win2K tips and tricks. Instead, the authors
are disciplined in their focus, and you see this in their
limited discussion of essential AD elements such as DNS,
WINS, group policy and sites. These components are covered
in just enough detail to present the challenges and guiding
principles for AD architects.
Moving on, this volume isn't an exam preparation guide.
The explanations presented for each topic cover only general
concepts and assume that the reader already knows a good
deal about AD. The authors also raise many issues without
completely resolving them. For example, the need to integrate
AD and UNIX is mentioned several times in the book, but
little is offered in the way of a complete plan for coexistence.
But this is entirely in keeping with the book's intent.
Remember, the volume's aim is to provide guiding principles
for the development of unique AD infrastructures.
I was disappointed with one aspect of this book —
the presentation of a fictional company, "Wadeware," and
the "dissection" in case study fashion of this company's
AD design and configuration. While illustrating AD's capabilities
and providing a sample AD implementation are great ideas,
the Wadeware model is used too vaguely to provide any
real insight into AD's features and benefits. On several
occasions where the reader would benefit from a real-life
example of AD in action, the Wadeware model isn't mentioned.
In addition, why and how Wadeware set up its AD configuration
the way it did is never really addressed.
This book can serve as a starting point for those involved
in AD design and implementation. The incorporated concepts
and examples are useful, though limited, and because of
the book's brevity, each AD component is covered only
briefly. (AD implementers will need to do further research
upon finishing this book.) And while this volume may not
serve as an exam preparation tool for MCSE hopefuls or
quick reference for Win2K network administrators, it does
contain valuable insights into developing a well-thought-out
AD implementation plan.
Robert Pfeiffer, MCSE, MCT, works closely with Windows
NT and Win2K. Implementing Win2K in the enterprise is
currently one of Rob's major undertakings, and he enjoys
showing others how to take advantage of Windows networking
technologies. He also occasionally delves into development
work using Visual Basic.