AD for the Novice

Mission-Critical Active Directory addresses the intricacies of this complex topic.

Are you looking for a single book that covers the most critical aspects of Windows 2000 Active Directory? If so, run out and buy Mission-Critical Active Directory. This book clearly and precisely explains AD from a beginner's point of view. The authors do assume you have some knowledge of Windows NT; if you don't, another book may be more appropriate. However, this book is well written and easy to read. It flows naturally—from a detailed overview of AD components to the major features of AD, such as DNS; site topology; AD databases, and security, including Group Policies, authentication and PKI.

What's incredible about this book is that the authors cover a lot of information without ever losing the flow. This book easily competes, in volume, with other technical reference books at a hefty 626 pages, but at no point was I bored. The authors include sample code, where applicable, and explain what the code does.

The most noteworthy section of this book is the database sizing and design section. There's a great two-page section on multithreading access to AD that was quite impressive. This section is essential to any administrator who is managing a highly populated AD. The section on LDIF is helpful, especially if you haven't used LDIF before or if you have a lot of information to import. The section on searching AD is great once you have your AD populated with user information.

One part that seems to have been thrown in for good measure is the migrating to Win2K section. The problem with throwing in a chapter like this is that this topic alone can comprise an entire book. It's next to impossible to cover this subject in approximately 30 pages. The authors do a great job at introducing this subject but if you're planning a migration, you're sure to have more questions than this section answers.

To that end, if you're currently working with AD and are trying to troubleshoot issues, this book may not help. This book is best suited for the novice trying to understand the intricacies of AD and its implementation. If you're new to Win2K, stop running DCPromo and go out and buy this book.

About the Author

Yolanda R. Reid, MCSE, CCNA, works closely with Win2K, Windows NT, and BackOffice products. As an employee of USI, her specialty is enterprise systems and designing Win2K infrastructures.

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