Fast, Easy Insight into Windows Server 2003

</i>Insider Solutions <i>is a smooth, well-crafted look at Windows 2003.

I was just about burned out on Windows 2003 books but felt compelled, at least for comparison purposes, to pore through Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Insider Solutions.

I'm glad I did. The writing truly stands out—it's simply smoother and more stylish than the average book. It wasn't exactly funny or entertaining, but it was certainly a top-notch read.

The quality of writing is important. For a 600-plus page book, good writing makes it easy to read and easy to skim through material.

The organization is terrific. Each chapter includes an outline of its contents, and the chapters themselves have handy, easy-to-read boxes and call outs. But content is king, and here Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Insider Solutions shines.

I like assertive authors, and the four authors behind this book aren't afraid to tell IT what to do. For instance, on storage the book walks through best practices for NAS and SANs and helps IT decide which approach is best. No namby-pamby, wishy-washy advice here. Sticking with the same example, the book explained Windows storage options clearly, and without unnecessary jargon.

Many Windows 2003 books are far larger, but I found Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Insider Solutions to be quite comprehensive. But more important, because it is so readable, IT pros are more likely to make it to the end. This book is a perfect complement to Windows Server 2003: Best Practices for Enterprise Deployments by Nelson and Danielle Ruest, a fine book that focuses almost exclusively on migration, installation and configuration.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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