When laying out the 2003 book, I of course wanted to cover its new features, and
it's got a lot of them — certainly enough to convince me to upgrade my servers
from 2000 to 2003. For example, Active Directory now contains a new domain
rename and forest reshaping ability, forest-to-forest trusts, and several
enhancements that make AD far friendlier to those managing numerous branch
offices. DNS's new stub zone and conditional forwarding features simplify
DNS design for people who want to secure their DNS with a split-brain design but
that have more than one domain. 2003's now got a free POP3 e-mail server,
a redesigned Web server, and a cut-down version of SQL Server 2000 right in the
box. You can accomplish far more things from the command line, and, well,
I could go on, but that's what the book's for, and you can read more in the
free Chapter 1 download available on my Web site.
That, then, was a big part of my task in this book: to comprehensively
cover 2003's new goodies.
2003's improvements are quite welcome. But truthfully the sheer volume
of changes from 2000 to 2003 are tiny
compared to the changes that we saw between NT 4 and 2000 — where 2000 was a
"1.3-to-2.0" change, 2003 is really a "2.0
to 2.1" change. Simply taking Mastering Windows 2000 Server,
Fourth Edition, and revising it only to reflect the changes in Server 2003 would, then, have been a
fairly simple task.
The "Fifth Edition:"
Why 2000 Admins Will Benefit From This Book Even If They're Not Upgrading
to 2003 Yet
But I wanted to accomplish something else as well; I wanted to do yet another
revision of the 2000 Server book. Even if 2003 hadn't appeared, I'd have
revised the 2000 book, as I've done annually for the past few years, so that I
could expand the book's coverage. As every year goes by, I learn new
things about keeping Microsoft-based networks running, and I want the chance to
get that information out to readers. So I didn't just refresh the 2000
book's text with new things from 2003, I also added entirely new planning,
troubleshooting and maintenance advice and techniques, as well as clarifying the
text for those wanting more step-by-step examples. That's the
"Fifth Edition" aspect of Mastering Windows Server 2003 — new
text of value to those running either a 2000 or 2003-based network. (I
suppose I could have called it Mastering Windows 2000 and 2003-based Server,
but it'd have been too clunky a name.)
A Series Of Integrated Examples
For example, in the basic TCP/IP chapter, I reworked all of the examples so
that they work in a particular subnet (192.168.0.x). In the following DNS/DHCP/WINS
chapter, all of that chapter's examples build
on the preceding TCP/IP chapter's examples. Additionally, the DNS chapter takes a
major step forward in that it takes the notion of "split-brain DNS"
— a must-do in today's times of security woes — and moves it from the
"you might want to do this" section of DNS to the very
beginning. Readers learn from the very start of the DNS chapter to build a
secure DNS, building a mythical domain named bigfirm.biz. In the next
chapter, on Active Directory, readers then use that DNS foundation to create an Active Directory
named bigfirm.biz. Using that domain, you then see how to set up sites,
migrate users and servers from other domains, and learn dozens of other skills.
Active Directory has seen slow adoption in the Microsoft networking world;
I'd guess that more than three years after 2000 Server's release, only about 60
percent of the folks using an NT 4 domain have moved to AD. But I think
that many of the remaining 40 percent were just waiting for "Windows 2000
1.1" — that is, Windows Server 2003 — before makng the move to AD. So I guessed that readers
would need better coverage of two topics: migration and AD maintenance.
This book takes you step by step through using Microsoft's free Active Directory Migration Tool
2.0 to migrate users and servers from one domain to another, exploiting ADMT
2.0's welcome new ability to migrate a user's password over along with
the user. The book also covers SID histories in depth, something barely
touched upon in my previous books. And, by the way, is a great example of
why this is a useful book even if you're not upgrading — SID histories are a
"must-know" for admins running Active Directories both in 2000 and
Once that AD's running, then you soon realize the Bad News ...
congratulations, you're a database administrator! At its heart, AD is a
complex database and brings with it many of the headaches of any standard
database. You've got to know how to check the database for integrity
problems, how to compress and compact it. How to restore a damaged copy of
a database, and how to bring a dead database server (that is, a domain
controller) back to life. The new book covers these things.
Running Networks, Soup To Nuts
Finally, this book aims to cover all practical aspects of planning, setting
up, installing, maintaining and troubleshooting a Microsoft-based network.
All of the techniques and step-by-step examples have been tried to ensure that
they work, because we've found that while 2003's Help files are pretty good,
sometimes the what the software does and what the software's documentation says
it'll do are, well, not exactly the same thing. (Also, Help's pretty good
at telling you what the operating system will do, but falls strangely silent on
what it doesn't do.)
A Fully Searchable E-Book
As I've done with previous versions of the book, this book includes a CD-ROM
version of the book in PDF format that you can read and search on-line.
What's Inside: Some Details
If you're still with me, then permit me to tell you just a bit more about
what's inside the book, as well as to introduce my co-authors, with an excerpt
from the book's Introduction.
In Chapter 1, I briefly list and explain what’s new in Windows Server 2003.
As you’ll see, Server 2003 is basically “2000 Server, version 1.1.” But
when you consider what a big product Windows 2000 Server is, and what a major
change it was from NT 4, then you’ll understand that even just a “1.1”
version of 2000 would involve a lot of changes — this chapter outlines them.
(If you've not already done so, you're welcome to download the full text of
Chapter 1 at http://www.minasidownloads.com/Minasi2003Ch1.pdf.
(Please note that Sybex generated this file with Adobe Acrobat 5.1;
please ensure you've got the most up to date Adobe reader. People with
earlier readers have reported errors and freezeups around page 16.
Apologies for any inconvenience. If the above server doesn't respond or is
busy then you can alternatively download a zipped version at http://www.minasi.com/2k3ch1.zip.)
In Chapter 2, I offer a basic answer to the question “why do we network?”
for those who are just joining us. Folks who have no idea what a domain is, or
why they’d want one, should take a look in Chapter 2 and in no time you’ll
sound like a grizzled network veteran.
Lisa Justice, an old friend and long-time Microsoft and Solaris expert, then shows us in Chapter 3 how to navigate the Server 2003 user
interface. Thank God it wasn’t as large a change as the NT-to-2000 shift, and
that it doesn’t come out of the box configured in the XP “playskool” user
interface. But you’ll find a few things have changed and Lisa will guide you
through the new stuff. She also walks you through the process of creating your own
user interface with “task pads,” a great way to build customized tools for
The user interface is one way to control Server 2003, and that’s why
Lisa covers it in Chapter 3. But the other way is via the Registry,
2000’s place to store system settings and home to hundreds of undocumented or
poorly-documented switches, dials, knobs and levers. No NT, 2000, XP, or 2003
techie can last long without a bit of Registry work, and so in Chapter 4 I
By now, you’ll be itching to load it up and try it out, so in Chapter 5 I
show you not only how to shove a CD into a drive and answer questions, but also
cover scripting 2003 installs, using the Remote Installation Server, and finally
how Sysprep can make setting up systems and cloning them easier. Microsoft has
made automated rollouts — scripts, RIS, and Sysprep — quite a bit easier and
more powerful. Study Chapter 5 and you’ll see how to deploy 2003 with style
and grace… but mostly with a minimum of effort on your part!
Chapters 6 and 7 permit me to explain how TCP/IP works, both in a general
sense and in the specific sense of configuring Server 2003 to use it. In Server
2003, Microsoft has taken another baby step toward making the NT platform an
IP-only platform, as NetBEUI is no longer even an option for protocols.
Chapter 6 explains the basics: how to get on an internet, how IP addresses,
subnet masks, and routing work, and how to use a Server 2003 as a router.
Chapter 7 then explains the three basic TCP/IP services that every Microsoft
network needs: DHCP, WINS, and DNS. Server 2003 doesn’t really do much
that’s new in DHCP and WINS, but DNS now offers several new features, all of
which the chapter covers. The biggest changes in the chapter, however, are in
the structure of the DNS section, which now spans almost 200 pages. It’s not
only a primer on DNS; in this edition I completely re-oriented the discussion
and the examples around building not just any DNS infrastructure, but a more
secure infrastructure, using split-brain DNS techniques — and if you don’t
know what that means, then don’t worry, the chapter covers it all. You’ll
also see in Chapters 6 and 7 that I’ve worked hard to unify the step-by-step
examples so that they all fit together, allowing you to follow along and build a
small network that is then completely ready for Active Directory… which is the
next chapter’s topic.
Chapter 8 is basically a medium-sized book in itself, at 81,000 words and
110-plus figures. It takes you from the basics of “what is an Active Directory
and why would you want one?” to designing an AD, implementing one, managing
it, optimizing it, re-arranging its structure when necessary, and fixing it when
it breaks. Server 2003’s changes permeate this topic, as you’ll see. The
migration section is much larger than in the 2000 Server book, and it and the
rest of the chapter offers many step-by-step examples that allow you to build a
small working AD.
Lisa returns in Chapter 9 to explain the ins and outs of creating and
managing user accounts. That’s a big
topic, as it includes user profiles and group policies, which Lisa explains in
detail. She also showcases 2003’s new Resultant Set of Policies
troubleshooting tool for group policies. GP fans will love it — and Lisa shows
you how to use it in Chapter 9.
Windows 2000 handles storage differently than NT did, and 2003 changes things
a big more, as you’ll learn in Chapter 10. In that chapter, Michele Beveridge
shows you how to connect, partition, and format drives, as well as covering
Windows 2000’s RAID functions. I was very fortunate to get Michele’s help on
this book, as she’s responsible for the University of Georgia’s Active
Directory, both design and implementation. Her years of real-world,
in-the-trenches experience with NT in its various forms shows through in her
coverage of both this and the companion Chapter 11. That chapter covers shared
folders, including how to secure those shares with both share and NTFS
permissions, as well as coverage of Windows 2000 and Server 2003’s Distributed
File System and the File Replication Service. You’ll also learn in that
chapter about the Encrypted File System — which has changed in some subtle but
important ways since Windows 2000 — and offline folders, a modification of the
network redirector that offers greater network response, laptop synchronization
support, and network fault tolerance.
C.A. Callahan joins us in Chapter 12 to describe one of 2000, XP and 2003’s
nicest features for desktop support folks: central software distribution.
Callahan has been in the technical teaching business for many years and has a
well-honed talent to dig into a topic, get excited about it, and explain to you
so that you’ll be excited about it as well. (She’s also a Mac geek,
which is why she re-wrote the Mac chapter (Chapter 16) completely and made it
about ten times larger than it was before.) Christa returns in Chapter 13 to
describe how to network printers under Server 2003. Lisa then explains, in
Chapter 14, how to connect client PCs to a Server 2003 network, whether those
PCs are running DOS, Windows, or whatever. And you may be surprised to hear that
its now impossible to connect a DOS or Windows 9x system to a 2003-based
Active Directory… unless you know the trick. (Of course, Lisa lets you in on
Christa then warms to a favorite topic of hers in Chapter 15, where she
covers the built-in Terminal Services feature of Server 2003 and remote server
administration in general. And if you have no idea what Terminal Services does,
check out that chapter: Terminal Services makes your Server 2003 system a
multiuser computer, in many ways combining the best of the PC and the mainframe!
Then in Chapter 16, Callahan “cracks the Mac,” as I’ve already mentioned.
Once your organization is connected to the Internet, you’ll probably want
to get a Web server up and running. Server 2003 includes a Web server, as did NT
4 and Windows 2000, but 2003’s IIS 6.0 is built to be both more secure and
more reliable, so you won’t want to miss Lisa’s coverage of Internet
Information Services version 6, including not only the Web piece but also the
FTP server piece, the SMTP mail server, and 2003’s new POP server. Yes,
that’s right, Server 2003 now comes with a complete e-mail server service
built in, and you can read about it in Chapter 17.
Then, in Chapter 18, Christa offers some advice and instruction on tuning and
monitoring a Server 2003–based network, and then in Chapter 19, she looks at
disaster recovery—never a happy topic, but a necessary one.
Michele then returns for a lengthy and quite
complete look at dial-up, ISDN, and frame relay support in Routing and Remote
Access Service (RRAS) in Chapter 20. Callahan
then finishes the book with coverage of NetWare coexistence.
Thanks for staying with me through this overview. Sorry it was long,
but heck, the book's over 1750 pages. I hope you'll pick up a copy and let
us know how you like it. Thanks again!