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Selecting and deploying a network operating system is one of the most important tasks shouldered by a network administrator. In this book, I wanted to put together a body of information related to the newest version of Microsoft’s powerful network operating system platform—Microsoft Windows Server 2008—that would not only highlight the functions and capabilities of the network server software, but also provide a hands-on approach to deploying the product. The Sams Teach Yourself in 24 Hours format provides for both the subject matter coverage and a practical step-by-step look at important server features and tools.

Microsoft has spent a great deal of time and effort (and development money) to improve both the security and scalability of Windows Server 2008. Sams Teach Yourself Windows Server 2008 in 24 Hours provides you with all the information you need to get a Windows domain up and running. Coverage of network services and the ins and outs of supporting users on the network is also provided.

Material in the book is approached in a straightforward, step-by-step manner that makes it easy to digest the information. The hours in the book are arranged so that there is a building of information as you move from Hour 1 to Hour 24.

Who Should Use This Book?

This book is designed for people who have a basic knowledge of computer networking. The book is arranged in 24 self-contained hours. Each hour helps build your knowledge base of Windows Server 2008. Coverage includes many important Windows Server 2008 network services, such as the Active Directory Domain Services, Group Policy, DHCP, DNS, and file and print services. A hands-on approach, coupled with easy-to-read background information, will help you quickly enlarge your knowledge base of Microsoft’s powerful network operating system platform.

The book is divided into four parts. Each part provides a grouping of hours that share a common theme.

Part I, “Server Installation and Configuration,” includes hours that provide you with information on installing the Windows Server 2008 operating system and configuring a server running this network operating system for a variety of possible roles. The new Server Manager is also introduced in this part of the book. Part I also provides you with insight into using Windows Deployment Services to deploy domain clients and servers, and shows you how to configure hard drives and volumes on your servers.

Part II, “Network Users, Resources, and Special Server Roles,” includes hours that help you expand your knowledge of data communications on the network through a discussion of the TCP/IP protocol and securing resources with share and NTFS permissions. You also learn how to bring your domain online by configuring a domain controller with the Active Directory Domain Services, and you learn how to use Group Policy and Network Access Protection to standardize and protect your domain. This part also provides information on how to provide file and printing services to your network users.

Part III, “Advanced Networking,” provides information on a number of Windows Server 2008 roles, such as Routing and Remote Access, WINS, and Terminal Services. The hours in Part III help you deploy remote access in your domain and configure a server running Windows Server 2008 as a router. You learn how to install WINS on the network and supply network users access to tools and applications via the Windows Terminal Services role.

Part IV, “Network Security, Web Services, and Performance Monitoring,” provides hours that help you tackle security and services related to data traffic on your network and help you provide web services to your user base. It covers securing the local network with the Windows Firewall and securing IP data packets with IPSec. It also looks at the use of advanced security strategies such as certificate services. Tools such as the Performance Monitor, Reliability Monitor, and the Event Viewer are explored in the context of keeping important domain servers up and running at peak performance.

Conventions Used in This Book

Certain conventions have been followed in this book to help you digest all the material. For example, at the beginning of each hour, you’ll find a list of the major topics that will be covered in that particular hour. You will also find that icons are used throughout this book. These icons either are accompanied by additional information on a subject or supply you with shortcuts or optional ways to perform a task. These icons are as follows:

By the Way

By the Way elements include additional information related to the current topic, such as asides and comments.

Did you Know?

Did You Know elements contain shortcuts and hints on performing a particular task.

At the end of each hour, you will find both a Summary section and a Q&A section. The Summary section provides a brief encapsulation of the core information covered in the hour. The Q&A section provides a series of questions and answers that help cement important facts and concepts covered in the hour.

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