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Book details of 'Windows Nt Server 4: Professional Reference'

Cover of Windows Nt Server 4: Professional Reference
TitleWindows Nt Server 4: Professional Reference
Author(s)Karanjit S., Ph.D. Siyan
ISBN1562058053
LanguageEnglish
PublishedSeptember 1997
PublisherNew Riders
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Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
There is a lot of material to cover when dealing with network server administration. This guide gives a brief overview to pretty much everything, but concentrates on security and Internet/TCP/IP topics. An introduction looks at network operating systems, and the concepts of the Windows NT Server architecture. Two chapters go quickly through basic and advanced WinNT Server installation. Chapter five gives a better than average explanation of the domain based security model, and how it differs from the simple workgroup setup that many small systems use, and follows up with server domain implementation and managing of domain accounts. Two fairly standard chapters cover user accounts, profiles, and file security systems. The piece on the Registry is not extensive, but does manage to include some interesting and useful suggestions. There is also some discussion of support for WinNT clients and integration with NetWare. Four chapters detail TCP/IP architecture, the protocol stack, DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) configuration, and name resolution with WINS (Windows Name Services). RAS (Remote Access Service) would seem to be slightly out of order, following NT printing services. The organization of later chapters seems a bit random, describing the NT network browser, data protection, network performance optimization, network monitor performance analysis, migration from NT 3.5x, domain name service, COM (Common Object Model) and DCOM (Distributed Common Object Model), and the Internet Information Server 4.0. Appendices look at Windows NT Server protocols, bridging and routing, WANs (Wide Area Networks) and MANs (Metropolitan Area Networks), and concludes with a command line reference. The material tends to follow the Microsoft party line. For example, the NTFS (NT File System) file system is recommended over the FAT (File Allocation Table) file system. Some disadvantages of NTFS are mentioned (it cannot be accessed by DOS or OS/2 systems), but not the fact that NTFS drives are essentially unrecoverable if something goes wrong with the NT operating system. FAT drives can be accessed by DOS, allowing for restoration of crucial components or reinstallation without a complete of the drive. (A repair disk can be used, but this restores the Registry as of the creation of the disk, very often only done at installation.) While the book contains a wealth of facts, it does not always present them in a useful manner. Two examples from the beginning of the book illustrate the problem. In discussing network drivers, there is a brief description of the role of the driver, and the fact that Windows NT has a set of drivers for popular cards, but not for all cards. Then comes the statement that "a NIC [Network Interface Card] comes with a floppy disk (but not for long) that contains drivers for operating systems..." It then goes on to talk about Web sites and bulletin boards. For experienced desktop computer hardware managers, the cryptic "but not for long" is a clear reference to the fact that manuals, disks, and other necessary paraphernalia tend to "walk," and that such Web sites, and the archives of drivers they contain, are valuable resources when reconfigurations are being done. That meaning, though, is anything but obvious to those without previous inventory experience. Again, the statement is made that the IPX (Internet Packet Exchange) protocols were derived from Xerox's XNS (Xerox Network Standard), and a table is used to prove the point by comparing the names of the different protocols in the respective stacks. However, while the information may very well be true, it is of no use to the NT Server administrator. There is no description of the functions of the protocols, nor any comparison of features or usage. In this manner, a number of items of information do not aid the reader, and serve only to confuse the issue of what content in the book might be important. Some items are presented without reference to necessary information: the early section on installation tells you that you will be asked if you have a DHCP server, but it is not until halfway through the book that you find out what it is or what it does. In other cases, technical details are presented in great depth, but for concepts that are of no practical use to the administrator or user. While a number of sections give detailed information on important topics, other parts appear to be a replacement for the non-existent Windows NT documentation, simply listing menus and dialogue boxes. There is some good information in this book, but not for all areas. copyright Robert M. Slade, 1997

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