Perusing the latest Windows NT titles, I sense an unwritten requirement that technical books must be at least 3" thick. Many NT books that claim to cover numerous topics are well over 1200 pages long. Readers often have a hard time finding the answers they need in such books.
How to Implement Microsoft Windows NT Server 4, which comprises a modest 425 pages, gets to the heart of technical issues. Rather than trying to cover every feature of NT, this book assumes that the reader has substantial knowledge of NT.
The book is divided into 8 parts that are subdivided into 39 chapters and 5 appendixes. Part 1, Introduction, and Part 2, Setting Up a Windows NT Server 4, describe the initial set up and configuration of an NT server. The authors warn that even though NT is easy to get up and running, less experienced administrators might be unprepared for difficult technical challenges that arise later. The authors write that no matter how easy an NT server is to use, the operating system (OS) is still complex. They note crucial areas in the installation and configuration process where you must exercise caution.
Chapter 6, Installing the Windows NT Server, covers the infamous Intel Pentium bug, for which the authors provide a fix. A defective Pentium processor will not affect most NT servers; however, it will affect NT workstations. The authors write that a user should not attempt a software fix on a server because the workaround might harm system performance.
Part 3, Configuring the Windows NT Server 4, and Part 4, Setting Up Users, describe NT server configuration in more detail. Chapter 22, Configuring Directory Replication, provides an excellent overview of directory replication issues. Replication is one of those little used, yet powerful features of NT that lets the system replicate directories and data across servers. However, the authors advise users not to discard their current backup solution because replication is meant only to copy specific directories and cannot replace an enterprisewide backup solution.
Part 5, Integration with Other Networks, explains how NT can coexist with other network OSs. This portion of the book tells you how to configure NT to operate with Novell NetWare and how to migrate from NetWare to NT.
Part 6, Remote Computing, reviews one of NT's key selling featuresbundling Remote Access Service (RAS). The authors point out how powerful and easy to set up this feature is.
Part 7, Setting Up Windows NT for the Internet, details the native Internet services available to NT and how Internet Information Server (IIS) operates. The authors also explain other peripheral issues such as configuring Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Domain Name System (DNS), and Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS), as well as creating Web pages.
Part 8, Tuning Windows NT for Performance, covers fine-tuning NT for maximum utilization. If you have an interest in topics such as setting threads, resolving processor priorities, and optimizing paging files, you will appreciate this chapter. Part 8 also reveals five bottlenecks of system performance.
The benefit of this book is in its brevity and conciseness; however, it is not for everyone. If you want a volume that will walk you through the steps involved in a specific process, you might want to look for a different reference manual. However, if you are a systems administrator, or expert-level user, you will appreciate this book's succinct approach.
|How to Implement Microsoft Windows NT Server 4: A concise reference for the Windows NT administrator|
Author: John Taschek, Michael Surkan, and Mark Stanczak
Publisher: Ziff-Davis Press, Emeryville, 1996
Price: $39.99, 425 pages