Book Reviews

The Heart of the OS

Want to get inside of Windows 2000? This book gives you X-ray vision.

Author William Boswell goes beyond the standard level of information on Windows 2000 Server to reach the detailed heart of the product. You learn just about everything—as you might expect from a 1,500-page volume—on the subject. Boswell has taken the operating system apart piece by piece for us.

For example, I was having a hard time understanding the security additions within Win2K. The book handles this in Chapter 6, and I loved it. First, you get an overview of Kerberos, then you get this great illustration about a spy transaction that closely resembles Kerberos. Then Boswell goes through the vocabulary involved and every last vestige of the process. Your head will spin when you’re done, but you’ll have the understanding you need (although, like me, you may need to read it more than once).

If you’re wondering how well this book does at covering exam-related subjects (though it isn’t an exam preparation book), I give it a thumbs-up. For instance, on the exam objectives you may find reference to Remote Installation Service (RIS). By simply following through the installation section in Chapter 2, you’ll learn what RIS is, how to set it up step-by-step, and subsequently, how to answer those tricky test questions.

Other test objectives involve the new remote access procedures and protocols like IPSec and L2TP, as well as some of the tools you need to use with Active Directory, such as ntdsutil and secedit. You can learn about all of this and more, including Resource Kit utilities, in the book.

Of course, one book can’t contain every detail about Win2K. You’ll probably want other references to get a full education on design issues. One of the great things the author does though is save you time in your search for additional information on a topic. This proved true for me in learning about Terminal Services. Even though the book doesn’t cover every feature in Win2K on Terminal Services, you get a good overview and leads for another book on the subject. The author does the same for NT architecture. This allows you to follow up your interest on a particular subject.

The book’s intended audience is slated for intermediate to advanced members of the IT field, but I disagree; this is a book for all levels. How else can you move into the higher levels of understanding without a book like this to give you the edge? It will help in your work and in your certification pursuits. Just don’t try to read it from cover to cover; immerse yourself deliberately—but deeply—for full effect.

J. Peter Bruzzese, MCSE+Internet, MCT, CNA, is an instructor for New Horizons of Princeton in Princeton, New Jersey. He’s currently working on a book for Coriolis Press on designing a directory service infrastructure under Windows 2000. 

About the Author

J. Peter is a Microsoft MVP (Office Servers and Services) and has received this award for 7 consecutive years. He's an internationally published author and technical speaker. J. Peter is a technical journalist for InfoWorld and has cared for the Enterprise Windows column for nearly a decade. He's the co-founder of both ClipTraining and Conversational Geek and a strategic technical consultant for Mimecast. Follow him on Twitter @JPBruzzese

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