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We’re happy to announce that Windows Small Business Server 2011 Administrator's Pocket Consultant (ISBN 9780735651548; 624 pages) shipped to the printer today! Authored by Craig Zacker, this pocket-sized guide (for those with big pockets) delivers ready answers for administering Windows® Small Business Server 2011 Standard. With the book’s array of quick-reference tables, instructions, and lists, you'll get the focused information you need to perform support and maintenance tasks, and solve problems -- whether at your desk or in the field.

You can pre-order the book at O'Reilly, the official distributor of Microsoft Press books, at Amazon, or at Barnes & Noble.

Here’s an excerpt from the book’s Introduction to give you a sneak preview.

Introduction

When local area networks (LANs) first appeared in the business world, their primary functions were to share files and printers. These are still critical applications for most business networks, but networks are able to provide many other functions as well. Virtually all business owners want to provide their users with access to the Internet and email, but they must be able to do so securely. Many businesses also want to host their own websites and run specialized applications. Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 provides many of these functions, and other Microsoft products provide those that it does not provide. For example, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP1 provides comprehensive e-mail services and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 provides a robust database management environment.

Installing and configuring these Microsoft products usually requires a certain amount of experience and expertise. Companies with the appropriate resources purchase the products they need and hire IT personnel to install and maintain their networks. However, there are a great many small businesses that cannot afford to keep full-time IT people on staff, or even purchase some of the more expensive networking software products. It is for this reason that Microsoft developed the Small Business Server 2011 product.

Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) 2011 is a combination product that includes Windows Server 2008 R2, Exchange Server 2010, several other components, and (optionally) SQL Server 2008 R2, all for an attractive price. Even more attractive to the small business owner, however, is the fact that the product includes a setup program that installs and configures all the software components at once, using a standardized configuration that requires almost no user interaction.

In addition to the setup program, Windows SBS 2011 includes Windows SBS Console, a management program that provides simplified access to the most commonly used administrative controls. The end result is a sophisticated network environment that can support up to 75 users, and that many small businesses can afford to purchase, deploy, and maintain without full-time professional IT talent.

How to Use This Book

Windows Small Business Server 2011 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant is designed to help new and relatively inexperienced network administrators deploy and maintain a Windows SBS 2011 network. However, experienced administrators who are new to Windows SBS 2011 can also benefit. The book first takes you through the process of planning a small business network, evaluating and purchasing the required hardware, installing Windows SBS 2011, and performing the required post-installation tasks.

For first-time network administrators, there is a chapter called “A Networking Primer” and a section called “An Active Directory Primer,” which provide background information on basic networking and directory service concepts. More-experienced administrators can skip these sections or refer to them as needed.

Once you have planned, assembled, installed, and configured your network, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant takes you through the process of administering the various network applications using the tools provided with Windows SBS 2011. Windows Server 2008 R2, Exchange Server 2010, and SQL Server 2008 R2 are all large and complex products, each of which can support a book of its own. In fact, there are separate Administrator’s Pocket Consultants for all of these products available from Microsoft Press.

Because it would not be possible to provide comprehensive coverage of all the Windows SBS 2011 components in one book of this size, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant concentrates primarily on the basic administrative tasks you are likely to perform frequently, using the Windows SBS Console and other tools that are exclusive to Windows SBS 2011. For example, the book only covers the process of creating user and computer objects in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) using the Windows SBS Console, but you can also create them using the Active Directory Users and Computers console.

About the Author

Craig Zacker is a writer, editor, and educator whose computing experience began in the days of teletypes and paper tape. After making the move from minicomputers to PCs, he worked as a network administrator and PC support technician while operating a freelance desktop publishing business. After earning a Master’s degree in English and American Literature from New York University, Craig worked extensively on the integration of Microsoft Windows operating systems into existing internetworks; supported fleets of Windows workstations; and was employed as a technical writer, content provider, trainer, and webmaster for a large software company. Since devoting himself to writing and editing full time, Craig has authored or contributed to dozens of books on operating systems, networking topics, and PC hardware. He has also developed educational texts for college courses, created online training courses for the Web, and published articles with top industry publications.