Visually, Windows 2000 is similar to previous versions of Windows. Its extensive new functionality, the overriding goal of which is to reduce an organization's "total cost of ownership," however, makes the system administrator's life easier. This translates to quicker software installation, more efficient management, and easier maintenance of user environments. The ambitious Deploying Windows 2000 with Support Tools helps system administrators use Microsoft's new operating system to its full potential.
The chapters on automated installation are thorough and descriptive. Windows 2000 provides a wide variety of distribution methods, from remote installation to hardware duplication. The pros and cons of all these methods are covered in detail, including a discussion on third-party tools for duplicating hard drives.
Once installed, workstations need to be managed efficiently. Windows 2000 gives you "Change and Configuration Management" functionality, which is a fancy label for allowing more administrative control over the corporate desktop. Much of this functionality falls under the umbrella of Microsoft's "Intellimirror" technology, which allows users to keep their environment (data and appearance) no matter where they log in on the network. The chapters describing this functionality are especially sharp. A comprehensive explanation of the technology is coupled with step-by-step instructions on how to implement these features, letting you jump right in at any point.
The organization of Deploying Windows 2000 with Support Tools
is a bit rough--perhaps a reflection of the book's multiple authors--and some material is repetitive. The chapter on deployment methodologies and planning appears near the end of the book, but it would have been more helpful had it been closer to the introduction. The good news is that most chapters stand well by themselves, which makes this book better as a reference than a tutorial. Still, it's useful for the IT professional who's coming up to speed on Windows 2000 Professional. --Pete Ostenson
As most network administrators know, manual installation of even the most user-friendly operating systems requires substantial investment in time and resources. Deploying Windows 2000 with Support Tools shows you how to perform automated and rapid deployment of the operating system and introduces you to all the Windows 2000 Support Tools needed for a successful deployment, including installation scripts, disk imaging, Sysprep, and Remote Installation Services.