Customer Reviews: Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed
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on March 26, 2010
As usual we are always expected to know the new stuff and support it but no one wants to ever pay for training so what to do? I did a lot of scouring for a good server 08R2 book and it was slim pickings. Most books were out of date (R1) or simply geared toward studying for a test which does me little good in defining an AD upgrade road map and figuring out what to define for app server standards. I finally found this on amazon and relying on reviews and the TOC i opted to get it. Its a fantastic resource but huge so expect to be doing some serious reading. What I loved is that right off they talk about what is new in R2. This is a big help. Lets get features out of the way immediately. The rest of the book is structured logically but is easy to jump around in since life does not follow a table of contents. I strongly recommed this if you support windows servers in a real world environment. If you are looking to take an MCSE test, then stick to the exam cram for those since this will be way over kill for you more than likely. A+ to the authors.
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on September 2, 2010
In the past, I have used the Mark Minasi "Mastering" series of books for general reference material on the various Windows Server versions (going back to NT4). This is the first "Unleashed" book I have picked up, and it has been every bit as good as any of the "Mastering" books. I will honestly say that I was a bit concerned with a book having five different authors. However, there is no difference in the quality of the material that I could find, as well as the clarity of the information presented.

As previously indicated in other reviews, the section on migrating from previous versions of Active Directory to 2008 R2 is excellent. The book covers a lot of Active Directory material overall, and provides good real-world examples that apply to both large and small site designs. The only thing that was missing was some expanded coverage of the Active Directory Administrative Center, which is a great tool for new admins (and can make common tasks much easier for the more experienced).

There is also plenty of coverage of material new to 2008 R2, including DNSSEC and Remote Desktop Services. The sections on IIS and Hyper-V are rather short, and if you are planning on relying heavily on either one, you are going to need additional materials. I'd love to see some expansion on these sections if they do future editions of the book. The Active Directory coverage, along with the sections on security options (at the server, domain, and network levels) and system management are all far more comprehensive, and this book is probably the only reference you will need.

Each chapter in the book concludes with a "Best Practices" section which serves as a terrific set of guidelines and general overview. Even if you only plan on using certain parts of the book, reading through each of the "Best Practices" could prove invaluable to your overall knowledge of Windows Server 2008 R2.
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on April 21, 2012
Amazon, you are selling hundreds of computer language books regarding Microsoft.
Do you read any of them? They refer in the text to the contents of the CDROM and use
these examples throughout the book. When we pay $14-$25 for a Kindle version,
where do we get these CDROM source code examples. Seriously you need a note on the sales page
that says that this book is about 20% useful without the CD.

I am wondering now why I purchased a Kindle 8-(
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VINE VOICEon May 5, 2011
This thing is gargantuan. It is a whopping 1653 pages of high quality Windows Server R2 information. If this book doesn't contain the information you need about Windows Server 2008 R2, then you probably won't find it anywhere.

I am not a server guy. I don't want to be a server guy, nothing against server guys, but I just think it is a full time job and it is not possible for me to keep up with my .NET Software Architecture skills, and also be an effective server administrator.

Of course I have to be familiar enough with them to architect scalable, secure, high performing software, so I chose this book as my learning resource. It is a great resource. I have not gone too it and come away disappoint yet.

The book is broken down into 11 parts:

Part I- Windows Server 2008 R2 Overview
Part II- Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory
Part III- Networking Services
Part IV- Security
Part V- Migrating to Windows Server 2008 R2
Part VI- Windows Server 2008 R2 Administration and Management
Part VII- Remote and Mobile Technologies
Part VIII- Desktop Administration
Part IX- Fault-Tolerance Technologies
Part X- Optimizing, Tuning, Debugging, and Problem Solving
Part XI- Integrated Windows Application Services

Almost every chapter begins with a section that covers the history of the topic, or gives an overview of the topic, included the vocabulary of the topic at hand.

The authors writing style makes it an easy to read book, or at least as easy as server reading can get.

This book is not like some I have seen that are written by several authors, they usually seem to be very disconnected and you can tell when one author stops and another starts. This book flows nicely from chapter to chapter.

If you are in anyway involved with Windows Server 2008 R2, you owe it to yourself to get this book. It will not leave my side!!!!
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on August 26, 2010
Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed is a superior, comprehensive reference book making it a true must have for every system administrator. First, the book itself is huge, totaling 1680 pages. I also appreciate the hardcover and obvious quality; I know my investment will last for years.

The content is even more amazing. It didn't find one subject not explored. Where other books only touch on certain topics, such as direct access, this reference book dives into each topic in great detail. Additionally I found all the material to be current and accurate. Unleashed gives some highly detailed coverage to migration, so if you are looking to migrate your 2k or 2003 servers, you will want to read the first few chapters at minimum.

Due to the large size, you will also probably want to select the chapters that apply to your specific environment and focus on those. One thing nice about this book is it does permit the reader to skip around among the chapters. Like I said, it is an impressive book and for the price, you are not going to find a book with a higher quality of content.
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on November 24, 2010
Got it to help me study for the 70-643 since MS added the R2 content to the exams. So far it is the most complete of the 2 Server 2008 R2 books I have. I also purchased the Mastering Server 2008 R2 book and from what I've read in both books Unleashed is the better of the 2 with the exception of the chapter(s) on Remote Desktop Services in which the Mastering book explains a few things better.
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on April 7, 2011
I purchased this book for a Server 2008 R2 Ent setup. For the most part it was a set-by-step guide on how to setup the server.

The book does a very good job about showing the steps on how to setup DNS and VPN and also go's into details on what the options mean that your clicking, however if you don't want to know about what it means that's no problem you can just read just the steps and click what it tells you and things just work.

In my opinion the book lacks on What you can do with AD after initial setup. If your looking for help with AD past install this isn't for you. The book simply tells how to setup a forest and DC, then leaves you hanging. There isn't really much AD information past setup. User account creation isn't explained well and seems like the author just simply assumed everyone knows everything about AD past setup.

There is a lot of information on IPv4 and IPv6, I was able to setup the server for both. Seeing that IPv6 will soon be used more since IPv4 addresses are running out this book would be a good option for IPv6 setup. however if you are looking for Ipv6 only, I would use this book as an alternative and find a book only on Ipv6.

overall this book had all he information needed to setup Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition. It was well worth the money as I had the Server up and running in 2 days with standard user interruptions. Figure it will take you around 12-16 hours for full setup.
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on May 15, 2010
I'm glad I bought this book, we just completed our migration to Active Directory 2008 R2 (as well as Exchange 2010) this weekend using this book (and the Exchange Server 2010 Unleashed book) and by mid-day Saturday here, we are successfully done and heading home!

We used this Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed book in our planning process to get our Active Directory (2003 native mode) environment upgraded to 2008 R2. We wanted to take advantage of fine grain password policies as well as some of the new group policy functions. We knew that we needed need to go to AD 2008 R2 for our Exchange 2010 upgrade, we could have left AD on 2003 Native Mode, but we had the opportunity to buy new hardware, so we slipped into our Exchange migration budget funds to cover new servers for our AD migration as well.

The migration went smoothly, no problems at all, and in fact it went smoother than we ever anticipated. Very pleased with this book and the guidance it provided us!
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on September 25, 2015
This book is massive and full of everything you could possibly want to know about Windows Server 2008 R2. The only problem is that the index is completely useless! Let's say you have a problem with Internet Explorer configuration. "Internet Explorer" in NOT in the index. Or something more common: You are trying to configure a switch via a serial connection. First off, this is a bit tricky because this OS has no means of accessing the serial ports. Yep! Hyperterminal is not part of Windows Server 2008 R2. So the writers of this book also ignored it. No mention in the index of Com ports, Hyperterminal, or Serial ports. You have to look online to discover that Hyperterminal is gone and that you can copy Hypertrm.exe and hypertrm.dll from XP to Program Files\Windows NT and it will work. For this sort of useful information to be missing from a book that is 2-1/4 inches thick is unfathomable. I'd love to use it but I can't find anything in it.
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on April 10, 2012
While this book makes a great reference for many of Win2k8 R2's features it is mostly an overview and lacks a bit of detail. What do I mean by this? I mean if you are looking for a book that will guide you through how to setup Remote Desktop Services with a broker server in detail this is not your book. If you are looking for a guide to troubleshoot unusual AD issues this is not your book. If you are looking for a basic reference to the many features Win2k8 R2 offers with some technical information then this is your book. I was hoping for the latter and was a bit disappointed. I would still recommend the book to those in the opposing category however.
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