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Active Directory Field Guide 2005th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Logically enough, the first chapter is on installing Active Directory itself. It is scarcely 40 pages. You should be able to absorb it in an hour or so, even with no prior background in this topic. Then the actual installation time itself doesn't seem so lengthy, from the chapter's descriptions.
On an ongoing basis, Chapter 3 might be the most useful. Hunter explains the typical day to day tasks on Active Directory that you might face. Again, less than 40 pages.
The book also has a chapter on large scale deployments. The advice in it seems fine. And Hunter put in the chapter to ensure that she covered this topic. I do wonder, though, about how realistically it fits into the book's goal. A large deployment strongly suggests a sysadmin who will have to devote considerable time to installing and running it. Of necessity, she will probably have to consult more comprehensive texts, given her level of responsibility. Whereas this book might be envisaged as targeting a smaller deployment, on just one or a few machines.
To be sure, you should certainly get a full reference book on Active Directory, if you are going to be running it. But consider using that mostly as informational backup, and perhaps using Hunter's book as the daily guide.