Recommended Reading

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Installation and Configuration Guide

Myself, Patrick Lownds, Michel Luescher, and Damian Flynn wrote this tome on the newest version of Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012. Unlike the previous Hyper-V book (Mastering Hyper-V Deployment), this one sticks just to Hyper-V. Any book intending to cover System Center and Hyper-V will have to be either 10,000 pages long or just barely touch the topics.  We went deep on Hyper-V; for example, the subject of DR spans 2 chapters and was 80 pages of text when I stopped writing.  This is the book to read if you want level 400 content on building your WS2012 Hyper-V cluster, virtualised environment, or cloud.

This book is available to order now on, and pre-order on or

Microsoft Private Cloud Computing

This is the book that I co-wrote with Damian Flynn, Patrick Lownds, and Hans Vredevoort, and technical reviewed by Kristian Nese.  It talks you through the process of deploying System Center 2012 VMM and System Center 2012 App Controller (Project Concero) to provision and manage the physical and application aspects of the Microsoft Private Cloud.

This book is available order on, or now.


Mastering Hyper-V Deployment

This is the book that I wrote with Patrick Lownds (MVP) as my co-author, and Hans Vredevoort (MVP) as the technical editor/reviewer.  It is a step-by-step guide for a successful Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V deployment, covering everything from the proposal, all the planning and deployment steps, through to managing the system.  It features published (and unpublished) best practices, experience with the product set, and the very latest tools and additions.

This book is available to order on

Mastering Windows 7 Deployment

I am one of the team of authors that is writing this book, led by deployment guru Rhonda Layfield (MVP).  This book will introduce you to and provide you with the skills to assess your environment for a Windows 7 deployment, deal with application compatibility issues, and use tools like WAIK/WSIM, WDS, MDT, and System Center Configuration Manager to deploy your operating system.

You can order this book on

Mastering System Center Configuration Manager 2012

Want to learn about the next version of ConfigMgr?  Want to delpoy a solution to deal with the consumerization of IT?  Start learning here.

You can order this book on

Mastering Microsoft Lync Server 2013

As a Unified Communications (UC) technology, Lync allows you to keep track of your contacts’ availability so you can communicate with anyone, anywhere, and at any time. With this hands-on book, you will learn how to administer the newest and most robust version of Lync Server in order to send an IM; start or join an audio, video, or web conference; or make a phone call through a familiar interface. Packed with real-world exercises throughout, this unique resource encourages you to learn from the best practices and deployments of others so that you can benefit from their experiences.

You can order this book now on:

Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V: Insiders Guide to Microsoft’s Hypervisor

This book is written by members of the Hyper-V product group, giving you a unique view into the workings of Hyper-V.

You can order this book on now.

Mastering Windows Server 2008 R2

Waiver: Aidan Finn is one of the contributing authors.

The one book you absolutely need to get up and running with Windows Server 2008 R2.

One of the world’s leading Windows authorities and top-selling author Mark Minasi explores every nook and cranny of the latest version of Microsoft’s flagship network operating system, Windows Server 2008 R2, giving you the most in-depth coverage in any book on the market.

Focuses on Windows Windows Server 2008 R2, the newest version of Microsoft’s Windows’ server line of operating system, and the ideal server for new Windows 7 clients

Lead author Mark Minasi is one of the world’s leading Windows authorities and has taught tens of thousands of people to design and run Windows networks

Covers Windows storage concepts and skills, Windows Server 2008 IP, WINS, NetBIOS, LMHosts, DNS, creating the simple Active Directory, and creating and managing user accounts
Explains Group Policy in Active Directory; files, folders and shares; Sysvol, old and new; sharing printers on the network; remote server administration; connecting Windows clients to your network; working the Web with IIS 7.0; and AD maintenance and recovery

Provides workarounds for things that don’t quite work as they should and how-tos for many undocumented features
Find out everything you want to know-and then some!


Mastering Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2

The Technical Foundation You Need—from Two Microsoft Insiders!

This book shows you how to use Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager to effectively manage both the virtual and physical assets of your enterprise. Learn from two virtualization insiders at Microsoft how to install, configure, deploy, monitor, and troubleshoot VMM; handle backup and recovery; and much more. Going well beyond the basics, this book provides the technical know-how, best practices, and actual code you’ll need to tailor a VMM deployment and keep things running smoothly.

Coverage includes:

  • Understanding the big picture, including Hyper-VTM 2.0 and Operations Manager 2007
  • Thoroughly examining all features, capabilities, and architecture you’ll need for a successful deployment
  • Interacting with VMware’s vCenterTM for management of ESXTM host
  • Deploying virtual machines to Hyper-V hosts
  • Building rich automation through Windows PowerShellTM and extending the capability of your VMM
  • Using the Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO) infrastructure to create new PRO packs and dynamic IT
  • Backing up and planning for recovery of the VMM server; also backup and recovery of Hyper-V hosts using Hyper-V VSS Writer

Master Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2

Learn Essential Techniques and Best Practices from Microsoft Experts

Implement Advanced, Effective Virtualization Solutions

Manage Hyper-V and Virtual Server as well as VMware’s ESX Infrastructure

Reinforce Your Skills with Real-World Examples


Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Resource Kit

In-depth and comprehensive, this official RESOURCE KIT delivers the information you need to plan, implement, and manage a virtualized enterprise infrastructure. Covers R2 features. You get authoritative technical guidance from those who know the technology best—leading industry experts and the Windows Virtualization Team—along with sample scripts, job aids, and other essential resources.

Get expert advice on how to:

  • Manage the project visioning phase—scope, risks, budget
  • Design Hyper-V server infrastructure and components
  • Apply the steps and tools that streamline installation
  • Configure single or multiple Hyper-V servers
  • Plan a server workload consolidation strategy
  • Use console-based tools to manage central and remote operations
  • Minimize downtime when migrating from Microsoft Virtual Server to Hyper-V
  • Apply security best practices
  • Implement business continuity and recovery plans
  • Monitor health and tune performance

CD features:

  • Library of Windows PowerShell scripts for automating Hyper-V management tasks
  • Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions From Desktop to Datacenter eBook
  • Job aids and links to useful virtualization-related resources and tools
  • Fully searchable eBook of this guide


System Center Operations Manager (OpsMgr) 2007 R2 Unleashed: Supplement to System Center

I read the original book and found it to be excellent.  It went through quite a bit of detail and included lots of best practice advice that I otherwise might not have been aware of.  There are also references to 3rd party tools to assist in long term management of the platform.


Windows PowerShell Cookbook: The Complete Guide to Scripting Microsoft’s New Command Shell

Do you know how to use Windows PowerShell to navigate the filesystem and manage files and folders? Or how to retrieve a web page? This introduction to the PowerShell language and scripting environment provides more than 430 task-oriented recipes to help you solve the most complex and pressing problems, and includes more than 100 tried-and-tested scripts that intermediate to advanced system administrators can copy and use immediately.

You’ll find hands-on tutorials on fundamentals, common tasks, and administrative jobs that you can apply whether you’re on a client or server version of Windows. You also get quick references to technologies used in conjunction with PowerShell, including format specifiers and frequently referenced registry keys to selected .NET, COM, and WMI classes. With Windows PowerShell Cookbook, you’ll get more done in less time.

  • Take a tour of PowerShell’s core features, including the command model, object-based pipeline, and ubiquitous scripting
  • Learn PowerShell fundamentals such as the interactive shell and fundamental pipeline and object concepts
  • Perform common tasks that involve working with files, Internet-connected scripts, user interaction, and more
  • Solve tasks in systems and enterprise management, such as working with Active Directory, the filesystem, registry, event logs, processes, and services


Group Policy: Fundamentals, Security, and Troubleshooting

This new edition of Group Policy: Management, Troubleshooting, and Security has been revised, renamed, and fully updated to include Windows Server 2008 and all versions of Vista. Inside, you’ll learn how to manage your users and computers using Group Policy for all Windows editions. You’ll find full coverage of the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), essential techniques for Group Policy troubleshooting, advanced control options, and much more.

Discover how to:

  • Master all Group Policy functions for all versions of Windows, including Windows Server 2008 and Vista SP1
  • Explore every feature of the GPMC to master your administration effectively
  • Troubleshoot Group Policy using tools, logs, Resource Kit utilities, Registry entries, and third-party tools
  • Secure your networks and Windows desktops, whether Windows Vista, XP, or Windows Server 2008 systems
  • Create your own Group Policy Management Station with the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) and the updated GPMC
  • Script complex GPMC operations, including linking, backup, restore, permissions changes, and more
  • Perform Group Policy Change Management with Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM)
  • Enhance your Group Policy reach with the all-new Group Policy Preference Extensions (GPPEs)

Coverage Includes Features You Need to Know:
ADM and ADMX Files, the Central Store, Troubleshooting GPOs, and Implementing Security with Group Policy

Master Advanced Features:
Inheritance Blocking, Enforcing, Prioritization, Linking, Loopback Policy Processing, Security Policy Processing, Cross-Forest Trusts, WMI Filters, and Scripting Group Policy Operations

New for this Edition:
Updated GPMC features such as Filters, Comments, and Starter GPOs; Scripting Group Policy Operations with PowerShell; Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM); and Group Policy Preference Extensions (GPPEs)


Windows Sysinternals Administrator’s Reference (July 2011)

Get in-depth guidance—and inside insights—for using the Windows Sysinternals tools available from Microsoft TechNet. Guided by Sysinternals creator Mark Russinovich and Windows expert Aaron Margosis, you’ll drill into the features and functions of dozens of free file, disk, process, security, and Windows management tools. And you’ll learn how to apply the book’s best practices to
help resolve your own technical issues the way the experts do.