Tinkering in the Labs

The following sections describe the components of Phase 2, which, in a sense, are launched in Phase 1. You no doubt managed to secure some space at the office or perhaps the company penthouse and then began tinkering around with Windows Server 2003 on some old beat-up Pentiums. If you have not touched the CD that comes with it yet, you are not ready to begin lab work. You should read the other chapters in this part and the Windows 2003 documentation before you start any lab work, but please read on for reference only.

Note Chapter 6, where you learn about installing Windows Server 2003, also caters to the ramp-

up phase, the lab phase, and the pilot phase.

You cannot consider yourself ready to begin designing and testing until you have logged a hundred or more hours of study — and even then, not until you have installed role servers at least 10 times, installed and trashed Active Directory at least 8 times, screamed at the project manager, created boot disks, cut unattended install CDs, restored ghosted images, and so on . . . all dozens of times.

The how-to material and extensive Help files on Windows 2003 have a point of diminishing return. You can't read all the information, but you must start somewhere. The number of document pages at Microsoft covering Windows 2003 and collateral technologies, such as Windows XP and Windows 2000, runs into the millions and would take you much more than a year to read. Baptism by fire, as the saying goes, makes a good network and Windows Server 2003 administrator.

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