Good technical books to read


I like technical books that explain their topic in a clear and concise manner. This page provides you with a list of the books that I’ve read and liked on different topics.

Exchange 2013 (on-premises)

Naturally I will recommend Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Inside Out: Mailbox and High Availability? Be sure to get this with its companion volume, Paul Robichaux’s excellent Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Inside Out: Connectivity, Clients, and UM. Both books are also available on Amazon.co.uk (links for the Mailbox book and the Connectivity book).

If you think that a “recipe-like” approach to getting tasks done with Exchange 2013 has value, consider the “Exchange 2013 Cookbook” by Michael Van Horenbeeck (an Exchange MVP) and Peter Tender. The nice thing about this book is that it is firmly based on real-world experience.

MVPs Michel de Rooij and Jaap Wesselius have done a nice job to produce Pro Exchange 2013 SP1 PowerShell Administration. Lots of tips and techniques for people to learn how to automate different aspects of Exchange management. Another good PowerShell book is the updated Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 PowerShell Cookbook: Second Edition (Amazon.co.uk link).

If you need help mastering PowerShell in general, you could do far worse than to buy the latest (November 2014) “PowerShell in Depth” book from scripting guru Don Jones. It’s a terrific read.

Exchange Online

I wish I could recommend an Exchange Online/Office 365 management book, but I haven’t found one that I like yet. I should do something about this. I think the problem is that the rapid development cadence used by Microsoft to keep the service moving forward makes it terrifically difficult to write about Office 365. For example, the Microsoft Press Inside Out guide to Office 365 seems to be stuck in a time warp from mid-2013 or thereabouts. Ageing text is a problem for books covering on-premises software; it is a massive issue for books that attempt to cover cloud software.

Exchange 2010

For Exchange 2010, you should begin by reading the Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Best Practices book as it contains a solid description of what you need to take care of as you prepare for your deployment. It’s hard to keep a “best practices” book current as the software and its use evolve all the time, but this book will give you a good starting point for you to form your own ideas on the subject.

Of course, if you’re going to do anything with Exchange 2010  you absolutely need to buy Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Inside Out to revel in its wondrous description of the technology and enjoy the splendor of the wisdom contained within. Seriously folks, this book may also function as an excellent door-stopper as its 1,250+ pages provide sufficient weight to stop even the largest door. You can also get the book from Amazon.co.uk.

If you have to manage Apple iPhone and iPad devices that connect to Exchange 2010 via ActiveSync, you could do a lot worse than to buy a copy of Steve Goodman’s iPhone with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 – Business Integration and Deployment, which is very readable and offers lots of practical advice on the topic for both on-premises and Office 365 administrators.

Those seeking inspiration about how to use PowerShell with Exchange should look no further than this post to find my list of the best PowerShell books. My current favourite is Mike Pfeiffer’s Microsoft Exchange 2010 PowerShell Cookbook, if only because it includes lots of great example code that you can use in your deployment.

Exchange 2007

Exchange 2007 is still very important to many companies. If you’re looking for a great book about the storage aspects of an Exchange 2007 deployment, look no further than Designing Storage for Exchange 2007 SP1 (Digital Press Storage Technologies). The authors, Pierre Bijaoui and Juergen Hasslauer, are both real storage experts with a wealth of experience about how to design robust and efficient storage architectures for Exchange. My own Exchange 2007 SP1 book is available at Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 with SP1: Tony Redmond’s Guide to Successful Implementation and I recently found out that it’s also available as a Kindle version. However, I suspect that this Kindle edition is based on my original Exchange 2007 book, which I revised extensively for SP1.

Exchange General

Paul Cunningham’s “Exchange Server Pro” site offers a number of useful eBooks covering topics like High Availability for Exchange 2013 and different migration guides.

Windows

The fifth edition of “the” Active Directory book Active Directory: Designing, Deploying, and Running Active Directory sets out all the fundamentals that you need to know about the design and management of the most critical component of any Windows deployment. Brian Desmond is the latest author of this important work.

(Older book): Jan de Clercq and Guido Grillenmeier wrote an excellent book on the ins and outs of Windows 2003 security, most if not all of which is still valuable for Windows 2008, even for the latest R2 SP1 release. Well worth a look if you want to learn more about security in this space Microsoft Windows Security Fundamentals: For Windows 2003 SP1 and R2.

And of course, you’ll probably need a book on Windows 2008 R2 if you want to master its ins and outs before you deploy Exchange 2010 on this platform. The best book that I have found is Mastering Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2. Mark Minasi is quite a character in the flesh, especially over an extended dinner, and this comes through in his writing. For Windows 2012 (and maybe even R2), he has Mastering Windows Server 2012.

Cloud Computing

(Older title) Cloud computing is on the minds of lots of people in the IT industry today but few are able to provide a good overview of what cloud computing means across a range of applications. John Rhoton’s book Cloud Computing Explained: Implementation Handbook for Enterprises does a good job of providing such an overview. You can also get this book for the Kindle. John subsequently collaborated with Risto Haukioja in April 2011 to produce a follow-up book titled Cloud Computing Architected: Solution Design Handbook. I’m sure it will be equally useful.

SharePoint

Apart from SharePoint Online, I have not had much exposure to this product for a number of years. However, I admired how the redoubtable team of Kevin Laahs, Emer McKenna, and Veli-Matti Vanamo wrote Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Technologies: Planning, Design and Implementation. This book is also available as a Kindle version. SharePoint 2007 is a difficult enough technology to get right, especially in the larger deployments, and this book does a good job of explaining how to approach the finer points of planning to get things right. The team came together again to attack the topic of SharePoint 2010 and have produced SharePoint 2010 All-in-One For Dummies, also available from Amazon.co.uk. Despite the title, this book is not dumbed down and continues the mixture of Scottish, Irish, and Finnish wit and insight that made their other books interesting and approachable when it comes to understanding technology.

For those looking for a reliable book on SharePoint 2013, I think the Microsoft Press “SharePoint 2013 Inside Out” book is well worthwhile.

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14 Responses to Good technical books to read

  1. Pingback: ISBN for Exchange 2010 SP1 “Inside Out” Book | Thoughtsofanidlemind's Blog

  2. Terrance Brennan says:

    Thanks for the suggested reading list. There are so many technical books on the market it is hard to know which ones are worth buying so it is nice to get some recommendations from an Author whose work I am familiar with and trust. I have all of your Exchange books dating back to Exchange 2000 and have always been very satisfied with them.

  3. Tal Michael says:

    These authors… some might be at MEC 2012, I hope. http://www.mecisback.com/ Micorosft Exchange Conference.

    Save all these names Tony mentioned in this article (“Screive it doun, please”) – veteran IT coworkers of Tony’s, a solid recommnedation. If we’re lucky, many will be at MEC 2012. This is a class bunch of folks who present great content in an entertaining way. Example, at a MEC some years ago, Mr Laahs turned an Outlook presentation into a standing room only, beyond capacity, security-refusing-entry event (no really, he did). Anyone remember that Laahs presentation – tartan kilt, a highlander presentin Outlook in Scots to keep you on yer toes… Unforgettable.

  4. That was informative & Thanks!

  5. Michael Hurley says:

    I am ready to buy and would love to have it on the convenience of my Kindle but will I miss much in doing so? I have found so far that for novels and the like the Kindle suits me fine but I have had a harder time with technical publications when I have to jump around in the book.

  6. Rohan says:

    I was about to buy your book the other day, but it only covered up to SP1. Were you planning on releasing a book that covered SP2, or even SP3 now?

  7. dameluthas says:

    Tony,

    What’s your opinion on the Exchange Powershell Cookbooks? I have both versions 2010 and 2013..

    Dame

  8. John says:

    Tony
    Beside from your Exchange 2013 book & Paul’s Exchange 2013 book, which other Exchange 2013 books you recommend today?
    BTW got your Exchange 2013 book & Paul’s book but have not started yet :-)
    Thanks

  9. Michael says:

    Hi Tony,

    Which book do you think is better for WIndows Server 2012 R2: Mastering Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server inside out?

    Thanks

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