Hi, my name is Andrew Richards. I’m an Exchange Escalation Engineer in Microsoft Support. In this new Microsoft Press blog series, I’m going to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what books can be found on the bookshelves of engineers in and around the Microsoft Campus in Redmond.
As we wander the hallways (and bookshelves) over the next few months, I expect we’ll find some obvious books, such as the “Self-Paced Training Kit,” “Administrator Companion,” and “Administrator's Pocket Consultant” books, but I also hope to uncover some hidden gems that will help you master a specific product.
As I cover each engineer’s bookshelf, if you have a missing favorite or an opinion on a book that I’ve talked about, please feel free to post a comment and tell us all what you think. Also, if you want the bookshelves of a particular product covered, please feel free to post your choice – I’ll seek out an engineer who focuses on that product.
Microsoft Exchange Server
In this first blog, I’m going to start with my own bookshelf that I use to support Exchange Server.
As you’d expect, I have all of the Self-Paced Training Kit books that cover Exchange Server. The Self-Paced Training Kit books are a great way of learning a product, and are also are good reference to have to look up (in particular) system requirements and prerequisites. Within easy reach I have the books for Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007; squirreled away, I also have the books for Exchange 2000 and Exchange 5.5. The books for Exchange 2010 aren’t even announced yet, but as soon as they are, they’ll be added to the collection.
A lot of Exchange support is about determining what external factor is affecting performance, or is causing an error or warning. I use the “MCSE” and “MSITP: Enterprise Administrator” Self-Paced Training Kits at a high level to cover the fundamentals of Networking, Active Directory and Security.
My secret weapon is the Windows Internals books. They cover every fundamental of Windows (Processes & Threads, Memory Management, Security, I/O System, etc.). Simply put, the Windows Internals books are the ultimate reference to how Windows works and teach you how to delve deeper than you ever thought possible. They help you understand how a subsystem works and what techniques can be used to determine if an area is having issues.
In my option, every IT Professional should have a copy on their bookshelf. Microsoft Support thinks the same: the 4th and 5th editions are standard issue to all support engineers.
Much like the Exchange 2010 Self-Paced Training Kit books, when Windows Internals, Sixth Edition is released, it’ll be added to the collection as soon as possible to cover Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 deployments.
The latest book that I’ve read (but haven’t got my own personal copy of yet) is the Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Administrator's Pocket Consultant. The blurb says it all: “Portable and precise, this pocket-sized guide delivers immediate answers for the day-to-day administration of Exchange Server 2010.” The book is just great, and it makes me want to have the Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2003 versions as well.
Lastly, within the Exchange support world, there is a fabled out-of-print tome that every Exchange support engineer knows to buy if they see one. Inside MAPI is a must-have for individuals delving in to the MAPI protocol. It isn’t a must-have or even a nice-to-have for most messaging people, but for a select few, it is worth its weight in gold.
Inside MAPI (ISBN-10: 1572313129 ISBN-13: 978-1572313125)