Top 5 Book Gifts for System Administrators (Windows)

top 5 reads it admins

If you’re a Windows server admin who likes to read, or are looking for a good book to gift to a friend who is an aspiring Windows server admin, there are a variety of publications that you can read in order to get the insider’s scoop on how to master the system. The most important thing to look out for is to find something that has a long-lasting appeal and won’t get obsolete soon. So, let’s take a look at some of the most influential must-read for every Windows system administrator. Any library of technical resource books about Windows server and related aspects is incomplete without all of these masterpieces. Here are our top 5 book gifts for system administrators, who is working on Windows.

1) Mastering Windows Server 2012 R2

This system’s admin book, authored and published by Mark Minasi et al Sybex 2013, is a 1670 page behemoth that is worth reading each and every page. Minasi has been a Windows author for quite some time now, and his publishing’s have known to become a treasure trove of valuable reference books for past, present and even the latest upcoming versions Microsoft’s Windows Server. This particular book has been published to get admins up-to-speed on the latest version that was made available around the same time as Windows 8.1, and includes information about the highly-anticipated updates that culminated into and Active Directory Hyper-V, shared storage, etc. With Minasi’s backing, this book is a great learning resource, or can even be a good refresher course for those of you who have started working on Windows, after a short break.

2) Windows Internals (6th Edition)

Available in two parts and written by Alex Ionescu, David Solomon and Mark Russinovich, the 6th edition of Windows Internals was released by Microsoft Press in 2012, and is a 1,400-odd page system admin’s bible. The main author, Russinovich, is currently employed by Microsoft and has been a part of the Azure project from its grassroots level. Prior to his employment with Microsoft during the early 2000s, Russinovich had written and published admin utilities for a private firm known as SysInternals. These previous publications on those utilities are available for free on the internet, and are a necessary supplement for this current, as they take readers through the intricate inner workings of Windows like no other resource. This version of these tomes covers Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2; a 7th edition is scheduled for late 2015, but this pair of books remains very much worth buying and reading in the meanwhile.

3) The Practice of System and Network Administration (2nd Edition)

Authored by Thomas A. Limoncelli, Strata R. Chalup and Christina J. Hogan, and published by Addison-Wesley Professional in 2007, The Practice of System and Network Administration is a ~1,000 page book that has been lauded as the best system and network administration. It’s a great book not just for Windows Server Admin, but any kind of server admin as it provides comprehensive information for all types of servers.  The book provides valuable insights on how a system admin can implement best work practices while troubleshooting all types of systems and networks of all kinds.

4) PowerShell in Depth: An Administrator’s Guide

Written by Don Jones, Jeffrey Hicks and Richard Siddaway, and published by Manning Publications in 2013, this book is more of a short story compared to other admin books, at just 632 pages. Don Jones is considered to be a world mentor for all things PowerShell, which has become the go-to script writing tool for all and any kind of Windows administration tasks. This administrator’s guide tells you everything you want to know about PowerShell, how to use it, and even what you should be cautious about. Just like all of the Don Jones books on PowerShell, PowerShell in Depth is a great read for Windows system admins of all ages.

5) Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual

Written by David Pogue and published by O’Reilly Media in 2013. This 950 page book was specially drafted for the Windows admin power user. Pogue is best known for his stint as being the New York Times most well-renowned technology, as well as for being a recognized technology correspondent, while working for CBS News. Categorized as an advanced reader’s guide, The Missing Manual is definitely a book worth owning and reading, and is a great follow up to anyone who has been following up on his work. Don Poulton’s MCSA 70-687 Certificate Guide to Configuring Microsoft Windows 8.1 is a highly technical version of the same book, if you’re looking to technical certifications. The Missing Manual is a comprehensive guide to all things Windows Server, as it deals with troubleshooting for any kind of issues relating to installation and deployment, or tweaking and tuning.

Author: Rahul Sharma