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What's in store for August

Are you a genuine IT Meister? Then get ready to show off your skills in August!

Reading an article or a book about a specific technology is one thing. Putting that knowledge to the test and gauge just how much of it stuck is another. That is why we have a dedicated Know-IT-All quiz to go with each chapter in our weekly chapter download program.

If you're not familiar with this program, here's how it works: Each week you check the download page for a fresh book excerpt. The topics vary from week to week, giving you a chance to get sample bites from a broad area of Windows-related technologies.

After reading the chapter you take a quiz for a chance to win a free copy of the featured book. The quiz is multiple-choice and is designed to be challenging, but the prize drawing is random - your score does not affect your odds of winning the book. That's it!

This week's chapter quiz focuses on planning, implementing and maintaining server availability with Windows Server 2003. Last week, the topic was how to build a load-balanced cluster. Next week it's something else, but you can always count on learning something new each week.

For August, we have an interesting mix of topics in store. Here's the breakdown by week:
July 30-Aug 5
Tuning Microsoft Server Clusters by Robert Buchanan
Chapter 4: Baselining and Analysis

Optimizing a clustering environment is a complex undertaking. However, experience shows that creating a system baseline before diving into the tweaking can save a ton of time and grief down the road. This chapter explains everything you need to know to perform a successful pre-tuning analysis.
Aug 6-12
Hardening Windows Systems by Roberta Bragg
Chapter 1: An immediate call to action

We all know the stuff we should be doing to keep our Windows systems safe. Unfortunately, history shows that even veteran IT pros frequently fail to actually take the simple steps required to keep intruders out. This first chapter of site expert Roberta Bragg's acclaimed book walks through the stuff you should do, right now, to plug the worst holes in your defenses. Think you have everything covered? Don't be so sure - check Roberta's list and get a reality check!
Aug 13-19
Hardening Windows Systems by Roberta Bragg
Chapter 11: Harden communications

What is the best approach to bulletproofing your system? In this chapter, site expert Roberta Bragg offers her take on the matter, along with tons of tips and tricks for securing LAN, WAN and Web communications with SSL. Get the complete rundown of the three basic security processes for hardening network communications: authentication, integrity and encryption.
Aug 20-26
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Insider Solutions by Rand Morimoto et al.
Chapter 8: Administering Win Server 2003 Remotely

Remote server administration can be a big time-saver, and Windows Server 2003 has the features you need for making the process even simpler, quicker and more secure. This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of new tools, best practices, security and new features such as Remote Assistance and Emergency Management Service.
Aug 27-Sep 2
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Insider Solutions by Rand Morimoto et al.
Chapter 22: Creating a Fault-Tolerant Environment

The key to achieving higher availability is creating a solid, fault-tolerant environment. Learn how to make full use of Volume Shadow Copy, optimize disk management for fault tolerance, leverage network load balancing and many other important steps to avoid downtime.
Go to the download page to snag the latest goodies. So busy at work you missed a few? No sweat, just browse the archive and you'll be caught up in no-time.

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