It’s a sad fact of life that search doesn’t always get you that answer you were looking for.  This is mainly because it isn’t always obvious what you are actually looking for especially when it comes to technical stuff.  My main problem when looking around for stuff is that there is sometimes a lack of getting started guides, as I may know something about SQL Server but I am a complete amateur when it comes to Exchange, for example.

Searching Microsoft sites like TechNet can be more complicated compared to other software vendors who only have one or two offerings, and the guidance on a lot legacy Microsoft products is still online as part of the commitment to support them, further adding to the list of hits you get back on a topic. However at least these resources are actually out there and not hidden in the minds of a few who can charge a premium to get you started with a particular piece of technology.

However I have a couple of pieces of good news:

There’s a new  simplified set of resources around common virtualisation scenarios:

Each of these has simple Deploy Manage and Maintain sections.

Specifically on Exchange I noticed this simple deployment guide the other day starting with the simple question of where you are now; upgrade form a particular version of Exchange or a new build.

The updated Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (version 5.5 is now in beta), is probably your best free toolkit in deploying new Microsoft versions in your organisations.  My personal favourite bit of this is its ability to find SQL Server instances even if they are not using the standard port (1433) to allow connections as this tool uses WMI to find them.