I haven’t posted about eBooks for awhile and during that time the folks over at Microsoft Press have been pretty busy. To coincide with the release of a bunch of new products we have a ton of free eBooks just in time for the holiday season. We have a wide range of topics to choose from and they come in a variety of formats. Check them out below!
Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 by Mitch Tulloch
This book is intended to provide you with an overview of the new features and enhancements introduced in Windows Server 2012 R2. The intended audience for this book is IT pros who deploy, manage, and maintain Windows Server workloads in data center, private cloud, and hosting provider environments.
We assume that you are at least somewhat familiar with the features and capabilities of the previous platform Windows Server 2012. If you are not familiar with all the new features and enhancements Microsoft introduced previously in Windows Server 2012, we recommend that you first read Introducing Windows Server 2012 RTM Edition (Microsoft Press, 2012).
A key feature of this book is the technical sidebars that have been contributed by Microsoft insiders. These sidebars were written by experts who have been closely involved in the Windows Server 2012 R2 development process and include Program Managers, Support Escalation Engineers, Technical Consultants, Data Center Specialists, and others who work at Microsoft in various capacities.
Microsoft System Center: Troubleshooting Configuration Manager
This is directly from the authors of this book.
As the authors of this book, we have tried provide you with insights and tips on troubleshooting System Center 2012 Configuration Manager drawn from our insider knowledge and real-world field experience. While most of you who are Configuration Manager administrators are fairly comfortable with the product and can perform common management tasks, many of you still have pain points when it comes to certain aspects of how the product works. Based on our observations and interactions with customers, the biggest knowledge gaps tend to be in the following areas:
This book is our attempt to address some of these gaps and pain points. Chapter 1 provides insights into the Configuration Manager architecture and deployment principles. Chapter 2 familiarizes you with some of the key components of Configuration Manager and how they interact with each other when performing common tasks by using verbose logging for tracing the actions of various components. And Chapter 3 examines how to troubleshoot various Configuration Manager functionality including software and application deployment, site-to-site replication, software update and patching, operating system deployment, and Mac client issues.
Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals
Another great book that talks about Windows 8.1. This again from the authors of the book.
It’s difficult to believe that Windows 8 was introduced only a year ago, and yet today its successor, Windows 8.1, is ready for widespread adoption. By Microsoft’s standards, that is warp speed. And it is a tribute to the developers who designed and built Windows 8 and 8.1 that they have been able to sustain that pace and deliver such a polished product.
The Windows 8 product line represents a radical departure for Microsoft. A new user experience. A new app platform. New security features and new management tools. If you’re an IT pro, you have the daunting job of helping your users adapt to the newness of Windows 8.1 while you try to stay at least one step ahead.
Although I’ve written in-depth guides to Windows in the past, this book is not one of those. Nor do I pretend to offer much in the way of opinions or review. Only you can decide whether and how and when to incorporate Windows 8.1 into your enterprise, based on your own organizational requirements.
My goal in this book is to help you on that upgrade path by presenting the facts and features about Windows 8.1 as clearly as I can. If you’ve been living in an environment built around a previous version of Windows, you have a lot to absorb in the transition to Windows 8.1. I’ve tried to lay out those facts in as neutral a fashion as possible, starting with an overview of the operating system, explaining the many changes to the user experience, and diving deep into deployment and management tools where it’s necessary.
By design, this book focuses on things that are new, with a special emphasis on topics of interest to IT pros. So you might find fewer tips and tricks about the new user experience than your users want but more about management, deployment, and security—which ultimately is what matters to the long-term well-being of the company you work for.
Microsoft System Center: Cloud Management with App Controller
Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 App Controller is uniquely positioned as both an enabler and a self-service vehicle for connecting clouds and implementing the hybrid computing model. In Microsoft’s cloud computing solutions, both System Center and Windows Azure play critical roles. System Center can be used to transform enterprise IT from a device-based infrastructure and deployment strategy to a service-based user-centric consumption model based on private cloud computing. Windows Azure on the other hand is a subscription-based public cloud platform that enables the development, deployment, and management of cloud solutions. App Controller is the glue that unifies these two platforms by providing a single interface that enables administrators to perform complex operations without overwhelming them with the underlying technical complexities involved.
This book serves as an introduction to implementing and managing the hybrid computing solutions using App Controller. It describes the basic concepts, processes, and operations involved in connecting, consuming, and managing resources that are deployed both on and off premises. Each chapter provides a concise, self-contained walkthrough for a specific aspect of managing private, public, and hybrid clouds using App Controller.
While cloud computing is still evolving, the hybrid approach will likely continue to emerge as the go-to IT computing model for the foreseeable future. Using App Controller to strategically connect both on-premises System Center private clouds with off-premises deployments in both Windows Azure and third-party cloud hosting providers enables new scenarios, develops new possibilities, and offers exciting new opportunities that can help IT transition better into the next generation of enterprise computing.
Microsoft System Center: Designing Orchestrator Runbooks
Welcome to Microsoft System Center: Designing Orchestrator Runbooks. We believe that orchestration and automation are becoming increasingly important in IT organizations of all sizes and across all infrastructure types ranging from on-premises to cloud-based. Orchestration and automation can help reduce the cost of IT while improving consistency and quality of IT service delivery. Like any powerful technology. however, it can be both used and abused.
Our objective with this book is to provide a framework for runbook design and IT process automation to help you get the most out of System Center Orchestrator 2012 and to help you utilize Orchestrator in concert with the rest of the System Center for an enterprise-wide and systematic approach to process automation. We will provide detailed guidance for creating what we call “modular automation” where small, focused pieces of automation are progressively built into larger and more complex solutions. We detail the concept of an automation library, where over time enterprises build a progressively larger library of interoperable runbooks and components. Finally, we will cover advanced scenarios and design patterns for topics like error handling and logging, state management, and parallelism. But before we dive into the details, we’ll begin by setting the stage with a quick overview of System Center 2012 Orchestrator and deployment scenarios.
This book also has some companion content which you can get here.
That’s about all for now. If you want to keep track of upcoming eBooks that are coming out make sure you bookmark the Microsoft Press Blog.