Review: Microsoft Exchange 2013 Cookbook

The folks at PacktPub asked me to review a book written by Exchange fellow Michael van Hoorenbeeck and Peter de Tender, titled “Microsoft Exchange 2013 Cookbook”. So, here goes.

The books is well structured, starting off with planning and designing your Exchange 2013 deployment on to installing the product. It then turns to configuring the individual Client Access Server and Mailbox Server role specifics, like certificates or Database Availability Groups. Next up is configuring external access which is described vendor neutral. Special attention is then paid to individual features like High Availability, backup/recovery, compliance and security. The book ends with Van Hoorenbeeck’s favorite subject, hybrid deployments. That chapter is unfortunately a bit short, but I’m inclined to think this is intentional and may be because an Office 365 book with information on this subject may be in the works.

The 326 page book is easy to read (I read it on the flight from Amsterdam to Bangkok). What is nice is that the book prefers to describe procedures using PowerShell cmdlets (recipes) instead of showing the GUI method, which is not only good for the adoption of PowerShell but also building PowerShell skills for some admins. Well-known tools of the trade are being mentioned in the book, like the infamous Exchange 2013 Server Role Requirements Calculator or Exchange fellow Paul Cunningham’s Get-DAGHealth.ps1 script for checking and reporting DAG health status. Yours truly also gets mentioned for the Exchange 2013 Unattended Installation Script; I won’t complain about misspelling my name though.

I haven’t had the chance to check out the Exchange Inside Out bible(s) by Tony Redmond and Paul Robichaux yet, but this book could be of value for admins trying to get up to speed with Exchange 2013, building PowerShell knowledge through PowerShell-by-example by reading this book and its practical task accomplishing instructions.

You can check for the book on Amazon here.

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