Microsoft recently changed the name to “Remote Desktop Server” but the underlying technology is still the same: Terminal Services have been powering remote access to corporate networks for years. In the “Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services Resource Kit” book authors Christa Anderson and Kristin Griffin manage to take a fairly dry topic and keep it both fresh and relevant. From the opening chapter through the end, the pace is quick and the topics covered wide. They have done an amazing job of creating a technical book that can be read cover-to-cover. Although the “Microsoft Presentation Hosted Desktop Virtualization Team” is credited, the book doesn’t feel as if it were written by committee, unlike many other technology books.
As someone who’s been skeptical of Remote Desktop Services in the past, the changes made in 2008 (RemoteApp, TS Gateway) were major enough to prompt me to take a second look. The book starts out with a historical review of where terminal services began, providing a solid foundation for those of us late to the game.
Covering the overall architecture is a great start, and the book interweaves the new 2008 features to ensure that each chapter contains something new and interesting. Even the final chapter, typically a dead water of appendixes for most books of this nature, is surprisingly relevant; instead of tables of data, it covers a holistic look at the entire Remote Desktop Server ecosystem, from solid change management techniques to ITIL integration and the value of standardization.
If you still think that Citrix holds a lock on application virtualization, the TSRK will definitely open your eyes to the lengths Microsoft has gone to re-establish itself as the premier virtualization expert on both a hosting and application front. It’s worth your time to pick up this book and check it out: you’ll be glad you did.