Part of my experiment was to work on setting up a network server (not a webserver). I figure I should at least learn the rudimentary set up details to get an effective and secure network setup in case I am ever asked to do it for work. I figure I need to get to grips with Samba and Windows 2003/8 Server.
Windows 2003 Server is pretty straight forward to set up compared to previous versions. They have quasi-wizards to walk you through all the major setup and administrative tasks. If you're remembering the old NT or 2K servers, you're in for a pleasant surprise. That being said, you also run the risk of throwing out the baby with the bath water when you do a setup that way since a lot of decisions get made for you.
Recommendation: Mastering Windows Server 2003
by Mark Minasi, Christa Anderson, Michele Beverridge, and C. A. Callahan
Read this book. Know this book. Love this book.
Also check out this one afterwards: Mark Minasi's Windows XP and Server 2003 Resource Kit
Between the two, you have everything you need for Windows server. The 2008 versions are either out by now or will be shortly.
As far as Samba goes, the O'Reilly Using Samba
text is the classic and the best. I think it's up to the 3rd edition by now. The best way to get a grip on Samba is to install it and just have at it. The configuration file is huge, but oddly logical once you get your feet wet. Don't get too distracted by GUI configs if you want to grok the little bugger. Well worth the investment of time. You'll probably have fun as well. Most people I know who got involved with Samba really enjoyed playing with it.
ANother good Samba text is Samba-3 by Example: Practical Exercises to Successful Deployment.
Well worth the read once you've got the basics down.
Sorry I'm flinging text titles at you. I'm a voracious reader so I tend to have a book for just about everything. And you seem to be the intellectual type (re: your search engine thread
) so I figured you wouldn't mind.