Active Directory Visual Aids OR Redecorate Your Cubicle in Early 21st Century Admin

As a hiring freeze chills the server room, many IT pros must become instant experts in unfamiliar technologies. Sticking a poster to your cubicle wall won’t get you MVP status, but it can improve those blah walls and give you at-a-glance authority in a pinch.

Here are seven posters (loosely defined) that I like--mostly because they're free but also because some of them are halfway cool. They illustrate various Active-Directory-related areas, including Exchange and PowerShell.

7. 6.  Active Directory Technologies in Windows Server 2008  Poster, and New Features in Windows Server 2008 Poster.
These two posters offer a quick look at Windows Server 2008. One poster focuses on new Active Directory technologies, while the other provides a technical look at a variety of new features available in Windows Server 2008 (such as Server Core, Network Access Protection, and more). The color scheme and layout are similar to the 2006 AD jigsaw puzzle poster.

5. Exchange Server 2007 Component Architecture Poster.
Shows the high-level architecture and highlights the feature set of Exchange Server 2007, including management and monitoring, and the various server roles.

4. Windows PowerShell Poster.
It’s not just for developers: The BB&D Developer Readiness Community Web site has a nice PowerShell scripting poster at its Tools, Add-ons & Utilities site for developer training. It provides an at-a-glance view of PowerShell features and syntax.

3. Make-Your-Own AD Poster (sort of).
Display your AD configuration by using Microsoft Active Directory Topology Diagrammer. It reads an AD configuration using ActiveX Data Objects (ADO), then automatically generates a Visio diagram of your AD and Exchange Server topology, including domains, sites, servers, administrative groups, routing groups and connectors.

2. Linux Poster.
How the Linux universe works: Human plus knife plus apple equals idea for showing how Linux fits together. Even if your company manages to stay a Windows-only shop in this era of downsizing and fire sales, it’s interesting to check out.

1. User Roles and Access Privileges Poster.
A how-to article disguised as a poster: from the guys at Washington University’s Center for Clinical Imaging Research comes an interesting illustration of how the Center deployed a system based on a combination of AD, LDAP and Kerberos to manage user roles and access privileges.

Enjoy! Caroline

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