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I've been a *nix (from VMS to Linux to FreeBSD to Solaris etc) admin for the past five years and I have just recently had it dumped on my plate that i am going to be running some Windows Servers.

I'm looking for some resources -- some learning materials to get me up to speed on basic operation and administration of Windows Server 2003/2008. I don't expect to learn the intricacies immediately -- that will come with experience -- but I do want to know the basics to provide a foundation of knowledge.

I'm looking to learn the basics of the most common roles and features -- I've already built myself a domain controller and domain in a VM and have set up a member on another box that also hosts file services.

I have been reading sites like StackOverflow to see issues people experience with actual, in service stuff and have learned a bit from that.

Additionally, does MS have any e-learning materials? What about e-certifications?

Any direction at all is very much appreciated.

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TechNet is the way to go for solid, general operating information for Windows Servers straight from Microsoft. I don't know if TechNet would qualify as "e-learning materials" but more often then not, TechNet has real sysadmin gems for general knowledge, best practices and error code explanation/solutions.

I'm not sure about e-certifications, but MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) is a common Windows Server certification. Microsoft has several series of certifications to go for. I'm not sure what you're particulary interested in or want to head in, but here's a good start from Microsoft about their entire certifications they offer.

Another great reference site I use from time to time is Petri IT Knowledgebase. Over the past few years, it's really grown into a good resource with step-by-step instructions.

I'm sure others can recommend more personal or better Windows 2008 information sites, but seriously consider starting at Microsoft's Windows 2008 TechNet site. It's very informative and a great place to start learning about Windows 2008 Server.

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The resources on TechNet are the way to go. There are lots of documentation and videos there that can get you started. When to comes to automation, teach yourself Powershell. It's an excellent object-oriented shell similar in many way to bash but it makes access to object properties and methods a breeze.

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I agree - TechNet and Petri are great resources. In addition, I suggest a subscription to Windows IT Pro (It's the only magazine I bothered to subscribe to and pay for upon leaving my day job for consulting only). Their site is also excellent for how-tos, resources, tips, tricks, etc. Finally, I would also suggest checking out

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