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Upgrading Skills to Server 2012

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This Windows Server video training course with Tim Warner covers Microsoft exam 70-417. This course is is for IT professionals who have their MCSA: Windows Server 2008 or MCITPs who want to earn their MCSA or MCSE certifications for Windows Server 2012....
This Windows Server video training course with Tim Warner covers Microsoft exam 70-417. This course is is for IT professionals who have their MCSA: Windows Server 2008 or MCITPs who want to earn their MCSA or MCSE certifications for Windows Server 2012.

Recommended skills:
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2008
  • MCITP: Virtualization Administrator on Windows Server 2008 R2
  • MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: Lync Server Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7

Recommended equipment:
  • Windows Server 2012

Related certifications:
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2012
  • MCSE: Server Infrastructure
  • MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure

Related job functions:
  • IT professionals

Already have a Windows Server 2008 certification, but want to upgrade to Server 2012? Start with this course.

Microsoft exam 70-417, Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012, is a prerequisite for Windows Server 2008 MCSAs or MCITPs who want to earn either the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) or Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) titles in Windows Server 2012. The content of this course (and the associated exam) spans three additional Microsoft IT Pro certs: exam 410 (Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012); exam 411 (Administering Windows Server 2012); and exam 412 (Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services).
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1. Course Introduction (25 min)
2. Installing Windows Server 2012 Servers (46 min)
3. Configuring Windows Server 2012 Servers (51 min)
4. Installing Domain Controllers (40 min)
5. Configuring Domain Controllers (45 min)
6. Maintaining Active Directory (55 min)
7. Configuring Group Policy Processing (53 min)
8. Configuring Local Storage (47 min)
9. Configuring and Managing Backups (46 min)
10. Monitoring Servers (53 min)
11. Deploying and Managing IPAM (42 min)
12. Configuring DirectAccess (42 min)
13. Configuring Network Access Protection (NAP) (54 min)
14. Implementing Dynamic Access Control (DAC) (55 min)
15. Implementing Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) v2.1 (46 min)
16. Configuring Failover Clustering in Windows Server 2012 (52 min)
17. Advanced Failover Clustering and Highly Available Hyper-V (37 min)
18. Managing Virtual Machine Settings and Storage (49 min)
19. Creating and Configuring Virtual Networks (38 min)
20. Managing Virtual Machine Movement (49 min)

Course Introduction


Microsoft exam 417, Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012. My name is Tim Warner and I'm very grateful to be your instructor for this series. Welcome to Windows Server 2012, friends. In this introductory Nugget we're going to start with a nutshell history of Microsoft certification.


For sure Microsoft has tweaked, tuned, and completely revamped their IT pro certifications over the last several years. There's a lot to know. You're not going to be asked questions on the certification program on your exam, of course, but it's important from an IT professional standpoint that you be fully apprised as to what's new and what's changed with these certification titles.


I'm going to give you the need to know information on how to upgrade your current MCITP and Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012. Again, we have a name change with the certification so we're building on this material sequentially as such. And then I'm going to describe to you how I've structure this course, and give you some practical advice on the best way to approach the course as a student, for maximum return on investment.


That's going to ebb and flow naturally into the final portion of this Nugget in which we discuss the exam specifically and I share with you again some hard won, best-practice suggestions for not only minimizing your study time but maximizing your score on the certification test.


Let's get to work. The evolution of Microsoft IT pro certification. Now I got into information technology as a career full-time in 1997. I earned my first MCP shortly thereafter. And then eventually the MCSE, the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer in Windows NT 4.0 in the late 1997.


The way the old school Microsoft certification program worked was, after passing a single technology test, it could be Windows 95 support, it could be TCPIP, networking essentials was an old classic back then, you would earn the Microsoft Certified Professional or MCP title.


You could put the logo on your business card, you were given an MCP ID that is Microsoft's analog to the social security number, you'd have a wallet card, of course a frameable certification, and access to the protected MCP website. That gives you access to the community of Microsoft certified professionals.


Now, At that time, late '90s into the early 2000s, the golden credential for IT pros-- and by IT pros I'm talking about systems administrators. Microsoft has an entirely different suite of certifications for developers and even going on into some of their other packages like their dynamic suite.


Of course we're concerned only with IT Pro, in which we're concerned with Windows Server, Windows desktop OS, and other Microsoft enterprise server products. Exchange server, SharePoint Server, link server, and so forth. But the MCSE had a lot of cashe, a lot of industry power, and frankly a lot of prestige.


I really looked up to folks had exerted the blood, sweat, and tears, and knowledge to amass that Certified Systems Engineer title. And you know, interestingly, after all these years in 2012 going into 2013 those letters still carry with them the idea of competence in Windows Server technologies.


More on that in just a second, because I'm sure Microsoft agrees. In time, when the Windows Server 2003 came along, Microsoft gave us a lower level credential called the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator. And I think the point, the general trend that Microsoft learning picked up is, they wanted candidates to be able to more granularly define their skill sets for potential employers, clients, whomever.


So the way Microsoft separated these two credentials, you needed I believe four exams for the SA and seven for the MCSE in Windows Server 2003. But the SA is the implementer, the day to day systems administrator, the SE, at least according to Microsoft's product literature, is the Active Directory Architect.


The person who plans and designs an Active Directory infrastructure. Now in practice, in my experience most folks tend to go directly-- do not pass go, do not collect $200-- they go right for the MCSE. The MCSA is a nice stepping stone to the MCSE because the four exams that you'd pass for your SA directly apply to the SE, if that makes sense.


So this schema, the old school, ended with Windows Server 2003. As of Windows Server 2008 Microsoft changed up their credentialing significantly, replacing the single exam specific MCP with the Microsoft certified technology specialist, or MCTS. They replaced the MCSE, the systems engineer with Microsoft Certified IT Professional.


And going further there are actually two separate MCITPs, Server Administrator and Enterprise Administrator for Windows Server 2008, which caused a lot of confusion among candidates. Which one should I go for? Do I need to have both of them? And I need to tell you quite honestly, friends, I recommended going for SA.


It took fewer exams to get there. And quite honestly, nobody is going to inquire, for instance a hiring manager, now do you have the MCITP EA or SA? I've never heard that and I've never heard anybody tell me they've been asked. What they've been asked, these job candidates, is do you have the MCSE?


And of course that's a retired credential now. Bottom line is, the MCITP was largely, I think, a market failure. It never caught on in terms of name recognition to the point that MCSE has. Poor market adoption, in other words. Oh, one more thing I wanted to say.


The fact that Microsoft split the MCITP into variants and the fact that there are so many MCTS exams-- I don't mean to sound bitter here because I'm genuinely not-- but I want to make sure you understand that IT certification is a for-profit business.


That these vendors, Microsoft, Cisco, even CompTIA are in the certification business not so much to help you succeed and get advanced positions in the industry, as much as it is to make money. So I've always been suspicious of this dual MCITP because it just doubles, effectively, Microsoft's revenue stream.


So we have to look at this certification stuff critically. Yes, I believe firmly in IT certification. I believe it can help give you a leg up in the industry. But go into it with eyes open, OK? That's really what I'm saying. Now let's look at the most recent advancements, 2012 era advancements with Microsoft certification.


Now we're talking Windows Server 2012 the current version of the Windows Server OS. What you'll find is now we have a resurrected retooled MCSE. Now what's up with that? What you want to know, first of all, is that MCSE means something different now.


It now stands for Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, OK? You can tell that that's very generic compared to Systems Engineer because if we go to the Microsoft learning website we'll see that there are MCSEs in other technologies besides Windows Server 2012.


There's a big focus with the MCSE, the new MCSE, on virtualization and cloud infrastructures. The so-called private cloud, where you can as a corporation or a business create cloud-based services for your users. And virtualization of course is a very popular subject because it gives systems administrators more bang for their hardware buck and allows them to save money.


Unfortunately there are two MCSEs in Windows Server 2012 following the lead of the old Windows Server 2008 MCITP business. We have server infrastructure and desktop infrastructure. And we'll look at the specific requirements for those in just a moment.


Now let's take a look at the upgrade path if you hold the MCiTP. It doesn't matter if it's the EA or the SA. As a matter of fact this screen shot was taken from the Microsoft learning website. You'll notice here that they say upgradeable certifications MCSA.


What in the world? At first blush, you might think, why I'm insulted. I spent hundreds and hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars earning my MCITP in Windows Server 2008. Why isn't that listed? As a matter of fact, another qualifying upgrade credential is in ITP in any of these technologies.


And you'll notice that Windows Server 2008 is very conspicuously absent from that list. Well what Microsoft says in their FAQ is that if you've earned an ITP in Windows Server 2008 and then by definition you have the SA in Windows Server 2008. This basically broadens the pathway for individuals who are currently trying to earn the MCITP and Windows Server 2008 to get them on the track to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert.


I hope you can see the business model here. Microsoft is trying to shuttle us down the route toward upgrading our skills. And that's what we're dealing with. And as a matter of fact, you'll see of the three exams, used to be that you could upgrade with a single test, again business model, more exam registrations is more money.


We have to pass three tests to qualify as an MCSE server infrastructure expert. 417 is the upgrade. That's of course the exam we're studying for in this Nugget product. You also have to pass 413, designing and implementing a server infrastructure, and 414, implementing an advanced server infrastructure.


Now you'll notice if you've taken tests, obviously you've taken Microsoft tests because you're currently in MCITP. Traditionally the IT pro exams are 70 dash. If you take a beta version of a test those tend to be 71. Microsoft appears to be moving away from that nomenclature, instead favoring just exam and then the integer.


I'm not exactly sure why. Sometimes in the Microsoft learning site you'll still see vestigial references to 70. If you go to the Prometric website to register for an exam you might see 70. Just be aware that this program is in flux, probably will be in flux for a little while.


So be on the lookout for either of those usages. Now you'll remember that there are two MCSE variants. As far as one being easier than the other, you'll recall I said that you should probably go for the MCITP SA if you were near to completing that in Windows Server 2008 because fewer exams are required.


Microsoft put some thought into this and requires the same number of tests for either track. Now there really doesn't seem to be much sense to get both of them unless you're a completist. This particular track, you'll see, has this step one, the MCITP enterprise desktop administrator and Windows 7.


And you should see here that the focus for this particular track is more desktop support. So I think what Microsoft is saying here is if you're a traditional MCITP on a Windows server infrastructure you should go for the other path, the MCSE and server infrastructure.


If you're more of a desktop support individual, given that step one is having the top-tier credential in enterprise desktop support, you can then pass our exam 417 and then 15, implementing a desktop infrastructure, 16, implementing desktop application environments, to earn that top tier credential.


You know the more I think about it the more this makes sense, because individuals may want a top-tier Microsoft credential but maybe their own skill set is in desktop support. This track definitely is geared more heavily toward that environment. Although of course, 417 is quite a beast in terms of Windows Server technology.


So I would think if somebody has these skills already under their belt-- whatever. I guess the bottom line, friends, is that this is a discussion you're going to have to have with your boss, with your stakeholders, and of course with yourself in terms of which MCSE, or both, you want to pursue for Windows Server 2012.


What if you hold the original MCSE? That is, you're certified in Windows Server 2003. What is the upgrade path to Windows Server 2012? Well as you can see, this isn't exactly tongue-in-cheek-- you're hosed. Upgrade is supported only from the Windows Server 2008 level.


So if you're still an MCSE, a systems engineer holder, you better get upgraded to at least Windows Server 2008 or frankly you'll just need to start the server 2012 track from scratch. Sorry about that bad news. Microsoft seems to have gotten much stricter about their upgrade paths.


Before we discuss how best to approach this course I do want to revisit that 417 is a pretty good exam just on its own. I mean, the title of this training series is, "Exam 417, Upgrading Your Skills To MCSA." So the MCSA title is still around even in Windows Server 2012.


And studying this course and passing the 417 is quite a big feather in your cap, something to put on your resume, just having earned the MCSA level in Windows Server 2012. I just wanted to say that. Now in this slide I'm going to share with you how I think you should approach this course for maximum return on investment.


I want to share with you what I call Warner's recipe for exam certification success. Like I said, I've been certified since 1997. I've worked on both sides of the certification scheme, as the certification candidate as well as working directly with the certification vendors.


So I've peered behind the curtain, so to speak, and I can tell you that success on any IT certification program is going to require three basic skills that are all interrelated. We can look at them as sides of a triangle, however you want to visualize this.


One, there's theory. Understanding the theory behind the subject matter. Two, there's the ability to practically apply your knowledge. Actually do the skills that are referenced in that theory. And then third, there's test taking skills proper. Understanding how computer-based tests work and how to approach questions using logic and reason to make sure you're answering those questions correctly.


So how does this course fit in? Well understanding the theory means watching these Nugget movies. I'd recommend you watch them in order because I tend to build upon previous knowledge as we go along and make assumptions later in the course that we've already mastered material that was introduced earlier.


I also like to sprinkle my Nuggets with references to relevant websites. Make a note of those, if you would. I use, or we use at CBT nuggets, a URL shortening system such that the URL should be pretty handy to write down. I apologize that they're not clickable in the movies.


That could definitely change in the future. But for now you'll need to write those references down. Definitely those will add an enhanced your learning. In terms of practically applying your knowledge, you could use the TechNet virtual labs, which is a free service for Microsoft that gives you hands-on practice with live instances of Windows Server 2012.


You can build your own practice lab using desktop virtualization software Windows Server 2012 is available as a trial version, a fully featured trial you can download and install. Alternatively, you can join TechNet for 300 or so dollars a year. You can get full versions of all of their server and desktop software.


You're not allowed to use that software in a production environment, but certainly for your test and study lab you'd be all set with that, et cetera. Now the third piece, test taking skills. This means you're practicing with practice exam software so that you can identify what I call the Microsoft answer.


Now these vendors are concentrating on their own technologies and sometimes the questions and answers are structured in a way that may conflict with your real world experience with the product. You need to shelve that real world experience and instead give the answer as you would find it say, in a TechNet white paper, OK?


As far as which study products are good, some are better than others. You want to void the brain dumps because number one, those are a legal, number two, they will immediately disqualify you. Microsoft is going to decertify you if they've learned that you prepared by using illegal brain dump content.


So Transcender is a good example of a legitimate test prep company. And if you are CBT Nugget subscriber you can actually access those exams right through your browser. Let me show you. We're at cbtnuggets.com and once you've logged in using your account, of course we have the video training area, which is where you're probably watching this video right now, but you'll notice we have in the secondary menu down below here, an exam prep area.


So if we go there we can refine the playlist by doing a search for 417 or Windows Server 2012 and the provider is Self Tester Transcender. There's actually a partnership between those companies now so you're going to get quality content regardless of the provider.


It really doesn't matter. While we're on the web, let me switch over to Microsoft learnings website. This is microsoft.com/learning and I just want to show you briefly the major ways to get around. There's quite a bit going on here, a lot of Silverlight animations and so forth.


Bottom line is, if you hover over the primary navigation menu, certification, you can come down and look at certification from a few different perspectives. You can go to By Product, Technology, there's Windows Server. You can go by name and go to Solutions Expert.


In fact, let's go there right now. And you'll get the skinny. You'll be able to look at the exam blueprint for all these tests. This is the MCSE reinvented for the cloud. I mentioned that virtualization and cloud is the deal here. So I'm not going to repeat what already taught you, but just be aware that this is definitely your first party source if you want to learn more about the Microsoft certifications.


I'm also going to, while we're here, go to prometric.com/microsoft. This is Microsoft's exam registration page at Prometric. Now there are two IT vendors for registering certification exams. There's Prometric and Pearson View. Some vendors go with both, others are allied specifically with one.


Cisco, for instance, has an exclusive with Pearson view. Microsoft as an exclusive arrangement with Prometric. It's just the way to go. They both work the same way, View and Prometric. They're just competing companies. And again, the page is kind of busy.


You can click this Start Here button to go through the main portal and you can schedule an exam, locate a test center, learn how much the exams going to cost, et cetera. So what is the 417 test? The 417 test is what's called a composite exam. It's a model that Microsoft has used for quite a while for their upgrade tests.


What they do is take a subset of questions from multiple separate standalone tests and give them all to you one at a time. So basically you've got three separate tests, what are called testlets, individually timed and I'm not sure what the grading rubric is, and if I knew I couldn't tell you because I wouldn't want to violate my terms of service with Microsoft.


But it's a different way. And if you've taken an upgrade exam in the past you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's kind of an interesting way to take a test. This 417 test is a composite of three exams. 410, installing and configuring Windows Server 2012, 411, administering Windows Server, and 412, configuring advanced services.


So if we scan some of these domains, know that by the end of this training series you'll know how to do all of this stuff and more. It's basically bread and butter Windows Server deployment and administration with a special focus on some of those advanced features that Microsoft feels especially strongly about, like hyper-v virtualization.


And of course we're going to see a heavy focus on new features. That's something else that always is a principle. Because you know, I was a little bit skeptical earlier in this Nugget when I mentioned the business model aspect. Another business aspect that these certification vendors have is that they know that certified professionals are evangelists, are product evangelists.


So what they think, what Microsoft thinks, is let's put as many new and changed features into the exams to force candidates to master those new and changed features, and that way they'll go out and evangelize and talk and tell people how cool those features are, and then actually use them in their production environments, you see?


So certification is a sneaky business. There's no question about it. As I mentioned, we register for this test using Prometric. The exam fee is going to vary depending upon your country. The exam's quite fully localized around the world. You'll want to keep on the lookout for Microsoft offers.


They've had a promotion that they turn on and off like a faucet, like a leaky faucet, called second shot. And what second shot is, it basically halves the price of your exam registration. You join the second shot offer by your initial voucher and if you don't pass the test on the first try they give you another voucher.


That's as simple as that. The thing is, they don't offer this all the time. So you'll want to visit the Microsoft offers page periodically, and you may want to wait for the second shot to come online before doing your registration and it'll potentially save you some money.


Tips for exam success. I've covered some of these earlier. One, the importance of using practice exams like Transcender and self test is that they're going to give you confidence with taking computer based exams. Working under time pressure, for instance.


Taking a computer based test can be relaxing for some, believe it or not. I'm one of those people. Can be extraordinarily stressful for others. It really depends. Either way, using practice test software should even out those rough edges, smooth them out, sand them off, whatever you want to say, such that when you go into the live exam environment you're prepared.


Another exam success tip as I said earlier, is to temporarily shelve your real world experience in favor of the Microsoft answer. This isn't a good thing, it's not a bad thing, it just is what it is. You may come across a scenario in an exam question and you would solve it one way if you were in the field.


You know that TechNet and what I'm teaching you in this course shows you an alternate way, go with that alternate way, friend, OK? Third, don't read into the items. Stick with the info that's given. This is a common pitfall that more experienced systems administrators fall into.


You're going to get a scenario that sets up a problem and then you'll have multiple choices. You're asked to choose which is the best one, which two are the best options, et cetera. Don't take what they give you and then add to it your own interpretation.


Know that's a big pitfall. If Microsoft says you have XYZ in your environment, assume that's all you have. Don't make any other assumptions, and choose the best choice or choices from the answer set based only on the information that's given in the item stem.


That's an important piece of wisdom. It really is. Finally forget about any other vendor or technology besides Microsoft. When you're taking a vendor's exam it's either going to be a CompTIA where they try to ignore vendors as much as possible because the idea with CompTIA like the A Plus, Network Plus and Security Plus is that it's a vendor neutral technology exam.


But if you're taking a Cisco test or a Microsoft test, it's just the opposite. Where the world begins and ends with that vendor's software and hardware. So again, that ties back into these previous items here. Let's review what we've learned in this Nugget.


We started with understanding Microsoft certification, its history over time, and I hope that by now you're fully apprised as to where you are today in your certification journey and where you want to end up in terms of Windows Server 2012 certification.


You understand the hard truth regarding upgrading your current credential to the MCSE in Windows Server 2012. You may decide to pass the 417 exam and stay with MCSA. Certification, if it's nothing else, it's not a one size fits all proposition. If you want to stay with the SA, cool.


If you want to go to the Solutions Expert you now know that there are two of them and we understand the distinction between them. I shared with you how best to approach this course. I hope you'll take my advice to get the most possible impact from your study investment.


And then we finished by covering the 417 exam metadata, where and how to register, tips for passing the exam, and the like. So that ends our introduction. For the rest of the training we're going to have our heads down in the technology. In the next Nugget we're going to discuss and work with installing Windows Server 2012 and covering server role management.


So I hope you're ready to learn some really cool stuff and prepare for your tests. I hope that this has been informative for you, and I'd like to thank you for viewing.

Installing Windows Server 2012 Servers

Configuring Windows Server 2012 Servers

Installing Domain Controllers

Configuring Domain Controllers

Maintaining Active Directory

Configuring Group Policy Processing

Configuring Local Storage

Configuring and Managing Backups

Monitoring Servers

Deploying and Managing IPAM

Configuring DirectAccess

Configuring Network Access Protection (NAP)

Implementing Dynamic Access Control (DAC)

Implementing Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) v2.1

Configuring Failover Clustering in Windows Server 2012

Advanced Failover Clustering and Highly Available Hyper-V

Managing Virtual Machine Settings and Storage

Creating and Configuring Virtual Networks

Managing Virtual Machine Movement

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