Pluralsight is offering free access to selected courses. The offer is only available through April 30, 2015 and can be found here: https://offers.pluralsight.com/technet
There are 13 Pluralsight courses included with the TechNet benefit and I’m personally very interested in the ones about Azure. Here is the full list of the courses:
Windows Server 2012 R2
System Center 2012 R2
Tags: courses, Free, PluralSight, Technet
Unfortunately I’ve received numerous requests for an exam dump of 74-409 which really upsets me.
For those that are not aware of it, you are not allowed to share or use exam dumps. “If Microsoft learns that a candidate used a “brain dump” site to prepare for an exam, this candidate will be permanently banned or prohibited from taking any future Microsoft Certification exams and may be decertified from the Microsoft Certification Program. In addition, test scores and certifications, if applicable, may be revoked. These actions may be taken even if the candidate did not intend to defraud the Microsoft Certification Program.”
For more information, see:
Preparing to take the exam
This is generally what I do for preparing to take the exam:
- Determine the skills that are measured in the exam 74-409
- View the online course Server Virtualization with Windows Hyper-V and System Center at Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA)
- Reflect how confident you are that the online course has provided you with sufficient skills to take the exam.
- Optionally enhance your knowledge using:
- If you (know someone who) attended the course for this exam (20409A-ENU), then be sure to take a look at the book. It contains a lot of details that are missing from the jump start videos.
- Windows Server 2012 R2 Private Cloud Virtualization and Storage Poster and Mini-Posters
- Community/user created content for taking the exam
–Study resources 74-409 Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center
–Born To Learn wiki
–Veeam Study guide
–Free MCP Training study guide (in progress)
- Blogs by people that already took the exam, to see how they prepared.
- Recordings and slides of the Virtualization IT Camp
- Additional Hyper-V and Server 2012 R2 related courses on Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA)
- Real life or virtual meetings, presentations and user groups. Microsoft has started a Microsoft User Group Portal wiki, but unfortunately it’s not widely being used yet. Therefore I suggest searching the internet or taking a look at the Microsoft Events website.
- Your own lab to work with the products. You can use the existing Microsoft Test Lab Guides (TLG) or if you don’t have the hardware for your lab, just browse the document.
- Technet library documentation about Hyper-V. This can also be downloaded here for offline use.
- Technet TechCenter
- Training videos. By example on YouTube, or from commercial companies like CBT Nuggets and PluralSight. Nowadays you can get monthly subscriptions or just get trials for a couple of days to help you get a good start.
- Great TechNet Blogs.
- Guided labs / guided experiences like by example the Microsoft Private Cloud Guided Labs. Note: these might not be updated to 2012 R2 yet, but they should provide you with a better understanding.
- Virtual labs (search for hyper or virtual machine manager)
- Twitter by following people with interesting information on Hyper-V, by searching for tweets containing hyperv or hyper-v or by connecting with the community.
- Forums to discuss and share information. Since I’m from the Netherlands I use Tweakers.net a lot and can be found discussing Microsoft Certification related stuff in the topic “[Microsoft Certified] Ervaringen en discussies”.
- Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Best Practices (In Easy Checklist Form)
- Free e-books:
–Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2
–Microsoft System Center Microsoft System Center
–Windows Server 2012 R2 Overview White Paper
–Windows Server 2012 R2 Server Virtualization White Paper
- Printed books, but as far as I know there are no specific books yet for 74-409 and most books covering Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V or System Center 2012 have not yet been updated to the R2 release.
- Channel 9 to search for relevant content.
- Technet Video to search for relevant content.
- Server Posterpedia Windows store app or component architecture posters.
- Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) Guides
- Survival guides
Specific topics and resources I used while studying:
Read the rest of this entry »
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Even though it seemed for a while that MSDN and Technet subscribers would not get early access to the latest Windows versions, Microsoft decided to listen to customer feedback and reconsidered.
As a result, they just made the RTM versions of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 available for MSDN and Technet subscribers. General availability for both Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 is still October 18. For the official statement, read this blog post.
Personally I’m very stoked about Server 2012 R2 and I’m already running the preview version. I especially love the improvements on Hyper-V and de-duplication. For more information about new and improved functionality, take a look at the free e-book : Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Release.
Tags: e-book, ebook, ICT, Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Release, Microsoft, MSDN, RTM, server 2012 r2, Technet, Windows, Windows 8.1
As you might have already read by now in my previous post, TechNet subscriptions are going to disappear. For more info take a look at this blog post and the Subscriptions retirement FAQ.
This is just a reminder that you have until August 31 to buy a last year of technet.
You might also want to backup existing keys and files:
Tags: ICT, Microsoft, MSDN, subscription, Technet, Technet Evaluations
As you might have already read by now, TechNet subscriptions are going to disappear. For more info take a look at this blog post and the Subscriptions retirement FAQ.
The most important stuff:
- TechNet Subscription are sold through the TechNet Subscriptions website until August 31, 2013.
- Subscribers may activate purchased subscriptions through September 30, 2013.
- The TechNet benefits portal and the subscriber downloads page will remain available for non-Volume Licensing subscribers through September 30, 2014.
- Alternatives mentioned by Microsoft are:
- MSDN subscriptions
- Windows Azure.
- Technet Evaluations (time limited).
- Technet Virtual Labs.
I personally think this is not a good way to go because the TechNet software is used by many people to increase their skills (often even for a large part in their own time). Because of this, Microsoft products can add even more valuable for companies. Making it harder to get the required software and to keep it running for a longer time will probably scare people away or it will steer them towards hacked/cracked versions.
Basically if you want to have access to non time limited versions of enterprise products of Exchange, Lync, Sharepoint, System Center, etc. you need to take a $6000+ MSDN subscription. Currently I’m paying for TechNet Pro myself which costs 375 euro and I will take a Technet Subscription for this last year. I hope that Microsoft will have come to its senses by then and has provided a proper alternative. For now I would like to ask everyone that feels the same to sign the petition to get a decent TechNet alternative.
Tags: ICT, Microsoft, MSDN, subscription, Technet, Technet Evaluations, Windows Azure
Nowadays more and more work, communication and collaboration involves multiple external parties. This can involve by example employees, customers, partners, suppliers, cloud providers/platforms/applications.
This means it is becoming increasingly important to have proper authentication and authorization methods in place for single sign on (SSO) so users can be more productive. Besides the ease-of-use It can also lead to better security.
Microsoft’s Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) will make this possible. For more information on ADFS, here are some resources. Keep in mind though that while some information may be outdated, it will give you a broad idea of the concept and the inner workings. The current version of ADFS in Windows Server 2012 is 2.1 , while Windows Server 2008 uses 2.0
PS: Microsoft is moving more and more towards claims based authentication. Examples include Windows Server 2012 Dynamic Access Control and also SharePoint 2013 that has switched to claims based authentication by default now.
If you have some other resources that might be useful, please let me know so I can add them as well.
Tags: Access control, Active Directory, Active Directory Federation Services, ADFS, ADFS 2.0, ADFS 2.1, authentication, authorization, Azure, Cloud, configure, configuring, Deploy, deploying, Dynamic Access Control, federated identity, ForeFront UAG, IAAS, ICT, jump start, Microsoft, Microsoft Intune, Office 365, PKI, plan, security, Sharepoint, Sharepoint online, singe-sign-on, Single Sign On, SSO, Technet, Threat Management Gateway, TMG, UAG, Universal Access Gateway, virtual lab, Windows Azure, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012
Since I often participate in Microsoft beta exams and books are not available at that time, I spend a lot of my time using Technet. Here are some personalizations I use:
Technet library view type:
For people who’ve been using the Technet library for many years, they are probably familiar with the “Classic” interface shown below:
Until a couple of weeks ago, I thought this interface had simply been replaced by a new “lightweight” interface. You can however change the view using the settings button to match your preference.
Technet library Print/Export multiple topics
Sometimes you want to easily bookmark topics for later (offline) use and possibly even on other devices. The Print Multiple Topics feature provides this functionality. Be sure to try it:
Some more information about this feature can be found here.
Tags: ICT, Microsoft, personalization, Technet, Technet Library