Category Archives: Certification

Freebies: books and other learning stuff

imageWhat it takes to be a good specialist? Usually everyone agree that the vital element to it is to learn much. With MS, it is usually easy enough: TechNet and MSDN are great sources of information. No, really, most of official courses I sit on (to be honest – there was not many of them) don’t give you as much info as those two. If you are lucky enough, you’ll get a great trainer and then you can have even more than in TechNet, but usually it is only a good way to quickly refresh, restructure or get some basic knowledge. Anyway, it’s quick and I recommend it to you if you have an opportunity to be away from your work for several days: it’s quick, and you can polish your skills and knowledge after the course is over. Another knowledge source are books. There are good ones, excellent or not so much. Finally, there are eLearnings. They are somewhat between books and “offline” courses. You receive more visual content, you even can look at and listen to a tutor, but the only way to ask questions is Google (or BING, if you wish).

After such a long introduction, let’s go down to our freebies: MSLearning blog has done its spring cleaning and put a lot of stuff on the board for free (registration is needed only to receive updates on it, downloading doesn’t require it). There are mostly eBooks (or parts of the eBooks), clinic sessions and exam coaching sessions. It can be interesting to take a look. Or just download it to stash for good 😉

Some new cool betas

During the past week or so there were several messages spread about availability of betas for some products of MS and some new tools. Some of them are definitely of interest to me and, probably, for you. The first is


Such a nice an abbreviation, isn’t it? =) It stands for Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal v2 with SP1. Being a bit buggy, it is still a very cool application. I’m going to use it as soon as it is released, and now we are using it in a test environment.

New features:

  • You can import machines which are not yet in SSP zone of authority
  • Expiration for virtual machines
  • Notify administrators of business units about various events
  • Move infrastructures between business units

Quite impressive, isn’t it? Joint the beta here.


I wrote about it some time ago: it’s a new addition to MDOP that can help you to manage and monitor BitLocker. Now the beta is available for the product. You can join the beta here. What it can:

  • IT can automate the process of encrypting volumes on client machines across enterprise
  • Helpdesk can reduce the time required for BitLocker PIN and Recovery Key information
  • Security officers can quickly produce reliable evidence that indicates the compliance state of individual computers or even the enterprise itself.
  • Security Officers can easily audit access to Recover Key information.
  • Windows Enterprise users are empowered to continue working anywhere knowing their corporate data is protected.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012

Wow! W! O! W! =)

I saw some review. It is awesome. No, really. From just creating a new VM to creating a private cloud based on VMWare. Or Hyper-V. Or both… Whatever, you can download it here. It can so much, that MS restricted benefits to somewhat bullshittish phrases. But it has ribbon as an administrator GUI. So I will definitely love it 😉

New version of the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server Role Requirements Calculator

Nothing special, but if you use it, then you’d better use the new version.

And not technical stuff: if you are an MCP, then you’ve just received new certificates (just new look, actually, not new certifications =) ) and new transcript. Just look at fabulous it:


It’s not available yet, though. But in April it will =)

Enough for today =)

Certification News

Just news, briefly:

  1. New certification program for students and newbies without IT experience just started. You already can pass several exams to become MS Certified Technology Associate. More info in the program site. Brilliant way to start your certified life, I think Smile
  2. Another freebies… Well, almost. MS gives discount up to 30% on certification exams for employees of companies which are MS partners. And, though you are to by the exams wholesale, those who work for MS partners know that you are sometimes to pass them wholesale too, so enjoy. Details.

MCA: Discontinued

architect-image As soon as I decided to try myself in acquiring Architect credentials, Microsoft became scary and dropped the certification! Just kidding, of course: neither I am ready for MCA, nor Microsoft just kicked off every current one. But they really discontinue the certifications, at least some of the specializations: Infrastructure and Solutions. Proofs: here and here.

Special thanks to Mike Walker’s blog.

Discontinued exams

Exams on 2000 and NT4 are officially announced to be discontinued from 03.31.2008.

Honestly I haven’t pass any of them because I became certified not long ago. However I guess those who are in IT much longer then I am ,ay miss the whole era…

Full list of deprecated certifications and the news itself is here.