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Be an Early Expert on Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V, System Center 2012 R2, Azure and Windows 8.1

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"Early Experts" Challenge – Cloud Quest

The "Early Experts" Challenge provides a FREE online study program for quickly mastering Windows Azure, Windows Server 2012, System Center 2012 SP1 and Private Cloud.

The "Challenge" is organized into a series of online Knowledge Quests that include video lectures, structured study materials and Hands-On practical labs. Each Quest ends with a special completion certificate for you to promote your new knowledge!

Get Your Early Experts Cloud Certificate!
Get Your “Early Experts” Cloud Certificate!

To make it easy to participate, each Quest is developed in a modular format that you can complete based on your own schedule and availability.

This Knowledge Quest, the Cloud Quest, helps you master new Hybrid Cloud scenarios with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services

Welcome to the Cloud Quest!

In the Cloud Quest, you will build a multi-server lab network based on Windows Server 2012 by leveraging the Windows Azure cloud platform to host your lab virtual network and virtual machines.  

The following diagram depicts the lab scenario you will be building in the Cloud Quest:

Cloud Quest Lab Scenario
Lab Network Scenario for Cloud Quest

Building this lab environment will serve as a capstone project by helping to review the key Windows Azure and Windows Server 2012 tasks involved with building hybrid clouds. In addition, this lab environment will also provide the foundation for more complex labs in future Knowledge Quests.

At the end of this Knowledge Quest, you will understand the steps involved with installing and configuring a new Windows Azure and Windows Server 2012 virtual network and be able to properly position each task for relevant usage scenarios.

1. Sign-up for a FREE Windows Azure Trial

In order to complete the Cloud Quest lab exercises, you will be leveraging the FREE Windows Azure Trial offer, which provides up to $200 of Windows Azure cloud platform services.

DO IT: Sign-up for your FREE Windows Azure Trial by clicking the Sign in button below.

NOTE: When activating your FREE Trial for Windows Azure, you will be prompted for credit card information.  This information is used only to validate your identity and your credit card will not be charged, unless you explicitly convert your FREE Trial account to a paid subscription at a later point in time. 

2. Build Virtual Machines in the Cloud

Complete this online training course for a technical overview of the tasks involved in building virtual machines and virtual networks on the Windows Azure cloud platform.

3. Build an AD Forest in the Cloud

Complete this step-by-step lab guide to build a new Windows Server 2012 Active Directory Forest in your cloud-based lab environment using Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks.

4. Install a Replica AD DC in the Cloud

Complete this step-by-step lab guide to install and promote a new Replica AD Domain Controller in your cloud-based lab environment using Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks.

5. Build Storage in the Cloud

Complete this step-by-step lab guide to add a Windows Server 2012 storage server to your cloud-based lab environment using Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks.

6. Build a Cluster in the Cloud

Complete this step-by-step lab guide to add a Windows Server 2012 file server cluster to your cloud-based lab environment using Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks.

7. Join our Online Peer Study Group Community

Participate in our Online Study Group Community on LinkedIn to post questions you may have, share your insights and collaborate with other members as we all prepare for certification!  Each of us has unique  insight and by participating in this community, we'll be able to expand our technical knowledge beyond our own experiences.

8. Share Your Success

Now that you've completed this Knowledge Quest, be sure to share your success with your social network using one of the buttons below for Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. By sharing your success, you'll also help to encourage others to join our study group and increase the number of IT Pros working together to help grow our collective technical knowledge and share even more community insight that benefits us all!

Tell your network "I just completed the Early Experts Cloud Quest to master Windows Azure and WinServ 2012 VMs!" using one of the buttons below.

9. Claim Your "Early Experts" Cloud Certificate

Have you completed Steps 1 through 8? If so, follow these steps to validate your lab completion and claim your "Early Experts – Cloud" certificate:

  1. Sign-in to the Windows Azure Management Portal using the credentials used when you signed up for a FREE 90-Day Trial.
     
  2. On the Windows Azure Management Portal page, Click on the ALL ITEMS link on the left navigation panel.
     
  3. Press the PrtScn ( Print Screen ) function key on your keyboard to copy an image of this page to your clipboard.
     
  4. Click on THIS LINK to create a new email message addressed to the Early Experts team.
     
  5. Paste the image copied in Step 3 into the body of the new email message created in Step 4 above.
     
  6. Click the Send button in your email client to submit the email request created in Step 4 for a Cloud Quest completion certificate, suitable for displaying in your office, at your desk or sharing on your social media network to proudly showcase your new Windows Azure and Windows Server 2012 cloud knowledge!
     
    Get Your Early Experts Cloud Certificate!
    Get Your “Early Experts” Cloud Certificate!

Have you Completed the Other Knowledge Quests?

If you're preparing for Windows Server 2012 MCSA certification, the Cloud Quest below is part of an entire series of Knowledge Quests to help you master skills on Windows Server 2012. If you haven't completed these Knowledge Quests yet, there's still time!

What's Next? Keep Going!

If you've completed all of the Knowledge Quests in the Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Challenge listed above, you're ready to schedule your first exam and continue prepping for the remaining additional exams with these Next Steps:

  • Schedule Your Exam: Schedule and Pass Exam 70-410, Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 at a local Prometric Exam testing center.
  • Exam 70-411: Prep for Exam 70-411, Administering Windows Server 2012 with these resources from 90DaysToMCSA
  • Exam 70-412: Prep for Exam 70-412, Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services with these resources from 90DaysToMCSA
  • Exam 70-417: Prep for Exam 70-417, Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012 with this FREE Exam Study Guide

After achieving your MCSA Windows Server 2012 certification, continue preparing for MCSE Private Cloud with these FREE study guides:

  • Build Your Cloud: Step through the process to Build Your Private Cloud in a Month with this FREE set of Step-by-Step guides
  • Exam 70-247: Prep for Exam 70-247, Configuring & Deploying a Private Cloud with this FREE Exam Study Guide
  • Exam 70-246: Prep for Exam 70-246, Monitoring & Operating a Private Cloud with this FREE Exam Study Guide

As new Knowledge Quests are released in the “Early Experts” Challenge series, we’ll be sure to notify you via our LinkedIn Community Group and via email.

Additional Resources