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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 - Explorer Quest

The "Early Experts" Challenge provides a FREE online study group with certification exam preparation materials for quickly mastering Windows Server 2012, Windows Azure, System Center 2012 SP1 and Private Cloud in a very "hands-on" manner!  The Challenge involves a series of Knowledge Quests - starting with the Apprentice Quest and continuing on with the Explorer Quest below. Each Quest ends with a special completion certificate for you to promote your new knowledge!  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.

Additional Knowledge Quests will be released in the coming weeks and once you've completed all of the Quests, you'll be prepared for the new Windows Server 2012 Installing and Configuring Exam - Exam 70-410.  Be sure to jump start your learning today with the Knowledge Quests below and we'll notify you via email when new Quests are available.

Have you Completed the Previous Knowledge Quests?

The Explorer Quest below builds upon the previous Apprentice Quest and Installer Quest in this series. If you haven't completed these Knowledge Quests yet, there's still time!

Welcome to the Explorer Quest!

In the Explorer Quest, you will explore and practice the skills associated with the following exam objectives in Exam 70-410, Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012:

  • Creating and Managing Active Directory Group Policy
  • Managing Server Roles and Features with Server Manager
  • Managing Servers with PowerShell 3.0
At the end of this Knowledge Quest, you will understand these new skill areas and be able to properly position them for relevant usage scenarios.

1. Create and Manage Active Directory Group Policy

Complete this online study guide with hands-on practice exercises to master the skills involved in creating and managing Windows Active Directory Group Policy in Windows Server 2012.

2. Manage Server Roles and Features with Server Manager

Complete this online study guide to explore and practice the management of Windows Server 2012 roles and features using the new Server Manager GUI-based tool.

3. Manage Windows Server 2012 with PowerShell 3.0

Complete this online study guide to explore and practice the skills needed to perform and automate administrative tasks in Windows Server 2012 with PowerShell 3.0.

4. 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.

5. 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 Windows Server 2012 Early Experts Explorer Quest to prepare for Certification!" using one of the buttons below.

6. Claim Your "Early Experts" Explorer Certificate

Have you completed Steps 1 through 5? If so, follow these steps to validate your lab completion and claim your "Early Experts - Explorer" certificate:

  1. On your study lab server, launch Server Manager and select "Tools -> System Information" from the menu bar.
  2. In the "System Information" tool, select "File -> Export" from the menu bar and export a System Information File named "EELABSRV01-Explorer.txt"
  3. Email the SAVED COPY of the file from Step 2 to Early Experts to request an Explorer completion certificate for the "Early Experts" Challenge, suitable for displaying in your office, at your desk or sharing on your social media network to proudly showcase your new Windows Server 2012 knowledge! We'll also notify you when the next Knowledge Quest is available in October 2012 to continue your learning and certification exam preparation.

What's Next? Keep Going!

After you've completed the "Early Experts" Explorer Quest, keep going with these additional Knowledge Quests to continue your preparation for the MCSA on Windows Server 2012 Exams:

  • Networker Quest: Targeting the Core Network Services exam objectives on Exam 70-410.
  • Virtualizer Quest: Targeting the Hyper-V Server Virtualization exam objectives on Exam 70-410.
  • Cloud Quest: Build a Windows Server 2012 Study Lab network in the Cloud.
  • 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

Also, be sure to check out the additional background resources below!

Additional Resources