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Be an Early Expert in Hybrid Cloud - Microsoft Azure, Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V and System Center 2012 R2

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"Early Experts" Challenge - Installer 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 Installer 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 Installer Quest below builds upon the previous Apprentice Quest in this series. If you haven't completed the Apprentice Quest yet, there's still time! Click here to launch the "Early Experts" Apprentice Quest.

Welcome to the Installer Quest!

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

  • Install Servers
  • Configure Servers
  • Configure NIC Teaming
  • Configure Local Storage
  • Install and Administer Active Directory
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. Install and Configure Servers

Complete this online study guide with hands-on practice exercises to master the skills involved in installing and configuring Windows Server 2012 in "Server with GUI", "Minimal Server Interface" and "Server Core" installation modes.

2. Configure NIC Teaming

Complete this online study guide to explore and practice the configuration of NIC team options in Windows Server 2012 to provide network resiliency, load balancing and bandwidth aggregation.

3. Configure Local Storage

Complete this online study guide to explore and practice the skills needed to build SAN-like storage solutions with commodity hardware using Windows Server 2012.

4. Install and Administer Active Directory

Complete this online study guide to explore and practice the new features in deploying and administering Active Directory (AD) in Windows Server 2012, such as Simplified AD Deployment, Virtualization-safe Domain Controller (DC) technology, DC Cloning and the updated AD Administration Center.

5. 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.

6. 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 Installer Quest to prepare for Certification!" using one of the buttons below.

7. Claim Your "Early Experts" Installer Certificate

Have you completed Steps 1 through 6? If so, follow these steps to validate your lab completion and claim your "Early Experts - Installer" 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-Installer.txt"
  3. Email the SAVED COPY of the file from Step 2 to Early Experts to request an Installer 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" Installer Quest, keep going with these additional Knowledge Quests to continue your preparation for the MCSA on Windows Server 2012 Exams:

  • Explorer Quest: Targeting the Group Policy and Server Management exam objectives on Exam 70-410.
  • 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