Remember a few years ago when it was a big deal if you had a Microsoft certification?  Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) was the big one, with the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) being the "baby brother".  MCSA was about managing and troubleshooting; MCSE was about designing and implementing.

As always, time marches on, Microsoft releases new products, and certifications are updated.  This time around, they were also renamed.  First up is the replacement for MCSA, now called "Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Server Administrator."  This version focuses on Windows Server 2008, including all the new functionality in the new version.  The details for this certification are at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcitp/windowsserver/2008/server/default.mspx.  Three exams are required:

  • Exam 70-640: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring.  All about Active Directory (including RODC, backup and recovery, trusts, DNS, replication), Certificate Services, Lightweight Directory Services, Rights Management Services, Federation Services, Group Policy, and more.
  • Exam 70-642: TS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring.  All about DNS, DHCP, DFS, WSUS, NAP, WDS, NLB, performance monitoring, network monitoring, IP configuration (including subnetting IPv4 and configuring IPv6), and more.  Finally, an exam that doesn't dwell on WINS :-)
  • Exam 70-646: PRO: Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator.  All about clustering, disk configuration, NLB, software deployment mechanisms, patching, firewall configuration, product capabilities, upgrade scenarios (especially around forest and domain functional levels), and more.

Those are the tests I took in the past week, so I've now officially upgraded my MCSA certification (the hard way - there is an upgrade path you can take too, described at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcts/windowsserver/2008/transition/default.mspx, but what's the fun in that?).  Now it's on to the next certification, "Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Enterprise Administrator," described at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcitp/windowsserver/2008/enterprise/default.mspx.  There are five exams required for that one:

  • Exam 70-640: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring.  See above, already done for the MCITP: Server Administrator certification.
  • Exam 70-642: TS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring.  See above, already done for the MCITP: Server Administrator certification.
  • Exam 70-643: TS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuring.  I took this one in the past week too, so I'm ahead on the game.  This one is all about IIS, FTP, SMTP, SSL and certificate requirements, Windows SharePoint Services, Windows Deployment Services, Hyper-V, Terminal Services (including the new gateway and remote app capabilities), Windows Media Services (including rights management), and NLB again.
  • Exam 70-620: TS: Windows Vista, Configuring, or Exam 70-624: TS: Deploying and Maintaining Windows Vista Client and 2007 Microsoft Office System Desktops.  See my previous blog posts on those, already completed both.
  • Exam 70-647: PRO: Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator.  Basically, anything goes from the previous four exams, with more of a focus on architecture, design, and deployment.

So 70-647 is the next one on my list.  Then maybe I'll take a break for a while.  Or maybe not, there are still more certifications to be had :-)  It's great having a testing center right across the street from my office.