Into-the-CloudWoot, woot – we are on post number 30 of 30! I hope you all have had as much fun with this blog series as we have had. More importantly I hope you have learned some little nuggets of information that have saved you time and made your life easier.

Speaking of making things easier – in this post I will cover some tips on getting Certified for the Cloud.

The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) server virtualization certification is obtained by passing Exam 70-659. There are two cool offerings here to help you get certified.

  1. There is an online accelerated Jump Start training available December 1st 2011 and again on Jan 11th 2012. It is $99 and includes:
    - Live online training, focused on virtualization administrator skills using Windows Server 2008 R2
    - Exam voucher for Exam 70-659: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization
    - Subscription to weekly coaching newsletter with practice test questions, tips for pass your exam You can find out more here: http://mctreadiness.com/MicrosoftCareerConferenceRegistration.aspx?pid=270
  2. Try the Virtualization Challenge. With the Virtualization Challenge you can take Exam 70-659: MCTS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization, at no cost, from a Microsoft Learning Partner near you. If you pass, you’ve earned your Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification. If you don’t pass, you may enroll in a class offered by the Learning Partner to acquire additional virtualization skills. Then retake the exam, free of charge. http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/virtualization-campaign.aspx#tab3

Another great resource for leaning is the “Virtual Labs” These virtual labs are VMs that enable you to work in a complex server environment without having to setup the servers. You are walked through some configuration scenarios so that you can learn how to work with the products. These are full blown product installs with multiple machines so you can test your ideas without having to have the servers or do the setup work. These are awesome learning tools. The easiest way is to do a “Bing” search on “Microsoft Virtual Labs” Here is just one set of labs on System Center tools: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs/bb467605

Here is a screenshot of a virtual lab. You can see the three machines that you remote control in the left pane. In the center is the connection to the desktop of the machine you are remote controlling. Lastly on the right is the step by step walk through guide.

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My last suggestion is to build up your own lab. All the software you need to do this is all available for download. From Server 2008 R2 eval code to the System Center Suite of tools. Here are the links to obtain the bits:

Download Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Eval
http://www.microsoft.com/click/services/Redirect2.ashx?CR_CC=200061670

Download Microsoft System Center 2012 Pre-Release Products
http://www.microsoft.com/click/services/Redirect2.ashx?CR_CC=200069528

Of course another great way to stay up on all the happenings in the cloud and other areas in technology is to continue to follow us our blogs. On behalf of the team – John Weston, Kevin Remde, Matt Hester, and Me – I would like to thank you for joining us on our blog roll. I hope to see you all back here soon! Thanks –Brian

P.S. – You can find links to all the posts here: http://mythoughtsonit.com/?page_id=763