So I just got back from sitting my 70-659 Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization exam this morning and I thought I would jot down a few thoughts from the exam (NDA permitting!).
First, I would say it’s actually one of the easier MS exams I’ve actually sat (and I’ve been doing them for about 7 years now). I don’t know if this is because I have a virtualisation background or whether the exam itself would be easy for newer members of the IT community, but either way it could have been a lot worse!
I would say the exam content sticks fairly well to the exam “skills measured” table on the 70-659 page. The problem with this page is it’s very general, and doesn’t give you any specific details on source materials etc, like you normally get on for example a VMware Exam Blueprint. I would suggest that you look at the topics covered but always remember to research into the “corners” so to speak, i.e. look into the fringe areas which you may not use every day, such as P2V, SAN migration, Authorization Manager, etc. Also make sure you understand the use cases for each type of technology, e.g. PRO, CSVs, the Self Service Portal, etc, and finally make sure you know all your numbers e.g. ports and maximums. MS is always keen to check you know these values, even though they change frequently between OS versions (and even service packs)!
Most importantly, I go back to my final recommendation from my MCTS: 70-659 Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization Exam Prep and Study Guide, which is to build your own home lab, using at least full fat Server 2008 R2, plus a Hyper-V 2008 R2 server, and just test, test, test. Play with it and break it as much as possible, and look into every menu option as specific options in specific menus is always another MS favourite for testing. If you build and configure every item from the skills measured list, you should have a good chance when you come to the exam.
Finally, for all existing VMware-trained professionals, I definitely recommend the Microsoft Virtual Academy courses mentioned in my previous blog post, specifically the following courses, which do a good job of translating your existing VMware knowledge into “Hyper-V speak”:
- Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals – The Platform
- Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals – Management
Next on my agenda was originally to go onto do the MCTS desktop virtualisation and the MCITP exams, but as MS have completely overhauled their certs again I will be holding off until June now, when I should be able to take the 70-246 exam and jump straight to MCSE: Private Cloud certification. At least my wife and kids will get to spend a bit more time with me until then!