MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2: How to study guide & useful links

Windows Server first came into existence in the year 1993 as Windows NT 3.1. Windows Server 2012 R2 today comes with many enhanced features, that were not available in previous versions. As Server versions are upgraded, the demand for IT professionals who know the in’s and out’s about it increase drastically.

MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2

MSCA Windows Server 2012 Certification

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate or MCSA certification is for IT professionals and developers who are looking to get their first job in Microsoft technology. If you possess a Microsoft Certification, then your value is increased many times and you have an edge over others

Earning an MCSA Windows Server 2012 certification qualifies you for a position as a network or computer systems administrator or as a computer network specialist, and it is the first step on your path to becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

To begin learning MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2, you must know the basics of computer, networking and Windows OS. There are 3 exams a candidate must pass in order to earn MSCA Windows Server 2012 Certification.

The three required exams are 410, 411 and 412. When a candidate clears first Microsoft exam he/she is recognised as a Microsoft Certified Professional.

Three papers of MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2 are:

  • 70-410 : Installation and Configuring Windows Server 2012
  • 70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012
  • 70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services

Now let’s take a look what all these three exams contain.

70-410: Installation and Configuring Windows Server 2012

This is the first paper a candidate must pass in order to clear other the two and get certified as an MCSA in Windows Server 2012.

70-410 talks about installation and configuration of server and local storage. Configuring various server roles and features, Hyper-V, installing and administer Active Directory and creating and managing Group Policy.

This exam serves as a foundation for 70-411 and 70-412 exam. As in other two papers, topic’s covered under 410 are expanded further to understand working of Windows Server 2012 in deep.

 70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012

70-411 talks about deploying and managing server images using Widows Deployment Services, Implementing patch management, configure alert, Data Collector Sets (DCS) and monitor virtual machines.

It includes syllabus on how to configure Distributed File System; install and configure DFS namespaces, replication scheduling, remote differential compression settings, creating clone of database, configure file and disk encryption using BitLocker, network unlock, NPS, managing Bitlocker polices, and so on.

70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services

This is the last one and considered to be the toughest exam, as questions asked in the paper are not limited to the course syllabus – i.e. apart from theoretical knowledge candidate are tested on their practical skills.

The main contents of this exam include:

  • Configure and manage high availability server using Network Load Balancing, failover clustering and Virtual Machine movement.
  • Configure and manage Network File System data store, optimize storage using iSCSI target and initiator, iSNS, disaster recovery using backup and fault tolerance technique.

Identity and Access Solution, Active Directory Infrastructure and network services are few other topics that a learner will be studying.

How to prepare for MCSA Windows Server 2012

  • Instructor-led training: look for Microsoft training center who have Microsoft Certified Trainer, they will teach practical and theoretical part of this exam.
  • Self-paced training: Self-paced training can be done via Microsoft Virtual Academy website.
  • Studying by Book: A candidate can buy 70-410, 70-411, and 70-412 official books from Microsoft Press Store. The books from Microsoft Press are available as eBook and well as in hard cover.

A candidate while preparing for the exam can also take help from Microsoft Technet & Born To learn official forum. This forum has plenty of useful resources, information, practice test papers that can be used to brush up MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2 preparation.

Windows Server 2012 R2 was released in August 2012, from the time of its inception it has really grown up. If you are planning to get MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2 certified, then go ahead and start preparing for the exam. Visit its official website for more details.

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Abhishek Shukla is a computer graduate by education, a complete tech freak and music addict. Playing with software and mobile phones are part of his hobby. He is currently employed with a multinational company in India.


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  2. This is a good roadmap and resource page to obtaining your MCSA Windows Server certification with the exception of you will currently want to pursue the MCSA: Windows Server 2016 cert vs. the 2012 to have the more in demand certification.

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