Free Learning Resources for Microsoft Virtualization & Private Cloud

In the last little while as we have started to deliver the IT Virtualization Boot Camps as well as go out to various user groups and talk about the Microsoft Virtualization and Private Cloud offerings, I have often been asked where IT Pros can find resources to learn about how our products work, especially by those individuals who are familiar with VMware but not so much with Hyper-V and System Center.  Here are some that I would recommend:

Microsoft Virtual Academy

MVALogoMicrosoft Virtual Academy is a great place to learn all about our offerings as well as get points for completing courses, and also asses your knowledge through online assessments. Best of all, it is FREE and continues to offer new courses on a regular basis.  It has many courses including those to help VMware professionals get a better handle on Microsoft Private Cloud technologies, as well as allowing those that have begun to work with Hyper-V and System Center to dive deeper and gain a better understanding of how to get even more out of their infrastructure.  Courses that I would recommend are

  • Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals - The Platform – This course provides IT Pros familiar with VMware with foundational understanding of how Hyper-V works as well as helps to clarify some of the changes in terminology between the two platforms.
  • Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals – Management – In this course you will learn how the System Center suite of products can be leveraged to provide an overall management solution that incorporates the physical infrastructure, virtual machines, as well as applications running within your virtual environments.  You will also learn how to leverage System Center to manage your entire virtualization platform including Hyper-V and VMware.
  • Configuring and Deploying Microsoft’s Private Cloud – This is a new course providing a soup to nuts roadmap on how to deploy all the elements that make up Microsoft’s Private Cloud technologies from Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V to System Center 2012 components including Virtual Machine Manager, Operations Manager, Orchestrator and more.  If you want to get the complete picture, this is for you!

There are also many other courses available at Microsoft Virtual Academy on such topics as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), high-availability, Windows Azure,  and more.  Check out the complete list and start your learning.

Free 2-Day Online Course: Creating and Managing a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 Jump Start (Feb 21 & 22)

JS-PrivCloud-RegBanner2It’s not very often that you get a chance to learn from experts on a topic for two whole days absolutely free!  This is why I was really happy to learn that you can register and attend a free two-day online course on Microsoft’s Private Cloud technologies taking place Feb 21 & 22.  The course is a “Jump Start”, which means it covers a lot of ground quickly but definitely worth the time investment. 

The course is designed to provide a fast-paced and technical understanding of how and why Microsoft’s approach to the private cloud delivers scalability, security, flexibility and control. Here are few unique benefits of this course:

  • Students have the opportunity to learn from and interact with the industry’s best cloud technologists!
  • This high-energy, demo-rich learning experience will help IT Professionals understand why Microsoft private cloud solutions are making a splash in the industry.
  • Students will see with their own eyes how Windows Server 2008 R2 and System Center 2012 work together to provide the best combination of security and scale.
  • Information-packed agenda! Day one of this two-day online course will focus on designing and deploying the right solutions for your organization, while day two will provide an in-depth look at the tools available to help monitor, secure and control the operational aspects of a private cloud.

I encourage you to register for the course and invest in your future.

sc2012evalPlay with the Bits in Your Own Lab

One of the best ways to learn about a technology is to actually get your hands on it.  Thankfully, all of the pieces of the Microsoft Virtualization Platform and Private Cloud can be downloaded from a single location (no wondering where to find each piece).  Here you can get Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 as well as the System Center 2012 RC builds, including a unified installer to make the whole process of getting things up and running easier.  No need for a TechNet subscription – just get the bits to start evaluating Microsoft’s Private Cloud technologies in your own lab.


Don’t Forget About Free Online Resources on TechNet

As always, TechNet remains a great place to find videos, articles as well as links to blogs and whitepapers on virtualization and Private Cloud.  If you have not already done so, bookmark the TechNet page and visit often for the most recent technical resources to help you grow in your career.