New book: Exam Ref 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter

We’re pleased to announce the availability of Exam Ref 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter (ISBN 9781509303823), by Jeff Graves and Joel Stidley.

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Prepare for Microsoft Exam 70-745—and help demonstrate your real-world mastery of skills needed to build and manage software-defined infrastructure with Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager (SC VMM). Designed for experienced IT professionals ready to advance their status, Exam Ref focuses on the critical thinking and decision-making acumen needed for success at the MCSE level.

Focus on the expertise measured by these objectives:

  • Plan and implement System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) core infrastructure
  • Implement Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
  • Implement software-defined storage
  • Implement datacenter compute solutions with Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)
  • Secure your software-defined datacenter
  • Monitor and maintain the software-defined datacenter

This Microsoft Exam Ref:

  • Organizes its coverage by exam objectives
  • Features strategic, what-if scenarios to challenge you
  • Assumes you have experience with System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager and Windows Server 2016 networking, storage, Hyper-V, and Hyper-V Clusters


The 70-745 exam focuses on deploying and managing a Software-Defined Datacenter using the technologies in Windows Server and System Center 2016. While System Center Virtual Machine Manager is a core tenant of the exam, there are questions regarding configuration of items directly in the fabric, so it’s important to understand how to interact with these components directly. It covers the installation, configuration, and operation of System Center Virtual Machine Manager, the Software-Defined Networking stack of Windows Server 2016, Software-Defined Storage in Windows Server 2016, as well as securing and monitoring the fabric and guest workloads. Managing the Software-Defined Datacenter using System Center Operations Manager is also covered. While Azure is not the focus of this exam, there may be questions regarding connecting the on-premises environment to the cloud. Many questions focus on the new features in Windows Server 2016 including SDNv2, Storage Spaces Direct, Guarded Fabric and Shielded VM’s.

This book will help prepare IT pros with a background in the cloud to deploy and manage a Software-Defined Datacenter cloud environment using Microsoft technologies. It explains how to deploy a Windows Server 2016 infrastructure fabric including compute, network, and storage components, as well as the System Center 2016 management plane. The book covers in detail the configuration of Virtual Machine Manager to support the Software-Defined Datacenter concepts in Windows Server 2016, in addition to the automation of guest workloads hosted on the fabric.

This book covers every major topic area found on the exam, but it does not cover every exam question. Only the Microsoft exam team has access to the exam questions, and Microsoft regularly adds new questions to the exam, making it impossible to cover specific questions. You should consider this book a supplement to your relevant real-world experience and other study materials. If you encounter a topic in this book that you do not feel completely comfortable with, use the “Need more review?” links you’ll find in the text to find more information and take the time to research and study the topic. Great information is available on MSDN, TechNet, and in blogs and forums.

Organization of this book

This book is organized by the “Skills measured” list published for the exam. The “Skills measured” list is available for each exam on the Microsoft Learning website: Each chapter in this book corresponds to a major topic area in the list, and the technical tasks in each topic area determine a chapter’s organization. If an exam covers six major topic areas, for example, the book will contain six chapters.

Important: How to use this book to study for the exam

Certification exams validate your on-the-job experience and product knowledge. To gauge your readiness to take an exam, use this Exam Ref to help you check your understanding of the skills tested by the exam. Determine the topics you know well and the areas in which you need more experience. To help you refresh your skills in specific areas, we have also provided “Need more review?” pointers, which direct you to more in-depth information outside the book.

The Exam Ref is not a substitute for hands-on experience. This book is not designed to teach you new skills.

We recommend that you round out your exam preparation by using a combination of available study materials and courses. Learn more about available classroom training at Microsoft Official Practice Tests are available for many exams at You can also find free online courses and live events from Microsoft Virtual Academy at

This book is organized by the “Skills measured” list published for the exam. The “Skills measured” list for each exam is available on the Microsoft Learning website:

Note that this Exam Ref is based on publicly available information and the author’s experience. To safeguard the integrity of the exam, authors do not have access to the exam questions.

Contents at a glance

CHAPTER 1  Plan and implement System Center Virtual Machine Manager core infrastructure
CHAPTER 2  Implement Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
CHAPTER 3   Implement Software-Defined Storage
CHAPTER 4   Implement Datacenter Compute Solutions with Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)
CHAPTER 5   Secure your Software-Defined Datacenter
CHAPTER 6   Monitor and maintain the Software-Defined Datacenter

About the authors

JEFF GRAVES is a Cloud Technology Strategist who works with service providers to architect services based on Microsoft technologies. Throughout his over 15-year IT career, Jeff’s primary focus has been developing cloud solutions including product management, infrastructure design, and cloud operations. As a former Director of Technology for a managed cloud service provider, he researched, evaluated and deployed a variety of technologies relating to virtualization, security, storage, and hosting.

JOEL STIDLEY has been a Cloud Technology Strategist at Microsoft for the last six years, working with service providers to architect services based on Microsoft technologies. Prior to working at Microsoft, he spent over 10 years working for a service provider where he was the technical lead for designing, deploying and operationalizing the company’s cloud platform. As the Principal Systems Architect for Cloud and Managed Services, he researched, evaluated, and deployed a variety of technologies relating to virtualization, security, directory services, storage, and messaging. He was a Microsoft MVP in Exchange for three years and has written books and training material on subjects such as Windows PowerShell, Microsoft Exchange Server, Virtualization, and Windows Server.