Certifying on Windows Server 2016


Windows Server 2016 has yet to launch, but that doesn’t stop the guys over at Microsoft Learning from getting ready to train and certify you on the new platform.

Just last month we began to see the first courses become public in preparation for MCSA: Windows Server 2016. All three courses are currently ‘In development’ with a planned publication date set for 13 September 2016.

Before we dive in to the detail, first a quick disclaimer - the course is still in development along with Windows Server 2016 on Technical Preview 5, expect this information to change in the coming months.

Now that’s out the way, after scouring the pages to extract all the information possible, here’s the key things you need to know:

A look at MCSA: Windows Server 2016

The MCSA pathway to Windows Server 2016 looks set to follow the same structure as its predecessor: three MOCs and three exams.

Microsoft Learning have so far published three Windows Server 2016 courses, and, while we are yet to see exams emerge, they are mentioned in the course overviews bearing the equivalent 70- prefix. So let’s take a look at the three courses:

Course 20740A: Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016

According to Microsoft, this course is designed for professionals managing storage and compute in Windows Server 2016, and who need to understand the requirements, scenarios, storage and compute options available and applicable to Windows Server 2016. Not to mention preparing you to sit the certification exam 70-740: Installation, Storage and Compute with Windows Server 2016.

Basically, it’s for Windows Server admins and IT pros looking to learn the critical skills and knowledge to get the most from storage and compute features available on the new platform. It also covers all installation and configuration processes for Windows Server 2016 - including a focus on Nano Server. Before you ask, yes, it looks like there’s material on migration from past Server platforms.

There’s a large focus on Hyper-V and configuration of Virtual Machines, with a section dedicated to installing, managing and configuring the newly launched Hyper-V containers - an alternative OS and machine virtualisation offering in a lightweight configuration to reduce performance hits. There’s sections on failover clustering, network balancing and it looks like you’ll even get to grips with high availability and disaster recovery tech in Windows Server 2016.

Course 20741A: Networking with Windows Server 2016

This course is all about developing the fundamental networking skills to deploy Windows Server 2016. You’ll cover the platform’s in built networking technologies as core networking principles. This includes remote access technologies, IP Fundamentals and advanced features such as Software Defined Networking (SDN) . The course has the secondary function of preparing you for exam 70-741: Networking with Windows Server 2016.

If you’re a network, system or infrastructure admin looking to implement core and advanced networking features in Windows Server 2016, this one’s for you. Looking closer, you’ll learn to plan and implement IPv4 and IPv6 networks, DNS and IPAM features. You’ll also learn all about remote access, Direct Access and VPNs – allowing company wide access to resource.

The course also covers core features allowing you to unlock the power of network virtualisation using Windows Server 2016. You’d cover Software Defined Networking and the implementation of advance network features, including Hyper-V virtual switches and advanced Hyper-V networking features.

Course 20742A: Identity with Windows Server 2016

The third and final course is for AD DS, system or infrastructure Admins. Focusing specifically on developing the skills to use the full capabilities of Active Directory in Windows Server 2016, whist also preparing you for exam 70-742: Identity with Windows Server 2016.

You’ll look at configuring and deploying Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), implementing Group Policy and performing back-up and restore processes. There is also a focus on additional server roles with Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) and Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS).

For the cloud embracing AD DS specialists out there, the course has a focus on integration with Azure. You’ll learn to implement synchronisation between Windows Server 2016 AD DS and Azure AD.

When can I sit the MCSA Windows Server certification?

In short, as soon as both the exams and course are published. We know course publication is expected 13th September 2016, however, without the accompanying exam pages, I’m still somewhat in the dark.

Best guess at this stage is October 2016. If you’re interested in being on the first course, whenever that may be, Firebrand are planning to be the first offering an accelerated MCSA: Windows Server 2016 course in just 9 days.



What's new in Windows Server 2016 - Microsoft Virtual Academy

Course 20740A: Installation, storage and compute with Windows Server 2016 Course 20741A: Networking with Windows Server 2016 Course 20742A: Identity with Windows Server 2016


Ed JonesBy Ed Jones. Ed works for Firebrand Training , a Microsoft Gold Learning Partner. He has worked in the IT training and certification industry for the past 4 years. He is a tech enthusiast with experience working with SharePoint, Windows Server and Windows desktop.