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MCSA - Windows Server 2008 or 2012?

This is a discussion on MCSA - Windows Server 2008 or 2012? within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello, I intend to study for the exams to gain the MCSA Windows Server title, but not sure whether to


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Old 06-27-2013, 02:16 PM   #1
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Hello,

I intend to study for the exams to gain the MCSA Windows Server title, but not sure whether to study for the 2008 or 2012.
In my workplace we use a mix of 2003 and 2008r2 but I figure itís going to take a while to complete given there's 3 exams to pass.
I guess what I'm trying to find out is, is Windows Server 2008r2 as good/popular as XP was as an operating system and therefore will be seen in workplaces for a long time to come, or would it be a better choice to go with the Server 2012 study and exams?

I still want the fact that I studied for these exams to be seen as valid in my next job role, which will be within the next few years.

The other thing I've got issues with is obviously I canít use the work servers for testing purposes so in all likelihood I'll somehow have to come up with the £400 to purchase the server software. Has anyone had any ideas on perhaps virtual labs/virtual hosting being a more cost effective method?

Thanks
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:10 PM   #2
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I'll put it this way: if the Server 2003 exams were going to be available for much longer, I'd recommend that you pursue them, because 2003 will likely continue to be used. As it is, I'd recommend pursuing the Server 2008 exams (as 2008 will also continue to be used for quite some time). When you're done with those, conquer 2012.

Microsoft has a special program called TechNet that allows IT professionals subscription-based access to their entire software library (minus development platforms). Let me know if you can't Google it up and I'll point you in the right direction!
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BosonMichael View Post
I'll put it this way: if the Server 2003 exams were going to be available for much longer, I'd recommend that you pursue them, because 2003 will likely continue to be used. As it is, I'd recommend pursuing the Server 2008 exams (as 2008 will also continue to be used for quite some time). When you're done with those, conquer 2012.

Microsoft has a special program called TechNet that allows IT professionals subscription-based access to their entire software library (minus development platforms). Let me know if you can't Google it up and I'll point you in the right direction!
Thanks very much thats great. I couldnt see any obvious information as to how long the trial period is? I.e. how long can I have server 2008r2 installed whilst keeping any configuration changes.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:40 AM   #4
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The software downloads aren't trial versions - they're full versions. However, there are two caveats: you can't legally use them on a production network, and you must maintain the yearly subscription to legally be able to continue using them. Unless they've changed something in the past couple of years, you're limited to 2 keys per product, but each key can be activated several times (don't go crazy with them).
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:53 AM   #5
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for test lab.... you can go with the evaluation copy(link below) I recall some book used to have a copy also. Or if you have an active university email you can try dreamspark.

Download Windows Server 2008 R2 Evaluation (180 days) from Official Microsoft Download Center
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BosonMichael View Post
The software downloads aren't trial versions - they're full versions. However, there are two caveats: you can't legally use them on a production network, and you must maintain the yearly subscription to legally be able to continue using them. Unless they've changed something in the past couple of years, you're limited to 2 keys per product, but each key can be activated several times (don't go crazy with them).
And also more importantly, YOU CANNOT SELL THEM.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Belinik View Post
for test lab.... you can go with the evaluation copy(link below) I recall some book used to have a copy also. Or if you have an active university email you can try dreamspark.

Download Windows Server 2008 R2 Evaluation (180 days) from Official Microsoft Download Center
Thanks, looks good
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:15 PM   #8
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And also more importantly, YOU CANNOT SELL THEM.
Thanks, that looks great. roll on pay day
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:13 AM   #9
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Can these exams be cleared by self-study or is it recommended to train with a training provider?
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:42 AM   #10
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I got every one of my certifications through self-study... so I'd highly recommend that route. :)
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BosonMichael View Post
Microsoft has a special program called TechNet that allows IT professionals subscription-based access to their entire software library (minus development platforms). Let me know if you can't Google it up and I'll point you in the right direction!
Looks like Microsoft is discontinuing TechNet. No new subscriptions after August 31, 2013, and the service will shut down as subscriptions end.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:57 AM   #12
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Try to future-proof your certifications as much as possible. Go for the 2012 version. It will be at least another 6 years before those are retired, and you can renew and update them in the meantime.

Also at this stage the 2012 Server tests are still pretty new and the odds of what you study to what's on the test is going to be spot on. As time goes by, some improvements to the test may reflect changes via updates made to the OS and will not be accurate from some of the sometimes older and outdated study materials that you will find at B&N or Amazon.

Also, if you sign up with ACM or IEEE societies you can get access to the Microsoft Partnered benefits like MSDN also known as Microsoft Dreamspark that allows you to download and have 1 copy of their licensed software. You can use it to evaluate their products or to use it for yourself for whatever purpose you want. It's a one-time use license, so just don't mess it up.
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgedev View Post
Try to future-proof your certifications as much as possible. Go for the 2012 version. It will be at least another 6 years before those are retired...
...which means you've got 6 more years in which to get them. The 2008 exams, on the other hand, won't be around as long, so it's best to get them now while they exist. Plus, down the line, it'll make you look more experienced. And it's not like companies are going to stop using Server 2008 anytime soon... they're still using Server 2003 quite a bit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgedev View Post
Also at this stage the 2012 Server tests are still pretty new
...and, as a result, study tools for them are much more scarce than they are for the 2008 exams.

Sorry, Edgedev, gonna have to disagree with you on this one. :)
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BosonMichael View Post
The software downloads aren't trial versions - they're full versions. However, there are two caveats: you can't legally use them on a production network, and you must maintain the yearly subscription to legally be able to continue using them. Unless they've changed something in the past couple of years, you're limited to 2 keys per product, but each key can be activated several times (don't go crazy with them).
Hi again, pay day has arrived so I can purchase Technet. Is it worth it if I am just going to be using Server 2008r2? Ideally I'd be able to set up server 2008r2 on virtual box and have windows 7 clients to join them to the domain I'll create and so on.
Would that work ok?

Thanks
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:45 AM   #15
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Keep in mind that Technet is going to be discontinued soon (though you would get your one year subscription). With that in mind, using 180-day free evaluation copies may indeed be your best answer.

Would it work? Absolutely. As far as whether it is "worth it" or not, only you can make that decision.
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