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Data Centers

Learn about Windows Server 2008 certification options

With Windows Server 2008, Microsoft introduces a new set of certification options. Rick Vanover explains what's available and discusses what tests MCSA and MCSE on Windows Server 2003 holders need to take to upgrade their certs.

In versions of Windows server products prior to Windows Server 2008, the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) credentials have been pretty standard. The certification changes for Windows Server 2008 introduce new certifications, as well as some important steps for the upgrade process.

MCSA and MCSE on Windows Server 2003 holders should consider taking the appropriate upgrade test to make the immediate transition to Windows Server 2008. For the MCSA, the test is 70-648; for the MCSE, the test is 70-649.These tests will provide the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) on Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist credential. From there, the MCSA and MCSE have an entry point to Windows Server 2008 certifications. The MCTS series of credentials are not exactly new, and in some cases the MCSA and MCSE track had provided MCTS along the way. That was the case in my MCSA certification path, as I took the 70-431 exam for SQL Server 2005. Passing that particular test satisfied the MCSA requirement, as well as giving a standalone MCTS certification.

Also, at this point, it starts to get a little tricky. For Windows Server 2008, there is a new certification available. The Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) series is the end result of the additional series of credentials in the professional series exams. The important takeaway is that, in the professional series of credentials, there becomes a single certification. Figure A shows a flowchart of upgrading Windows Server 2003 MCSA and MCSE to these new credentials. Figure A

Figure A

Click image to enlarge.

Now is the time to upgrade your certification, as many of the transition exams count for many tests that you would have to take individually. And if your certification goals include the MCITP Enterprise Administrator credential, there is a lot of work involved — even if you are a current MCSE.

For more information on the transition of certifications and credentials, visit the Microsoft Learning site.

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About

Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.

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