Windows Server optimize

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.

14 comments
aberni
aberni

Correction. I dont think you have to do the 70-646 exam if you are an MCSA 2003 who wants to end up with the MICTP Ent Admin cert. Correct me if I'm wrong. Regards Tony Berni

Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

I was certified under 2000 years ago. Never got much out of it but factory work and some crummy tech jobs. It's really tough starting without enough experience, no internal contacts, and a weak support system. No one will want you. It's been years; however, I was thinking of re-certification but I'm unsure if MCSE 2008 is even worth it? What can this do for you if in the real world but look good on paper? Who'll give you chance to shine instead of being stuck on the phone doing lame telephone tech support? How does a person break into this industry without having an uncle, cousin, father, or whatever to wink you in?

laman
laman

It gives almost nothing useful and wastes my time. It is a piece of rubbish.

ted.mccarty
ted.mccarty

Hi Rick, well I think that I have finally ran out of steam for MS certs. I took one of the 2 2000 upgrade to 2003 exams twice. I failed the first time with a 640, now how did they do that? Perfect score of 1000, 40 questions, each should be worth 25 points, right? WRONG! Screw MS if they want to play those games, the tests are not real world and have nothing to do with the training material. They learned all about the good old "Cash Cow" routine from Novel. If you want to test me on shomething, make sure that the training material includes what I need to know. There are things on that test that probably only a handful of people world wide will ever see, AND if they do see it then they can call MS and find out how to do it. NO MORE FEEDING THE COW FOR ME! Ted

shawnwilliams
shawnwilliams

What about those of use who are MCSEs for Windows 2000, do you have an easy breakdown of exams we need to take? Do we get any credit for our current certification or are we going to have to start all over?

Nsaf
Nsaf

Do you only get one chance at taking 70-649 for MCTS?

sidekick
sidekick

I looked up this info a while back and recall that it was a PITA to find it. Thanks for the quick, simple explantion.

b4real
b4real

Not sure what you were looking for but thanks for visiting.

scott
scott

It's easy to say Ted is bitter because he didn't pass but the truth is I know several bright MCSE 2000's that have had similar experiences (me included). MS releases come out quicker than a honeymooner's rocket and the tests are bizzare to say the least - they test you on deciphering the question more than anything. They are not real world and I too am sick of constantly taking tests and paying money. My experience now speaks so much more volume and it also sets up and configures linux server and desktop solutions. MS is a money making business, never forget that. They play on their market share and 'compatibility'. They are not the best out there and people who focus too much on their qualifications risk devaluing themselves. Consider stopping at your W2K MCSE, getting a CCNA and some other quals and concentrating on getting your experience. You will be worth a lot more... Who wants someone who can pass tests but is only one handed?

b4real
b4real

I based this piece on my own situation, which was based on Windows Server 2003 certs. The Windows Server 2003 MCSA and MCSE are still valid credentials, so I'd recommend upgrading to them first - then embarking on the WS2K8 upgrades. I believe there is no leapfrom cert upgrade. You could take them all from scratch for WS2K8 - yuck.

b4real
b4real

I think all of the MS tests have the standard retake policy, including the second-shot promotion. But not positive.

ozchorlton
ozchorlton

What about the rest of us, either no MS Certs, or NT Certs. What do we have to do?

b4real
b4real

It is was a maze at first, I am going through it so I simplified it for the masses!