Post-Mortem 70-693 Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator: Why I said “Wow”

January 15th, 2010
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Hey guys, it’s been a long while since I’ve done a Post-Mortem on an exam.. I just didn’t feel like it from the last few betas I took – So here you go, with so much interest in the Hyper-V exam here is my post-mortem analysis and not to mention what I felt about it, and why I said “Wow” :)

Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator

About this Exam

This exam validates a candidates knowledge of Microsoft virtualization technologies.

Audience Profile

Candidates should have one to three years of experience using Microsoft virtualization products, including Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and Remote Desktop Services (RDS), in a Windows Server 2008 R2 infrastructure. Candidates for this exam are IT professionals who have jobs in which managing or deploying virtualization technologies is their main area of responsibility.

Credit Toward CertificationExam 70-693: Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator: counts as credit toward the following certification(s):

Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator

So, there is the high level view of the exam as listed at Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator and one of the most useful tools you will find on that page is the “Skills Measured” tab which happens to give you a comprehensive overview of what kind of content there is on the exam – If you follow that list and rule, you will indeed be prepared if you study against the skills measured!  I do want to note, I HIGHLY encourage you to check out the ‘Skills Measured’ from TS: Windows Server Virtualization, Configuring – Seriously!  – A slight disclaimer here.. I mistakenly wrote the reference material against last years 70-652 TS: Windows Server Virtualization, Configuring – But take it for what it is.. Combine the two ‘skills measured’ from both exams and your chances of passing will increase exponentially!

Now what may be beneficial is a comprehensive understanding of… competitive pressures? Would you call it that? I have to say, I saw a damn lot of another vendors virtualization product (Some might call it, the largest virtualization product in the industry, not to mention the most deployed)   In the “Installing Hyper-V” section, as seen in Skills Measured, it mentions very briefly a coverage of clustering, storage – shared and otherwise – accounting for 14% of the exam.  To me it honestly felt more like 45% of the exam had some focus on Storage or Clustering.  I haven’t seen that much iSCSI, and FCP touted in a long time! (Take my NFS and CIFS Please! – Oh, yea while not mentioned, you probably want to ensure you’re up on the entire protocol stack, grin :))

Next, if you look across all 4 Skill areas, you’ll notice SCVMM is included in there.   Yea, there’s a reason for that.   Infact, I’d be surprised if there were any questions which DIDN’T include SCVMM! I say ‘mostly’ in jest, because it makes you wonder ‘Is this Hyper-V, or a purely SCVMM exam?!?” :)

As far as annoying faults in the tests go, I only found one major syntactical error which I reported, but on the whole the test itself was well formed and the questions were free of Grammatical mistakes.   Now, let’s get into the Wow section.

Perhaps I was a bit hasty when I said “Wow” about this exam.  Perhaps I should have placed myself more into the category of WTF?!?   So, feel free to see an intermingling of my thoughts on the exam now :)   The questions were well formed, perhaps even a little too well formed.   A number of them looked as though they were struggling to find examples of what WASN’T the right answer, because they were all pretty damn easy to answer in and out!   Am I saying I passed? There’s a pretty good chance, but I place no bets!    If you are NOT up on the competitive landscape as far as where Hyper-V plays in the industry, you better be to take this exam.  I wasn’t sure if I was sitting for the VCP, a minor in Citrix, or if this was infact an actual Microsoft Exam! (Yes, I know it was a Microsoft exam because all of the questions WERE very well formed, and a number of them… were sadly still written to the old adage of ‘Choose the microsoft answer’ ;)

This exam also included the recent name changes to products, so I commend it’s accuracy!    And the intimate level of focus on VDI – was quite amazing, but sadly I reach a saddening point.

If I am to fail in this exam under any circumstances? It is because of the number of ‘it depends’ questions they had in there.   What does that mean?   I’m sure providing details about how many interfaces you should have and factual information backing it is PERFECTLY okay, I can sign off on that – No problem, albeit Best Practice and ‘minimal acceptable’ is further subjective.   But when it comes to degrees of scale and how many VM’s I can actually host on a particular server?   Without raw details, a breakdown of workload, and not to mention this isn’t a different vendors solution so the pure economies of scale require me to be EXTREMELY conservative.   I’m not being negative I’m being factual, we all know that – and we know JUST how subjective things are when it comes to VM density.   With that said be very careful, I have no guidance there other than try to find out what the proverbial ‘microsoft answer’ is for what density looks like I’ve always seen it published as ‘not as much as others’ and some of the deployments in the exam outright scared me – And I don’t get scared by technology, I put fear into it’s heart!

I’m FAIRLY certain I didn’t say anything which violates NDA, since pretty much everything included here is referenced in the Skills Measured page Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator but incase I did… don’t spank me! preferably fix the questions which are wrong (glares in Liberty’s direction ;)) And… Well, have a good time – Use of the technology and understanding these skills are pretty much all you need in order to pass!

Now on a personal note! I’m going to be running the Boston Marathon in a few months in order to raise money for disabled children and every single dollar helps, so if you can help me in my cause these children and their families will greatly appreciate it!   Even if you can only afford $1 that’s perfectly fine! The more people who contribute the better! – Help sponsor my run in the Boston Marathon on behalf of disabled children! - Help sponsor my run in the Boston Marathon on behalf of disabled children!

So, thank you all and I hope you find something useful from this post-mortem and truly every $1 helps, and I greatly appreciate it!  Thanks!

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Posted in Certification, Hyper-V, Microsoft, R2, VDI, Virtualization, vmware, vSphere, Windows Server | Comments (0)

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