Best Way to Jump Into Windows Server

itsallkosheritsallkosher Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi everyone. I am looking to get into Windows Server with the goal of MCSA certification. A little background about me...I do NOT currently work in IT. I have a career in an unrelated field, but am looking to slowly transition into IT. I have recently earned my CCNA certification. I'd love to 'learn' Windows Server (i.e. become, at the least, very familiar with it). I have never used a previous version than the current 2012 R2. Besides growing up and being a teenager spending all my time on a Windows box, I don't have any of the "Server" knowledge. Where should I start? The CBTNuggets videos say the pre-requisite is previous Windows Server knowledge which I don't have. I'm wondering if it would be worth it to spend the money or not. I have a good foundation of networking with the CCNA and have used Windows computers since the 90s, so I'm not a complete beginner, but I'd like a full guide. Will a book like Mastering Windows Server 2012 R2 be a good start or will it assume a lot of previous Windows Server knowledge? Anything else I should look out for? Thanks for any advice!


  • aftereffectoraftereffector Member Posts: 525
    You can get a 180-day trial download of Windows Server from Microsoft and install that as a virtual machine to mess around with. I'd definitely recommend doing that - it's hard to learn things like Active Directory and GPO administration from a book, but it makes a lot more sense if you can go through the steps with a real system.
    CCIE Security - this one might take a while...
  • itsallkosheritsallkosher Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the reply! I was definitely planning on installing Windows Server on Virtual Machine. I have VMware for the Mac and Windows, so I was planning on installing a virtual machine to mess around with it. I assume it would be helpful to have some 'hosts' as well? Thanks again for this tip!
  • lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    If you're able to study for and pass the CCNA then you should be good to get the MCSA Server 2012. It is 3 exams and will require a lot of studying, labbing, watching videos, etc.

    As @aftereffector notes, download the free Server 2012 R2 trial and spin up a few VM's.
  • itsallkosheritsallkosher Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks everyone! Any suggested place to start regarding books/video series/etc?
  • alan2308alan2308 CISSP, MCSA 2008, MCSA 2012, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security Ann Arbor, MIMember Posts: 1,854 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Technet has pretty much everything you'll ever need to read about, though it can be overwhelming for beginning. There's also a lot of great step by step guides that are awesome for setting something up for the first time.

    Microsoft Virtual Academy has a lot of great video series on most Microsoft technologies.
  • thatguy67thatguy67 Member Posts: 344 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you've got a CCNA, maybe you can study the networking part of the MCSA curriculum. Or maybe read a few whitepapers on how to integrate Cisco products with Server 2012. "Mastering Server 2012 R2" has been my book of choice. ITFreeTraining has been the best introductory video series...they have a channel on Youtube.
    2017 Goals: []PCNSE7 []CCNP:Security []CCNP:R&S []LCDE []WCNA
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