maelstrom3530 wrote: »
Passed the 70-680 today. It wasn't too bad but what helped me the most were was doing the labs. I had a few questions on BrancheCache that I really didn't know the answers to, just took my best guess. In my opinion the Messer videos are good but don't go deep enough into the content. I though the MS Press lab book was pretty decent actually. My best advice is to watch the Messer videos, take good notes on any topic/concept that you didn't know before. For me, writing reinforces the knowledge and helps it stick a lot better. If you're stuck on a concept that you don't understand, research it on youtube. There's a video series called "Free IT Training 70-680" that's very good, even better than Messer. Whatever I couldn't learn from Messer I learned from those videos. After the Messer/notes/followup, to the lab book. If you understand the concepts before the lab book, the labs are actually pretty easy. I even got a VPN to work, something I've never done before.
Setting up the lab is easy. The prerequisites and instructions to get the lab going are all in the appendix of the lab book. I had it all set up pretty quickly, despite having very little experience working with MS servers. You'll need to find the Win7 Enterprise ISO and Win Server 2008 R2 ISO online somewhere. Once you install them, you'll have 90 days to use Win7 and 180 days to evaluate Server 2008 R2. To the best of my knowledge Microsoft has taken down the MS Win7 Enterprise ISO from their official site, but you should be able to find these ISOs in other places. Load them up in virtualbox (from Oracle). There are some caveats, one of which I discovered with virtualbox. You'll need to add a second network card to all VMs. One network card will be connected to NAT and have full internet access. The other network card (and this is the special one, Adapter 2) you'll need to set to "Internal Network". Make sure the names of the Internal Networks match on all VMs (within the virtualbox settings). What's happening here is Vbox independently NATs all virtual machines onto their own VLAN. So in that sense, individual VMs can't communicate. That's why we have the second NIC (Adapter 2) on the (same) Internal Network. Give them all IPs (in the running VM) on the same subnet on that Internal Network and they will be able to communicate. You don't have to worry about Adapter 1 since its NAT'd, just let it roll as it is. I found this to be easier since you can just enable/disable the NICs within the VM's as needed, instead of disabling them in Vbox (which requires the VM to be powered off.) Wow this is starting to turn into a how-to, tmi.
tl;dr = watch, write, re-watch, lab with virtualbox. If you get burned out, take a break.