MCSA 2008 or MCSA 2012

After the CCNA: R&S exam in a month I plan on picking up the MCSA track.

Which one is going to be better for me in the long run? - I plan on doing the MCSA 2008 then upgrading to MCSA 2012 then moving into MCSE: SI 2012. MY thought's 2008 exams build off previous exams and it will be a learning curve knowing the older commands lines but when I master them moving into MCSE: SI 2012 they should be easier? icon_wink.gif

Is this crazy talk or would 2012 be the better approach; bear in mind my current employers and my home-lab is licensed 2008 R2 with Technet keys before Technet went poof.

I attempted 70-640 4 years ago before I even got my A+ and failed it with a 340 (I know horrible - but I wasn't ready at all knowledge wise), and I do think now after 4 years my skillset are much better considering I've been a 3 forest with 2 domains per forest system administrator for the past 7 months and prior to that I was a 2008 R2 system administrator for 3 years. I recently just upgraded the employers network from 2000 Native to 2008 R2 and all of the servers to the 2008 R2 level.


Thoughts?

Comments

  • alan2308alan2308 CISSP, MCSA 2008, MCSA 2012, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security Ann Arbor, MIMember Posts: 1,854 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I don't really see 2008 going away any time soon, and it's only one additional exam to get both MCSAs. That's the route I went. When I did the 70-417, I only needed one new VM in my 2008R2 environment to see the new bits in 2012/2012R2 and MS will give you a evaluation copy of 2012R2.

    One thing to note though is if you do the Upgrade to 2012, you're getting 410/411/412 material, while if you do the 3 exam route, you get a few options for the third exam.

    https://borntolearn.mslearn.net/b/weblog/archive/2014/09/15/electives-for-windows-server-2012-amp-sql-server-2012-mcsa-certifications-now-available
  • techfiendtechfiend Member Posts: 1,481 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Although 2008 R2 would probably be easier for you right now. The 70-417 to upgrade to 2012 might be very difficult according to http://blog.pluralsight.com/mcsa-2008-or-mcsa-2012. You'd probably learn more, save some money and eventually be an easier path to 2012 by jumping right into 2012 R2. I have a 2+ year old 2012 R2 eval VM and not once has it expired or asked me to license it. You can install it on as many machines as you want and the only thing is it states it's a trial or not licensed in a few places like the server manager and desktop.

    Unless a company relies on hyper-v I don't think they'll care if it's 2008 or 2012 MCSA and currently 2012 is supported 2 years later than 2008 which isn't really a concern.

    It's kind of a fun study with the Panek book, much more so than CCNA: Security and it's soaking in easily for me because I work with it every day.

    The hover text for MCSA and CCNA for this forum aren't current. MCSA is solutions associate not sys admin. CCNA is network associate not net admin. Were they ever sys and net admin?
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  • gespensterngespenstern Member Posts: 1,243 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I'd say upgrade, but it depends heavily on knowledge acquired and efforts to put in this path. I've upgraded my MCSAs since 2003 track. People claim that 2008 to 2012 upgrade exam is really tough, I passed it on a second attempt about 1.5 year ago.

    What's tricky about upgrade exam is you do it 3-in-1 and you have to get >700 on every single one of them. Say, if you score 900+ on two but get 695 on one -- you've failed. I've failed like that and on my second attempt I've managed to pass one of them with 700 points with other two pretty high. Some people say it is even easier not upgrading but doing next MCSA from scratch.

    Overall I feel that MS exams become tougher over time. I remember myself doing 2003 infrastructure exam without any preparation and getting a decent score, but later on I had to change this approach because I was failing in 2008 and had to buy MS Press books, etc. Thank Gates, you often have a second shot.
  • DeathmageDeathmage Banned Posts: 2,496
    Ya I deal with 2008 R2 daily so it might be a good idea to do 2008 R2. But not sure if 2008 MCSA would be good to have if MCSE: SI 2012 is my goal. Seeing how 2008 is still prevelent but 2012 is now quite mature.

    After CCNA: R&S is done I want to get MCSA, just deciding which one..
  • thatguy67thatguy67 Member Posts: 344 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You sound like you're on the same path as me, lol.

    IMO you're just going through unnecessary exam processes, just to say you are also certified in an older technology.
    I am currently studying for the VCP5-DCV, which is probably the only "old" technology I'm currently studying for. And that's just because I have the qualifying class under 5.5 I took in 2014. I don't understand why people would willingly choose an older technology in an industry that evolves so rapidly.

    I debated going 2008 and then upgrading, but in the end I want a current skill set. Whichever path you choose, you will eventually have to upgrade to Server 2016 anyway. I've heard the upgrade exams are a complete PITA. I would prefer to gain the skills on an older OS if I really have to, rather than spend $150 on an extra exam (that I would probably have to take more than once, honestly).

    I am going to go the 2012 route. There is already going to be new Server OS next year. Honestly the MCSA will take a while. The "90 day challenge" Microsoft posts is a beast to complete, and that's probably as fast as you'd legitimately obtain it given "normal" study schedules. By then it will be 2016. You might as well start studying for the 2016 upgrade exam at that point (if MS will even allow a generation skip).
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  • Mike7Mike7 Member Posts: 1,074 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Windows 2008 R2 mainstream support ended early this year (2015) and is now in extended support phase until EOL in 2020.
    Which means that this is a stable OS with no new enhancements.
    Server 2012 is 3 years later, i.e. EOL in 2023.


    Just as some companies migrated from XP to Windows 7 and will not consider upgrading until Win 7 EOL in 2020, some companies may decide to stay with Server 2008 R2, and make the jump to 2016 later. Though in general, server versions upgrades are more common than desktop OS upgrades. You mentioned your company upgraded from 2000 to 2008, so 2012 R2 upgrade may not be in the roadmap.

    With the release of Windows 10, expect Windows Server 2016 RTM either end this year or next year before June (their financial year close). Expect 2008 to 2012 upgrade exams to be retired around mid 2017.

    Since your environment (for now) is 2008, MCSA 2008 is beneficial to your daily work.
    However, do take note of possible upgrade exam retirement dates, and pace yourself if you wish to do MCSA 2008 and upgrade to MCSA 2012.
  • DeathmageDeathmage Banned Posts: 2,496
    Very interesting. Well...with this being said anyone know where to get a 2012 R2 Standard installation medium. Maybe my works volume licensing has one.

    No idea 2008 was EOL soon.
  • techfiendtechfiend Member Posts: 1,481 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Try Windows Server 2012 R2 | TechNet Evaluation Center it says 180 day eval but still fully working for me almost 2 years later.

    Powershell does a lot more in 2012 R2 vs 2008 R2 and their up and coming cloud services like azure will be very good to know, if not already.

    I'm sitting the 70-410 in about 20 minutes, seems like a brutal test judging by the boson practice tests.
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  • Mike7Mike7 Member Posts: 1,074 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Learn Powershell, Microsoft is moving away from GUI. Server 2016 default install options are server core and server core + admin tools. You need to run a separate Powershell command after installation to get back explorer shell.


    It was a brutal experience when I upgrade from MCSE 2003 to MCSA 2008 R2 in 2013.
    2000 to 2003 was much easier but I took it in 2005.

    Yet to upgrade to MCSA 2012. With all the horror stories of upgrade exam and with my knowledge being rusty, I may just do the 3 exams instead of 70-417. icon_redface.gif
  • DeathmageDeathmage Banned Posts: 2,496
    Mike7 wrote: »
    Learn Powershell, Microsoft is moving away from GUI. Server 2016 default install options are server core and server core + admin tools. You need to run a separate Powershell command after installation to get back explorer shell.


    It was a brutal experience when I upgrade from MCSE 2003 to MCSA 2008 R2 in 2013.
    2000 to 2003 was much easier but I took it in 2005.

    Yet to upgrade to MCSA 2012. With all the horror stories of upgrade exam and with my knowledge being rusty, I may just do the 3 exams instead of 70-417. icon_redface.gif


    Wow that's lame, didn't Microsoft learn anything when they changed the desktop feel in Windows 8, you need to gradually introduce change not make it overnight.... I can see admin enabling the GUI just because, if their crutch is because the surface area is larger then make better security instead of breaking what works from a management perspective.

    Sysadmins rebel over GUI-free install for Windows Server 2016

    Ya I'm going to do the 3 exam approach, ordered the 70-410 book to read after ICDN2.
  • Mike7Mike7 Member Posts: 1,074 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Deathmage wrote: »
    Wow that's lame, didn't Microsoft learn anything when they changed the desktop feel in Windows 8, you need to gradually introduce change not make it overnight.... I can see admin enabling the GUI just because, if their crutch is because the surface area is larger then make better security instead of breaking what works from a management perspective.

    Sysadmins rebel over GUI-free install for Windows Server 2016

    Desktop OS is different from server OS, it is for end users.

    Server core is available from Server 2008. 2012 allows you to convert between core, core + admin tools and GUI.
    And this is what we want
    Another advantage in turning the Windows ecosystem towards remote administration is that applications that are easily configured and managed using PowerShell are also amenable to automation, making them a good fit for DevOps and cloud deployment.

    This can be a matter of personal preference and your environment. I rather spend a day learning to write a script to automate a weekly task; then to RDP into 15 servers each time and click 20 times per server. But if you have only 5 servers..

    However, I am comfortable administering Linux servers through command shell and have programming experience.
    And Microsoft is bringing SSH to Windows. When that happens, we will write a script that SSH into all the Windows boxes and executes custom script that does all the mouse clicking for us. :)
  • DeathmageDeathmage Banned Posts: 2,496
    Mike7 wrote: »
    Desktop OS is different from server OS, it is for end users.

    Server core is available from Server 2008. 2012 allows you to convert between core, core + admin tools and GUI.
    And this is what we want


    This can be a matter of personal preference and your environment. I rather spend a day learning to write a script to automate a weekly task; then to RDP into 15 servers each time and click 20 times per server. But if you have only 5 servers..

    However, I am comfortable administering Linux servers through command shell and have programming experience.
    And Microsoft is bringing SSH to Windows. When that happens, we will write a script that SSH into all the Windows boxes and executes custom script that does all the mouse clicking for us. :)

    Probably preference, GUI just works better in my eyes, it's simple. I like viewing logs and looking at DNS/DHCP/GPM/AD in a GUI. really don't like viewing them in command line, to me GUI is faster. Don't really do powershell at all if ever, really dislike programming in the sense of writing a program.

    All for automation but sometimes scripting can go wrong, and the good 'ol fashion GUI tells more.

    I mean if Microsoft reasoning for this is security instead of releasing version after version of Windows with additions to Windows why can't they make it more secure from the inside out around their GUI. Sure I sound like a anti-GUI removal kind of person but other IT application like say VMware are pretty darn secure from their GUI but they do sit on a Linux kernel, perhaps instead of fixing the surface or GUI they should fix the kernel of Windows.

    RDP'in into 15 servers is fine from remote management tools, sure some things can be automated but once you start trusting automation over everything at what point are system administrations relevant anymore?

    Watch Windows release 2016 without the GUI and then get more backlash than they did for Windows 8 and watch them shift their strategy.

    I really think the notion of this push for a GUI-free Server O/S is more with many system administrators doing things they shouldn't be doing on a server like using a server as if it was a desktop and surfing the web from a elevated account level or downloading patches, things like this yes they should be automated but from their own isolated systems on standard accounts with no system-level access. Then coupled with proper vLAN's and gateway IDS/IPS firewalls with host-based IPS/AV applications would prevent most attacks. Blaming the Windows GUI as the crutch of all evil isn't the complete picture. Perhaps Microsoft should have a certification on proper administration etiquette vs always technical. ....I know this seems basic but basic Security + stuff here applies to Microsoft 'security' that is being blames as the problems for the GUI, has nothing to do with automation as an example of why they are pushing it.

    However I've been playing with 2012 R2 and 2016 Eval at work today and powershell seems interesting, but wow has 2016 really changed! ...I got a feeling in 2012 MCSA/SE Powershell is pretty intense...
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