Can someone point me in the right direction please?

billy_caulbilly_caul Member Posts: 2 ■■□□□□□□□□
I recently obtained my CCNA and I am looking to gain certifications/knowledge in the areas of Microsoft/Windows servers(Exchange, DNS, DHCP), Microsoft AD and also VMware. I've looked over the Microsoft certs but I am at a loss as to where to begin or which path to choose to cover these topics. Thanks in advance.

Answers

  • roninkaironinkai Senior Member San DiegoMember Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I would start by building a cheap home lab, get some hands on experience in each of the technologies you mentioned. But as far as certs, an MCSA will be a good goal and not too distant in the future which will cover many of the areas above, while looking attractive to employers. After a MCSA, you can look at MCSE specializations. 
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
    ICP-FDO ▪ CISSP ▪ ECES ▪ CHFI ▪ CNDA ▪ CEH ▪ MCSA/MCITP ▪ MCTS ▪ S+
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  • p0sitron_col1drp0sitron_col1dr Junior Member Member Posts: 18 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I completed several MCSEs prior to the introduction of Microsoft's role-based certifications. Also, I started with a MCSA: Windows Server 2012 and upgraded to MCSA: Windows Server 2016. If you are seeking to gain knowledge associated with DNS/DHCP, then the 70-740, 70-741, 70-742 (Windows Server 2016) route would be beneficial. Then, you have the option to take one additional certification from the Core Infrastructure list to earn the MCSE. I would utilize VMs for practicing the concepts and focus on having a strong understanding of PowerShell.

    Regarding the Exchange route, I went through the MCSE: Productivity. However, with the introduction of the role-based certifications, there are many more alternative routes you can take. I can't express this enough, it would likely be beneficial to supplement the MCSA/MCSE with a role-based Microsoft Azure certification or an AWS certification. I've seen a lot of engineers struggle with the migration and even as a security engineer, I still seek out these certifications to supplement my knowledge.

    If you don't already know, GetCertified4Less has discounted vouchers (approximately $125/ea.) with early expiry. With all of the exams I have taken over the years the savings added up. Also, I didn't clear every exam the first time despite having multiple years of experience administering these environments. Microsoft certifications can be very frustrating at times, but you will get through it. Again, not only did I have to lab (as dragonsden stated), I had to supplement Sybex and Pearson materials with Microsoft's actual documentation. I firmly believe that utilizing Microsoft's official documentation was key to my success.
  • bigdogzbigdogz Member Posts: 847 ■■■■■■■□□□
    @billy_caul What are you doing now in regards to work?

    You can use the evals that micosoft has to give you an understanding of what you need, VMware Player is free and gives you a small dose of how VMware works.
    If you want to play with VMware get the VMware workstation. It's cheaper but gives you more features.
  • MrsWilliamsMrsWilliams Junior Member Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I recently obtained my CCNA and I am looking to gain certifications/knowledge in the areas of Microsoft/Windows servers(Exchange, DNS, DHCP), Microsoft AD and also VMware. I've looked over the Microsoft certs but I am at a loss as to where to begin or which path to choose to cover these topics. Thanks in advance.
    Here, you can enroll here for VMware training, that'll lead to you obtaining the VCP certification. 

    It's a cheap alternative to paying the full price of the course

    https://www.stanly.edu/future-students/it-academy/vmware-it-academy

    As a side note, you can gain knowledge without paying money for a certification attempt. Don't let anyone fool you to thinking you need a certification in order to be knowledgable in any area of IT. Certs are mainly job requirements. 
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