GBHPBOY passes 284 today and is now MCSA

gbhpboygbhpboy Member Posts: 68 ■■□□□□□□□□
found the exam very fair indeed, scored 850
plenty of time for it as well, had nearly half an hour to spare

I used MS Press, Exam Cram 2 which was excellent, the best EC2 book out of the 4 I have used.
Transcenders which have just been updated and are also brilliant as always.

Also decided to go for Train Signal CBT's this time, and was very very impressed by those, as a newbie to echange they really helped me to get into it and get my test lab at home singing and dancing real quick.

thanks again guys for support.
good luck with your studies, I've gone as far as I need to go now with these certs.


  • Ricka182Ricka182 Member Posts: 3,359
    i remain, he who remains to be....
  • geekiegeekie Member Posts: 391
    Congratz!! :D
    Exam Cram 2 which was excellent, the best EC2 book out of the 4 I have used.

    Totally agree with you on that one!
    Up Next : Not sure :o
  • jescabjescab Inactive Imported Users Posts: 1,321
    CONGRATZ dude..........
  • TregTreg Member Posts: 79 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats mate,

    This is my last exam to complete MCSA, how long did you prepare overall, much previous experience? Im using Sybex 70-284 study guide which so far seems like a nice read and CBT Nuggets.

    Any specific topics you recon requires more attention? Apparently no sims on this exam too?
  • steve-o87steve-o87 Member Posts: 274
    Congrats icon_thumright.gif

    Trainsignal comes through again, they even rock with the MS certs icon_cheers.gif
    Good luck on the next one
    I am the lizard King. I can do anything.
  • LukeQuakeLukeQuake Member Posts: 579
    Congrats bro! How long did it take you to study for this one?
    Microsoft Certifications: MCITP:EA, MCSE:S, MCSA:M, MCDST, MCTS: Vista Config, MCITP: Ent Support
    Citrix Certifications: CCA XenApp 4.5/5.0 and XenServer 5.0
    Other: Marathon Certified Consultant (HA, FT and VM), ISEB InfoSec Management Principles and Security+
    Working on: CISSP and Check Team Member
  • gbhpboygbhpboy Member Posts: 68 ■■□□□□□□□□
    hi Treg and LukeQuake

    I started Mid August and took exam on Nov 21st.

    I had zero exchange knowledge b4 I started and to be truth only did this one to finish off MCSA, but I also knowm that within HP who I work for there are opportunities to get into Exchange work.

    This is why I started with Train Signal, because I wanted to get lots of hands on, before I got into the books and learned the Theory. When I went thru the Train Signal videos the second time a whole load then made much more sense.

    This was a different approach to what I have used on the other exams I have taken, but it was really good, because when I did eventually near the end get into the Transcenders, I feel I really knew the stuff not just on a theory level but on a practical level as well. I really enjoyed actually getting my own exchange server up and running, email in and out, internal and external, including using dyndns.

    There were some exceptions to this, namely Clustering, because try as I could I just didn't have the kit in my test lab to get a cluster properly set up and working. So I logged on to some clustered servers at work and had a look and also asked colleagues, and really spent more time learning the sort of questions that could come up regarding clustering on the exams. Without giving secrets away, I would recommend you do this as well.

    There are no simulators in the exam, but there were quite a few questions that relied on knowledge from previous exams, for example 291. I would say you do need to be very conversant with IP config stuff, because you will get questions giving network diagrams, where an exchange server just isn't working and it probably won't be the exchange element that is broken.

    The bread and butter exchange recipient stuff was very easy, and you will get questions that do rely on some basic AD knowledge, so make sure you know this.

    This exam took less effort and less revision that 291, and was much more enjoyable.

    Hope this helps and good luck, to you both.
  • LukeQuakeLukeQuake Member Posts: 579
    Thanks for sharing the info dude, i'm taking this exam soon! ;)
    Microsoft Certifications: MCITP:EA, MCSE:S, MCSA:M, MCDST, MCTS: Vista Config, MCITP: Ent Support
    Citrix Certifications: CCA XenApp 4.5/5.0 and XenServer 5.0
    Other: Marathon Certified Consultant (HA, FT and VM), ISEB InfoSec Management Principles and Security+
    Working on: CISSP and Check Team Member
  • itdaddyitdaddy Senior Member Member Posts: 2,088 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I really enjoyed actually getting my own exchange server up and running, email in and out, internal and external, including using dyndns.

    Hey gphpboy,

    can you explain how you set your Exchange server up with dyndns
    i am getting into dyndns and gees I dont know how i can setup my own
    mail server.

    I have a good understanding of many networking things like dns, mx record,
    port forwardig in my router. but i am confused.

    do you setup a virtual smtp server and then a connector?
    and then how (without paying) does dyndns work with your home mail server?

    i guess what i am saying is this: i am cofused how the public talks with the private side of dns and NAT transversal.

    dyndns gets to my public Ip and stops at my gateway.
    and then i port forward say on port 24 (cause my isp blocks 25)
    and smtp traffic to my exhange server. but is that it?

    i thought you had to pay for mailhop and mx records?
    the free stuff has no free mx record support?

    boy any help on this would be great!

    and i already have a public domain name. (go figure)

    but i want my site to be query using and not name. the free site only allows this child name schema correct? i would have to pay for what static name??? custom?
    can you help me get a grip!! haha

    I will be going through trainsignal tool; i have studied other courses as well by them and they rock![/quote]
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,353
    You would have to configure clients to send mail on port 24 so when they establish a connection with the server, they will use the port 24. Your router will port forward the public connection at port 24 to your internal exchange ip address. You should host your own dns server.

    This is what you would have to do as long as your isp doesn't block these ports:

    Create a dns server internally. Port forward 53 to your internal dns server. Go to your registrar and have them register and to point to your internal dns server. The registrar will then take these 2 ns records and propagate them through the root servers, tld servers, etc... Now on your internal dns server create a mx record to point to your internal mail server. Now when a client on the internet tries to see who the mail server is for, they will contact the root server through the process of recursion, then a referral will be sent to the .net server, then a referral will be given to, who will then response with the canonical name of the mail server. Now the client will establish connectivity to the mail server. As long as that client's e-mail client is set to establish communication on port 24, it should be fine.

    As I've only been on my 284 exam for a week, my exchange is very weak still so I'm not exactly sure how to setup your own exchange server to send/receive mail to outside clients yet. I do know the dns process and how to host your own dns/web server on the internet which is what I explained in the previous paragraph.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • itdaddyitdaddy Senior Member Member Posts: 2,088 ■■■■□□□□□□

    dude you should be an instructor; i understood all that you said.
    thank you

    and now if gphpboy would add your 2 cents on whatyou did to setup
    your own MX server, etc with
    what did you have to do; i understand have done stuff on the private
    site but need to bridge the gap and icroyal you have enlighten me more.

    icroyal, so in my private dns server which i do have running
    do i put a child name of say ns1 and ns2 for say my internal mail server
    which is will this conlfict with my public domain
    name of; will it conflict or not because of the MX record estaablished on my dns server??

    i have my privated call purple.itdaddy.priv
    and my public domain name is

    and i am sure in which is my registrar
    they have a config for name servers; which i have done before
    but never my own. i didnt know i could use my own dns seerver
    but with this dyndnsorg i can use my own dns server huh?
    and i understand how to make sure to set my protocol smtp server to port 24.

    so in gist; the public will use my DNS server for the mx record
    and just as long as i point my domain name to
    ns1 and ns2?

    okay i am getting myself confiused here.

    i have as my public domain name
    but i have to use for my name since i am using
    their free service to refresh dns to my public ip.

    i cant name my ns1 and ns2 servers but have to
    name them and
    correct? or my question is how does root server know to look
    at ns1 and ns2 child domain???

    i hope i didnt confuse you

    thanks so much :D
  • TregTreg Member Posts: 79 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for sharing the information gbhpboy.

    To be honest, im abit nervous about this exam, I havent failed the previous ones (did study alot longer for others), but my knowledge on exchange was about 20% before I picked up the Sybex book.

    Im itching to do my CCNA, so just want it out the way :)

  • itdaddyitdaddy Senior Member Member Posts: 2,088 ■■■■□□□□□□

    hey you are on that uk forum too cool! me tooo!

    hey sorry for the psycho babbel above about my not understanding
    how to set up a mx server publically. i understand 85 %. so what i am going to do it some how get you a decent explaination of what i have done/understand and then you can help me piece in my puzzle.
    if you guys have time. I willl display it neatly and logically so all you have to do is point me in the right directory based of what i know from what you see.
    ;D so it will be coming soon my little chart or something to display what i am going to do.
    thanks guys
    Robert(itdaddy) :D[/img]
  • gbhpboygbhpboy Member Posts: 68 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi itdaddy

    sorry I haven't come back to you b4 now.....
    I'm busy at work today, but tommorrow I will have time to answer your question.

    and I agree with you icroyal did give a really cool explanation above.
  • itdaddyitdaddy Senior Member Member Posts: 2,088 ■■■■□□□□□□
    hey bud
    yeah i talked with dyndns and i asked them if i have to get
    custom dns to use my vs their given name to me with the at the end.
    and i willl need the mailhop(10 day backup if my mail server goes down)
    i think that is all i need for basic ftp, http, vpn, and Mail relaying to my email server. my internal DNS is itdaddy.priv vs my public which
    is a register name but no nsx servers yet.

    I am just curious how you set yours up MX records and all exactly
    portforwards etc.. i really want my own
    vpn into my home network
    and my own mail server to manage for my own home IT shop
    so i can use for testing purposes.
    thanks gphpboy!

    Itdaddy;D :D

    I do understand busy i get that way and i forget my posts sometims
    so i have no right to get cranky! i get very bizzy to; It is the nature of the job! hahaaa butu thanks!
  • Silver BulletSilver Bullet Member Posts: 676
    There is no need to host your own DNS server in order to use And if you do then you will only want to forward UDP port 53 to that server not TCP port 53. TCP port 53 is used for zone transfers and by forwarding that port to your internal DNS server you will open up your dns server for dns poisoning.

    I am currently running a linux mail server at home using My ISP blocks port 25, so I use my ISP as a mail relay host. All of my email is sent to my smtp server and my smtp server relays the emails to my ISP smtp where it is sent to the world. The only scenario that this would not work in is if you were trying to use an email client to access your email server remotely and had entered your smtp server as the smtp server to use on the client side.

    I also use web based email for my home email server so these smtp server settings work like a charm since it is all being handled by the server.

    There are no additional packages that you need to purchase from in order to use the domain name. There is an option under "Modify Dynamic DNS" that allows you to specify the mx record. All you simply need to do is type in the dyndns domain name there. For example, if your domain name you have registered with dyndns is, then for the mx record on the aforementioned page you will enter for the mx record. Now any mail exchange requests are going to be forwarded to the IP address that is updated with their service.

    Forward the necessary ports for email traffic to your email server and you are in business.
  • itdaddyitdaddy Senior Member Member Posts: 2,088 ■■■■□□□□□□
    silver bullet

    thanks for the info; finally 2 weeks ago had time to get my mail server on line
    and my website online with; i pay like 125 a year for register site name, and i use CustomDNS and Mailhop outbound with TLS and Mailhop relay
    for inbound. Created my own mxrecords to reside on dyndyn dns servers.
    and portforward appropriate ports. and waited 24 hours. bam born though my http is SSL with password for now.
    [email protected] is my email! addresses hosted on my own Exchange 2003 server.
    yeah! love it.
    nice to have full IT shop at home; later on want to make SPF record so noone can spoof my mx record.
    but was alittle hairy at times but well worth say the 125.00 a year to get a sort of static IP. dyndns rocks!

    anyone can email me to help them
  • itdaddyitdaddy Senior Member Member Posts: 2,088 ■■■■□□□□□□
    also use web based email for my home email server so these smtp server settings work like a charm since it is all being handled by the server.

    silver bullet

    ru using https for your webmail? just curious and TLS outbound?


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