MCSE: Server Infrastructure beginner

45ACP191145ACP1911 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi everyone, I'm new here and am interested in obtaining the server infrastructure cert. I'd be very greatful if someone could point me in the right direction on where to start. I currently only have an A+ and have no corporate experience so I don't have access to anything to play on. Would you guys recommend books, courses at a local college or something else? I know a little as far as desktop support goes but not much on the server side of things. Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    With no experience at all on servers, the road to the MCSE is going to be a tough one. But certainly not impossible! At the very minimum, your going to need the desire and motivation to keep trucking along and then you'll need a computer to be able to lab up on. You'll also need a book or two to start reading from and Microsoft's own TechNet library (completely free, just Google it) to get you started. Video tutorials such as CBT Nuggets and Pluralsight are also there, but they are pricey. There are tons of threads on these forums as well as numerous videos on youtube to get you started.

    NEVER EVER attend any courses. Period. They'll rip you off completely, there's no way in hell that someone can teach you enough to be an MCSE in 5 days (or however long their "course" is)

    Welcome to the forums and good luck! Let us if you have specific questions.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

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  • 45ACP191145ACP1911 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the quick response! I completely agree with you on the bootcamp courses and never understood why someone would put themselves through that. Do I need MTA to achieve MCSA? Or would it be good to start with for employment or is it one of those certs that's useless? Can I just dive in and start studying for 410, 411 and 412 (not all at the same time of course :P)
  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I doubt someone's going to hire you for the MTA. It's the most basic MS cert out there. Perhaps study for it, but dont take the exam. Quite useless, for employment at least. And you dont need the MTA for the MCSA. Dive straight in, get yourself a decent computer (x64, > 8GB RAM, > i5 processor), a book, setup a lab on the computer and start learning. Dont be afraid to break things (on the lab that is, not in production!) and fix them - best way to learn. It's a fun ride, so enjoy!
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

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  • 45ACP191145ACP1911 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Awesome man that's exactly what I was looking for. You've been an immense help so far. I now have a good jumping off point. Let's see what kind if trouble I can get into now :D
  • MSSoftieMSSoftie Member Posts: 190 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Don't forget the certs for Windows 7 and 8. They are not a bad way to start and will introduce you into the topics on the server exams. Desktop OS's are also a very common way to get started in the field. If you already have experience with them they shouldn't be overly out of the box for you. I agree that a basic computer is all you need to get started. You can even get a copy of the latest OS's on a 180 day trial (it might be 90 days but you can always get another one) from the Microsoft site. Windows 8.1 comes with Hyper-V (you may need to activate it as it isn't enabled by default) so it is an easy way to virtualize and it will be on the Server level exams. There are other virtualization software out there too that are reportedly very good as well. Don't forget the CompTia exams. They are very good entry level exams that demonstrate understanding of IT.

    Good luck to you.
  • 45ACP191145ACP1911 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the reply. I did this earlier and made a 90 on it. Is that pretty close to the Windows 7 MTA exam? If so I will probably just skip it. I have no desire for Windows 8 as I don't see that being deployed anytime soon.
  • netsysllcnetsysllc Member Posts: 479 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you do not have a budget to build your own lab start here TechNet Virtual Labs

    also you can follow this TechNet Blogs doing the challenges in Azure with a free trial account

    Some video resources as well
    Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (01): Core Hyper-V | TechNet Video
    Microsoft Virtual Academy
  • ClearwatermsClearwaterms Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    If you are truly a server noobie. The MCSA is a great place to start. Considering the 410,411,412 are required for any of the MCSEs.

    That being said, the MCSE:EA is really designed for Architects, and in the real world most people want you to be an engineer before becoming an architect. I am not saying you shouldn't get every certification that you can, but I will say if you are starting with just an A+, consider some other "A" level certifications from other vendors between earning the MCSA and MCSE. The Cisco CCNA is a great augment and with that and an MCSA you would have a pretty good base so that when you looked at an enterprise environment. In addition consider other vendors as well. You might find that after working on the CCNA (or other vendors, VMWare, Citrix, etc.) you might prefer taking a career path that isn't specifically MS focused.
  • 45ACP191145ACP1911 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    You guys are awesome thanks for all the great advice! I'll definitely check out those virtual labs until I can get the funds to build my own. I've contemplated studying for the ccna but it just doesn't seem to catch my interest. Also I should add I'm not completely green to running a server. I have a dedicated server through OVH with debian and a vps that hosts my website for my small business I run here with Linux as well. However I'm pretty certain those pale in comparison to what I'll need to know for the mcsa especially since neither are Windows.
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