70-410 Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012R2

I sat, and passed, the Microsoft 70-410 exam in Windows Server 2012R2 last week.

Whilst I’m not going to report everything on the test (both because I’m not allowed to, and because I can’t remember all the details) hopefully this post will provide a few pointers for others studying for the exam.

The Resources I Used

  • The Exam website Exam 70-410- Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 is an essential starting point– this has the curriculum of what is covered by the exam. I’d also recommend watching the Objective Domain Review on MVA to get a high-level coverage of the subject. You can tick the boxes here as you go- do you know how to install Server 2012R2?, setup Active Directory?, configure a DHCP server? etc.

  • The Exam Ref Book. Working through this definitely filled in some of the gaps in my knowledge and provided some structure to my studies.

  • Jeffrey Snover’s TechEd Europe 2014 talk on PowerShell- when sat in the exam room I kept recalling bits of this. Understanding how PowerShell cmdlets are structured and interact is a real help when you come across a question with some cmdlets you haven’t seen before- if you can rule out a couple of the answers as being incorrect PowerShell then you’re halfway there.

  • Online Videos- with a bit of patience YouTube can provide a wealth of useful information. Yes, there’s some real rubbish out there but here are some of the good vids I found:

  • Remember it’s not just about installing Windows, there’s stuff in the curriculum about wider IT topics too, particularly in networking- IP addressing and subnetting, DNS and DHCP for example.

  • Above all- Experience. It’s absolutely vital you get your hands dirty. I work with Windows Server daily but supplemented that experience with a “home lab” setup, and some of the TechNet Virtual labs and Hands-on Labs from TechEd. Install Windows, make sure you switch to Core at some point and have a play without the GUI, and make sure you can do stuff using both Server Manager and PowerShell.