Monday, January 11, 2010

83-640 TS Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring

This test is the first virtual lab based certification exam from Microsoft, therefore Nerdy Eddy must go and try it out. That's reason #1. Reason #2 is the demand for me to acquire the proper overall understanding about Active Directory and its configuration thingy and thus to be able to talk to those nasty IT Administrators, especially those bank customers of ours. You might be a vendor like us and if you're dealing with enough customers with relatively large directory-based network infrastructure, you do understand the fact that without a knowledge of the standard operating procedures and configurations (hardening and stuffs) of IT systems, your project might get into troubles, well "preferably" at the end of the testing phase and the start of migration phase. Surprises such as services suddenly went down, network became inaccessible and some weird blockage of program execution can turn your world upside down and when you found out the root of cause, most of the time it's all about subtle policy settings. Lolx. If you're telling me that all these hassles form the experiences of a seasoned technical person, well, wake up and tell yourself that it is all caused by your incapability, insufficient knowledge, unwillingness to learn formally and unable to read a book from cover to index. LOLX.

About 83-640. It's quite a fun testing experience. The test program started one or more virtual machines for you and ask you to perform a series of tasks within timed duration. I guess the step by step process is not important but the end result. You can do the entire tasks in command prompt if you're well verse in it than GUI based tools. Of course, some tasks must be perform using GUI tools.

For my case, there were so called performance labs, each one must be completd within 65 minutes and consists of roughly 7 to 9 tasks. Nonetheless, my task scopes are quite limited to the use of ntdsutil, dnsmgmt.msc, dsa.msc, domain.msc and schmmgmt. I didn't use compmgmtlauncher.exe at all. No tasks for me that're related to monitoring and ADCS, ADFS, ADLDS, ADRMS.

Then after completed the labs, you need to settle a traditional question-based test (30 questions).

I've passed the test with 933 score, not sure it is a good score or not because this is my first MS certification exposure :p

My preparation materials were:

Que MCTS: 70-640 Exam Cram (As main study material)
Windows 2008 Bible (As ad-hoc reference book)
Microsoft Site and TechNet
Some Windows 2008 VM to play with

I'm not sure I want to proceed now to complete MCITP track, unless my work desires more knowledge on network and more MS environment stuffs.

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