Virtualization Specialist Quest (Exam 74-409)

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Virtualization Specialist Quest

Are you an existing VMware or Virtualization professional?

Increase your skillset by adding Microsoft Virtualization!

Add Microsoft Virtualization skills to your portfolio!

In an increasingly multi-hypervisor world, more and more IT organizations are using Microsoft Hyper-V and Microsoft Azure to achieve superior performance and workload flexibility at the best possible price. With nearly two-thirds* of businesses on more than one virtualization platform, adding Microsoft virtualization and cloud skills to your technical repertoire can improve your career options and prepare you to face new IT demands.

We'll help you get certified as a Microsoft Specialist on Server Virtualization!

Step through the materials in this Quest to add Microsoft Virtualization skills to your technical portfolio. Along the way, you'll also be preparing for official Microsoft certification by targeting the skills you'll need to pass the following certification exam on Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and System Center 2012 R2 ...

Got Questions? Ask our Early Experts community and mentors for assistance at the bottom of this page as you go along!

Not an existing Virtualization professional?

You may be interested in our other Early Experts study Quests for MCSA: Windows Server 2012, MCSE: Private Cloud or Microsoft Azure instead.

Ready? 1-2-3 ... Quest!

Get started with Microsoft Virtualization

Step-by-Step: Build, Watch and Learn Microsoft Virtualization

Step through this online study Quest to gain the knowledge and hands-on skills needed to help you prepare for Microsoft Specialist certification on Server Virtualization with Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and System Center 2012 R2.

Proceed at your own pace

As you progress, you'll have access to hands-on labs, expert videos and prescriptive study resources that were each individually selected as part of this comprehensive curriculum. Go as fast or as slow as you'd like, and have the flexibility to deep dive on areas where you need the most help. We've organized the study materials into a three-week curriculum for convenience, but there's no need to stick to that exact schedule.

Bookmark this page in your browser favorites for referencing your week-by-week Early Experts study curriculum.

Week 1: Build Your Lab

Get the tools to Build Your Lab

Get the Tools you'll need to Practice and Study

Follow these steps to receive your Free Lab Tools, a 22-page Step-By-Step Lab Build Guide, a 160-page detailed Step-by-Step Hands-On Lab Practice Workbook and a Prescriptive Exam Study Guide.  These resources will be key in gaining the hands-on experience you'll need to be successful in passing Exam 74-409. You'll leverage them throughout this Quest.

  1. Download the Windows Server 2012 R2 Evaluation Kit in VHD format. ( You'll need this to build your Study Lab )
  2. Shortly after downloading your Evaluation Kit, you'll receive an email titled "Windows Server 2012 R2 Evaluation: Get Started"
    If you don't receive this email within a short period of time, it may be because you've previously downloaded an evaluation kit in the past 30-days. Sign-up for a new Microsoft account and then re-initiate the download to receive this email.
  3. Forward the email received in Step 2 above to  You'll receive an email response with your detailed study resources attached!

While you're waiting to receive your Lab and Study materials, feel free to get started with the next stage in your Quest below ...

Week 2: Watch, Learn and Explore

Watch, Learn and Explore Microsoft Virtualization

Watch, Learn and Explore Microsoft Virtualization with our Experts

Complete these online courses at your own pace to learn Microsoft Virtualization with Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and System Center 2012 R2 from our own virtualization experts.

  1. Get the App! Learn Hyper-V from a VMware Admin's Perspective
    Download this Windows 8.1 app to learn about key Hyper-V features while you're "on-the-go" ... from TechNet Radio.
  2. Watch: Virtualization IT Camp Online
    Complete this course for a technical introduction to Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and System Center 2012 R2.
  3. Get the App! Mastering Hyper-V Server 2012 R2
    Download this Windows 8.1 app to dive deeper into mastering Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 ... from John Savill.
  4. Watch: Virtualizing Your Datacenter
    Dive deeply into provisioning and managing a virtualized datacenter with System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager.
  5. Watch: Infrastructure Monitoring with System Center 2012 R2
    This course goes over all infrastructure monitoring opportunities, including Private Cloud Monitoring, Public Cloud Monitoring, Hybrid Cloud Monitoring, OS and Workload Monitoring.
  6. Watch: Software Defined Networking
    This training gives you what you need to get started with top experts who have real-world SDN experience. Understand how Microsoft is bringing its learnings from operating some of the largest data centers in the world to your data center through Windows Server and System Center.
  7. Download: Free Exam Study Guide from Veeam
    The free exam study guide by Orin Thomas, Microsoft MVP, and Veeam Software provides a thorough reference for review after completing the online training courses above.

As you step through these online courses, be sure to follow along in your own lab environment and leverage the hands-on lab guide to practice what you learn!

Week 3: Study and Prepare

Get ready for your Microsoft Specialist certification exam!

After you've completed all of the online courses above and you've worked through all of the hands-on lab exercises in your step-by-step Hands-On Lab guides, use these steps to identify particular areas which may require more study and preparation before tackling your exam ...

  1. Review each of the skill areas measured by this exam in the Exam Study Guide that you received in Week 1.
  2. Identify the specific skill areas in which you require more study, and leverage the linked study resources in the Exam Study Guide to brush up on those areas.
  3. Practice each identified skill area in your lab environment to develop the hands-on experience that is key when preparing for an exam.

By leveraging these steps, you'll be ready for your exam in no time!

You Finished! Claim Your Completion Badge ...

Claim Your Completion Badge!

Share that you've added Microsoft Virtualization to your skillset!

After you've completed all of the hands-on exercises, follow these steps to claim your completion badge.  This badge shows that you've successfully completed this program of study and is suitable for sharing online or printing to proudly display on your desk.

  1. At the console command prompt of your new lab Hyper-V host, run the following command to collect your server's configuration:systeminfo >EEConfig.txt
  2. Copy the EEConfig.txt file created in Step 1 above to a USB storage device or other location that is accessible for sending an email. If you do not have access to a suitable location for saving this document, you can also submit a screenshot of the open EEConfig.txt file as an alternative.
  3. Send a new email message to
  4. IMPORTANT: In the body of the email, include this exact text:
    “I’ve completed the Early Experts Virtualization Specialist Quest.”
  5. IMPORTANT: Attach the file that was saved in Steps 1 & 2 into the body of the new email message created above.
  6. Click the Send button in your email client to submit the email message as your proof-of-completion.

You'll receive a confirmation email within 24-hours of submitting your entry.

Get Certified! Schedule Your Exam ...

Schedule Microsoft Certification Exam 74-409! When you're ready to take your exam, you can schedule it at any Prometric exam testing facility worldwide.

Good luck on achieving your Microsoft Specialist certification! Be sure to post your feedback below to let us know that you've successfully passed Exam 74-409.

Bookmark this page in your browser favorites for referencing your week-by-week Early Experts study curriculum.

*ESG blog: Multiple Hypervisor Strategies, Jan 2, 2013.

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