A relatively exciting question to all existing MCITP on Windows Server 2008 (Enterprise Administrator / Server Administrator): What should I focus on passing all required exams to upgrade my MCITP (Windows Server 2008) to MCSE Server Infrastructure on Windows Server 2012? (By the way, MCSE is now called Microsoft Certified Solution Expert).
The answer is you need to pass the 70-417 exam. So what topics should I focus particularly on this one to pass this exam? Exam 70-417 (Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012) is for existing MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solution Associate) on Windows Server 2008. You can take this exam of you are a MCITP on Virtualization Administrator, Enterprise Messaging Administrator (Exchange), Lync Server Administrator, Sharepoint Administrator or Enterprise Desktop Administrator (Windows 7) http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-windows-server-MCSA.aspx
It is an upgrade exam that is a composite of three stand-alone exams: 70-410, 70-411, and 70-412. Its exam overview and topics covered are in http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-417. The percentage indication of the relative weight of each major topic area on the exam can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-417#tab2. The corresponding MOC course details to prepare for exam 70-417 is at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/Course.aspx?ID=20417A&Locale=en-us
For existing MCSA on Windows Server 2008 that have completed your 70-417 exam, you will earn your MCSA on Windows Server 2012. So you are now closer to your MCSE (Server Infrastructure 2012) journey. It’s not a bad idea at all to subsequently complete the remaining two elective exams to earn your MCSE (Server Infrastructure 2012), which are Exam 70-413 and Exam 70-414.
Exam info for Exam 70-413 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-413, with skills measured at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-413#tab2; MOC topics at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/Course.aspx?ID=20413A&Locale=en-us. Make sure you complete these topics during your exam preparation.
For Exam 70-414, its exam overview info is available at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-414, skills measured at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-414#tab2; corresponding MOC topics and course details are available at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/Course.aspx?ID=20414A&Locale=en-us. It is wise to review and complete these topics before aiming for your exam.
For individuals that do not intend to aim at the upgrade path but instead, starting on a brand new journey towards your MCSE (Server Infrastructure 2012), all you need to do is to complete Exam 70-410, Exam 70-411 and Exam 70-412 (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-windows-server-MCSA.aspx).
MOC course topics for Exam 70-410 are available at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/Course.aspx?ID=20410A&Locale=en-us. For Exam 70-411, they are available at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/Course.aspx?ID=20411A&Locale=en-us. For Exam 70-412, they are at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/Course.aspx?ID=20412A&Locale=en-us. It is a good idea to master these topics if you are aiming for these exams specifically.
The elective exams for MCSE (Server Infrastructure 2012) remain unchanged (70-413 and 70-414) for candidates that aim at pursuing your MCSE via this direct path (which is via a non-upgrade path from existing MCSA on Windows Server 2008). Either way, it is really a good idea to review and understand the topics and skills that will be measured before aiming at each exam.
Nonetheless, corresponding hands-on skills and knowledge on Windows Server 2012 is indispensable. Therefore, it is always the best to start try it out in a hands-on manner. To download an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2012, please visit http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh670538.aspx. It is available in both ISO and VHD format.
For Microsoft Private Cloud Evaluation software, please go to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/hh505660.aspx?wt.mc_id=TEC_103_1_33.
For more self-guided learnings on other Microsoft products, you can go to http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com. There are a couple of new exciting Windows Server 2012 courses just added. If you are a travelling user and if enjoy doing some self-guided Windows Server 2012 hands-on labs in an “Anytime, Anywhere” basis, you can try out the Windows Server 2012 virtual labs at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/hh968267.aspx. They are cool and awesome, enjoy!