Microsoft Certifications for IT Pros

MCSA Cloud Platform

MCSA – Cloud Platform

Earning an MCSA: Cloud Platform provides the foundation for a position as a cloud administrator or architect and is the first step on your path to becoming a MCSE Cloud Platform and Infrastructure.
Pass any 2 of the following exams: 70-532  |  70-533  |  70-534  |  70-473  |  70-475


Azure Development

Course 20532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
Start Anytime  |  90 days  |    Exam 70-532   |   Level 300
Course Outline  |  More info on Cloud Courses

Azure Infrastructure

Course 20533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions
Start Anytime  |  90 days  |   Exam 70-533   |   Level 300
Course Outline  |  More info on Cloud Courses  

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Free ebook: Microsoft SCOM Field Experience

Microsoft System Center Operations Manager Field Experience.

Free Ebook -  Microsoft SCOM Field Experience


If you’re responsible for designing, configuring, implementing, or managing a Microsoft System Center Operations Manager environment, then this book is for you. This book will help you understand what you can do to enhance your Operations Manager environment, and will give you the opportunity to better understand the inner workings of the product, even if you are a seasoned Operations Manager administrator.

This book assumes that you have a deep working knowledge of the Operations Manager product and its concepts, that you understand the concept of management packs, and that you are basically familiar with Microsoft Azure as an infrastructure-as-a-service platform. This is a book about best practices, design concepts, how-tos, and in-depth technical troubleshooting. It covers the role of the Operations Manager product, the best practices for working with management packs, how to use the reporting feature to simplify managing the product, how to thoroughly troubleshoot, and how to use and install Operations Manager in a Microsoft Azure Public Cloud environment.

The companion content includes the following:

  • The SQL query in Chapter 1 that you can run in SQL Server Management Studio to determine which collation settings you are using
  • The series of commands used in the example in Chapter 2 to run workflow tracing manually
  • The Windows PowerShell script used in Chapter 4 to view all TLMEs that exist order per resource pool and per current owning pool member (management server)
  • The various SELECT queries included in Chapter 4
  • A PDF file titled HealthService Event Reference that provides information about the events that Operations Manager can log to its event log from the HealthService features.


  • Download the PDF (3.27 MB)
  • Download the EPUB file (6.56 MB)
  • Download the Mobi for Kindle file (15.7 MB)
  • Download Companion files (236 KB)

Free ebook: Deploying Hyper-V with Software-Defined Storage & Networking

When you’re looking at testing a new IT solution—such as implementing a software-defined datacenter that includes virtualization, networking, and storage—the best starting point is always to get advice from someone who has already done it.

You can learn from experience what to do and what to avoid. That’s the idea behind this book. We’ve gone through the work of deploying Windows Server, Microsoft System Center, and the innovations that Microsoft Azure has brought to these technologies. Our goal is to give you the step-by-step benefit of our proof-of-concept implementation to save you time and effort. And we want to show you how you can take advantage of innovation across the datacenter and the cloud to simplify your infrastructure and speed delivery of services to the business.


Chapter 1: Design and planning

This chapter focuses on the overall design of the POC configuration. It discusses each layer of the solution, key features and functionality within each layer, and the reasons why we have chosen to deploy this particular design for the POC.

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System Center 2012 products in a nutshell

A simple explanation of the purpose of each System Center 2012 product.

System Center 2012 Products


  • provide self-service access for application administrators,
  • enable them to create and manage virtual machines and services templates,
  • manage private cloud resources and public cloud Windows Azure subscriptions from a single web interface.

[AppController screenshot]

Free e-book: Download the “Cloud Management with App Controller” (PDF)

Configuration Manager: 

  • perform tasks such as deploying operating systems, software applications, and software updates;
  • monitoring and remediating computers for compliance settings;
  • collecting hardware and software inventory;
  • and remote administration.

[Configuration Manager screenshot]

Free e-books:

  • Download the “Configuration Manager Field Experience” (PDF)
  • Download the “Troubleshooting Configuration Manager” (PDF)

Data Protection Manager: 

  • perform disk-based and tape-based continuous data protection and recovery for file servers, Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) and application servers such as SQL Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint, and Hyper-V based virtualization hosts.
  • protect the data on Windows desktops and laptops.

[Data Protection Manager screenshot]

Endpoint Protection: 

  • provide malware protection for your client systems.

Note: System Center Endpoint Protection is built on Configuration Manager, creating a single infrastructure for deploying and managing endpoint protection. 

[Endpoint Protection screenshot]

Operations Manager: 

  • monitor services, devices, and applications on multiple computers in a single console.
  • view the state of the IT environment and services running across different systems using views that show state, health, and performance information in addition to real-time alerts generated for availability, performance, configuration, and security incidents.


  • orchestrate, integrate and automate the IT processes in an organization.
  • define and automate processes from a central point and integrate with existing management solutions, both from the System Center family and third-party management platforms.

[Orchestrator screenshot]

Free e-book: Download the “Designing Orchestrator Runbooks” (PDF)

Service Manager: 

  • automating and adapting the organization processes to IT service management best practices, such as those found in Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) and ITIL.
  • provides built-in processes for incident and problem management, change management, release management, and risk and compliance management.

[Service Manager screenshot]

Free e-book: Download the “Optimizing Service Manager” (PDF)

Virtual Machine Manager:  

  • configure and manage virtualization hosts, networking, and storage resources.
  • This management solution for the virtualized datacenter also helps you create and deploy virtual machines and services to private clouds.

[Virtual Machine Manager screenshot]

Herman Arnedo

New Course: Orchestrator 2012


Orchestrator provides a workflow management solution for the data center. Orchestrator lets you automate the creation, monitoring, and deployment of resources in your environment.

This three-day course provides students with the knowledge necessary to design, deploy, and maintain Microsoft’s System Center 2012 Orchestrator. In this course, students are introduced to the various System Center products, and then learn how Orchestrator 2012 is architected and deployed within the Systems Center suite. In addition, this course includes automation of processes designed to address various scenarios, which may be encountered in the business computing environment.

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Free ebook: System Center: Designing Orchestrator Runbooks

Orchestrator-EbookA free ebook offering from Microsoft Press: Microsoft System Center: Designing Orchestrator Runbooks

Orchestration and automation are becoming increasingly important in IT organizations of all sizes and across all infrastructure types ranging from on-premises to cloud-based. Orchestration and automation can help reduce the cost of IT while improving consistency and quality of IT service delivery. Like any powerful technology. however, it can be both used and abused.

The objective with this book is to provide a framework for runbook design and IT process automation to help you get the most out of System Center Orchestrator 2012 and to help you utilize Orchestrator in concert with the rest of the System Center for an enterprise-wide and systematic approach to process automation. We will provide detailed guidance for creating what we call “modular automation” where small, focused pieces of automation are progressively built into larger and more complex solutions. We detail the concept of an automation library, where over time enterprises build a progressively larger library of interoperable runbooks and components. Finally, we will cover advanced scenarios and design patterns for topics like error handling and logging, state management, and parallelism. But before we dive into the details, we’ll begin by setting the stage with a quick overview of System Center 2012 Orchestrator and deployment scenarios.

Download the PDF version of this title (186 pgs, 8.77MB) here and the companion content here (296 KB).

More info