According to windowsnetworking website. Learn the certification options and the best certification resources to get certified on Microsoft's flagship enterprise management product line - MCTS certification options.

In a recent article, Overview of Microsoft System Center product line and how it can help you, I covered the critical facts of System Center. As a follow up to that article, let's talk about certification! Microsoft System Center is Microsoft's flagship enterprise management product line, made up of 6+ major products. As this is both a critical product for Microsoft and a critical product for enterprises that adopt pieces of the System Center suite, Microsoft offers MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist) certification options for System Center. While I don't see a way to use these exams toward a MCITP, you will still have a MCTS in a System Center specialty. Specifically, there are 3 different certification tracks available for System Center which covers just 3 of the 6+ System Center products (but 3 of the major SC products).
MCTS: Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Configuration

Formerly known as SMS (Systems Management Server) in previous versions, SCCM is used to manage the PC, laptop, and server hardware and software (including applications and operating systems) of a mid to large size enterprise. Microsoft Exam 70-401 covers a number of important SCCM 2007 skills. Specifically, the exam covers things like:

  •     Deploying SCCM
  •     Configuring SCCM Infrastructure
  •     Managing Resources
  •     Distributing Applications
  •     Deploying Operating Systems
  •     Securing a Network Infrastructure
  •     Managing and Maintaining SCCM Infrastructure

As for training material, here are some recommendations:

  1.     Video Training: Train Signal System Center Configuration Manager
  2.     Classroom Training: 6451B and 6451A- Planning, Deploying, and Managing Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007
  3.     Book: Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Administrator's Companion

MCTS: Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007, Configuration

Formerly known as "MOM" (Microsoft Operations Manager) in previous versions, SCOM is used to monitor performance capacity resources (and alert) across all devices in the enterprise. Microsoft Exam 70-400 covers skills like:

    Configuring SCOM
    Deploying and Configuring Management Packs
    Building and Deploying Custom Management Packs
    Maintaining SCOM
    Configuring Client Monitoring

(For the full list of SCOM Exam 70-400 test topics, click here)

Some of the best resources available to prepare for your SCOM certification test are:

    Train Signal System Center Operations Manager video training
    Microsoft classroom  training: 50028D- Installing and Configuring System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2
    Microsoft E-Learning: 3386AE Implementing Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007

MCTS: Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Configuration

The last of the three MCTS certifications covering System Center products is the MCTS covering Virtual Machine Manager. SCVMM or VMM is a centralized management product for the Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization platform (it can also manage VMware ESX Server). With VMM, the ability to perform many new advanced features of Hyper-V is possible.

To prepare for Microsoft Exam 70-403, I recommend the following resources:

    Installing SCVMM - server components, administrative console, self-service portal, pro tips
    Administering SCVMM - configuring user roles, setup self-service, maintain VMM library, configure hosts, monitor jobs
    Maintaining and Monitoring hosts - configure VM hardware, manage virtual instance checkpoints and patches, monitoring and reporting on VMs
    Deploying and Migrating VMs - convert P2V, move VMs between hosts, deploy VMs, deploy HA in VMs

(For the full list of SCVMM Exam 70-403 test topics, click here)

One of the best certification resources I have read on this lately is the Train Signal Certification Guide for  Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM Exam 70-403). In fact, that certification guide recommends the following resources to prepare for the SCVMM 70-403 exam:

    Classroom training : 6331A- Deploying and Managing MS SCVMM
    E-Learning: 6896AE- Configuring MS SCVMM 2008
    MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-652): Configuring Windows Server Virtualization by Ruest
    Mastering Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 by Michael and Linares

Of course, the best preparation for any certification exam is actually using the product (and especially in the "real-world" on a production network, if possible).

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