Category: Certification


70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter Certification Exam

New exams are announced every so often as Microsoft continues to grow the array of Microsoft Azure and Cloud certifications to compliment the broad array of services they offer. These exams test and verify the skills necessary to work with, build with, and manage these various services. One of the latest exams being added is the new 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter certification exam. This exam will test and verify your skills in building a modern datacenter; one that uses software-defined networking using Windows Server 2016 and Virtual Machine Manager (VMM); rather than the traditional hardware-based networking model from the old days of on-premises datacenter.

NOTE: At the time of writing this exam summary of the 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter certification exam, the exam was just recently released as a Beta exam. There is limited information available on the exam at this time, but I will update this post with more information as it becomes available.

Certification Target Audience

The 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter certification exam is geared towards IT Professionals with experience building out, securing, and managing Software-Defined Networking (SDN) environments for hosting Virtual Machines and Storage solutions. The exam will test your familiarity and understanding of Software-Defined Networking using Windows Server 2016 and Virtual Machine Manager (VMM).

Skills Measured

Here’s a very high level list of the skills and objectives measures on the 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter certification exam:

  • Plan and implement System Center Virtual Machine (VMM) Core Infrastructure
  • Implement Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
  • Implement Software-Defined Storage
  • Implement DataCenter Compute Solutions with Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)
  • Secure your Software-Defined Datacenter
  • Monitor and Maintain the Software-Defined Datacenter

Training Materials

Being a newly announced exam (at the time of writing this) there is still a very limited amount of training / study material available for the 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter certification exam. You’ll want to focus mostly on the Microsoft documentation for Windows Server 2016 and Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) when studying at this time.

Fortunately, there is also a Exam Reference book announced from Microsoft Press to be coming soon. The Exam Ref 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter book will offer you the ability to hone in your studying to focus on the specific objectives and skills measured by this exam.

The Exam Ref 70-745 Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter preparation book from Microsoft Press currently scheduled for release on July 25, 2017.

Happy studying!


New Big Data and Web Dev Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) Tracks Open for Enrollment

Last year Microsoft launched the new Microsoft Professional Program (MPP). This is the latest initiative from Microsoft to provide training and an educational platform to help fill the ever growing skills gap in IT. Initially, Microsoft launched the program with a single track; the Data Science Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) track. Due to the huge success of this initial track, Microsoft announced earlier this year they are expanding the Microsoft Professional Program to 2 more additional tracks; Big Data and Front-end Web Development.

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CertificationOpen Source

LFCS: Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator Certification

The Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) certification from The Linux Foundation is a full Linux certification for verifying and validating your Linux Operating System skills. Linux is the #1 operating system for web servers, cloud computing, smartphones and consumer electronics. It’s been growing very rapidly over the years, and even Microsoft has fully embraced Linux for running workloads in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

The IT industry is increasingly seeking out IT Professionals who have Linux Operating System management and administration skills. This certification will help you validate those skills to help advance your career. Read More


Exam Finder Helps Search Microsoft Certification Exams by Technology

There are many different certification exams from Microsoft covering all the different technology areas. There are also many different certification paths like the newly redesigned MCSE and MCSA certifications that are made up of multiple certification exams. Unfortunately, the list of Microsoft certification exams can be a bit cumbersome and difficult to search through on the official Microsoft Learning site. For this reason, I have created a simple, open source, Microsoft certification exam finder tool.

The Build Azure Exam Finder allows you to search and filter through a list of Microsoft certification exams. It works by having all the exams in the list assigned Tags that you can easily filter on to find the exam(s) you’re looking for. You can filter on a combination of technologies or larger certifications like MCSE and MCSA to find the exams you’re looking for.

You can access the Build Azure Exam Finder tool here:

The tool currently includes 31 exams in the list, and I’m planning on adding more soon to fill it out to contain a nice list of the various Microsoft certification exams available. I hope this tool helps others discover the certification exams and larger MCSA or MCSE certification paths that fit their expertise and knowledge areas. I was inspired to build this simple tool by many of the Microsoft certification questions people have been asking me through this blog and elsewhere online, as it helped me realize that there’s a real discoverability problem in how Microsoft present the certification information on the official Microsoft Learning site.

Additionally, the Build Azure Exam Finder tool is fully Open Source and hosted on Github ( It’s built very simply using HTML, JavaScript, and the Bootstrap CSS Framework. This keeps it simple, lightweight, and most importantly, very easily to contribute to.


MCSA: Data Engineering with Azure Certification from Microsoft

There have been many changes to the Microsoft certification program lately. Among these changes have been brand new MCSA and MCSE certifications, including MANY new exams. Among these changes is the recent addition of the MCSA: Big Data Engineering certification.

Update May 27, 2017: Microsoft announced that they’ve renamed the MCSA: Big Data Engineering certification to MCSA: Data Engineering with Azure.

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Big DataCertificationData Sciencemachine learning

MCSA: Machine Learning Certification from Microsoft

It seems there is constant news on the Microsoft certification front. Near the end of 2016, Microsoft shook up the entire MCP program with some amazing changes to how Azure certifications are integrated in the tracks, as well as the ability to renew MCSD and MCSE certifications annually with an elective exam. Now they are continuing to expand with new certification targeting the extremely popular realm of Machine Learning. The all new MCSA: Machine Learning certification is being added as an option to earn!

Update May 27, 2017: Microsoft announced that they’ve renamed the MCSA: Data Science certification to MCSA: Machine Learning.

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Renew MCSD & MCSE Annually by Retaking Certification Exams

In the past once you passed a specific Microsoft certification exam you were not allowed to retake that exam again, ever. After all, there wasn’t really any benefit to since you passed the exam and it counted towards earning you a specific certification. Back then the exams did not undergo any major updates or restructuring until they were retired and replace with a brand new exam on the latest technology and product releases. With the recent changes and restructuring of the Microsoft certification program, the exam are now getting updated periodically and you will now be able to retake an exam after such updates have been made.

As of March 17, 2017, the necessary changes have been put into place to allow for exam to be retaken on an annual basis. After a period of 365 days from the date you pass a certification exam, you will now be able to retake that exam again. This will allow for you to retake a particular exam, or at least the most recent update of that exam, to be used as the qualifying elective exam necessary to renew an MCSD or MCSE certification and keep it active for the current year.

Currently, the exams eligible to be retaken are:

This new retake policy is a really great improvement. It was previously assumed that only a new elective needed to be passed every year to keep the MCSD or MCSE certifications current for the given year. If this were required then you would be required to keep learning new technologies and product releases to pass an exam even if they didn’t relate to you job duties. However, by allowing already passed exams to be retaken annually, you will now be able to renew and keep up-to-date by continually brushing up and maintaining the exam skills that pertain to your daily job duties over time.

This change goes along with the other improvements being made to the Microsoft certification that are really making the program much better than it was in the past by keeping the certifications relevant and useful.