This exam (70-740) finally went gold recently (Jan 2017) – emerging from a long Beta period. I was super interested in the gold code since I am writing a book on how to pass it! 🙂
MCSA 70-740 Cert Guide: Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016
I am looking to beat that June 1 publication date by the way!
So now that the shameless self promotion is out of the way – let’s get to the exam.
The 70-740 Exam
You can expect about 47 questions on this 70-740 exam with a passing score of about 700. You have 120 minutes for the exam. Time pressure is NOT an issue. I say this even as a very fast test taker and an author of a text on how to pass.
The exam breaks down accurately into the following sections. Notice the percentage breakdown on the number of questions you will face!
- Install Windows Servers in host and compute environments (10–15%)
- Implement storage solutions (10–15%)
- Implement Hyper-V (20–25%)
- Implement Windows containers (5–10%)
- Implement high availability (30–35%)
- Maintain and monitor server environments (10–15%)
So the 70-740 exam is biased toward High Availability? YES! Sorry for all of you that were excited about Windows containers like I was – not a big part of this test at all as Microsoft advertised. What are the topics in the most important High Availability domain? Here they are:
- Live Migration
- Failover Clustering
- Storage Spaces Direct
- Network Load Balancing
Know these – and know them well. The exam almost seems crazily biased toward them.
What types of questions can you expect? Here they are:
- Simple multiple choice – this is actually the least common question type you face
- Scenario-based multiple choice – here is your most common question type – you are presented with a scenario of text and tables and things, and then you get a bunch of multiple choice based questions on that information; the scenario does not change – just the multiple choice questions change; this is great, saving you a ton of reading since the scenario is exactly the same
- Drag and drop steps in the correct order – you can expect bogus steps in the list of steps that you are to order; for example, you might need to select the three steps needed and order them correctly out of 7 possible steps
- Select the correct command or parameter from a drop-down – here you choose the correct PowerShell or command line option
- Select the correct command or parameter using drag and drop – note that this is basically the same as the above; how awesome we never need to enter in command syntax from just our brain matter – we are always selecting from options presented in some fashion
This 70-740 exam is pretty easy. Please, of course, study. But compared to previous Server exams, it is definitely on the easier scale. Knowing key facts can carry you through many questions. And you have a relative few questions to deal with. I really enjoyed how this exam hammered important facts, and not trivia.
Here is a detailed breakdown of part 1 of 6 of the Exam 70-740 for Install, Storage, and Compute for Windows Server 2016. This section makes up 10 to 15% of your exam.
Install Windows Servers in Host and Computer Environments
- Install, upgrade, and migrate servers and workloads
- Determine Windows Server 2016 installation requirements
- Determine appropriate Windows Server 2016 editions per workloads
- Install Windows Server 2016
- Install Windows Server 2016 features and roles
- Install and configure Windows Server Core
- Manage Windows Server Core installations using Windows PowerShell, command line, and remote management capabilities
- Implement Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) to install and maintain integrity of installed environments
- Perform upgrades and migrations of servers and core workloads from Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2016
- Determine the appropriate activation model for server installation, such as Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA), Key Management Service (KMS), and Active Directory-based Activation
- Install and configure Nano Server
- Determine appropriate usage scenarios and requirements for Nano Server
- Install Nano Server
- Implement Roles and Features on Nano Server
- Manage and configure Nano Server
- Manage Nano Server remotely using Windows PowerShell
- Create, manage, and maintain images for deployment
- Plan for Windows Server virtualization
- Plan for Linux and FreeBSD deployments
- Assess virtualization workloads using the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit
- Determine considerations for deploying workloads into virtualized environments
- Update images with patches, hotfixes, and drivers
- Install roles and features in offline images
- Manage and maintain Windows Server Core, Nano Server images, and VHDs using Windows PowerShell
If you are like me, you are getting very excited for the new Windows Server 2016. Q3 of 2016 just cannot get here fast enough.
I thought I would run down a quick summary of what will sure to be some of the most exciting new features:
- Nano Server – want a Windows Server with no GUI and no command prompt? Want one that is tiny and can run Hyper-V? Introducing Nano Server!
- Containers – containers are certainly a buzz in IT today. They allow an application to run with everything it needs in one container, and then this container can be moved to another system and still run great. Windows Server 2016 features two types – Windows Server Containers and Hyper-V Containers. Windows Server Containers are isolated from each other but they run directly on the Windows Server 2016 OS. Hyper-V Containers provide enhanced isolation by running the containers from a Hyper-V VM.
- Docker support – yes, the flagship container app, Docker is now going to be supported in Windows Server 2016. This permits the use of Docker to manage Windows Server 2016 as well as Hyper-V Containers.
- Rolling upgrade for Hyper-V clusters – that’s right, upgrade one of your cluster nodes to Server 2016 and you will stay at a Server 2012 R2 functional level until all of the nodes have upgraded!
- Virtual memory and virtual network adapter enhancements – now in Hyper-V, you can manipulate the memory and virtual NICs allocated to a VM even if that VM is running and using static memory.
- Nested virtualization – how about Hyper-V within a Hyper-V VM? No worries in Server 2016!
- PowerShell Direct – this new tool allows you to run PowerShell commands against guest Operating Systems inside VMs with ease. This is excellent, since attempting this with PowerShell in the past could be very frustrating.
- Linux Secure Boot – now VMs in Windows Server 2016 support secure booting for Linux operating systems. In the past, this was only available for Windows-based VMs.
- Host Guardian Server and Shielded VMs – The Host Guardian Service is a new role in Windows Server 2016. This role enables shielded virtual machines and protects the data on them from unauthorized access. With Shielded VMs, Hyper-V virtual disks can even be encrypted with BitLocker.
- Storage Spaces Direct – Windows Server 2016 Storage Spaces Direct allows a cluster to access JBOD storage in an external enclosure like Windows Server 2012 R2 or it can also allow access to JBOD and SAS disks that are internal to the cluster nodes. Storage Spaces Direct still form the basis for Storage Pools and they support both SSD and HDD disks and data tiering.
Notice a common theme in all of these exciting new features? Sure – I think this virtualization thing seems to be catching on! Let me know what you think in the comments below!