70-410 exam prep

My 70-410 Exam Prep Journey Continues – Discovering Free Tools for The Journey to Exchange Server MCSE Certification

In my previous article entitled,  “70-410 exam prep tools from the perspective of Exchange Server”, I basically spoke about my intent to go after the Exchange Server 2013 certification. This article builds on the topics that were introduced in that article.

As you may be aware, you are now required to achieve the Windows Server MCSA certification first, as a prerequisite to the Exchange Server MCSE certification. When you visit the Exchange Server MCSE official site you will notice that the first three exams for windows server MCSA are listed at the top of the page.  I am still puzzled about why this certification is so much harder to achieve compared to Exchange Server 2010.  With Exchange Server 2010 all you had to do was pass two exams and then you were certified.  No windows server exams were required in order to achieve this certification.

I visited the Windows Server MCSA official certification site, since it was a prerequisite to achieving the Exchange Server MCSE certification. I then scrolled down to resource section of the website to find resources that would be beneficial in helping me understand Windows Server 2012.

At the company where I am presently employed, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are both a part of our production environment.  There are presently no Windows Server 2012 servers deployed, so to fully understand Windows Server 2012 I had to acquire a book, or materials that would have given me a full understanding, of this new server version. Click Here to visit the MCSA Official Certification site website..

I then downloaded the two recommended books that I wrote about in my first article in this series, since they appear to be books created by Microsoft, that heavily focused on the new server version. I am presently going through the material as this article is being prepared.

Here are the links to the two recommended books that I spoke about in my previous article. You can get the books using the links below, if you have not downloaded them already. Both books were published by Microsoft publishers, and hopefully the first one is still available free of charge.  The second one cost me thirty eight cents, and should still be available at that price. In any event, if you are serious about your studies then they are well worth the small investment.

Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2

Introducing Windows Server 2012 RTM Edition

I also found two other resources that may benefit you as well.  One is a forum and the other is Microsoft Virtual Academy.  Both resources are free of charge.  My goal is to utilize free resources first then go after paid options afterwards.

The “Microsoft Virtual Academy” consists of a collection of free training videos including videos on Windows Server.  The “Born to Learn Community” is a forum that consists of like minded persons who are trying to achieve their certifications.  There are many sub forums within the forum with related topics.  You can access both resources using the links below.

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Born to Learn Training and Certification Community

By the time you are reading this article, hopefully I would have achieved the first exam in the MCSA track which is 70-410.  As long I do not not get discouraged and quit.One good thing about passing the first exam in the track is that you would be awarded the MCP, or Microsoft Certified Professional title.  That alone is enough to continue on.

As I said in my previous article, Windows Server is now a part of the Exchange Server MCSE certification track.  As a result studies must be completed first, with Windows Server in order to move forward.  That is one of the reasons the two book are recommended first.  These books will give you an overview of windows server 2012.

The Windows Server track consists of three exams as previously mentioned.  Doing the courses and exams in the order that they are placed on the MCSA site is probably the best way to proceed, but I do not think it matters in which order the courses are taken. In any event I will do the exams in the order that they are presented.

The free resources mentioned here should be sufficient resources to familiarize me with Windows Server 2012 before focusing on the 70-410 exam prep tools. My focus now will be to go through the materials mentioned here first to understand Windows Server 2012 then search for materials that prepares me for the first 70-410 exam afterwards.

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70-410 exam prep tools from the perspective of Exchange Server 2013

When I first decided that I wanted to go after my exchange 2013 certification, I began the process of searching for the 70-410 exam prep tools to assist me in preparation for this examination. The exchange 2013 training requirements are bundled up with the MCSA requirements for windows server certification.  Both certification goes hand in hand.70-410 exam prep

Exam collections 70-410 was one of the required training modules along with 70-411, and 70-412. My focus will be on the MS 70-410 module first.

This article is my beginning article hopefully, in a series of other articles that I will be writing, on my journey to becoming certified, as an MCSE in Exchange Server 2013, and beyond.

The decision to go after the exchange server MCSE certification did not just “pop up” into my mind. I was inspired to go after this certification only after one of my colleagues that I managed, decided to get serious about becoming more prepared, for the job that he was hired to do.

My colleague informed me that he wanted his Bachelors of Science degree in computer science so he had something to “fall back” on, in the event there was a situation change at the company where we were employed. He enrolled in an on-line college called Western Governors University that focused on Microsoft Certifications heavily, as a part of the curriculum. Graduation from that institution required that you pass several Microsoft certifications, as a prerequisite to graduation.

The MTA, or the Microsoft Technology Associate programs that I wrote so much about in a book I had written at Amazon, was one of the first certifications that enrolled student at that institution had to acquire.

The MTA track was the starting point to any other certifications, at that institution. In fact, if you were to go to the main certifications page for Windows Server 2012 the question was asked whether you were new to IT, and if you were new it was suggested that you start with the MTA program first, before doing any other Microsoft certified courses.

Several other persons that I managed decided to also pursue the challenge of becoming certified, but only with Windows Server 2012. Self study rather than enrolling in an institution was my way of pursuing the MCSE track. My other colleagues decided also on self studies.

Why should anyone pay thousands of dollars at an on-line college to study certifications when you can achieve the same success using self study methods. The only disadvantage with self studies may be the discipline to work with minimum supervision.

The Journey Begins

Whether you are trying to achieve your Exchange Server 2013 certification, or your Microsoft Certified Solution Associate in Windows Server 2012, the certification path is basically the same. In order to become an Exchange Server 2013 MCSE, you must first take the same courses that are required to achieve the Microsoft Certified Solution Associate, in Windows Server 2012. In my case I decided to go after the Exchange Server MCSE so I have to focus on both certification tracks.

Seeing that the the MCSA in Windows Server 2012 have to be achieved first, the first thing I did was visit the MCSA main site to see the requirements necessary to achieve this certification.

Click Here to visit the MCSA certification site. At the site I noticed several recommended options in the resource section to choose from. I quickly chooses the resource “Read the e-book:Introducing Windows Server 2012” and proceeded to download the book.

The book comes in a PDF document and kindle format that can also be downloaded from the kindle store at Amazon , if you prefer this method. I took the kindle option because I learn better reading from kindle rather than using a physical book.  

The first book I downloaded from Kindle was the Windows Server 2012 release to manufacture version.

Introducing Windows Server 2012 RTM Edition

The next book that I downloaded from  Amazon kindle site was a more updated book with information related to Windows Server 2012 R2.  In fact this book suggested that you first download the one above then download this one next.  That is what I did first.

You do not need to have a kindle reader to read the book though. Click on the book image below to download the second recommended book.  

If you prefer to get a copy of the pdf, all you have to do is visit the MCSA official site. When you visit the site just scroll to the bottom under “Resources” to see the pdf link.

There are many other resources available as you can see, but to keep it simple you only need to use one resource at a time. You can even use the option in the recommended resources section of the website to find a 70-410 practice exam for windows server 2012 from a company called Measure Up.

No need to worry about a practice exam at this time. Just want to highlight this option, since it is one of the more critical resources required.

As you can see the 70-410 exam prep tools are recommended resources that can assist you in preparing for the first exam in the MCSA series. As I said in the beginning of this article, I will record my progress here as I proceed on my journey to becoming and MCSE for exchange server 2013.

By Andrew Moss

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Replicate Public Folders From Exchange 2003 Server

Just in case you are still using Exchange Server 2003 and trying to replicate public folders, or doing a public folder migration to Exchange 2007, 2010, or even Exchange 2013 then you are in luck.  Read recent insert below from Microsoft Exchange Team blog.

To read the entire blog post all you have to do is click the “via blogs.technet.com” link below the insert.

“Recently, we have released a Guided Walk Through (GWT) for troubleshooting public Folder replication issues in Microsoft Exchange 2003.  There are a couple of ways to access the troubleshooter.  You can use the link here to access it directly.  As well, it will be embedded in various related public folder replication articles such as the following:  http://support.microsoft.com/KB/842273.

via blogs.technet.com      “

Microsoft has recently released a Guided Walk Through (GWT) tool for trouble shooting public folder replication and public folder migration issues. You can access the tool by referring to my little insert above that was posted on the Exchange Team Blog, just recently.

If you are not aware, Exchange Server 2003 has also been moved from mainstream support. What this means is that you will no longer be able to receive support via of the phone.

I guess you are probably wondering why the Exchange Team created a modified version of the GWT tool if Exchange Server 2003 is out of mainstream support.

For answers on all of my above points, please visit the link in my quote above from the Exchange Team Blog.

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store.exe high memory exchange 2010

If your exchange server 2010 continues to display high memory allocation usage then do what I have done. Search on Google for using the words, “store.exe high memory exchange 2010”. You will be amazed at what you will find, just like me. See excerpt below from the exchange team blog on the subject.

First, let’s start with why Store.exe uses so much RAM. If we take a step back in time to the Exchange 2003 era, this blog was quite active on how to tune memory on an Exchange 2003 server. I am not going to go in to specifics or great detail, but one thing to call out is that on the 32-bit architecture, we were limited to addressing 4GB of virtual memory on any given server. So essentially, any 32bit program could address up to 4GB of virtual memory. This address space is typically split so that applications could address 2GB of memory and 2GB would be for the Windows Executive. By adding the /3GB switch in the boot.ini, applications could now access up to a 3GB virtual address space and lower the Executive down to addressing only 1GB, essentially halving the memory that is can be addressed or is available for kernel drivers, paged/non-paged pool memory, PTE’s etc. The larger the load that you put on a server has the potential to exhaust important resources on the server which eventually causes a failure or server outages. Any type of memory leak in these areas could be detrimental to the stability of the serve

Have you ever wondered why store.exe always displays very high memory usage? At first I was very concerned when I noticed this on all of our exchange 2010 servers.

I proceeded to Google to do some research on why this always happens even though I would add so much more memory to our systems. Google has everything about anything related to Information Technology.

At Google I typed in many different combination of the problem. At first I tried searching only on what the server showed as high memory usage but that did not give me any good results.

I then proceeded to type the words store.exe, and believed it or not Google completed the phase, as usual. Google give me the phase “store.exe high memory exchange 2010”, that led me to a discussion that was happening at the Tech Net blog, about this same issue.  See link below.


The discussion on the forum then led me to a document at the Exchange Team Blog site where I finally understood in detail why this was happening, even though I had so much memory in the server.

Even though the document is related to Exchange 2007, it also applies to exchange 2010. It seem as though this behavior is normal in the exchange application. Microsoft explained that this was by design and there was no need to worry about how the memory was allocated.I was so relieved.

Exchange store.exe was designed to eat up as much memory as possible. When other processes needed this memory, exchange store.exe will give the memory back to other processes as needed.

Please visit the link in the quote above from the Microsoft team blog for the full story.


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Installing SSL Certificates for Exchange 2013


When you are configuring SSL certificates for Exchange Server 2013, after you have generated the certificate request and received the SSL certificate from the certificate authority, you then need to complete the pending certificate request.

Sounds familiar? It really does appear that nothing has changed in reference to installing certificates in Exchange Server 2013 compared to Exchange Server 2010.

Paul from Exchange Server Pro.com has just released a tutorial on how to complete a pending certificate request in Exchange 2013. This is a really good read if you have Exchange Server 2013 installed already.

Installing SSL Certificates for Exchange 2013 does appear to be no different from exchange server 2010.