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Microsoft MSFT 70-412 Takeaway

Today, I took my Microsoft MSFT 70-412 Certification exam. Not normally one to admit defeat, I was defeated by the new content introduced early in 2014 to update the exam to Microsoft Windows 2012R2. I wanted to share what I took away from the test, and hopefully provide information that others can use to learn from my failure. While Microsoft rules specifically forbid me to discuss actual exam content (questions, answers, etc.), nothing keeps me from helping you get prepared with the correct ammo for your brain.

Note, that while I do not condone the use of “Brain Dumps”, because I think they are unethical and diminish the value of certification for those of us that actually learn the material, I think that they are also a valuable learning tool. A lot can be learned from them, but not as a replacement for actual studying. Don’t be “that guy” that only has a cert because he memorized all the questions and answers. You make it harder for us that actually know the material to get jobs.

Firstly, I want to let you know that if you are preparing to take the exam, check if there is a 2nd Shot availabe. Currently, there is a free 2nd shot from Microsoft until May 2014. You MUST register for your INITIAL exam using the 2nd shot process (it’s free) at:

Now, on to the information that brought you here…

This TechNet blog covers a lot of the new stuff introduced on the 2012r2 exam questions. It really is helpful and covers most of what you will need:

Volume Shadow Copies:
We all know (or should) how to use vssadmin to manage, create, migrate, and delete shadow copies of volumes. This is not a new subject, but in their infinite wisdom, at some point Microsoft introduced a new program called “Diskshadow” that does essentially the same thing. Several of the questions have either been updated or added with references to Diskshadow rather than vssadmin. Learn about all its features here:

Virtual Disks:
While Virtual Disks may not be new to 2012r2, the write-back cache feature certainly is. Virtual Disks allow you to create a single disk that is made up of both high-performance SSD storage and bulk HDD storage, for great performance gains by automatically moving the most commonly used data to the faster storage tier. The write-back cache further improves this by adding some temporary cache storage from your fast tier (note that it REDUCES the size of your SSD tier, make sure you account for this). While you can modify the size of the write-back cache, it can only be done from Powershell and only at the time of creation of the VirtualDisk. More information about it can be found here:

DHCP Failover:
Not a super new concept, but you will need to know how to manage DHCP Failover using Powershell. The following cmdlets are helpful to know:

Add-DhcpServerv4Failover - This cmdlet adds a new failover relationship for one or more scopes.
Add-DhcpServerv4FailoverScope - This cmdlet adds new scopes to existing failover relationships.

More info on the related Powershell cmdlets is available here:

Workplace Join:
This is new in 2012r2 and is covered in a lot of questions. You will want to know how it works and how to set it up.
Memorize the following procedure:

Windows Azure Online Backup:
This isn’t a new subject, but you will want to know how to manage this from Powershell. Know how to set it up, how to script the registration process, how to trigger a backup, etc.
The GUI Way:
The Powershell Way:

Lots of Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) stuff. Study it until you hate it. Know how to schedule specific sites for replication at certain hours, how to set it up, what certificates are needed, etc. I don’t have any specific links to help you here yet.

Name Suffix Routing:
This is related to ADFS, but when forest trusts are created, Name Suffixes are added automatically. Know how to prevent authentication requests from traversing between forests using exclusions. More info here:

Lots of stuff about Active Directory Rights Management Services (ADRMS). Learn about it here:

Hope that helps! If you have taken the exam, pass or fail, and have additional resources to share, please leave a comment below. Do not post actual exam questions or your comments will be deleted.


2 Responses for “Microsoft MSFT 70-412 Takeaway”

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