Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-646) Windows Server 2008 Server Administrator (MCITP) (2nd Edition) Paperback – Jul 15 2011
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About the Author
Ian McLean, MCITP, MCSE, MCT, has 40 years’ experience in the education and IT industries. He has authored numerous Training Kits covering Windows, Microsoft SQL Server, and Exchange Server technologies.
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Cons: As others have stated, these books will NOT prepare you for the exams...this is a general rule for the MCITP exams. I started with the Windows 7 exams and after the first exam I learned that the books give you about 50% of the information you actually need to pass. I took the Windows 7 exam and even after reading the book twice, doing all the practice exams and scoring high 90's I failed the actual exam. You need to augment the books with classroom study, bootcamps, other books, etc.
The one pet peeve I have with the book is the practice exercises. First, even though the book will preface with an overview of a lab you will need to perform the exercises, it is never complete with what you actually need. Since setting up the labs in a virtual environment takes so much time (compared to the labs themselves), why can't they just give an inclusive run down of what is needed rather than a an incomplete list? I hate to be in the middle of doing the labs and realize I need another virtual machine configured to do a 5 minute lab.
Second, the labs are just too basic. Some of the lessons take < 5 minutes after spending two hours reading material. Even worse, the exercises rarely coincide with what is tested on the exam.
Overall, I wish Microsoft would stop marketing this as exam prep. It's a good reference book, but just not for exam prep.
I had been working with both Server 2008 and 2008 R2 for a little over a year. I also used what study materials were available prior the the exam format changing sometime around June of 2011. When I took the 70-646 exam just before Thanksgiving, I failed miserably. Mainly because the study materials I had only covered Server 2008. Most if not all of the questions I got on the exam were about technologies available in Server 2008 R2. Afterward, I was informed by a friend that a new Microsoft Press book (released back in August) covered Server 2008 R2. So wanting to pass the exam I bought it.
I have to say it did help fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge of Server 2008 R2. But as I also said, not with a great deal of in depth explanation. The book just tells you what new technologies are available in Server 2008 R2 and how to configure some of them. If you haven't worked with some of these new technologies, you will learn how to configure some of them. The how and whyfore of using theme is pretty much left up to your imagination. As I said it's from Microsoft Press, so what else would you expect.
I went back and passed the exam just before Christmas. Not solely because of this book. But because of my prior work experience and knowledge that was "augmented" by this book. Another reviewer stated that the book only covers about 10% of the material on the exam. I'm going to be just a little more gracious and say maybe 15 to 20%.
To sum up: If you are already working with Server 2008 or server 2008 R2 and want to augment you knowledge so you can pass the exam. This book will probably do the trick. But if you are just staring out in system administration, have little or no knowledge of Server 2008 (more specifically Server 2008 R2). Are hoping to pass the exam, get the certification under you belt so you can get that first big break in the IT market. Quite Frankly, this book "ain't gonna" give you what you need to pass the exam.
I don't give 5 stars because nothing is perfect. Don't be afraid of these books and go sign up for some exam crams and take your time. Don't rush! Good Luck!
Okay, that said, to be a halfway decent systems admin you DO need to read these to refresh your knowledge as well as update it every 3-5 years. This is a terrific book - as was it's predecessors. There's way too much information and procedure in here to even begin to cite why you do need this. At about 674 pages and 12 chapters - if you're used to books like this - you will find it an easy read. As opposed to the also necessary active directory book that's almost 900 pages and 17 chapters, that also comes in the mcitp kit with this one. (which I also recommend). This is just faster and easier to read. If 674 pages scares you then you may be choosing the wrong career. Sure you'll pass the tests off brain dumps anyway, but this is still what you're expected to know. I've been a Microsoft Server Admin for over a decade. I find these books invaluable. That said, the tests for these 2008 books gets retired in July of 2013. Study 2012 Server if you think you're going to take 10 months before getting ready to take your tests. Also, note that Microsoft goes back to calling it an MCSE with the 2012 tests. Calling it MCITP was a bad idea that they've now abandoned.
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