Months ago we presented a Live Meeting about System Center certifications, in which we announced the two Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certs that are available now for Operations Manager and Configuration Manager via exams 70-400 and 70-401. We also talked about a professional-series exam and certification--"details TBD"--that were in planning stages. We were so transparent, bandying the probable exam number (70-402) and cert name (MCITP: Operations Manager) about with reckless abandon...

We were so young.

I know many of you are interested in this, so wanted to share the current thinking as I understand it. The 402 exam and Operations Manager cert are not in development or locked. We still see a need for a professional series certification (MCITP) in the systems management/operations space, but have decided to stop and consider the best way to do that, given a few new developments. One consideration is System Center Virtual Machine Manager (see below) and how it will/could tie in to a pro-series certification.

The cert teams are doing continuing research on the right certification for someone in an operations role (your thoughts?), so don't give up hope. But don't be making any short term plans to take 70-402, because it, like building 7, doesn't exist (yet). Some of you may have noted 402 in the certification planner tool; now that things are changing around, we'll be updating that so it isn't misleading anyone.



MCTS As you've probably heard in some of our live meetings, and in the Server FAQs, etc., we're working on an MCTS certification focused on virtualization. This MCTS cert will cover Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, our "hypervisor-based server virtualization technology...consolidating multiple server roles as separate virtual machines running on a single physical multiple different operating systems—Windows, Linux, and others—in parallel, on a single server" and also touch on Virtual Machine Manager

The cert name is looking like MCTS: Windows Server Virtualization, Configuring*. The cert will require one exam (70-652), about to kick off in beta any day now, and will cover things in the area of installing, configuring and optimizing Hyper-V and deploying, managing, and monitoring Virtual Machines; no prep guide live yet.

Jim and team are working closely with the Server and System Center teams to make sure we get our content and timing right, and working on if and where this exam and MCTS fits in our current and future certification roadmaps. We are also exploring a separate MCTS certification specifically for Virtual Machine Manager, requiring a new exam (70-403). You know as much as I know. Official announcements about this stuff should be in the MCP newsletter in a few months.

If you don't want to rely on my shoddy, second hand, hair-twirling and bubble-gum snapping, would-rather-be-doing-my-nails update on this topic, I encourage you to hear directly from the people working on these things in an upcoming Live Meeting:

System Center and Virtualization Certifications

Or come to my session with Jim at TechEd on Friday, the 13th** of June (LUN59). We'll be so reckless and devil-may-care--so transparent--you won't know what hit you.


*Or something
**Don't be skerred.