I am so happy and grateful now that… I passed the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert 70-744 Exam: Securing Windows Server 2016 on the first attempt!
I figured that I would share my experience in this post.
Security… Security… Security… is a clear message that Microsoft focused on in Windows Server 2016 and in Windows 10.
Security has always stood at the center of Windows Server. With the release of Windows Server 2016, users now have access to a host of new cyber security features, giving you a head start in protecting your business.
In this exam, I got something around 50 questions, and the total time for this exam is 120 minutes. The questions do pretty much match the list of skills measured below.
Skills measured on this exam
Implement server hardening solutions
- Configure disk and file encryption
- Implement server patching and updating solutions
- Implement malware protection
- Protect credentials
- Create security baselines
Secure a Virtualization Infrastructure
- Implement a Guarded Fabric solution
- Implement shielded and encryption-supported VMs
Secure a network infrastructure
- Configure Windows Firewall
- Implement a software-defined Distributed Firewall
- Secure network traffic
Manage Privileged Identities
- Implement an Enhanced Security Administrative Environment administrative forest design approach
- Implement Just-in-Time administration
- Implement Just-Enough-Administration
- Implement Privileged Access Workstations and User Rights Assignments
- Implement Local Administrator Password Solution
Implement threat detection solutions
- Configure advanced audit policies
- Install and configure Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics
- Determine threat detection solutions using Operations Management Suite
Implement workload-specific security
- Secure application development and server workload infrastructure
- Implement a Secure File Services infrastructure and Dynamic Access Control
Do not take the exam lightly at all!
Overall, I spent couple of months preparing for this exam. I was early tester of Windows Server 2016 since Technical Preview 1 came out back on October 1st, 2014. In addition to performing my daily work and going through all of the materials listed above. Having said that, I took around 1 hour and half to finish the exam, and did my best.
Lessons learned and preparation
Practice, practice and practice… I cannot stress enough that hands-on experience will help you pass this exam.
I am sure that it is much easier to pass the exam if you have worked with the new release of Windows Server 2016. Download the evaluation versions of Windows Server 2016 RTM and start testing the new security features.
You can also order the Exam Ref 70-744 Securing Windows Server 2016 which was released on 20/12/2016.
This book prepare you for Microsoft Exam 70-744—and help demonstrate your real-world mastery of securing Windows Server 2016 environments. It is designed for experienced IT professionals ready to advance their status, Exam Ref focuses on the critical-thinking and decision-making acumen needed for success at the MCSE level. I highly recommend to read this book 3 times! Yes, I said three times, repetition is the key to pass this exam. There is a lot of content and security features covered in this book.
If you prefer an instructor-led course delivered in a classroom, Microsoft recommend you prepare for the exam by completing the relevant MOC (Microsoft Official Curriculum) course MOC 20744.
Good source to read as well is the free book Introducing Windows Server 2016.
If you don’t have the previous MCSA for Windows Server 2012 R2, then you’ll need to pass three exams, to achieve the MCSA for Windows Server 2016 certification:
- Exam 70-740: Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016.
- Exam 70-741: Networking with Windows Server 2016.
- Exam 70-742: Identity with Windows Server 2016.
If you are going to take this exam… I wish you all the best and good luck!