Upgrading Your Certification to Windows Server 2008 R2
Lately, there seems to be a lot of interest in Windows Server 2008 R2 certifications. I have had several people asking me if there are Windows Server 2008 R2 specific exams, or if Microsoft has an upgrade path in place for those who have passed some of the Windows Server 2008 exams but want to upgrade their certifications to Windows Server 2008 R2. In this article, I will attempt to answer these and other questions.
With that said, let me just say upfront that Microsoft doesn’t yet offer a Windows Server 2008 R2-specific certification. There are three Windows Server 2008 R2 exams, but these exams are geared more toward virtualization than to the overall mastery of the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. Those exams include:
- [lb] Exam 70-693: Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2 Virtualization Administrator
- [lb] Exam 70-669: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization
- [lb] Exam 70-659: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization
Being that there is no Windows Server 2008-specific certification (other than those I have mentioned above), there is no upgrade path for upgrading a Windows Server 2008 certification to Windows Server 2008 R2.
Windows Server 2008 R2 Exam Content
Even though the three exams listed above are the only ones that list Windows Server 2008 R2 in the exam title, it does not mean that Microsoft does not test on Windows Server 2008 R2 content in other ways.
What originally drew me to writing about Windows Server 2008 R2 certifications was that I kept seeing posts on various message boards from people who had allegedly studied for the 70-640 exam (TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring) only to fail it miserably because Microsoft had extended the exam to include lots of Windows Server 2008 R2 content.
When I first began reading these complaints, there was nothing on the Microsoft Learning site to indicate that the exam contained Windows Server 2008 R2-specific content. Furthermore, none of the publishers who produce exam study guides were saying anything about Microsoft exams being extended to include Windows Server 2008 R2 content.
I initially dismissed the notion as a rumor. Even so, I kept seeing more and more posts from people who had taken the 70-640 exam and claimed that it had been extended from 40 questions to 75 questions and that much of the new content revolved around Windows Server 2008 R2. After doing a lot of looking, I eventually found confirmation from Microsoft.
In a message board post, Ben Watson, the director of Training Products for Microsoft Learning said, “Yes, the 70-640 exam has been updated to include R2 content. Other Windows Server 2008 exams also either include content now or will in the near future. The 70-640 prep guide update has been submitted to http://www.microsoft.com/learning and should go live tomorrow and the rest of the prep guides around September 1.”
After reading this post, I went back to the Microsoft Learning site and discovered that although exam 70-640’s title still references Windows Server 2008, the exam description now includes some Windows Server 2008 R2 specific content. The same also holds true for Exam 70-642 (TS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring).
Of course, the inclusion of Windows Server 2008 R2 content on these and possibly other Windows Server 2008 exams raises an important question. Being that Windows Server 2008 R2 is a minor Windows Server release, is it possible for someone who prepared for an exam using a study guide that was written prior to the release of Windows Server 2008 R2 to pass an exam?
Sadly, the answer seems to be no. The Internet message boards are filled with stories from people who have failed exams simply because they did not know that Windows Server 2008 R2 was going to be covered.