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September 9, 2009

Hyper-V Certification: Windows Server Virtualization, Configuration Exam 70-652


Hyper-V is becoming more and more popular in the virtual world and so is the Hyper-V certification — MCTS: Windows Server Virtualization, Configuration.

I’m not sure if many of you were aware that this certification even exists, since it’s not as popular as the other Windows Server certifications. In fact, only a little bit over 2 thousand people hold the Hyper-V cert, compared to over 37, 35 and 28 thousand for Active Directory, Network Infrastructure, and Applications Infrastructure certifications, respectively.

Hyper-V CertificationNote: The above stats are from 9/9/09; to see more current stats go here.

Well, now that you’re aware of the Hyper-V cert let me give you all the info on what you need to do to get it.

Hyper-V Exam 70-652 Details

From what I heard, the number of exam questions is around 50 with approximately 90-120 minutes to complete them all. The passing score was reported to be the usual 700.

I hear that it has a lot more lab questions that any other MCTS exam.  Overall, however, this exam is not too difficult and with solid preparation and lots of practice you are guaranteed to ace it.

As always, I strongly suggest going through all the questions and answering the ones you know how to answer first.  While doing so, mark the ones that will take longer for you to answer as well as the ones you have no clue about. Once you go through all the questions and reach the final one on your first “round” go back and review the marked questions for the rest of the allotted time.

By using this method you will have a chance to answer all the questions you know and then spend the rest of your time on the ones that you might not be sure about. Be aware of changing your answers on the second run, though. Chances are your “gut feeling” was right and the answer you picked the first time is correct.

Trust me on this one, I learned the hard way :)

Hyper-V Exam 70-652 Topics

There are 4 main topics on the Windows Server Virtualization, Configuring exam:

  • Installing Hyper-V (14%)
  • Configuring and Optimizing Hyper-V (20%)
  • Deploying Virtual Machines (30%)
  • Managing and Monitoring Virtual Machines (36%)

Make sure you know how to deploy, configure and manage Hyper-V machines since it accounts for nearly 2/3 of the exam questions.

I also found out through lots of forums and the nice people who shared their exam experiences that you need to be familiar with SCVMM08 (Systems Center, Virtual Machine Manager), clustering/quick migration requirements, how to use snapshots withing Hyper-V, Authorization Manager, iSCSI configuration for failover clustering, and versioning information for both VMs and Host Servers.

More details about the topics covered are included on this Microsoft page.

Where to Start

You need to start with a good source of information for learning the theory behind virtualization. You can either buy a book or get a training video for this.

Next you need to get yourself a testing environment and put the theory into practice. This should be quite easy since all you need is one decent machine on which you can run multiple virtual machines, or should I say, Hyper-V machines.

As far as hardware is concerned, I would suggest getting at least 4GB of RAM and at least 200GB of hard disk space. You want to be able to run a couple VMs at the same time and still have decent speed.

If you decide to prepare with our Hyper-V training, Coach will show you step-by-step how to create multiple virtual machines to use for practice plus lots of other cool stuff.

Don’t I Need Experience?

Microsoft suggests that you have “at least one and a half years of experience working in Windows Server 2003 and/or Windows 2008 Server environments as system administrators.”  In addition it states that you should be familiar with virtualization products and technologies.”

This is a pretty typical suggestion from Microsoft, they want to make sure that you get enough experience with the technology before you start preparing for the exam.

I would like to add to that and say that if you don’t have the 1.5 years of experience you can make up some of the lost time by practicing.

Start by building your own virtual environment and practice, practice, practice. Break your virtual machines, fix them, and learn as much as you can. Remember that re-creating your VMs is a quick and easy fix, but that’s not the true fix; you should be able to fix them without re-creating them. Find out what went wrong so you can be a real professional in a production environment and on the job.

Practice is also the best way to learn the material for the exam, so make sure you’re getting enough of it.

Why Do I Want to Get Hyper-V Certified?

Virtualization is becoming more and more popular, which means Virtualization experts are becoming more and more in demand.

The Hyper-V certification will give you an edge over your competitors in job searching. As I mentioned in the beginning, there aren’t a lot of Hyper-V experts out there and this cert will give you a chance to become one.

By preparing for and passing the 70-652 exam you will be able to show prospective employers that you’re proficient in setting up, configuring and managing Hyper-V, which should also make you eligible for that promotion or raise you’ve been looking to score.

About the Author

(MCTS Active Directory, MCTS Vista, Network+, Linux+, Project+, PMP) is an experienced Network Support Specialist and an expert in Windows Server support. She graduated from DePaul University, Chicago with a Bachelor degree in Network Technologies with highest honors. Gosia has over 8 years of technical and support experience and has worked as Systems Administrator for a high profile law firm, where she managed the Backup and Disaster Recovery plan. Gosia has been a part of the Train Signal team since 2006 as the Product Manager and has written many articles on a variety of topics, including Exchange Server 2007, Windows Vista, Small Business Server, and more.