MCSA: Office 365 now a path to Exchange MCSE

Currently if you wish to pursue an MCSE in Exchange 2013 (or SharePoint or Lync) you required an MSCA in Windows 2012 first.  However, Microsoft have now changed this requirement so as an alternative, an MCSA in Office 365 can now be used as the pre-requisite certification.  For many professionals in the communication and collaboration field this may be a much more sensible approach.

Details of the Office 365 MCSA can be found at https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/mcsa-office365-certification.aspx

Exchange 2013 Preferred Architecture

During the recent Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC), Microsoft released their latest iteration of the Preferred Architecture (PA) for Exchange.  The guiding principle behind the design is simplicity and it is highly influenced by Office 365.

The PA design assumes that customers have two data centres and that both will be used concurrently for client connections.  The PA also assumes that clients are distributed between the two data centres or are connecting from external locations. If this is not the case, then customers would need to modify the design to fit their needs.

Although many customers will be designing from a different baseline, some of the recommendations will still apply so it’s worthwhile reading.  The blog post from Microsoft on the new PA can be found at: http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2014/04/21/the-preferred-architecture.aspx

Exchange Server 2013 Exams Updated for Service Pack 1

Exchange Server 2013 exams – specifically 70-341 and 70-342 – have now been updated for Service Pack 1. Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 introduced several new features and is compatible with  (and indeed required for) Windows Server 2012 R2.

Questions in both exams have been updated to remove any possible ambiguity. When a question is specifically referring to SP1 functionality, it is specified in the question, making it easy for candidates to know when service packs matter in terms of answering the question.