20 Years as a Microsoft Certified Trainer

This year, on 25 April 2018 I am celebrating 20 years as a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT).

My journey with Microsoft certifications started actually on 09 Feb 1998 when I passed my first MCP exam:

  • 70-067 Implementing and Supporting NT Server 4.0

Then I passed the following exams:

  • 70-073 Implementing and Supporting NT 4.0 Workstation
  • 70-058 Networking Essentials
  • 70-059 Internetworking with Microsoft TCP/IP on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0

and obtained MCSE on Windows NT 4.0

At that time Microsoft had the requirement that a candidate trainer must attend a course to obtain the MCT certification. The first Microsoft course I ever attended was actually 688 Internetworking with Microsoft TCP/IP on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0. I enjoyed it very much, I still have at home the manual for this course. I think it was one of the best courses Microsoft ever made.

One of the next exams which I passed was 70-081 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5, and then I delivered the first Exchange 5.5 courses in Romania. I still recall doing the manual setup for these courses, which involved installing some 12 Exchange Servers on physical classroom computers (no virtualization at that time).

Since then, I have delivered courses for Windows Server (2000, 2003, 2008, 2012) and also expanded to other Microsoft infrastructure technologies like Exchange, SharePoint, SMS/SCCM, MOM/SCOM, Hyper-V, SCVMM, Private Cloud, PowerShell, to mention just a few.

20 years later, I still enjoy teaching, being in front of the classroom and telling technology stories to the attendees.

I am hoping I will do the same for the next 20 years.

Later edit: I also got my anniversary 20 years MCT jacket. Thank you, Microsoft Learning!

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Spring is coming

During the week-end I visited Kasteel van Groot-Bijgaarden, near Brussels. They have a flower exhibition each year in April – Floralia Brusssels.

This year was not so good for the tulips, because of the cold and rain. However they had a very nice indoor flower exhibition. Please see some pictures below.


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Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!
Joyeuses Pâques!
Vrolijk Pasen!
Frohe Ostern!
Kellemes Húsvéti Ünnepeket!
Buona Pasqua!
¡Felices Pascuas!
Glad Påsk!
Paște Fericit!

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Preparing for Microsoft Azure certification exams

Microsoft Learning has published a page with preparation resources for all Microsoft Azure certification exams.

This is covering existing exams as well as beta and soon to be released exams:

Some of these exams are included in the roadmaps for the following certifications:

The page includes links to online trainings from edX. Microsoft Learning published a lot of online trainings on edX lately. Some popular Microsoft Azure trainings are featured on Microsoft website.

I would like to complement this with additional resources I found very useful:

I would start with Microsoft Azure Documentation. This is THE reference for all Azure services.

Another very useful site is Microsoft Virtual Academy. There are plenty of Azure trainings, just use the search. If you register, you can also gain points and earn badges.

In particular, for the Azure exams:

Also for the related EMS exam:

Preparing for Exam 70-398: Planning for and Managing Devices in the Enterprise

Another recommended site is Channel 9. There are plenty of Azure related videos.

I particularly like the Channel 9 Shows, meaning series of videos on specific topics. Many of them are contributed by MVPs. Some selections from the shows related to Azure:

Some exam preparation sessions from Microsoft Ignite 2017

By the way, the recorded sessions from Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft Build and Connect() are available online.

Happy Learning!

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Celebrating 100 years from the Union of Basarabia with Romania

100 years ago, on 27 March 1918 National Council of Bessarabia proclaimed union with the Kingdom of Romania.

You can read more information about this event here: Union of Bessarabia with Romania.













Picture obtained from Wikipedia: Public domain. Document from 1918, rendered from facsimile in Albina. Revistă pentru Popor, March 1928 issue.

Actul Unirii
Votat de Sfatul Ţării
La 27 Martie St. V. 1918
În numele poporului Basarabiei. Sfatul Ţării declară: Republica Democratică Moldovenească (Basarabia) în hotarele ei dintre Prut, Nistru, Dunăre, Marea Neagră şi vechile graniţe cu Austria, ruptă de Rusia acum o sută şi mai bine de ani, din trupul vechii Moldove. În puterea dreptului istoric şi dreptului de neam, pe baza principiului ca noroadele singure să-şi hotărască soarta lor de azi înainte şi pentru totdeauna se uneşte cu mama ei România.
Trăiască unirea Basarabiei cu România
de-a pururi şi totdeauna!
Preşedintele Sfatului Ţării
Ion Inculeţ;
Pantelimon Halippa;
Secretarul Sfatului Ţării,
I. Buzdugan

Mai multe informatii pe Wikipedia: Unirea Basarabiei cu România.

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Update 1802 for System Center Configuration Manager available in Current Branch

My last week was full with System Center Configuration Manager :-). I delivered course 20703-1A: Administering System Center Configuration Manager, I took the Beta Exam 70-703: Administering Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and Cloud Services Integration.

To make the week complete, some great news from the Configuration Manager Team:

Update 1802 for System Center Configuration Manager – Current Branch (CB) is now available!

Previously, it was available in Technical Preview branch, for early adopters.

The key word is co-management. This feature was introduced in Configuration Manager version 1710,  and enables you to concurrently manage Windows 10, version 1709 (Fall Creators Update) devices by using both Configuration Manager and Intune.

  • For on-premise management you need to install the System Center Configuration Manager client. This will offer you full management capabilities, as for other Windows desktop operating systems, based on System Center Configuration Manager infrastructure (Management Point, etc…)
  • For cloud-based management using Microsoft Intune, the device must be automatically enrolled in Azure AD for MDM and will use the OMA-DM protocol for management.

Update 1802 for System Center Configuration Manager is building on this feature with additional functionality.

Please note that you cannot use co-management with Hybrid MDM configuration. I would personally take a guess that co-management will eventually replace Hybrid MDM. Right now I believe this is the best way to manage Windows 10 devices both on-premise and on the Internet.

Please read more details on:

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Course 20703-1A: Administering System Center Configuration Manager

This week I delivered at MBL Computers – ComputerLand training center in Bucharest the course 20703-1A: Administering System Center Configuration Manager. This 5-day course is covering on System Center Configuration Manager 2016, was released in July 2017 and is the replacement for the courses 10747 and 20696 which were discussing System Center Configuration Manager 2012.

Course 20703-1A is a pure administration course for an on premise only deployment of System Center Configuration Manager 2016 . It covers infrastructure configuration, discovery, client deployment, hardware and software inventory, Asset Intelligence, reporting, content distribution, application management and deployment, software updates management, Endpoint Protection, compliance settings, operating system deployment, support and operations tasks. From this perspective, course 20703-1A is targeted as Systems Administrators that need to manage an on premise System Center Configuration Manager 2016.

In the past I delivered courses for Systems Management Server 2003 (courses 2596 and 2597), System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (course 6451), System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (courses 10747, 10748 and 20696) and I must say I am very happy with 20703-1A. This course has very good content, lot of technical details and strong hands-on labs. It was a pleasure to deliver it.

Unlike 20696, course 20703-1A does not cover Intune, EMS and Cloud Services. Microsoft Learning took the decision to create another 3-day course, 20703-2A: Integrating MDM and Cloud Services with System Center Configuration Manager. This course is focusing on Mobile Device Management, Internet Based Client Management, managing Microsoft Store for Business and Office 365 applications, hybrid MDM with Configuration Management and Intune as well as on premise MDM for Windows 10.

Microsoft recently released, on 8 March 2018, the Beta Exam 70-703: Administering Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and Cloud Services Integration. The exam topics include both on premise deployment of System Center Configuration Manager 2016, as well as Microsoft Intune and Cloud Services. Both courses 20703-1A  and 20703-2A are recommended in preparation for this exam.

I took the exam 70-703 in beta. I would say it is a fair exam, no tricky questions, a lot of scenarios. As one would expect from reading the exam objectives, about 25-30% of questions are related to cloud features.

Looking forward for the next delivery!

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Beta Exam 70-703: Administering Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and Cloud Services Integration

Microsoft Learning just announced on the Born to Learn blog the availability of the Beta version for the exam 70-703: Administering Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and Cloud Services Integration (Beta). This exam is covering System Center Configuration Manager 2016.

Exam 70-703 will replace 70-696 which is scheduled to retire on 31 March 2018.

A discount code for 80% reduction on exam fee is also available on the Born to Learn blog post. I have just used it to register for the exam myself :-).

Later edit: Also the MCSE: Mobility certification will be updated so it will include exam 70-703 as an elective exam. The certification requirements will include:

Take one elective exam from the following:

Looks like I have to register to take some more exams …

Update 10 July 2017: I passed the exam !!!

Just received the notification today:

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Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year! Have a healthy and prosperous 2018!
La Mulţi Ani!
Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!
Bonne année!
Ein gutes neues Jahr!
Boldog Új Évet!
Gott nytt år!
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
Felice anno nuovo

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CEE MVP Community Connection 2017

On 20-22 October 2017 I have attended the event CEE MVP Community Connection 2017 in Budapest, Hungary.

The event took place at the hotel Novotel Budapest Danube, nicely located just across the Parliament building.

There were more than 100 attendees, all MVPs from Central and Eastern Europe region. It was a great pleasure to meet again old friends like Slavko Kukrika, Florin Loghiade, Tudy Damian, Mihai Tataran, Alex Mang, Silviu Niculita, Catalin Gheorghiu.

The event was carefully organized by great hosts Gerbert and Tatiana. Thank you very much for providing us an opportunity to meet with Microsoft reps and fellow MVPs.
There were very good presentations (nothing I can talk about). We had even Laurent Ellerbach joining us for lunch.

It was a very enjoyable event! Glad I was part of it!

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