Microsoft Virtual Academy: Server Infrastructure

Server infrastructure is a simple way of saying ‘server support’. The infrastructure of a server is made up of the various tools of support and organization which exist within it. In order for an infrastructure to work, the server must be set up properly. In other words, its operations must be monitored closely, and its services must be managed consistently. Servers that are properly managed have an infrastructure which works silently and seamlessly, in the background.

There are many server infrastructure products and tools, but one doesn’t necessarily need to be a computer or data scientist in order to reach an understanding of server support. Server requirements and functions change from one company/organization to another. Servers have different strengths and weaknesses. Even so, there is some information which is always relevant, whether it is a small business or a huge enterprise:

Server Support

Server Support

Location – where the servers are located.

Operation – what they are doing (generally speaking).

Configuration – what hardware and software they are running.

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) has over 120 courses on server infrastructure, with the first ones being released all the way back in 2011. These courses cover issues such as migration and upgrading, working with datacenter and Azure, PowerShell essentials, server networking, virtualization, and others.

Examples of some of the top courses in MVA’s server infrastructure section are: Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center, System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager Management Pack, Windows Server 2012 R2: Active Directory Enhancements, and Using PowerShell for Active Directory.

Course Review: Introduction to Hyper-V Jump Start

One of the most popular courses is Introduction to Hyper-V Jump Start, instructed by Symon Perriman and Jeff Woolsey. This course is one designed to help IT professionals work with Hyper-V to perform tasks in Windows Server 2012. It is a Level 200 course, so it applies to IT pros with at least six months of experience in virtualization.

This course acts as a prep course for those about to sit for their Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Private Cloud Certification exams. Gaining such a certificate qualifies the earner for such jobs as server administrator, systems programmer, and network manager.

This course covers the following topics:

  • Introduction to Microsoft Virtualization
  • Hyper-V Infrastructure
  • Hyper-V Networking
  • Hyper-V Storage
  • Hyper-V Management
  • Hyper-V High Availability and Live Migration
  • Integration with System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager
  • Integration with Other System Center 2012 Components

This course is nearly 12 hours long, and is worth 32 points (with an additional 15 points added upon completion of the course). It includes eight modules, which are made up of video and slideshow presentations.

Perriman is a senior technical evangelist with Microsoft, industry expert, author, speaker, and trainer. He is specifically focused on Private Cloud, System Center and Hyper-V. Perriman is a VMware Certified Professional, and has many other credentials under his belt.

Woolsey is a Principal Program Manager at Microsoft for the Cloud and Enterprise Division and a leading expert on Virtualization and Private Cloud. Jeff has worked on virtualization technology for over sixteen years. He plays a leading role in the Windows Server Engineering team, helping to shape the design requirements for Windows Server, System Center, and Hyper-V.

Course Review: Getting Started with PowerShell 3.0 Jump Start

Another very popular course is Getting Started with PowerShell 3.0 Jump Start, instructed by Jeffrey Snover and Jason Helmick. This course is for those interested in seeing what PowerShell is and how it can work for them. It is a Level 200 course, which is aimed at IT professionals, admins, and help desk persons. With the help of this JumpStart tutorial, users can learn how to use PowerShell to improve management capabilities, automate redundant tasks, and manage the environment in scale.

Instructor Jeffrey Snover

Instructor Jeffrey Snover

The topics covered in this course are:

  • Don’t fear the shell – an overview
  • The help system
  • The pipeline: getting connected & extending the shell
  • Objects for the Admin
  • The pipeline: deeper
  • The PowerShell in the shell: remoting
  • Getting prepared for automation
  • Automation in scale: remoting
  • Introducing scripting and toolmaking
  • Recommended Resources & Next Steps for PowerShell 3.0

This course is worth 86 points. It runs approximately 11 hours, has 10 modules and nine assessment exams. Included with each module is a downloadable slideshow presentation, which features important slides and screen captures. These can help students follow the instructor’s words and actions.

Snover is a Technical Fellow, Lead Architect, engineer, and consultant. He is credited with designing Windows PowerShell. Snover joined Microsoft in 1999, and has over 32 years of industry experience with a focus on management technologies and solutions. He is a frequent speaker at industry and research conferences on a variety of management and language topics.

Helmick is a Senior Technologist at Concentrated Technology. He is the founder and CFO of, a Windows PowerShell Most Valuable Professional (MVP), and a popular author and speaker at industry events. He is also a frequent contributor to publications such as TechNet, RedMond, and TechTarget.

Instructor Jason Helmick

Instructor Jason Helmick

A good IT professional is a problem solver. When it comes to server infrastructure, it is essential that the admin or manager be able to provide quick solutions for any problems that may arise. Keeping an eye on the details, and being skilled and knowledgeable in the latest infrastructure tools – that is what turns a good IT professional into a great one. A valued one.

If you want to help your business or organization grow in the right direction, and give it the industrial peace and quiet necessary for optimal performance, MVA’s server infrastructure courses are a great way to learn about the ways to reduce costs, improve daily operations, and gain speedier delivery of services.

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