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The MCSE “v2” (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) certifications are an advanced (or the reflect the meaning of the name, the expert) level in Microsoft certifications. Introduced more than one year ago with the MCSA level, where completed with the MTA certifications that are the entry level, especially for people that don’t know already the Microsoft technologies.

I’ve reach the MCSE: Private Cloud certification on September 2012, but using some “short” path (time limited), so it wasn’t really a complete example of what are new MCSE certifications.

More difficult was the MCSE: Server Infrastructure, that I’ve took with the official exams and I’ve completed some weeks ago. As almost all the other MCSE certification you have to start from the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows Server 2012 certification. And then took two specific exams.

It’s funny that it’s similar for almost all the MCSE certifications, because this is really limiting the upgrade paths; like, for example, from MCTIP on Exchange or SharePoint. And maybe make less useful other MCSA certifications, considering the you have to start from the one on Windows 2012 server!

Starting from the MCSA level, the two required exam for the MCSE: Server Infrastructure certification are:

Both have a similar structure: some multiple-answers questions, some drag&drop questions and some scenarios based questions. As usually time it’s not an issue: you have enough (maybe too much) also considering the case where English is not your primary language (scenarios takes time, but there are only few question about it).

One negative aspect is that the scenario questions are considered as different sub-exams, so you have to complete them, submit this exam part, and go ahead with the other parts. I’ve found this a little confused and not helpful.

The problem it’s that those exams require the knowledge of a lot of different Microsoft technologies, including virtualization, managements (lot of questions on different System Center Components), and also some good basis on different other components (like for example SQL Server 2012).

Honestly I’ve found the 70-414 really difficult with several different questions. Fortunately for me there where several virtualization related questions (that I found simple), but I don’t understand the reason, considering that there is a specific MCSE for them!

So be really careful on those exams, that required both a deep and wide knowledge, not only on Server Infrastructure.

And remember also that MCSE (as already written in this post) certification does not have any product versions because, compared to the MCSA certifications, they have a limited time validity (2 or 3 years) and after it you have to renew them!

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Andrea MauroAbout Andrea Mauro (2694 Posts)

Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-18. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-18. Nutanix NTC 2014-18. PernixPro 2014-16. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.

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