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Book review : Cloud Essentials – CompTIA Authorized Courseware for Exam CLO-001

9781118408735 cover.indd

Introduction

For those who haven’t read my previous blog posts, here’s a short summary. About 1,5 – 2 years ago I decided that I wanted to know more about cloud computing and get certified as well. I used freely available resources to attain these certifications:

In short, my conclusion was that the quality of the freely available resources were not sufficient. ITpreneurs were kind enough to provide me with access to their e-learning course and Train Signal (now Pluralsight) provided me with their video training. Reviews for both can be found here:

Even though both resources are good, I personally prefer a book over eLearning and video training. As such I picked up a copy of “Cloud Essentials : CompTIA Authorized Courseware for Exam CLO-001

Review

Number of pages: 268
ISBN: 978-1-118-40873-5
Released
: June 2013

My opinion:

The book is well written and knows to provide a very good basis of cloud computing both technical and non-technical. Even though the number of pages is limited, the most important aspects are covered in my opinion, which should be enough to provide insight and to pass the Exin and Comptia cloud exams.

What I disliked are some of the questions at the end of the book, because they are sometimes a bit strange. But as far as I can remember, this was also the case in the official exams … so better get used to it if you are going to get certified.

All in all, this is a very good book to get started with cloud computing.

 

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2014 in Cloud, ICT, Learning, Private cloud, Public Cloud

 

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Microsoft – Preparing for free exam 74-409 Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center

Exam dumps

Unfortunately I’ve received numerous requests for an exam dump of 74-409 which really upsets me.

For those that are not aware of it, you are not allowed to share or use exam dumps. “If Microsoft learns that a candidate used a “brain dump” site to prepare for an exam, this candidate will be permanently banned or prohibited from taking any future Microsoft Certification exams and may be decertified from the Microsoft Certification Program. In addition, test scores and certifications, if applicable, may be revoked. These actions may be taken even if the candidate did not intend to defraud the Microsoft Certification Program.”

For more information, see:
http://borntolearn.mslearn.net/btl/b/weblog/archive/2013/01/02/why-brain-dumps-are-bad.aspx

Preparing to take the exam

This is generally what I do for preparing to take the exam:

  1. Determine the skills that are measured in the exam 74-409
  2. View the online course Server Virtualization with Windows Hyper-V and System Center at Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA)
  3. Reflect how confident you are that the online course has provided you with sufficient skills to take the exam.
  4. Optionally enhance your knowledge using:

Specific topics and resources I used while studying:

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Apple – Notes / summary for the “Mac Integration Basics 10.8 Exam”

People that know me, know that I’ve mainly been working with Microsoft my whole life. Lately however, I’ve been working with an Apple MacBook Pro with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion however and I intend to  enough knowledge and experience to get the following certifications:

  • Apple Certified Associate – Mac Integration 10.8
  • Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP) 10.8
  • Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) 10.8

So keep an eye on my blog if you want to learn more about Apple’s Mac OS X and its certifications. Read more about other Apple certifications on their Training and Certification page.

The “Mac Integration Basics 10.8 Exam”

For people new to Mac and OS X, Apple offers the Associate certification for Mac Integration. This covers OS X basics and describes options to integrate OS X into an existing (Windows) environment. The exam costs $65 and can be taken online.

Even though the guide that Apple provides isn’t that big to begin with, I decided to summarize it anyways. I hope it is useful to someone else as well.

Also if you want to get more in-depth knowledge about OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, check out this great book: Apple Pro Training Series: OS X Support Essentials. Before purchasing, you might also want to look for coupon codes as it might save you 30% off or more.

Notes / summary for the “Mac Integration Basics 10.8 Exam”

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Posted by on January 27, 2013 in Apple, ICT, Learning, OS X

 

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My opinion about the TrainSignal CompTIA Cloud Essentials training videos

Introduction

For those who haven’t read my previous blog posts, here’s a short summary. A couple of weeks ago I decided that I wanted to know more about cloud computing and get certified as well. I used freely available resources to attain these certifications:

In short, my conclusion was that the quality of the freely available resources were not sufficient. ITpreneurs responded to this by giving me access to their own paid ITpreneurs Cloud Essentials eLearning Course which I reviewed here.

I also contacted TrainSignal to get access to their training videos for CompTIA Cloud Essentials because their previous training videos on different subjects have always been great. They were kind enough to grant me access to the training videos which made this review possible.

Review

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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Cloud, ICT, Learning, Private cloud, Public Cloud, Security

 

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My opinion about the ITpreneurs Cloud Essentials eLearning Course

Introduction

For those who haven’t read my previous blog posts, here’s a short summary. A couple of weeks ago I decided that I wanted to know more about cloud computing and get certified as well. I used freely available resources to attain these certifications:

In short, my conclusion was that the quality of the freely available resources were not sufficient. ITpreneurs responded to this by giving me access to their own paid ITpreneurs Cloud Essentials eLearning Course.

First of all, thanks to ITpreneurs for this opportunity. Also even though they provided me with access to this course, nothing was expected in return. They just wanted to share their knowledge with me. Because of my personality, I felt however that that the very least I could do was to:

  1. Provide constructive feedback on the course
  2. Write about how I experienced the eLearning course

And this blog post is the result.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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The power of passion (and how I got access to commercial cloud learning materials)

People who know me personally, know that I’m very passionate about ICT. Some of you might also have read about my previous blog post regarding cloud certifications. In this post I described how I prepared for the cloud certifications CompTIA Cloud Essentials (CLO-001) and Exin Cloud Computing Foundation (CLOUDF). In this post I also said that I felt that the quality of the freely available materials was lacking and suggested people would check out other (paid) learning resources like by example the TrainSignal CompTIA Cloud Essentials training videos because they have a good reputation regarding training videos.

Because I was still curious about the quality of the paid training materials, I decided to contact TrainSignal to see if they were willing to provide me with a review copy. I hoped they would agree, but didn’t have high expectations. To my surprise however, they provided me with a review copy.

In the meanwhile, ITpreneurs contacted me to check out their IT Preneurs Cloud Essentials Course. I really liked that they contacted me, because to me this feels like they’re very passionate too and are continuously trying to improve.

I’ve already completed the IT Preneurs Cloud Essentials Course and will be posting my opinion on this blog very soon. I still have to start reviewing the TrainSignal CompTIA Cloud Essentials training videos, but I’ll try to do this as soon as possible as well.

If you have specific questions regarding one of both learning materials, please leave a comment so I can include it in my reviews.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Cloud, ICT, Learning, Private cloud, Public Cloud, Security

 

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Cloud essentials/foundations training and certification

Cloud computing is getting increasingly important nowadays and I expect it to keep on growing substantially. As most ICT professionals I’ve read a lot about cloud computing and I know some parts of it. To increase (and test) my knowledge about cloud computing, I decided to try and get these certifications:

These exams don’t just focus on the technical aspects of the cloud, but also on the business aspects and what cloud computing could mean for your ITIL processes.

I passed both exams todat with scores of respectively 86% and 80%. But I have to say that I did not like the exams very much. I feel this way because cloud computing is such a broad concept and the “best” solution often depends on many factors, which of course are not provided in the exam. I think these exams would both benefit greatly from using cases/scenarios. It’s a pity I did not see any option to comment on the exam questions either.

If I’d have to choose which certification I found most valueable, I’d go with the Comptia Cloud Essentials certification.

Free study materials I used:

I thought the quality of these study materials were mediocre at best and I have my doubts about the correctness of some of the statements. Especially because cloud computing is defined in many different ways and because the “best” answer often depends on the situation which is not described. But as with everything, you can learn a lot from it by being critical and looking up everything you don’t know YET and/or have doubts about. You will learn more this way, which is far more important than just getting certified. I personally learned a lot especially about specific cloud services. Unfortunately I did not have access to paid materials, otherwise I would have loved to check out the Train Signal CompTIA Cloud Essentials training videos seeing as they have a reputation to provide high quality material.

I will now close with some wise words I read on Seth Godin’s blog post called “Curiosity was framed“:

Curiosity was framed

  • Avoid it at your peril. The cat’s not even sick. (HT to C. J. Cherryh)
  • If you don’t know how it works, find out.
  • If you’re not sure if it will work, try it.
  • If it doesn’t make sense, play with it until it does.
  • If it’s not broken, break it.
  • If it might not be true, find out.
  • And most of all, if someone says it is none of your business, prove them wrong.

There are many more great posts on Seth Godin’s blog so be sure to check it out.

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Cloud, ICT, Learning, Private cloud, Public Cloud, Security

 

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How to get access to free Microsoft beta exams

When Microsoft creates new (versions of their) software, they also create new exams to become certified. Part of this process includes testing the exams, determining the passing score, getting feedback and improving the exams based on the feedback (deciding which questions to use, removing questions, re-phrasing, etc.). More information can be found here.

To get feedback, Microsoft offers access to these beta exams for free. They do this publicly using by example the born to learn blog or privately using mail to select subject matter experts (SME) based on their profiles on Microsoft Connect. So if you’re interested in taking beta exams, update the information on the Microsoft Connect site to get private invites to the latest beta exams that are relevant to you. More information about the invite procedure can be found on the Born To Learn blog. Also keep in mind that public invites might be limited using a first-come, first served principle so check on a regular basis.

Advantages and disadvantages of taking beta exams:
+ It is free if you received an invite. Nowadays you can also take beta exams if you haven’t had an invite, but then you need to pay for the exam.
+ You have a chance to become one of the first people to become certified for the new software.
+ If you pass a beta exam, you passed it legitimately because there are no answers to download online.
+ Even if you fail the beta exam, you’ve still learned a lot about the new (version of the) software.
– In general there are no books available yet and you have to get all your information from hands-on experience, blogs, technet, websites, etc.
– The time frame you have to prepare for the exams can be (very) limited. For example with the last invites for the Server 2012 beta exams I had only 2 weeks to prepare for multiple exams.
– After you’ve taken a beta exam, it might take 2-3 months before you get the result.

Beta exams I’ve taken recently include those for Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, System Center 2012 and Office 365. I expect the next beta exams to cover mainly Office 15/Office 2013 related products like by example Sharepoint, Exchange, Lync. So if you’re interested in these beta exams be sure to keep a close eye on the beta exams and start working with and learning about the products already.

I hope this was informative and that it well help you and/or your company gain a competitive advantage.

 

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