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MCSE Communication Software, Licensing and Hardware RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I'm considering the MCSE Communication certification and have a couple questions.  I'd like to know how the folks that are preparing for this certification are setting up their lab environment.  Specifically:

    1) How to obtain the software and licensing.  I'm new to Microsoft certifications and have been trying to figure out if Microsoft has an equivalent of the Cisco 'Not For Resale' kit which provides all the UC software and licensing for about $275.

    2) Should I build a new server for the MS lab environment?  My current lab contains an ESXi server with different Linux/Windows systems running but if it's recommended to have a bare metal Windows Server running Hyper-V, then I'll go that route.

    Having my own lab is also important to me for (MS<-->Cisco) integration testing so hosted labs are not preferred.

    Thanks

    Friday, September 4, 2015 2:48 PM

Answers

  • I suggest that first of all you take a look at the free Virtual Labs:

    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs?id=929tX7+Qq4U

    They might be enough for your preparation purposes and then you will not have to install your own.

    If you still need to obtain the software, your first option is to use the "demo" versions, which are fully functional but have a time limit which is typically 120 days. This should be enough for studying for a certification.

    Another option would be to get one of the Action Packs ($475 for one year), if one of them fulfills your software needs:

    https://mspartner.microsoft.com/en/us/pages/membership/action-pack.aspx

    An yet another option would be to get a MSDN subscription. This is expensive, since you would need the "Enterprise" level if you want it to include Lync. But it includes just about every MS piece of software you might need, and it doesn't expire even if you don't renew the subscription (or at least it didn't in the past; they may have changed the license since).

    • Proposed as answer by Mustafa ToromanMVP Monday, September 7, 2015 8:58 AM
    • Marked as answer by lefty29er Saturday, September 19, 2015 11:54 AM
    Saturday, September 5, 2015 7:09 AM

All replies

  • I suggest that first of all you take a look at the free Virtual Labs:

    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs?id=929tX7+Qq4U

    They might be enough for your preparation purposes and then you will not have to install your own.

    If you still need to obtain the software, your first option is to use the "demo" versions, which are fully functional but have a time limit which is typically 120 days. This should be enough for studying for a certification.

    Another option would be to get one of the Action Packs ($475 for one year), if one of them fulfills your software needs:

    https://mspartner.microsoft.com/en/us/pages/membership/action-pack.aspx

    An yet another option would be to get a MSDN subscription. This is expensive, since you would need the "Enterprise" level if you want it to include Lync. But it includes just about every MS piece of software you might need, and it doesn't expire even if you don't renew the subscription (or at least it didn't in the past; they may have changed the license since).

    • Proposed as answer by Mustafa ToromanMVP Monday, September 7, 2015 8:58 AM
    • Marked as answer by lefty29er Saturday, September 19, 2015 11:54 AM
    Saturday, September 5, 2015 7:09 AM
  • Alberto,

    Thanks very much!  I'll look into each of these.  Your help is greatly appreciated.

    Marty

    Saturday, September 19, 2015 11:58 AM