Red-hot IT jobs released its Tech Trends Q1 report for 2014 and while the numbers are excellent across IT as a whole, they’re especially lucrative for tech consultants.

Most tech jobs gained and lost
Computer systems design pros in the Professional and Business Services sector saw the biggest gain in jobs for Q1, adding 17,200 from Q4 2013.

The news was not as good for those in computer and electronic products manufacturing, which lost 2,900 jobs since Q4. Data processing and hosting jobs also took a hit, losing the second-most: 1,600 since Q4.

Tech unemployment rate by job
Tech Trends broke down unemployment by position, unsurprisingly finding Web developers as the most-employed with a miniscule jobless rate.
0.7%: Web developers:
0.8%: Computer systems analysts
0.8%: Network architects
2.3%: Computer support specialists
2.6%: Programmers
2.7%: Database administrators
2.8%: Software developers
3.0%: Computer and information systems managers
3.2%: Network and systems administrators

Tech unemployment drops to recovery low
Overall tech unemployment dropped to 2.7% in Q1 2014, a recovery low and a full 4% below the quarterly national unemployment rate.

Here’s how the 2.7% rate compares to 2013:
Q1: 3.5%
Q2: 3.6%
Q3: 3.9%
Q4: 3.5%
Q1’s 2.7% is still higher than the all-time low of 1.8% in Q2 2007.

New consultant jobs skyrocket
The first quarter saw 17,200 new jobs, bringing the tech consulting workforce to more than 1.7 million.

“A survey of those responsible for hiring consultants, conducted by Source Information Services, found nearly all plan technology improvements this year, and most will use consultants to help,” notes Dice’s Mark Feffer. “Half will spend more on technology consultants than they did during 2013 and of those, half plan an increase of more than 10%.”

Consultant demand expected to increase
Surveys suggest consultant spending will continue to rise, especially in verticals such as:
Finance: New regulatory requirements and the popularity of online banking will drive demand.
Retail: The desire for more online offerings and “omnichannel” undertakings (seamless experience between brick-and-mortar and online) will spur more consultant hours.
Pharmaceuticals: A whopping 60% of pharma decision-makers say they plan to increase their consultant budget, but due to the sector’s small size, “the actual number of opportunities will be modest.”

Hours worked hit record high
There are thousands of open jobs in IT, which means organizations are turning to consultants to fill gaps or skill-set shortcomings until permanent hires can be made. This translates into consultants working nearly full-time hours: an average of 38.8 per week in February. Notes Dice’s Nick Kolakowski: “And given how that’s an average, it’s certain that many consultants are working far longer in order to keep their clients happy.”

Hourly rate hits all-time high
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly salary for tech consultants reached $42.17 in February 2014, an all-time high. By comparison, the 2006 average hourly rate was $36-$37 and has risen steadily since. Dice attributes the jump “in large part to growth in technology segments such as mobility and the cloud.”

It’s a hat trick for tech consultants, says Dice President Shravan Goli: more jobs, more wages and more hours. released its Tech Trends Q1 report for 2014 and while the numbers are excellent across IT as a whole, they’re especially lucrative for tech consultants. The good news just keeps on coming for the for-hire set, which saw a 4% pay increase last year, outdistancing the 3% average seen by the overall tech industry, according to the 2014 Dice Salary Survey.



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Fifteen Top-Paying Certifications for 2014

It’s always a good idea to take stock of your skills, your pay, and your certifications. To that end, John Hales, Global Knowledge VMware instructor, has outlined 15 of the top-paying certifications for 2014. With each certification, you’ll find the average (mean) salary and a brief description.

Based on the 2014 IT Skills and Salary Survey conducted by Global Knowledge and Penton and completed in October 2013, the rankings below are derived from certifications that received the minimum number of responses to be statistically relevant. Certain certifications pay more but are not represented due to their exclusive nature. Examples include Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE) and VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX). This was a nationwide survey, and variations exist based on where you work, years of experience, and company type (government, nonprofit, etc.).

Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) – $118,253
The non-profit group ISACA offers CRISC certification, much in the way that CompTIA manages the A+ and Network+ certifications. Formerly, “ISACA” stood for Information Systems Audit and Control Association, but now they’ve gone acronym only.

The CRISC certification is designed for IT professionals, project managers, and others whose job it is to identify and manage risks through appropriate information systems (IS) controls, covering the entire lifecycle, from design to implementation to ongoing maintenance. It measures two primary areas: risk and IS controls. Similar to the IS control lifecycle, the risk area spans the gamut from identification and assessment of the scope and likelihood of a particular risk to monitoring for it and responding to it if/when it occurs.

Since CRISC’s introduction in 2010, more than 17,000 people worldwide have earned this credential. The demand for people with these skills, and the relatively small supply of those who have them, result in this being the highest salary for any certification on our list this year.

To obtain CRISC certification, you must have at least three years of experience in at least three of the five areas that the certification covers, and you must pass the exam, which is only offered twice a year. This is not a case where you can just take a class and get certified. Achieving CRISC certification requires effort and years of planning.

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) – $114,844
ISACA also created CISM certification. It’s aimed at management more than the IT professional and focuses on security strategy and assessing the systems and policies in place more than it focuses on the person who actually implements those policies using a particular vendor’s platform.

More than 23,000 people have been certified since its introduction in 2002, making it a highly sought after area with a relatively small supply of certified individuals. In addition, the exam is only offered three times a year in one of approximately 240 locations, making taking the exam more of a challenge than many other certification exams. It also requires at least five years of experience in IS, with at least three of those as a security manager. As with CRISC, requirements for CISM certification demand effort and years of planning.

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) – $112,040
The third highest-paying certification is also from ISACA; this one is for IS auditors. CISA certification is ISACA’s oldest, dating back to 1978, with more than 106,000 people certified since its inception. CISA certification requires at least five years of experience in IS auditing, control, or security in addition to passing an exam that is only offered three times per year.

The CISA certification is usually obtained by those whose job responsibilities include auditing, monitoring, controlling, and/or assessing IT and/or business systems. It is designed to test the candidate’s ability to manage vulnerabilities, ensure compliance with standards, and propose controls, processes, and updates to a company’s policies to ensure compliance with accepted IT and business standards.

Six Sigma Green Belt – $109,165
Six Sigma is a process of analyzing defects (anything outside a customer’s specifications) in a production (manufacturing) process, with a goal of no more than 3.4 defects per million “opportunities” or chances for a defect to occur. The basic idea is to measure defects, analyze why they occurred, and then fix the issue and repeat. There is a process for improving existing processes and a slightly modified version for new processes or major changes. Motorola pioneered the concept in the mid-1980s, and many companies have since followed their examples to improve quality.

This certification is different from the others in this list, as it is not IT specific. Instead, it is primarily focused on manufacturing and producing better quality products.

There is no organization that owns Six Sigma certification per se, so the specific skills and number of levels of mastery vary depending on which organization or certifying company is used. Still, the entry level is typically Green Belt and the progression is to Black Belt and Master Black Belt. Champions are responsible for Six Sigma projects across the entire organization and report to senior management.

Project Management Professional (PMP®) – $108,525
The PMP certification was created and is administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), and it is the most recognized project management certification available. There are more than half a million active PMPs in 193 countries worldwide.

The PMP certification exam tests five areas relating to the lifecycle of a project: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. PMP certification is for running any kind of project, and it is not specialized into sub types, such as manufacturing, construction, or IT.

To become certified, individuals must have 35 hours of PMP-related training along with 7,500 hours of project management experience (if they have less than a bachelor’s degree) or 4,500 hours of project management experience with a bachelor’s or higher. PMP certification is another that requires years of planning and effort.

Certified Scrum Master – $107,396
Another project management-related certification, Certified Scrum Master is focused on software (application) development.

Scrum is a rugby term; it’s a means for restarting a game after a minor rules violation or after the ball is no longer in play (for example, when it goes out of bounds). In software development, Scrum is a project management process that is designed to act in a similar manner for software (application development) projects in which a customer often changes his or her mind during the development process.

In traditional project management, the request to change something impacts the entire project and must be renegotiated – a time-consuming and potentially expensive way to get the changes incorporated. There is also a single project manager.

In Scrum, however, there is not a single project manager. Instead, the team works together to reach the stated goal. The team should be co-located so members may interact frequently, and it should include representatives from all necessary disciplines (developers, product owners, experts in various areas required by the application, etc.).

Where PMP tries to identify everything up front and plan for a way to get the project completed, Scrum takes the approach that the requirements will change during the project lifecycle and that unexpected issues will arise. Rather than holding up the process, Scrum takes the approach that the problem the application is trying to solve will never be completely defined and understood, so team members must do the best they can with the time and budget available and by quickly adapting to change.

So where does the Scrum Master fit in? Also known as a servant-leader, the Scrum Master has two main duties: to protect the team from outside influences that would impede the project (the servant) and to chair the meetings and encourage the team to continually improve (the leader).

Certified Scrum Master certification was created and is managed by the Scrum Alliance and requires the individual to attend a class taught by a certified Scrum trainer and to pass the associated exam.

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Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer (CCEE) – $104,240
The CCEE certification is a legacy certification from Citrix that proves expertise in XenApp 6, XenDesktop 5, and XenServer 6 via the Citrix Certified Administrator (CCS) exams for each, the Citrix Certified Advanced Administrator (CCAA) for XenApp 6, and an engineering (advanced implementation-type) exam around implementing, securing, managing, monitoring, and troubleshooting a complete virtualization solution using Citrix products.

Those certified in this area are encouraged to upgrade their certification to the App and Desktop track instead, which focuses on just XenDesktop, taking one exam to become a Citrix Certified Professional – Apps and Desktops (CCP-AD). At this point though, the CCEE is available as long as the exams are available for the older versions of the products listed.

Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA) for Citrix NetScaler – $103,904
The CCA for NetScaler certification has been discontinued for NetScaler 9, and those with a current certification are encouraged to upgrade to the new Citrix Certified Professional – Networking (CCP-N). In any case, those with this certification have the ability to implement, manage, and optimize NetScaler networking performance and optimization, including the ability to support app and desktop solutions. As the Citrix certification program is being overhauled, refer to to view the certifications available, upgrade paths, etc.

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) – $103,822
The International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) created and manages CEH certification. It is designed to test the candidate’s abilities to prod for holes, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities in a company’s network defenses using techniques and methods that hackers employ. The difference between a hacker and a CEH is that a hacker wants to cause damage, steal information, etc., while the CEH wants to fix the deficiencies found. Given the many attacks, the great volume of personal data at risk, and the legal liabilities possible, the need for CEHs is quite high, hence the salaries offered.

ITIL v3 Foundation – $97,682
IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) was created by England’s government in the 1980s to standardize IT management. It is a set of best practices for aligning the services IT provides with the needs of the organization. It is broad based, covering everything from availability and capacity management to change and incident management, in addition to application and IT operations management.

It is known as a library because it is composed of a set of books. Over the last 30 years, it has become the most widely used framework for IT management in the world. ITIL standards are owned by AXELOS, a joint venture company created by the Cabinet Office on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and Capita plc, but they have authorized partners who provide education, training, and certification. The governing body defined the certification tiers, but they leave it to the accredited partners to develop the training and certification around that framework.

The Foundation certification is the entry-level one and provides a broad-based understanding of the IT lifecycle and the concepts and terminology surrounding it. Anyone wishing for higher-level certifications must have this level first, thus people may have higher certifications and still list this certification in the survey, which may skew the salary somewhat.

Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA) for Citrix XenServer – $97,578
The CCA for XenServer certification is available for version 6 and is listed as a legacy certification, but Citrix has yet to announce an upgrade path to their new certification structure. Those with a CCA for Citrix XenServer have the ability to install, configure, administer, maintain, and troubleshoot a XenServer deployment, including Provisioning Services. As the Citrix certification program is being overhauled, refer to to view the certifications available, upgrade paths, etc.

ITIL Expert Certification – $96,194
The ITIL Expert certification builds on ITIL Foundation certification. It is interesting that ITIL Expert pays less on average than ITIL Foundation certification. Again, it’s likely the salary results may be somewhat skewed depending on the certifications actually held and the fact that everyone who is ITIL certified must be at least ITIL Foundation certified.

To become an ITIL Expert, you must pass the ITIL Foundation exam as well as the capstone exam, Managing Across the Lifecycle. Along the way, you will earn intermediate certifications of your choosing in any combination of the lifecycle and capability tracks. You must earn at least 22 credits, of which Foundation accounts for two and the Managing Across the Lifecycle exam counts for five. The other exams count for three each (in the Intermediate Lifecycle track) or four each (in the Intermediate Capability track) and can be earned in any order and combination, though the official guide suggests six recommended options. The guide is available at by clicking on the English – ITIL Qualification Scheme Brochure link.

Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) – $95,602

Cisco’s certification levels are Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert, and Architect. Those who obtain this Associate-level certification are typically network design engineers, technicians, or support technicians. They are expected to design basic campus-type networks and be familiar with routing and switching, security, voice and video, wireless connectivity, and IP (both v4 and v6). They often work as part of a team with those who have higher-level Cisco certifications.

To achieve CCDA certification, you must have earned one of the following: Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT), the lowest-level certification and the foundation for a career in networking); Cisco Certified Network Associate Routing and Switching (CCNA R&S); or any Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), the highest level of certification at Cisco. You must also pass a single exam.

Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) – $95,276
This certification ranked number 14 with an average salary of $95,505 for those who didn’t list an associated Windows version and $94,922 for those who listed MCSE on Windows 2003, for the weighted average of $95,276 listed above.

The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer is an old certification and is no longer attainable. It has been replaced by the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (yes, also MCSE). The Engineer certification was valid for Windows NT 3.51 – 2003, and the new Expert certification is for Windows 2012. There is an upgrade path if you are currently an MCSA or MCITP on Windows 2008. There is no direct upgrade path from the old MCSE to the new MCSE.

Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA) for Citrix XenDesktop – $95,094

The CCA for XenDesktop certification is available for versions 4 (in Chinese and Japanese only) and 5 (in many languages including English). Those with a current certification are encouraged to upgrade to the new Citrix Certified Associate – Apps and Desktops (CCA-AD). In any case, those with this certification have the ability to install, administer, and troubleshoot a XenDesktop deployment, including Provisioning Services and the Desktop Delivery Controller as well as XenServer and XenApp. As the Citrix certification program is being overhauled, refer to to view the certifications available, upgrade paths, etc.

Microsoft suspends Windows 8.1 Update release to businesses

Bug prompts Microsoft to halt update’s delivery through WSUS, the standard enterprise update service

Microsoft on Tuesday suspended serving Windows 8.1 Update to businesses that rely on WSUS (Windows Server Update Services), saying that a bug would prevent devices from recognizing future updates.

WSUS is Microsoft’s standard corporate update service and is used by IT staffs to manage the distribution of bug fixes, security patches and other updates to Windows devices on a company’s network.

“There is a known issue which causes some PCs updated with the Windows 8.1 Update to stop scanning against Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 2 (WSUS 3.0 SP2 or WSUS 3.2) servers which are configured to use SSL and have not enabled TLS 1.2,” Microsoft wrote on its WSUS blog.

Microsoft released Windows 8.1 Update on Tuesday. The refresh was a follow-on to last October’s Windows 8.1, which in turn was a major update to 2012′s Windows 8.

The problem affected WSUS 3.2 running on Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2, Windows Server 2008 SP2, and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 when HTTPS and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) were enabled but TLS 1.2 was not.

Until the Redmond, Wash., company comes up with a fix, customers that have already deployed Windows 8.1 Update can apply workarounds — enable TLS 1.2 or disable HTTPS — that will let PCs recognize future WSUS-delivered updates.

It’s unclear how many businesses were affected, and Microsoft did not provide an estimate. But neither HTTPS nor TLS 1.2 are enabled by default on WSUS.

Even so, Microsoft halted Windows 8.1 Update’s rollout via WSUS.

“Microsoft plans to issue an update as soon as possible that will correct the issue and restore the proper behavior for Windows 8.1 Update scanning against all supported WSUS configurations,” Microsoft said. “Until that time, we are temporarily suspending the distribution of the Windows 8.1 Update to WSUS servers.”

Microsoft has stumbled over updates numerous times in the past 12 months. Last September, Microsoft shipped several flawed updates, including one that emptied Outlook 2013′s folder pane and others that repeatedly demanded customers install them even after they had been deployed. In the months before that, Microsoft yanked an Exchange security update, admitting it had not properly tested the patches, and urged Windows 7 users to uninstall an update that crippled PCs with the infamous “Blue Screen of Death.”

Microsoft did not hint at a timetable for fixing the bug, but discouraged customers who rely on WSUS from manually deploying Windows 8.1 Update, which is also available from Windows Update, MSDN (Microsoft Developers Network) and the Microsoft download center.

“We recommend that you suspend deployment of this update in your organization until we release the update that resolves this issue,” Microsoft said.

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Windows Phone Builds some momentum

It has the apps and now corporate support is starting to tick up. What more does Windows Phone need to compete with Android?

Even in the days leading up to the Build conference, it was clear Windows Phone was getting some wind behind its back. Windows Phone has surpassed 400,000 apps and the Windows Store now gets 14 million downloads a day. IBM has sort-of endorsed WP as its mobile OS of choice, although not officially.

RELATED: Why IBM thinks Windows Phone is best for the enterprise

Now there are more endorsements coming in the form of company-issued phones. Nokia just announced it has struck a deal with Spanish financial services group CaixaBank for 30,000 Lumia 925 smartphones to be issued to staff, with options to upgrade to future Lumia models.

CaixaBank employees will also be able to acquire Lumia phones for their personal use and for their family and friends as part of this deal. This comes on the heels of a deal with Delta Airlines to provide their 19,000 flight attendants with Lumia 1520 phones.

The latest news is what I’ve been waiting for. Samsung seems finally ready to make an effort. It was supposed to jump into the WP market with the ATIV S, a Galaxy S III handset, but now The Verge reports Samsung will reportedly release the ATIV SE, a Galaxy S IV running Windows Phone 8.

Now, I know that I slagged the Galaxy S IV in the past, but that I felt was more due to Android and all of the extra stuff Samsung loaded on it. The hardware, at least on paper, should be high-performance. We’ll see if that’s the case with the ATIV SE, assuming Samsung doesn’t kill it right before shipping it like it did before.

The only area of contention, at least according to The Verge, is whether it will ship with Windows Phone 8 or 8.1, which Microsoft just announced at Build. Either way doesn’t matter much, since Microsoft plans to start rolling out 8.1 in the next few weeks.

So what more does WP need? It’s still hovering at the 3-4% mark for overall market share, even with BlackBerry out of the way.

Well, Microsoft is making headway on apps, with 400,000 (vs. one million for iOS and Android), and at Build, it announced an update to Visual Studio that will make it possible for a single code base to be easily ported between Windows 8.1, PC and tablet edition, and Windows Phone. Microsoft claims developers will be able to reuse 90% of code between the two disparate platforms.

That helps, but the big news is the new price for Windows Phone: zero. Just a few weeks ago Microsoft hinted this was coming by making Windows Phone royalty-free for some Indian handset makers. Now it has announced that anything with a screen under nine inches will get Windows for free as well, both Windows and Windows Phone, depending on the device.

That’s a smart move, because IDC’s tablet research shows the greatest interest is in devices smaller than 8 inches. The company projects tablets 8 inches and under to grow from 27% of the market in 2011 to 57% by 2017, compared with 8- to 11-inch tablets dropping from 73% of the market in 2011 to 37% in 2017. Tablets larger than 11 inches would only reach 6% market share by 2017, because who wants to carry something that big?

So Microsoft made a great strategic move. It targeted the growth market with the free OS. You could argue that it should have made the desktop OS free because it needs more help, what with PC sales in decline. But that’s a mature market and, while in decline, it will always be there and doesn’t need seeding. PCs aren’t going away. But tablets are a growth market and Microsoft is now in a position to grab some share.


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70-643: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuring

You work as the network administrator at The network has a domain named All servers on the network run Windows Server 2008 and all client computers
run Windows Vista. recently entered into partnership with Weyland Industries.
You create user accounts in the domain for some employees of Weyland Industries.
You place the user accounts into a global security group named WeySecure.
You want to provide members of the WeySecure group access to parts of the network
via a Terminal Services Gateway server named ABC-TS01.
What do you need to do to ensure that the WeySecure group is able to access ABC-TS01?

A. You need to configure a Remote Access Policy.
B. You need to create and configure a Connection Authorization Policy.
C. You need to configure Device redirection.
D. You need to configure a Network Access Protection Policy.

Answer: B

Explanation: To provide a security group access to ABC-TS02, you need to create and configure
a Connection Authorization Policy.
A connection authorization policy (CAP) allows you to control who can connect to the Terminal
Server through the Terminal Services Gateway. You can configure what groups can access the
Terminal Server through the TS Gateway.
Reference: Configuring the Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services Gateway (Part 2) / Create a
Terminal Services Gateway CAP


You work as a network administrator for The network consists of a domain
named All servers on the network either run Windows Server 2008 or
Windows Server 2003.
The network contains a Windows Server 2003 server named ABC-SR05 and a Windows
Server 2008 server named ABC-SR06. ABC-SR05 has Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and Microsoft
Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 2.0 installed.
You receive instruction to uABCrade Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 2.0 to Windows
SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 and have it run on ABC-SR06. You need to have Windows
SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 retain the content and settings from Windows SharePoint Services
(WSS) 2.0.
Which of the following steps would be the best way to accomplish this task? (Choose multiple

A. You should back up the SharePoint configuration as well as the content from ABC-SR05.
B. You should back up the SQL Server 2005 configuration as well as the Microsoft Windows
SharePoint Services (WSS) databases from ABC-SR05.
C. You should uABCrade ABC-SR05 to Windows Server 2008.
D. You should install Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 on ABC-SR06.
E. You should install Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 2.0 on ABC-SR06.
F. You should restore the backup from ABC-SR05 to ABC-SR06.
G. You should uABCrade Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 2.0 to Windows SharePoint
Services (WSS) 3.0 on ABC-SR06.

Answer: A,E,F,G

Explanation: In order to migrate to SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 from ABC-SR05 to ABC-SR06
with all the configuration and content, you need to install WSS 2.0 on ABC-SR06. You need to
back up the WSS 2.0 configuration and content from ABC-SR05. Then the backup can be restored
from ABC-SR05 to ABC-SR06. Lastly an in-place uABCrade of WSS 2.0 to WSS 3.0 can be
executed on ABC-SR06.
When you run an in-place uABCrade, all content and configuration data is uABCraded in-place, at
one time. When you start the in-place uABCrade process, the Web server and Web sites remain
offline until the uABCrade has been installed. In-place uABCrades are best for a stand-alone
server and small installations as in this case
Reference: Install and configure Office SharePoint Server for an in-place uABCrade

Determine uABCrade approach (Office SharePoint Server)

You work as the network administrator at The network consists of a domain
named has headquarters in London and branch office in Paris. All servers on
the network run Windows Server 2008 and all client computers run Windows Vista.
The network contains a member server named ABC-SR01. ABC-SR01 is configured as
the Key Management Service (KMS) server.
You are planning to roll out 20 new Windows Server 2008 computers on the network.
After installing Windows Server 2008 on three of the computers you discover that the servers are
unable to activate using ABC-SR01.
How can you ensure that the new computers are able to activate using ABC-SR01?

A. You should ensure that the new servers have a connection to the internet.
B. You should install the Key Management Service (KMS) on a dedicated Windows Server 2008
C. You should phone Microsoft Licensing House to Activate the servers by telephone.
D. You should install Windows Server 2008 on at least 7 of the remaining computers.

Answer: D

Explanation: To activate the new server through KMS server, you should complete the installation
of at least 10 servers. The Key Management Service is a Windows service. KMS is a trusted
mechanism that, once the KMS host is activated, allows volume client computers within the
enterprise to activate themselves without any interactions with Microsoft. KMS activation of
Windows Server 2008 follows a hierarchical structure. Each successive product group can activate
all the groups below it, and the KMS can be hosted on any edition that it can activate.

You are the network administrator at The network consists of a domain
named All servers on the network run Windows Server 2008 and all client
computers run Windows XP Professional. currently makes use of two computers named
ABC-TS01 and ABC-TS02 which runs the Terminal Server Session Broker role. recently entered into partnership with Weyland Industries who make use of two
computers named WEYLAND-TS01 and WEYLAND-TS02. During the course of the day you
receive instruction from and Weyland Industries to configure their Terminal servers for
load balancing whilst ensuring ABC-TS02 is configured as the preferred server.
What program would you use to configure the load balancing?

A. You should use the Terminal Services Resource Authorization policy (RAP).
B. You should use the Terminal Services Configuration utility.
C. You should use the Terminal Services Connection Authorization policy (CAP).
D. You should use the Group Policy Manager utility.

Answer: B

Explanation: In order to configure load balancing for the four terminal servers you need to make
use of the Terminal Services Configuration utility. This will also make ABC-TS02 the preferred
server for TS sessions. Using NLB with Terminal Services provide increased availability,
scalability, and load-balancing performance, as well as the ability to distribute a large number of
Terminal Services clients over a group of terminal servers.

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Microsoft scraps ‘Windows-first’ practice, puts Office on iPad before Surface

New CEO Satya Nadella comes out swinging on ‘cloud first, mobile first’ strategy

As expected, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella today hosted a press conference where the company unveiled Office for iPad, breaking with its past practice of protecting Windows by first launching software on its own operating system.

CEO Satya Nadella expounded on Microsoft’s ‘cloud first, mobile first’ strategy today as his company unveiled Office for iPad as proof of its new platform-agnosticism.

Three all-touch core apps — Word, Excel and PowerPoint — have been seeded to Apple’s App Store and are available now.

The sales model for the new apps is different than past Microsoft efforts. The Office apps can be used by anyone free of charge to view documents and present slideshows. But to create new content or documents, or edit existing ones, customers must have an active subscription to Office 365.

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Microsoft labeled it a “freemium” business model, the term used for free apps that generate revenue by in-app purchases.

Today’s announcement put an end to years of speculation about whether, and if so when, the company would trash its strategy of linking the suite with Windows in an effort to bolster the latter’s chances on tablets. It also reversed the path that ex-CEO Steve Ballmer laid out last October, when for the first time he acknowledged an edition for the iPad but said it would appear only after a true touch-enabled version had launched for Windows tablets.

It also marked the first time in memory that Microsoft dealt a major product to an OS rival of its own Windows.

“Microsoft is giving users what they want,” Carolina Milanesi, strategic insight director of Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said in an interview, referring to long-made customer demands that they be able to run Office on any of the devices they owned, even those running a Windows rival OS. “The connection to Office 365 was also interesting in that this puts users within Microsoft’s ecosystem at some point.”

Prior to today, Microsoft had released minimalist editions of Office, dubbed “Office Mobile,” for the iPhone and Android smartphones in June and July 2013, respectively. Originally, the iPhone and Android Office Mobile apps required an Office 365 subscription; as of today, they were turned into free apps for home use, although an Office 365 plan is still needed for commercial use.

Talk of Office on the iPad first heated up in December 2011, when the now-defunct The Daily reported Microsoft was working on the suite, and added that the software would be priced at $10 per app. Two months later, the same publication claimed it had seen a prototype and that Office was only weeks from release.

That talk continued, on and off, for more than two years, but Microsoft stuck to its Windows-first strategy. Analysts who dissected Microsoft’s moves believed that the company refused to support the iPad in the hope that Office would jumpstart sales of Windows-powered tablets.

Office’s tie with Windows had been fiercely debated inside Microsoft, but until today, operating system-first advocates had won out. But slowing sales of Windows PCs — last year, the personal computer industry contracted by about 10% — and the continued struggles gaining meaningful ground in tablets pointed out the folly of that strategy, outsiders argued.

Some went so far as to call Windows-first a flop.

Microsoft has long hewed to that strategy: The desktop version of Office has always debuted on Windows, for example, with a refresh for Apple’s OS X arriving months or even more than a year later.

Microsoft today added free Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for the iPad to the existing OneNote.

On his first day on the job, however, Nadella hinted at change when he said Microsoft’s mission was to be “cloud first, mobile first,” a signal, said analysts, that he understood the importance of pushing the company’s software and services onto as many platforms as possible.

Nadella elaborated on that today, saying that the “cloud first, mobile first” strategy will “drive everything we talk about today, and going forward. We will empower people to be productive and do more on all their devices. We will provide the applications and services that empower every user — that’s Job One.”

Like Office Mobile on iOS and Android, Office for iPad was tied to Microsoft’s software-by-subscription Office 365.

Although the new Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps can be used free of charge to view documents and spreadsheets, and present PowerPoint slideshows, they allow document creation and editing only if the user has an active Office 365 subscription. Those subscriptions range from the consumer-grade $70-per-year Office 365 Personal to a blizzard of business plans starting at $150 per user per year and climbing to $264 per user per year.

Moorhead applauded the licensing model. “It’s very simple. Unlike pages of requirements that I’m used to seeing from Microsoft to use their products, if you have Office 365, you can use Office for iPad. That’s it,” Moorhead said.

He also thought that the freemium approach to Office for iPad is the right move. “They’ve just pretty much guaranteed that if you’re presenting on an iPad you will be using their apps,” said Moorhead of PowerPoint.

Moorhead cited the fidelity claims made by Julie White, a general manager for the Office technical marketing team, who spent about half the event’s time demonstrating Office for iPad and other software, as another huge advantage for Microsoft. “They’re saying 100% document compatibility [with Office on other platforms], so you won’t have to convert a presentation to a PDF,” Moorhead added.

Document fidelity issues have plagued Office competitors for decades, and even the best of today’s alternatives cannot always display the exact formatting of an Office-generated document, spreadsheet or presentation.

Both Milanesi and Moorhead were also impressed by the strategy that Nadella outlined, which went beyond the immediate launch of Office for iPad.

“I think [Satya Nadella] did a great job today,” said Milanesi. “For the first time I actually see a strategy [emphasis in original].

“Clearly there’s more to come,” Milanesi said. “It was almost as if Office on iPad was not really that important, but they just wanted to get [its release] out of way so they could show that there’s more they bring to the plate.”

That “more” Milanesi referred to included talk by Nadella and White of new enterprise-grade, multiple-device management software, the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS).

“With the management suite and Office 365 and single sign-on for developers, Microsoft is really doing something that others cannot do,” Milanesi said. “They made it clear that Microsoft wants to be [enterprises'] key partner going forward.”

Moorhead strongly agreed. “The extension of the devices and services strategy to pull together these disparate technologies, including mobile, managing those devices, authenticating users for services, is something Microsoft can win with. It’s a good strategy,” Moorhead said.

“This was the proof point of delivering on the devices and services strategy,” Moorhead concluded. “And that strategy is definitely paying off.”

Office for iPad can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store. The three apps range in size from 215MB (for PowerPoint) to 259MB (for Word), and require iOS 7 or later.

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70-412 Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services

You are employed as a network administrator at has an Active Directory
domain named All servers on the network have Windows Server 2012 installed. has a server, named ABC-SR07, which is configured as a DHCP server. You have
created a superscope on ABC-SR07.
Which of the following describes a reason for creating a superscope? (Choose all that apply.)

A. To support DHCP clients on a single physical network segment where multiple logical IP
networks are used.
B. To allow for the sending of network traffic to a group of endpointsdestination hosts.
C. To support remote DHCP clients located on the far side of DHCP and BOOTP relay agents.
D. To provide fault tolerance.

Answer: A,C


You are employed as a network administrator at has an Active Directory
domain named All servers, including domain controllers, on the network have
Windows Server 2012 installed. has a domain controller, named ABC-DC01, which is configured as a DNS server. You
are planning to unsign the zone.
Why should you unsign the zone?

A. To remove the zone.
B. To change the current zone type.
C. To add a new primary zone.
D. To create an Active Directory-integrated zone.

Answer: B


You are employed as a network administrator at has an Active Directory
domain named All servers on the network have Windows Server 2012 installed. has a server named ABC-SR01, which hosts the IP Address Management (IPAM)
Server feature. also has a server, named ABC-SR02, which is configured as a DHCP server.
You have been instructed to make sure that a user, named Mia Hamm, who belongs to the IPAM
Users group on ABC-SR01, has the ability to modify the DHCP scopes on ABC-SR02 by making
use of use IPAM. You want to achieve this without assigning Mia Hamm any unnecessary permissions.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. You should consider making Mia Hamm a member of the DHCP Administrators group on ABCSR02.
B. You should consider making Mia Hamm a member of the IPAM Administrators group on ABCSR02.
C. You should consider making Mia Hamm a member of the Local Administrators group on ABCSR02.
D. You should consider making Mia Hamm a member of the Domain Administrators group.

Answer: A


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640-864 Designing for Cisco Internetwork Solutions Exam (DESGN) v2.1

According to Cisco, which four improvements are the main benefits of the PPDIOO lifecycle
approach to network design? (Choose four.)

A. Faster ROI
B. Improved business agility
C. Increased network availability
D. Faster access to applications and services
E. Lower total cost of network ownership
F. Better implementation team engagement

Answer: B,C,D,E

The PPDIOO life cycle provides four main benefits:
+ It improves business agility by establishing business requirements and technology strategies.
+ It increases network availability by producing a sound network design and validating the network
+ It speeds access to applications and services by improving availability, reliability, security,
scalability, and performance.
+ It lowers the total cost of ownership by validating technology requirements and planning for
infrastructure changes and resource requirements.
(Reference: Cisco CCDA Official Exam Certification Guide, 3rd Edition) described in the link

Characterizing an existing network requires gathering as much information about the network as
possible. Which of these choices describes the preferred order for the information-gathering

A. Site and network audits, traffic analysis, existing documentation and organizational input
B. Existing documentation and organizational input, site and network audits, traffic analysis
C. Traffic analysis, existing documentation and organizational input, site and network audits
D. Site and network audits, existing documentation and organizational input, traffic analysis

Answer: B

This section describes the steps necessary to characterize the existing network infrastructure and
all sites. This process requires three steps:
Step 1. Gather existing documentation about the network, and query the organization to discover
additional information. Organization input, a network audit, and traffic analysis provide the key
information you need. (Note that existing documentation may be inaccurate.)
Step 2. Perform a network audit that adds detail to the description of the network. If
possible, use traffic-analysis information to augment organizational input when you are describing
the applications and protocols used in the network.
Step 3. Based on your network characterization, write a summary report that describes the health
of the network. With this information, you can propose hardware and software upgrades to support
the network requirements and the organizational requirements.

You want to gather as much detail as possible during a network audit with a minimal impact on the
network devices themselves.
Which tool would you use to include data time stamping across a large number of interfaces while
being customized according to each interface?

C. NetFlow
D. Cisco Discovery Protocol

Answer: C


Which three are considered as technical constraints when identifying network requirements?
(Choose three.)

A. Support for legacy applications
B. Bandwidth support for new applications
C. Limited budget allocation
D. Policy limitations
E. Limited support staff to complete assessment
F. Support for existing legacy equipment
G. Limited timeframe to implement

Answer: A,B,F

Network design might be constrained by parameters that limit the solution. Legacy applications
might still exist that must be supported going forward, and these applications might require a
legacy protocol that may limit a design. Technical constraints include the following:
Existing wiring does not support new technology.
Bandwidth might not support new applications.
The network must support exiting legacy equipment.
Legacy applications must be supported (application compatibility).

In which phase of PPDIOO are the network requirements identified?

A. Design
B. Plan
C. Prepare
D. Implement
E. Operate
F. Optimize

Answer: B


Plan Phase
The Plan phase identifies the network requirements based on goals, facilities, and user needs.
This phase characterizes sites and assesses the network, performs a gap analysis against bestpractice
architectures, and looks at the operational environment. A project plan is developed to
manage the tasks, responsible parties, milestones, and resources to do the design and
implementation. The project plan aligns with the scope, cost, and resource parameters established
with the original business requirements. This project plan is followed (and updated) during all
phases of the cycle.

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1Y0-A25: Engineering a Citrix Virtualization Solution Exam

Scenario: A Citrix Engineer is configuring a new XenApp 6.5 farm in order to provide the Sales
department with access to a new CRM application. There are 400 users who will be accessing the
application, and the application load testing shows 512 MB of RAM utilization for each user during
peak time. XenApp will be installed on virtual machines, and the virtual machines will be hosted on
XenServer hosts.
All three of the XenServer hosts have the following hardware specifications:
1. Dual 6 core CPU
2. 96 GB of RAM
3. 300 GB SAN storage
The Citrix Engineer needs to ensure that users can access their XenApp resources in the event of
a server hardware failure.
Based on Citrix Best Practices, what would be the recommended configuration?

A. Create a pool with three hosts.
B. Create three pools with one host each.
C. Create a pool with two hosts and enable HA.
D. Create a pool with three hosts and enable HA.

Answer: D


Scenario: A Citrix Engineer needs to set up logging to monitor a Workload Balancing related issue
in a XenServer implementation. The engineer wants to capture maximum detail about this issue
before reporting it to Citrix Technical Support.
To increase the level of detail that will be captured in the log file, the engineer should _________
and __________. (Choose the two correct options to complete the sentence.)

A. open wlb.conf in a text editor
B. open logfile.log in a text editor
C. open auditlog.out in a text editor
D. modify the configuration options
E. enable logging for a specific trace

Answer: A,E


Scenario: Nether Tech has a XenDesktop farm with Windows 7 desktops. Users are accessing
their virtual desktops from different bandwidth and latency connection types.
Which setting should the engineer configure in a Citrix User policy in order to optimize moving

A. Enable Adaptive Display. Disable Progressive Display.
B. Disable Adaptive Display. Disable Progressive Display.
C. Enable Adaptive Display. Enable Progressive Display with Low Compression.
D. Disable Adaptive Display. Enable Progressive Display with Low Compression.

Answer: A


Scenario: Nether Tech’s corporate policy requires that passwords are NOT requested for XenApp
passthrough connections, except for those that pertain to members of the Nursing Users group.
Nurses connect to XenApp servers hosting applications in the Nurses Worker Group.
Click the Exhibit button to view a list of the policies configured in the environment.

An engineer needs to prioritize the three policies so that only members of the Nurses group are
prompted for passwords when they connect to their XenApp resources.
What is the correct order of prioritization for the policies from lowest to highest?

A. Unfiltered, Nurses, Corporate Users
B. Corporate Users, Nurses, Unfiltered
C. Unfiltered, Corporate Users, Nurses
D. Nurses, Unfiltered, Corporate Users

Answer: D


Scenario: Nether Tech recently upgraded to XenDesktop 5.5 and implemented a new VoIP
system. Virtual desktops have been integrated with the VoIP system. RTA (Real-time Audio) over
UDP has also been configured.
Which two steps should a Citrix Engineer take to optimize RTA/UDP traffic in the XenDesktop
implementation? (Choose two.)

A. Create a Citrix User policy.
B. Create a Citrix Computer policy.
C. Enable Multi-Stream in the policy.
D. Increase overall session bandwidth limit.
E. Set the audio redirection bandwidth limit in the policy.

Answer: B,C


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3 easy Linux alternatives for Windows XP refugees who don’t want a new PC

Keep your old PC, and keep it safe, with one of these Linux distros. After all, a free, user-friendly OS is better than an unsupported one.

Windows XP’s refugees have two choices on April 8, when Microsoft stops supporting the decade-old operating system (for consumers, anyway). This is assuming a new PC with a new operating system (even Windows 7) is, for whatever reason, out of the question. They could cling desperately to their old Windows XP system and face what could be a hacker feeding frenzy, something we don’t recommend even if you take precautions. Or they could keep the old PC but install a new, free, and safe operating system–otherwise known as Linux.

Linux has a reputation for being designed for geeks only, but that’s old history. Many modern Linux distributions exceed the user-friendliness of XP, and they’re free to download. If you don’t like the feel of one, you can easily switch to another. What’s more, each Linux distribution comes loaded with useful software such as productivity suites, modern browsers like Chrome or Firefox, and photo and music management apps.

A note about installing Linux
The three Linux distributions we’re recommending for displaced Windows XP users are all based on Ubuntu, which is widely considered to be the world’s most popular version of Linux.

Ubuntu provides a solid, well-maintained software base that works well on older hardware, and its Live CD installer is a breeze to get up and running. Combine that with Ubuntu’s stocked Software Center–which features one-click app installs–and it’s an obvious, easy solution for migrating XP refugees.

Take heed: Although these Linux distributions are designed for aging PCs, they may still be too much for truly ancient PCs that have somehow survived intact until 2014.

Thankfully, each Linux distro below comes with an option to “try before you buy” by booting and running the OS directly from an installation CD or USB drive. When you’ve chosen one, you can fully install it to your hard drive–after backing up all your personal files, of course.

Ubuntu’s website has a tutorial on how to burn your own Live CD using Windows XP. Note that running an OS off a Live CD tends to be much slower than running an installed OS. Pay less attention to responsiveness and more attention to how you like the software and interface of each distro.

Zorin OS
Official system requirements :
1GHz or faster processor
5GB of hard drive space
512MB of RAM
Graphics card capable of 640-by-480 resolution

Beyond its modest system requirements, Zorin is one of several Linux distributions that offers a “Windows XP” mode to ease your transition, approximating the general look and feel of Windows XP as best it can. To activate it, click on Start (Z) > System Tools > Zorin Look Changer.

In XP mode, The “Z” button in the lower-left corner mimics an XP-style Start menu, organized similarly to Microsoft’s OS–including the all-important option to power down the PC. Zorin’s Start-menu doppelganger also has an All Applications option, along with quick links to your Documents, Pictures, and Music.

Likewise, the panel at the bottom of the screen behaves like the Windows taskbar, complete with a notifications area that shows the time, battery power, current keyboard language, and other system functions. All of these interface clues should comfort XP refugees as they arrive in this foreign environment.A Zorin uses Google Chrome as its default web browser.

But Zorin, like all other Linux distributions, is definitely not Windows XP. The file system is not organized in the same way. Traditional Windows software doesn’t work on Linux (though our guides toA popular Ubuntu software,Linux Office alternatives, and Linux gaming can help you find all the programs you need for work and play alike). Finally, though Ubuntu’s user-friendly Software Center helps–it lets you install apps with just a few clicks–installing apps using the Linux-style package system is nothing like installing via a Windows EXE or MSI file.A A

Our Ubuntu guide for displaced Windows users can help you get over the learning curve if you wind up needing help with any of these Ubuntu-derived operating systems.

Official system requirements:
Pentium 3 processor or better

LXLE’s claim to fame is that it’s capable of reviving an old PC by minimizing the demands it puts on system resources, and it has even more accommodating hardware requirements than the already-lightweight Zorn. LXE is based on Lubuntu, which is the official “light” variant of Ubuntu.

Just like Zorin, LXLE offers a Windows XP mode that you can choose right from the login screen, though LXLE also includes options to mirror OS X and an interesting netbook mode. In XP mode, LXLE doesn’t go quite as far as Zorin does in replicating the Windows Start menu, but it collates all the options you’d expect to find.

The LXLE panel serves admirably well as a stand-in for the taskbar. LXLE’s simpler interface lacks the flashiness of Zorin–a trait that may appeal to some. LXLE hands web surfing duties over to Firefox by default.

Official system requirements:
700MHz processor
Minimum display resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels

Of the three distributions covered here, Ubuntu is the least similar to Windows XP. In fact, it’s pretty much nothing like XP at all. But since it’s the most popular Linux distro around, Ubuntu’s certainly worth including in this discussion–especially since it’s free and has minimal hardware requirements, just like Zorin and LXLE.

Ubuntu is closer to the look and feel of Apple’s OS X, so Windows XP immigrants may feel a little lost. Ubuntu has a very user-friendly design that can be learned in short order, however, and that’s augmented by a large body of helpful support resources, including forums, blog posts, and live chat rooms.

One major Ubuntu difference that could flummox XP users is the way you access your software. The operating system hides its programs under a search feature called the Dash, which is opened by clicking on the Ubuntu logo in the upper-left corner.

Ubuntu is not designed to show you a Start menu-esuqe list of apps, though. Instead, like OS X’s Spotlight, the Dash lets you search for a program quicklyA by name and then click on the result to open it. That’s a very different approach than the Windows standard practice of clicking on “All Programs” and opening your software from there. Ubuntu’s Home Folder lets you browse your hard drive in Windows File Explorer-like fashion, however.

Like LXLE, Ubuntu’s default browser is Mozilla Firefox. And did I mention you can make Ubuntu look like Windows 7?

Stick with XP at your peril
These three versions of Linux may be the most friendly choices for displaced Windows XP users, but there’s one more worth considering. Puppy Linux is a popular option for running an OS on older hardware. With three variants available at any given time, however, figuring out Puppy is not as easy as Zorin, LXLE, and Ubuntu.

So there you go: If you can’t or won’t leave Windows XP behind, give one of these Linux distributions a try. All you’ve got to lose is an aging operating system that will soon be thrown to the wolves.

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