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Introduction

Introduction

Welcome to MCSA Managing a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Environment. Whether this is your first or your fifteenth Exam Cram book, you'll find information here and in Chapter 1 that will help ensure your success as you pursue knowledge, experience, and certification. The purpose of this book is to help you get ready to take—and pass—Microsoft Certification Exam 70-218: Managing a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Environment. This Introduction explains Microsoft's certification programs in general and how the Exam Cram series can help you prepare for Microsoft's MCSA Certification Exams.

Exam Cram books help you understand and appreciate the subjects and materials you need to pass Microsoft certification exams. Exam Cram books are aimed strictly at test preparation and review. They do not teach you everything you need to know about a topic. Instead, I present and dissect the questions and problems I've found that you're likely to encounter on the Microsoft Certification Exams.

Nevertheless, to completely prepare yourself for any Microsoft test, you should begin by taking the Self-Assessment that immediately follows this Introduction. This tool will help you evaluate your knowledge base against the requirements for an MCSE or MCSA certification under both ideal and real circumstances.

Based on what you learn from this exercise, you may decide to begin your studies with some classroom training or some background reading. On the other hand, you may decide to read one of the many study guides available from Microsoft or third-party vendors on certain topics, including Que Certification's own Training Guide series.

I also strongly recommend that you install, configure, and play with the software that you'll be tested on, because nothing beats hands-on experience and familiarity when it comes to understanding the questions you're likely to encounter on a certification test. Book learning is essential, but hands-on experience is the best teacher.

Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Program

The Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) program is undergoing a major restructuring that will allow the maintenance of existing and former certification tracks. For details on the changes as they occur, please visit www.microsoft.com/traincert/mcp/. In its current form, it currently includes the following separate tracks, each of which boasts its own special acronym (as a certification candidate, you need to have a high tolerance for alphabet soup of all kinds):

  • MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional)— This is the least prestigious of all the certification tracks from Microsoft. Passing one of the major Microsoft exams qualifies an individual for the MCP credential. Individuals can demonstrate proficiency with additional Microsoft products by passing additional certification exams.

  • MCP+I (Microsoft Certified Professional + Internet)— All exams for this certification have been retired, although individuals who have already earned the MCP+I certification remain certified.

  • MCP+SB (Microsoft Certified Professional + Site Building)— This certification has been noted as pending retirement and one or more of its required exams have already been retired, although individuals who have already earned the MCP+SB certification remain certified.

  • MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator)— This newly created certification program is designed for individuals who have experience in implementing and administering Microsoft Windows 2000 networks. This credential is designed to prepare individuals to plan, implement, troubleshoot, and maintain networks and inter-networks built around Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows .NET Server 2003 technologies within network environments of up to 26,000 users and 100 physical locations.

    To obtain an MCSA, an individual must pass one core Operating System exam, two core networking exams, and one elective exam. The Operating System exams require that individuals prove their competence with the installation and maintenance of user operating systems such as Windows XP or Windows 2000 Professional.

    In order to fulfill the networking core exam requirements, a candidate may have completed the Accelerated exam, 70-240: Microsoft Windows 2000 Accelerated Exam for MCPs Certified on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, as an option. This free exam covers all of the material tested in the Core Four exams. The hitch in this plan is that you can take the test only once, and the exam is scheduled for retirement on December 31, 2001. Alternately, a candidate may take 70-215: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Server or the soon to be released 70-275: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows .NET Server 2003. In addition to 70-240 or 70-215, an MCSA candidate must also pass Exam 70-218: Managing a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Environment or the soon to be released 70-278: Managing a Microsoft Windows .Net Server Network Environment.

    You are also required to take one elective exam. An elective exam can be from a variety of Microsoft exam options or by providing proof of having attained both A+ and Network+, or A+ and Server+ CompTIA certifications.

    Note that the exam covered by this book is a core requirement for the MCSA certification. Table 1 shows the requirements for the MCSA certification.

  • MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer)— Anyone who has a current MCSE is warranted to possess a high level of networking expertise with Microsoft operating systems and products. This credential is designed to prepare individuals to plan, implement, maintain, and support information systems, networks, and inter-networks built around Microsoft Windows 2000 and its BackOffice Server 2000 family of products.

    To obtain an MCSE, an individual must pass four core Operating System exams, one optional core exam, and two elective exams. The Operating System exams require that individuals prove their competence with desktop and server operating systems and networking/internetworking components.

    For a Windows NT 4 MCSE, the Accelerated exam, 70-240: Microsoft Windows 2000 Accelerated Exam for MCPs Certified on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0. Alternately, the Core Four exams are 70-210: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, 70-215: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, 70-216: Implementing and Administering a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure, and 70-217: Implementing and Administering a Microsoft Windows 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure.

    To fulfill the fifth core exam requirement, you can choose from three Design exams: 70-219: Designing a Microsoft Windows 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure, 70-220: Designing Security for a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network, or 70-221: Designing a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure. You are also required to take two elective exams. An elective exam can be from any number of subject or product areas, primarily BackOffice Server 2000 components. The two Design exams that you don't select as your fifth core exam also qualify as electives. If you are on your way to becoming an MCSE and have already taken some exams, visit www.microsoft.com/traincert/ for information on how to complete your MCSE certification.

    If you are an MCP or MCSE and want to review how the certification tracks are changing, please visit www.microsoft.com/traincert/.

    New MCSE candidates must pass seven tests to meet the MCSE requirements. It's not uncommon for the entire process to take over a year, and many individuals find that they must take a test more than once to pass. The primary goal of the Training Guide and Exam Cram test preparation books is to make it possible, given proper study and preparation, to pass all Microsoft certification tests on the first try. Table 2 shows the required and elective exams for the Windows 2000 MCSE certification.

  • MCSE+I (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer + Internet)— This certification has been noted as pending retirement, although individuals who have already earned the MCSE+I certification remain certified.

  • MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer)— These individuals are qualified to design and develop custom business solutions by using Microsoft development tools, technologies, and platforms. The new track includes certification exams that test users' abilities to build Web-based, distributed, and commerce applications by using Microsoft products such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Visual Studio, and Microsoft Component Services.

    To become an MCSD, you must pass a total of four exams: three core exams and one elective exam. Each candidate must choose one of these three desktop Application exams: 70-016: Designing and Implementing Desktop Applications with Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0, 70-156: Designing and Implementing Desktop Applications with Microsoft Visual FoxPro 6.0, or 70-176: Designing and Implementing Desktop Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0.In addition, one of these three distributed Application exams are required: 70-015: Designing and Implementing Distributed Applications with Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0, 70-155: Designing and Implementing Distributed Applications with Microsoft Visual FoxPro 6.0, or 70-175: Designing and Implementing Distributed Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0. The third core exam is 70-100: Analyzing Requirements and Defining Solution Architectures.

    Elective exams cover specific Microsoft applications and languages, including Visual Basic, C++, the Microsoft Foundation Classes, Access, SQL Server, Excel, and more.

    For the new MCSD for .NET Technologies, another set of requirements and exams should be followed. For this MCSD the candidate must pass four core exams and one elective exam. The elective exam is added to show a mastery of a Microsoft Server topic along with the development requirements of the .NET version of the MCSD. The core exams provide a measure of technical proficiency in developing and administering enterprise applications created with Microsoft development tools, technologies, and platforms like Visual Studio .NET.

  • MCAD (Microsoft Certified Application Developer)— The Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) for Microsoft .NET credential is for professionals who use Microsoft technologies to develop and maintain department-level applications, components, Web or desktop clients, or back-end data services. MCAD candidates must pass two core exams and one elective exam in a specialization area. To find out more about the MCAD and the requirements for achieving this certification, see http://www.microsoft.com/traincert/mcp/mcad/requirements.asp.

  • MCDBA (Microsoft Certified Database Administrator)— The MCDBA credential reflects the skills required to implement and administer Microsoft SQL Server databases. To obtain an MCDBA, an individual must demonstrate the ability to derive physical database designs, develop logical data models, create physical databases, create data services by using Transact-SQL, manage and maintain databases, configure and manage security, monitor and optimize databases, and install and configure Microsoft SQL Server.

    To become an MCDBA, you must pass a total of three core exams and one elective exam. The required core exams are 70-028: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 or 70-228: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition; 70-029: Designing and Implementing Databases with Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 or 70-229: Designing and Implementing Databases with Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition; and 70-215: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Server.

    The elective exams that you can choose from cover specific uses of SQL Server and include 70-015: Designing and Implementing Distributed Applications with Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0, 70-019: Designing and Implementing Data Warehouses with Microsoft SQL Server 7.0, 70-155: Designing and Implementing Distributed Applications with Microsoft Visual FoxPro 6.0, 70-175: Designing and Implementing Distributed Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0, and one exam relating to Windows 2000: 70-216: Implementing and Administering a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure.

    If you have taken the three core Windows NT 4 exams on your path to becoming an MCSE, you qualify for the Accelerated exam (it replaces the Network Infrastructure exam requirement). The Accelerated exam covers the objectives of all four of the Windows 2000 core exams. In addition to taking the Accelerated exam, you must take only the two SQL exams (70-228 and 70-229): Administering and Database Design.

  • MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer)— Microsoft Certified Trainers are deemed able to deliver elements of the official Microsoft curriculum, based on technical knowledge and instructional ability. Thus, it is necessary for an individual seeking MCT credentials (which are granted on a course-by-course basis) to pass the related certification exam for a course, complete the official Microsoft training in the subject area, and demonstrate an ability to teach.

    This teaching skill criterion may be satisfied by proof of training certification (from Novell, Banyan, Lotus, the Santa Cruz Operation, or Cisco) or by taking a Microsoft-sanctioned workshop on instruction. Microsoft makes it clear that MCTs are important cogs in the Microsoft training channels. Instructors must be MCTs before Microsoft allows them to teach in any of its official training channels, including Microsoft's affiliated Certified Technical Education Centers (CTECs) and its online training partner network. As of October 31, 2001, MCT candidates must also possess a current MCSE, MCSD, or MCDBA certification, as well as fulfilling classroom instruction and continuing educational credit requirements before renewal in October, 2002.

Microsoft has announced that the MCP+I and MCSE+I credentials will not be continued with the MCSE exams for the Windows 2000 program because the skill set for the Internet portion of the program has been included in the new MCSE program. For details on these tracks, go to www.microsoft.com/traincert/.

Technology continues to change, and new products replace older ones. When a Microsoft product becomes obsolete, MCPs typically have to recertify on current versions. If they want to remain competitive in the modern job market.

For the most current information on Microsoft's certification programs, go to www.microsoft.com/traincert/. Because Microsoft's Web site changes often, this URL may not work, so try the Search tool on Microsoft's site using either MCP or the quoted phrase Microsoft Certified Professional as a search string.

Taking a Certification Exam

After you've prepared for your exam, you need to register for the exam with a testing center. Contact one of the following testing groups for current pricing and registration information, as pricing and testing centers can change over time. In the United States and Canada, tests are administered by Sylvan Prometric and by Virtual University Enterprises (VUE). Here's how you can contact them:

  • Sylvan Prometric— You can sign up for a test through the company's Web site at www.2test.com. Within the United States and Canada, you can register by phone at (800) 755-EXAM. If you live outside this region, check the company's Web site for the appropriate phone number.

  • Virtual University Enterprises— You can sign up for a test or get the phone numbers for local testing centers through the Web page at www.vue.com/ms/.

To sign up for a test, you may pay with a valid credit card or by check (only in the United States). Contact the company for mailing instructions if paying by check. Your payment must be verified before you can actually register for a test.

To schedule an exam, call the company or visit its Web page at least one day in advance (it is even better to do so at least several days before the day you wish to test). To cancel or reschedule an exam, you must call before 7 P.M. Pacific Standard Time the day before the scheduled test time (if you don't contact the company, you may be charged even if you don't take the test). When you want to schedule a test, have the following information ready:

  • Your name, organization, and mailing address.

  • Your Microsoft Test ID. (In the United States, your Test ID is your Social Security number; citizens of other nations should call ahead to find out what type of identification number is required to register for a test.)

  • The name and number of the exam you want to take.

  • A method of payment. (As I've already mentioned, a credit card is the most convenient method, but alternate means can be arranged in advance, if necessary.)

After you have signed up for a test, you'll be informed when and where the test is scheduled. Try to arrive at least 15 minutes early. You must supply two forms of identification—one of which must be a photo ID—to be admitted into the testing room.

All exams are completely closed-book. You may not take anything with you into the testing area, but you will be furnished with a blank sheet of paper and a pen or, in some cases, an erasable plastic sheet and an erasable pen. I suggest that you immediately write down on that sheet of paper all of the information you've memorized for the test. In Exam Cram books, this information appears on a tear-out sheet inside the front cover of each book. You will have some time to compose yourself, record this information, and take a sample orientation exam before you begin the real thing. I suggest you take the orientation test before taking your first exam. However, you probably won't need to do this more than once because the exams are fairly identical in layout, behavior, and controls.

When you complete a Microsoft Certification Exam, the software lets you know whether you've passed or failed. If you need to retake an exam, you'll have to schedule a new test with Sylvan Prometric or VUE and pay another fee.

The first time you fail a test, you can retake the test the next day. However, if you fail a second time, you must wait 14 days before retaking that test. The 14-day waiting period remains in effect for all retakes after the second failure.


Tracking MCP Status

As soon as you pass any Microsoft exam (except Networking Essentials), you'll attain Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) status. Microsoft also generates transcripts that indicate which exams you have passed. You can view a copy of your transcript at any time by going to the MCP secured site and selecting Transcript Tool. This tool allows you to print a copy of your current transcript and confirm your certification status.

After you pass the necessary set of exams, you are certified. Official certification normally takes anywhere from six to eight weeks, so don't expect to get your credentials overnight. When the package for a qualified certification arrives, it includes a Welcome Kit that contains a number of elements (see Microsoft's Web site for other benefits of specific certifications):

  • A certificate suitable for framing, along with a wallet card and lapel pin.

  • A license to use the MCP logo, thereby allowing you to use the logo in advertisements, promotions, and documents, and on letterhead, business cards, and so on. Along with the license, you'll receive an MCP logo sheet, which includes camera-ready artwork. (Note: Before using any of the artwork, individuals must sign and return a licensing agreement that indicates they'll abide by its terms and conditions.)

  • A subscription to Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine, which provides ongoing data about testing and certification activities, requirements, and changes to the program.

Many people believe that the benefits of MCP certification go well beyond the perks that Microsoft provides to newly anointed members of this elite group. An increasing number of job listings request or require applicants to have an MCP, MCSE, and so on, and many individuals who complete the program qualify for increases in pay and/or responsibility. As an official recognition of hard work and broad knowledge, an MCP credential is a badge of honor in many IT organizations.

Preparing for a Certification Exam

To prepare for any Microsoft Windows-related test (including 70-218: Managing a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Environment), you must obtain and study materials designed to provide comprehensive information about the product and its capabilities. The following list of materials will help you prepare:

  • The exam preparation content, practice tests, and review materials found in Que Certification's Exam Cram and Training Guide products.

  • The Windows 2000 Server and Workstation product CDs include comprehensive online documentation and related materials. This should be a primary resource when you are preparing for the test. Another valuable resource is the Windows 2000 Resource Kit, which contains exhaustive documentation necessary to the understanding of network administrators.

  • The exam preparation materials, practice tests, and self-assessment exams on the Microsoft Training and Services page at www.microsoft.com/traincert/. The Testing Innovations article at www.microsoft.com/TRAINCERT/mcpexams/faq/innovations.asp includes a downloadable series of demonstrations and samples of the new question types found on the Windows 2000 MCSE exams. Find the materials, download them, and use them.

In addition, you'll probably find the following materials useful in your quest for Windows 2000 expertise:

  • Microsoft TechNet CD— This monthly CD-based publication delivers numerous electronic titles that include coverage of Windows 2000 and related topics on the Technical Information (TechNet) CD. Its offerings include product facts, technical notes, tools and utilities, and information on how to access the Seminars Online training materials for Windows 2000 networks. A subscription to TechNet costs $299 per year, but it is well worth the price. Visit www.microsoft.com/technet/ and check out the information under the TechNet Subscription menu entry for more details.

  • Study guides— Several publishers offer Windows 2000 titles. Que Certification series includes the following:

    • The Exam Cram series— These books give you information about the material you need to know to pass the tests.

    • The Training Guide series— These books provide a greater level of detail than the Exam Cram books and are designed to teach you everything you need to know from an exam perspective. Each book comes with a CD that contains interactive practice exams from PrepLogic in a variety of testing formats.

  • Classroom training— CTECs, online partners, and third-party training companies (such as Wave Technologies, Learning Tree, Data-Tech, and others) all offer classroom training on Windows 2000 networking. The aim of these companies is to help you prepare to pass and score well on Exam 70-218. Although the cost of such training is approximately $350 per day, most individuals find it to be quite worthwhile.

  • Other publications— There's no shortage of materials available about Microsoft Windows 2000. Refer to the resource sections at the end of each chapter in this book for additional sources of information.

About This Book

Each topical Exam Cram chapter follows a regular structure, along with graphical cues about important or useful information. Here's the structure of a typical chapter:

  • Opening hotlists— Each chapter begins with a list of the terms, tools, and techniques that you must learn and understand before you can be fully conversant with that chapter's subject matter. Following the hotlists are one or two introductory paragraphs that explain what will be discussed in the chapter.

  • Topical coverage— After the opening hotlists, each chapter covers a series of topics related to the chapter's subject title. Throughout this section, topics or concepts likely to appear on a test are highlighted using a special Exam Alert layout, like this:

    This is what an Exam Alert looks like. Normally, an Exam Alert stresses concepts, terms, software, or activities that relate to one or more certification test questions.


Pay close attention to material flagged as an Exam Alert because this indicates that the information is really important. Most of the information that appears on The Cram Sheet appears as Exam Alerts within the text. You'll also find that the meat of each chapter is worth knowing, too, when preparing for the test. Because material in this book is very condensed, I recommend that you use this book along with other resources to achieve the maximum benefit.

In addition to the Exam Alerts, tips are provided that will help you build a better foundation for Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Administration knowledge. Although the information may not be on the exam, it is related and will help you become a better test-taker.

This is how tips are formatted. Keep your eyes open for these, and quickly you'll become a Windows 2000 guru.


  • Practice questions— Although I talk about test questions and topics throughout the book, a section at the end of each chapter presents a series of mock test questions and explanations of both correct and incorrect answers.

  • Details and resources— Every chapter ends with a section titled Need to Know More? This section provides direct pointers to Microsoft and third-party resources offering more details on the chapter's subject. In addition, this section rates the quality and thoroughness of the topic's coverage by each resource. Select the resources you find most useful in this collection, but don't feel compelled to use all of them. I recommend only resources that I use on a regular basis, so none are a waste of your time or money (however, purchasing them all at once probably represents an expense that many network administrators and would-be MCPs and MCSAs may find hard to justify).

The bulk of the book follows this chapter structure slavishly, but there are a few other elements that I'd like to point out. Chapter 14 includes a sample test that provides a good review of the material presented throughout the book to ensure you're ready for the exam. Chapter 15 is an answer key to the sample test that appears in Chapter 14. In addition, you'll find a handy glossary and an index.

Finally, the tear-out Cram Sheet attached to the inside front cover of this Exam Cram book represents a condensed and compiled collection of facts and tips that are useful to memorize before taking the test. Because you can write this information onto a piece of paper before taking the exam, you can master this information by brute force—you need to remember it only long enough to write it down when you walk into the test room. I suggest that you review it just before you walk in to take the test.

How to Use This Book

I've structured the topics in this book to build on each other. Therefore, some topics in later chapters make more sense after you've read earlier chapters. That's why I suggest you read this book from front to back for your initial test preparation. If you need to brush up on a topic or you have to bone up for a second try, use the index or table of contents to go straight to the topics and questions that you need to study. Beyond helping you prepare for the test, this book serves as a tightly focused reference to some of the most important aspects of Microsoft Windows 2000 networks.

Given all the book's elements and its specialized focus, I've tried to create a tool that will help you prepare for—and pass—Microsoft Exam 70-218. Please share your feedback on the book with us, especially if you have ideas about how I can improve it for future test-takers. I'll consider everything you say carefully, and I'll respond to all suggestions.

Send your questions or comments to me at wargod@tca.net. Please remember to include the title of the book in your message so I won't have to guess which book you're writing about. Also, be sure to check out the Web pages at www.quepublishing.com, where you'll find information updates, commentary, and certification information.

Thanks, and enjoy the book!

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