1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
great value for training, 1 April 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The score of 3 stars is an average of the 2 categories this software really needs splitting into. I would give 4 Stars for the training and 2 stars for the ability to use this training to pass the MCSE exams.
Quick Summary: This package would be quite excellent for someone who wants to learn about how to set up and run a Windows 2008 Network, who doesn't already know how to set-up and/or run a windows network. It will help you to get underway to passing your Microsoft Exams, but as with all Microsoft training material, it falls well short of preparing you for the very difficult, intentionally misleading and misdirecting exam questions.
What's in the Box: This package consists of a DVD that connects you to the online training site. From here you can perform your training online, or download all the class lessons and go through them off-line (or a mixture of both). Once you have downloaded the courses you only need to go online to do the labs.
The online subscription to the labs and online training lasts for 1 year.
You can download all the course material as many times as you want, on multiple PCs. This is what I did, so that I could work through the courses at home, and in free time at work.
The expiry time on the downloaded material is 2017, for some reason.
What Training is Given: This training is the Microsoft Classroom Instructor led course that you would get in a classroom, but in software format. The fact that it is less than half the price of instructor led training makes it great value. Especially as the subscription period is for a year and it would only take a couple of weeks to go through all the material. And then you could use the material for reference, or redo a section if you have forgotten anything.
Who is it for: This software would be ideal for training new and junior members of an IT/ Network support team, or for training someone in a small business to set up and maintain a simple network.
The material in the course is good at getting over all the main points of the sections, but its outstanding strength are the labs. The labs are great and help you get the real hands on practice that is needed to put the training to use in the real world.
The Labs: The labs are delivered using remotely hosted virtual environments (let me just say here and now, I was hugely impressed with these). This means that you don't need to install Windows Server 2008 or anything else on your own PC or network. When you want to start a lab you simply click on the lab link and you are connected, via your browser, to a remotely hosted Virtual Active Directory Domain consisting of at least 2 Windows 2008 Servers, on which the lab runs.
The labs then ask you to perform operations that you learnt about in the lessons. As you are connected to real servers they behave correctly and you can really play around and go off lab script. If you mess everything up, you can simply reset the lab. Of course if you get stuck, the labs contain the answers.
As for Passing the Exams? : On it's own, Pretty Hopeless. This is not to denigrate what's here, because it's good, it's just that having taken and passed 3 MCSDs (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer) I know this software alone will not prepare you for the difficulty and deviousness of the exams.
In order to pass you will need to use other training materials (Amazon sell quite a wide variety of exam prep and guide books).
If you are serious about taking your MCSE and you don't have an environment in which to practice your skills and apply this knowledge, then I would recommend this for the labs alone, because being able to practice helps cement what you have learnt is invaluable in the exam.