Sysadmins, unite! Microsoft Windows Server 2016 offers new career opportunities to aspiring sysadmins. We discuss the skills, knowledge and certifications that you need to make a career out of Server 2016 and related technologies.
These are four great ways you can start your career today.
1. Get the basics down
Server 2016 is no exception. Some things may change, but some things will remain the same. It’s easy to forget the basics are vital to your success despite all the talk about new and improved features. The key server roles that existed before Windows NT 4.0 are still relevant and remain the foundation of any Windows-based network.
Roles like Active Directory, DNS and DHCP, file service, print services, and IIS are all important. These roles are essential for admins who are new to the field. If one of these roles fails, your phone will start ringing with “THE NETWORK BREAK !!!”” calls. A seasoned administrator will know where to look to quickly locate the culprit.
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Start training DHCP no longer gives out IP addresses. Servers and web sites are again being affected. IP looks correct, you can’t ping any name, but pinging by IP address works fine. DNS is down!
A single workstation cannot log in with any network user. “Domain controller not available” Log in with a local user and websites load fine. Check ipconfig/all to see if someone has set up a public DNS server! If there is no local DNS, the computer cannot find a domain controller. There are no logins!
These courses, which include Windows Server 2012 70-441 and MTA Windows OS Fundamentals are crucial, but it might be a better option to start with CompTIA Network+. After you have mastered the basics, you can move on and learn about the two most powerful features of Server 2016: virtualization and nano server.
2. Virtualization is a must-have for your skill set
Although the core of Hyper-V is unchanged, there are many new features to be aware of with Server 2016. One of my favorites is rolling cluster updates. It was difficult to upgrade all Hyper-V cluster hosts back in the days of Server 2012.
Before anything could be brought back up, the entire cluster and all VMs had been taken offline. Every host’s OS had to be upgraded before it could be restored. This not only caused a long weekend of misery for admins but also severely hindered the adoption 2012! 2016 is here! You can upgrade hosts one at a while, without affecting any VMs.
Hot adding RAM and/or NICs to virtual machines is another time-saver. Previously, upgrading VMs required that the VM be shut down first. This meant that upgrades to critical servers had to wait until the evening. Do it now live, and you won’t need to fire up your laptop at home to reconfigure VMs.
Are you ready to test out new features in Hyper-V, or perhaps play with it for your first time? You can have your own lab!
3. Nano Servers? You should be ready for them.
Nano Server has been getting a lot of attention on the blog lately so we won’t go into detail. This mini version of Server 2016 is super lightweight and cloud-ready.
Microsoft is deciding to remain relevant in your infrastructure as more companies embrace cloud computing. It is certain that the certifications will pass it so get some VMs and start to experiment.
4. Certify and Certify
Microsoft offers a wide range of certifications to help you advance your career, regardless of whether you’re just starting out or an experienced Windows Server administrator. The cert roadmap has remained the same as previous versions.