Tuesday, May 11, 2010

6418 - Deploying Windows Server 2008, Day 1

Well, I had a nice first day of class. The instructor was very knowledgeable. His name was Kirk McArdle. I believe that he said he was from Jersey. By the accent, I would have guessed he was from the New York/Boston region, so that much did fit.

I figure some of you might be wondering how the class itself went, and the class went fairly well. There was the initial "case of the Moooondays" (If you've seen Office Space, you get this reference.).

The class was in the online live learning format (OLL). This means that the class is held across the internet, and you use your mic and headset to communicate during the class. I can understand if this does not work for some. To me, it makes sense to the training company, as they can offer training classes more often than if they had to have the trainers on-site. Also, it helps the students, as they can have more scheduling options for the classes. By the way, this also cuts down on transportation costs, for people needing to take the courses.

Of course in my case, there was no way I was going to try to take a class from the comfort of my home or at my office, as the chance of disruption was too high. Taking the class at the New Horizons Learning Center was the perfect option, in this case. No worry of disruptions, and able to concentrate on the learning? .... Perfect! This probably also provides more value to your company, considering the investment they put into training you. Even if it is just training vouchers, as it is in my case, your company paid a lot for those, too, when they purchased either the vouchers, and/or the Software Assurance contract that the vouchers came with.

But, after that, everything was smooth. Interesting is that some graphical features of IIS aren't available in Server Core (but, considering the overall lack of a GUI, it seems perfectly understandable).

I'm really excited about Server Core, and I prefer command line administration. There are some commands that can get rather lengthy, but part of administration is building scripts to make administration easier, and when you consider the resource gain to not supporting a GUI, it is well worth the slight inconvenience to build a few reusable scripts for supporting your environment.

Being able to add the domain controller role (not only that, but a read-only domain controller role is possible) to a server via a simple script is a thing of beauty.

The class also went over the licensing setup, explaining the usage case scenarios of the License Management Server, versus the Multiple Activation Key, and how they could be used in concert.

You quickly get an idea of an instructor's worth, based on whether they're only teaching the syllabus, or they actually know what they're doing, and are able to troubleshoot issues that may appear during the course, and/or bring more information to the table than is in the course by default.

Kirk was able to troubleshoot issues with the course, no problem. I'm not referring to the standard "my mic isn't working" type of troubleshooting. I'm saying he was able to understand why a command would not work, when the issue was bigger than syntax. If something didn't go exactly as planned, Kirk was able to quickly recover, as if he'd seen the system do this before, and also showed a sense of maturity with the system. You do not get that type of knowledge from just teaching classes, is what I'm trying to say. Kirk could leverage the experience he had to provide a richer training experience to his students.

Kirk also supplied extra information. So far, I have over 20 megs of additional information from him. He says that the class is "just the beginning" of the learning process, and I like his mindset. He even makes himself available across the break periods and evenings during the class. Kirk gave his email address to the students, making himself reachable.

I guess this started as a review of a class, and morphed into a review of Mr. McArdle.

I appear to have found his profile online:
www.google.com/profiles/MacksPlace.

I hope you enjoyed this update, and hope to share more in the future.

Feel free to view my linked in page, which is here: www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin.

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