Get MCSE 70-293 Certified In Days

Dec 11




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Introduction to MCSE 70-293 Exam

The best introduction to the MCSE 70-293 exam would be "Expect the Unexpected". If you have read the contents of the official curriculum for the course 2278, and think that you can take the exam any time now be prepared for a roller coaster ride. This is one exam that states no specific prerequisite but encompasses all the other core objectives partially or wholly within the "unsaid" prerequisites.

Be it IP addressing schemes, DNS or DHCP infrastructure, Certificate Authority hierarchy, Group Policy, IPSec Infrastructure, Network load balancing, or clustering, you name it - there it is.

Do you still think you are prepared for MCSE 70-293? Then GO FOR IT!!!

Well, if you are now apprehensive about the exam, you have reasons to be. Not to worry though, read on to see how you can master the art of a Pass score in the exam! It is not all that tough once you know how to!

What all does MCSE 70-293 Exam test?

This exam, in terms of content, will be a little more extensive than the exam 70-291. 70-291 dealt with the typical network infrastructure requirements for Windows Server 2003 and its implementation and management.

MCSE 70-293 exam will test you on planning the Windows Server 2003 network and securing it along with all that of 70-291 and more.

This exam is more about Enterprise networks, what their network infrastructure ought to be, and smart ways of deploying and optimizing them, Enterprise security, Server roles, and securing servers too. Last but not the least, there is a fair amount of emphasis on server health and monitoring. Of course, it is obvious that there cannot be enough security for any service if there isn't enough internal monitoring on its status!

MCSE 70-293 exam is also about presenting all the above-mentioned topics in as many complicated scenarios as possible. Here you will not get many breathers of straightforward Multiple Choice Single Response (MCSR) questions in-between scenarios, because the MCSR questions in this exam either relate to some configuration parameter or a simpler scenario when compared to the Multiple Choice Multiple Response (MCMR) questions. By the end of the exam, you may be so tired after analyzing 30 different scenarios that you will be longing for those refreshing MCSR type of questions.

There are quite a few exhibit related, drag and drop, Hot area, and Multiple Choice Multiple Response (MCMR) questions. The best way to deal with them, if you are not too confident, is to use the trick of elimination. In the MCMR, first do away with the wrong answers and filter down to few answers that may be correct. To choose the best among those few correct answers, re-read the scenario and relate the scenario to those correct answers, it will help you consolidate on the exact best choice.

If you are not very comfortable with planning, design, deployment, and securing the Windows Server 2003 networks, I suggest you wait a bit and work hard to prepare yourself, before investing your time and money in this exam. It is not meant for inexperienced candidates aiming at it only as a certification. It is for serious professionals who have been working on mid-size to Enterprise size networks for at least a year.

If you do not have the required prerequisite you can always make up for it with a lot of reading, hands-on experience, and training. You can get hands-on experience with latest set of questions in our Preparation Kit and plan your study regime to ensure success.

1. Server Roles and Server Security

You will have to face questions that go into the details of Server roles, security planning, and configuration scenarios. Identifying the correct answer here is not just a matter of knowledge but also knowing the trick. You may be very well experienced in one network that you might have worked upon, and may analyze this question along those lines, and might end up going wrong, as each scenario will have a solution specific to itself. Remember a network is a combination of various technologies and the combination varies for each network.

Hence, solving such questions in the MCSE 70-293 Exam only on the basis of your knowledge and experience may prove to be a risk. This is where exam simulators come to your aid, they present the required information in such a way that you begin to train your mind in analyzing scenarios exactly the way you should.

You should know which edition of Windows Server 2003 should be upgraded or left alone, where these servers should be placed, what their role on the network will be, when to seize a particular role, and how and when to transfer the other.

You also need to know what perimeter networks are, where the security elements need to be placed, which component needs to be within the purview of security and which can be thrown out to the big bad world.

Not to forget, you also need to know how to set base line parameters for Server and network performance, analyze it from time to time, and utilize the analyzed data to better the performance of the server and secure it.

2. Planning, Implementing and Maintaining Network Infrastructure

This objective of MCSE 70-293 checks your knowledge on how many DHCP and DNS servers would be required, where they need to be placed, to what extent they need to integrate with the Active Directory Service (ADS), what level of administrative intervention is required to keep them going, what will be the IP addressing scheme, what connectivity components will be required etc.

3. Planning, Implementing and Maintaining Routing and Remote Access

Routers play a very critical role in Enterprise networks. The knowledge of how many routers are required, what kind of links they interface with, what will be the backup facility in case of the main link failure, what will be the size of the routing network, accordingly what will be the best routing method to be implemented, how will remote access clients connect, how will they be authenticated, how will they be assigned IP addresses, how will their communication with the network be secure - is all you require to know under this objective of MCSE 70-293 Exam.

4. Planning, Implementing and Maintaining Server Availability

This objective of MCSE 70-293 Exam will test you on your plan to ensure the 100% availability of servers on your network. What will be the technology implemented, the online and offline fault tolerance for the same, Network Load Balancing (NLB) feature, Clustering service, setting up a cluster, maintaining a cluster, quorum service, resolving issues with clustering and quorum, etc.

5. Planning and Maintaining Network Security

Network security is all about Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) standards, IPSec, infrastructure required to implement IPSec, limitations and advantages of IPSec, deployments methods, using scripts and Group Policies, authentication methods that will be used, how IPSec, Kerberos and SMB signing can be mixed up together to maintain security in a mixed environment, what are the type of clients that do understand IPSec and the ones that don't etc. Also, here you will be faced with a fair measure of questions on how to use Group Policy objects to push IPSec on to the target.

6. Planning, Implementing and Maintaining Security Infrastructure

Ensuring security using IPSec is best done with certificates, here you will be tested on significance of certificates, deployment of a certificate server, Certificate Authority, hierarchy of Certificate Authority for a secure network, Root CA, Subordinate CA, their roles etc.

Significance of MCSE 70-293 exam 

The importance of this exam is that it contributes towards the credits required for core certification. MCSE 2003 is growing in popularity because it concentrates purely on practical implementation and troubleshooting. Unless you are clear with all the advanced concepts, you will not be able to clear these exams. Hence it has now become a prerequisite for employers to choose people with certification for their organizations. Because this adds to one elimination process of filtering people required for the vacant post.

Other Details

Although the exam has no specified pre-requisites, I would advise you to take up MCSE 70-293 exam after taking up at least one other certification of the 'Core' group, that is the 70-291, as mentioned earlier.

It is a 2hr 10-minute exam that carries 35 questions of varieties mentioned earlier. The last I know of this exam when I took it in April 2004, it had about 15% allocated each for server roles and network infrastructure respectively.

The critical examination was focused on PKI infrastructure, Group Policy implementation used for pushing IPSec policies, Clustering and quorum service, other ways of marinating server/service availability, implementing and maintaining security infrastructure. 60% of my exam questions were centered on scenarios requiring the above mentioned concepts.

10% of the exam was relating to routing and remote access as well.

You would require a score of 710 out of the 1000 max marks to pass this exam.

I rushed up with the non-exhibit questions, marked the exhibit ones and returned to the exhibit/hot area questions after completing the exam one round. Yes, the exam does allow you to mark questions that can be looked up later. I would advise you to be doubly sure that you have check marked a question, if you intend to skip it now and return to it later.

The exam fee is USD 125.

How to prepare for MCSE 70-293? 

Read the exam objectives from Microsoft Web site and understand them thoroughly.

Borrow or buy books that suit the exam objectives best. (Read the resources section to know more about books)

Refer the Microsoft web site for "How To" and "KB" articles.

Read as many case studies as may be possible (some of them have been hosted on Microsoft Web site) and relate everything you have read so far to the case studies.

Setup a test based on whichever case study as may be possible.

Practice on setting up a network, crash the network you have setup and try to recover the same.

Practice on as many tools as may be possible in the process of carrying out step 6.

Note down all the error messages that you do not understand. Refer the "KB" site and search for this error message to understand the history behind it and the documented solution for it.

Simulate a complex environment, ask your friend to simulate a problem within the set up and use all the knowledge that you gain from step 1 through step 9 to help you resolve this simulated problem.

You've learned the details about the Exam, its pattern, objectives etc. Now its time to learn how to master the course and prepare scientifically. You can do that with the help of MCSE Exam Preparation Guide. 


MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-293): Planning and Maintaining a Microsoft® Windows ServerT 2003 Network Infrastructure- Craig Zacker

MCSE Windows Server 2003 Boxed Set (Exams 70-290, 70-291, 70-2293, 70-294)- Anil Desai, Curt Simmons, Diana Huggins

MCSA/MCSE Exam 70-291 Study Guide and Training System: Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure- Deborah Shinder, Thomas Shinder.

Web sites: - for ready reference on case studies and implementation methods. - some basic concepts of Microsoft Windows based Operating Systems that may be required on a mixed environment of a network.


Remember, you will have to prepare yourself extensively for MCSE 70-293 exam and be at par with an Enterprise administrator cum Security person. Be thorough in all the aspects of Server security, network security, security infrastructure, Certificate authority hierarchy, base line analysis for performance of server and network, IPSec planning and deployment, Server roles and placements, network infrastructure and IP assignment etc.

Be sure you get lots of hands-on experience, study all the articles, and try to analyze as many case studies as possible without help. Purchase an exam simulator and practice on it extensively until you score a hundred percent in all the exams of the simulator.

Best of luck with your preparation and your exams!!!