Microsoft MCSE Certification Is Back

Though it wasn’t a modern certification, the Microsoft Certified System Engineer, or MCSE, was constantly on job boards as either a “requirement” or a “preferred” certification. Unfortunately, to get an MCSE meant going back and backfilling those skills. The MCSE covered Windows Server 2003. The Windows Server 2008 counterpart was a Microsoft Certified I/T Professional, MCITP. The MCITP comes in many flavors: you could be an MCITP in consumer support, database administration, or server operating systems and engineering.

The problem was that hiring managers and recruiters never upgraded what they were looking for.

The MCSE certification continues today to be recruited at a rate of 3 to 1, even though the MCSE hasn’t been a certification of new technologies for 10 years, and there are more than 15 different MCITP certifications available.

The MCSE is Back and Better Than Ever

Now called the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, the MCSE is back and ready to tackle one of the newest challenges that IT will be bringing to organizations over the next 3 years:  Private Cloud.

With the private cloud MCSE certification, you’ll be showing you know how to use Microsoft System Center 2012 to manage both public and private clouds.

The MCSE is definitely back and relevant again.  If you’ve been looking for your next certification challenge, then this might very well be the best option for Windows System Engineers to ensure they have the best projects to work on within the next few years.

5 Exams Included in the New MCSE Certification (But Just 2 if You’re Upgrading)

If you’re already certified as a MCITP:Server Administrator or MCITP:Enterprise Administrator, then you’ve only got 2 tests to take to upgrade to the MCSE:Private Cloud.  If you’re starting new, you’ve got 5 tests to take: 3 to get you to MCSA: Windows Server 2008, plus the 2 certification exams on Private Cloud.

When you’re ready to get started, you can find some Private Cloud training available from Microsoft.

Awesome Free Utility Creates Visio Diagrams of Active Directory Domains

I was actually trying to find out how to connect Visio 2010 to Active Directory. I was hoping that I could have Visio make a connect to a Domain Controller, then just draw the diagram automatically.

I knew there was something about the new Visio that I didn’t like, but I couldn’t remember what it was. I couldn’t remember if it was that it didn’t connect directly to Active Directory, or if it didn’t ping the Network to make a diagram. It turns out that Visio 2010 does not connect to an Active Directory domain to pull in the information directly from a domain controller like a data source.


Buy Visio Premium 2010 From Microsoft Store

But in searching for the settings that aren’t there at all, I found just what I needed.

How To Make An Active Directory Diagram Automatically With Visio – Kind Of…

You can create a network diagram of your Active Directory domain topology, including domain controller information and OU charts using the Microsoft Active Directory Topology Diagrammer.

If you’ve got Visio, you’re all set.

If you need Visio, you can get a free trial of Visio 2010 or use the Visio 2010 viewer, which will let you view the diagrams created, but you won’t be able to edit them.

BTW, if you have a feeling that there’s more to Visio then you know how to use, you should pick up Visio 2007 training from Trainsignal.  It’s done by Microsoft Office Master Bill Kulterman.  I’ve gone through this training, and it was amazing how much I learned.  Visio is very awesome.  I know it’s not the 2010 version – but I’ve heard that Bill is coming back for an updated Visio 2010 version of the training.  That being said, the 2007 is enough the same that it’s worth getting.

Microsoft Announces Virtual Launch Event For SQL Server 2012 Happening on March 7

SQL Server 2012, known by the codename “Denali” is finally here – well, almost!

Visit Microsoft’s SQL Server Launch Page to register for the launch event

Here are just a few of the presentations scheduled for the event – most of these are easy to schedule, because they’re just 20 minutes each:

  • Independent Research on SQL Server 2012
  • Required 9s and Data Protection: Introduction to SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn, New High Availability Solution
  • Peace of Mind: Quick Tour Through the New SQL Server Migration Assistant
  • Unlocking the Value of Big Data with Microsoft Business Intelligence
  • Managed Self-Service BI: End User Created, IT Managed
  • Synchronizing Data “From On-Prem to Cloud” or “Cloud to Cloud” Using SQL Azure Data Sync

The agenda topics all fall into one of three categories:  “Cloud on Your Terms”, “Mission Critical Confidence”, and “Breakthrough Insights”

If you’re excited to stay on top of your skills, learn how to move to the cloud with SQL Azure, or ready to learn more about what the new SQL server offers, then you need to go register for the launch event today.

EMC: Data Scientists Are In Demand For At Least 5 Years.

Current Business Intelligence Professionals May Not Be Best Suited For Role

EMC released the results of a research study of data scientists opinions on data scientists.  (Infographic below)

If you haven’t yet heard of a data scientist, you’re not alone.  Here’s a timeline of some recent articles which describe it, and you can see that it’s starting to pick up:

August 10, 2011 – – Data Scientist: The Hottest Job You Haven’t Heard Of

September 6, 2011 – CNNMoney – Data Scientist: The Hot New Gig In Tech

November 30, 2011 – Forbes – What Is A Data Scientist?

Now, EMC has two links on the front page of their site:

Here’s the infographic.  Keep reading below for some more information about the study.


Here are some other links:

The full report of the data scientist survey is availableEMC Data Science Study: the full report

Chuck Hollis (EMC CTO and VP Global Marketing) has a blog post on the subject of “Understanding The New Rock Star: The EMC Data Science Survey”

Twitter Users Mentioned:

Chuck Hollis!/chuckhollis

Intel App Store Giving Away Angry Birds Rio in Registration Drive

Intel is giving away some apps, including Angry Birds Rio to get you started when you download and register their app store, App-up.  I’ve used AppUp and it is really easy to install and use. If you haven’t yet signed up for the new app store from Intel, go grab it here: AppUp – The App Store from Intel

Why Use Intel AppUp App Store

There are two key features for PC users to use the Intel AppUp App Store. First, all of the apps in the store have been scanned for viruses, so it appears to be a safer alternative to scouring the web from a search engine for downloads that could be out of date or actually malware. Secondly, and this is the part that I love, there is a 24 hour return policy.  If you don’t like the app you purchased, you can return it for a full refund within 24 hours.  How fast can you beat Angry Birds Rio?


Should You Install the Intel AppUp App Store

There’s no downside to installing AppUp.  It’s a really easy installation, and there are no tricky questions.   After it’s installed, you can register so that you can login and purchase your apps. By the way, there is a promotion happening right now where new registrations get 2 free games:  Angry Birds Rio, and Chicken Invaders: Ultimate Omelet. If you’re an Angry Birds fan, you don’t already have Angry Birds Rio, or if you’re just wondering why you keep hearing about Angry Birds,  you should at least take a look and see what all the fun is about.

Twitter Accounts Mentioned:

Intel News – @intelnews

Monmouthpedia–Wikipedia is doing an online encyclopedia about Monmouth, Wales.

Wikipedia project to catalog Monmouth

Visiting the sites, and meeting the people of Monmouth, Wales is about to get a lot easier thanks to Wikipedia.  Wikipedia is going to be creating a virtual tour and a full online encyclopedia about the town, and what it’s like to live there.

This is, according to Wikipedia, the “first” such project that is supposed to be an online encyclopedia for an entire town.  That certainly sparks wonder for what larger ambitions Wikipedia may have for larger townships.  How far off is a New York Wikipedia?

There is already a first post up for MonmouthpediA, which introduces the town, provides some insight into what types of articles they are looking for, and also outlining their hopes of getting local people to contribute their work on it.

They have high hopes for the project, and rightly so.  They will be doing training sessions for people in Monmouth that are interested in helping.  They hope to include many freely licensed pictures to be made available for use in the project.

Not only is it going to be an online project.  There is also going to be a QR code available at places that have a corresponding page on Monmouthpedia. Scanning the code pulls up the Monmouthpedia page for the location your visiting, since it gets your location from your phone GPS.

This creates not only an online tour, but a wildly deep tour for visitors to this town.  It can provide more information than any posted sign could, and in whatever language your phone is set to.

For more information, you can visit the Wikipedia Monmouth Project online at:

Philly Wings Lacrosse Team To Replace Names on Jerseys With Twitter Handles to Benefit American Cancer Society

The Philadelphia Wings lacrosse team has asked for permission to replace their names on their jerseys with their twitter handles.

For the time being, this is just a one time promotion for the Philadelphia Wings.  For players that don’t already have a twitter account, they are being helped by the staff in setting them up, and being given some basic training.

After the game, the jerseys are going to be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to benefit the American Cancer Society.

The game, scheduled for February 12 at the Wells Fargo Center, is against the Buffalo Bandits.

This marks the first time in American professional sports that the social media network’s usernames will replace the last names on their jerseys.

Here are the Twitter account names for related people in this story:

The Philly Wings on Twitter: @PhillyWings
The American Cancer Society on Twitter: @AmericanCancer
The Buffalo Bandits on Twitter: @NLLBandits

Hitachi starts shipping 4 Terabyte hard drives

Hitachi has started shipping two new 4TB hard drives.

The Deskstar 5K4000 is an internal drive, and the Touro Desk is an external drive that connects via USB 3.0

The Deskstar 4TB Internal Hard Drive from Hitachi

This drive is on sale for $399, and it’s been found for as low as $319 – but not from a vendor that I’ve ordered from before.  Know of a lower price? Let us know.

Here’s some quick specs:

  • 5400 RPM
  • 4 terabyte capacity
  • 28% lower power consumption than the Hitachi Deskstar 7K series drives.

More information is available from Hitachi –  Deskstar 5K4000 – 4GB Internal Hard Drive

The Touro Desk 4TB External Hard Drive from Hitachi

If you’re looking for a lot of storage connected via USB 3, then this external hard drive from Hitachi may be just what you’re looking for.

If you need some more information, you can find it at Hitachi Touro Desk – 4TB External Hard Drive

WordPress › WordPress 3.3 “Sonny”

WordPress › WordPress 3.3 “Sonny”.

New WordPress is out as of December 12, 2011.

Here’s some of the hot new features:

  • New contextual help makes it easier to find help when you need it.
  • You can now drag and drop media files into the media uploader.
  • The menu now expands as you mouse over options.
  • Touchability is improved so working on your iPad is easier.

Here’s the video embed, so you can see what all the hubbub is about.