Microsoft Virtual Academy

Microsoft Virtual Academy is a website for Developers and IT Pros, which offers free Microsoft training delivered by experts. Follow us on Twitter @MSVirtAcademy

  • The MVA team is pleased to announce the release of the new Using Solution Accelerators to Prepare for Windows Server 2012 course.

    About the Course

    Microsoft Solution Accelerators provide tested guidance and automated tools to help you plan, securely deploy, and manage new Microsoft technologies — easier, faster, and at less cost. This course introduces three Solution Accelerators that will help prepare your business for Windows Server 2012.

    • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) 7.0. An agentless inventory, assessment, and reporting tool that can securely assess IT environments for various platform migrations.


    • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012 Update 1. Tools and guidance to accelerate and automate deployments of Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.


    • Microsoft Security Compliance Manager (SCM) 3.0. A single point of management for all of your security baselines.

    After completing this course — through a series of videos and whitepapers — you will have a detailed understanding of how to use these Solution Accelerators to help prepare your business for Windows Server 2012.


    Sign up for the course here

  • The MVA team is pleased to announce the release of the new Windows Server 2012 Web and Application Platform">Windows Server 2012 Web and Application Platform course.

    About the Course

    With more and more applications moving to a web model, organizations need a web platform they can rely on, that can scale as needed, and is easy to manage. The web platform delivered by Windows Server 2012 is suitable for companies of all sizes – for hosters, as well as enterprises – and can run applications for internal or external usage. Internet Information Services 8 (IIS 8) has improved in several areas in order to meet the needs for high density websites, high performance applications and configuration consistency while embracing web standards. Windows Sever 2012 delivers improvements in:

    • IIS Scale. Windows Server 2012 provides many improvements in configuration optimization and application initialization that help make applications available quicker.


    • Quality of Service. Windows Server 2012 delivers the best Quality of Service (QoS) for web applications such as CPU Throttling, Dynamic IP restrictions and FTP logon attempts.


    • Certificate Management and Deployment. The new Centralized Certificate Store makes it easy to add a new server in a farm and have different sites running https automatically recover their certificates.


    • Shared Configuration.  Improvements and tools that help ensure consistent configuration across web farms.

    After completing this course — through a series of videos and whitepapers — you will have a detailed understanding of how Windows Server 2012 enables you to provide high performance web applications and consistent web configurations while embracing web standards.


    Sign up to take the course here.

  • The MVA team is pleased to announce the release of the new Windows Server 2012: Identity and Access course.

    About the Course

    Today’s organizations need to give workers access to data and information — across varied networks and devices — while still keeping costs down. Innovations that meet these needs — such as virtualization and cloud-based applications — help organizations maximize existing infrastructure investments, while exploring new services, improving management, and increasing availability.
    New and enhanced capabilities in Windows Server 2012 help you meet these challenges by making it easier and less costly to ensure secure access to valuable digital assets and comply with regulations. These capabilities include:

    • Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). Improvements to AD DS installation and deployment and AD Federation Services (AD FS) as a server role.
    • Remote Desktop Services (RDS). Enhancements with Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and easier deployment of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions.
    • DirectAccess for Remote Access. Helps IT offer users seamless, more secure access to corporate data from virtually any Internet connection.
    • Dynamic Access Control. Used for compliance and data leakage prevention to enable Data Governance.

    After completing this course — through a series of videos, virtual labs, and whitepapers — you will have a detailed understanding of how Windows Server 2012 enables you to give workers access to data and information across varied networks, devices, and applications  —  and do it in an easier, more cost effective and more secure fashion.


    Sign in and take the course here

  • SysCnt12_v_rgbThe Beta of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (“SP1”) enables System Center customers to jointly evaluate System Center 2012 with Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. The Beta is for evaluation purposes only and not to be used in production as described in the EULAs associated with the product. No license keys are required to do this evaluation.

    The Beta includes updates and enhancements to the following System Center 2012 components:

    • Virtual Machine Manager     
      • Improved Support for Network Virtualization
      • Extend the VMM console with Add-ins
      • Support for Windows Standards-Based Storage Management Service, thin provisioning of logical units and discovery of SAS storage
      • Ability to convert VHD to VHDX, use VHDX as base Operating System image
    • Configuration Manager     
      • Deployment and management of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
      • Distribution point for Windows Azure to help reduce infrastructure costs
      • Automation of administrative tasks through PowerShell support
      • Management of Mac OS X clients and Linux and UNIX servers
      • Real-time administrative actions for Endpoint Protection related tasks
    • Data Protection Manager     
      • Improved backup performance of Hyper-V over CSV 2.0
      • Protection for Hyper-V over remote SMB share
      • Protection for Windows Server 2012 de-duplicated volumes
      • Uninterrupted protection for VM live migration
    • App Controller     
      • Service Provider Foundation API to create and operate Virtual Machines
      • Support for Azure VM; migrate VHDs from VMM to Windows Azure, manage from on-premise System Center
    • Operations Manager     
      • Support for IIS 8
      • Monitoring of WCF, MVC and .NET NT services
      • Azure SDK support
    • Orchestrator     
      • Support for Integration Packs, including 3rd party
      • Manage VMM self-service User Roles
      • Manage multiple VMM ‘stamps’ (scale units), aggregate results from multiple stamps
      • Integration with App Controller to consume Hosted clouds
    • Service Manager     
      • Apply price sheets to VMM clouds
      • Create chargeback reports
      • Pivot by cost center, VMM clouds, Pricesheets
    • Server App-V     
      • Support for applications that create scheduled tasks during packaging
      • Create virtual application packages from applications installed remotely on native server

    Download the beta at

  • Microsoft Virtual Academy is designed to lead IT Professionals through the learning process from start to finish. But sometimes, you might already be knowledgeable of certain topics.

    Two new features that you requested will help you learn at your own pace: 

    Flexible Module Order

    Want to know more about a specific feature or find a quick answer without taking a full course?

    Flexible Module Order lets you skip around and take the modules you need in any order you want. Try it out.

    Test Out Options

    Ready for more advanced content?

    When you already know the basics, you can test out of a module, receive credit, and keep going. Otherwise, MVA will guide you through the content so that you're ready for the next level course.

    Please continue to share your feedback: Tell the Dean!

  • The 3 Office 365 courses posted in English have now been retired. After a year on the site the information had become dated, as such we felt it was time to remove the content to ensure the content you get from the MVA is of the highest quality and accurate.

    The retirement coincides with the availability of replacement content however. The 2nd version of the Office 365 Jump Start was posted to TechNet Video. The replacement videos are listed below, these provide the latest information on Office 365.


  • Prepare for Windows Server 2012 with new technical courses from Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA).

     Windows Server 2012 brings the experience from building and operating public clouds to delivering the most dynamic, available, and cost-effective server platform for the private cloud. It offers businesses and hosting providers a scalable, dynamic, and multitenant-aware cloud infrastructure that securely connects across premises and allows IT to respond to business needs faster and more efficiently.

     MVA's free, online, self-paced Windows Server 2012 technical modules cover the following topics:

    • Virtualization
    • Server management and automation
    • Networking
    • Identity and access
    • Storage
    • Web & application platform management
    • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
    • Preparing your business for Windows Server 2012 from a technical perspective

     Look for additional Windows Server 2012 modules coming to MVA throughout the month of September.

     Useful Links:

    Windows Server 2012 Courses