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

  • Overview

    Virtual Machine Manager is the management layer for the infrastructure enabling you to configure and manage your virtualization host, networking, and storage resources so you can deliver cloud services to your business and customers. System Center 2012 SP1 Virtual Machine Manager provides virtual machine management and services deployment with support for multi-hypervisor environments that can help you deliver a flexible and cost effective private cloud environment. In this new virtual lab, find out how to network with System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager.

    Not ready for networking in VMM 2012 with System Center 2012 SP1? Start with configuration, installation, and go on to design a multi-tier service template.

    Virtual Labs are free, hands-on learning environments-- with no complicated installation.



    Networking in VMM 2012 SP1

    This lab is designed to help you gain an understanding of networking in VMM 2012 SP1. At the end of this lab you will be able to create all the virtual settings necessary to build a logical switch and assign it to a NIC on your Hyper-V host.

    Note: the lab spins up two windows: one is the lab environment, and the second is the step-by-step guide documentation.

    System Center SP1 2012 is an integrated platform offering comprehensive management of applications, services, physical resources, hypervisors, software defined networks, configuration, and automation. Download System Center 2012 SP1 at the TechNet Evaluation Center. 

    Useful Resources

    • Video: What are the differences between virtualization and cloud computing, how do they complement each other? Featured demo: deploying services the “old way” vs. “deploying via Virtual Machine Manager.”
    • The System Center 2012 Integration Guide provides information about automating each of the System Center components and integrating them with each other, as well as with other systems and applications.
    • Review of Virtual Machine Manager and System Center 2012
    • MVA Virtual Machine Manager top-rated course
    • Server and Cloud Platform Forums
    • Microsoft System Center Team Blog
  • Windows 8 introduces a number of security improvements over Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

    Microsoft Virtual Academy launched a new course this week that addresses key insights, capabilities, and best practices for managing & securing Windows 8 clients: Windows 8 Security.

    Learn from Microsoft Premier Field Engineers as they share insights into Mandatory Integrity Control, Windows Defender, Windows Resource Protection, User Account Control, System Service Hardening, SmartScreen Filtering, Session 0 Isolation, File and Registry Virtualization, Boot Security, and ASLR. Get hands-on with the software by downloading the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation for free from the TechNet Evaluation Center.

    Sign-in to MVA to take this free expert-led course and check back regularly, as new courses are added each month.

    Windows 8 Security



    Share this free course with your customers, clients, and co-workers on Twitter:

    • Learn about #Windows 8 Security from #Microsoft Premier Field Engineers: #MSmva.
    • Learn best practices for managing & securing #Windows 8 clients #free #training #MSmva
    • Learn about #Windows 8 security improvements over Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7: #MSmva
  • Bing it on! Learn best practices for how to build Web sites that are easy to discover, including guidance on architecture, page load time, getting your site indexed, and the resources available within the Bing Toolbox, including APIs and SDK documentation. During this two-hour session, Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager Duane Forrester, Search Evangelist Stacey Helman and Digital Marketing Agency Lead Dalip Tyagi will also introduce marketing opportunities (SEM) to complement and enhance your SEO efforts. This demo packed session is free, and we encourage you to prep by visiting the Bing Programs..

    Tune Your Site and Apps to Maximize Search Jump Start | Register Now

    Date: June 4, 2013
    Time: 1:00pm – 3:00 pm (PDT)
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Help us spread the word! Here are a few suggested Tweets:
    Learn the best and fastest way to direct traffic to your website, join #MSJumpStart on 6/4 #MSmva
    Bing it On! Learn how to complement and enhance your SEO efforts. Join #MSJumpStart on 6/4 #MSmva
    Join @staceyhelman & @duaneforrester on 6/4 to learn how to maximize traffic to your website #MSmva

  • Overview 

    Automation dramatically increases both productivity and quality of IT Operations—with the move to the cloud, the benefits of automation multiply. Two new virtual labs at the TechNet Evaluation Center show you how to build efficient automation and self-service features with System Center 2012 SP1. The automation and applications labs below are last in a five-part series to prepare your datacenter to offer true infrastructure service capability as well as optimally managed application services. The first three labs are detailed here.

    New Virtual Labs get you started, hands-on, free, without complicated installation.



    Services & Automation

    Review and modify the Orchestrator configuration. You'll also create, customize and fulfill a self-service request. You’ll also create and test a runbook.


    Deploy an application through self-service, scale out an application tier, configure application performance monitoring and view the monitoring data.

    System Center SP1 2012 is an integrated platform offering comprehensive management of applications, services, physical resources, hypervisors, software defined networks, configuration, and automation. Download System Center 2012 SP1 at the TechNet Evaluation Center.

    Useful Resources


  • Overview

    For a growing number of businesses, the journey to cloud computing starts with private cloud implementation. A Microsoft private cloud dramatically changes the way your business produces and
    consumes IT services by creating a layer of abstraction over your pooled IT resources, enabling your datacenter to offer true infrastructure service capability as well as optimally managed application services.

    Click and learn how to use System Center 2012 SP 1 with new hands-on Virtual Labs






    Create a host group, a file share, a library server, add Hyper-V hosts, deploy the System Center Operations Manager agent to your hosts, configure monitoring integration.



    Configure storage, network, and services. Create a private cloud, import VMware virtual machines, and deploy services.


    Private Cloud

    Deploy a failover cluster, configure user roles, create a dashboard view, configure advanced cluster settings and design a multi-tier service template.

    EDIT: The next two labs in this series, Application Development, Services and Automation are now online.


    How to try out this solution free, full-featured?

    Download System Center 2012 SP1 from the TechNet Evaluation Center. More free virtual labs will be added this month.


    Useful Resources

  • We’re excited to be participating in the initial #DevChat, a new weekly Tweet Chat brought to you by the @msdev team every Tuesday at 11am PST on Twitter.

    On Tuesday the 14th, we’ll be doing a follow up to our Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps Using C# Jump Start, with Jerry Nixon back online to take your follow-up questions. Jerry has a tremendous wealth of knowledge in programming in C# and XAML, and this is a great chance to pick his brain in real time and for you to share what you know and help other developers. 

    It’s also a great opportunity for you to get prepared for the next live Jump Start in the series, Advanced Windows Store App Development using C# taking place on May 23. 

    Other guests in attendance will include Daren May, co-founder of Crank 211, Jeremy Foster, Developer Evangelist with specialty in HTML and JavaScript, Michael Palermo, Technical Evangelist with specialty in HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. 

    It promises to be a really robust, and lively conversation with a really talented group of experienced developers. Make plans to join us Tuesday, May 14 at 11am PST. We’ll see you there! 

    How #DevChat works:

    • We’ve already set up a tweet chat “room” that you can use to participate
    • You may also use Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or any other Twitter client. You’ll just need to set up a column with the hashtag #DevChat.
    • Join in any time during the hour. We look forward to having your share your knowledge and questions.
    • We will ask a series of questions, each beginning with “Q1,” “Q2,” and so on.
    • Most of all, #DevChat is about learning, and sharing insights and experiences with your fellow developers, while having access to industry experts.
      • If you’d like to answer a question, just tweet back with “A1,” “A2,” etc. to the corresponding question.

    Each Tuesday, #DevChat will focus on a different aspect of the development process, whether it’s a platform, a programming language, trends in application marketing, anything that impacts the life of a developer. To join the conversation, simply monitor and tweet with the #DevChat hashtag. Sound like something you’d like to check out? Join us on Tuesday at May 14 at 11am PST.

  • Two of the most "edutaining" Jump Starts we've ever produced were last year's courses on Lync Server 2010. This year, we have the same instructor teams back to teach IT Pros and telecommunications experts how to take advantage of Lync Server 2013. Join Unified Communications Architect Brian Ricks and Microsoft Senior Consultant Aaron Steele as they provide a fast-paced and engaging learning experience packed with a variety of scenario-based demos focused on Lync Server 2013. This course follows the criteria for exam 70-336 and provides accelerated preparation for this important exam in the MCSE: Communication track.

    Core Solutions of Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Jump Start | Register Now

    Date: May 30-31, 2013
    Time: 9:00am – 5:00 pm (PDT)
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Help us spread the word! Here are a few suggested Tweets:

    @bricomp & @steeleaaron are back with Lync 2013! #MSJumpStart 5/30&31 #MSmva @drrez
    Get ready for Exam 70-336 - attend Lync 2013 #JumpStart on 5/30&31 #Msmva
    Join @bricomp & @steeleaaron on 5/30&31 for Lync2013 #Jump Start #Msmva

  • On May 21, MVA continues its monthly series of free Q&A sessions led by Microsoft technical evangelists. This month, we’re releasing several great System Center 2012 SP1 courses and have invited Symon Perriman to answer any questions you may have about the product: Register for free.

    The live, audience-led discussion is geared toward IT professionals that are interested in System Center 2012 SP1 and will focus on topics covered in the previous System Center 2012 courses posted on MVA. Prepare for this event by taking the courses and virtual labs listed in the RESOURCES section below.

    Get answers to your questions on technical capabilities, get advice for using products in a live environment, and learn from your peers in the industry and Microsoft expert Symon Perriman.

    Registration is now open for this free Q&A event: Register now. 



    Symon PerrimanAs a Microsoft corporate Technical Evangelist covering Private Cloud, System Center & Hyper-V, Symon Perriman is a recognized industry expert in datacenter management, cloud, virtualization, high-availability, disaster recovery, mobile technologies and social media. Previously he spent four years as a Program Manager on the Server Clustering & High-Availability team and has been working in the technology industry since 2002. Symon holds several patents and certifications, including MCSE Private Cloud, Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) and VMware Certified Professional (VCP). Additionally, he has contributed to four technical books for virtualization, server, clustering and SQL; co-hosts the ‘Edge Show’ for IT professionals; and has had technologies featured in PC Magazine. Symon also serves as President & Founder of FanWide Technologies LLC and graduated from Duke University with degrees in Computer Science, Economics and Film & Digital Studies.



    Prepare for the MVA Live System Center Q&A by sampling related MVA courses and testing your knowledge with the module self-assessments:

    Test-drive new System Center 2012 features and capabilities through our series of guided, hands-on labs that you can complete in 90 minutes or less. There is no complex setup or installation required. We currently offer 4 virtual labs for System Center 2012 SP1 –




    Learn from Microsoft's virtualization experts: Using VDI to Enable New Workstyles.


    On April 18, MVA hosted an expert-led Jump Start event featuring Joey Snow, Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist; Corey Hynes, Holsystems Lead Technical Architect; and Adam Carter, Microsoft VDI Technical Product Manager.

    The free course on Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), titled Using VDI to Enable New Workstyles, is now available as an on-demand training module.


    In the course, you will learn about the latest approaches to desktop virtualization, the business cases for each, guidance for choosing appropriate virtual desktop types according to requirements and architectural guidance for building a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with appropriate sizing, scalability and fault tolerance.

    In addition to VDI, this training covers session virtualization, application and user state virtualization, and scenarios for desktop virtualization vs. traditional desktops, the Microsoft-Citrix v-Alliance program and provide context and scope for understanding when Microsoft only desktop virtualization makes sense and when a Citrix v-Alliance solution is appropriate. View the course outline below for additional details.


    Take the course now and test your knowledge through the self-assessment exam.




    Module 01 | VDI Overview
          - What is/why VDI?
          - Sessions/Personal/Pooled; VDI vs App-V and UE-V (DV overview)
    Module 02 | Windows Server 2012 User Experience 
          - RemoteFX for WAN; USB Redirection; Adaptive Graphics
          - Windows 8 Client/Start Menu Integration/Touch; User Profile Disk
    Module 03 | Windows Server 2012 VDI Management
          - Deployment Wizard; Admin Console
          - Collection Creation/Update
          - Powershell; SCCM and SCOM
    Module 04 | Why Hyper-V?
          - Dynamic Memory; RemoteFX vGPU
          - Storage Spaces and SMB, CSV
    Module 05 | Capacity Planning & Architecture
          - Hardware Recommendations; High Availability
          - Storage Options (san/jbod/smb/ssd)
    Module 06 | Leveraging Citrix
          - Support for Windows XP/2008/2003/etc.
          - Support for non-Windows clients (iPad, etc.)
          - Management at Scale
    Module 07 | Microsoft VDI Licensing
          - Demystifying the license requirements for VDI/RDS solutions



  • Many of you have enjoyed the Programming in C# Jump Start on MVA-- it's been one of our most popular courses on MVA! On May 23, 2013 Jerry Nixon and Daren May will be back in the studio to deliver accelerated cert prep for exam 70-485 to a live global audience. Of course, you're all invited! Each module will be packed with cool demos, samples and techniques aimed at helping you build better Windows Store apps through animations, transitions, storage mechanisms, caching strategies, and more.

    Adv. Windows Store App Development Using C# Jump Start | Register Now

    Date: May 23, 2013
    Time: 9:00am – 5:00 pm (PDT)
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Help us spread the word--Announce this on your blog or post a tweet!
    Advanced C# #MSJumpStart on 5/23 w/ @jerrynixon & @darenmay! Last in the series! #MSmva
    Let @jerrynixon & @darenmay help you prep for MCSD w/ C# #MSJumpStart on 5/23 #MSmva
    They're back! Join @jerrynixon & @darenmay for final C# #MSJumpStart on 5/23 #MSmva

  • In fewer than four weeks, the world’s best and brightest security professionals will converge on the InterContinental Hotel San Francisco, CA for the second annual Security Development Conference! Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from industry experts who will discuss current security topics and issues.

    Register Now using this discount code: IND@SDC#12

    For more information, visit our website at or contact us at

    Speakers and topics include:

    Howard Schmidt

    Join Howard Schmidt, executive director of the Software Assurance Forum for Excellence in Code (SAFECODE), partner in the strategic advisory firm, Ridge Schmidt Cyber, and former cyber security advisor to the president, in this fireside chat to learn more about the important role developers can play in shaping the future of security. After a brief introduction and interview with Steve Lipner, Partner Director of Software Security at Microsoft, Howard Schmidt will take questions from the audience.

    Scott Charney

    Scott Charney serves as Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for Trustworthy Computing, Engineering Excellence, and Environmental Sustainability. Scott will
    be presenting on Building Market Demand for Security Development Through Standards – Hear Microsoft’s perspective on how security development standards and developer transparency can help drive greater trust in software devices and services.

    Edna M. Conway

    Edna M. Conway serves as Cisco’s Chief Security Strategist for the company’s Global Supply Chain. In this capacity, she is leading Cisco’s strategy to assess, monitor, and continuously improve the security of its global value chain. She also leads Cisco’s supply chain cyber protection plan, serving on the company’s Cybersecurity Board and Risk and Resiliency Operating Committee. Edna will be presenting on the importance of Supply Chain Integrity, and security disciplines to drive visibility and security in each node of the value chain.

    Brad Arkin

    Brad Arkin is the Senior Director of Security for Adobe products and services.
    Brad’s keynote, titled “Accepting Defeat and Changing the Battle Plan,” will explore new approaches to achieve desired results for information security, based on Adobe’s own experiences abandoning “best-practices” in favor of innovative alternative strategies which were able to deliver results where tradition failed.

    In addition to the above keynotes, the conference will include over 20 breakout sessions, which cover the latest in security development techniques and processes for reducing risk and protecting organizations in the rapidly evolving technology landscape. Equally importantly, the conference provides an opportunity to compare notes with professionals in software development and critical infrastructures regarding SDL processes at their organizations.