Microsoft Virtual Academy

Microsoft Virtual Academy is a website for Developers and IT Pros offering free Microsoft training delivere d by experts. Follow us on Twitter @MSVirtAcademy

  • We’re excited to announce two upcoming Jump Starts courses for SQL Server professionals. The first is Administering SQL Server 2012 Jump Start on October 16 followed by Implementing a Data Warehouse with SQL Server Jump Start on October 18. Both courses will be delivered by SQL Server instructors Richard Currey and George Squillace, who will pack both days with demos of real world scenarios.

    Administering SQL Server 2012 Jump Start

    This one-day live event focuses on security, data management, and disaster recovery/high availability and its implications for the configuration of the enterprise. The demos will show what you want to know about storage design and capacity configuration, security configuration, optimization of the instance, and automation.

    This Jump Start prepares you for the Implementing a Data Warehouse with SQL Server Jump Start on October 18, and if you are pursuing a MCSA: SQL Server certification, it will help you prepare for Exam 70-462

    Date: October 16, 2013
    Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Register now

    Implementing a Data Warehouse with SQL Server Jump Start

    Take this Jump Start to expand your understanding of SQL Server 2012 data warehousing concepts and implementation. This one-day live event focuses on the design of Dimensions to support BI in the organization, the implementation of Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) processes, and the implementation of enterprise-level master data and data quality. If you’re interested in the MCSA certification, this Jump Start will help you prepare for Exam 70-463

    Date: October 18, 2013
    Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Register now

  • Do you want to find out what the latest version of Microsoft Exchange Server has to offer your business? Attend this fast-paced Jump Start, packed with demos geared to real world business needs. Find out what you need to know about planning, deploying, and managing Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 on-premises.

    We’re excited to have Jason Helmick back in the studio for this course. He brings a ton of energy as an instructor, and if you haven’t yet seen Getting Started with PowerShell or Advanced Tools & Scripting with PowerShell taught by Jason and Jeffrey Snover, you should check them out. This time Jason will be teaching with Mike Pfeiffer, a Microsoft Certified Master and Premier Field Engineer at Microsoft and the author of the PowerShell cookbooks for Exchange Server 2010 and 2013.

    This Jump Start is appropriate for anyone upgrading from earlier versions of Exchange as well as IT Pros new to Exchange but with prior networking experience. If you are pursuing the MCSE: Messaging certification, it will help you prepare for Exam 70-341.

     Date: October 8, 2013

    Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Register now

  • As an IT leader, we know you struggle with the costs and complications associated with data growth and are looking for new solutions and tools to help scale and keep costs down. Here’s your chance to find out how the new tools in the R2 release of Windows Server 2012 can help you move workloads to less costly and more robust and scalable storage solutions. Come to the Jump Start to learn about Automated Tiering, Data Deduplication, Scale-Out File Server, shared VHDX files and Hyper-V live migration over the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol (SMB Direct and SMB Multichannel).

    You’ll get the most out of the Jump Start if you’re already familiar with Windows Server storage concepts and what’s new in Windows Server 2012 R2. 

    Windows Server2012 R2 Storage Jump Start: New Choices

    Date: September 24, 2013
    Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
    Where: Live, online virtual classroom
    Cost: Free!

    Register now


    Microsoft Virtual Academy recently released 3 new courses on Windows 8 to help IT professionals gain confidence with the OS:

    • Windows 8 Enhanced Data Encryption: Learn about BitLocker, BitLockerToGo, Encrypted File System, and troubleshooting best practices for securing data on Windows 8 clients.




    All 3 courses are led by Microsoft Premier Field Engineers and all three are free. Please share them with your co-workers, colleagues, and clients by sharing them on Twitter:


    • New #MSmva course on #Windows 8 data encryption: #bitlocker #troubleshooting #security #OS


    • Learn from about #Windows 8 resource consumption from #Microsoft experts: #Msmva #troubleshooting


    • #Free best practices from #Microsoft experts on utilizing #Windows 8 SysInternals Tools: #ITPro



    Find all of the latest Windows 8 training on the MVA - Windows Client page.



  • The Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager product represents a real change from the Configuration Manager 2007 product. There are many new features and capabilities, and many changes to previous features. In this lab, use the Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 administrator console to explore some of the new changes to the Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 product.

    Ready to try it out? Download the software free, full-featured, for 180 days.

    TechNet Virtual Labs enable you to experience a software product or technology using a cloud-based private virtual machine environment, online, without complicated installation. System requirements are posted here.




      to Configuration Manager 2012 SP1



    In this virtual lab, start to explore some of the new features of the Configuration Manager 2012 console, then look  at new and updated features. If you are new to Configuration Manager 2012, this lab should be the first one you take to become familiar with the console, and to set the stage for taking additional labs on Configuration Manager 2012 SP1

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

     Useful Resources:

  • Since we launched the new MVA site earlier this summer, one of the most frequent requests from the MVA community and the Tell the Dean alias has been “give us more control over our courses”.

    Many comments said things like, “I want to delete courses from my dashboard I don’t intend to finish” or “I want to re-order my courses and have more control over how I track my learning”.

    Your feedback spurred us to take a hard look at MVA’s “My Dashboard” experience. How could we help give you better control? How could we ideally add some new capabilities to help you personalize your own learning and skill building with MVA?

    I am pleased to unveil three significant new improvements for MVA learners that are live right now that I hope show you we are listening to you.

    1) A New Improved “My Dashboard”  (you can finally delete courses) :)
    You asked for it, we are excited to finally now give it to you.

    • We created a new tab for “Courses in Progress” that allows you to delete any course in your listing.
    • We extended your personal control to allow you to re-order courses or drag and drop them in whatever order you please.
    • We created a new tabbed UI to help you manage all the new elements of your dashboard and added to totally new feature too (below).

    2) Introducing “My Learning Plan”
    Another new exciting addition to “My Dashboard” and your entire MVA experience is "My Learning Plan, a new widget you can customize to build your own personal MVA course learning plans. “My Learning Plan” follows you through the MVA experience and acts like a personal shopping basket for skill building (or bookmarking)  allowing you to add courses that interest you across:

    • Search results
    • Topic pages
    • Course pages
    • And then it helps you track your progress.

    The exciting part about "My Learning Plan" is you are at the center of this plan because you define and personalize it based on the skills or knowledge you need and want. For example, you could create a learning plan on a particular topic like C# Programming or training on a product like Deploying Windows Server 2012 and then add the courses you want to your tailored plan. Any registered MVA learner can create and manage their own “learning plans” as part of our new dashboard experience today. 

    The "My Learning" widget you customize in "My Dashboard" then follows you on the far right rail of MVA as you visit any topic or course page. You can add a course by simply looking for the green circle (see below), hover over, and select the plan you want to add that course to, and press the add button.

    3) Improved Search: Now Includes Live Events in Search Results and Improved Keyword Matching
    Search now integrates not just on-demand courses but also relevant Live Events like Jump Starts or Live Q&A.  For example, today when you type in a term like SQL Server you will see the latest Live courses available for registration together with SQL on-demand courses. We have also improved our search filters with a tabbed UI to make them more discoverable.

    So check these new features out and tell us what you think. And if we missed something, well tell us that too!

    MVA’s mantra is “Successful technologists never stop learning and great technology never stops evolving.” Your feedback is our fuel, and powers us to think about how to improve MVA with every monthly sprint we do. Thanks for pushing us to evolve MVA and keep the feedback coming, especially the stuff that bugs you we still need to fix.

    We are listening; this is your MVA.

    Kind regards,