Microsoft is readying a new Windows Server certification

After focusing its certifications exclusively around its cloud services last year, Microsoft is going back and adding two new Windows Server-focused exams to its list.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Microsoft

Last year, When Microsoft announced plans to retire its MCSA, MCSD and MCSE certifications, many who had cut their teeth on learning the intricacies of on-premises server technologies were not too happy. The certification changes were meant to shift the Microsoft certification focus to cloud services like Azure, Microsoft 365, data and AI and Dynamics 365. But they left more than a few Windows Server experts without much of a way to document their Server knowledge.

Today, September 16, Microsoft is undoing that drastic "no way but the cloud way" path by introducing a new certification that revolves around Windows Server. Officials said they're soliciting candidates to take the two new beta exams that will make them "Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associates" once these exams are generally available.

Officials made the new certification plans public during today's Windows Server Summit; a virtual event focused on the recently introduced Windows Server 2022 product.

Microsoft execs said today that they consider Windows Server 2022 to be the first version of Windows Server to be truly designed as a hybrid product. Microsoft officials consider Azure Arc, Azure Security Center, Azure Sentinel and Azure Monitor as Azure hybrid technologies that now have reached a level of maturity and functionality that makes them likely to be used daily and in real life by those who are acting as Windows Server Hybrid Administrators.

There will be two new exams for those who want to obtain Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification:

  • AZ-800: Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure
  • AZ-801: Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services

These exams will focus on compute, identity, storage, networking, management, security, migration, high availability, disaster recovery and monitoring and troubleshooting. Microsoft is emphasizing the hybrid piece in these exams, so there will also be a focus on Azure services' roles in all of these areas.

The exams will be released in December 2021, but IT pros can start preparing for them now by looking at the exam page for details and prepping with the study guides now.

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