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Everyone who works in the fast-paced world of network administration knows the complexity of deploying new system software. It is not a task that is undertaken lightly. So even though many information technology professionals have been keeping up with the latest news and white papers about the Microsoft® Windows® 2000 platform, and maybe even starting up the testing process for their organization, not everyone has had an opportunity to fully explore its deployment features.
That is, until now.
The introduction of two new one-day classes for Windows 2000 now gives IT pros a place to go for an in-depth look at the new operating system, with an opportunity to try out many of the new features for themselves.
"I have been running Windows 2000 Professional Beta 3 on my office PC for several months now. I thought this class would be useful because it covered the new deployment features of Windows 2000 Professional - and successfully deploying Windows to the workstations is my responsibility," says David Shorr, of Draper Labs.
Draper Labs is an independent not-for-profit research and development laboratory that employs more than 750 engineers, scientists, and technicians on a broad array of programs for government and commercial sponsors. Because the future-focused work they do is advanced with the help of state-of-the-art technology, understanding what Windows 2000 offers - and how best to deploy it - is vital.
So Shorr, just like thousands of others throughout the world, signed up for one of the one-day Microsoft Windows 2000 deployment training courses now being offered at Microsoft Certified Technical Education Centers (CTECs). Shorr chose Microsoft Official Curriculum course 1567: Preinstalling and Deploying Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, because it was specifically designed for people just like him: those responsible for the workstations in an organization.
"I don't have a lot of time to take away from work for classes, so a one-day class that got me started was ideal," adds Shorr.
A fast start deploying workstations
Course 1567 is optimized to meet the needs and interests of IT administrators who are deploying Windows 2000 to workstations. It teaches students how to roll out Windows 2000 Professional to multiple computers in an enterprise.
Specifically, students find out firsthand how to write setup information files to automate installation, and use sysprep and disk imaging tools to deploy fully configured Windows 2000 Professional images. In one action-packed day they learn how to:
Shorr got off to a great start with the one-day course, and now he feels ready to start preparing for deployment.
"I feel I've acquired enough information to begin testing Windows 2000 deployment. For that purpose, I've asked our network group to set up a Windows 2000 beta server so I can start testing," says Shorr. He plans to take additional classes to deepen his knowledge in areas that will be especially useful when he deploys Windows 2000 in his organization.
Essential insight on the server side
While Course 1567 is a great fit for some, other network administrators have different needs when it comes to Windows 2000 deployment. So there are classes tailored to them as well.
"As MIS Director, I was looking for a class that would give me insight into and hands-on experience with deploying Windows 2000 from that perspective," says Beverly Torsiello of Foremost Manufacturing Company, Inc. "Among my responsibilities are maintaining the network and updating and purchasing new software. My company is always looking for ways to maximize technology investments. I had seen Windows 2000 in action in demonstrations, so I was eager to get hands-on practical knowledge about deployment."
Like so many others, she heard about the class via word of mouth - and the good recommendation persuaded her to take the plunge. Because her role is primarily managing the back-end infrastructure of systems at her company, Torsiello took a different class than Shorr. She joined the many people taking Official Curriculum course 1594: Installing and Configuring Microsoft Windows 2000 File, Print, and Web Servers.
"There's a lot of talk about Windows 2000, and I wanted to see for myself how I thought it would work for my organization," Torsiello says. She said she was very pleased with what she learned.
Course 1594 is designed to provide the skills necessary to install and configure Microsoft Windows 2000 as a file, print, and Web server, which is particularly important for support professionals who manage the back-end infrastructure of a system. In just one day, students learn how to:
Getting the goods on Windows 2000
Some people have been so interested that they've taken both the classes. These individuals generally work in an organization where they fill the role of both back-end and workstation support, or they are consultants.
Rob Purdy is an MCSE and consultant who works for CVS.com as an administrator with about 200 workstations on the network. Looking to build skills for Windows 2000 deployment, Purdy took both one-day Windows 2000 classes back-to-back.
"Both classes were excellent," says Purdy. "There were about 10 to 12 people in each, and I had the same instructor for both who was very knowledgeable and insightful. And the labs gave us lots of hands-on opportunities to actually do things like repackage an application by using WinINSTALL LE, create a disk image using PowerQuest Drive Image Pro, install Windows 2000 Advanced Server, and configure a Web site."
He adds: "The features that caught my attention right off the bat had to do with automation - things that Windows 2000 now does automatically that Windows NT 4.0 didn't, such as the new installation features. And Active Directory promises to simplify my life as well: It's a great tool for server management. Based on what I've seen, Windows 2000 adds up to a good investment for business - and these one-day classes are an incredible investment for anyone working in network administration. I wouldn't miss one myself!"
The Windows 2000 one-day classes are now available at Microsoft Certified Technical Education Centers in the United States for just $99; worldwide prices vary. With these one-day classes, Microsoft aims to give IT professionals the ability to make a smooth transition to Windows 2000 and improve the value of their investment in this enhanced platform.
"To be honest, I always take the $99 classes," concludes Purdy. "The information you get in just one day is always incredibly useful. And I love the labs! How could any IT professional not find them great?"
Sarah Hersack and Kylie Hansen are partners in Ideo Creative, a marketing communications, consulting, and branding firm based in Kirkland, Washington.
Last Updated: November 1, 1999