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  • Published:
    12 December 2012
  • Languages:
    English, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Audiences:
    IT professionals
  • Technology:
    Windows Server 2012
  • Credit towards certification:

Implementing a Desktop Infrastructure

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Skills measured

This exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical tasks listed below. The percentages indicate the relative weight of each major topic area in the exam. The higher the percentage, the more questions you are likely to see on that content area in the exam. View video tutorials about the variety of question types on Microsoft exams.

Please note that the questions may test on, but will not be limited to, the topics described in the bulleted text.

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Create and maintain desktop images (20–25%)
  • Plan images
    • Design considerations including thin, thick and hybrid images, image type (boot, install, capture, discover), image format (VHD or WIM), number of images based on operating system or hardware platform, drivers and operating features
  • Capture images
    • Prepare the operating system for capture; create capture images using Windows Deployment Services (WDS); create capture images manually; capture an image to an existing or new WIM file; capture an operating system image using Microsoft System Center 2012–Configuration Manager; prepare an existing VM to be used as a base image for a new VDI desktop pool
  • Maintain images
    • Update VHD images using the Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool (OVMST); apply updates, drivers, settings and files to online and offline images; apply service packs to images; install applications into images

Preparation resources

Design and deploy desktops (20–25%)
  • Design a deployment method
    • Design considerations including Lite Touch, Zero Touch, local install and Windows to Go, capacity and scale, required changes to the infrastructure, client boot method for deployment, scheduling, staggered deployment, network load, multi-site topology and distribution points, and physical vs. virtual
  • Implement the deployment infrastructure
    • Install and configure WDS; install and configure Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT); configure network services to support deployments; configure System Center 2012–Configuration Manager including multi-site topology and distribution points; configure multi-server topology; configure autonomous and replica WDS servers
  • Implement a Lite Touch deployment
    • Configure unicast/multicast; add images to WDS; configure scheduling; optimise network load; create and manage unattended answer files; restrict who can receive images; manage configuration phases
  • Implement a Zero Touch deployment
    • Configure task sequencing; configure MDT and System Center 2012–Configuration Manager integration; configure System Center 2012–Configuration Manager for operating system deployment; configure unicast/multicast; configure advertisements; optimise network load; create and manage unattended answer files
  • Design and implement user state migration
    • Design considerations including determining which user data and settings to preserve, hard-link vs. remote storage, mitigation plan for non-migrated applications, and wipe-and-load migration vs. side-by-side migration; estimate migration store size; secure migrated data; create a User State Migration Tool (USMT) package

Preparation resources

Plan and implement a remote desktop services infrastructure (15–20%)
  • Plan and configure a Remote Desktop Session Host
    • Plan for and configure session collections; plan for and configure session properties; plan for and configure redirection settings; plan for and configure profiles
  • Plan and implement a Remote Desktop Virtualization Host infrastructure
    • Plan for and configure virtual desktop templates; plan for and implement highly available VMs; plan for and implement guest resource optimisation; configure placement rules; plan for and configure virtual network optimisation; plan for storage optimisation
  • Plan and configure a Remote Desktop Connection Broker
    • Plan for and configure a session host server farm; plan for and configure re-direction mode
  • Plan and configure a Remote Desktop Gateway
    • Plan for and configure Remote Desktop Resource Authorization Policy (RD RAP); plan for and configure Remote Desktop Client Authorization Policy (RD CAP); plan for and configure certificates for Gateway servers; plan for and configure SSL bridging; plan for and configure Network Access Protection (NAP) integration
  • Plan and configure Remote Desktop Web Access
    • Plan for and configure highly available Remote Desktop Web Access; plan for and configure single sign on; plan for and configure SSL; customise the Web Access interface

Preparation resources

Design and configure desktop settings (20–25%)
  • Design and configure user state virtualisation
    • Design and configure mandatory and roaming profiles; manage profile disks; design and configure folder redirection; configure user device affinity; manage user state in shared and pooled desktops
  • Configure the Remote Desktop client experience
    • Install the RemoteFX role service; configure local resource redirection; configure RemoteFX USB redirection; configure custom RDP settings
  • Configure desktop security
    • Configure Encrypting File System (EFS); plan for device restriction policies; manage removable media restrictions; configure advanced auditing; configure Microsoft System Center 2012–Endpoint Protection; configure User Account Control (UAC)

Preparation resources

Manage and maintain a desktop infrastructure (20–25%)
  • Implement an updates infrastructure
    • Apply Windows Updates; manage VM pool patching; integrate WSUS with System Center 2012–Virtual Machine Manager and System Center 2012–Configuration Manager; apply template-based virtual desktop updates; implement multi-tier WSUS
  • Monitor the virtual desktop infrastructure
    • Monitor the performance of Remote Desktop Services (RDS) servers and VM guests; monitor the health of RDS servers and VM guests; perform capacity analysis; identify and remediate performance bottlenecks
  • Create and configure virtual collections
    • Create and configure virtual desktop collections including pooled or personal virtual desktop collections and managed or unmanaged collections; create and configure Remote Desktop Session Host collections

Preparation resources

Preparation options

Instructor-led training
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Exam prep video

Microsoft Certification PREP Talk: Exam 415

In this episode of Prep tips from certification experts, James Seymour, Senior Product Planner and Rick Claus, Senior Technical Evangelist, discuss the relevancy of the skills being measured in Exam 415.

Self-paced training
  • Deploying Windows 8

    Use proven best practices and the free tools in the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit to streamline your deployment in any size organisation. In this course, you will receive guidance and tools to help you prepare to deploy Windows 8.

From the community

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Who should take this exam?

This exam is part one of a series of two exams that test the skills and knowledge necessary to design, implement and maintain a Windows Server 2012 desktop infrastructure in an enterprise-scaled, highly virtualised environment. Passing this exam validates a candidate’s ability to plan, configure and implement the Windows Server 2012 desktop services, such as desktop imaging and deployment, application/desktop virtualisation, and RDP access and infrastructure. Passing this exam along with the other exam confirms that a candidate has the skills and knowledge necessary for designing, deploying and maintaining desktop infrastructure services in a Windows Server 2012 environment.

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This preparation guide is subject to change at any time without prior notice and at the sole discretion of Microsoft. Microsoft exams might include adaptive testing technology and simulation items. Microsoft does not identify the format in which exams are presented. Please use this preparation guide to prepare for the exam, regardless of its format. To help you prepare for this exam, Microsoft recommends that you have hands-on experience with the product and that you use the specified training resources. These training resources do not necessarily cover all of the topics listed in the "Skills measured" section.