Microsoft Creating MCSA and MCSE for .NET

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Microsoft Divides Windows 2000 and Windows .NET Server Certification

Microsoft has changed the certification path for Microsoft Certified
Systems Administrators (MCSAs) and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers
(MCSEs) breaking the Windows .NET Server 2003 certifications into a
separate path from the Windows 2000 credentials. MCSEs and MCSAs on
Windows 2000 won’t be required to upgrade their credentials to the
Windows .NET Server 2003 versions, but they will have that option.



When Microsoft changed its certification strategy for MCSEs, letting
those certified on Windows NT remain certified, it announced that IT
pros certifying on the Windows 2000 version would be able to combine the
exams for Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows .NET Server. But,
according to the Microsoft certification Web site, Microsoft since
decided to separate the exams, offering two versions of the MCSA and two
versions of the MCSE: one for Windows 2000/XP and one for Windows .NET
Server. If you’re already certified on Windows 2000, you will be able to
take one or two exams to upgrade your certification to the newest
version of Windows technology.



The MCSE on Windows 2000 certification requires seven exams: one client
operating system exam, three networking system exams, a design exam plus
two electives. MCSEs are responsible for installing, configuring and
troubleshooting network systems. Microsoft recommends at least one year
of experience implementing and administering a network operating system
prior to taking the exams. 



The MCSA on Windows 2000 certification requires four exams: one client
operating system exam (just like the MCSE), two networking system exams
and one elective. MCSAs have the ability to manage and troubleshoot
system environments running on Windows 2000. Microsoft recommends a year
of experience working with a desktop operating system, a network
operating system and a network infrastructure before pursuing the cert. 



So what do you do if you’re still in the exam-taking process, working
toward your MCSA or MCSE? Microsoft says on the site that you should
keep working toward the Windows 2000 credentials, as the skills you gain
through this process will provide the backbone for the Windows .NET
Server skills.



Microsoft will make more details about the MCSE and MCSA on Windows .NET
Server 2003 credentials public in early 2003. Keep an eye out on the
Microsoft certification Web site, at, and in
this newsletter for further announcements regarding the change.



TruSecure: Today’s Wireless Security Standards Fall Short

Like it or not, wireless is here to stay. And the security issues
surrounding wireless networks aren’t going away either. The widespread
use of wireless applications, including multimedia, e-mail and Web
applications, is hampered by security issues surrounding the wireless
local area networks (WLANs) that are the backbone of these applications.



Several industry standards bodies have been working on new security
specifications to address wireless security concerns. According to
TruSecure, these standards have tended to focus more on the ease of
implementation for vendors, and less on effective security for end-
users. But to provide the protection needed for WLANs, the standards
bodies are going to have to create more rigorous standards—standards
that place more demands on the vendors.



Securing WLANs requires more stringent security standards, according to
Leo Pluswick, a technology program manager at TruSecure’s ICSA Labs
division and a wireless security expert. “The focus needs to be on the
security of the end-user, not what is easiest for the vendors from a
cost, functionality and revenue-generation perspective,” Pluswick said.



Pluswick forecast that during 2003 there will be continuing debate about
how to implement the multiple standards put forth by the IEEE, IETF, the
Wi-Fi Alliance and other standards bodies. Most important will be
finding a standard that works for the vendor as well as the end-user



Beating the Work-Stress Demons

You know how it goes. It’s Friday the 13th. You had a plan to get all
kinds of things done, and all of a sudden some emergency throws
everything off track again. Your to-do list has become so un-doable that
you go into hysterics every time you think about it. You’re stressed
out, you’ve been stressed out for a long time, and if you don’t find
some relief soon, you’re going to take a hatchet to the server.



Take a deep breath.



There are ways to manage your stress levels. And even though you can’t
always lighten your work load, you can learn to cope with it. First you
need to figure out where all this stress is coming from. Are you
actually overworked? Are you even in the right job? These are things you
can manage. If your job role isn’t well-suited to you, it might be time
to consider something else.



If you’re too worried about the state of the economy to jump ship now,
there are other ways to deal with the daily stress. First, make sure you
can handle things physically. That means getting plenty of sleep (eight
hours is still the recommended amount) and exercise (daily requirements
for exercise were recently upped to one hour per day—I know it hardly
seems do-able, but just getting out for a walk can work wonders for your
peace of mind). Also, trying to keep yourself awake and alert with
caffeine is not the best way to cope. That hourly Coca-Cola is not
helping reduce your stress levels. Try water instead.



The next thing you need to learn to do is draw the line. Weekends or
days off are not for work, so you shouldn’t be working then (except for
the rare occasion when it’s absolu
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