John Savill's Microsoft Stack Master Class

Price: $1,495.00

Presented by John Savill

Thursdays, October 8th through December 17th

Past Sessions Available Now for Instant Access


Do you struggle to keep up with the latest Microsoft technology changes? Are you looking to move to a Microsoft centric set of solutions and need to quickly get the right skills to be successful? If so, this class is for you!


Understand the complete Microsoft solution stack, how the products work together, and how to implement and maintain for a total datacenter and desktop solution. Make yourself THE Microsoft expert in your organization.

All the key Microsoft technologies and more are covered in the intensive John Savill Master Class. Attendees will learn HOW technologies work and through this understanding be able to apply them to many different scenarios and bring a well-rounded skill set to any environment.

The 2015 update includes the latest technology updates including Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10.

John Savill is considered one of the top Microsoft technology experts in the world and this exclusive, prestige event gives attendees 30 hours of class time gaining direct knowledge transfer from the trainer of the trainers.

Each session meets for about an hour and is recorded. Students will have access to all session recordings and materials for 90 days after the conclusion of the final session (through March 16, 2016). This course will not be sold on-demand, so you must register now to get the most comprehensive Microsoft technology training event available.


Day 1: Foundational – Available Now for Instant Access

John begins Day 1 with a quick level set of key Windows technologies and principles and then dives into key security, deployment, and management best practices for Windows desktop and server deployments.

Session 1: Windows Fundamentals
This session will look at the key concepts of Windows, including the structure of the operating system and file systems and how applications and services actually work and communicate with each other and other systems. We'll explore components such as the registry, event viewer, performance monitor and task manager – and how to get the most benefit from them. We'll also explain key networking concepts and services such as DHCP, DNS, and file sharing. By understanding how the building blocks of Windows work, you’ll be able to troubleshoot and resolve problems with greater ease and far more efficiency.

Session 2: Deploying, Managing, and Maintaining Windows
As the number of Windows installations in organizations grows, the methods to deploy, manage, and maintain must be highly efficient. In this session, we'll examine technologies and techniques for the deployment of servers and desktops, and we’ll discuss the best way to keep the deployments maintained. We'll look at free technologies such as Windows Deployment Services, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, Windows Software Update Services, Server Manager, and PowerShell. We'll also use third-party tools such as those from SysInternals to demonstrate advanced troubleshooting techniques.

Session 3: Security Best Practices for Windows Environments
Security is a top concern and priority for almost every organization today. This session will look at securing your datacenter and desktops, both at the office and when mobile. We'll cover securing corporate data and services from non-corporate devices, and we'll look at ways to enable users to have a flexible work style without compromising the organization.


Day 2: Advanced Windows Services – October 15th

On Day 2, we'll look at some key Windows Services for use in your organization including IPv6, classification services and certificate services using ADCS.

Session 1: IPv6 – 11am EDT
This session will look at the history of the IP protocol and why IPv6 is needed. John will provide an overview of IPv6 and explain the architecture and services, such as DNS and DHCP, required to support IPv6 in your organization.

Session 2: Advanced File Services – 1pm EDT
This session covers capabilities to enhance the file service environment. John will explain Active Directory Rights Management Services and how to use it. For compliance requirements, the File Classification Infrastructure (FCI) capability can be used to automatically classify data based on data content. Once the data is classified, rules can be used to modify the files based on its classification, including applying RMS policies. Dynamic Access Control will be explored as a new way of securing access to data.

Session 3: Public Key Infrastructure – 3pm EDT
The foundation of many secure services is Public Key Infrastructure, and Microsoft has a complete in-the-box solution with Active Directory Certificate Services (ADCS). This session covers how to architect an ADCS solution for your organization and how to leverage it in your organization. We'll explore the methods to create custom templates and how to backup and restore your ADCS implementation.


Day 3: Active Directory & Group Policy – October 22nd

Almost every Microsoft server application and almost every organization uses Active Directory at a minimum to provide authentication and authorization services, but often more as a complete directory service. In this class, we'll explore the full capabilities of Active Directory and how to architect and manage Active Directory to meet your organization's needs. Group Policy provides very advanced policy capabilities for Windows clients. We'll provide best practices for application of Group Policy and discuss when to use Group Policy and when not to.

Session 1: Key Features of Active Directory from Windows 2000 to Windows Server 2012 R2 – 11am EDT
From its initial introduction in Windows 2000, Active Directory has grown in capability and scalability. This session will look at Active Directory fundamentals and how to get the most from Active Directory in your organization through every version of Server OS, including Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016.

Session 2: Architecting and Managing Active Directory the Right Way – 1pm EDT
A poorly architected Active Directory will hinder the entire organization's IT, while a well architected Active Directory will guide every other service to be as optimal and functional as possible. This session will focus on architecture guidance in addition to using the latest features to provide extra capabilities in your bag of tools. We'll cover architecture best practices from small to large multi-geographical organizations including utilizing the various types of trust relationships available. This session will include both Microsoft management features and those from third parties to aid in using features that Microsoft has been a little "slow" providing configuration interfaces for. We'll also explore Azure Active Directory and how it fits into an organization's identity strategy.

Session 3: Leveraging Group Policy in Your Environment – 3pm EDT
Although Group Policy can bring huge benefits to organizations, it is often poorly implemented, causing performance issues and unpredictable results. In this session, we'll explain Group Policy and how to get the most from Group Policy policies and preferences. We'll also look at using tools to report, troubleshoot, and resolve Group Policy problems.


Day 4: Hyper-V – October 29th

Windows Server 2008 R2 and SP1 turned Hyper-V into one of the three big machine virtualization solutions. Windows Server 2012 takes Hyper-V even further. On Day 4, we'll explore Hyper-V from a capability, scalability, and implementation view and compare Hyper-V with other hypervisors and complete management solutions.

Session 1: Hyper-V Architecture and Features in Windows Server 2008 R2 – 11am EDT
There are different types of hypervisors. In this session, we'll explain Hyper-V architecture and the benefits of the VMBus. We'll cover Hyper-V features and architectural options, as well as options such as Live Migration technologies and Cluster Shared Volumes for providing high availability and protection for virtual machines. Backup options for virtualization will be covered for both VSS aware and non-VSS aware workloads. Looking beyond Windows, we'll also cover support for Linux workloads.

Session 2: Windows Server 2012 R2 and 2016 Hyper-V and Complementary Features – 1pm EDT
Windows Server 2008 R2 and SP1 added a huge number of capabilities to Hyper-V, making it a true contender for the hypervisor championship. But the changes in 2008 R2 pale compared to those introduced with Windows Server 2012 and beyond Hyper-V and the Windows Server 2012 and beyond platform in general. In this session, we'll cover the major new scalability and availability features that will matter to your organization.

Session 3: Deploying, Migrating to, and Managing Hyper-V in Your Organization – 3pm EDT
Most organizations already have some kind of hypervisor and virtualization in place. In this session, we'll look at how to add Hyper-V to your datacenter, how to provide management across multiple hypervisors in a heterogeneous environment, and how to migrate to Hyper-V from other hypervisors. We'll also cover how to manage large-scale Hyper-V environments using Windows tools, PowerShell, and Microsoft System Center.


Day 5: Microsoft System Center – November 5th

System Center 2012 is Microsoft's complete datacenter management solution for on and off-premises workloads in addition to supporting client and server operating systems both Microsoft and non-Microsoft. This class will focus on the key elements of System Center 2012 and System Center 2012 R2 and how you can use them in your organization in addition to major changes in the 2016 wave.

**Please note the time change with the end of Daylight Savings**

Session 1: System Center Overview and Licensing – 11am EST
In this session, we'll examine the evolution of the components and overall capability set that is now possible with System Center 2012. We'll look at licensing for System Center 2012 for servers, desktops, and other infrastructure components. We'll also discuss Solution Accelerators, Process Packs, and other community additions for System Center to help you become as productive as possible.

Session 2: System Center Configuration Manager and Data Protection Manager – 1pm EST
One of the earliest components of System Center is Configuration Manager, formally known as SMS. With the 2012 version and the latest updates with Service Pack 1 and R2, Configuration Manager offers a complete management solution that includes deployment, patching, and inventory for Windows desktops and servers in addition to management capabilities for iOS, Android, Linux, Mac OS, and Windows RT through integration with Windows Intune. In this session we'll explore key capabilities of Configuration Manager, some best practices on use and deployment, and how Configuration Manager is more than just a tool for desktops.

Data Protection Manager (DPM) was introduced to provide customers of Microsoft solutions a backup and recovery solution that supported the full capabilities of the products in a supported manner. Today DPM provides best-of-breed protection for key Microsoft workloads, including SQL Server, SharePoint, Exchange, Hyper-V, file servers, and desktops—for not only backup purposes but for real-time protection. We'll cover the best ways to use DPM and how to enable its various restoration capabilities, including end-user self-service. We'll also discuss how to use DPM as part of a disaster recovery plan.

Session 3: System Center Operations Manager, Orchestrator, and Service Manager – 3pm EST
System Center Operations Manager has come a long way since its first version and today offers a complete monitoring solution for the entire datacenter: operating systems, applications, hardware, storage, and networks. Operations Manager provides a proactive monitoring solution that with 2012 also enables network monitoring and monitoring of custom .NET and J2E applications. We'll look at key features, best practices, and some features every organization should be using.

The next two pieces that bind all the other components together are System Center Orchestrator and System Center Service Manager. Orchestrator provides connectivity between System Center components as well as connectivity and the ability to perform actions on almost any system in the datacenter. With connectivity to every system, you can create runbooks of actions to automate processes across different systems. Orchestrator SMA offers a new kind of runbook based on PowerShell workflows which also form the Azure Automation functionality.

The runbooks can be run manually, triggered by other actions, or called from other System Center components such as Service Manager which is the Configuration Management DataBase (CMDB) for the entire datacenter. Service Manager receives information from all the System Center components, providing a single pane of glass for complete information about a system. Service Manager also provides ticketing capabilities and a Service Catalog providing a central web-based portal where employees can access almost any type of service. We'll look at bringing everything together into a complete solution and how to go about implementing System Center in your environment.


Day 6: Implementing a Private Cloud for Your Organization – November 12th

It's impossible not to use the word "cloud" in any conversation about future initiatives with any C-level executive today. The private cloud is a hot topic but what exactly is it and what is the benefit? In this class, we'll compare private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud solutions and look at how you can get your very own private cloud.

Session 1: Understanding What the Private Cloud Is and How It Differs from the Public Cloud – 11am EST
This session will provide a solid level set of what the cloud is, the types of service available, how the services work, the difference between private and public cloud, and which one you need. We'll cover the benefits to the IT team, the business users, and the organization as a whole—as well as what the various end-user experiences would be like.

Session 2: Architecting a Private Cloud Using Microsoft Components and a Heterogeneous Datacenter – 1pm EST
There is no private cloud product, rather many components are brought together to provide a private cloud service. In the Microsoft world, the key components of a private cloud solution are System Center 2012 and Hyper-V. This session will look at the role of each of the components and how they fit together to offer a complete private cloud solution.

We'll explore the complete fabric management capabilities of Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), including management of Hyper-V, ESX, and XenServer—and how you also can manage network and storage with VMM, providing a complete provisioning solution. Creating clouds and assigning quotas will be shown, culminating in using AppController and Windows Azure Pack to deliver a web-based self-service and management interface for virtual machines and complete multi-tiered services.

Session 3: How to Offer Services to Your Organization from Your Private Cloud and Taking Advantage of the Public Cloud – 3pm EST
Once a private cloud is in place, the next step is to provide services to the organization. First, private cloud features might be used only by IT; then you might gradually roll out the features to the business units with a show and charge back model where needed. This session will provide guidance for how to roll out self-service and the private cloud to an organization without risks of VM sprawl and a loss of control while providing a new level of responsiveness for the business.

We'll also show you the types of Public Cloud service and how you can make the best use of them in your organization. We're review details on the Windows Azure types of service, how you can manage them, and the options for a hybrid deployment.


Day 7: Become a PowerShell Master – November 19th

To automate the management of large environments, IT departments must move past graphical interfaces and instead look at scripting and automation capabilities. PowerShell has grown in strength and should be the scripting and automation solution of choice for all IT administrators. On Day 7, we will show you how to use PowerShell effectively in your organization and automate many of the tasks that you do manually today.

Session 1: Understanding the Goals and Features of PowerShell – 11am EST
This session will look at the PowerShell structure, how to use PowerShell, the structure of commands, and passing objects from one PowerShell command to another PowerShell command to achieve very powerful sequences of actions with very little code. We'll cover how to get help with PowerShell and provide hidden gems that will make your PowerShell life much easier. We'll also cover the PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) and provide best practices for creating PowerShell scripts.

Session 2: Managing Remote Servers with PowerShell – 1pm EST
This lesson looks at managing servers remotely using PowerShell covering both initially setting up the remote management and the various authentication options. This session will cover loading remote modules, using remote session and the various types of troubleshooting to be used.

Session 3: Creating Scripts and Reusable Code with PowerShell – 3pm EST
This unit looks at creating reusable code through the use of scripts and custom modules. The ability to create help for your custom module will be explored in addition to accepting input using parameters and the PowerShell pipeline.


**Please note: Sessions will not meet on Thursday, November 26th in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday in the United States.**


Day 8: Backups, Disaster Recovery, Failover Clusters, and Protection for Your Infrastructure – December 3rd

As an organization's IT infrastructure grows and becomes distributed over many locations, the need for protection and the ability to continue offering services—even with the loss of a site—becomes critical. This class will focus on technologies that enable services to scale and become highly available, even across locations.

Session 1: Where to Use Backups vs. DR vs. Clustering and How They Work – 11am EST
The session will focus on key technologies that can help make services resilient to failure. We'll offer a comparison of where each technology works best. We'll cover backups, VSS, clustering, network load balancing, and replication—as well as best practices to test and implement disaster recovery to ensure that your disaster recovery plan will actually work when you need it.

Session 2: Using Virtualization Recovery Processes in Your Datacenter – 1pm EST
Virtualization is a great advancement for datacenters, consolidating operating systems onto a smaller number of physical boxes and providing the foundation for services such as the private cloud. However, the consolidation onto a fewer number of physical boxes can magnify the effect of a single hardware failure. This session will look at how virtualization features can increase availability and how the virtualization technologies work. We'll cover high availability for virtual machine workloads and provide guidance for when you should use the various technologies.

Session 3: How to Use Backups and Replication to Provide Local and Remote Site Protection – 3pm EST
This session will look at the options for providing disaster recovery for an organization and how to implement and test your disaster recovery plan. We'll explore traditional backup restoration processes and then discuss replication options and how to automate failover using technologies such as PowerShell and System Center Orchestrator. We'll also look at key processes needed to keep your disaster recovery process functional and ensure key systems are always protected. Using Azure for DR will also be explored.


Day 9: Advanced Infrastructure Services – December 10th

Windows Server 2012 promises to be a major release for Windows Server—not only for internal use by IT organizations but also to become THE cloud platform for private and public cloud services. Windows Server 2012 R2 builds on this capability even further. All sessions will cover changes in both Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. In addition to sporting a brand new version of Hyper-V that has a vast number of new capabilities, Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 also bring major changes throughout the operating system and a completely new approach to managing Windows Server. On Day 9, we'll explore all the major features and show you how to manage Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 in addition to looking at the fundamentals of Azure Infrastructure services.

Session 1: How to deploy, Upgrade, and Manage Windows Server – 11am EST
This session will look at the options available for upgrading existing servers directly to Windows Server 2012, how to upgrade clusters, how to upgrade Active Directory, and how to migrate all other services you have in your datacenter. You'll gain the knowledge you need to best deploy Windows Server 2012 without losses in availability of services—and how to take advantage of new functionalities. Changes coming to 2016 will be explored including Nano server and containers.

Session 2: Using the Network and Storage Features in Windows Server 2012 and 2016 – 1pm EST
The storage and network capabilities of Windows Server 2012 are not evolutionary but rather are revolutionary, enabling Windows Server 2012 to provide very powerful file and network capabilities that can rival many storage area network implementations. We'll cover new features such as SMB 3, continuously available file shares, iSCSI, storage spaces, thin provisioning, data deduplication, remote VSS, VHDX, chkdsk improvements, and more. We'll talk about how you should use these new features in your organization and discuss the benefits they will bring. New storage replication and vSAN capabilities with Storage Spaces Direct in Windows Server 2016 will be explored.

Session 3: Best of the Rest – 3pm EST
This session will explore other key capabilities including Remote Desktop Services, Web Application Proxy, IIS, device affinity and Work Folders.


Day 10: Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 – December 17th

For Day 10, we'll shift our focus from the back-end datacenter and core infrastructure to the client platform, Windows 8.1. We'll look at changes in the Windows 8.1 interface, the new touch capabilities, and the new Modern (Metro) application model. We'll also cover other Windows 8.1 features, including enterprise-specific features and complementary technologies like the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack.

Session 1: What's New in Windows 8.1 and 10 for the Desktop – 11am EST
The Start screen is a huge change in Windows 8 and 8.1, bringing touch as a first-class input method for Windows alongside keyboard and mouse. This session will look at changes to the Start screen, the new charms and interaction methods, Modern applications, and the Windows Store. We'll also look at changes to key components such as searching the operating system; integration between services, explorer, and Task Manager; and integration with the cloud. Key Windows 10 changes will be explored including the new Start menu, Cortana, Microsoft Edge and more.

Session 2: Understanding, Using, and Managing the New Application Model in Windows – 1pm EST
The new chrome-free, immersive applications that are at the heart of the new Modern-style experience offer a completely new experience. This session will look at the new Windows Run Time (WinRT) environment and how Modern-style applications behave differently than traditional desktop applications. We'll explain how to load Modern applications on your corporate Windows machines and how to control Modern applications using technologies such as AppLocker.

Session 3: Planning Your Organization's Windows Upgrade and Supporting Any User Device – 3pm EST
Any operating system deployment is a big undertaking, and Windows 10 is no exception. The good news is that Windows 10 maintains application compatibility from Windows 7 and 8.1. For organizations running Windows 8.1, the migration to Windows 10 should not require large amounts of application testing. Windows 10 will also run on any hardware that can run Windows 8.1, negating the need for large-scale hardware refreshes. We'll look at new features such as Windows-To-Go and measured and trusted boot plus restoration of Windows state. We'll demonstrate new MDOP capabilities that work with Windows. We will show you how to make Windows available to any device in any location, and we'll look at the relative advantages and disadvantages of each approach. We'll cover how you can use Remote Desktop Services to create a complete desktop solution and how to ensure the most secure yet flexible desktop solution for your organization. The new upgrade and maintenance model for Windows 10 will be covered.


About our instructor:

John Savill is a Windows technical specialist, an 11-time MVP, and an MCSE for Private Cloud and Server Infrastructure 2012 and a Microsoft certified Azure Infrastructure and Azure Architect specialist. He's also ITIL certified and a CISSP. John is the author of the popular FAQ for Windows and a senior contributing editor to Windows IT Pro, as well as the author of many books including most recently Mastering Hyper-V 2012 R2 with System Center and Windows Azure (Wiley) and Mastering Azure Infrastructure Services (Wiley).


Customer Service

Need to be invoiced or interested in registering 2 or more people? Please contact our customer service team at or by phone at 800-262-1954 or 970-203-2705. Invoicing options and group discounts are available.

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