Exam Ref 70-417 Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012
This book does the trick. I worked through this book over a 2-week period and then went and passed the exam. The book really narrows down the features and objectives to just those covered by the upgrade exam. It is very well written and easy to work through. It highlights the key differences in Server 2012 and how to take advantage of them.
Each chapter has the cores lesson, exam tip boxes, notes, and a review of objectives covered. There are also practice questions at the end of each chapter. The book is really well written and easily accessible. If you are running Server 2012 either physically or in a VM, you can work through everything along with the book and get good hands-on practice. J.C. Mackin writes in a very accessible style and it is one of my favorite of the MS Press books I have yet to work through.
The big thing about this exam is how widely they are offering this upgrade. If you hold any one of the following 6 designations you can do this one exam and achieve the new MCSA: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate Windows Server 2012 designation:
MCSA: Windows Server 2008
MCITP: Virtualization Administrator
MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator
MCITP: Lync Server Administrator
MCITP: SharePoint Administrator
MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator
For those of us who hold one or more of these credentials, the 70-417 is an amazing offer. A single-exam upgrade path to the MCSA: Windows Server 2012, for the low costs of $150 that all other MS Cert exams cost now. This exam bypasses three separate exams if you were to start the process from scratch:
70-410 Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
70-411 Administering Windows Server 2012
70-412 Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
It is also the first time I believe you can do an upgrade from Desktop certification to server certification. This book and a machine running Server 2012 are all you need to train and pass this exam. So go for it!