Release Preview of Windows Server 2012 will become available. Personally I think that the beta exams for Windows Server 2012 will arrive somewhere around June/July, so now it’s time to start studying. Today I ran into a blogpost on the Windows Server blog which put some nice virtual labs in a list which you can use to expand your Window Server 2012 knowledge….
** It’s simple: no complex setup or installation is required to try out Windows Server “8” running in a full-featured virtual lab. You get a downloadable manual and a 90-minute block of time for each module. Before you start, read the minimum system requirements. Select a virtual lab from the list below. Then, you will see an application launch the lab.
** In this lab, you will learn how to deploy Active Directory Domain Controllers with Windows Server “8”. You will deploy domain controllers using the new Server Manager, as well as deploying remote domain controllers using Windows PowerShell. You will be able to explore the new Active Directory Management tool and use its PowerShell History Viewer.
** In this lab, you will learn how Windows Server “8” can provide storage remotely to any machine. You will build clusters using shared storage and build iSCSI high-availability instances–observing highly available application communication during cluster failover.
** In this lab, you will learn how to configure a file server cluster to support running Hyper-V virtual machines from SMB file shares. You will create the file share, configure delegation, and then create a new VM on SMB storage.
** In this lab, you will work with the new storage spaces technology in Windows Server “8”. You will first create new storage pools and virtual disks, and then you will work with those virtual disks in both Server Manager and Control Panel.
** Windows PowerShell is a command-line shell and scripting language that helps you achieve greater control and productivity. Using a new admin-focused scripting language, more than 230 standard command-line tools, and consistent syntax and utilities, Windows PowerShell enables you to more easily control system administration and accelerate automation.
** In this lab, you will explore some of the new features and functionality in Windows PowerShell 3.0 to enable you to more easily control system administration and accelerate automation.
** In this lab, you will learn how the branch office scenario has been improved in Windows Server “8” including new branch cache enhancements.
** In this lab, you will explore new network management capabilities in Windows Server “8”. You will learn how to implement Network Teaming as well as how to implement DHCP failover. Finally, explore new Windows PowerShell cmdlets for network management.
** Network management is core to running a business, yet the tools that IT professionals need can be too costly or not available from Microsoft. With Windows Server “8”, we change that with the introduction of IP Address Management (IPAM).
** In this lab, you will learn how the Server Manager and Windows PowerShell framework in Windows Server “8” delivers an enhanced, multi-server management experience. You will learn to perform tasks such as multi-server management. You will also explore new Windows PowerShell capabilities including new cmdlets and the Windows PowerShell gateway.
** In this lab, you will use Windows Server Backup to back up your critical data to Windows Azure. This lab will teach you the entire set of workflows around backing up and recovering your data to Windows Azure.
** In this lab, you will explore Dynamic Access Control in Windows Server “8”. You will learn how to create Central Access Policies, explore the new Access Denied Remediation features, as well as learn how to use the audit capabilities built into Dynamic Access Control.
Next to the virtual labs, Microsoft has also a Windows Server ‘8’ Partner Training available (for free), which is available for Microsoft Partners only.