Certification Study Guide: 70-417 Exam – Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012 Part 3

70-417 Exam MCSA

So I’ll be studying to take Microsoft 70-417 exam to upgrade my MCSA certification to Windows Server 2012.  I’ll be blogging my notes and linking to other resources to help out other people who are studying like me.  I’ve found a good set of Youtube videos to help study.  Good luck ugrading your skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012!


Objective 3.1:  Create and Configure virtual machine settings

There are 3 partially new features to Windows Server 2012:  dynamic memory, smart paging, and resource metering.

All Hyper-V setting can be configured using PowerShell.  There are over 150 cmdlets, so good luck studying all those!  The book I’m reading recommends running these commands to familiarize yourself with at least the important ones:

Get-Command -Module Hyper-V | Sort Noun,Verb

Get-Command *VM* | Sort Noun,Verb

Get-Command *VM*adapter* | Sort Noun,Verb

Dynamic Memory

You can probably guess that dynamic memory is memory that changes.  It uses a pool of memory for a set of VMs and increases and decreases memory as needed.

Startup RAM is the amount of RAM assigned to a VM as it starts.  This makes sense because a VM may require more RAM on boot than when running.

Memory buffer is the amount of RAM assigned to a VM beyond what is necessary to run an active workload.  You don’t want to have your memory usage at 100%, do you?  In most cases, leave this at default, 20%.

Memory weight is used for prioritizing memory allocation.

Smart Paging

If you know what a page file is, you can probably figure out what smart paging is.  If no memory is available, and a VM needs to restart, it will temporarily use disk to restart the VM.  It is only used when restarting, not starting, or over when memory is over-allocated.

Resource Metering

This is mainly used if you’re hosting VMs for a customer.  You can calculate how much resources a VM is using, and charge a customer accordingly.  You can report on historical resource usage on the following:

  • Average CPU usage
  • Average physical memory usage
  • Maximum physical memory usage
  • Minimum physical memory usage
  • Maximum Disk Space
  • Total incoming network traffic
  • Total outgoing network traffic

To enable:  Enable-VMResourceMetering -VMName YourVMHere

To display:  Measure-VM -VMName YourVMHere

Save into report:  $UtilizationReport = Get-VM YourVMHere | Measure-VM

Display contents of report:  Write-Output $UtilizationReport

Reset counters:  Reset-VMResourceMetering -VMName YourVMHere

Stop counters:  Disable-VMResourceMetering -VMName YourVMHere

Non-uniform memory access (NUMA) topology

NUMA is a technology that improves system scalability by optimizing memory and memory bus usage
in multiprocessor systems.


Objective 3.2: Create and configure virtual machine storage

New VHDX disk format

  • VHD limit is 2 TB
  • VHDX limit is 64 TB
  • VHDX boot volumes are still limited to 2 TB
  • VHDX will not run on Server 2008 R2 or earlier
  • You can convert between the two as long as you meet the size requirements
  • PowerShell:  Convert-VHD cmdlet
  • Disk log in VHDX improves resiliency from power failure
  • Support for metadata

Virtual Fibre Channel adapter

You can create a Fibre Channel adapter for your VM and then provision storage from your Fibre Channel SAN from within the guest operating system.  This can help with migrations and high availability.


  • Drivers for host bus adapters have to support Virtual Fibre Channel
  • Can’t use Virtual Fibre Channel to connect to boot media
  • Only works with Server 2008 or newer.

Objective 3.3: Create and configure virtual networks

Virtual switch extensions

In Server 2008 and 2008 R2, virtual switches were called virtual networks.  Virtual switch extensions add functionality to the switch, such as packet capturing, filtering, and forwarding.

PowerShell:  Get-VMSwitchExtension

Network Virtualization

This is primarily used by hosting providers to separate networks for their customers.  It allows customers to migrate servers and retain their IP address settings without causing IP conflicts.  It does this through one of two ways:

  • IP rewrite – modifies packets on the VM before they hit the physical network.  Better performance.
  • IP encapsulation – packets are encapsulated with a new header.  Scalable.

Port ACLs (network isolation)

  • cmdlet:  Add-VMNetworkAdapterAcl
  • Like a firewall that allows or denies traffic of a MAC address or IP address.
  • Example:  Add-VMNetworkAdapterAcl-VMName YourServernameHere -RemoteIPAddress -Direction Both -Action Deny
  • You can use Port ACLs to meter traffic:  Add-VMNetworkAdapterAcl-VMName YourServerNameHere -RemoteIPaddress -Direction Both -Action Meter
  • Port ACL metering is most likely used to monitor traffic to the default gateway for hosting providers.

Single-root I/O Virtualization

  • Extension of PCIe to improve network performance
  • Enables network traffic to bypass Hyper-V software switch
  • Processing overhead on switch is reduced.
  • After creating SR-IOV switch, the VM’s network adapter has to be enabled

Bandwidth Management

  • Allows you to set minimum and maximum bandwidth for a VM
  • Set-VMNetworkAdapter in powershell.  You can assign a weight between 0 and 100 relative to other network adapters.

Advanced features for virtual network adapters

  • DHCP guard – Prevents DHCP man-in-the-middle attacks
  • Router guard – Safegards against unauthorized routers
  • Port mirroring – Monitor a VM’s network traffic by forwarding packets to another VM
  • NIC Teaming – pair two or more NICs.  Can be physical or virtual.

Conclusion for 70-417 Exam:  Part 3

This is the third part of my study guide.  I’m hoping this helps some people who are looking for a basic study guide before cramming the exam.  If you have a question or comment, feel free to leave one below.  Good luck upgrading your skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012!

Upgrading your skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012

Read Part 1 of my Study Guide!
Read Part 2 of my Study Guide!


Article written by

Tyler was born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa where he currently resides with his wife Amanda, a cat - Bam, and two sons - Elijah and Benjamin. He is employed as a network administrator with First Security State Bank and enjoys technology and computers. Amanda is a student in at the University of Northern Iowa and is studying to be a teacher. She is also active in the Iowa Army National Guard. She is a 92A, which is a supply specialist.

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