So, how do you get an Internet presence? Let’s see:
- Think of a domain name (could take forever, so we’ll ignore this)
- Register domain name (up to 72 hours to propagate)
- Set up hosting account (a few minutes to a few hours, depending on whether you have some web space already or need to go to a provider)
- Create a simple web page (a few minutes)
How about all of the above in ten minutes!
Total Registrations, my preferred domain registrar for the last ten years updated the root name servers in a few seconds. Hostgator, place where all these domains live, took 30 seconds to generate the fully featured hosting account, which allowed me to install WordPress straight from within CPanel in the next minute or two.
Definitely a record in my experience.
New server purchased for WAIT to host practice labs for MCM preparation, as well as test environments for recreation (and hopefully resolution) of problems has just arrived. It’s a big box and Mrs. WAIT has kindly accommodated it in the loft, lest it interferes with the noise of the desktop and two laptops downstairs.
Server is a no-name self-build box with a XEON processor, 8GB RAM and 4 x 1TB disks (2 x 1TB RAID-1 arrays) and will use MS Hyper-V (it is a Microsoft product course I am preparing for after all, so reserve comments on this one).
WAIT will be regularly updated with information on configuration of the server and I’ll be looking forward to comments on how to improve performance, representation of real-world examples or with any other suggestions you may have.
After a bit of a push from my side, I finally got the email confirmation last night – application successful! I now have 12 months to prepare, get money, select my rotation, pay the slightly more than symbolic fee and make my way to Redmond.
It’s been a while since I started looking at the whole Microsoft Certified Architect programme. In fact, it’s been so long, they changed the structure and introduced another certification – Master, and a number of product-based streams. You can read more about it on the Microsoft Learning site. Finally, I made up my mind about a month ago and spent the last few weeks learning as much as I can about it.
Lesson 1: Blogs are your friends.
There are many useful blogs out there that provide very useful information about the MCM program. A special mention has to go to Brent Ozar for his comprehensive report on preparation for and experience of the program. Although I’m preparing for Exchange and he completed (ahhh) SQL, the information is very pertinent.
Lesson 2: USB keys are your friends.
You need to submit a previous design document with your application. If you are a contractor and change roles relatively quickly, you end up with any number of design documents scattered between your home computers, online file stores and email attachments. For me, the right document at the right version was on my key chain and I could edit it immediately.
Lesson 3: Find & Replace is your best friend.
One of the requirements is to sanitise the design documents by cleaning up all client data. Wow! I never thought there could be that many server names, configuration settings, IP addresses and examples that can be found in a 60-page Word document that pertain to a single client. And then the bombshell – Visio drawings converted to JPEGs, but not on the USB key. Oh, the joys of MS Paint.
In the end, the application consists of:
- $125 fee
- Sanitised design document
- 2 x Recent Project Involvement
Application processing takes up to two weeks.