My take on the 70-695 certification exam

Today I passed the 70-695 certification exam “Deploying Windows Desktops and Enterprise Apps”, and became MCSE: Mobility. You need 700 points to pass, and I got a score of 800. This is my take on the exam and tips on what to focus on.

Passing this exam also meant I became MCSE on Mobility as I already had an MCSA on Windows 10.

The exam had 3 case studies. Each case study presented a company with their infrastructure, their planned changes, requirements and challenges. It then had 8-10 questions regarding this scenario. An example of a question from a case study would be a company that have several offices in different cities, and each office have multiple networks.

Note: that was just an example of what you will encounter, and not a specific question from the exam.

I like this approach because it feels more like the challenges you meet in real life  These case studies requires deeper and broader knowledge of the technology than the previous exams.

You will encounter several scenarios where Configuration Manager is integrated with MDT, other where ConfigMgr or MDT is standalone, and some scenarios where OS deployment is done simply by Windows Deployment Services. You need to know the difference of these, and where and when to use them.

I strongly recommend you to understand and study the deployment and customization of App-V packages, Office 2013/2016 and Office 365. The test also covers RemoteApp and you need to know when you use that as well. There will most likely be questions on the exam testing you on this.

Microsoft states you will be tested on the following subjects:

Implement the Operating System Deployment (OSD) infrastructure (20-25%)

  • Assess the computing environment
    • Configure and implement the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit, assess Configuration Manager reports, integrate MAP with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, determine network load capacity
  • Plan and implement user state migration
    • Design considerations, including determining which user data and settings to preserve, hard-link versus remote storage, mitigation plan for non-migrated applications, and wipe-and-load migration versus side-by-side migration; estimate migration store size; secure migrated data; create a User State Migration Tool (USMT) package, select between in-place upgrade and migration, deploy Windows as Compact OS
  • Configure the deployment infrastructure
    • Configure Windows Deployment Services (WDS), install and configure Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), identify network services that support deployments, select Configuration Manager distribution points, support BitLocker
  • Configure and manage activation
    • Configure KMS, MAK, and Active Directory–based activation; identify the appropriate activation tool

Implement a Lite Touch deployment (15-20%)

  • Install and configure WDS
    • Configure unicast/multicast, add images to WDS, configure scheduling, restrict who can receive images
  • Configure MDT
    • Configure deployment shares, manage the driver pool, configure task sequences, configure customsettings.ini
  • Create and manage answer files
    • Identify the appropriate location for answer files, identify the required number of answer files, identify the appropriate setup phase for answer files, configure answer file settings, create autounattend.xml answer files, use Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer

Implement a Zero Touch deployment (20-25%)

  • Configure Configuration Manager for OSD
    • Configure deployment packages and applications, configure task sequences, manage the driver pool, manage boot and deployment images
  • Configure distribution points
    • Configure unicast/multicast, configure PXE, configure deployments to distribution points and distribution point groups
  • Configure MDT and Configuration Manager integration
    • Use MDT-specific task sequences; create MDT boot images; create custom task sequences, using MDT components

Create and maintain device images (20-25%)

  • Plan images
    • Design considerations, including thin, thick, and hybrid images, WDS image types, image format (VHD or WIM), number of images based on operating system or hardware platform, drivers, and operating features, for example, desktop, mobile, and IoT
  • Capture images
    • Prepare the operating system for capture, create capture images using WDS, capture an image to an existing or new WIM file, capture an operating system image using Configuration Manager
  • Maintain images
    • Update images using DISM; apply updates, drivers, settings, and files to online and offline images; apply service packs to images; manage embedded applications
  • Modify Windows installations
    • Build packages; provision packages to modify existing Windows installations

Prepare and deploy the application environment (20-25%)

  • Plan for and implement application compatibility and remediation
    • Planning considerations, including RDS, VDI, Client Hyper-V, and 32 bit versus 64 bit; plan for application version co-existence; use the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT); deploy compatibility fixes
  • Deploy Office by using MSI
    • Customize deployment, manage Office activation, manage Office settings, integrate Lite Touch deployment, re-arm Office, provide slipstream updates
  • Deploy Office by using click-to-run (C2R)
    • Configure licensing, customize deployment, configure updates, monitor usage by using the Telemetry Dashboard

Reference: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-70-695.aspx

My study methods

I read the official exam reference book to study for the 70-695 certification exam, and while the book do cover all the official subjects you will be tested on, unfortunately I feel that the book don’t go deep enough to pass the exam. The book is only 340 pages and only briefly touches the subjects,  but it do have a lot of references to Microsoft Technet articles, and you need to study those extensively to have fair chance to pass.

 

Preparing for the 70-695 Exam Certification

This is the exam prep session from Microsoft Ignite 2016 where they quickly go through the subjects. This helped me a lot in deciding what subjects to focus more on when I studied for this exam.

I also recommend you to go through the following courses at Microsoft Virtual Academy:

  • The circle of Life for an App-V 5.0 Package
  • Windows 8.1 Deployment Jump Start
  • Windows 8.1 Modern LOB Application Deployment
  • Office 365 ProPlus Deployment for IT Pros
  • Windows 8.1 To Go
  • Office Guides: Deploying Office as a Service
  • Deploying Office 365 ProPlus
  • Solving Office 365 Client Deployment Scenarios
  • MDOP User Experience Virtualization Deep Dive
  • MDOP Application Virtualization Deep Dive
  • System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager & Intune
  • Deploying a Configuration Manager 2012 R2 Hierarchy
  • Taming Android and iOS with Enterprise Mobility Suite
  • Windows Phone 8.1 Enterprise Mobility Management
  • Microsoft Intune Core Skills Jump Start

Link: Microsoft Virtual Academy

About the Author

Anders Rodland
Anders Rødland started his carrer as an IT consultant in 2006 and now works as a Senior IT-Specialist and Service Owner for Atea, one of the major IT companies in Scandinavia. My main focus is on Microsoft System Center, and I currently have more than 13 Microsoft certifications. Certified on Windows Server, Windows Client, SQL, Exchange and System Center Configuration Manager. Anders Rodland also holds an ITIL Foundation certification. This is my private blog and do not represent my employer. I use this to share information that I find useful. Sharing is caring.
  • Ryan Lloyd

    I am having a hard time finding information on determining the network load capacity. Where did you find information about this?

  • Russell

    Hi Anders, thank you for this post. May I ask a question? I’m also studying for the 70-695 exam and am also reading the exam ref guide for this exam. Now I read that since feb 2017 the exam has been updated with regards to Windows 10. How did you find out which topics to study as well? I have read the Exam 70-695 change document, but am not sure how different the new version of this exam is. Did you encounter a lot of questions about Windows 10 in regards to MDT, SCCM, WDS? And perhaps even SCCM 2016+?
    Thanks for your help and post!

    • Hi Russel.

      There was a lot of questions about MDT, WDS and SCCM 2012. I had one case study about Windows 10, MDT and WDS that I believe came from this update. Since I had just passed MCSA: Windows 10, then that was not a problem. I don’t recall any questions about SCCM Current Branch.

      Good luck on your studies.