Exam-Ref-70-417Exam Ref 70-417 is written for a very specific audience that is already experienced with Windows Server 2008 or 2008R2, but is looking to learn about the new features introduced in Windows Server 2012.  With that in mind, J.C. Mackin has done an excellent job at keeping this book tightly focused only on the new features introduced in Server 2012 rather than write a monolithic book on every single feature in Server 2012.

Given that exam references are usually dry and rather esoteric, Mackin should be commended for putting together a concise and accessible overview of the new features. He lays out a logical course by introducing readers to Windows Server 2012 starting with the brand new Server Manager console and then progressing through the new features including Hyper-V 3.0, Direct Access, IPAM, and NAP, each with dedicated chapters.

The inclusion of practice questions at the end of each section will be especially helpful to those studying for the 70-417 exam. Readers will also be appreciative for the numerous ‘Exam Tip’ sections which highlight commands or features that are likely to be encountered as exam questions. Lastly, Mackin was kind enough to include guidance specific to readers that are familiar with Server 2008 but not Server 2008R2.

In short, readers familiar with Windows Server 2008 or 2008R2 will be well served by this well focused and concise review of the new and updated features in Windows Server 2012. Readers that are new to Windows Server technology will be much better served by 70-410 to learn the basics of Windows Server 2012.