I recently completed a Microsoft eLearning course collection on Internet Information Server v7.0 in Windows Server 2008. There are twelve courses in the collection including the following topics:
- SMTP, and
Course content in this collection is challenging in the sense that there is great detail presenting and integrating topics such as .NET, security, certificates (PKI), encryption, compression, application pools, worker processes and of course, the new AppCMD functionality.
The video demonstrations showed tasks completed using IIS Manager as well as the AppCMD. Quite frankly, the AppCMD is a lot of work. The NETSH command ranks up there in my top favorite commands to avoid at all costs. Both commands get into what I call the “compartmentalization” model; that is, you choose a module and then execute commands available for that functionality. Many of the complex commands have this functionality but the NETSH command takes it to the extreme.
The emphasis in the coursework was to present the same functionality found in the IIS Manager GUI as an AppCMD. The only problem with this approach is making typing erors errors. This will haunt you in the labs.
Quizes were challenging as most were the 3x3 square with true/false statements comprising the individual elements – the “Match Game.” The challenge was to select the true statement in each element and then submit the row or column for evaluation. The result is graded as correct or not. Each submission counts as a turn and there are a limited number of turns for the exercise. Basically, you could guess until you got it right no matter how many times you re-take the quiz or you could take your own notes and let the material sink in.
Quizes in other courses I completed were used to introduce material that wasn’t previously covered in a slide, demo or audio presentation.
This collection is challenging in the sheer amount of material that is presented on IIS 7.0.
The labs are delivered through Hyper-V virtual machines. Generally three servers, a Domain Controller, web server, and application server are included in each lab thereby creating a live, real-time environment that allows you to interact with the software and see the results of the exercise. This environment also gives you an opportunity to debug the problems that come up as a result of typos or just plain doing the wrong thing. You can reset the labs and start over in any number of ways. I’ve had times where my connects to a particular VM in the lab was dropped. Reconnecting always get me back where I left off. If you don’t complete a lab, you can re-connect within a few hours and you lab will be preserved – let your session expire and you have to start over.
The one thing I did not like about the labs was the amount of typing required in the tasks requiring the AppCMD. You can make a number of errors typing the command which generally depended on your broadband connection and the responsiveness of the virtual machine. It would be great if you could cut and paste between your desktop session and the lab.
Overall, I found that implementing the labs in a virtual machine environment is a great idea – an idea that carried through some classroom courses I attended where the labs were inplemented using virtual machines in the Virtual PC product.
If you want an opportunity to luard a lot about IIS 7.0 in a presentation environment, this is the collection for you.
Follow the link for more eLearning Windows Server 2008 IIS 7.0 course offerings.This posting is provided “as is” with no warranties, guaranties or any rights whatsoever. All content is based on the author’s experiences and opinions and is not intended to influence the actions of the reader.