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Microsoft server technologies

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Microsoft certifications are highly valued in the IT industry. They provide a good starting point if you wish to enter the industry and a way to maintain your skills and advance your career if you’re already working in IT. This module offers a sound grounding in the fundamentals of computer networking and server technologies. It also enables you to develop the knowledge and understanding required to become an IT professional working with current Microsoft Windows server technology (Microsoft Windows Server 2008). On successful completion of this module, and with additional practical experience, you will be ready to take industry-recognised Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification examinations.

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No current presentation - see Future availability

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2013.

What you will study

As part of this module you will study Microsoft Official Academic Course books (known as MOAC books). These are widely used by Microsoft IT Academies to support preparation towards Microsoft Certification examinations in Active Directory Configuration and Network Infrastructure Configuration.

By studying these books you will gain an understanding of the technologies and concepts covered, and the associated practical labs will give you experience of configuring and troubleshooting Windows Server 2008. The MOAC books will be supplemented with OU materials, such as study skills exercises and technical videos that will enable you to develop skills relevant to an IT practitioner.

The module is structured into three blocks, each based on an IT industry relevant text book:

Block 1: Networking Fundamentals provides a sound grounding in the basic principles of computer networks. Topics covered include protocol models and layering; IP addressing; basic network design and network devices. You’ll be introduced to these concepts via a text book and your learning will be supported by computer-based practical exercises.

Block 2: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure Configuration comprises Microsoft Official Academic Course (MOAC) books that cover configuration of IP addressing, DNS, DHCP and NAP amongst others. This block aims to cover materials associated with the Microsoft exam 70-642 (MCTS – Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist).

Block 3: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration comprises Microsoft Official Academic Course (MOAC) books that cover configuration of Active Directory services and policies. This block aims to cover materials associated with the Microsoft exam 70-640 (MCTS).

You will need to spend around ten hours per week for 30 weeks studying this module, although this may depend on your current and previous experience in this subject.

On successful completion of the module and additional practical experience you will be in a position to take industry recognised MCTS examinations for Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure Configuration (70-642) and Active Directory Configuration (70-640). These two examinations, with one additional exam (70-646) not covered by this module, constitute the Microsoft Certified Solution Associate (MCSA): Windows Server 2008 certification. You will need to make your own arrangements to pay for and sit these exams.

You will learn

This module will enable you to:

  • increase your knowledge of the basic principles of computer networks and server technologies
  • develop skills to enable you to work with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 at a level described by the Microsoft certification: Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist
  • develop a variety of skills appropriate to a practitioner in computer networking and server technologies.


This is a Level 1 module. Level 1 modules provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, to help you to progress to modules at Level 2.

This module has a high technical component with the focus on using and configuring servers and networks. We do not recommend this as your first module if you are new to OU study or have no experience of working with personal computers. We strongly recommend that you begin your studies with a key introductory Level 1 module such as My digital life (TU100). This will equip you with the necessary computing and study skills for Microsoft server technologies.

Microsoft materials assume some experience of working with Microsoft server technologies. Block 1 is designed to cover the networking fundamentals needed and prepare you for working with the Microsoft materials but it is not recommended for those who have no experience of working with personal computers.

Because the study material is online, you should be confident in the use of a computer to access the internet, and be prepared to spend some of your study time online. 

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

Please note that as this module makes substantial use of information and communication technology (ICT) you will need to spend considerable amounts of time using a personal computer and the internet. Text books provide some additional reading but the majority of the module content and all the practical labs are only available online. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.  Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

The module is delivered through a virtual learning environment and as many of the materials are provided by a third party there will be limited opportunities for these to be modified.  If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet and have concerns about accessing this type of material you are advised to talk to the Student Registration & Enquiry Service before you enrol about support which can be given to meet your needs.  You can also visit the Microsoft learning accessibility pages on their website for further information on accessibility and using screen reading software. 

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

Microsoft text books and additional supplementary material supplied via the module website. Optional access to the Microsoft e-learning study material is also available.

You will need

You must have a broadband connection to the internet.

In order to complete the practical elements of the module, which includes the installation of virtual machines and multiple instances of Windows Server 2008, the minimum basic hardware requirements of your computer are:

  • 2GHz processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 20GB hard disk (40GB recommended).

If your computer does not meet this specification there is an alternative option. You can use Microsoft’s elearning courses, which include practical online labs and are accessed via a browser. As these virtual labs have been designed and created by Microsoft you cannot use an Apple Mac or Linux computer unless it is running Windows using Boot Camp or similar dual-boot system. In addition, you will need to use the web browser – Windows Internet Explorer.

Please note that these online labs are not managed by the OU but by a third party and as such any technical issues that may occur can take longer to resolve. In addition, they are shared with the wider Microsoft Academy community, and as a result you will find that access times and speeds vary, as the lab may be being used by other students. Due to this we recommend you do the virtual machine practicals (using the MOAC books) instead of the online labs if at all possible.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, for use with a web browser. There is also software to download and install on your computer.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer running Windows since 2007 you should have no problems completing the computer-based activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device you may have difficulties with some software, check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you have an Apple Mac or Linux computer – please note that you can only use it for this course by running Windows on it using Boot Camp or a similar dual-boot system.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material, mark and provide feedback on your written work. Your tutor is the first point of contact for any queries on the module and you can ask them for advice and guidance.

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and end-of-module assessment (EMA).

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in October 2013 when it will be available for the last time.

How to register

We regret that we are currently unable to accept registrations for this course. Where the course is to be presented again in the future, relevant registration information will be displayed on this page as soon as it becomes available.

Student Reviews

“This is a relatively enjoyable course and probably provides exactly what you'd expect of a Microsoft-based level 1 Open University ...”
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“a great course with lots of good feed back on TMAs. The support from forum and Tutor was very good. ...”
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Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code TM128
Credits 30
OU Level 1
SCQF level 7
FHEQ level 4
Course work includes:
3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

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