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MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure

Best Cloud Computing Certifications For 2017
By , Mary Kyle

Microsoft is retiring the MCSE: Private Cloud credential on March 31, 2017, replacing it with the MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure credential. The MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure cert recognizes a candidate's ability to manage data centers and validates skills in networking virtualization, systems and identity management, storage, and related cloud technologies.

The MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure credential requires candidates to first obtain one of the following Microsoft Certified Solution Associate certifications:

  • MCSA: Windows Server 2016
  • MCSA: Cloud Platform
  • MCSA: Linux on Azure
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certifications

Each MCSA requires two or three exams depending on the chosen path. The MCSA: Linux on Azure credential requires both a Microsoft exam and the Linux Foundation Certified System (LFCS) exam.

Candidates must also pass a MCSE specialty exam. Specialty exams include topics such as developing, implementing and architecting Azure-related solutions; monitoring and operating a private cloud; designing and implementing solutions for cloud data platforms; designing and implementing big data analytics solutions; implementing server infrastructures; and securing Windows Server 2016.

Note: Certification requirements are listed as requirements for 2016. There's no word regarding whether or not these requirements will change in 2017, so candidates should check the MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure website frequently for current requirements.

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) offers free courses and training materials on many topics relevant to the cloud development. Microsoft Learning offers an Exam Replay, which allows candidates to purchase an exam with retake (and practices exam, if desired) for a discounted bundled price.

At present, MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure is the only cloud-labeled administrator certification from Microsoft. However, the MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer): Web Applications certification includes an exam devoted to Windows Azure and Web Services. We expect to see more cloud topics sprinkled into Microsoft certifications as more and more Microsoft technologies are delivered and consumed in the cloud rather than on premises.

MCSE: Private Cloud Facts & Figures

Certification NameMCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
Prerequisites & Required CoursesMCSA: Windows Server 2016 (three exams), MCSA: Cloud Platform (two exams), MCSA: Linux on Azure (two exams, one Microsoft and the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator – LFCS) or MCSA: Windows Server 2012 (three exams)

One elective exam from the following:
  • Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions, Exam 70-532
  • Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions, Exam 70-533
  • Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions, Exam 70-534, training course not yet available
  • Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions, Exam 70-473, training course not yet available
  • Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions, Exam 70-475, training course not yet available
  • Securing Windows Server 2016, Exam 70-744, exam currently in beta
  • Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure, Exam 70-413
  • Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure, Exam 70-414
  • Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud, Exam 70-246
  • Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud, Exam 70-247
Number of ExamsOne MCSE exam, plus two or three prerequisite exams
Cost per ExamMCSE exam: $165

Prerequisite exams: $165 each (MCSA), $300 (LFCS)

Exams administered by Pearson VUE
Self-Study MaterialsThe Microsoft Learning page includes links to training options, on-demand training, study groups, case studies, videos, white papers and more. Free e-books may be downloaded from Microsoft Press. The MVA offers free training courses on a variety of topics.

Each exam page typically includes links to recommended training, exam prep videos, community resources and books.

MORE: Microsoft Certs & Career Paths

MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Training

As with most Microsoft certifications, you won't have problems finding plenty of options for training, especially for the company's popular MCSA and MCSE credentials. Here are just a couple of options to consider for the MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure.

Plurlalsight's monthly subscription offers access to thousands of course titles, and among them you'll find 128 different Microsoft cloud-related training courses on a variety of certification topics. The online training courses include exercise files so you can get some hands-on experience, as well as learning checklists and discussions. If you're new to Pluralsight, you can check it out using a free trial. also offers several Microsoft cloud-related courses, including video lectures, hands-on demos and student workbooks. The training simulates a one-on-one classroom environment so you get a more personal learning experience, and the included workbooks serve as a study and exam preparation tool.