Friday, 28 September 2012

CompTIA increasing exam security

CompTIA logoIn a recent announcement by CompTIA, all test-takers around the world will be required to have their photo taken and signature recorded in order to be allowed to take the exams.

These changes will affect all Pearson VUE testing centers and will be taking effect from December 1, 2012 on-wards.

In the announcement they stated that "These security enhancements align with CompTIA's commitment to preserving the integrity of the testing process and protecting the value of CompTIA certifications. In addition, these changes will increase the validity of all CompTIA certifications held by individuals."

What's new on Dynamics NAV 2013?

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 is now Released to Manufacturing (RTM) and is bundled with many new features. But before we start, for those of you don't know...

What is Dynamics NAV 2013?
Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 logoDynamics NAV is part of a range of ERP (enterprise resource planning) products offered by Microsoft. Some of you might have known it as Navision Solutions before it was re-branded by Microsoft in 2005. NAV was designed for small and medium-sized enterprises intended to assist them with the following business sectors:
  • Finance
  • Manufacturing
  • Customer relationship management
  • Supply chains
  • Analytics
  • Electronic commerce
When Microsoft released Dynamics NAV 2009, it saw a huge success within mid sized companies due to its effectiveness and easy customization of the software.

NAV 2009 was the last release, making the 2013 edition a highly anticipated piece of software within many organisations. The release of the RTM is showing many of the new features that will highly increase the productivity of any company. It is the first of any ERP products to embrace cloud technology through Windows Azure. 

Max Beuker from Microsoft recently blogged: "Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 is a landmark release, building on a strong product foundation to deliver new levels of customer and partner value through faster, more efficient implementations, compelling new and enhanced application functionality, and unparalleled levels of customer choice on how to deploy and access the solution".

Whats New on NAV 2013?
Many new features have been released. In the RTM announcement, they stated: "Dynamics NAV 2013 has powerful and diverse new application functionality, ranging from charting to cash flow analysis to time sheet registration to assembly to expanded out-of-the-box RoleCenters to Unicode". Another post stated the following: "The user experience innovations range from the SharePoint and web clients to end user productivity features on the rich client to improved integrations with OneNote and Excel."

Among all of the features, here are the key ones them:

  • Changes to the RoleTailored Client
  • Warehouse Management features, redesigned or enhanced
  • In the supply planning a number of features has been redesigned or enhanced
  • Job module enhancements
For more information on whats new, visit the MSDN web-site from Microsoft here, or use our web-site for an in depth view of whats new on NAV 2013 here.

Firebrand has released two new NAV courses with certifications. NAV 2013 Financials and NAV 2013 Developer. 
Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 logo
Gaining your Dynamics NAV Financials certification will demonstrate that you have the know-how to help your company handle key financial functions, including cash management, budgets, the management of VAT, journal development, transactions, the general ledger and receivables and payables management. It would only take you 6 days to gain your certification.

Gaining your Dynamics NAV 2013 Developer certification will demonstrate that you have the skills and knowledge to to do the following in your organisation: Use C/AL (Client / Application Language), program in C/AL, write C/AL statements and expressions, debug C/AL, use custom controls with C/AL, extend Microsoft Dynamics NAV Using COM, use the Development Environment and designing applications, develop for multiuser environments, and use multilanguage functionalities. It would only take you 8 days to gain your certification.

There are two areas to focus on when integrating NAV 2013 into a company:

Firebrand has also released two new courses focusing on these two areas. You will get an in depth insight into the new functionality of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 development, installation, application and use with a view of all the new features with a hands-on experience. The courses only last 3 days and 2 days respectfully.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

What are the new ISO 22301 certifications?

ISO LogoISO 22301 is the new international business continuity standard. It was released in May this year and has replaced the older British standard: BS25999-2.

Two courses have been released inline with 22301:
What is ISO?
ISO stands for and is the International Organization for Standardization. It is the world’s largest developer of International Standards. They were founded in 1947 and now have more than 19,000 International Standards covering nearly all sides of technology and business. This includes:
  • Food safety
  • Computers
  • Agriculture
  • Healthcare
  • Plus much more...
So why get an ISO 22301 certification?
Gaining this cert will demonstrate to your employer that you have the skills and knowledge needed to implement or audit a Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) based on the new ISO 22301 certification.

You will learn the necessary know-how to complete an audit. These are some of the areas covered in the ISO courses:
  • Mastering audit techniques
  • Managing audit teams and programmes
  • Communicating with customers
  • Conflict resolution
  • Business continuity management specification
  • Guidelines for information and communication technology readiness for business continuity
According to, the average salary for an ISO professional is £50,000.

Get certified with the latest ISO certification in just 3 days! Just choose your cert to find out more:

ISO 223001 - Lead Auditor

ISO 223001 - Lead Implementer

What is TOGAF?

TOGAF LogoTOGAF stands for The Open Group Architecture Framework. It is a methodology and a set of supporting tools specifically for fields in enterprise architecture. 

What kind of architecture is TOGAF designed to support?
TOGAF splits Enterprise Architecture into four main areas. You'll learn about all of these on the course:
Business Architecture – processes, design and optimisation
Applications Architecture – creating strategic architectures
Infrastructure Architecture – networks, hardware, security, server locations, operating systems and capacity
Data Architecture – placement, requirements, maintenance and reporting

If you're an architect who is looking for an introduction and / or to achieve Level 2 certification - this is the course for you. The current and latest version is TOGAF 9 which is part of the the leading Open Enterprise Architecture standard.

How do I get a TOGAF certification?
To gain a TOGAF certification, you will need to complete two exams following your TOGAF training course:
  • Level 1: TOGAF 9 Foundation
  • Level 2: TOGAF 9 Certified

What are TOGAF employment possibilities?
These days there is a high level of interest in Enterprise Architecture making TOGAF one of the most desirable architecture based certifications. You could work directly for organisations such as banks, manufacturers, retailers, government agencies, etc... or you could work in an Enterprise Architecture consultancy. Most large corporations now have their own architecture consultancies including HP, IBM, Cap Gemini, and many more... all currently recruiting.

Acording to, the average salary for a certified TOGAF professional in London is £75,000 and can go as high as £90,000 in certain areas in the UK.

Earn your TOGAF certification in just three days with Firebrand training - click here to find out more:

Monday, 17 September 2012

BCM Certifications: ISO 22301 Webinar

continuity central logo

Following the announcement for the widely anticipated ISO 22301, will be hosting a free webinar tomorrow (Tuesday 18, Spetember 2012), called ‘The What, How and Where’s of BCM Certification.

It will provide an introduction and overview of the new ISO 22301. Topics included are as follows:

       ·         Status on global adoption rates
       ·         Status od BS25999 and other standards, in the US
       ·         How dows ISO22301 fit within the PS-Prep Program?
       ·         Transitioning to ISO 22301
       ·         The value of this certification

The presenter will be John Dimaria (HISP, AMBI, Six Sigma Black Belt) Product Marketing Manager, BSI Group America inc.

IS0 22301 logoThe seminar will start at 4:00pm (-0:00 GMT) and will last 1 hour, which includes 15 minutes of Q&A.

To register for the live webinar, click here

This ISO standard builds on one of the most successful management standards. The associated guidance documents, ISO 22313, are currently in draft production and will be available later in the year or in early 2013.

(ISC)2 release the i-dition

(ISC)2 logo

Say goodbye to carrying heavy and inconvenient text books for your CISSP course, all the information you need is now available on your iPad or iDevice.

The Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK, Third Edition, is now available through iTunes. This new app gives you more options, more convenience, more interaction and more preparation for your CISSP exam.
(ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK, Third Edition 
“The new Third Edition has been updated to reflect the latest developments in information security and provides a straightforward approach to the CISSP CBK. Numerous illustrated examples and practical exercises are included to help you not only understand the concepts but also apply them in real-life.”

You can now download the two domains below for $12.99 each through iTunes.

·         Access Control

Monday, 10 September 2012

WIN a $20,000 American Express Travel Voucher + many other prizes

Windows Server 2012 Logo
Windows Server 2012 has officially been released and to celebrate, Microsoft set up a competition; The Launch Game.

The game consists of earning points by consuming and sharing content. “Every action that allows you to earn points is labelled with that action’s point value. The more you learn and participate, the more you can earn! Earning points moves you up the leader board.”

The Launch Game

“Actions include but are not limited to: downloading Windows Server 2012 trial, enabling your Facebook and/or Twitter account in your Profile settings, liking the Windows Server page on Facebook, following the Windows Server Twitter account, watching keynote videos and technical sessions, submitting questions and comments, attending Ask the Experts sessions, and more.

Windows Server 2012 Launch Game Grand PrizeBased on your final leader board position, you can be entered to win the Grand Prize ($20,000 American Express Travel Voucher + 2 Tickets to any TechEd 2013 Event) or a prize in Tiers 1-3 which includes a number of prizes such as 6 Month Windows Azure Plan, $5,000 American Express Travel Voucher, HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 with Beats Solo HD Headphones, Windows 8 Tablet, 4GB Xbox 360 Console with Kinect Bundle and more.

The contest ends on October 8, 2012. Good luck.

Certified CompTIA Network+ technicians recruited by Apple

Smartphones and tablet computers are being seen as the future making the demand for certified technicians with the understanding of building services and apps for iOS, Windows Phone and Android devices like the iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Nokia Lumia.

In a recent survey by Computerworld studying the hiring trends in 2012, it was found that 61% of IT executives are looking to hire technicians with skills, knowledge and certifications in programming and application development.

In another recent study by CompTIA called “Trends in Enterprise Mobility”, it was found that companies are focusing more on smartphones and tablets rather than normal mobile phones. Thanks to these changes, companies like Apple are now recruiting more and more technicians for their Apple Consultants Network (ACN), which is a group of independent service providers and consulting firms who supply on-site services for Apple and general support for home users and businesses.

CompTIA Network+It’s been almost a year now since the ACN started to accept the CompTIA Network+ certification as a prerequisite for their program and many people have benefited.

CompTIA Network+ certified IT technician, Jonathon Praay from Preferred Computers stated: “When we were first approached about joining the Apple Consultants Network and getting the Mobility Competency, I noticed that CompTIA Network+ was now an accepted prerequisite. A few weeks later, I was enrolled for the next CompTIA certification class in my area," he added that "Mobile computing solutions are built on the networks they operate on; so when these topics came up in class I had no trouble grasping the concepts and challenges. This class helped me see yet another exciting application of my network knowledge in a relatively new area."

Apple LogoAs mentioned in a previous blog post, CompTIA Network+ is now an ISO, ANSI accredited and an internationally recognised certification. It shows that the technician has the skills and knowledge needed in order to implement defined network architectures with network security.

Jonathan Praay was able to use his Network+ certification to help him gain Apple’s Mobility Technical Competency Designation (MTC). The MTC is designed to certify that the Apple consultant has the necessary knowledge of the Apple mobile platform. Jonathan Pray added that “the CompTIA Network+ certification really enhanced my network knowledge, something I use every day," 

"As my experience continues to show me, this certification gave me a foundation to build on. I learned the basic standards and concepts as well as troubleshooting methods."

He continued to state that he “would recommend CompTIA Network+ to anyone who will ever configure/design/sell/manage Apple devices for a business to get their Apple Mobility Competency”

“I think its great when different organizations such as Apple and CompTIA can work together to find ways to reach a greater number of IT professionals with new and innovative programs."Description:

Friday, 7 September 2012

30 years of Microsoft Technology - Infographic

Microsoft is soon turning 40 years old and with their success of creating industry defining technology and the launch of Windows Server 2012, Firebrand decided to celebrate with the creation of an Infographic.

Microsoft is known by everyone as the provider of Office and the Windows operating system. But what many fail to remember is the fact that Microsoft has been creating technology for almost 40 years that affects just about everything we do both at home and at work. The infographic follows the three and a half decades of Microsoft technology which has affected our lives.

To embed this Infographic copy the text in the box below:

CompTIA retires current A+ exams

CompTIA A+ LogoCompTIA is updating it’s A+ exams and last week retired the old 220-701 and 220-702 exams. The new exams will be available from October and will contain performance based questions.
A+ is an entry level certification, which provides professionals with basic hardware, software, and networking skills needed to function in different information technology professionals. The A+ certification validates the skills required to flourish in a computer technician or a support professional role.

CompTIA Storage+ Earns ISO Accreditation

CompTIA’s Storage+ certification has now been accredited by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO).

CompTIA Storage+ LogoThe CompTIA Storage+ exam covers all the skills required in order to configure basic networks to include archive, backup, and restoration technologies. In addition, as a certified Storage+ professional you will be able to understand the fundamentals of business continuity, application workload, system integration, and storage/system administration, while performing basic troubleshooting on connectivity issues and referencing documentation.

I Being accredited by the ISO International Standards ensures that the services (and product) “are safe, reliable and of good quality.

Storage+ is now the fifth CompTIA certification to be accredited by ISO, including CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+  and CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Why upgrade to Windows Server 2012

Ed bakers live Windows Server 2012 Q&A was quite a success, and we managed to gather a lot of information on its notable enhancements and new capabilities. So here are some of the many reasons why we believe you should upgrade to Windows Server 2012.

Hyper-V Replica
Windows Server 2012 Print ScreenHyper-V is Microsoft’s answer to VMware and is being called the game changer in the server world. Although VMware has been an extremely successful virtualisation platform, many IT professionals are stating that it has been surpassed by Hyper-V in many areas. And now with the release of the new Windows Server 2012, even more features have come out, one of the most important being the Hyper-V Replica.

The Hyper-V Replica is a replication mechanism which is a disaster recovery tool eliminates the need to deploy complex and costly replication solutions. It logs changes to the disks in a VM and uses compression to save on bandwidth, replicating from a primary server to a replica server. You can store multiple snapshots of a VM on the replica server and select the one you wish to use.

SMB 3.0
The SMB (Server Message Block) protocol has been considerably improved in both Windows 8 and Server 2012. It now supports new file server features, including SMB Scale Out, VSS for SMB file sharing, SMB Multichannel, SMB transparent failover, SMB Direct, SMB PowerShell, SMB directory leasing, and SMB encryption. Not only that but it also works really well with the Hyper-V.

Freedom of interface choice
In previous Windows Servers, if you installed Server Core, you could only have the command line as your interface. But now, Server 2012 makes the GUI a feature which can be turned on and off when needed.

Dynamic Access Control (DAC)
Although many are arguing that Microsoft has lost its focus on security in the past few years, the DAC helps IT professionals create more centralised security models for access to network resources by tagging sensitive data both manually and automatically, which is based on several factors, such as the file content or the creator.

Windows Server 2012 Q&A

Ed baker’s one hour live Windows Server 2012 Q&A was a success. It offered an overview of all the new features and enhancements that come with the new Windows Server 2012. Hundreds of attended the Google hangout and got their questions answered.
Windows Server 2012 Q&A 
Here is summary of the questions answered: 
  • Are there any improvements/changes in DFS?
  • In Windows Server 2012 has the best practice analyser been updated? If so what are the improvements?
  • What is the main feature that would make companies decide to buy server 2012?
  • How Long Does Migrating From 2008 Take?
  • Has there been any improvements in exposing the API for DHCP as this has also been problematic to pro-grammatically administer.
  • Have Microsoft announced pricing for Charity customers?

Visit @BeAFirebrand to see all of today's questions and feel free to +1 us for future Q&A’s.

Windows Server 2012 Q&A now LIVE

Firebrand's very own Ed Baker is now hosting a free live Windows Server 2012 Q&A. 

During the next hour, all attendees will have all their Windows Server 2012 questions answered with Ed Baker - Firebrand's Windows Server instructor.

The live video feed is on the Google+ page. To join, just follow Firebrand on Google+ (, and click on the link to the hangout

Ed Baker, as mentioned in the previous post, is currently in the top three UK Microsoft professionals on the MVA (Microsoft Virtual Academy). He has earned an impressive 4001 points and a Platinum medal.

Server 2012 LIVE Q&A

You can also ask questions via Twitter (@BeAFirebrand) - include #server2012 and they will be answered live. You can also ask your questions on the Facebook page.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Learn SCRUM in under 10 minutes

SCRUM Agile Logo

Get a 10 minute introduction into the world of Scrum development methodology.

This fast paced video will show you what it is to be SCRUM Master and how it works. The following topics are covered:
  • Burn down charts
  • Team roles
  • Product backlogs
  • Sprints
  • Daily scrums
  • Plus more

You could even start using and implementing SCRUM in your own team. For further information on becoming a SCRUM Master click here: Professional SCRUM Master Certification

Updated CIW Web Foundations Associate exams

CIW Web Professional Logo
The CIW Web Foundations Associate certification exams will be updated and available in December this year. This includes all of the following exams:
  • CIW Web Foundations Associate
  • Internet Business Associate
  • Site Development Associate
  • Network Technology Associate

All changes are being made to reflect the latest developments in Web technologies. The new versions of these exams will be available in December 1, 2012 while the current exams remain available for all candidates preparing for them.

For more information, click on the following link:

Getting certified in Windows Server 2012

Your path to the Windows Server 2012 certification based on your current certs.
It’s finally released, Windows Server 2012 and we all know what that means for IT professionals - the need to update their certifications and restart the certification process.

The courses are ready, but are you?
There are many exams that include Microsoft’s new products, while others are still in beta, but you can still take certain exams and become certified in Server 2012, depending on your certifications.

Already certified?
It might be easier than you think to gain an MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification. If you have one of the following certifications, you will only need to take Exam 417: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012:
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2008
  • MCITP: Virtualization Administrator
  • MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator
  • MCITP: Lync Server Administrator
  • MCITP: SharePoint Administrator
  • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator

Not certified?
In case you are not yet certified in any of the exams above, we have included the the three exams that you will need to pass in order to gain your MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification.
  • Exam 410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
  • Exam 411: Administering Windows Server 2012
  • Exam 412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services#
Windows Server 2012 Certification Steps

Windows Server 2012 Released

Windows Server 2012 LogoWindows Server 2012 was finally released yesterday and it has been one of the biggest Server releases by Microsoft ever. As stated in the release video, “it’s not just a couple little fixes, it’s a huge release, and it’s a huge and different experience than we’ve had before”.

More and more users are connecting to the web and the number of devices expected to be used by 2015 is expected to be twice the population of the planet. And in addition to the millions of applications and software, tons and tons of data is being created which requires massive servers. Here’s where cloud OS takes over in Windows Server 2012

Watch all the launch videos here:

You can download a free trial here:

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

AntiSec Hackers state ‘FBI tracked 12 million iPones and iPads'

The hacker group Anitsec has claimed that it has gotten hold of FBI data containing over 12 million Apple ID numbers linked with tons of personal information.

AntiSec Logo
To prove the statement, they have released 1 million of the ID’s stating that “a million would be enough”.

They added that the information associated to the Apple ID numbers include full names, mobile numbers, addresses and zipcodes.

They have not included this part of the information in the release of the 1 million ID’s, only giving the Device Name, Device Type and of course ID.

Identity theft is among the many worries now in the mind of millions of iPhone and iPad users who can now check if their device is on the list.

An identifier has been released which checks if your ID is in AntiSec’s list (put together by The Next Web). All you have to do is find your ID number in the summary section on iTunes once your device is plugged in, then copy the 20+ characters into the identifier found here:

Java Developers most difficult to find and hire

Java Logo

In a recent study by the IT jobs site, it was found that Java developers are the most difficult IT professionals to find and hire.

The study was designed to find the IT positions most difficult to fill. Among Java developers, it was also found that .NET developers, mobile developers and Software developers were also a difficult find.

So if you’re looking to enter the IT industry, you know which professions to aim for: Java and virtualisation.

Virtualisation key to success: Forrester's 2013 Networking Predictions

In a recent report by Forrester called Networking Predictions for 2013, you can see an increase in the rate at which virtualisation technologies are being adopted also resulting in the higher demand for the associated skills.
vmware virtualisation logo 
The report states that organisations should fully embrace and get updated with virtualisation. It also highlights that the likely demand for network software engineers in the next few years to grow due to the number of software interfaces in the infrastructure growing significantly.

The report states:
“Look for individuals (inside or outside your networking team) who thrive in a dynamic environment, are highly social, embrace new technology, and always seek new, creative ways to use that technology. These people will become your network software engineers.”

Microsoft removing Windows XP from the radar

It looks as if Microsoft is completely trying to remove Windows XP from the history books. Office 2013 has already been stated to not run on the 11 year old operating system and now Microsoft buries it even more with its latest announcement.

It has now been stated that buyers of Windows 8 Pro will not be able to legally apply that licence to Windows XP, meaning that you won’t be able to put Windows XP on a PC that is already operating on Windows 8.

It is expected that by late 2014, most businesses would have upgraded to Windows 7. In recent studies, it is suggested that most are now in at least the planning process to do so.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Free Windows Server 2012 Q&A with Ed Baker

Windows Server 2012 Q&A
Firebrand Training is hosting a free live Windows Server 2012 Q&A. It will be a one-hour Q&A session with Ed Baker - Firebrand's Windows Server instructor.
The live video feed will be hosted on the Google+ page, on Thursday 6 September at 11.00am. To attend, follow Firebrand on Google+ (, then sign-up for free on the following link:

Ed Baker, as mentioned in the previous post, is currently in the top three UK Microsoft professionals on the MVA (Microsoft Virtual Academy). He has earned an impressive 4001 points and a Platinum medal.

Don't forget to ask Firebrand all your Windows Server 2012 questions below, or on the Facebook page.

You can also ask questions via Twitter (@BeAFirebrand) - include #server2012. Ask questions before, and on the day.

Official First Look: Microsoft Windows Server 2012

Tech Showcase Server 2012 First Look
Windows Server 2012 has been released to manufacturing and you can be one of the first to see all the new features and learn how to use them. 

Ed Baker from Firebrand Training will be hosting the seminar at the University of Westminster at 9.30am on Thursday 4 October.

Ed Baker, as mentioned previously in a blog post, is currently in the top three UK Microsoft professionals on the MVA (Microsoft Virtual Academy). He's earned an impressive 4001 points and a Platinum medal.

The Tech Showcase will cover the following modules:
  • Module 1: Server Management in Windows Server 2012
  • Module 2: Storage, Networking and Availability in Windows Server 2012
  • Module 3: Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 Print Screen
The event includes official Microsoft First Look material - which gives you an overview of the new features of Windows Server 2012. Get more details and sign-up here.

The event is only £50, and restricted to just 50 people. So act fast, tickets will sell out.

Click on the following link for more information and to buy your tickets: