Month: December 2018

Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly: December 31, 2018

Do you find it difficult to keep up-to-date on the frequent updates and changes in the Microsoft Azure cloud? If so, Build Azure Weekly is the solution you’ve been looking for! Build Azure Weekly is a weekly newsletter that includes all the latest Microsoft Azure Service Updates from the week in addition to links to many other blog articles, podcasts and videos from all over the Internet.

If you want to receive the newsletter in your email every week, then you’ll absolutely want to Subscribe!

The Weeks Top Links

Here are some of the most notable links from the week:

Azure Service Updates

Here’s a list of the Microsoft Azure Service Updates from over the past week:

Monthly Sponsor

If you haven’t checked out what Opsgility has to offer yet, please click the link below and go check out the awesome training offered!

Are you looking for a clear and outlined path to learn Microsoft Azure? No matter if you’re a Developer, IT Pro, or Architect, Opsgility has courses that will help you learn how to build and implement solutions within Microsoft Azure more affectively and efficiently. The on-demand and instructor-led courses from Opsgility offer maximum flexibility to learn how you learn best, and to help your team grow into the cloud experts you need them to be in an efficient manner.

Opsgility is the leading Microsoft cloud technology trainer for developers and IT professionals, built around an esteemed network of industry experts and technical authors that includes Microsoft MVPs and Microsoft Insiders in more than 10 countries.

Get started today with Microsoft Dev Essentials and get 3 months Free of Opsgility on-demand streaming service! Read More

Certification

Microsoft Virtual Academy is being retired Jan. 31, 2019

For some time now Microsoft hasn’t really invested much into the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) site. The content there has been slowly aging and getting out of date. Microsoft has actually been investing in other learning avenues like the new Microsoft Learn site and EdX courses.

Recently, Microsoft Learning announced that the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) site will begin a retirement process starting on January 31, 2019. The first piece announced to be retired is the ability to earn Certificates of Completion for the MVA courses taken. If you want to complete any MVA courses, then you’ll want to do so before January 31, 2019 if that’s something that matters to you.

Microsoft is continuing to invest in Microsoft Learn training catalog instead of MVA going forward. Be sure to visit Microsoft Learn for more details.

CertificationDevelopment

AZ-203 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure Certification Exam

The AZ-203 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure certification exam tests and validates your expertise as an Azure Developer. This exam tests your expertise across all phases of the Microsoft Azure development process; from solution design, to development and deployment, to testing and maintenance.

The AZ-203 exam was rolled out as a replacement for the AZ-200 + AZ-201 or AZ-203 exams for earning the Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate certification. This was a move to simplify the process to earning this certifications based on feedback from those who have taken the exams while they were in a “Beta” state. Thanks to those early certification achievers, we all have a simplified process to follow now.

Read More
Internet of Things

Learn how to Build IoT Apps on Azure with SkillMeUp and Opsgility

There has been an ever growing interesting in the Internet of Things (IoT). Beyond being just plain cool, IoT is a really interesting area of growth in pretty much any industry that has figured out how to make use of it. Some of the implementations of IoT include cruise ships, self-driving cars, smart thermostats, and MANY, MANY other applications! With cloud-based IoT services like those offered from Microsoft Azure it’s becoming much easier to build more powerful Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

On the training side, there’s not too much available for teaching you how to build Internet of Things (IoT) architectures and solutions in the cloud. Recently, I published a new learning path and series of on-demand courses and hands-on labs on Building IoT Apps on Microsoft Azure over at SkillMeUp.com.

Read More
Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly: December 24, 2018

Do you find it difficult to keep up-to-date on the frequent updates and changes in the Microsoft Azure cloud? If so, Build Azure Weekly is the solution you’ve been looking for! Build Azure Weekly is a weekly newsletter that includes all the latest Microsoft Azure Service Updates from the week in addition to links to many other blog articles, podcasts and videos from all over the Internet.

If you want to receive the newsletter in your email every week, then you’ll absolutely want to Subscribe!

The Weeks Top Links

Here are some of the most notable links from the week:

Azure Service Updates

Here’s a list of the Microsoft Azure Service Updates from over the past week:

Monthly Sponsor

If you haven’t checked out what Opsgility has to offer yet, please click the link below and go check out the awesome training offered!

Are you looking for a clear and outlined path to learn Microsoft Azure? No matter if you’re a Developer, IT Pro, or Architect, Opsgility has courses that will help you learn how to build and implement solutions within Microsoft Azure more affectively and efficiently. The on-demand and instructor-led courses from Opsgility offer maximum flexibility to learn how you learn best, and to help your team grow into the cloud experts you need them to be in an efficient manner.

Opsgility is the leading Microsoft cloud technology trainer for developers and IT professionals, built around an esteemed network of industry experts and technical authors that includes Microsoft MVPs and Microsoft Insiders in more than 10 countries.

Get started today with Microsoft Dev Essentials and get 3 months Free of Opsgility on-demand streaming service! Read More

Certification

Microsoft Exams Scheduled to Retire in Early 2019

There’s so much talk about what certification to get, what exam to pass, what are the requirements, and how to get certified. However, the opposite side of the coin is the older certifications and exam that go away over time. When technologies become obsolete, Microsoft retires certification exams that are no longer as relevant as they once were to make room for the newer certifications coming out with current technologies. Read More

ArchitectureInternet of Thingssecurity

IoT Security Architecture: Trust Zones and Boundaries

There are many aspects to architecting an Internet of Things (IoT) solution. Security is probably the most important aspect of any computer system, but it’s especially important with IoT. Every so often there are news reports about IoT solutions being compromised; like Internet connected cameras being compromised to create botnets that perform denial of service attacks, or internet connected automobiles being compromised in dangerous ways. Regardless of what a particular IoT solution is used for, the overall Security of the IoT solution is an extremely important detail to keeping mind from the beginning of design all the way through implementation, as well as deployment to production.

One of the security aspects to keep in mind when designing any Internet of Things (IoT) solution is the trust boundaries between different parts of the system, both physical and software. Read More

ArchitectureCertificationDevelopmentInfrastructureUncategorized

Upgrade to New Azure Certifications with Transition Exams, retiring June 2019!

microsoft-simplebadge-certified-200x195

Recently, Microsoft announced some major changes to their certification program. These changes include retiring many of the existing certifications and exams, and releasing brand new exams and certifications as replacements that follow more of a “job-role” oriented path. These new job-role based certification paths are really great, but this leaves many with existing certifications in a bit of a confused state. Fortunately, Microsoft is offering “Transition” exams that you can take to easily upgrade to the new certification paths if you have previously been certified in Microsoft Azure. Read More

ArchitectureDevelopmentDevOpsInfrastructure

What are the Microsoft Certified Expert Certifications?

Recently, Microsoft announced and started releasing all new certification exams that are more job role focused. This new set of certification paths are being made in response to the feedback that Microsoft customers have expressed over the previous certification path. Overall, job role focused certification paths will mean certifications that better align with the jobs professionals are performing on a daily basis. However, this also means a new set of confusing questions about the new certification paths. This post is meant to help answer a few of these questions and clear up some confusion about which “Expert” level certification are being released by Microsoft, and what their requirements are.

Which “Expert” Certifications are there?

The latest certification shakeup from Microsoft brings with it a few new certifications for “Experts”. These are the most advanced certifications from Microsoft. Each of these “Expert” certifications will have a few prerequisites that need to be met first; which includes previous certifications to be earned.

Here’s a list of the “Expert” level certifications from Microsoft:

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert 
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert
  • Microsoft Certified: Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator Expert

Each of these “Expert” level certifications from Microsoft build upon different pillars of expertise. These certifications consist of passing multiple certification exams in order to earn, and represent the highest level of job role oriented certifications Microsoft is offering. See below for a list of the prerequisites for each of these larger Microsoft “Expert” level certifications.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert

The Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification demonstrates a candidates expertise in designing solutions that run in the cloud with Microsoft Azure services and technologies. Candidates are expected to be experts in compute, network, storage, and security services in the Azure cloud.

To earn the Azure Solutions Expert certification, a candidate must pass the following 2 certification exams:

  1. AZ-300: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies
  2. AZ-301: Microsoft Azure Architect Design

Alternatively, candidates who have previously passed the 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions exam, are eligible to pass the AZ-302 Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Transition Exam. The AZ-302 exam will test and validate skills in the areas and technologies that were not previously covered on the 70-535, but are tested on the new AZ-300 and AZ-301 exams. This AZ-302 Transition exam is being offered to eligible candidates until July 2019.

Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert

The Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification demonstrates a candidates expertise in designing and implementing DevOps practices using Microsoft Azure technologies as a DevOps Professional.

To earn the Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification, candidates can choose either an Azure Administrator or an Azure Developer path to start by previously earning either of the following certifications as a prerequisite:

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate

Once either of the prerequisite certifications are earned, candidates can then pass the following 1 exam to earn the Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification:

  1. AZ-400: Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions

The Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification path towards the Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification consists of passing the following certification exams:

  1. AZ-100: Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Deployment exam
  2. AZ-101: Microsoft Azure Integration and Security exam 

Alternatively, Azure Administrator candidates who have previously passed the 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam can choose to take the AZ-102 Microsoft Azure Administrator Transition Exam. The AZ-102 exam will test and validate skills that were not covered on the 70-533 exam, but are on the newer AZ-100 and AZ-101 exams.This AZ-102 Transition exam is being offered to eligible candidates until July 2019.

The Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate certification path towards the Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification consists of passing the following certification exams:

  1. AZ-200: Microsoft Azure Developer Core Solutions
  2. AZ-201: Microsoft Azure Developer Advanced Solutions

Alternatively, Azure Administrator candidates who have previously passed the 70-532 Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam can choose to take the AZ-202 Microsoft Azure Developer Transition Exam. The AZ-202 exam will test and validate skills that were not covered on the 70-532 exam, but are on the newer AZ-200 and AZ-201 exams.This AZ-202 Transition exam is being offered to eligible candidates until July 2019.

Microsoft Certified: Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator Expert

The Microsoft Certified: Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator Expert certification demonstrates a candidates expertise in evaluating, planning, migrating, deploying, and managing Microsoft 365 services.

To earn the Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator Expert certification, candidates need to first earn one of the following Associate-level certifications to meet the “workload” requirement:

  • Microsoft Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Teamwork Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Security Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate

Alternatively, candidates who have already earned the MCSE: Productivity certification, then they have already met the “workload” requirement!

Once the “workload” requirement has been met, candidates only need to pass both of the following certification exams:

  1. MS-100: Microsoft 365 Identity and Services
  2. MS-101: Microsoft 365 Mobility and Security

Happy studying, and good luck on those exams!

CertificationDevOps

AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions Certification Exam

The AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions certification exam tests and validates a candidates expertise as a DevOps Professional around the use of Microsoft Azure technologies for designing and implementing DevOps practices. This exam is a part of the required exams needed to earn the larger Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification.

Certification Target Audience

The AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions certification exam is geared towards DevOps Professionals who combine people, process, and tools to continuously deliver value to meet users needs and business objectives. These candidates streamline delivery by optimizing practices, improve communication and collaboration, and create automation. They design and implement strategies for app code and infrastructure that allows for continuous integration, continuous testing, continuous delivery, and continuous monitoring and feedback.

Exam candidates are expected to be proficient with Agile practices, and must be familiar with both Azure Administration and Azure Development, and should be experts in one of these areas. They must be able to design and implement DevOps practices for version control, compliance, infrastructure as code (IaC), configuration management, build, release, and testing by using Microsoft Azure technologies.

Skills Measured

Here’s a very high level list of the skills and objectives measured on the AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions certification exam. The percentages for each objective area represents the number of questions on the exam for that particular exam objective.

Design a DevOps Strategy (20-25%)

  • Recommend a migration and consolidation strategy for DevOps tools
    • Analyze existing artifact (e.g. deployment packages, NuGet) and container repositories
    • Analyze existing test management tools
    • Analyze existing work management tools
    • Recommend migration and integration strategies for artifact repositories, source control, test management, and work management
  • Design and implement an Agile work management approach
    • Identify and recommend project metrics, KPIs, and DevOps measurements (e.g. cycle time, lead time, Azure Kubernetes Service, WIP limit)
    • Implement tools and processes to support Agile work management
    • Mentor team members on Agile techniques and practices
    • Recommend an organization structure that supports scaling Agile practices
    • Recommend in-team and cross-team collaboration mechanisms
  • Design a quality strategy
    • Analyze existing quality environment
    • Identify and recommend quality metrics
    • Recommend a strategy for feature flag lifecycle
    • Recommend a strategy for measuring and managing technical debt
    • Recommend changes to team structure to optimize quality
    • Recommend performance testing strategy
  • Design a secure development process
    • Inspect and validate code base for compliance
    • Inspect and validate infrastructure for compliance
    • Recommend a secure development strategy
    • Recommend tools and practices to integrate code security validation (e.g. static code analysis)
    • Recommend tools and practices to integrate infrastructure security validation
  • Design a tool integration strategy
    • Design a license management strategy (e.g. Azure DevOps users, concurrent pipelines, test environments, open source software licensing, DevOps tools and services, package management licensing)
    • Design a strategy for end-to-end traceability from work items to working software
    • Design a strategy for integrating monitoring and feedback to development teams
    • Design an authentication and access strategy
    • Design a strategy for integrating on-premises and cloud resources

Implement DevOps Development Processes (20-25%)

  • Design a version control strategy 
    • Recommend branching models
    • Recommend version control systems
    • Recommend code flow strategy
  • Implement and integrate source control
    • Integrate external source control
    • Integrate source control into third-party continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) systems
  • Implement and manage build infrastructure
    • Implement private and hosted agents
    • Integrate third party build systems
    • Recommend strategy for concurrent pipelines
    • Manage VSTS pipeline configuration (e.g. agent queues, service endpoints, pools, webhooks)
  • Implement code flow
    • Implement pull request strategies
    • Implement branch and fork strategies
    • Configure branch policies
  • Implement a mobile DevOps strategy
    • Manage mobile target device sets and distribution groups
    • Manage target UI test device sets
    • Provision tester devices for deployment
    • Create public and private distribution groups
  • Managing application configuration and secrets
    • Implement a secure and compliant development process
    • Implement general (non-secret) configuration data
    • Manage secrets, tokens, and certificates
    • Implement applications configurations (e.g. Web App, Azure Kubernetes Service, containers)
    • Implement secrets management (e.g. Web App, Azure Kubernetes Service, containers, Azure Key Vault)
    • Implement tools for managing security and compliance in the pipeline

Implement Continuous Integration (10-15%)

  • Manage code quality and security policies 
    • Monitor code quality
    • Configure build to report on code coverage
    • Manage automated test quality
    • Manage test suites and categories
    • Monitor quality of tests
    • Integrate security analysis tools (e.g. SonarQube, WhiteSource Bolt, Open Web Application Security Project)
  • Implement a container build strategy
    • Create deployable images (e.g. Docker, Azure Container Registry)
    • Analyze and integrate Docker multi-stage builds
  • Implement a build strategy
    • Design build triggers, tools, integrations, and workflow
    • Implement a hybrid build process
    • Implement multi-agent builds
    • Recommend build tools and configuration
    • Set up an automated build workflow

Implement Continuous Delivery (10-15%)

  • Design a release strategy 
    • Recommend release tools
    • Identify and recommend release approvals and gates
    • Recommend strategy for measuring quality of release and release process
    • Recommend strategy for release notes and documentation
    • Select appropriate deployment pattern
  • Set up a release management workflow
    • Automate inspection of health signals for release approvals by using release gates
    • Configure automated integration and functional test execution
    • Create a release pipeline (e.g. Azure Kubernetes Service, Service Fabric, WebApp)
    • Create multi-phase release pipelines
    • Integrate secrets with release pipeline
    • Provision and configure environments
    • Manage and modularize tasks and templates (e.g. task and variable groups)
  • Implement an appropriate deployment pattern
    • Implement blue-green deployments
    • Implement canary deployments
    • Implement progressive exposure deployments
    • Scale a release pipeline to deploy to multiple endpoints (e.g. deployment groups, Azure Kubernetes Service, Service Fabric)

Implement Dependency Management (5-10%)

  • Design a dependency management strategy
    • Recommend artifact management tools and practices
    • Abstract common packages to enable sharing and reuse
    • Inspect codebase to identify code dependencies that can be converted to packages
    • Identify and recommend standardized package types and versions across the solution
    • Refactor existing build pipelines to implement version strategy that publishes packages
  • Manage security and compliance
    • Inspect open source software packages for security and license compliance to align with corporate standards (e.g. GPLv3)
    • Configure build pipeline to access package security and license rating (e.g. Black Duck, White Source)
    • Configure secure access to package feeds

Implement Application Infrastructure (15-20%)

  • Design an infrastructure and configuration management strategy 
    • Analyze existing and future hosting infrastructure
    • Analyze existing Infrastructure as Code technologies
    • Design a strategy for managing technical debt on templates
    • Design a strategy for using transient infrastructure for parts of a delivery lifecycle
    • Design a strategy to mitigate infrastructure state drift
  • Implement Infrastructure as Code
    • Create nested resource templates
    • Manage secrets in resource templates
    • Provision Azure resources
    • Recommend an Infrastructure as Code (IaC) strategy
    • Recommend appropriate technologies for configuration management
  • Manage Azure Kubernetes Service infrastructure 
    • Provision Azure Kubernetes Service (e.g. using ARM templates, CLI)
    • Create deployment file for publishing to Azure Kubernetes Service (e.g. kubectl, Helm)
    • Develop a scaling plan
  • Implement infrastructure compliance and security 
    • Implement compliance and security scanning
    • Prevent drift by using configuration management tools
    • Set up an automated pipeline to inspect security and compliance

Implement Continuous Feedback (10-15%)

  • Recommend and design system feedback mechanisms 
    • Design practices to measure end-user satisfaction (e.g. Send a Smile, app analytics)
    • Design processes to capture and analyze user feedback from external sources (e.g. Twitter, Reddit, Help Desk)
    • Design routing for client application crash report data (e.g. HockeyApp)
    • Recommend monitoring tools and technologies
    • Recommend system and feature usage tracking tools
  • Implement process for routing system feedback to development teams 
    • Configure crash report integration for client applications
    • Develop monitoring and status dashboards
    • Implement routing for client application crash report data (e.g. HockeyApp)
    • Implement tools to track system usage, feature usage, and flow
    • Integrate and configure ticketing systems with development team’s work management system (e.g. IT Service Management connector, ServiceNow Cloud Management, App Insights work items)
  • Optimize feedback mechanisms 
    • Analyze alerts to establish a baseline
    • Analyze telemetry to establish a baseline
    • Perform live site reviews and capture feedback for system outages
    • Perform ongoing tuning to reduce meaningless or non-actionable alerts

To view the most up-to-date list of these exam objectives, please reference the official AZ-400 exam page.

Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert

The AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions certification exam is among the required exams necessary to earn the larger Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification. Prior to taking this exam, candidates will need to take a couple exams previously and have earned either the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate or Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate certification. As the prerequisites show, candidates can be either Azure Administrator or Azure Developer experts, then take the AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions exam to prove their skills as a Microsoft Azure DevOps Expert!