70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Certification Exam (20535) 2The 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam is being released as a replacement for the older 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions exam. In the past Microsoft has simply updated the exam objectives of the 70-534 exam periodically over time. Although, this update is a significant update to the exam and they’ve decided to change the exam number to better signify the larger shift in skills measured on the exam.

The exam objectives listed in this post for the 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam are “tentative” as the exam hasn’t been officially released yet. You should expect these details to updated / changed when Microsoft does release the exam.

Currently, the 70-535 exam is scheduled to be made available on November 30, 2017. After that date you will no longer be able to register for the older 70-534 exam.

Exam Target Audience

The 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam is targeted towards Solutions Architects or Software Architects. This this is an architecture exam, and as such does focus a bit higher level than the Developing Azure Solutions (70-532) and Implementing Azure Solutions (70-533) exams. This is fitting, since when working as an Architect, you need to have a better understanding of how the various technologies within Microsoft Azure work; including how they can be configured to work with one another. As a result this exam does not cover as much of the lower level, development or implementation details as the other two exams. It also has a greater emphasis at analyzing solution requirements and enterprise scenarios with architecture case studies to test your ability to design an appropriate solution using Azure services.

Skills Measured

Here is a level list of the “tentative” skills and objectives measured on this exam. The percentages next to each represents the number of questions on the exam are in each category.

These objectives listed are “tentative” since Microsoft hasn’t officially released or made the 70-535 exam available yet. Microsoft has announced a “tentative” list of exam objectives. This post will be updated when more final objective information is released.

Design Compute Infrastructure (20-25%)

  • Design solutions using virtual machines
    • Design VM deployments by leveraging availability sets, fault domains, and update domains in Azure; use web app for containers; design VM Scale Sets; design for compute-intensive tasks using Azure Batch; define a migration strategy from cloud services; recommend use of Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery
  • Design solutions for server less computing
    • Use Azure Functions to implement event-driven actions; design for serverless computing using Azure Container Instances; design application solutions by using Azure Logic Apps, Azure Functions, or both; determine when to use API management service
  • Design micro services-based solutions
    • Determine when a container-based solution is appropriate; determine when container-orchestration is appropriate; determine when Azure Service Fabric (ASF) is appropriate; determine when Azure Functions is appropriate; determine when to use API management service; determine when Web API is appropriate; determine which platform is appropriate for container orchestration; consider migrating existing assets versus cloud native deployment; design lifecycle management strategies
  • Design web applications
    • Design Azure App Service Web Apps; design custom web API; secure Web API; design Web Apps for scalability and performance; design for high availability using Azure Web Apps in multiple regions; determine which App service plan to use; design Web Apps for business continuity; determine when to use Azure App Service Environment (ASE); design for API apps; determine when to use API management service; determine when to use Web Apps on Linux; determine when to use a CDN; determine when to use a cache, including Azure Redis cache
  • Create compute-intensive applications
    • Design high-performance computing (HPC) and other compute-intensive applications using Azure Services; determine when to use Azure Batch; design stateless components to accommodate scale; design lifecycle strategy for Azure Batch

Design Data Implementations (15-20%)

  • Design for Azure Storage solutions
    • Determine when to use Azure Blob Storage, blob tiers, Azure Files, disks, and StorSimple
  • Design for Azure Data Services
    • Determine when to use Data Catalog, Azure Data Factory, SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Data Lake Analytics, Azure Analysis Services, and Azure HDInsight
  • Design for relational database storage
    • Determine when to use Azure SQL Database and SQL Server Stretch Database; design for scalability and features; determine when to use Azure Database for MySQL and Azure Database for PostgreSQL; design for HA/DR, geo-replication; design a backup and recovery strategy
  • Design for NoSQL storage
    • Determine when to use Azure Redis Cache, Azure Table Storage, Azure Data Lake, Azure Search, Time Series Insights
  • Design for CosmosDB storage
    • Determine when to use MongoDB API, DocumentDB API, Graph API, Azure Tables API; design for cost, performance, data consistency, availability, and business continuity

Design Networking Implementation (15-20%)

  • Design Azure virtual networks
    • Design solutions that use Azure networking services: design for load balancing using Azure Load Balancer and Azure Traffic Manager; define DNS, DHCP, and IP strategies; determine when to use Azure Application Gateway; determine when to use multi-node application gateways, Traffic Manager and load balancers
  • Design external connectivity for Azure Virtual Networks
    • Determine when to use Azure VPN, ExpressRoute and Virtual Network Peering architecture and design; determine when to use User Defined Routes (UDRs); determine when to use VPN gateway site-to-site failover for ExpressRoute
  • Design security strategies
    • Determine when to use network virtual appliances; design a perimeter network (DMZ); determine when to use a Web Application Firewall (WAF), Network Security Group (NSG), and virtual network service tunneling
  • Design connectivity for hybrid applications
    • Design connectivity to on-premises data from Azure applications using Azure Relay Service, Azure Data Management Gateway for Data Factory, Azure On-Premises Data Gateway, Hybrid Connections, or Azure Web App’s virtual private network (VPN) capability; identify constraints for connectivity with VPN; identify options for joining VMs to domains

Design Security and Identity Solutions (20-25%)

  • Design an identity solution
    • Design AD Connect synchronization; design federated identities using Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS); design solutions for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA); design an architecture using Active Directory on-premises and Azure Active Directory (AAD); determine when to use Azure AD Domain Services; design security for Mobile Apps using AAD
  • Secure resources by using identity providers
    • Design solutions that use external or consumer identity providers such as Microsoft account, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo; determine when to use Azure AD B2C and Azure AD B2B; design mobile apps using AAD B2C or AAD B2B
  • Design a data security solution
    • Design data security solutions for Azure services; determine when to use Azure Storage encryption, Azure Disk Encryption, Azure SQL Database security capabilities, and Azure Key Vault; design for protecting secrets in ARM templates using Azure Key Vault; design for protecting application secrets using Azure Key Vault; design a solution for managing certificates using Azure Key Vault; design solutions that use Azure AD Managed Service Identity
  • Design a mechanism of governance and policies for administering Azure resources
    • Determine when to use Azure RBAC standard roles and custom roles; define an Azure RBAC strategy; determine when to use Azure resource policies; determine when to use Azure AD Privileged Identity Management; design solutions that use Azure AD Managed Service Identity; determine when to use HSM-backed keys
  • Manage security risks by using an appropriate security solution
    • Identify, assess, and mitigate security risks by using Azure Security Center, Operations Management Suite Security and Audit solutions, and other services; determine when to use Azure AD Identity Protection; determine when to use Advanced Threat Detection; determine an appropriate endpoint protection strategy

Design Solutions by using Platform Services (10-15%)

  • Design for Artificial Intelligence Services
    • Determine when to use the appropriate Cognitive Services, Azure Bot Service, Azure Machine Learning, and other categories that fall under cognitive AI
  • Design for IoT
    • Determine when to use Stream Analytics, IoT Hubs, Event Hubs, real-time analytics, Time Series Insights, IoT Edge, Notification Hubs, Event Grid, and other categories that fall under IoT
  • Design messaging solution architectures
    • Design a messaging architecture; determine when to use Azure Storage Queues, Azure Service Bus, Azure Event Hubs, Event Grid, Azure Relay, Azure Functions, and Azure Logic Apps; design a push notification strategy for Mobile Apps; design for performance and scale
  • Design for media service solutions
    • Define solutions using Azure Media Services, video indexer, video API, computer vision API, preview, and other media related services

Design for Operations (10-15%)

  • Design an application monitoring and alerting strategy
    • Determine the appropriate Microsoft products and services for monitoring applications on Azure; define solutions for analyzing logs and enabling alerts using Azure Log Analytics; define solutions for analyzing performance metrics and enabling alerts using Azure Monitor; define a solution for monitoring applications and enabling alerts using Application Insights
  • Design a platform monitoring and alerting strategy
    • Determine the appropriate Microsoft products and services for monitoring Azure platform solutions; define a monitoring solution using Azure Health, Azure Advisor, and Activity Log; define a monitoring solution for Azure Networks using Log Analytics and Network Watcher service; monitor security with Azure Security Center
  • Design an operations automation strategy
    • Determine when to use Azure Automation, Chef, Puppet, PowerShell, Desired State Configuration (DSC), Event Grid, and Azure Logic Apps; define a strategy for auto-scaling; define a strategy for enabling periodic processes and tasks

Among the objectives measured on the exam, you will need to understand DevOps technologies, provisioning Azure resources using ARM Templates, and designing highly resilient workloads running in Microsoft Azure.

You can also download a PDF of these “tentative” exam objectives that was released by Microsoft.

Training Material

While you could use the study materials for the older 70-534 exam to study for a large part of the 70-535 exam, the upcoming Exam Ref 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions book from MS Press will provide the perfect reading material for training up to pass this exam.

70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Certification Exam (20535) 3

The 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Exam Ref is the official study guide for Microsoft certification exams. Featuring concise, objective-by-objective reviews and strategic case scenarios and Thought Experiments, exam candidates get professional-level preparation for the exam. The Exam Ref helps candidates maximize their performance on the exam and sharpen their job-role skills. It organizes material by the exam’s objective domains. This Exam Ref is a complete guide for the 70-535 exam covering architecting cloud solutions on Azure including all aspects of designing and creating a strategy for a complete solution leveraging the Microsoft Azure Cloud. This includes Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, Networking, Security, application storage and data access, advanced applications, web and mobile apps, compute infrastructure, and managing, monitoring and creating a business continuity strategy.

Happy Studying!!


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Posted by Chris Pietschmann

Chris is a Microsoft MVP and has nearly 20 years of experience building enterprise systems both in the cloud and on-premises. He is also a Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect and developer, a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), and Cloud Advocate. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.


  1. Are Microsoft planning to change Developing Azure Solutions (70-532) and Implementing Azure Solutions (70-533) exams? or it remains continue for a while.


    1. Chris Pietschmann October 11, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      It seems they aren’t planning to change those exam numbers.


  2. Sir when this new syllabus is applicable to exam attendees…


    1. Chris Pietschmann October 12, 2017 at 7:47 am

      The new exam will tentatively be available November 30, 2017.


  3. Do you know whats will happen with 70-534 and MCSA? it wil be necessary to take new 70-535?.
    Currently, I have these certifications (MCSA 2012/ 70-533/ 70-534) so I mean, having the 534 will I have the 535 automatically? And whats will happen with MCSE Cloud & Platform?


    1. Chris Pietschmann October 20, 2017 at 8:56 am

      You will still have the MCSA and MCSE certifications that you have earned. You don’t need to worry! And, no you will not be automatically given the 70-535 exam. The 535 is a significant change from the 534, that is why the exam number is being changed.


  4. Great updates & Thanks !!


  5. That’s devastating news. This is a BAD MOVE by Microsoft. These types of announcements make us NOT want to take another Microsoft exam ever again!!!

    While it is perfectly fine for Microsoft to periodically update the objectives within the 70-534 architect exam, it is NOT OK for Microsoft to retire it. My suggestion is to do the necessary updates within but continue to call this architect exam 70-534, eternally.

    Microsoft Azure has three perfectly aligned Azure certification exams for dev (532), management (533), and architect (534) that cover the wide spectrum of the Azure cloud platform. These exam names and designated numbers are highly recognizable internationally. By “retiring” and creating new numbering, you are messing with what is already good and causing unnecessary CONFUSION and FRUSTRATION!

    I feel BAD for people who have taken the 534 exam recently or are scheduled to take this exam in the next two months because by the time they are done, all their hard work is already “retired” (down the toilet).

    HUGE THUMBS DOWN for “70-535”. Long live 70-534!

    Thanks for listening, Microsoft!


    1. Chris Pietschmann October 14, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      If they retire the exam that’s fine, as long as they update things. Just because the e a.m. is retired doesn’t mean you’re no longer certified. You will still have the MCSE certification. All it means is that you will no longer be able to take the old 534 exam anymore. Numbering it 535 instead of 534 is just a cosmetic change on top of what’s already been done a couple times with the 534 anyway. Sorry for your frustration, but all certifications expire. Even the MCSE is only current for 1 year and then you need to take another exam to renew it the next year anyway. If you’ve already earned MCSE 2017, then you’re good for awhile; no need to worry about it!


  6. Hi Chris. Will you provide a list of study materials for this exam when it’s finalized? I’ve found it troubling to study architect level Microsoft stuff because they want you to answer and do things “the Microsoft way” and that isn’t necessarily exactly what you yourself want. So a thorough study material is necessary..


    1. Chris Pietschmann October 15, 2017 at 9:31 am

      I will add a list to the post, but “the Microsoft way” is how you’ll pass the exam.


      1. Thank you. Do you know if Azure CLI 2.0 will be relevant for this exam? I’m currently practicing the older powershell equivalent.

      2. Chris Pietschmann October 16, 2017 at 5:56 am


  7. Hi Chris. I have registered and will be taking my 70-534 exam on 15th Nov. My exam date was registered even before Microsoft announced the new 70-535.
    1. Shall i continue the 70-534 study or wait for the new 70-535 ?
    2. If I passed the 70-534 exam and make me qualified as a MCSE, will I still have to take the 70-535 exam after Microsoft released the 70-535 on 31st Nov 2017?

    Thank you.


    1. Chris Pietschmann October 20, 2017 at 8:54 am

      Yes, continue to study for and take the 70-534 exam on November 15th. I would not abandon those plans if you are well on your way to passing that exam, it’s still very relevant. Also, yes, 70-534 will still count towards the MCSA and MCSE certifications if you pass this exam before it is retired. Once you pass 70-534 you will not be required to take 70-535 in order to keep your certification.


  8. Could you please provide us some bit clarity, If i would like to be expert certification in Azure IaaS what all are needs be complete. Can you share those numbers and respective links.

    Greatly appreciate it.


    1. Chris Pietschmann November 8, 2017 at 8:42 am

      If you’re looking to get certified in Azure IaaS / Azure Infrastructure, then you’re looking for the 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam to start with.


  9. Do we have any books to learn “Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Certification Exam” ?


    1. Chris Pietschmann November 8, 2017 at 8:40 am

      The 70-535 exam hasn’t been finalized yet, so there isn’t any exam guide books for it yet.


  10. Steen Thyrri Sørensen November 13, 2017 at 3:10 am

    Will there come a Exam Ref for 70-535?


    1. Chris Pietschmann November 13, 2017 at 7:22 am

      Nothing announced from Microsoft Press yet, but there should be eventually.


  11. Dear Chris,

    Could you share the links of the study material for 70-533. The links provided under your article are no more relevant. Below is the reference link:

    Awaiting response.


    1. Chris Pietschmann January 28, 2018 at 6:07 pm

      The 70-533 Exam Ref book is updated with latest info. http://amzn.to/2DF3vod 🙂


  12. Hi, Any Exam material or guide book for 70-535?


    1. Chris Pietschmann December 11, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      There hasn’t been anything announced from MS Press yet on a guide for 70-535


      1. Hi Chris,

        Any updates on this ? It would be great if we get a MS press book covering 535.

      2. Chris Pietschmann January 9, 2018 at 9:37 am

        I haven’t seen anything announced from MS Press yet.

  13. Hi , i have MCSA 2012 certification ( 70-410/411/412) . i want to learn & certified on Azure cloud.can you tell me what all exam i should pass to earn Azure cloud.


    1. Chris Pietschmann January 28, 2018 at 6:21 pm

      Coming from the Infrastructure side, I recommend you go with either the 70-533 infrastructure focused exam, or the 70-535 architecture focused exam. I’ve heard different opinions on which exam is “easier” as it all depends on what your role and experience is.


  14. Steen Thyrri Sørensen January 11, 2018 at 8:07 am

    On amazon.com it is in “pre order” and is available May 20th, 2018. Found by searching “70-535” in department books.


    1. Chris Pietschmann January 11, 2018 at 9:15 am



  15. Hi
    I have scheduled my 70-534 for Dec 2017 initially but I have to postponed it to MARCH 2018 because of some personal reasons.Now my question is as 70-534 is decommissioned will I be able to appear for 70-534 or do I have to cancel my 70-534 exam.And again scheduled 70-535 ?

    Awaiting response.



    1. Chris Pietschmann January 18, 2018 at 7:17 am

      You’ll have to take 70-535 as 534 is no longer available.


  16. Timothy Castillo April 3, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Question: I want to eventually take all 3 test but have no coding experience. Would it be okay to start with 535 then work my way to 532/533 since those require some coding knowledge? Also, what language/s should I learn?


    1. Chris Pietschmann April 3, 2018 at 2:55 pm

      Yes, you can start with either of the 3 exams, then move on to the next. There’s no requirement on order.


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