Category: Certification

CertificationInfrastructure

AZ-100 Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment Certification Exam

The AZ-100 Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment certification exam tests and validates your expertise as an Azure Administrator around managing cloud services that span storage, security, networking, and compute capabilities within the Microsoft Azure cloud. This is the first in a set of exams that make up the new Azure Administrator certification track. Read More

ArchitectureBig DataCertificationdatabaseDevelopment

70-777 Implementing Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB Solutions Certification Exam

The 70-777 Implementing Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB Solutions certification exam tests and validates your expertise in designing, building, and troubleshooting Azure Cosmos DB solutions. The exam is focused around the Azure Cosmos DB database service in the Microsoft Azure Cloud, and is targeted towards database developers, big data developers, and architects who are leveraging Azure Cosmos DB in their solutions. Read More

Certificationcommunity

Chris Pietschmann Awarded 2018 Microsoft MVP – Azure

Hi! My name is Chris Pietschmann, and I’m the primary person behind BuildAzure.com and the Build Azure Weekly newsletter. I started BuildAzure.com back in June 2015 after I passed the Azure MCSD certification as an effort for me to be able to focus my Azure blogging efforts into a more targeted fashion. Over time, as a result of my many community contributions, including the success of sharing information on BuildAzure.com, I was awarded the Microsoft MVP award in 2017 in the expertise category of Microsoft Azure.

Most recently, on July 1, 2018, I was re-awarded the Microsoft MVP award for 2018 in the category of Microsoft Azure. While this is my 2nd Microsoft MVP award for Microsoft Azure, it’s actually my 7th time winning the Microsoft MVP award!

Read More

CertificationData Sciencedatabase

70-776: Perform Big Data Engineering on Microsoft Cloud Services Certification Exam (20776)

The 70-776 Performing Big Data Engineering on Microsoft Cloud Services certification exam tests and validates your expertise in designing analytics solutions and building operationalized solutions on Microsoft Azure. This exam covers data engineering topics around Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Data Lake, Azure Data Factory, and Azure Stream Analytics.

Exam Target Audience

The 70-776 Performing Big Data Engineering on Microsoft Cloud Services certification exam is targeted towards Big Data Professionals. This exam is centered around designing analytics solutions and building operationalized solutions on Microsoft Azure. The primary Azure service areas covered on this Big Data exam are: Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Data Lake, Azure Data Factory, and Azure Stream Analytics.

Candidates with experience and familiarity with the capabilities and features of batch data processing, real-time processing, and operationalization technologies are the targeted audience for this exam. These candidates will be able to apply Microsoft cloud technologies to solution designs, and implement big data analytics solutions.

Skills Measured

Here is a list of the skills and objectives measured on this exam. The percentages on the high level objective areas represents the percentage of the exam that is focused on that objective area.

  • Design and Implement Complex Event Processing By Using Azure Stream Analytics (15-20%)
    • Ingest data for real-time processing
      • Select appropriate data ingestion technology based on specific constraints; design partitioning scheme and select mechanism for partitioning; ingest and process data from a Twitter stream; connect to stream processing entities; estimate throughput, latency needs, and job footprint; design reference data streams
    • Design and implement Azure Stream Analytics
      • Configure thresholds, use the Azure Machine Learning UDF, create alerts based on conditions, use a machine learning model for scoring, train a model for continuous learning, use common stream processing scenarios
    • Implement and manage the streaming pipeline
      • Stream data to a live dashboard, archive data as a storage artifact for batch processing, enable consistency between stream processing and batch processing logic
    • Query real-time data by using the Azure Stream Analytics query language
      • Use built-in functions, use data types, identify query language elements, control query windowing by using Time Management, guarantee event delivery
  • Design and Implement Analytics by Using Azure Data Lake (25-30%)
    • Ingest data into Azure Data Lake Store
      • Create an Azure Data Lake Store (ADLS) account, copy data to ADLS, secure data within ADLS by using access control, leverage end-user or service-to-service authentication appropriately, tune the performance of ADLS, access diagnostic logs
    • Manage Azure Data Lake Analytics
      • Create an Azure Data Lake Analytics (ADLA) account, manage users, manage data sources, manage, monitor, and troubleshoot jobs, access diagnostic logs, optimize jobs by using the vertex view, identify historical job information
    • Extract and transform data by using U-SQL
      • Schematize data on read at scale; generate outputter files; use the U-SQL data types, use C# and U-SQL expression language; identify major differences between T-SQL and U-SQL; perform JOINS, PIVOT, UNPIVOT, CROSS APPLY, and Windowing functions in U-SQL; share data and code through U-SQL catalog; define benefits and use of structured data in U-SQL; manage and secure the Catalog
    • Extend U-SQL programmability
      • Use user-defined functions, aggregators, and operators, scale out user-defined operators, call Python, R, and Cognitive capabilities, use U-SQL user-defined types, perform federated queries, share data and code across ADLA and ADLS
    • Integrate Azure Data Lake Analytics with other services
      • Integrate with Azure Data Factory, Azure HDInsight, Azure Data Catalog, and Azure Event Hubs, ingest data from Azure SQL Data Warehouse
  • Design and Implement Azure SQL Data Warehouse Solutions (15-20%)
    • Design tables in Azure SQL Data Warehouse
      • Choose the optimal type of distribution column to optimize workflows, select a table geometry, limit data skew and process skew through the appropriate selection of distributed columns, design columnstore indexes, identify when to scale compute nodes, calculate the number of distributions for a given workload
    • Query data in Azure SQL Data Warehouse
      • Implement query labels, aggregate functions, create and manage statistics in distributed tables, monitor user queries to identify performance issues, change a user resource class
    • Integrate Azure SQL Data Warehouse with other services
      • Ingest data into Azure SQL Data Warehouse by using AZCopy, Polybase, Bulk Copy Program (BCP), Azure Data Factory, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), Create-Table-As-Select (CTAS), and Create-External-Table-As-Select (CETAS); export data from Azure SQL Data Warehouse; provide connection information to access Azure SQL Data Warehouse from Azure Machine Learning; leverage Polybase to access a different distributed store; migrate data to Azure SQL Data Warehouse; select the appropriate ingestion method based on business needs
  • Design and Implement Cloud-Based Integration by using Azure Data Factory (15-20%)
    • Implement datasets and linked services
      • Implement availability for the slice, create dataset policies, configure the appropriate linked service based on the activity and the dataset
    • Move, transform, and analyze data by using Azure Data Factory activities
      • Copy data between on-premises and the cloud, create different activity types, extend the data factory by using custom processing steps, move data to and from Azure SQL Data Warehouse
    • Orchestrate data processing by using Azure Data Factory pipelines
      • Identify data dependencies and chain multiple activities, model schedules based on data dependencies, provision and run data pipelines, design a data flow
    • Monitor and manage Azure Data Factory
      • Identify failures and root causes, create alerts for specified conditions, perform a redeploy, use the Microsoft Azure Portal monitoring tool
  • Manage and Maintain Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Data Lake, Azure Data Factory, and Azure Stream Analytics (20-25%)
    • Provision Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Data Lake, Azure Data Factory, and Azure Stream Analytics
      • Provision Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Data Lake, and Azure Data Factory, implement Azure Stream Analytics
    • Implement authentication, authorization, and auditing
      • Integrate services with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), use the local security model in Azure SQL Data Warehouse, configure firewalls, implement auditing, integrate services with Azure Data Factory
    • Manage data recovery for Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Data Lake, and Azure Data Factory, Azure Stream Analytics
      • Backup and recover services, plan and implement geo-redundancy for Azure Storage, migrate from an on-premises data warehouse to Azure SQL Data Warehouse
    • Monitor Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Data Lake, and Azure Stream Analytics
      • Manage concurrency, manage elastic scale for Azure SQL Data Warehouse, monitor workloads by using Dynamic Management Views (DMVs) for Azure SQL Data Warehouse, troubleshoot Azure Data Lake performance by using the Vertex Execution View
    • Design and implement storage solutions for big data implementations
      • Optimize storage to meet performance needs, select appropriate storage types based on business requirements, use AZCopy, Storage Explorer and Redgate Azure Explorer to migrate data, design cloud solutions that integrate with on-premises data

You can also view the full objectives list for the 70-776 Performing Big Data Engineering on Microsoft Cloud Services certification exam on the official 70-776 exam page at Microsoft.com.

Training Material

There are not very many study / training materials designed specifically for the 70-776 Perform Big Data Engineering on Microsoft Cloud Services certification exam. As example, Microsoft Press has not published any Exam Ref or Guide books for this exam yet (at the time of writing this.) However, there is still plenty of material available from various sources, both Free and Paid, that range from official product documentation from Microsoft, other articles and videos from Microsoft, as well as training from companies like Opsgility and their SkillMeUp service.

Another interesting resource to utilize is the following recording of the 70-776 Cert Exam Prep session given by James Herring at Microsoft Ignite 2017:

Happy Studying!!

Certificationcommunity

How to become a Microsoft MVP

Whether you’ve heard of the Microsoft MVP Award and are wondering how to earn it yourself, or just curious as to what others have done to earn this recognition form Microsoft, here’s a brief explanation into the What and How of the Microsoft MVP Award.

The Microsoft MVP Award is an award Microsoft gives out to a select group of community leaders who make an impact everyday in the overall Microsoft technology community. Microsoft MVPs do a lot of work in their own time, with nothing expected in return other than the self-gratification that they’re helping others do great things. The MVP Award is a way for Microsoft to say “Thanks!” to these industry experts in the Microsoft technology space.

Before we discuss how to earn the award, and become a Microsoft MVP, let’s cover a few things like “What is the MVP Award?” and “Who are MVPs?” Read More

Certification

Do Microsoft Certifications Expire?

In the process of consulting and training many people in the efforts of studying for various Microsoft certifications, in particular Azure certification, I do receive a lot of various questions. On of the questions I’ve seen a lot is in the area around Exam or Certification expiration and/or renewal. So, I thought I’d explain a bit on what causes a Microsoft certification to expire, and how to renew your certifications when necessary. Read More

Certification

Microsoft Exams Scheduled to Retire in Early 2018

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.

Microsoft does publish the exams they are retiring and the planned retirement date, but the information is a bit hidden / buried within the Microsoft Learning site. As a result, I thought I’d post about the Microsoft Certification Exams that are scheduled to be retired in the first half of 2018 to shed a little light on this to those who may not really be aware. Read More

ArchitectureBookCertification

Book: Exam Ref 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

Studying for all certifications can be difficult, as all you have to go on is a short list of the exam objectives and the services/technologies covered. It’s nice to get some kind of targeted resources or training that is targeted towards the specific certification exam you’re studying for. The new Exam Reference book from Microsoft Press for the 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam is now available. This book will guide you through all the different topic areas you need to know in order to take and pass the 70-535 exam, then become a Microsoft Azure certified Architect.

Book Availability: It’s worth noting that the scheduled publish date for this book is May 20, 2018. At the time of writing this, the book may not be available for a few months yet, so you’ll want to consider this before preordering the book. Read More

BookCertificationDevelopment

Book: Exam Ref 70-532 Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions, Second Edition

Studying for all certifications can be difficult, as all you have to go on is a short list of the exam objectives and the services/technologies covered. It’s nice to get some kind of targeted resources or training that is targeted towards the specific certification exam you’re studying for. The new Second Edition of the Exam Reference book from Microsoft Press for the 70-532 Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam is now available. This book will guide you through all the different topic areas you need to know in order to take and pass the 70-532 exam, then become a Microsoft Azure certified Software Developer. Read More