Category: Infrastructure

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!

Data ScienceDevelopmentDevOpsInfrastructuremachine learning

First ever Azure & AI Conference in Las Vegas!

I’m thrilled to be a part of the inaugural Azure + AI Conference in Las Vegas on December 3-6, 2018! Co-located with DevIntersection we will have a first of its kind Azure and AI focused conference! Join me along with industry experts Scott Guthrie, Zoiner Tejada, Michele Leroux Bustamante, Eric Boyd, Donovan Brown and Scott Hanselman.

You will have the opportunity to train and network with the Microsoft engineers and Azure & AI industry experts. Registrants who sign up for the conference and workshops will take home some great hardware such as a Surface Go, XBOX and more. The convergence of cloud and AI open entire new worlds of opportunities to achieve new capabilities, but also a lot of new technologies to learn. 

Save $100 by using the Code “BuildAzure

The convergence of cloud and AI open entire new worlds of opportunities to achieve new capabilities, but also a lot of new technologies to learn. Whether you are a born in the cloud developer looking to increase your AI capabilities, or a data scientist looking to understand how to build powerful AI in the cloud using the tools you already know and love or if you are a data engineer with some expertise in both, but want to learn about the latest in cutting-edge approaches, the Azure + AI conference is the one place you can attend that will help you tie the Azure and AI together in order to build amazing AI-powered solutions. In this casual environment, experts are here to talk to you, share their knowledge and experience and to help you build the knowledge, skills, and network you need to succeed in your Azure + AI endeavors.

ArchitectureCertificationDevelopmentInfrastructure

Introducing Role-based Microsoft & Azure Certification Shakeup

Last July, Microsoft Learning announced some upcoming changes to the Microsoft Azure Certifications to make them more role-based. Recently, surrounding the Microsoft Ignite 2018 conference, they announced and released further information about these changes to transform the Azure certification tracks. This news includes more than just announcement of new Azure certification exams, but also the depreciation and retirement of the existing Microsoft Azure exams by the end of December 2018. Read More

ArchitectureCertificationDevelopmentInfrastructure

New Microsoft Azure Certification Paths Coming in 2018

Microsoft announced, at Inspire 2018, some additions and changes to the Microsoft Certifications surrounding the Microsoft Azure cloud that are starting to be released, and will be expanded upon in the near future around the timing of the Microsoft Ignite 2018 conference in September 2018. These announcements were made in the LER01 – The future of modern learning session at MS Inspire 2018, in addition to a blog post on the Microsoft Learning blog written by Liberty Munson. Read More

CertificationInfrastructure

Introducing the Azure Administrator Certification Track from Microsoft

Microsoft continually updates the content of the different Microsoft Azure certification exams, but it’s been almost 2 years since they really updated the Microsoft Certification paths to be more Azure focused / integrated. Great news is that Microsoft is making further changes to keep improving the various Microsoft Azure Certifications and associated exams that are offered. During the Microsoft Inspire 2018 conference, the Microsoft Learning team announced the introduction of this brand new Azure certification track tailored for Azure Administrators. Read More

CertificationInfrastructure

AZ-102 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Transition Exam

The AZ-102 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Transition 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 exam provides a upgrade / transition path from to the Azure Administrator certification for anyone who has already passed the older, existing 70-533 Implementing Azure Infrastructure Solutions certification exam.

This exam will be retired on June 30, 2019. Read More

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

ArchitectureInfrastructure

Polynimbus is the future of the cloud

There’s so much competition in the cloud computing space. According to Forbes, the Cloud Providers at the top in the current “Cloud War” are Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM, followed by many other players in the industry. This battle is made up of these major corporations spending Billion or Trillions of dollars investing in cloud innovation and advancement. While each of these companies would like to be the victor and win the “Cloud War”; it’s probably best for everyone that there is no clear “winner” in the end.

Polynimbus Strategy

Polynimbus is the term used to refer to the strategy of an organization utilizing multiple Cloud Providers. Polynimbus is also referred to as “Multi-Cloud”. This enables organizations to utilize the best features and pricing of each cloud provider for different solutions where they fit the solutions, data, and workload best. This is an extremely common pattern in use by all major corporations as they migrate to the Cloud to replace their on-premises datacenters.

Polynimbus Cloud Strategy: A cloud computing strategy that involves multiple Cloud Providers / Vendors.

Polynimbus is not just a great strategy to gain the benefits and features of multiple Cloud Providers within a single organization, but it’s something that benefits the technology industry in many other ways too.

Benefits of Polynimbus for the Enterprise

There are a number of benefits that a Polynimbus cloud strategy brings. These benefits range from effecting a single organization, all the way to effecting the entire Internet.

Here’s a list of the most notable benefits that a Polynimbus strategy brings to an individual organizations overall cloud strategy:

  • Time to Market – Services and Feature comparison and trade-offs are able to be made to choose the best cloud provider for deploying, hosting, and managing solutions in regards to cloud capabilities, and Developer/IT Pro ramp up curve and time to market.
  • Cost Optimization – Cost comparisons and trade-offs are able to be made to choose the best cloud provider for deploying, hosting, and managing solutions in regards to hosting cost and budgets.
  • Integration Between Clouds – While most applications and systems will be most appropriately hosted utilizing a single Cloud Provider for that single system, there are times where it may be appropriate to utilize services and features across multiple clouds to best build, deploy, and manage that single system.

The above benefits of Polynimbus may sound a bit simple, but they are pretty broad reaching in their effect on an organization. The benefits factor into some major implications to the future of the solutions hosted, as well as the overall cloud strategy an organization is adopting.

Benefits of Polynimbus for the World

The overall Internet and technology industry benefits of Polynimbus Here’s a list of the most notable benefits that a Polynimbus strategy brings to the Internet, the overall technology industry, and beyond:

  • Decentralized / Distribution of Control –  While each Cloud Provider does implement multiple data centers that are geo-distributed around the world, they are still owned an operated by that single corporation that controls that particular Cloud Provider platform and ecosystem. The best design the Internet has come up with is to build the DNS system as a distributed system spread all across the world. This same strategy is probably best for Cloud Computing as well, so that no single entity is in control of the entire Cloud. This is one benefit that comes from the competitive nature of the current state of the cloud.
  • Competition – Just all other industries benefit from competition, the technology industry benefits too. Having multiple players in the Cloud Provider space increases the amount of competition between players. With this increased competition comes an increase the the variety and push for innovation across the different Cloud Computing platforms being offered. If you look at the history between Microsoft and Amazon (for example) you’ll see they’ve been leap frogging each other on Cloud features and capabilities over the years. This offers great variety and innovation for all companies to take advantage of regardless of the Cloud Provider they’re using.

A Polynimbus Future

Just about every organization adopting the Cloud, as well as migrating their on-premises or co-lo hosted data centers to the Cloud, are adopting a Polynimbus Strategy involving multiple Cloud Providers. They might only be adoption a single Cloud Provider, such as Microsoft Azure, at first. However, down the line the pattern in the industry is showing that corporations are adopting multiple Cloud Providers.

Just about every organization adopting the Cloud, as well as migrating their on-premises or co-lo hosted data centers to the Cloud, are adopting a Polynimbus Strategy involving multiple Cloud Providers.

One such example of a major corporation utilizing a Polynimbus Strategy is that of Apple. For a long time Apple was utilizing both Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure to host the backend of its iCloud service. More recently, there’s been indication that Apple may not be using Microsoft Azure anymore, as they may have migrated to using a combination of Amazon AWS and Google Cloud instead.

It can be extremely beneficial to utilize a Polynimbus Strategy, as well as a Hybrid-Cloud Strategy that still make use of the on-premises data center investments where they make sense. Going all in on any specific technology or platform is generally not the best approach to building out any solution. It’s best to choose the right tool for the job at hand, and to utilize multiple tools to truly customize the solution to fit the need and requirements in the best possible way.

It can be extremely beneficial to utilize a Polynimbus Strategy, as well as a Hybrid-Cloud Strategy that still make use of the on-premises data center investments where they make sense.

If you have any suggestions on designing a Polynimbus Strategy, Hybrid-Cloud Strategy, or Both, please post them in the comments. I’m sure everyone joins me in their eagerness to hear the communities suggestions on what to keep in mind when designing your organizations Polynimbus and Hybrid Cloud strategies.

History Fact: The term “Polynimbus” used to refer to a “Multi-Cloud” strategy of adopting multiple cloud providers / vendors was first coined by John Adams in 2016 while he was working as a Senior Cloud Solutions Architect at Opsgility.

 

GET MORE STUFF LIKE THIS

Subscribe to the Build Azure Weekly newsletter to receive similar updates about Microsoft Azure and related topics!


We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. We do not sell our email list, and you can unsubscribe at any time.