No one can undermine the claim of Microsoft as a renowned player in the world of computing. The tech giant has not hesitated to take the big leap towards the cloud. Microsoft Azure has become a formidable name in the domain of cloud computing. Not to mention, Microsoft azure certification can help individuals secure high-paying jobs in promising job roles. 

The certifications of Microsoft Azure validate the skills and knowledge of an individual in using the Azure cloud platform. The initial focus of the certifications of Azure was on products. However, Microsoft introduced some notable changes by bringing role-based azure certifications to the table. 



New Microsoft Azure Certification Path

The Microsoft Ignite Conference in September 2018 served as the platform for announcing the new certifications. The new Azure certification path reflected on a change in focus towards actual tasks performed by IT professionals. According to the claims of Microsoft, the new role-based certification model can improve adaptability to modern business requirements. 

Also, the role-based Azure certifications can simplify the career path for cloud computing professionals interested in the Azure platform. After the launch of new certifications, there has been a number of modifications and many certifications have been deleted. So, in this article, we would deal with the existing Microsoft Azure certification path and cover the currently active certifications in detail. The most important aspect in the discussion would be an illustration of the individual examinations associated with the certifications and roles. 

The discussion could prove helpful guidance for any individual aspiring for job roles as a solutions architect, administrator, developer, DevOps engineer or security engineer. Furthermore, the discussion would also cover some of the new certification exams introduced by Microsoft Azure. The discussion would also shed some light on important tips to succeed in a Microsoft Azure certification exam preparation. So, let us start learning more about the role-based certifications introduced by Microsoft Azure recently.

Role-based Microsoft Azure Certifications

Before we start our reflection on the new azure certification path, let us find out the new certifications. As discussed before, the new certification model is intended to help the development of skills and knowledge for specific job roles. Microsoft Azure developed the new certification path by engaging with the tech community and identifying requirements for supporting individual job roles. The modifications in the certifications were in beta version since September 2018.

The official release dates for the examination spanned between December 2018 and May 2019. The new learning path for Microsoft Azure certification involved three different levels. The three levels include fundamentals, associate, and then the expert level. The different certifications are tailored for jobs in distinct roles such as developer, administrator, security engineer (launched most recently), architect expert, and DevOps engineer. The six essential roles observed in the new certification model are as follows:

In the following sections, we shall explore the new Microsoft Azure certification path and other essential information of the related certifications. Most important of all, we shall learn about the prerequisites, preferred learning path, and information about different certification exams.

1. Azure Fundamentals

The Azure Fundamentals is the most basic level of Microsoft Azure certification in the new model. The certification exam for this role is coded as AZ-900. The exam was released on December 31, 2018, and is a foundation level certification as suggested by its name. With this certification, candidates could be able to show their skills and knowledge in the basic concepts of cloud computing. 

You could also show your capabilities in using cloud services of Microsoft Azure. The Azure Fundamentals certification exam is suitable for people involved in non-technical backgrounds. For example, people involved in sales or purchases of cloud-based solutions. Individuals who have to prove their basic knowledge regarding cloud services could also choose this certification examination. 

The interesting fact about this Microsoft Azure certification is that you don’t need any technical IT expertise to appear for the examination. On the other hand, general knowledge and experience in the IT field can be quite helpful for clearing the exam easily. Another credible factor regarding Azure fundamentals is that it is an optional certification in the new azure certification path.

You can choose to appear for the Azure Fundamentals exam as a starting point for learning about cloud services. Most important of all, you can learn about the application of cloud computing concepts on the Azure platform. However, this examination is not a mandatory requirement for other role-based certifications, but optional. 

Basic Information about Exam AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

As AZ-900 is the fundamental level exam, no prerequisite is required for the AZ-900 exam. You may expect 40-60 questions in the exam. You will get 85 minutes to complete the exam and need to score a minimum of 700 marks to pass the exam. The Azure Fundamentals certification exam is available in English, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese. The registration fee for the certification exam is USD 99. 

Guide to Microsoft Azure Certifications 1

Domains Covered in Exam AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

The Azure Fundamentals certification includes four subject domains on which the questions in the certification exam will be based. Here is an outline of the four domains to help you prepare accordingly for the exam. 

  • Understanding of Cloud Concepts

This domain accounts for 15 to 20% of the questions. The essential topics covered in this domain include the benefits and considerations for using cloud services. Also, the discussion on differences between IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS forms an important part of this domain. Finally, you also need to learn the differences between public, private, and hybrid cloud models in this domain.

  • Understanding Core Azure Services

In this domain, you will learn about the core Azure architectural components. Furthermore, you will also gain a basic idea of core products and solutions available on Azure. You also need to learn about Azure management tools such as PowerShell, Azure Portal, and Azure CLI. You can expect around 30 to 35% of the questions in the exam based on this domain.

  • Knowledge of security, privacy, compliance, and trust

Candidates appearing for Azure Fundamentals should also show their expertise in security and compliance. So, they need to gain a clear understanding of security for network connections in Azure and the core Azure identity services. Most important of all, candidates should also show their awareness of Azure governance methodologies and Azure security tools and features. 

This domain is one of the most crucial elements to prepare for any other advanced Microsoft Azure certification. The other components include the knowledge of monitoring and reporting features on Azure. Furthermore, candidates should also show their understanding of privacy, compliance, and data protection standards of Azure. 

  • Understanding Azure pricing and support

One of the most crucial aspects of learning about Azure is the pricing of services. Therefore, any Azure professionals should learn about the pricing of Azure services to use them effectively. So, candidates have to learn about Azure subscriptions, cost management and planning, and the support options provided by Azure. 

You can also learn about the service lifecycle in Azure in detail as a foundation for advanced azure certifications. Furthermore, candidates should also show their abilities concerning Azure Service Level Agreements (SLAs). 

2. Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate

The Microsoft Azure Administrator associate-level certification is ideal for Azure Administrator role at the basic level. The new update in the certification model stipulates the requirement to pass only the AZ-103 examination. As of May 1, 2019, you can get Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate certification by clearing the AZ-103 exam. 

This new Microsoft Azure certification exam i.e. AZ-103 takes inputs from the AZ-100 and AZ-100, which are no longer valid. The certification exam contains a majority of subject topics from the AZ-100 certification exam. This certification exam is ideally suited for Azure administrators capable of managing cloud services. The cloud services are related to cloud capabilities for security, compute, networking, and storage. 

Candidates preparing for the AZ-103 exam should show a comprehensive understanding of services across the complete IT lifecycle and taking requests for infrastructure services. Azure administrators should also focus on recommendations for improving optimal performance and scalability. 

Basic Information about Exam AZ-103: Microsoft Azure Administrator

AZ-103 is the only exam one needs to pass to receive the badge of Microsoft Azure certified administrator associate. There is no prerequisite to take this but it is recommended to take fundamental level AZ-900 exam. The candidate may get 40-60 questions in the exam. The Microsoft Azure Administrator associate-level certification exam is available in English, Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese languages. The registration fees for the examination is USD 165.

The requirements for this exam are the same as that of other associate-level azure certifications. For example, candidates should have a clear awareness of azure applications, cloud, and storage infrastructure and operating systems. Furthermore, candidates should also have promising knowledge in networking components and virtualization tools before appearing for the exam. Also, knowledge of PowerShell and the Command Line Interface can be helpful supporting agents for clearing the exam. 

Guide to Microsoft Azure Certifications 2

Domains Covered in Exam AZ-103: Microsoft Azure Administrator

Now, let us identify the different concepts that would be covered in each of the domains mentioned above. The associate level administrator, Microsoft Azure certification, covers the following concepts in each of the domains.

  • Management of Azure subscriptions and resources

The first domain covers 15-20% and includes details such as management of azure subscriptions through assigning administrator permissions. The management of azure subscriptions would also involve configuration of cost center quotas and tagging. The next important concept in this domain relates to the analysis of resource utilization and consumption. 

The management of azure subscriptions and resources would also be associated with the management of resource groups. Candidates should also show skills and knowledge in role-based access control (RBAC).

  • Implementing and management of storage

This domain is responsible for around 15 to 20% of the questions in the AZ-103 certification exam. Candidates have to learn about the creation and configuration of storage accounts. Also, they would have to learn about data import and export to Azure. The next important concepts covered in this domain relate to the configuration of Azure files and implementation of Azure backup. 

  • Deployment and management of Virtual Machines

The most crucial aspect of using cloud services is related to the use of Virtual machines. Candidates appearing for the Azure administrator associate level Microsoft azure certification should learn about creating and configuration of a VM for Windows and Linux. 

The other significant concepts covered in this domain include the automation of VM deployments and Azure VM management. The next important topic included in this domain is the management of VM backups. Candidates can get almost 15 to 20% of questions from this domain in the certification exam.

  • Configuration and management of virtual networks

This domain is one of the most important ones in the AZ-103 certification exam. Candidates will find almost 30 to 35% of questions in the certification exam from this domain. The topics covered in this domain include creating connectivity between virtual networks and virtual networking implementation and management. Candidates should also learn about configuring name resolution as well as implementing the Azure load balancer. 

Also, candidates should show capabilities for creating and configuration of Network Security Group (NSG). This Microsoft Azure Certification will also test the candidate’s abilities for monitoring and troubleshooting virtual networking issues. Candidates should also describe their abilities for the integration of the on-premises network with Azure virtual network.

  • Managing Identities 

Managing identities is one of the basic domains in the Azure administrator associate-level certification exam. You will have to show expertise in Azure Active Directory (AD) management and Azure AD object management. Candidates also need to cover the topics in the implementation and management of hybrid identities. Furthermore, it is also reasonable to consider the implementation of multi-factor authentication.

One of the most important highlights with this certification is the expiry of the AZ-102 exam on June 30, 2019. So, now candidates can get their Azure Administrator associate-level certification by clearing the AZ-103 examination only.

3. Azure Developer Associate

The next Microsoft Azure certification rolled out in the new role-based certification is the Azure developer associate certification. The certification is suited for candidates involved in designing and building cloud solutions. As per new updates in the Microsoft Azure role-based certifications, AZ-203 is the only exam one needs to pass to achieve the badge of Microsoft Certified Azure developer associate.

Previously, there were two exams – AZ-200 and AZ-201 for the Azure developer associate role. Both of these exams have been retired now and the syllabus has been combined into the AZ-203 exam. This certification exam is ideally suited for Azure developers capable of managing cloud services. 

Individuals who are associated with all phases of development can take up this certification to start their career as an Azure developer. Furthermore, the job role of an Azure developer associate also includes collaboration. They have to partner with cloud administrators, cloud solution architects, cloud DBAs, and clients for implementing the solutions. 

Basic Information about Exam AZ-203: Microsoft Azure Developer

The Microsoft Azure Developer Associate certification is one of the renowned Microsoft Azure certifications. There is no prerequisite for the AZ-203 exam. However, it is recommended to pass Microsoft Azure fundamental AZ-900 exam before this exam. The AZ-203 exam is available in English, Korean, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese languages. The candidate may get 40-60 questions in the exam. The registration fees for the AZ-203 examination is USD 165. You can find AZ-203 exam with the title “Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure.” 

Candidates should also take note of the prerequisites needed for the AZ-203 certification exam. Candidates should be capable of developing services and apps by using Azure tools and technologies. The other prerequisite states a minimum of one-year experience in the development of scalable solutions. Candidates should also show their skills and knowledge in at least one programming language supported for the cloud. 

Guide to Microsoft Azure Certifications 3

Domains Covered in Exam AZ-203: Microsoft Azure Developer

The Microsoft Azure developer exam AZ-203 tests the abilities and knowledge of candidates in a number of domains. Now, let us break down the individual domains included in the new Microsoft Azure certification for Azure Developer associate role.

  • Development of Azure IaaS compute solutions

The specific pointers covered in this domain include implementation of solutions using VMs and creation of containerized solutions. Most important of all, candidates would have to learn about the implementation of batch jobs by leveraging Azure Batch Services. 

  • Development of Azure PaaS compute solutions

This domain validates the benefits of introducing role-based Azure certifications. Candidates have to learn to create Azure App Service web apps, API apps, and mobile apps. You would also need to cover the implementation of azure functions in this domain for securing an Azure developer associate certification. 

  • Development for Azure storage

Azure developers have to learn the basics of developing solutions that can facilitate cloud storage. Therefore, this domain would test the abilities of candidates in developing storage solutions with different alternatives. The alternatives can include storage tables, blob storage, relational database, or Cosmos DB storage.

  • Implementation of Azure security

This domain in the new Microsoft azure certification path for an Azure developer job role is highly significant. The specific concepts covered in this domain relate to implementing authentication, secure data solutions, and access control. You can find 10 to 15% of questions in the exam from this domain. 

  • Monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimization of solutions

The share of this domain in the Azure developer associate exam in the new Azure certification path is around 10 to 15%. Candidates should show their skills and knowledge in the development of code for supporting scalability of apps and services. Furthermore, candidates will also be tested for abilities for integrating content delivery and caching with different solutions. As a developer, candidates should also show their skills in creating solutions that can support logging and monitoring. 

  • Connecting with and consumption of Azure and third-party services

Your Microsoft Azure certification as a developer associate will also depend on this domain. You need to show your skills in developing an App Service Logic App and integration of Azure search with the solutions. Candidates will also have to show their skills and knowledge in creating API Gateways. 

The most important concepts, however, covered in this domain, would be related to developing event-based and message-based solutions. Candidates should also note that this domain accounts for around 20 to 25% of the total questions in the exam. Therefore, this domain can help you score better marks in your overall score. 

4. Azure Security Engineer

The most important addition to the role-based Microsoft azure certification model is Azure Security Engineer certification. Candidates have to clear the AZ-500 exam for obtaining the Azure security engineer certification. The AZ-500 exam has the title “Microsoft Azure Security Technologies”.

The exam is suitable for cloud professionals involved with the implementation of security controls on the Microsoft Azure platform. The AZ-500 exam is ideal for getting a Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer certificate. The job role of an Azure Security Engineer also involves maintaining the security status and identity and access management. 

The other roles of the Azure Security Engineer relate to the protection of applications, networks, and data. Also, Azure security engineers should collaborate with a larger team involved in cloud-based management. Most important of all, Azure security engineers recognize and address vulnerabilities with the help of various security tools. 

Azure security engineer would also have to deal with implementing threat protection and responding to security incidents. The AZ-500 certification exam is a formidable example of role-based Azure certifications. To understand this, you need to have a look at the abilities tested in the certification exam.

Basic Information about Exam AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies

AZ-500 is the only exam one needs to pass to receive the badge of Microsoft Azure certified security engineer. There is no prerequisite to take this but it is recommended to take fundamental level AZ-900 exam. The candidate may get 40-60 questions in the exam. The registration fees for the AZ-500 exam is USD 165.

The AZ-500 exam is the right choice for candidates who want to start a career in Azure cloud security. However, there are some prerequisites for the exam. Candidates should have a comprehensive awareness of cloud capabilities as well as Microsoft and Microsoft Azure products and services. 

Furthermore, candidates should have prolific expertise in scripting and automation. Candidates should also have in-depth knowledge of virtualization, cloud N-tier architecture, and networking.

Guide to Microsoft Azure Certifications 4

Domains Covered in the Exam AZ-500: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies

The domains covered in the AZ-500 exam exemplify the new Microsoft azure certification path. By testing the abilities of candidates in these domains, Microsoft Azure verifies the job-specific skills of candidates. Let us investigate each domain in detail to understand how AZ-500 fulfills the role-based certification criteria.

  • Identity and access management

The domain of Identity and access management would occupy around 20 to 25% of the total questions in AZ-500 exam. The first topic in this domain relates to the configuration of the Microsoft Azure Active Directory for workloads. The second topic in this domain relates to the configuration of Microsoft Azure Active Directory Privileges Identity Management. 

Finally, the domain would cover the configuration of Microsoft Azure tenant security. The most interesting detail of this domain is the emphasis on real-world practical tasks for identity and access management. Therefore, this new azure certification focuses on actual scenarios that candidates will encounter in Azure security engineer jobs.

  • Implementing platform protection

Candidates should keep in mind that this domain will account for 35 to 40% of questions in the AZ-500 exam. So, you need to focus on this domain very carefully for clearing the exam in the first attempt. This domain in azure security engineer, Microsoft Azure certification, deals with the implementation of network and host security. The domain also outlines measures for configuration of container security. Most important of all, candidates should also extend their learning towards the implementation of Microsoft Azure Resource management security. 

  • Security operations management

You will find almost 15 to 20% of the questions in AZ-500 exam from this domain. The new Azure certification path presents a simplified approach to prepare for different Azure-based job roles. Candidates have to learn the configuration of security services and security policies in this domain. Candidates can improve their skills in the configuration of security services such as Microsoft Azure monitor and log analytics. Most important of all, candidates have to cover management of security alerts by creating and customizing alerts. 

  • Security of data and applications

The domain for the security of data and applications in AZ-500 exam is another important priority for the candidates. Almost 30 to 35% of questions in the AZ-500 exam are from this domain. The first subject area in this domain is the configuration of security policies for data management. The next topic area relates to the configuration of security for data infrastructure. 

The other topics covered in this domain include configuring encryption for data in rest state and configuration of application security. Candidates should also learn the implementation of security for application delivery. The final topic in this domain for AZ-500, Microsoft azure certification exam is the configuration and management of Key Vault.        

5. Azure Solution Architect Expert

The next addition to the list of role-based azure certifications is the Azure Solution Architect expert role. The certification exam for this credential is based on two different examinations. One is coded as AZ-300, and the other is coded as AZ-301. AZ-300 is titled “Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies,” and AZ-301 is titled “Microsoft Azure Architect Design.” Both of these exams are required for the Azure solutions architect expert certification. 

However, you can achieve both of these and accomplish the Azure solution architect expert tag. AZ-300 and AZ-301 have been introduced as a part of Microsoft’s change in focus of certification exams. Therefore, we should get a better understanding of both certification exams needed to become an Azure solution architect expert. Let us explore AZ-300 and AZ-301 in detail with an illustration of domains covered in each exam. 

Basic Information about Exam AZ-300: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies

The AZ-300 Microsoft Azure Technologies exam is the first exam suited for the Azure architect role. Candidates participating in this exam have to take on the responsibilities of Azure solution architects. They have to advise stakeholders and convert business requirements into scalable, credible, and secure solutions. 

Azure solution architects would also have to show their expertise in any of the azure administration, azure development, and DevOps role. Furthermore, Azure solutions architect experts should also have expertise in other areas of IT operations such as identity, networking, security, and others. 

Candidates should note that the AZ-300 exam for new azure certifications is available in four different languages. The languages are English, Korean, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese. The registration fees for the examination is placed at USD 165. 

Domains Covered in Exam AZ-300: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies

The exam includes questions that test the capability of candidates in a number of domain areas. Now, let us find out the different concepts that you have to cover to clear this Microsoft azure certification. 

  • Deployment and configuration of infrastructure

It is a major domain and covers around 25 to 30% of questions in the AZ-300 certification exam for Azure solutions architect expert. You would have to learn different implications from the analysis of resource utilization and consumption. 

The next important concepts in this domain would be the creation and configuration of storage accounts. Candidates would also have to learn about the creation and configuration of Virtual Machine for Windows and Linux. This domain in the AZ-300 exam would also deal with the automation of VM deployment. Candidates would also have to show their expertise in provisioning VMs and creation of Azure resource manager templates.

Furthermore, candidates need to learn about creating connectivity between virtual networks as well as virtual network implementation and management. Candidates should also learn about Azure Active Directory (AD) management in this domain of AZ-300 in the new azure certification path. 

Specific skills such as adding custom domains, the configuration of self-service password reset, performing access reviews are important requirements. Finally, candidates should also cover concepts related to the implementation and management of hybrid identities. This domain is quite comprehensive and needs additional preparation for achieving perfection.

  • Implementing workloads and security

Another important domain in the Microsoft Azure certification exam for Azure solutions architect expert role is related to security. The concepts covered in this domain for AZ-300 exam relate to migration of servers to Azure. Candidates have to learn about migration by using Azure Site Recovery or P2V, the configuration of storage, and the creation of the backup. 

Candidates should prepare for configuration of serverless computing that involves management of Logic App resource, Service Bus or Event Grid. The new Microsoft azure certification path focuses explicitly on practical role-based scenarios for validating the skills of technical personnel. 

You should learn about the implementation of application load balancing and integration of the on-premises network with the Azure virtual network. Apart from the concerns of workload, you should also cover detailed insights on security in this domain. Candidates could encounter questions based on the management of role-based access control and implementation of multi-factor authentication. 

You will explore different aspects of these two areas related to security covered in this domain. Management of role-based access control would deal with the creation of custom role and configuration of access to Azure resources. Also, you would learn about implementing RBAC policies and assignment of RBAC roles and access privileges. 

Candidates should also focus on the implementation of multi-factor authentication (MFA) that can be the theme of multiple questions in AZ-300 exam. You would learn crucial procedures such as the configuration of user accounts for MFA, fraud alerts, trusted IPs, and verification methods. Most important of all, candidates have to learn about multi-factor authentication concerning role-based access control. 

  • Creating and deploying apps

The most important domain in AZ-300 Microsoft Azure certification exam deals with the development and deploying apps. Candidates have to show their expertise in the creation of web apps using PaaS. The new azure certification path refers specifically to the need for practical skills. 

Therefore, you should learn the concepts in this domain from theoretical as well as practical perspectives. The individual components in the creation of web apps using PaaS are the foundation of an Azure solutions architect expert’s work. You have to cover topics such as the creation of Azure App Service Web App and documentation for the API.

Furthermore, you also need to learn the creation of an App Service Web App for containers and enabling diagnostics logging. Candidates should also show their knowledge in the creation of an App Service background task by using WebJobs. Candidates would also have to cover the design and development of apps for running in containers. 

The comprehensiveness of AZ-300 is noted prominently among other Azure certifications. Candidates applying for AZ-300 exam would have to show their expertise in the individual concerns for design and development of containerized apps. Candidates should learn about the configuration of diagnostic settings on resources and creation of container images using Docker.

Furthermore, you shall also cover topics such as the creation of Azure Kubernetes Service and publishing images to Azure Container Registry. Candidates should also be able to show their capabilities in implementing an application which runs on Azure Container Instance. Also, you can get questions on the management of container settings by using code. 

  • Implementing authentication and data security

This domain accounts for around 10% of questions in AZ-300 Microsoft Azure certification exam. However, candidates should understand the role of security and authentication in every Azure role-based certification. Therefore, candidates can find this domain as one of the most crucial role-based aspects in Azure certifications. 

You have to cover topics such as implementing authentication and secure data solutions. Candidates have to show their expertise in implementing authentication with the use of certificates, tokens, Windows-integrated authentication, or form-based authentication. Candidates would also need to learn the use of Azure active directory for implementing multi-factor authentication. 

You will also need to learn methods for implementing OAuth2 authentication in this domain to become Azure solutions architect expert. Another notable topic related to implementing authentication is the implementation of managed identities. The managed identities are specifically tailored for Azure resources Service Principal authentication. 

Candidates also need to focus on the implementation of secure data solutions in the new azure certification path for solution architects. The essential skill requirements, in this case, are associated with encryption of data. Candidates have to learn about encryption and decryption of data in rest and transit stages and to use “Always Encrypted” option. 

Also, candidates should cover the approaches for implementing Azure Confidential Compute and ensuring SSL/TLS communications. Candidates should also show their skills in using KeyVault API for creating, reading, updating and deleting keys, certificates, and secrets. 

  • Development for cloud and Azure storage

An Azure solutions architect expert level professional should be skilled in designing and developing solutions for the cloud. The new Microsoft Azure certification exams take this factor quite seriously with the revised focus on role-based certification. First of all, candidates should learn about developing solutions that leverage a relational database or Cosmos DB storage. 

You will have to gain skills in creation, reading, updating, and deleting data using the right APIs. The development of solutions using Cosmos DB storage also includes skills for implementation of partitioning schemes. Also, candidates should learn about establishing the right consistency level for operations. 

Role-based Azure certifications introduced recently have changed many aspects of conventional Azure certification exams. Candidates have to cover topics such as provisioning and configuration of relational databases and configuration of elastic pools for Azure SQL database. You will also need to learn skills for creating, reading, updating, and deleting data tables with code. 

Another notable aspect for candidates in this domain of AZ-300 exam is development for autoscaling. Candidates should learn capabilities for implementing code suited for addressing transient state. You would also have to cover the topics in the configuration of message-based integration architecture. 

The essential components of this topic include configuration of queries with multiple products. You should also learn about the configuration of an app or service for Event Grid, Azure Relay Service, and sending emails. Most important of all, candidates should also learn about the creation and configuration of the Service Bus, Notification Hub, and Event Hub. 

Guide to Microsoft Azure Certifications 5

Basic Information about Exam AZ-301: Microsoft Azure Architect Design

The next exam tailored for the Azure Solutions Architect expert role is AZ-301. Considered as one of the best role-based Azure certifications, this certification acts as an expert-level certificate. However, AZ-300 and AZ-301 are both important certification exams for becoming a Microsoft Azure Solutions architect expert. 

The AZ-301 exam is titled as “Microsoft Azure Architect Design.” This exam is specifically designed to validate the expertise of solutions architects with an in-depth evaluation of practical skills. The AZ-301 exam for Microsoft Azure certification establishes the capabilities of azure solutions architects to work in alignment with businesses. 

The AZ-301 is your key to fetch one of the best role-based Azure certifications. The exam is available in English, Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese languages. You can register for the examination for $165 with additional taxes applicable. The prerequisites are also important concerns for candidates when trying for Microsoft Azure Solutions architect expert tag.

Candidates should have at least one-year experience in security, data management, identity, and IT operations. Furthermore, candidates with experience in DevOps, Azure administration, or Azure development can perform better in the exams. However, candidates should note that they have to pass AZ-300 to take AZ-301 exam. 

Domains Covered in the Exam AZ-301: Microsoft Azure Architect Design

The AZ-301 exam tests the abilities of candidates in a number of technical domains. Let‘s explore each of these domains in detail to find out more about the AZ-301 exam. Furthermore, a clear impression of the different components of each domain of the AZ-301 exam can help your preparations. 

  • Determining workload requirements

The foremost sub-topic included in the blueprint of the AZ-301 exam is a collection of information and requirements. The solutions architect expert, Microsoft Azure certification, demands the skills of collecting information and workload requirements accurately. The specific skills included in this aspect are the identification of compliance requirements and service-oriented architectures. Also, candidates should demonstrate their expertise in identifying requirements. 

The requirements relate to accessibility, security, scalability, configurability, maintainability, governance, capacity planning, availability, and sizing. Candidates would also have to show skills in the evaluation of products and services according to the solution. Also, they would have to demonstrate skills in creating test scenarios and recommend changes during an ongoing project. 

Role-based Azure certifications demand specific skills and abilities for each azure job role. So, candidates also need to learn about optimization of consumption strategy and designing a strategic approach for auditing and monitoring. You have to showcase abilities for optimization of app service, identity, compute, network, and storage costs. Also, you will have to cover many aspects of the design of an auditing and monitoring strategy. 

Candidates have to define local groups or tags for resource monitoring and plan for integration with monitoring tools. Furthermore, you should also demonstrate skills in identifying levels and storage locations for logs and mechanisms for event routing. You should also demonstrate abilities in the design of auditing according to compliance requirements and auditing policies and traceability requirements. 

  • Designing for identity and security

This domain is probably an important concern for a Microsoft Azure certification. You can find different topic areas, such as designing identity management, designing authentication, and authorization. Furthermore, the focus on risk prevention for identity and monitoring strategies form a major part of this domain. 

Interestingly, candidates will get around 20 to 25% of questions in the AZ-301 exam from this area. So, let us take a closer look at the different subtopics in this domain in the new Microsoft azure certification path. Concerning designing for identity management, you will have to learn skills for selecting the identity management approach. 

Candidates would have to show their expertise in designing a strategic approach for identity delegation or an identity repository. Also, you will need to know the definition of roles and personas. You should also show proactive recommendations for access control strategy and skills in designing self-service identity management. 

This exam in the Microsoft azure certification for solutions architect expert job role also digs deep into other crucial processes. For example, you have to learn skills for choosing the appropriate authentication approach and designing a single-sign-on approach. In designing authorization, candidates should show fluency in choosing an authorization approach and defining access privileges and permissions. 

Candidates could also receive practical scenarios in the exam for designing secure delegated access or provide recommendations for using API keys. This domain strengthens the rigor of the AZ-301 exam as compared to other azure certifications. Candidates would have to cover areas of designing for risk prevention, such as designing risk assessment strategies. 

You should also cover a method for evaluating agreements that involve products or services from contractors and vendors. One of the prominent topic areas in this domain is the updating of solution design. The updates have to be tailored for responding to changes in security policies, procedures, guidelines, and standards. 

The emphasis on role-based azure certifications is found in the requirement of skills for designing a monitoring strategy in this domain. Candidates should design solutions with alert notifications and strategy for alerts and metrics. Candidates should also provide recommendations for authentication monitors in this domain of the AZ-301 exam.

  • Designing a data platform solution

Talking about role-based Azure certifications, this domain relates effectively with the job role of an Azure solutions architect expert professional. Candidates have to specialize in designing data management strategy and data protection strategy. The other requirements in this Microsoft azure certification domain include designing and documentation of data flow and designing monitoring strategy. 

The precedents in designing data management strategy include a selection of data storage and databases. Candidates also have to focus on the design of strategies for data auditing and caching. You will also need to cover the approaches for designing a data retention policy and data warehouse strategy. The other important concerns in this domain are a recommendation for database transaction unit (DTU) size and identification of data attributes. 

Most important of all, you should also learn about designing solutions that can ensure data availability, durability, and consistency. The next important concern that you will find in this domain for AZ-301 exam is data protection. Candidates should learn skills for recommending geographic data storage, designing data scalability strategy, and designing secure data access.

Furthermore, candidates would also need designing, and documentation of data flows for this certification exam. The specific concept areas covered in this subtopic include identification of data flow requirements and the creation of a data flow diagram. Candidates also need to gain skills for designing data flow according to business requirements. 

They also need to have skills in designing data import and export strategy. Candidates should also note the importance of learning skills to design a monitoring strategy for the data platform. The monitoring strategy skills would associate with designing for alert notifications and strategic approach for alerts and metrics. 

  • Designing for business continuity strategy

Candidates for the AZ-301 Microsoft Azure certification exam would also have to focus on maintaining business continuity. Azure solutions architect experts should also show the relevance of their work with business requirements. This domain is highly crucial for role-based azure certifications as it reflects on various roles that a solutions architect assumes. 

Candidates can learn the proper approaches for implementing their cloud architect skills in different business roles. The first component in this domain includes the design of site recovery strategy. Candidates have to learn about designing a recovery solution, site recovery replication policy, or the site recovery network. The other skills associated with this component in this domain include identification of supported and unsupported workloads. 

You should also show expertise in the identification of resources for site recovery and recommending recovery objectives. Candidates have to encounter other role-specific topic areas in the AZ-301 exam in the new Azure certification path. For example, you have to learn about designing solutions for high availability by identifying the resources and storage types.

Furthermore, candidates have to show their skills in designing for autoscaling and various types of redundancy. The different redundancies include application redundancy, network redundancy, data center redundancy, and fault domain redundancy. Apart from these components, this domain in AZ-301 exam will also refer to designing strategic approach for data archiving. In this domain, candidates need to learn about different storage types and methodologies and identifying SLAs for data archiving. Additionally, they also need to identify requirements for data archiving and business compliance requirements. 

  • Designing for deployment, migration, and integrations

Candidates have to cope with many practical topics with the new role-based Azure certifications. The subtopics included in this domain refer to designing deployments, migrations, and API integration strategies. Candidates should show their skills in designing strategies for the web app and service deployment, messaging solution, container, or data platform. Candidates should also learn skills for designing migrations for obtaining this Microsoft azure certification. 

You should cover the areas such as recommendations for a migration strategy and designing data import and export strategies. The other skills which you need to cover in this domain include determining application and data compatibility. You also need to be specialized in finding the right methods for application migration, network connectivity, and data transfer. One of the crucial factors that candidates should learn in this domain refers to the preparation of the migration scope. 

Candidates can find this new Microsoft azure certification path a little bit comprehensive. For instance, you have to learn the design of an API integration strategy in detail for the AZ-301 exam. You have to specialize in designing an API gateway strategy and determining policies to favor internal and external consumption of APIs. Furthermore, candidates should also show their skills in identifying the right hosting structure for API management. 

  • Designing an infrastructure strategy

Cloud architect professionals have a lot to do with the infrastructure of a cloud solution or system. So, the new Microsoft azure certification path also takes infrastructure design into account prominently. This domain in the Microsoft Azure certification exam, AZ-301, is tailored for testing skills of candidates in designing infrastructure. 

Candidates have to prove their skills in designing strategy for each component of infrastructure such as storage, networking, compute, and monitoring. Concerning storage, clients have to show potential for designing storage provisioning and access strategies. They should also learn skills for identifying storage requirements and provide recommendations for storage solution and storage management. In the case of computing, candidates should learn skills about identifying the right compute technologies and requirements.

Furthermore, candidates should also focus on designing an Azure HPC environment as well as compute provisioning and secure compute strategies. This domain in the new azure certifications path also tests competences in infrastructure design concerning monitoring and networking. In terms of networking, candidates should show their abilities in recognizing networking requirements and right network connectivity technologies. 

You should also depict promising skills in recommendations for network management tools. The next important component in this domain is related to designing a monitoring strategy for infrastructure. You have to specialize in designing solutions with alert notifications and an alert and metrics strategy. 

6. Azure DevOps Engineer Expert

The Azure DevOps Engineer expert is the final addition in the list of newly announced Microsoft azure certification path. This certification is ideally suited for professionals looking for better positioning in the skill hierarchy for Microsoft Azure. Candidates with an Azure administrator associate or Azure developer associate certification could try for this exam. 

Passing this exam brings candidates the DevOps engineer expert tag from Azure, thereby enhancing their professional credibility. As discussed till now, role-based azure certifications have been the main theme in the newly introduced certification paths. On a general basis, this Microsoft azure certification is suited for professionals involved with DevOps. 

Furthermore, the candidates should show their skills for bringing people, technologies, and processes on a single page. Also, candidates should show capabilities in Agile practices alongside experience in azure development or administration. Azure DevOps professionals have to perform a wide range of functions in their job roles. 

They have to design and implement DevOps practices suited for compliance, version control, configuration management, building, and testing solutions. The only exam in the certification path for becoming an Azure DevOps engineer expert is AZ-400. 

Basic Information about Exam AZ-400: Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions

You should also take note that AZ-400 is an expert level Azure certification. This implies that you need to have either an Azure administrator associate or Azure developer associate certification. All you need to do is validate your previous experience in designing and implementing DevOps practices. 

The AZ-400 exam is available in English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean languages. The registration fees for this exam in the new Microsoft azure certification path is $165. The prerequisites for AZ-400 are also quite straightforward. You need to have proven expertise in at least Azure administration or azure development. The most basic requirement is knowledge of Agile practices.

Guide to Microsoft Azure Certifications 6

Domains Covered in the Exam AZ-400: Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions

The exam AZ-400 is titled as “Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions.” The new azure certification path has also brought some role-specific domains in the AZ-400 exam. The exam will test the abilities of candidates in the following technical domains. Now, let us explore the details associated with each domain in the new Microsoft azure certification path with AZ-400 exam. 

  • Designing a DevOps Strategy

An Azure DevOps engineer expert should be capable of creating a DevOps strategy. That is a basic tenet of the job description of an Azure DevOps engineer. Therefore, this domain relates clearly to the objective of new azure certifications to focus on job-specific tasks. Candidates have to cover distinct domains such as recommendations for migration and consolidation strategy for DevOps tools.

Furthermore, you also need to learn methods for design and implementation of an agile work management approach. You will also have to cover topics such as designing a quality strategy and tool integration strategy in this domain. The new approaches for getting Microsoft Azure  DevOps Engineer certification also focus on designing development processes with security in mind. 

Some of the notable skills include the design of license management strategy or reviewing code base and infrastructure for compliance. Candidates should also show expertise in identifying and recommending KPIs, DevOps measurements, and project metrics. Also, you will need skills for designing quality strategy, such as analysis of the existing quality environment.

  • Implementation of DevOps development processes

The Microsoft Azure certification for Azure DevOps engineer expert role would also test your skills in applying development processes. The specific subtopics explored in this domain are highly crucial. You will find almost 20 to 25% of the questions in the AZ-400 exam related to this domain. 

The different subtopics include designing of a version control strategy, implementation and integration source control and implementing code flow. Also, you should show skills in implementation and management of build infrastructure. Candidates will also face questions related to the implementation of a mobile DevOps strategy and management of application configuration and secrets. 

Some of the notable elements in this domain include the integration of source control, recommendations of version control systems, and others. You should also cover management of Azure pipeline configuration, implementation of private and hosted agents, and configuration of branch policies. 

  • Implementing continuous integration

This domain is one of the newly added implications in revised Microsoft Azure certification model. The new Azure certification path involves the use of new technologies such as containers. Candidates have to show their skills in the management of code quality and security policies, and the implementation of a build strategy. 

The specific skills tested in this domain include monitoring of code quality, managing automated test quality, and monitoring test quality. You can also face tests on the integration of security analysis tools as well as the implementation of the hybrid build process. 

  • Implementation of continuous delivery

The AZ-400 exam for Microsoft Azure certification tests competency of candidates in various practical scenarios. Candidates would find questions about designing a release strategy. The other skills tested in this domain include establishing a release management workflow and implementation of the right deployment pattern. 

You have to specialize in different areas such as recommending release tools, creating release pipeline, and provisioning release environments. Furthermore, this domain also tests the candidate’s ability to implement suitable deployments, unlike other role-based Azure certifications. 

  • Implementation of dependency management

The scope of this domain in the new azure certification path may seem limited. However, candidates can expect around 5 to 10% of total questions in AZ-400 exam from this domain. Candidates will have to show skills in designing strategies for dependency management, security, and compliance management. 

This domain in the Microsoft Azure certification path for DevOps engineer expert is an important basis for questions in AZ-400 exam. Candidates should learn skills for recommending artifact management tools and practices and abstraction of common packages. You should also learn skills for configuration of secure access to package feeds and review open-source software packages. 

  • Implementing application infrastructure

The implementation of application infrastructure accounts for around 15 to 20% of questions in the AZ-400 exam. This addition to the Microsoft Azure certification path indicates the focus on practical tasks for Azure DevOps professionals. The important dimensions in this domain include designing infrastructure and configuration management strategy and implementation of infrastructure as code (IaC). 

Candidates would also need to prove their skills in the management of Azure Kubernetes service infrastructure to get the Microsoft Azure certification. Most important of all, candidates will also be tested for capabilities in the implementation of infrastructure compliance and security.

  • Implementing continuous feedback mechanisms

This domain in the AZ-400 Microsoft Azure certification exam is highly focused on present-day Azure DevOps engineer job role. Role-based Azure certifications find a completely new definition with domains like this one. The aspects covered in this domain include recommendation and design of mechanisms for system feedback. 

You should also gain skills in the optimization of feedback mechanisms and implementing processes for returning system feedback to development teams. You can find around 10 to 15% of the questions in AZ-400 exam from this domain. Candidates should learn about specific skills, such as designing practices for end-user satisfaction and processes to capture and analyze user feedback. 

The other significant skills tested in this domain include analysis of alerts and telemetry to establish a baseline. This domain for one of the best azure certifications helps in learning about the configuration of crash report integration. Candidates will also be tested for skills in implementing tools for tracking feature usage, flow, and system usage. 

A Look at the Exclusions from Microsoft Azure Certification Path

You should also notice that many old exams were excluded from Microsoft azure certification. The azure certifications excluded in the new certification model are primarily associated with administrator and developer associate job roles. The certifications laid to rest include AZ-100 and AZ-101 which were replaced by AZ-103. Similarly, AZ-102 was the transition exam for the administrator role that has been expired. 

The AZ-200, AZ-201 and AZ-202 certifications tailored for MS Azure developer associate certifications are also excluded. Now, you can appear the AZ-203 certification exam for obtaining Azure developer associate certification. However, there have been some additions also. The additional certifications can also ensure a credible boost for your career. 

Tips for Microsoft Azure Certification Preparation 

Winding up our discussion, let us explore some steps that can take you through the new Microsoft Azure certification path. Here are the steps that will help in your Microsoft Azure Certification preparation, so you can earn your azure certification with ease. 

  • Review the exam details clearly with special focus on criteria and prerequisites.
  • Evaluate the course content thoroughly with references to the exam blueprint.
  • Study the exam guide thoroughly to understand the process of preparation.
  • Never underestimate the power of white papers as they are the most reliable study resources.
  • Don’t hesitate to join the Microsoft Azure online training courses from WhizLabs, if you think it’s required to clear your concepts.
  • Read the recommended books for the preparation of your specific Microsoft Azure certification.
  • Depend on practice tests and sample questions with consistent practice to improve your confidence and learning outcomes.
  • Join discussion forums and study groups and keep in touch with the fellow exam takers and experts to resolve your queries.

Final Words

On a final note, you can consider that each Microsoft azure certification is associated with a number of domains and subdomains. In this guide for new azure certifications, we have covered a superficial observation of the different domains for each certification exam. Furthermore, the discussion reflected on the appropriate exams for obtaining the different role-based certifications with Azure. 

The most important highlight in the discussion was an outline of the examinations which have been scrapped. Also, we covered details on the basic information and registration fee for the Azure certification exams. Finally, the discussion reflected on essential measures to prepare effectively for your much-awaited azure certification. 

So, choose the right certification for you and start your preparation now to become an Azure Certified!


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