The question of “Where do I start?” can be confusing if you’ve never studied for or taken a Microsoft Certification exam before. It can also be a bit daunting if you don’t know anyone who has done it themselves either. Do not let this discourage you. It may be a bit confusing, but it’s actually rather simple. This post will outlines the main steps necessary as well as the main resources you’ll need to begin, study, eventually pass an exam, and finally obtain a Microsoft Azure Certification yourself!
Update 9/30/2016: This week Microsoft announced some really big and amazing changes to the Microsoft Certification program and how the Azure certification exams fit in with MCSD and MCSE certifications. As a result, you want to reference the 2016 Edition of Where to start with Azure Certification article instead.
The new Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer provides a GUI interface for managing Azure Storage from both Windows and Mac OS X. Rather than build this functionality into the Azure Management Portal, the Azure Storage Explorer is a stand-along application that runs natively on the PC.
Just as all Azure Web Apps need configuration values, most applications also need to have database Connection String values configured. With Azure Web Apps the Connection Strings are stored/retrieved in a very similar fashion as Azure Web App Application Settings. Connection Strings are also Key / Value pairs of String values, but are separated out into their own section.
Connection Strings are typically used to store the connection information for one or more databases the Web App needs to connect to for storing and retrieving data. The Connection String types supported are SQL Database, SQL Server, MySQL and Custom. Most often the Connection Strings used will be for some kind of SQL RDMS, but the Custom type allows for an additional Connection String to be configured any other type of database connection necessary.
As with Application Settings, the Connection Strings are accessed as normal from .NET code and the values will come from what is set within the Azure Management Portal. In other development environments (Node.js, Java, PHP, Python) the Connection Strings are exposed to code as Environment Variables. Additionally, the Connection Strings are editable within the Azure Management Portal, but are read-only when access through code. Read More
All web applications have some kind of configurations necessary. The method of storing and accessing these settings varies on different web application platforms. In ASP.NET they are normally stored within <appSettings> element of the web.config file. The Microsoft Azure Web Apps Service allows for these application settings to be configured within the Azure Web App configurations in the cloud, and then subsequently accessed from application code as needed. With .NET applications the application settings are accessed exactly as AppSettings contained within the web.config file. In other web platforms (Java, Node.js, PHP and Python) the application settings are access via Environment Variables.
Application Settings are stored as a Key / Value pair. These are both stored as String values. Read More
Microsoft certifications are very difficult exams and the new Azure certification exams are no exception. For this reason there are some who would post questions directly from these exams to share with others. These collections of questions taken / copied directly from the exams are called “Braindumps” and there are a number of reasons they are bad to use. Read More
One of the many exciting new features to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform that Microsoft announces at AzureCon 2015 is the all new Azure GPU Compute. This allows for Virtual Machines (VMs) to utilize GPU’s hosted in the cloud. Now, even graphics processing and video rendering can be brought to “cloud scale” within Microsoft Azure. Read More
At the heart of the Microsoft Cloud are servers, networks, Internet connections, and much, much more! These data centers share a lot of qualities with traditional Enterprise data centers; such as fire suppression, humidity control, temperature control and more.
One major difference between the traditional Enterprise data center is that Microsoft uses Containers (called ITPACs) to build out it’s data centers. These Containers are Shipping Containers fitted with all the necessary climate control, networking, server racks and other hardware necessary to be a “mini” data center all in one. Then many of these are connected together within on of Microsoft’s Azure data centers to build out the full data centers. Read More
An Microsoft Azure Service Bus Namespace can certainly be managed through the Azure Management Portal. However easy that is for a user to do manually, it definitely can be useful to create and manage Azure Service Bus Namespaces using other more automated methods. Fortunately, there is support for this using the PowerShell and X-plat CLI SDKs.
Below are examples using both the PowerShell and X-plat CLI (command-line) SDKs to create a new Azure Service Bus Namespace. Read More
Microsoft Azure Service Bus provides an PaaS (Platform as a Service) communications platform built to allow more robust, multi-tenant software systems to be built in the cloud. There are four main feature sets within Azure Service Bus (Queues, Topics, Relays, and Event Hubs) that all offer different communications mediums for use with and between the different tenants of cloud hosted and hybrid (cloud and on-premises) hosted applications.