About Microsoft DP-300 Exam
Microsoft DP-300 is a qualifying exam for obtaining the Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator Associate certification. This test measures the skills and competence of the candidates in a range of tasks, including optimizing and monitoring operational resources, performing task automation, as well as implementing secure environments, among others.
The target audience for the Microsoft DP-300 exam is Data Management Specialists and Database Administrators. These professionals manage both the Cloud and on-premises relational databases created utilizing Microsoft Azure Data Services & Microsoft SQL Server. They also manage and implement the operational components of the hybrid & Cloud-native data platform solutions that are built on SQL Server and Azure Data Services. These individuals use various tools and techniques to perform the daily operations, such as applying knowledge utilizing T-SQL for the purposes of administrative management.
The applicants for the DP-300 certification exam can take it in the English, Simplified Chinese, Korean, or Japanese languages. The fee for this test is $165, which means that those individuals who do not achieve the passing score of 720 points will have to pay another fee to retake the exam. As for the structure, this test contains 40-60 questions covering different formats, including fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, case studies, and drag & drop, among others. To minimize the possibility of retaking the exam, the candidates must understand the topics covered in its content. For this purpose, Microsoft advises them to use all the resources available on its platform to prepare for the test with great deliberation.
First of all, the professionals can take the instructor-led training course, which is Administering Relational Database on Microsoft Azure. It offers the skills and knowledge required to administer the SQL server database infrastructures for the on-premises, Cloud & hybrid relational databases. There are also free online learning paths designed to equip the test takers with various skills that align with the domains of the certification exam. Moreover, it is recommended that the students use the official practice test during their preparation process to evaluate their knowledge and skills in the subject areas presented in the content before the real exam.
The students are required to perform certain technical functions in Microsoft DP-300 and must understand the domains of the overall content before they attempt this exam. All in all, 7 topics are enumerated below:
Planning & Implementing Data Platform Resources: 15-20%
- Use the manual methods to deploy resources – It includes deploying the database offerings on the specific platforms, applying the updates & patches for the IaaS and hybrid deployments, as well as configuring the customized template deployment;
- Recommend the proper database offering according to the specified requirements – The candidates should have the ability to evaluate the prerequisites for the deployments, functional impacts & benefits of the potential database offerings, as well as the scaling of these database offerings;
- Configure the resources for performance and scale – It measures the skills in configuring the Azure SQL elastic & database pools for performance and scale, measuring the database partitioning methods, and configuring Azure SQL Server within the Azure VMs & Azure SQL managed instances for performance and scale;
- Evaluate the strategy for moving to Azure – It includes the competence in measuring the prerequisites for migration, online/offline migration strategies, prerequisites for the upgrade, and online/offline upgrade strategies;
- Implement the upgrade or migration strategy for moving to Azure – It validates the expertise in implementing the online & offline upgrade and migration strategies.
Implementing a Secure Environment: 15-20%
- Utilize the database tools and platforms to configure the database authentication – It covers the skills in configuring the Azure Active Directory authentication & security principles as well as creating the users from the Azure Active Directory identities;
- Utilize the database tools and platforms to configure the database authorization – It includes configuring the object-level and database permissions with graphical tools and applying the principles of least privileges for securable;
- Implement security for at rest and in transit data – The applicants have to demonstrate their ability to implement Dynamic Data Masking, Transparent Data Encryption & object-level encryption, Always Encrypted, Azure Key Vault, as well as disk encryption for the Azure VMs;
- Implement compliance controls for sensitive data – It measures the test takers’ skills in applying the data classification strategy, configuring the database & server audits, and performing the vulnerability assessment.
Optimizing and Monitoring Operational Resources: 15-20%
- Monitor performance and activity – The learners should have the competence in preparing the baseline for operational performance, establishing the sources for performance metrics, configuring and monitoring the activity & performance on the infrastructure, service, database, and server levels;
- Identify the performance-related issues – It validates the skills in configuring Query Store for collating performance data, evaluating the fragmentation & growth of logs and database, as well as configuring the performance-related database parameters. It also covers the proficiency in configuring the service account settings and servers for performance;
- Configure the user database for the optimum performance – It requires that the individuals know how to demonstrate their competence in implementing the database-scoped configuration as well as configuring the IQP and compute resources for scaling;
- Implement the performance-related maintenance tasks – The examinees have to show their expertise in implementing the index, database, and statistics maintenance tasks as well as managing the storage capacity;
- Configure the resources for optimal performance – It includes the configuration of the infrastructure and storage resources, Resource Governor, and service account & server settings for performance.
Optimizing Query Performance: 5-10%
- Review the query plans – It requires the skills in defining the relevant execution plan types, extracting the query plans from Query Store, and identifying the problem areas in the execution plans;
- Review the table design and database index – It covers the competence in recognizing the data quality issues with data duplication, recognizing the normal forms of database tables, evaluating the index design for performance, recommending the index and table storage such as filegroups, and measuring the table partitioning strategy;
- Evaluate the improvements of performance – It tests the applicants’ ability to identify the performance issues utilizing Dynamic Management Views, implement the index changes for the queries, as well as assess the usage of the hints for the query performance.
Performing Task Automation: 10-15%
- Design the scheduled tasks – The students should demonstrate their competence in managing the schedules for the standard maintenance jobs as well as configuring the multi-server automation and notifications for task non-completion/failure/success;
- Implement and evaluate the notification & alert strategy – It includes the skills in creating the event notifications according to the metrics and event notifications for the Azure resources as well as creating the tasks that deal with the event notifications;
- Automate and manage the tasks within Azure – It covers the expertise in performing the automated deployment techniques for the resources, implementing the policies utilizing the automated measurement modes, automating the performance patching & tuning, and automating the backups.
Planning and Implementing the High Availability and Disaster Recovery (HADR) Environments: 15-20%
- Recommend the HADR strategy for data platform solutions – It includes recommending the HADR strategy according to the RTO/RPO prerequisites and measuring the Azure-focused HADR solutions & HADR for the hybrid deployments;
- Evaluate the HADR strategy with the help of the Platform, database, and OS tools – It covers your skills in testing HA with failover or restore;
- Use the database tools to restore a database and perform backup – It evaluates the candidates’ expertise in performing database backup & restore with the options and configuring the long-term retention of backup;
- Use the database, platform, and OS tools to configure HADR – It requires the competence in integrating databases into Availability Group, configuring the quorum alternatives for WINDOWS Server Failover Cluster, and creating Always On Availability Group.
Using T-SQL to Perform Administration: 10-15%
- Examine the system health – It validates the test takers’ skills in examining the database and server health with DVMS as well as utilizing DBCC to perform the database consistency checks;
- Use T-SQL to restore the database and perform backup – It covers the ability to perform the transaction log backup & user database restore and prepare the databases for Always On Availability Groups;
- Use the T-SQL to manage authentication – This includes the skills in managing the security principles and certifications;
- Use T-SQL to manage authorization – It measures the applicants’ proficiency in configuring the permissions to enable the users to access the database objects as well as using the custom roles to configure permissions;
- Use T-SQL to monitor the database configuration – It covers the learners’ competence in reporting on the free space of database and reviewing the configuration options of database.
The certified professionals can establish a career in the Azure database administration and take up highly rewarding job roles. Some of the positions available to those specialists who obtain the Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator Associate certification include a Database Administrator, a Senior Systems Administrator, an Azure Infrastructure Architect, a Database Engineer, a SharePoint Administrator, and a SQL Database Administrator, among others. The average salary for these specialists is about $98,000 per annum.