About Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert Certification
The Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification is designed to validate the professionals’ knowledge and expertise in the design and implementation of solutions running on Microsoft Azure. They cover the areas, such as compute, security, storage, and network. To earn this certificate, the potential candidates must complete two exams, which are Microsoft AZ-303 and Microsoft AZ-304.
The target audience for this certification path includes the Azure solution architects and those individuals who have competence in advising the stakeholders and transforming the business requirements into scalable, reliable, and secure Cloud solutions. These specialists collaborate with the Cloud DBAs, Cloud administrators, and other stakeholders for the implementation of solutions.
It is recommended that the interested specialists have the mid-level skills and knowledge of the administration of Azure. They should also have a good understanding of the DevOps processes and Azure development. The candidates must possess the extensive skills and experience in the Information Technology operations, such as virtualization, business continuity, networking, security, identity, data platform, disaster recovery, governance, and budgeting.
Both the Microsoft AZ-303 and Microsoft AZ-304 exams contain 40-60 questions each. The format of these questions includes multiple choice, active screen, best answer, short answer, drag and drop, built list, hot area, and scenario-based. The candidates are given 180 minutes for the completion of each test. The passing score is 700 points on a scale of 100-1000. You can register and take these certification exams in English, Korean, Japanese, or Simplified Chinese. The registration and scheduling processes can be done on the Pearson VUE website for $165 for each test.
To help the applicants during their exam preparation, Microsoft recommends that they go through the official training resources. These include the paid courses and free learning paths. There are three official training courses for both the tests. These are Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies, Microsoft Azure Architect Design, and Microsoft Azure Technologies for AWS Architects. Each training option focuses on the exam topics and equips the students with the prerequisite knowledge required to ace their test at the first attempt. As for the free learning paths, they have nine different options focused on various domains of the exams. These learning paths contain several modules each that are designed to equip the candidates with the knowledge and skills to achieve success in the certification tests. The vendor also offers mock exams to help the individuals evaluate their understanding of the exam content. To improve your performance in the prerequisite tests, it is also recommended to explore other resources and training tools to adequately prepare for Microsoft AZ-303 and Microsoft AZ-304.
As stated, the candidates must pass two exams to get the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification. When reviewing the topics, it is critical to pay attention to the percentage attached to each area. It highlights the weight of questions that may be administered from such a topic. This means that the sections with higher percentages are likely to administer more questions than those with lower percentages.
Microsoft AZ-303 evaluates the knowledge and skills of the applicants in completing some technical tasks. These include the implementation and monitoring of Azure infrastructure, solutions for apps, data platforms, as well as security and management solutions. The details of these technical tasks are enumerated below:
Implementing & Monitoring Azure Infrastructures (50-55%)
- Implement the monitoring for Cloud infrastructure;
- Implement storage accounts;
- Implement virtual machines for Linux and Windows;
- Automate the configuration and deployment of resources;
- Implement virtual networking;
- Implement Azure AD;
- Implement & manage hybrid identities.
Implementing Security & Management Solutions (25-30%)
- Manage the workloads within Azure;
- Implement network security and load balancing;
- Manage and implement the governance solutions for Azure;
- Manage the security of various applications.
Implementing Core Solutions for Applications (10-15%)
- Implement an infrastructure’s application;
- Implement the container-based applications.
Managing & Implementing Data Platforms (10-15%)
- Implement the NoSQL databases;
- Implement the Microsoft Azure SQL databases.
The second exam (Microsoft AZ-304) measures the skills of the learners in designing monitoring, data storage, identity & security, infrastructure, as well as business continuity. The highlights of these topics are enumerated below:
Designing Monitoring (10-15%)
- Design for the cost optimization;
- Design solutions for monitoring and logging.
Designing Identity & Security (25-30%)
- Design authentication;
- Design governance;
- Design authorization;
- Design the security for applications.
Designing Data Storage (15-20%)
- Design solutions for databases;
- Design data integration;
- Choose the relevant storage accounts.
Designing Business Continuity (10-15%)
- Design solutions for recovery and backup;
- Design for high availability.
Designing Infrastructure (25-30%)
- Design compute solutions;
- Design network solutions;
- Design application architectures;
- Design migrations.
It is essential to point out that these are the highlights of the topics of two qualifying tests. It is recommended that the candidates go through the official website to download the exam blueprint. Even if you are using other training resources that seem to have all the details of the subject areas, it is still important that you review the official blueprint. This is due to the fact that Microsoft (like other IT vendors) reviews its content regularly to align with the latest trend in the industry.
The successfully certified professionals in the field of IT have access to a wide range of jobs. It is a known fact that with an IT certification, you can improve your career options and prospects in the industry. Therefore, with the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certificate, you can take up the job roles, such as a Technical Service Manager, a Senior Support Technician, an IT Technical Manager, an Azure Data Engineer, a Dynamics CRM Developer, an Infrastructure Engineer, and a Security Engineer, among others. The average salary for these positions is $119,487 per annum.