Yesterday I sat the AZ-103 Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate exam and passed 🙂 I took it via the online proctored method to save going to an exam centre, and have a mixed feeling over this experience compared to previous ones.

The Good

  • I didn’t have to travel to an exam centre, as my local ones are all 45 minutes – 1 hour each way and parking is usually an issue.
  • I didn’t have to sit in an exam centre – these are usually in pretty run down locations, with ageing PCs, 4:3 screens still (!) on very old Dell PCs, and the heating / cooling is nearly always wrong, or another exam candidate is making noises, rocking the row of tables, etc
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Overview of Azure services:https://nnmer.github.io/azure-services-map/dist/

Azure-links on GitHub: https://github.com/BMichaelJ/Azure-links

Azure Certifications: https://iainfielding.com/azure-certifications/

Microsoft Azure Documentation: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/azure/

Microsoft Learning on GitHub: https://github.com/MicrosoftLearning

AZ-103 – Microsoft Azure Administrator

Skylines Academy Azure Study Resources (Powershell Reference Guide, Naming Standards and Tagging, AZ-103 Study Material Links):
https://www.skylinesacademy.com/azure-study-resources/

Since I posted this post (Transitioning to AWS), I completed the Udemy course, did plenty of hands on and proof of concepts to enable me to learn, I soon after discovered Azure. This was totally by chance – I went to a Cloud Meetup group in London where both AWS & Azure solutions were discussed, and curiosity got the better of me. I started by using the free credits by Microsoft on the trial account (which are only valid for 1 month), but immediately I was hooked. I was creating Virtual Networks, Network Security Groups, VMs, Load Balancers, reading how to create hybrid clouds, how to migrate from on premise servers to Azure using Azure Site Recovery, and how to automate deployment with ARM templates. Instantly this felt much more mature and a better rounded solution than AWS. Microsoft really has come a long way since Azure was first launched.

So this lead me to investigate the certification route, and I have decided to take the following exams:

70-533 – Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions – Exam LinkBook (Released Feb 2018)

70-534 – Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions – Exam LinkBook (Released April 2018)

So with new books not due to be released for a few months, we can only assume the exams will be going through a refresh – I will guess by removing or reducing the amount on the Classic Portal and focusing on the new Azure Portal.

 

So what am I currently doing with Azure other than labbing? Well I’ve moved my production servers to it already, I am working with a local charity to move some ageing Windows and Linux servers hosted in their office and in a DC to design a solution and migrate to Azure, and I am working with a small MSP to help them satisfy an Azure migration requirement/opportunity with a customer, and enjoying it.