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Microsoft AZ-301 is the second test in a series of two exams that the candidates have to pass to earn the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification.
Microsoft AZ-301: Who is the target audience?
The potential candidates for this exam are the Azure Solution Architects who have some experience in designing and implementing those solutions that function on Microsoft Azure, such as compute, security, storage, and network. These professionals are responsible for translating the business needs into reliable, secure, and scalable Cloud solutions. Their main task is to advise the stakeholders and collaborate with the Cloud DBAs, clients, and Cloud administrators to implement business solutions.
Microsoft AZ-301: What are the prerequisites?
To pursue this certification path, you should possess advanced knowledge and experience in various areas of IT operations, including identity, security, virtualization, networking, budgeting, data management, disaster recovery, and business continuity. The applicants must also have extensive knowledge and skills in at least one of the Azure knowledge domains, which include development, administration, and DevOps.
Microsoft AZ-301: What are the exam details?
The Microsoft AZ-301 exam is available in Japanese, Simplified Chinese, English, and Korean. The fee for this test is $165, and the students are required to schedule it on Pearson VUE. Just like other Microsoft exams, this one contains 40-60 questions and the time allocated for the completion is 150 minutes. The candidates can expect a variety of question types during the delivery of this certification test. These include multiple choice, drag and drop, case studies, build list, short answer, and best answer, among others. The minimum passing score for Microsoft AZ-301 is 700 points.
Microsoft AZ-301: What are the exam topics?
The AZ-301 certification exam is developed to evaluate the candidates’ ability to accomplish certain technical tasks. The topics with the associated percentages are as follows:
Determining Workload Requirements: 10-15%
- Gather requirements and information: the candidates should be able to identify configurability; compliance requirements; access and identity management infrastructure; accessibility requirements; service-oriented architectures; availability requirements; scalability requirements and capacity planning; deployability; governance requirements; maintainability requirements; security requirements; sizing requirements. They need to know how to create scenarios, measure products and services to be in line with the solution, as well as recommend modifications in the course of project execution.
- Optimize a consumption strategy: this covers skills in optimizing app service costs, compute costs, identity costs, network costs, and storage costs.
- Design a monitoring and auditing strategy: this requires skills in defining logical groupings for resources to be examined; determining storage locations and levels for logs; planning for integration using monitoring tools; recommending the relevant monitoring tools for solutions; specifying the mechanism for escalation and event routing; design traceability requirements and auditing policies as well as auditing for compliance requirements.
Designing for Identity & Security: 20-25%
- Design identity management: this involves choosing an identity management technique; designing an identity delegation strategy and identity repository; designing persona and user provisioning and self-service identity management; defining personas and roles; recommending relevant access control strategy.
- Design authentication: the skills involved include choosing an authentication technique; designing a single sign-on technique; design for IPSec authentication, multi-factor authentication, Logon authentication, network access authentication, and remote authentication.
- Design authorization: this covers one’s skills in selecting an authorization technique; defining access privileges and permissions; designing secure delegated access; recommending how and when to utilize API Keys.
- Design for risk prevention for identity: this entails designing a risk assessment strategy; evaluating agreements that involve products or services from contractors and vendors; updating solutions design to mitigate and address changes in existing security policies, guidelines, procedures, and standards.
- Design a monitoring strategy for security and identity: this requires skills in designing for alert notifications, alert and metric strategies, as well as recommending authentication monitors.
Designing a Data Platform Solutions: 15-20%
- Design a data management strategy: this entails skills in choosing between unmanaged and managed data store, as well as between non-relational and relational databases; designing data auditing caching strategies; identifying data attributes; designing for data availability, data retention policy, data consistency, data durability, and data warehouse strategy.
- Design a data protection strategy: this involves recommending geographic data storage; designing an encryption strategy for data at rest, data in transmission, and data in use; designing secure access to data, data loss prevention policy, and scalability strategy for data.
- Design and document data flows: this entails identifying data flow prerequisites; designing data flow to fulfill the business requirements, data flow solutions, and data export and import strategies; create a data flow diagram.
- Design a monitoring strategy for a data platform: this requires the learners’ skills in designing for alert notifications and alert and metric strategies as well as monitoring Azure Data Factory pipelines.
Designing a Business Continuity Strategy: 10-15%
- Design a site recovery strategy: this covers skills in designing a recovery solution, site recovery capacity, storage replication, site recovery replication policy, site failover, and failback, and site recovery network; recommending recovery objectives for RTO, RPO, and RLO; identifying resources requiring site recovery.
- Design for high availability: candidates should have the ability to design for autoscaling, application redundancy, data center and fault domain redundancy, and network redundancy; identify storage types for high-availability and resources requiring high-availability.
Designing for Deployment, Integration, and Migration: 10-15%
- Design deployment: this covers competence in designing a computer deployment strategy, storage deployment strategy, messaging solution deployment strategy, container deployment strategy, data platform deployment strategy, and web app and service deployment strategy.
- Design migration: this requires skills in a migration strategy, application migration method, data transfer method, network connectivity method, migration scope, application and data compatibility, as well as data import/export strategies.
- Design an API integration strategy: the skills required include designing an API gateway strategy; determining policies for external and internal APIs consumption; recommending hosting structures for API management.
Designing an Infrastructure Strategy: 15-20%
- Design a storage strategy: this covers one’s skills in a storage provisioning strategy; storage access strategy; storage requirements; storage solution; storage management tools.
- Design a computer strategy: the skills covered are designing a compute provisioning strategy, secure compute strategy, and Azure HPC environment; recommending management tools for computer; determining relevant compute technologies; identifying compute requirements.
- Design a network strategy: this involves skills in designing a network provisioning strategy and network security strategy recommending network management tools and network security solutions; identifying network requirements and determining relevant network connectivity technologies.
- Design a monitoring strategy for infrastructure: this covers the individuals’ skills in designing for alert notifications and alert and metrics strategies.
Microsoft AZ-301: What are career opportunities?
The job roles that any professional with the associated certification can take up include a Solution Architect, an Azure Developer, and an Azure Data Solution Architect. Depending on the position and experience level, a certified specialist can earn an average of about $120,000 per annum.
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