A Small Guide on Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900)

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Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900)

What is Microsoft Azure Fundamentals?

The Microsoft Azure Fundamentals is a role-based certification path. It validated a candidate’s primary level knowledge of Azure and it’s services. The AZ-900 exam is a necessary qualifier for gaining this certification. The exam is considerably lighter in comparison to the other certification exam in the Azure series. Candidates both from a technical and nontechnical background are eligible for the certification.
The Microsoft Azure Fundamentals does not require any specific prerequisites. Experience in cloud and programming may not be a necessity. This certification is suitable for those who may be engaged in the sale and purchase of cloud services. While the exam is an excellent precursor to Other Azure certifications it is not a compulsory prerequisite for those certifications. For IT professionals, in particular, the certification exam can be a decent start for the rather significant Azure roles of developer, system administrator, solution architect, etc. 

Understand Cloud Concepts

The Cloud concepts bear 15-20% of the certification exam. This involves understanding

Availability which is primarily how long a service would be running undeterred by any hold up. 

Resiliency of a system refers to its capacity to handle and manage operations in severely daunting situations. Planned or unplanned system maintenance, disasters, software updates etc are some of the interruptions and abnormality that can be anticipated. 

Latency, bandwidth, scalability, cloud agility, fault tolerance, disaster recoveries are some of the cloud concepts that are relevant to this segment of the certification. 

Understand the differences between Capital Expenditure (CapEx) and Operational Expenditure (OpEx) which is basically the expenditure of money on physical infrastructure and services and products respectively. While CapEx has an upfront cost this is not the case with OpEx.

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Describe the differences between Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

describe Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

IaaS rents hardware that runs applications and its computing and management occurs over the internet making it a flexible cloud service. 

describe Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

PaaS allows the building, testing and deployment of software applications. The development and deployment over cloud allows the user to evade the management of infrastructure involved in the creation of an application.

describe Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

SaaS is of use to the customer and its application is hosted and managed eventually for the customer.

Describe the differences between Public, Private and Hybrid cloud models

Describe Public cloud

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Public Cloud resources can be availed by multiple organizations. The availability and connectivity is spanned over the internet.  

Describe Private cloud

Private cloud resources are exclusive to a particular organization which is also responsible for the maintenance and management of the hardware. The connectivity is over a secure private network.

Describe Hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud reserves certain resources for the private cloud while the rest remain available on the multiple user Public Cloud. Cost can be leveraged and  the management control is retained by the private cloud. 

Microsoft Azure AZ-900 Exam Information

Microsoft classifies its exam specifically on the basis of their role and function. There is a concession in the exam fee for a Microsoft Certified Trainer or particular members of Microsoft Imagine Academy Program, Microsoft Partner Network Program. Any candidate would have to score a minimum of 700 marks in order to qualify for the certification exam. The score is revealed to the candidate immediately after the exam has been attempted. However, a detailed analysis of the performance of the candidate in the exam is provided later. The analysis is accompanied by instructions that direct how one can interpret their performance.

Cancellation or rescheduling of the exam would be free of cost if it is done six business days prior to the schedule. 

How to prepare for the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals ?

Microsoft Learning Platform :-

The Microsoft Learning Platform is a resourceful portal for candidates since it entails all the relevant information on Microsoft Certifications here. The Portal contains the exam modules, registration option, exam structure, and its policies, updates regarding exam schedule, etc. 

The modules in the learning path contain Principles of cloud computing, Introduction to Azure, its architecture and services, compute, data storage and network option, cost optimizing and spending for Azure. Etc. 

Microsoft Documentation :-

Microsoft Documentation can be understood as a different segment with learning pages than the Microsoft Learning Portal. The documentation contains detailed learning pages specifically for Azure Fundamentals. All relevant and pertinent cloud-related concepts such as Scalability, Elasticity, Disaster Recovery, Fault Tolerance, Agility, etc. are elaborately discussed. Also, the Azure services such as those on security, network, compute and storage are available. The documentation is an excellent introductory space, to begin with, the preparation for AZ-900 exam. 

Instructor-led Training :-

The Microsoft Learning Portal offers access to Instructor-led training for the preparation. The training course named  “Course AZ-900 T01-A: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals” should be referred by any candidate who intends to attempt this exam. However, the course prerequisites general IT knowledge. The training session is conducted according to the candidate’s convinces and requirements. It is a single day session and only requires a candidate to find a training partner.

Forums and Study Groups :-

A forum for AZ-900 is unavailable on the Microsoft Learning Portal. Candidates, therefore, can look into online forums on other platforms that discuss doubts and elaborate on key issues with Azure Solutions in their discussions. 

Sample Tests :-

Sample tests would be valuable to determine the level of one’s preparation. Candidates must attempt to acquire such sample tests that retain the standards and parameters of the original certification exam. A comparative approach in the selection of the sample tests available online should be of use. 

Books and Reports :-

It would also be advisable for candidates to find the latest books published by Microsoft itself that

 Contains the updated resources on the certification exam. The Azure notifications also aware candidates regarding any update related to the certification. This can be insightful and informative for the uninitiated. 

While role based exams require former experience in the field, AZ-900 is exempt of any such prerequisite. The preparation process can be an insightful initiative and be valuable for further certifications in Azure. 

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