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Want to become Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect – Pass Microsoft AZ-301 Exam Now. Microsoft Solutions Architect Certification has been built to test your proficiency and skills required in the job field including virtualization, networking, data management, security, identity, budgeting, disaster recovery, governance etc. For getting the Microsoft Azure Solution Architect certification, it is important to pass AZ-300 and AZ-301.
To build a career in cloud computing, you will find almost all major cloud services providers offering career paths and certification. But Microsoft Azure is a single cloud service provider that offers role- based certification that are specially designed according to market requirements and the job roles. Microsoft Certified Solutions Architect has become a prominent job titles in the IT industry.
Why Microsoft Azure AZ-301 Exam?
According to a predictions, nearly 80% of all enterprise workloads will move to the cloud by 2025. Nowadays people are more focused on the usage of cloud services, enjoying the features the services by sharing, storing and accessing their data from anywhere around the globe.
In order to pass Microsoft Azure Architect Design: AZ-301 exam, it is crucial to test your prior knowledge in Azure administration, Azure development, and DevOps with experts level skills in at least one of the above mentioned domains.
Microsoft Azure AZ-301 Exam Overview
Well the obvious fact is cloud computing is the future and companies like Microsoft is among the leading industries that are boosting this industry. Microsoft provides you with a vast variety of certification courses and Microsoft azure architect design: AZ-301 is one of them. But before you get too excited and are ready to take on the world. Hold the thought. Let’s just understand what AZ-301 is all about.
Exam AZ-301: Microsoft Azure Architect Design is basically for architects who have already cleared AZ-300 exam. Remember if you want to become Microsoft Azure Solution Architect then it is a must to pass both AZ-300 and AZ-301. Microsoft Azure AZ-301 exam will validate your skills in highly developed understanding and familiarity across various aspects of IT operations, including networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data management, budgeting, and governance.
The certification suitable for the business holders who wish to leverage cloud servers and who want to utilize a vast array of smart services to work at level and at cheaper costs than on-premises at their location. AZ-301 exam covers advanced topics that a Solutions Architect will need to be acquainted with to use Microsoft Azure as their cloud platform for any task.
In this particular article we will talk about what Microsoft Azure Architect Design AZ-301 exam is all about and the tips and tricks to crack AZ-301 Exam, together with various learning resources to prepare for the exam.
What is the difference between Microsoft Azure AZ-300 and AZ-301 Exam?
First thing first, Microsoft Azure AZ-300 exam is known as ‘Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies’. Whereas Microsoft Azure AZ-301 exam is known as ‘Microsoft Azure Architect Design’. Noticing the difference between both the names? If you go through the official site of Microsoft and check out the skill mentioned sections of the particular exam. Here you will notice similar topics but not same for obvious reason.
But you surely figure out that that AZ-301 exam is more inclined towards designing and planning for azure implementations. We will further define each modules to ease your learning.
Before we go ahead and make our way through AZ-301 exam. Let’s just acquire a good understanding about every minute detail for Microsoft Azure Architect Design exam. This is for your own benefit so that you that miss on anything. So just start by noting all the basic information about AZ-301 exam. Let’s get started.
Prerequisites for AZ-301 Exam
Microsoft Azure Architect Design AZ-301 exam is a part of Azure Solution Architect Expert. So in order to be a certified expert you need to pass AZ-300 first. Without clearing AZ-300 you won’t be allowed to appear for AZ-301 exam. This is an expert level certification so you can’t go wrong here. You have to be extremely proficient in your skills such as networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data management, budgeting, and governance. This particular role requires your managing skills of how decisions in each area can affect an overall solution.
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Exam Course Outline
Microsoft Azure Architect Design AZ-301 Exam also follows a similar structure to any other Azure role based exam. If you have already appeared for azure role base exam before then you don’t have to bother much about the exam policies, pattern, scoring and other related topics. But all of you who have no idea, not to make a big fuss. We have explained each and every topic with very ease so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Although the number of questions in the exam Microsoft AZ-301 is not fixed, but you can expect around 40 – 60 questions. Duration of Microsoft Azure Architect Design AZ-301 exam is only 150 minutes. So you need to complete it on time to clear it once for all.
Microsoft Azure AZ-301 Exam Details
|Exam Name||Microsoft Azure Architect Design (AZ-301)|
|Prerequisites||Pass Microsoft AZ-300 Exam|
|Exam Cost||$165 USD*|
|Exam Duration||150 Minutes|
|Total Questions||40-60 Questions|
So let’s first start by acquiring the basic knowledge of all the modules one by one. Since the exam is an expert level certification, so it’s going to be difficult. Don’t take it lightly. Therefore Microsoft structures different modules so that it is easy to adapt and structure their preparation accordingly. All the modules are mentioned below.
A little heads up for you people – The content of this exam was updated on December 4, 2019 and these are the revised skills.
Module 1: Determining Workload Requirements
The first and foremost module covers about 10-15% of the exam. This module has been sub categorized under three more topics.
- First topics is all about gathering information and requirements about various azure resources such as compliance requirements and identifying and accessing management infrastructure, service-oriented architectures ,accessibility requirements , availability requirements , capacity planning and scalability requirements , deploy-ability requirements ,configurability , governance requirements , maintainability requirements , identify security requirements and sizing requirements. It also recommends changes during project execution and then evaluates products and services to align with solution to create testing scenarios.
- Second subtopic is all about optimizing consumption strategies which include app service costs, compute costs, identity costs, network costs and storage costs.
- Third subtopic includes designing an auditing and monitoring all strategies. In this first you have to define all logical grouping (tags) for resources that are to be monitored. Then we have to determine level and storage location for all logs. Accordingly planning for integration with monitoring tools, making sure appropriate monitoring tools are used for solutions. Now specifying mechanism for any event of routing and escalation. Lastly you are required to design auditing for compliance, policies and traceability.
Module 2: Identity and Security Design
This particular module is one of the most important among all. Since this module covers about 20-25% of the exam. This is further divided into 5 subtopics. Let’s started with this one.
- First subtopic is called designing identity management. So as the name suggests you have to get a deep understanding of identity delegation strategy and identity repository. Plus designing self-service identity management as well as user and persona provisioning. But before this you also have to choose and identity management approach. After then defining roles and persona that can recommend appropriate access control strategy.
- Next comes design authentication for which you have to choose an authentic approach to design a single-sign on approach, IPSec authentication, logon authentication, multi-factor authentication, network access authentication and lastly remote authentication.
- After design authentication comes design authorization. In this also you have to first choose an appropriate authorization approach and then define the access permission, privilege and secure delegate access. Finally recommending when and how to use API keys.
- Forth subtopic is designing for risk prevention for identity. For this first you need to design a risk assessment strategy. After that evaluation of agreements involving services or products from vendors and contractors. Last part in this to update solution design to address and mitigate changes in existing security policies, standards, guidelines and procedures.
- Last but not the least this subtopic is all about designing a monitoring strategy for identity and security. This includes designing for alert notifications, alert and metric strategies. In the end recommending authentication monitors.
Module 3: Data Platform Solution Designing
This particular module is relevantly important too, as this covers almost 15-20% of AZ-301 exam. This module comprises of just four subtopics, which are as follows.
- Starting with data management strategy designing. In this you first have to choose managed and unmanaged data store as well as between relational and non-relational databases. Again going through the key concepts of designing such as data auditing strategy, data caching strategy, data retention policy, data availability, data consistency, data durability and data warehouse strategy. Next identifying data attributes and recommending database service tier sizing.
- Next comes data protection strategy designing. Start this with recommending geographical data storage and next designing. Yes it’s all about designing here. Design of encryption strategy for data at rest, in transmission, data in use, scalability strategy for data, secure access to data and data loss prevention (DLP) policy.
- Third subcategory is designing and documenting data flows. First identify data flow requirements and then creating a data flow diagram. Next comes designing of a data flow to meet business requirements, data flow solutions and data import and export strategy.
- Last comes designing of monitoring strategy for the data platform. In this designing of alert notification and metric strategy. Finishing off with monitoring Azure Data Factory pipelines.
Module 4: Business Continuity Strategy Designing
This section has a weight age of 10-15% in the exam. Further categorized under three basic subcategories.
- Site recovery strategy designing is the first subcategory falling under this section which includes designing recovery solution, site recovery replication policy, site recovery capacity, r storage replication, and site failover and failback and site recovery network. This also recommends recovery objectives (Azure, on-prem, hybrid, Recovery Time Objective (RTO), Recovery Level Objective (RLO), and Recovery Point Objective (RPO)) and geographical distribution strategy. Identification of resources that require site recovery, supported and unsupported workloads.
- Secondly subcategorized as designing for high availability. Designing of application redundancy, auto scaling, data center and fault domain redundancy and network redundancy identification of resources that require high availability, storage types for high availability, disaster recovery strategy for individual workloads, failover/failback scenarios and resources that require backup. Also requires document recovery. A geographical availability strategy is also recommended.
- Last subcategory is defined as designing of data archiving strategy which includes identification of business compliance requirements for data archiving, requirements for data archiving and SLA(s) for data archiving. Storage types and methodology for data archiving is highly recommended.
Module 5: Designing for Deployment, Migration, and Integration
This module is equally important as are the above mentioned modules for Microsoft AZ-301 exam. Though this module only covers 10-15% of the AZ-301 exam. Its also includes some of the important topics. Let’s get this over this people.
- First category under this is deployment designing which includes designing of compute deployment strategy, container deployment strategy, data platform deployment strategy, messaging solution deployment strategy, storage deployment strategy, web app and service deployment strategy.
- Now comes migration designing. A migration strategy is definitely recommended and designing of data import/export strategies during migration. Moreover you have to also determine the appropriate application migration method, the appropriate data transfer method, the appropriate network connectivity method, migration scope, including redundant, related, trivial, and outdated data and also application and data compatibility.
- Last subcategory here is designing an API integration strategy. First stop here is design an API gateway strategy. Also determining e policies for internal and external consumption of APIs. A hosting structure for API management is highly recommended.
Module 6: Infrastructure Strategy Designing
15-20% of the questions in Microsoft AZ-301 exam are going to come from this particular section. This is also further divided into four sections.
- Starting with storage strategy designing includes identification of storage requirements. Designing of storage provisioning strategy and storage access strategy. A storage solution and management tools is recommended.
- Coming next is compute strategy designing which includes designing of compute provisioning strategy , a secure compute strategy and Azure HPC environment. Also identification of compute requirements. Determination of appropriate compute technologies. This section also recommends management tools for compute too.
- Now coming to networking strategy designing. First identifying networking requirements. Then designing network provisioning strategy and network security strategy. Appropriate network connectivity technologies are also determined. Network management tools and security solutions are highly recommended.
- Finally comes designing of monitoring strategy for infrastructure. Here you need to have understanding of designing of alert notifications and alert and metrics strategy.
By looking at this long list of modules, you can easily guess this exam needs a fully focused preparation. And the moment you feel you’re ready to appear for AZ-301 exam, just schedule. It’s that simple. Isn’t it? Ok, maybe not the preparation part.
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Process of Exam Scoring for AZ-301
So for you to obtain expert certification in Microsoft Azure Architect Design, you have to score the minimum of 700 out of 1000. Scoring above 700 is always appreciated to boost your confidence. Scoring below 700 will not be counted as passed. Your remarks can be seen easily after few moments of you submitting the exam. But in case you’re eager to know about the detailed the exam report of yours then you have to wait for a few days. Your scorecard will contains detail of your overall performance of your exam you’ve undertaken.
Retake Policy for AZ-301 Exam
In case you weren’t able to pass the AZ-301 exam in the first attempt. Don’t feel bad. You can always go for a retest. But we would recommend going for retest again only if you’re really sure about your preparation this time. So this time don’t be anxious and put your best foot forward. So according to Microsoft –
- If any person is unable to attain a passing score on the exam the first time, then person must wait for at least 24 hours before rearranging the exam again.
- If any person is unable to attain the passing score the second time too, the candidate must wait for at least 14 days before rescheduling the exam a third time.
A 14-day waiting time is also compulsory for the fourth and fifth consequent exam retakes. No examiner is allowed to appear for given exam any more than five times per year (12 months). The 12-month time period starts on the last or fifth unsuccessful exam retake. Only after that the examiner is again eligible to retake the exam 12 months from that date. To attempt this exam more than five times per year or to have the time between attempts waived, then candidate should request and obtain prior permission from Microsoft. Requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But we wouldn’t want you to go through this. So buckle up and let’s pass AZ-301 exam.
Cancellation Policy for AZ-301 Exam
Some of the cases of cancellation include –
- In case you plan to cancel or reschedule any slot, then it should be done at least 6 business days before the scheduled exam time, so that there are no charges for the cancellation.
- In case there is any cancellation or rescheduling within 5 business days, then you will be charged a nominal fee.
- In case you fail to reschedule or cancel the appointment 24 hours before the scheduled time then the entire exam fee will be forfeited. So be careful!
Exam Pricing for AZ-301
If you are a resident of United States then, fee for appearing for Microsoft Azure Architecture Design AZ-301 is 165 dollars. This pricing changes from country to country. As the applicable taxes are not included in the fee, so make sure you confirm with your exam provider for an exact fee. In case you are a student, you’re entitled for a fee reduction in the AZ-301 exam only if you will submit your valid educational credentials.
How to schedule AZ-301 Exam?
Can you feel your heart pounding yet? Well you’re ready now. Let’s do this.
You need to follow the given steps in the process of scheduling the exam –
- Go to the Microsoft portal and register for your exam.
- When you are done with preparations go ahead and schedule your exam by clicking on the “schedule exam” link.
- Fill all your details on the next page.
- You can select the exam delivery option on the page of Pearson VUE, Microsoft’s exam partner.
- Your registration will complete once there’s a confirmation on the payment of your exam fee.
Azure Training and Certification Path
Prepare for AZ-301 exam
Getting certified for your knowledge and skills will boost your confidence and provide you with immense credibility. This will prove as a stamp of approval. So before preparing make sure you’re aware for every AZ-301 exam details. Right preparation path will allow you to pass AZ-301 exam in the very first attempt. That’s exactly what we want right?
Use the following preparation guide to pass AZ-301 Exam
Learning Resource 1 – Microsoft Learning Platform
Now that you are mentally prepared, first make sure you go through the official website of Microsoft. For AZ-301 exam you are required to first go through the most trusted website to get the authentic information about the exam. You can easily locate the AZ-301 page where you go through all the necessary information about the exam. From exam pattern to all the included modules and study materials can be spotted on the portal itself.
Free online course is also available on the Microsoft website itself. In short, every detail regarding exam can be located there for you.
Learning Resource 2 – Microsoft Documentation
Now make sure you don’t mix Microsoft documentation with Microsoft learning portal as both of these contain different learning pages. By using Microsoft documentation you can easily understand Microsoft azure expert’s solution architect fundamentals. Moreover you can also get to know the different scale of different azure services. This will make sure that you are working by the clock and learning so much new to azure technologies offered by experts directly to you.
Learning Resources 3 – Instructor Led Training
While you’re at it make sure you go through the instructor led training located on the Microsoft portal. Now what’s best in this resource is that you will find exactly to the point same modules for AZ-301 exam. Some of the advantages of instructor led training is facility to have on-demand classroom training. If you’re juggling so many chores and fear you might skip one, then this will enable you to arrange classes according to your convenience. Isn’t this cool? Who offers you that? So the moment you are able to find Microsoft training partner, now you just have to head towards their website for booking training sections.
Therefore for your convenience Microsoft has come with an Instructor-led format to aid your AZ-301 exam preparation into 4 categories. Details for each one is mentioned below –
- AZ-301T01: The course will help you in managing security and identity in Azure infrastructure. Moreover, information regarding integrating multiple Azure SaaS solutions into existing Azure solutions.
- AZ-301T02: you management skills of Azure Data platform will be polished here. You will understand how to compare and contrast different Azure database options, locate available data streaming options for very large data ingest and find out the long term data storage options.
- AZ-301T03: In this module you will learn to deploy an ARM template to a resource group, authoring complex deployment with the aid of Azure building block tools, integrating a Logic app or API with the API Management services.
- AZ-301T04: so in the last one, you’re going to go through DNS & IP strategies of VNETs in Azure, compare connectivity tools for ad-hoc and hybrid connectivity, distributing network traffic across multiple loads with the help of load balancers, and finally designing hybrid connectivity scenario between on-premise and cloud.
Learning Resource 4 – Books and Online Resources
We understand your concern towards AZ-301 exam. Since this is relatively more into designing than technology. So for you to become an Azure Solution Architect, you can always order books online from trusted websites. But there is scarcity of genuine books for AZ-301 exam. So if you make a choice of buying any book for the same, make sure you search your options well.
Learning Resource 5 – Forums and Study Groups
This particular step is not mandatory to your preparation. This step of joining any study group or forum depends on you. At any point while preparing you can join any study group. But this can always turn out in your favor. Study groups will make sure you are connected to all other people who are also going through the same journey as yours. You can always ask question related to topic you’re having difficulty with. Many people in study groups can also help you understand any query you have relating to AZ-301 exam.
Learning Resource 6 – Sample Tests
Finally, we’re on the last step for the preparation of AZ-301 exam. This final step will give you the exact insight of where you stand. Are you ready to self evaluate? Make sure you’re going through sample tests only after you have gone through the whole syllabus. All the sample test mock/test/ practice tests are designed in such a way that you encounter the real exam environment around you. After completing sample tests you can easily understand the areas you’re lacking behind and work upon them. Practice papers can be from various sources. Remember the more you test yourself the better you’re going to become. So start now.
Finally! The day has finally arrived. Not to panic. We know you’ve been studying well and have been preparing for so long. You’re going to get through this. We believe in you. Just remember a few things while attempting exam.
- Don’t come under any pressure. You won’t be able to concentrate in the exam well.
- Don’t over think. Feeling anxious is totally normal, but try to remain calm.
- Just relax; you’re going to be okay.
If you’re aspired to advance your career and are motivated to follow your dreams. Microsoft Azure Administrator AZ-301 certification will be the last and final step in your journey to become Microsoft Azure Solution Architect. Certification courses like AZ-301 will not only prove that you have the skills required for the job but will also showcase your commitment towards your dreams and aspiration. Training and certification do impact your profession positively in terms of financial benefits too.
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