About AZ-303 Exam
The Microsoft AZ-303 is one of the two technical exams that along with the AZ-304 test earn a candidate the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification. The first exam is known as the Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies, while the second is the Microsoft Azure Architect Design. Exam AZ-303, in particular, is designed for those who want to earn the highest-tier certificate from Microsoft to excel high in knowledge and career through Azure Platform. Thus, to achieve this, the expected examinee should be well-informed about Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing service. More so, the Azure architects and developers with knowledge of networking, computing, storing, and securing the applications and data can look up to this exam to attain an honorable certificate.
Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert Certification Overview
So, as stated above, the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert designation can be gained by passing two exams, one of which is AZ-303. Having this certificate proves that the holder is capable of advising the stakeholders about the most effective, reliable, and scalable cloud solutions whenever required. All in all, the AZ-303 exam requires the candidate to have expert-level knowledge of networking, disaster recovery, data security along with knowledge of Azure administration and Azure development. Hence, earning this Microsoft validation is not just a matter of pride but also a wonderful opportunity to stand out and take the usefulness of the Azure platform to a higher level.
Approaching Exam AZ-303
In the first place, this test requires the potential examinee to have an in-depth understanding of IT operations. Also, the experience of the Azure development and the DevOps is considered crucial as the aim of the certification program is to create skillful minds to take every responsibility of cloud computing and its related affairs. The entry-level AZ-900 exam with its affiliated Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals certificate can be very much helpful to learn the basics, before approaching the AZ-303 exam but is not compulsory and doesn’t act as a prerequisite for the latter. Regarding the test format, the examinee gets 130-150 minutes to solve 40 to 60 questions. Most of these questions are based on the case studies pattern that primarily reflects the real-world problem scenarios. This, in particular, tests the examinee’s capability of identifying the problems to provide the best solutions in the given context. However, in the main evaluation, you can also find other question types like MCQs, hot area, drag and drop, and the like. To add more, one can take the official exam by logging into the Microsoft account by creating one and then paying the nominal charge, which is currently USD 165 with additional taxes. Note that the certificate’s validity starting with June 2021 will be only for 12 months, after which the renewal process should be observed to stay up to date with the latest knowledge & technology.
Topics Covered: Brief Outline
The Microsoft exam coded AZ-303 covers various topics that make one the expert in the related field. Particularly, it covers the subject matters related to Azure administration and development, which measure the ability of the candidate to perform various technical tasks. Such tasks may include supervising the Azure infrastructure, monitoring various management layers, and implementing effective security solutions along with managing various data platforms. Other topics include aspects like computing, networking, securing, storing, virtualization, disaster recovery, business continuity, to name a few.
Deeper Look at Exam Domains
As claimed above, the actual evaluation covers almost every skill that needs to be smoothened to work as an expert in the Azure environment. To be more specific, four domains are to be mastered thoroughly to pass the AZ-303 exam with high marks. They are:
- Implementation of the Azure infrastructure and monitoring it
This topic carries 50 to 55% of the total weightage of the exam and contains seven major sections:
- Deploying cloud infrastructure monitoring: This subdomain primarily focuses on monitoring the security, performance, health, availability, and cost of implementing the cloud infrastructure. It also relates to configuring advanced logging and logging for workloads and initiating automated response by using action groups along with configuring & managing the advanced alerts.
- Implementing the storage accounts: This is all about selecting the storage account based on a use case and configuring the Azure files and blob storage. Implementing the Azure storage replication and account failover is also part of this portion. The knowledge of configuring network access to the storage account and operating access keys is also equally important.
- Executing VMs for Windows and Linux: Right from configuring high availability and configuring storage for VMs, this tested area is all about choosing virtual machine size and using Azure Dedicated Hosts. It also includes configuring and deploying scale sets and configuring the Azure Disk Encryption.
- Deployment automation and the configuration of resources: Such a scope deals with saving a deployment as an Azure Resource Manager template and modifying it. Evaluating the location of new resources and configuring a virtual disk template also comes under this subdomain.
- Putting virtual networking into operation: An objective like this is all about Implementing VNet to VNet connections and skills related to the usage of VNet peering.
- Implementing Azure Active Directory: The knowledge related to adding custom domains and configuring fraud alerts, bypass options, and proofing methods all come under this subtopic. It is also related to using and operating the guest accounts and operating multiple directories.
- Putting into practice and managing the hybrid identities: This scope includes skills related to the installation and configuration of Azure AD connect and the identification of synchronization options. It also contains the topics to configure single sign-on and use Azure AD Connect health.
- Execution of various management and security solutions
This sector carries 25 to 30% of the total weightage of the AZ-303 test and contains four major subdomains as mentioned below:
- Management of workloads in Azure: It is all about migrating workloads using Azure Migrate and utilizing Azure Backup for VMs. It also contains skills related to disaster recovery and the implementation of Azure Update Management.
- Implementation of load balancing and network security: As the topic’s name suggests, it contains the concepts related to implementing Azure Load Balancer and an application gateway along with the deployment of Azure Firewall Manager. It also emphasizes implementing Azure Front Door Service and Traffic Manager.
- Deployment and management of Azure governance solutions: Such an area is about creating and managing the hierarchical structure of the management groups, subscription, and resource groups. The assignment of RBAC roles and creating the custom RBAC role also comes under the skills of this portion.
- Security management for applications: This part deals with implementing and configuring KeyVault, managed identities, and the management of applications in Azure AD.
- Implementation of solutions for applications:
This module carries 10 to 15% of the total content of the Microsoft AZ-303 exam which can further be divided into the following two submodules:
- Execution of the application infrastructure: The skills related to the creation and configuration of Azure App Service, the configuration of an app service, the implementation of the logic apps, and Azure Functions come under this chapter. The creation and management of deployment slots along with configuring networking for an app service also come under this submodule.
- Implementation of the container-based applications: Such an area is all about creating a container image, publishing a solution on an Azure Container Instance, and configuring the Azure Kubernetes Service.
- Putting into operation and the management of data platforms:
The weightage of this chapter in the AZ-303 exam is 10 to 15%. The two subdomains under this category are explained below in brief:
- Deployment of NoSQL databases: This subdomain deals with the configuration of storage account tables, selecting the appropriate CosmosDB APIs, and setting up replicas in CosmosDB.
- Implementation of Azure SQL databases: The skills related to the configuration of Azure SQL database settings, implementing Azure SQL Database managed instances, configuring HA for an Azure SQL database, and publishing an Azure SQL database, all come under this submodule.
Since the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert is the top Azure certification one can achieve from Microsoft, it can be a boon for the aspirants to flaunt their skills and prove themself to be the best minds for the Azure environment. The certification provides the candidate with a top-level job, anywhere in the IT world especially as a cloud administrator, DBA, or an advisor for stakeholders in implementing various solutions. In addition, this designation makes sure that you are capable of leading any Azure-based systems and environments. All in all, this is one of the high-paying certifications as the Azure Solutions Architect in the US can earn as much as $152k per year as claimed by ZipRecruiter. Still, one can earn a lot more once s/he masters her/his skills to the depth. So, it is considered fruitful to take both AZ-303 and AZ-304 and win the certificate of the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert.
As mentioned earlier, the Microsoft AZ-304 test should be taken to achieve the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert validation. Now, after this achievement, you are at the top of the table. You now have every weapon to defeat anyone in the IT world, especially in the Azure environment. Just go out there and flaunt your extraordinary skills like a boss.