About AZ-304 Exam
Microsoft Exam AZ-304: Microsoft Azure Architect Design targets IT professional that aim to earn the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification. It’s one of the two exams required for obtaining this designation. Exam AZ-304 exam is all about building and using solutions that run on Microsoft Azure and contains aspects like security, network, and storage.
Related Certification Overview
As described above, the AZ-304 exam is directly related to the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert accreditation. However, you must also take AZ-303 exam, that deals with Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies. It will validate your technical skills to work with an Azure infrastructure, apply security solutions, operate data platforms to mention a few. Only after passing these two exams you can be certified as an Azure Solutions Architect Expert. This expert cooperates with cloud DBAs, cloud administrators and clients to offer and apply solutions.
All the candidates intended to pass Microsoft AZ-304 should have knowledge and skills related to the implementation and design of solutions running on Microsoft Azure. Anyway, all applicants must have advanced knowledge and experience in such IT operations as security, virtualization, budgeting, identity, data platform, networking, business continuity, as well as disaster recovery. Furthermore, candidates for this role should have expert-level Azure administration skills as well as experience with DevOps processes and Azure development.
General Exam Format
The Microsoft AZ-304 test contains 40-60 questions that should be answered within 150 minutes. The exact number of the questions included, as well as the types you’ll know at the actual exam as it’s subject to change. To pass you must score at least 700 points on a scale of 1 –1000. This way, you will achieve a chance to validate your technical skills in designing and applying solutions to issues that might arise.
It is important to note that during the registration process candidates must pay the exam fee of $165. Still, be aware that the price depends on the location where the final exam is proctored. Moreover, the above amount does not include any applicable tax that could arise while enrolling for the test in your country.
As the Microsoft AZ-304 exam is associated with an advanced designation, it requires some skills and knowledge to be eligible to pass this official test on the first try. To do this, it is recommended that you read the exam content available on Microsoft's website. But keep in mind that on May 25, 2021, another update to the list of topics and questions is announced.
The following are the modules in which an actual AZ-304 exam is constructed.
- Design Monitoring
As a prerequisite, candidates need to understand the core topics such as design for cost optimization and solution design for monitoring and logging. At the same time, to succeed in this question category, applicants need to understand how to choose solutions to minimize costs, define storage location and levels for logs, identify logging solutions for compliance requirements, determine the integration plan through monitoring tools such as Azure Sentinel and Azure Monitor, alongside finding a mechanism for escalation and event routing. As a result, this test part contains 10%-15% of the exam content.
- Security and Design Identity
According to this module, candidates must demonstrate the knowledge of such topics as design authentication, authorization, governance, as well as security for various applications. Thus, you must understand there's a need to learn issues regarding solutions for single-sign-on, authentication, user self-service, along with B2B integration. Moreover, you should be able to make recommendations concerning the right strategy for tagging, using Azure Policy and Azure Blueprint, in parallel with an authorization approach and different solutions that include Managing Identities and Key Vault. These and other questions make up 25% to 30% of the entire test.
- Storage of Design Data
To be successful in this exam, candidates should understand the required topics related to the integration of design data, designing a database solution, and selecting the right storage account. In more detail, on the final test day, you can meet tasks concerning solutions for database scalability, data flow for meeting business requirements, various storage tiers, storage management tools, storage access solution, and much more, which in total covers 15-20% of the exam questions.
- Design Business Continuity
Moreover, candidates should understand the basic topics that involve 10-15% of exam questions about designing a solution for recovery, backup, and high availability. So, you should prove your expertise in the knowledge area regarding solutions for recovery in different regions, data retention and archiving, and for autoscaling. Besides, test-takers should have a deep understanding of Azure Site Recovery solution, storage types for high availability, as well as resources for high availability, and solutions for workload and app redundancy, including database, compute, and storage.
- Design Infrastructure
Finally, to complete the Microsoft AZ-304 exam, you need to understand migration design, application architecture design, network solution design, as well as computing solution design which represents 25-30% of all questions. In other words, this requires candidates to know numerous solutions for compute provisioning, containers, automating network management, traffic routing and load balancing, for API integration, and migration of data.
So, the Microsoft AZ-304 exam opens up a lot of opportunities for individuals who pass this official test. Moreover, the holders of the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert accreditation are IT professionals savvy in the field of implementing and designing solutions that run on Azure. Thus, this is a great avenue for candidates regardless of what you seek to accomplish with the designation. Meanwhile, numerous companies or organizations endorse this expert-level certificate because it validates your skillset.
Even more notable is that the average Azure Solutions Architect Expert salary is $119,487 per year, according to the PayScale.com website. And that's not the final figure, as you can continue to work on developing your skills, such as Enterprise Solutions, System Architecture, IT Consulting, Software Architecture, and even Cloud Computing.