About DP-300 Exam
The Microsoft DP-300: Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure exam is aimed at data management specialists and database administrators with expertise in relational databases created with Azure Data Services and Microsoft SQL Server. At the same time, this exam is the requirement for the Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator Associate certification.
Exam DP-300 is designed to prove the candidates’ understanding of both cloud relational and on-premises databases. The individuals appearing for this exam must have a thorough knowledge of the tools and methods required for performing database operations and using T-SQL for administrative management. Also, the candidates must be able to manage, secure, monitor, and optimize modern solutions for relational databases. While this exam is open to anyone, the vendor recommends taking it in advance to confirm your knowledge of core data concepts and Microsoft Azure data services.
After passing the Microsoft DP-300 assessment you will earn the relevant Microsoft associate-level certificate. It validates one's skill set and expertise in the implementation and management of various functional aspects of different data platform solutions using Microsoft SQL Server and Azure Data Services. Moreover, this Microsoft accreditation also proves the person's ability to use various tools and methods for day-to-day tasks as well as the expertise in using T-SQL for database management goals.
Exam Details and Knowledge Areas Covered
Microsoft DP-300 is 130-minute proctored test available in English, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages. However, to gain access to this exam on the appointed day, you must pay a registration fee, the amount of which will inflate depending on your location. For the US, the sum is $165.
If you want to be prepared for the final test, you should study its outline in advance, which includes the main topics you will encounter, including:
- Planning and implementation of data platform resources (15-20%)
The first domain deals with data platform resources and their implementation. Thus, the candidates must have the proper skills needed for deploying resources through various manual methods. Vendor requires them to also have an understanding of database offering, deployment templates, and IaaS and hybrid technologies. Furthermore, the candidates' knowledge of database offerings on specific requirements will also be tested. This includes skills for evaluating requirements essential for deployment, scalability of the database, and security aspects of database offering. In addition, the applicants must be capable of configuring the Azure SQL database and its various components, along with calculating resource necessity. This portion of the exam also involves concepts of strategy evaluation for migrating to Azure and how to implement it.
- Implementation of the secure environment (15-20%)
The second section contains questions regarding the implementation of a secure environment in regards to a database. So, the candidates are required to be fluent in the configuration of Azure AD authentication and security principles. This domain also tests the applicants' skills in configuring databases along with object-level permissions through various graphical tools. Furthermore, the applicants will be asked about security implementation for both data at rest and in transit. An understanding of TDE, object-level encryption, Always Encrypted technology, and Dynamic Data Masking will be beneficial. Finally, the candidates will need to know about the implementation of compliance controls for data that are crucial and sensitive.
- Monitoring and optimizing operational resources (15-20%)
This section of the syllabus is about activity monitoring, performance maintenance, performance issues, and the configuration of optimal performance. The applicants should be able to develop a baseline for operational performance, identify performance metrics sources, set up performance on infrastructure, and more. They will also need to be capable of implementing tasks and statistics for maintaining indexes, auto-tune databases, and managing the capacity of storage among various other tasks. Moreover, to get through this module, the candidates would need to understand the concepts of assessing growth, fragmentation, sessions blocking, and Query Store. Additionally, skills in configuring storage and infrastructure resources, service account settings, Resource Governor, database scope, and IOQ are also verified.
- Optimizing query performance (5-10%)
To get through the fourth domain, the applicants must have the necessary skills in reviewing query plans, identifying the problem in those plans, and extracting the query plans from the Query Store. Additionally, they should be capable of evaluating performance improvements to identify DMVs to collect performance information, determine issues with performance, execute change in indexes for queries, and more. This portion also deals with database table review and designing index. This requires the applicants to be able to determine issues with data quality, evaluate types of data and tactics for table partitioning, and more.
- Performing tasks automation (10-15%)
The fifth domain will test the candidates' ability to create, manage, and configure scheduled tasks. It also verifies skills in configuring automation in a multi-server environment and notifications for task events. Also, the applicants would need to be skilled in evaluating and implementing tactics for notifications for various event notifications, server alerts, and ways to respond to such notifications. Moreover, they will be asked to execute automated deployment and perform automated backups, performance tuning, etc.
- Planning and implementing HADR environment (15-20%)
This domain of the test deals with HADR tactics for RPO and RTO requirements, evaluation of hybrid deployments and Azure HADR solutions, etc. The candidates must know how to carry out tests of HADR strategies based on platform and database tools. Furthermore, they also need to be capable of performing backup and restore using various tools and options and set up backup retention for the long term. Finally, expertise in the configuration of HADR for configuring replication and creating Availability Group will come in handy in this domain.
- Performing administration using T-SQL (10-15%)
The final section of the exam tests the applicants' knowledge of working with T-SQL. Furthermore, they will be asked to investigate the health of the database and server through DMVs and perform necessary checks using DBCC. The candidates will also need to be skilled in monitoring database configuration through the use of T-SQL and evaluate database overgrowth and generate reports about the free space. Also, the entrants should be capable of performing backup/restore and managing authentication and authorization using T-SQL.
You should be reminded that passing the Microsoft DP-300 exam not only leads to the Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator Associate certification but also opens up many career prospects. So, according to the PayScale website, this gives you a chance to work as a Database Administrator, which will give you an annual salary of about $73k. Then you can continue to develop your skills and apply for positions such as Senior Database Administrator and Information Technology Manager.