Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions: Introduction



This introduction to the Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions learning path gives an overview of the requirements for the Microsoft 70-535 exam and how they will be covered.

The six major subject areas are:

  • Designing a compute infrastructure
  • Designing a data implementation
  • Designing a networking implementation
  • Designing security and identity solutions
  • Designing solutions by using platform services, and
  • Designing for operations


Hello and welcome to Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions. This learning path gives you a high-level overview of all of the major Azure services. Its focus is to prepare you for Microsoft’s 70-535 exam, but even if you’re not going to take the exam, this learning path will help you get started on your way to becoming an Azure architect.


My name’s Guy Hummel. I’m the Azure Content Lead at Cloud Academy and I’ll be your instructor for some of these courses.


The 70-535 exam tests your knowledge of six subject areas and that’s how we’ve structured this learning path as well.[Go back to slides]


We’ll start with designing a compute infrastructure. There are lots of ways to use compute resources in Azure. The traditional way is to use virtual machines directly. This gives you full control of your servers, but it requires you to maintain them. At the other end of the spectrum is serverless solutions, where you deploy code without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. Another option that’s becoming very popular is to build applications as a collection of microservices. This approach normally requires the use of containers, such as Docker.


If you’re building web applications, then Azure App Service and a few other supporting services can take care of the web servers for you. Finally, if you need to run compute-intensive applications, then services like Azure Batch are a good choice.


Next, we’ll get into designing a data implementation. This includes everything from basic object storage to databases. For many years, Microsoft’s customers have relied on SQL Server to handle their database needs, but now Azure offers more choices. You can run SQL Server directly on a virtual machine, but Microsoft offers a managed version called Azure SQL Database that doesn’t require maintenance. With the rise of big data, traditional relational databases are no longer suitable for all of an organization’s database needs. That’s why Microsoft offers NoSQL alternatives, such as Azure Data Lake Store. But their most exciting offering is Cosmos DB, a global database that can handle multiple types of data models, including document, key-value, graph, and columnar.


Then you’ll learn how to design a network implementation, starting with virtual networks, which are the core building blocks of Azure networking. You’ll also learn how to connect those virtual networks to the outside world in a secure fashion. You’ll even see how to build hybrid applications that use resources in both Azure and on-premises datacenters.


After that, we’ll go into security in much more depth. You’ll see how to synchronize your on-premises Active Directory servers with Microsoft’s managed Azure Active Directory to enable single sign-on; how to handle mobile devices and authenticate using consumer services like Facebook; how to manage cryptographic keys and secrets with the help of services like Azure Key Vault; how to use role-based access control; and how to get a comprehensive view of the security of your cloud infrastructure using services like Azure Security Center.


Next, you’ll learn how to build solutions using some of the hottest technologies like artificial intelligence, video streaming, and the Internet of Things, as well as how to tie everything together using messaging services, such as Azure Event Grid.


Then we’ll cover how to design for operations. Once you’ve built solutions in Azure, you’ll need to implement monitoring and alerting for both your applications and the underlying platform. Microsoft provides services like Azure Log Analytics and Azure Monitor to make this easy. If you need to grow your Azure solutions without having to work 24 hours a day, then you’ll need to automate as many operations tasks as possible. Services like Azure Automation can make your life easier. Another critical tool for building out your cloud solutions in a repeatable way is Azure Resource Manager. This is one of the most important services to master in the entire Azure suite.


That’s a lot of great topics to learn, so let’s get started!


About the Author
Learning Paths

Guy launched his first training website in 1995 and he's been helping people learn IT technologies ever since. He has been a sysadmin, instructor, sales engineer, IT manager, and entrepreneur. In his most recent venture, he founded and led a cloud-based training infrastructure company that provided virtual labs for some of the largest software vendors in the world. Guy’s passion is making complex technology easy to understand. His activities outside of work have included riding an elephant and skydiving (although not at the same time).