AZ-304 Exam Preparation: Introduction


AZ-304 Exam Preparation: Introduction

This course introduces the AZ-304 Exam Preparation: Designing a Microsoft Azure Architecture learning path, which covers the following five subject areas in preparation for Microsoft's AZ-304 exam:

  • Monitoring
  • Designing identity and security
  • Designing data storage
  • Designing for business continuity
  • Designing infrastructure

Hello and welcome to Designing a Microsoft Azure Architecture. The purpose of this learning path is to prepare you for Microsoft’s AZ-304 exam. If you pass both of the AZ-303 and AZ-304 exams, then you’ll earn the Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification. The AZ-304 exam is focused on designing an Azure solution.

My name’s Guy Hummel and I’m a Microsoft Certified Azure Architect Expert.

The AZ-304 exam tests your knowledge of five subject areas. Here’s how we’ll cover them in this learning path.

We’ll start with monitoring. This covers a wider variety of topics than you might expect, including monitoring for availability, performance, security, and costs. The main services you need to know are Azure Monitor, Azure Sentinel, and Azure Cost Management.

The next section is on designing identity and security. In a large organization, there are many identities to manage. This includes not only users but also applications. To manage them effectively and securely, you need to design a proper identity management and authentication system. Not surprisingly, the most important service in this area is Azure Active Directory. To set up authentication for applications, you also need to use managed identities and Azure Key Vault.

After a user or application is authenticated, it needs to be granted the right level of authorization to access Azure resources. This is mostly handled by Azure’s role-based access control system (or RBAC). You also need to know how to use Microsoft’s governance solutions, including Azure Policy and Azure Blueprints. You can see why identity and security is one of the largest sections of this exam.

The third section is on designing data storage. Although Azure provides many different data storage services, the most important ones you need to know for the exam are Azure SQL Database and Azure Storage. You’ll learn how to select the right service tier and how to provide secure access to your data. You’ll also learn how to perform data integration using services like Azure Data Factory and Azure Databricks.

The next section is on designing for business continuity. The two most important concepts are high availability and disaster recovery. You can design for high availability using various levels of redundancy. For disaster recovery, the most important services to know are Azure Site Recovery, Azure Backup, and Azure Storage.

The final section is on designing infrastructure. First, you’ll learn how to design compute solutions using a variety of technologies, such as virtual machines, containers, App Service, Service Fabric, and Azure Functions. Next, you’ll learn how to design network solutions. This is a big subject area, including topics such as network addressing, provisioning, security, load balancing, name resolution, on-premises connectivity, and more.

Then we’ll move on to designing an application architecture. This is also a surprisingly big subject area because you need to be able to recommend microservices solutions using a wide variety of services, including Event Grid, Event Hub, Service Bus, Storage Queues, Logic Apps, Azure Functions, and webhooks. You also need to be able to recommend solutions for application deployment and API integration.

Finally, you’ll learn how to migrate your servers, data, and applications from an on-premises environment to Azure.

Bear in mind that the five sections of the exam are not covered in this exact order in the learning path. That’s because some courses cover topics in multiple exam sections.

Now, are you ready to become an Azure architect? Then let’s get started! To get to the next course in this learning path, click on the Learning Path pullout menu on the left side of the page. But please remember to rate this introduction before you go on to the next course. Thanks!


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).

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