DP-201 Exam Prep - Introduction

This introduction for the DP-201 Exam Preparation: Designing an Azure Data Solution learning path gives an overview of the requirements for the Microsoft DP-201 exam and how they will be covered.

The three main subject areas are:

  • Designing data storage solutions
  • Designing data processing solutions
  • Designing for data security and compliance

Hello and welcome to Designing an Azure Data Solution. The focus of this learning path is to prepare you for Microsoft's DP-201 exam. If you pass the DP-200 and DP-201 exams, then you'll earn the Microsoft Certified Azure Data Engineer Associate certification.

My name's Guy Hummel and I'm a Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect and Data Engineer. While the DP-200 exam is all about implementation, the DP-201 exam is about design, so it focuses more on planning than on getting everything set up. Having said that, there's a lot of overlap between the exams. That's why most of the content in this learning path is the same as the content in the DP-200 learning path.

The DP-201 exam tests your knowledge of three subject areas: designing data storage solutions, designing data processing solutions, and designing for data security and compliance. Here are some of the highlights of what you'll need to know.

The first, and biggest, section of the exam guide is about designing data storage solutions. You need to know which Azure services to recommend to meet business requirements. These solutions are divided into relational data stores for structured data and non-relational data stores for unstructured data.

Relational data stores include Azure SQL Database and Azure Synapse Analytics, formerly known as Azure SQL Data Warehouse. Non-relational data stores include Cosmos DB, Data Lake Storage Gen2, and Blob storage.

For all of the above services, you need to know how to design:

  • Data distribution and partitions
  • High scalability, taking into account multiple regions, latency, and throughput
  • Disaster recovery, and
  • High availability

The next section of the exam guide is about designing data processing solutions. It's divided into batch processing and stream processing. For batch processing, you need to know how to design solutions using Azure Data Factory and Azure Databricks. For stream processing, you need to know how to design solutions using Stream Analytics and Azure Databricks. As you can tell, Azure Databricks is a very important service for data processing since it's used for both batch and stream processing. You also need to know how to ingest data from other Azure services and how to output the results to other services.

The final section of the exam guide is about data security and compliance. First, you need to know how to secure your data stores. The most important decision is what authentication method to use for various use cases. For example, it's usually preferable to rely on Azure Active Directory authentication than to embed an access key in your application code. Role-based access control and ACLs (or Access Control Lists) are also important.

The second part of this section deals with designing security for data policies and standards. Some of the topics include:

  • Encryption, such as Transparent Data Encryption
  • Data auditing
  • Data masking, such as obscuring credit card numbers
  • Data privacy and data classification
  • Data retention
  • Archiving, and
  • Purging

This learning path assumes that you already have some experience using Microsoft Azure. If you don't have any experience yet, then please take one of our introductory Azure courses, such as Overview of Azure Services, first.

Now, are you ready to learn how to design Azure data solutions? 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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