Cloud computing has changed the way applications are developed. Using cloud technologies, large monolithic applications can be developed and deployed as smaller microservices. These services can interact with one another using APIs. This type of architecture is scalable and it allows to add new instances of services when required and remove the unnecessary services conveniently.
Cloud computing applications and platforms have become very popular and the demands for skilled azure architects are also on the rise. Microsoft Azure can be used to build solutions like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) for enterprises. It is easier to develop and host mobile and web apps on the Azure platform. It can integrate with your active directory, which is one of its unique features. Azure is a flexible, scalable, affordable, and quick cloud platform. Some examples of Azure solutions are:
- Software testing
- App hosting
- App development
- Virtual machine creation
- Business intelligence
- Integration and synchronization
- Virtual hard drives
The above solutions can also be developed on other cloud platforms but Microsoft Azure has unique features that make it beneficial to gain a certification in Microsoft Azure Architect. The duties of a Microsoft Azure Architect include working to develop and deploy enterprise-level solutions for business requirements using Microsoft tools, applications, and systems. A Microsoft Azure Architect must design solutions for scalable performance, recoverability, and efficiency.
Earning a certificate is the best way to start a career as a Microsoft Azure Architect. It is a certification exam that tests your knowledge and skills in designing and planning the best solutions for business enterprises. It also requires you to have hands-on experience on some essential skills. You must pass two exams to receive the Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert Certification. These two certification exams are as follows:
- AZ 300 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies
- AZ 301 Microsoft Azure Architect Design
Here we discuss the AZ 300 certification exam. This exam tests your knowledge and skills around Azure Development, Azure administration, and DevOps. The candidates are expected to have expertise in designing and planning solutions that run on Microsoft Azure. This must include aspects like compute, security, network, and storage. The Azure solution architect must be able to translate business requirements into scalable, reliable, flexible, and secure cloud solutions. He/She must be able to identify the appropriate tools and applications required and suggest the best practices to the stakeholders. An Azure Solutions Cloud Architect works in a team with cloud DBAs, cloud administrators, and clients to deploy the best solutions. Candidates should have knowledge in the following IT aspects:
- Disaster recovery
- Business continuity
- Data management
The candidate is expected to be proficient in at least one of the Azure domains which are DevOps, development, and administration. The candidate should be able to identify how decisions in each of these domains impact the overall solutions.
The important topics in the AZ 300 Microsoft Azure Architect exam and their respective weightage is given below:
- Deploy and configure infrastructure: 40-45%
- Implement workloads and security: 25-30%
- Develop for the cloud and the storage: 15-20%
- Implement authentication and secure data: 5-10%
- Create and deploy apps: 5-10%
There are no specific prerequisites to take up this certification, but Microsoft recommends having at least six months of hands-on experience in administering Azure services. It is advisable to have knowledge related to security, networking, and programming to build a strong foundation before learning about Microsoft Azure. The passing score for AZ 300 certification exam is 300 out of total marks of 1000, and the validity of certification is 2 years.
It is the right choice to invest in a certification program if you are aiming to start your career as Microsoft Azure Architect. A certification is a proof that you dedicated time and effort to learn the course curriculum. Cloud architects are among the highest-paid employees in the industry, and you will get an edge over other candidates with certification. It is not an easy exam and requires you to practice. This exam tests your practical approach to a business problem. More and more organizations are migrating to cloud services, and this transition is a tedious task. Recruiters look for skilled professionals to ease the migration process. The cloud architect must be able to provide customized solutions that meet the specific conditions of the clients. You can opt for a training program that covers all aspects of the certification program. The topics that are important and that should be covered in your training program are as follows:
- Manage workload in Azure
- Implement storage accounts
- Automate deployment and configuration of resources
- Implement cloud infrastructure monitoring
- Implement VMs for windows and Linux
- Implement virtual networking
- Implement hybrid identities
- Implement Azure active directory
- Implement solutions for apps
- Manage security for applications
- Implement data platforms
Once you complete the exam, you will get the results immediately. Once you have passed the exam, you can build a CV and start applying for various job roles in cloud computing. Azure is being used by a whopping 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Companies like Samsung, Pixar, Xerox, Boing, eBay, Apple iCloud, BMW, NetApp, Fujitsu, etc., are customers of Microsoft Azure and hence provide good opportunities if you have relevant skills. It is convenient to switch to higher roles with a certification within the same organization. But if you are looking to start a career in cloud computing, then here are the types of companies and roles that you can consider after being a certified Microsoft Azure Architect.
- Vendors and consultants are recruiting certified cloud architects to compete with cloud work among its competitors.
- Mid-sized businesses and government organizations are hiring cloud architects to help them use the advantages of storing high volumes of data on the cloud. They can ask to customize according to their safety and scalability concerns. They need architects to suggest appropriate solutions that are suited to them using the available tools and resources of Microsoft Azure.
Small businesses and startups are adopting cloud platforms to gain an edge in the market and step up their performance. They are also hiring Cloud Engineers that can help them create opportunities for themselves in the global market.