Part 1: The Exam
This is the first of a three-part series on Microsoft exam AZ103. This post will briefly cover the history of the exam, review its requirements, then discuss the exam’s structure.
Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. An Azure administrator is an Information Technology specialist who manages the company’s Azure resources. Microsoft certification exams used to be technology-oriented. For example, 70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions was the exam closest to an Azure administrator job. Microsoft updated its certification programs in September 2018. These new certification programs are role-based. The following exams were replaced by Exam 70-533:
AZ-100: Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment
AZ-101: Microsoft Azure Integration and Security
But something didn’t work in the Microsoft universe. Perhaps someone at the top felt that these titles weren’t sufficiently role-based, or that it was unfair to have to pass two exams to obtain a single certification. These two exams were quickly retired a few months later and replaced by the shiny, new and improved exam AZ103: Microsoft Azure Administrator. This new exam has the same content as AZ100, but with about half the length of AZ101.
Exam AZ-103 can be very difficult and requires a lot of preparation. This exam is more difficult than other exams. You must have a good grasp of Azure basics. Before you consider taking AZ-103, make sure you have a solid understanding of the basics such as TCP/IP networking and VPN, DNS, DHCP (DHCP), Hyper-V, Active Directory Domain Services, (AD DS), and other technologies that are used on corporate networks.
The following five sections are the requirements for the exam:
Manage Azure subscriptions. You will need to be able to manage Azure subscriptions and other resources. You will need to know how to create resource groups and create resources within them. You must be able delegate authority to your resources.
You should implement and manage storage. – You should know the types of storage accounts and when they should be used. You will need to know how to create storage account, manipulate data within them, give access to the data, back it up, and restore.
Manage virtual machines (VMs) and deploy them. – You will need to be able create, manage, and remove Azure VMs. You will need to be able to use Azure Resource Manager (ARM), templates.
Configure and manage virtual networks. You need to be familiar with VNets and their workings. You should be able create VNets and subnets, configure their IP addresses spaces, and implement routing and other types of connectivity such as VPN, peering, ExpressRoute, and VPN. You will need to know how to protect VNets using network security groups. You should be able configure, deploy, and troubleshoot various types of network devices such as load balancers or gateways.
Manage identities. – You will need to be able to create and manage Azure users, groups, and copy user accounts from AD DS on-premises to Azure Active Directory. This will allow you to keep both directory services synchronized. You should be able to use both single sign-on (SSO), and multi-factor authentication.
There might be a variation in the number of questions depending on the exam. You can expect to answer approximately 50 questions and two labs with six to eight tasks each.