In September of last year Microsoft released a couple of new exams; 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions and 70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions.
Of the two, 70-533 sounded like a good fit for my existing skills and experience. The high level technical areas it covers are as follows:
- Implement websites
- Implement virtual machines
- Implement cloud services
- Implement storage
- Implement an Azure Active Directory
- Implement virtual networks
I’ve worked extensively with virtual machines, virtual networking, and storage in Azure and recently I’ve been working with Azure Active Directory as well. My exposure to the Azure websites and cloud services features isn’t as extensive but I took this as a good opportunity to explore and learn more about both.
Blogger Anders Eider has put together a great post breaking down the high level areas the exam covers and linking out to relevant Microsoft documentation. There was also an event on Microsoft’s Channel 9 site called “Azure IaaS for IT Pros” tailored specifically for people studying for the 70-533 exam. Finally, the Microsoft Virtual Academy has a section dedicated to Azure training resources which also includes some useful resources.
I must say that reading and watching videos really only gets you so far – nothing compares to getting your hands dirty and actually doing this stuff. Luckily, as I say, I’ve recently been working with many of the elements this exam covers as part of my day job. The areas I haven’t been working with, being cloud based in nature, are relatively simple to implement and experiment with. Unlike a subject like Hyper-V or SCVMM which would need lots of physical infrastructure in order to create an environment to experiment and learn, you’ve got no excuse not to roll your sleeves up and play with this stuff. You can even easily get a free trial account with £125 worth of credit to help your learning.
Having studied hard over the Christmas break I booked myself in for the exam, (unfortunately in the UK we don’t yet have the “Home Proctored” exam option but there’s a testing center here in Bath I can use). This morning I passed with a score of 900/1000!
It’s a shame there isn’t an associated Azure certification that this counts towards, (maybe there will be one coming down the line?), but I think this is still a useful exam which helps demonstrate skill and knowledge with what are indubitably new and rapidly evolving tools and technologies.