AZ-304: Microsoft Azure Architect Design (beta) – Study Guide

Microsoft continues to update it’s role based exams and next on the list is AZ-304. This is the updated version of AZ-301 and launched at the end of June 2020. Currently this exam is arguably part of the most difficult certification path as it is one of only two Expert level certifications for Azure. Here is what Microsoft have to say about it:

Candidates for this exam are Azure Solutions Architects who advise stakeholders and translate business requirements into secure, scalable, and reliable solutions. Candidates should have advanced experience and knowledge of IT operations, including networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data platform, budgeting, and governance. This role requires managing how decisions in each area affects an overall solution. Candidates must have expert-level skills in Azure administration and have experience with Azure development processes and DevOps processes.

As the exam is still in beta, if you take it, it will not be scored immediately. So bear that in mind before you sit it! Of course, if you pass the exam, once scored, it will count towards the certification.

As always, a great place to start is Microsoft Learn. There are several interactive learning paths that are free that you can work through at your own pace. I find this a great way to study and gain greater understanding of the services by actually using them and you will need to be very familiar with Azure to pass this exam.

Below I’ve put together a collection of links relevant to the sections Microsoft have highlighted as being part of the skills measured for this exam. These are only guide links, sometimes you need to explore a topic much more deeply if you are not familiar with it. Hopefully these study materials will help guide you to successfully passing AZ-304!

Design Monitoring (10-15%)

Design for cost optimization

Design a solution for logging and monitoring

Design Identity and Security (25-30%)

Design authentication

Design authorization

Design governance

Design security for applications

Design Data Storage (15-20%)

Design a solution for databases

Design data integration

Select an appropriate storage account

Design Business Continuity (10-15%)

Design a solution for backup and recovery

Design for High Availability

Design Infrastructure (25-30%)

Design a compute solution

Design a network solution

Design an application architecture

Design migrations

AZ-301: Microsoft Azure Architect Design – Study Guide

Now that AZ-302 has officially been retired, there is only one route to earn your Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification. That route is to sit and pass both the AZ-300 and the AZ-301 exams. Currently this is arguably the most difficult exam certification path as it is one of only two Expert level certifications for Azure. This post will cover AZ-301, here is what Microsoft have to say about it:

This exam measures your ability to accomplish the following technical tasks: determine workload requirements; design for identity and security; design a data platform solution; design a business continuity strategy; design for deployment, migration, and integration; and design an infrastructure strategy.

Below I’ve put together a collection of links relevant to the sections highlighted as being part of the skills measured for this exam. As always, these are only guide links, sometimes you need to explore a topic much more deeply if you are not familiar with it. Hopefully these study materials will help guide you to successfully passing AZ-301!

If you spot something, or have a better link for a topic, get in touch! I will update this post as regularly as possible and always appreciate any feedback.

A good place to start is Microsoft Learn. there are several interactive learning paths that are free that you can work through at your own pace. I find this a great way to study and gain greater understanding of the services by actually using them.

Determine workload requirements

Gather Information and Requirements

This section requires broad knowledge of the platform and general IT architecture experience. My recommendation would be to familiarise yourself with the Azure Architecture Center.

Optimize Consumption Strategy

Design an Auditing and Monitoring Strategy

Design for identity and security

Design Identity Management

Design Authentication

Design Authorization

Design for Risk Prevention for Identity

Design a Monitoring Strategy for Identity and Security

Design a data platform solution

Design a Data Management Strategy

Design a Data Protection Strategy

Design and Document Data Flows

Design a Monitoring Strategy for the Data Platform

Design a business continuity strategy

Design a Site Recovery Strategy

Design for High Availability

Design a Data Archiving Strategy

Design for deployment, migration, and integration

Design Deployments

Design Migrations

Design an API Integration Strategy

Design an infrastructure strategy

Design a Storage Strategy

Design a Compute Strategy

Design a Networking Strategy

Design a Monitoring Strategy for Infrastructure