As one of TrainACE’s top instructors, Azure administration is just one of John Eberle’s specializations. With years of industry experience, he has tracked the evolution of Microsoft's administrative tools with the eye of an expert practitioner - from early Windows versions to the latest cloud technologies. In his latest blog he discusses Azure Administration certification prerequisites and offers advice on preparing for the exam.
Why Get Into Cloud Technology?
This blog will discuss my thoughts on what you should know, feel, and do before you attempt the Microsoft Azure Administrator course. This course and certification are extremely exciting and very sought after, particularly in the Washington DC region, Maryland and Virginia.
The cloud phenomenon will continue to grow as it affords many people who did not have the finances for a full company start-up, the ability to engage in their enterprise with much less money. Current companies are seeing the financial attractiveness of using the cloud for those areas they just could not afford before like Continuity of Operations or Disaster Recovery.
So, gaining cloud skills and knowledge, particularly in a platform as ubiquitous as Azure is immensely valuable to individuals and organizations looking to future growth.
What Are The Azure Administration Certification Prerequisites?
Let’s start with Microsoft's officially recommended Azure Administrator certification prerequisites. These consist of a broad list of skill areas rather than specific certifications.
Microsoft recommends that you should have experience with networks, storage structures, operating systems, virtualization, and cloud infrastructure.
Going into more detail they suggest you should have specific knowledge working with various cloud and network technologies including: virtual machines, virtual hard disks, virtual networking, Active Directory, configuring DNS, TCP/IP, VPN’s, encryption, firewalls, and disaster recovery.
What Else do You Need to Know About Azure?
In general, Microsoft overstates their prerequisites in most of their courses. However, I do not feel this way about this course.
The Azure Administrator’s training and exam will challenge you in ways you may not have been challenged before. The exam covers multiple areas whereas most courses cover one general area or product. This course and exam cover multiple disciplines and multiple products all at the same time.
Be Prepared to Adapt to Changes
One of the first obstacles you will encounter is the fact that the Azure portal is constantly changing. What you see one day may be found somewhere else tomorrow. Any Program that is constantly improving through change is a challenge that can frustrate you. Employ patience!!
If you are impatient, or plan to try to “follow the book” without further effort, you may be disillusioned. You will need to be prepared for change.
Learn to use the search function effortlessly. If you do not see what you are looking for, do not go hunting and pecking around - use the search bar!
You must be mentally prepared and accept the fact that this is a dynamic and ever evolving product. Sometimes the portal does not even look the same as the course materials, just accept it and move on. Change is progress in most cases, so Azure’s changing is like being on the ground floor of a new capability, you can see it grow and expand.
What Can I Do To Prepare For Azure Administration Training?
You should attempt to get your book a few days before class so you can start reading. If you get the book the day of class, you are already behind! This makes it difficult to catch up. Note that if you enroll in a class with TrainACE you can arrange to pick the book up early at our offices in Greenbelt, Maryland.
You will understand better and retain more if you are reading the material before you hear and discuss it. Then practicing your new knowledge and skills in the labs, will ensure you have a much better learning experience.
I recommend getting as much experience on the portal as you can. The most frustrating part of the course and the exam is figuring out how to execute the actions requested. You may know how to accomplish the tasks, but may stumble on where to go or how do to access a given feature.
You can get a free login and a $200.00 credit from Microsoft to start exploring the portal and I highly recommend that. The more experience you get with the software/portal, the easier the course and test are going to be.
I also recommended that you read as many of the Microsoft documents as you can to understand how the Azure Active Directory is different from the normal Active Directory. For example, there are no group policies in the Azure Active Directory.
How well you know these differences before your class and how well you manage those settings and many of the other subtle differences will make the difference in having a rewarding training experience or feeling overwhelmed.
Get Started With Azure Fundamentals
If you have no experience with the Azure Portal, I highly recommend the Azure Fundamentals course first. This gives you the background of the system and gives you a chance to learn much of the lingo and acronyms.
Being curious should be a major trait you possess if you plan to work in the Information Technology industry. It motivates you to find out why, how, and when things either occurred or did not occur.
The Azure Administrator course covers multiple disciplines like, system administration, networking and security combined in a way unlike other Microsoft courses.
It is assumed you know these things and that can be frustrating to the student. The course does not refresh your knowledge in these areas. As I stated above, it assumes you know these technologies. So, you may need to brush up on the basics in these areas or have someone you can bounce your questions against outside of the classroom.
Individuals that are interested in this course should know that thousands of people have taken this course, passed this exam and are working in the field. It is not insurmountable, it just takes preparation, willpower, and effort.
Do a quick search on Indeed, or Dice or any other employment website looking at the number of openings for Azure Administration or Administrator jobs and I think you will see that the field is wide open.
How to prepare for the Azure Administrator Exam
TrainACE provides instructor-led training classes to prepare you for the Azure Administrator Certification exam. Our AZ-104T00 Microsoft Azure Administrator classes are 32-hours long, instructor-led classes that you can attend in person or live online.
Classes run in weekday, weekend, and evening formats, to suit your schedule. The class comes with our unique Pass Guarantee. If you attend all the classes and fail the first test, we will allow you to re-take the class and give you a second exam voucher for free.