Passed Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert

Finally, I passed the last required AZ-301 exam and became certified as Azure Solutions Architect Expert. I shared my thoughts on AZ-103 exam about two months ago, but now want to provide my feedback on AZ-301/AZ-300 and the certification path itself:

  • If you thoroughly prepared yourself for AZ-300, you could take AZ-301 on the next day. And, most likely, it’d be pretty successfully. Azure infrastructure exams are partly overlapped. Only AZ-400 stands out from the “crowd” and AZ-103 together with AZ-300 are fundamental exams.
  • AZ-300 has performance sections or simply labs. Be ready to spend 3 hours for taking the exam. More details are here
  • AZ-301 includes 41 questions (2 case studies and test questions). The main topics I had: Azure SQL Database, Site Recovery, Backup, Cosmos DB, Azure migration tools, Azure AD, ExpressRoute, Application Gateway, VPN Gateway, Traffic Manager, Azure Storage, File Sync, Containers, Virtual Machines, Monitor, Logic Apps and Functions.

How to prepare?

  1. Gain a real Azure experience (external/internal projects)
  2. If you don’t have Azure subscription, request a trial, and then activate Azure AD Premium features to explore advanced Identity and Security management. Azure AD should be your start point.
  3. Check the list of free Azure certification training courses. I used Pluralsight, OpenEDX courses (they are based on MCT training guides) and completed Udemy AZ-300 paid course (it’s pretty good, but not required)
  4. If you are not familiar with some of the Azure Services, I’d highly recommend to purchase pBook or download FREE ebook “Learn Azure in a Month Of Lunches” that I reviewed a few months ago. It’s a great all-in-one guide to get started with almost everything in Azure.
  5. The certification will be valid only for 2 years, so keep learning and practice every day! I wish you good luck on the exam and may the force be with you.


Free Azure certification training courses

Howdy, I would like to share the list of the extremely useful FREE courses with you which can help you to prepare for Azure exams and level up your skills in the most efficient way. Tons of videos, hands-on labs and text guidances. You just need to find a free time and passion, plus make sure that you have an active Azure subscription (trial is an option).

Note:retired” = exam is no longer available but specified courses can still be a part of your preparation. “w/labs”  = exam has performance sections (lab tasks), “enrollment is closed” = sometimes it happens. you should wait while the learning provider opens a new enrollment. Click on “check out my experience” where available to get more details. Plus, AZ-303/304 are coming soon

Learning Paths from Pluralsight (recommended)

Learning Paths from Microsoft (step-by-step guidances)

Microsoft/OpenedX self-paced courses (have some outdated materials)

AZ-100|Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment (retired)

AZ-101|Microsoft Azure Integration and Security (retired)

AZ-103|Microsoft Azure Administrator (w/labs; retired – see AZ-104)

AZ-104|Microsoft Azure Administrator (w/labs)

AZ-200|Microsoft Azure Developer Core Solutions (retired)

AZ-201|Microsoft Azure Developer Advanced Solutions (retired)

AZ-203|Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure (retired)

AZ-204|Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure (w/labs)

AZ-300|Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies (w/labs)

AZ-301|Microsoft Azure Architect Design

AZ-400| Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions (w/labs)

AZ-500| Microsoft Azure Security Technologies (w/labs)

AZ-900| Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

DP-200| Implementing an Azure Data Solution (w/labs)

DP-201| Designing an Azure Data Solution

DP-100| Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure

There are also some free courses on EDX site (1 topic:1 course)

TIP: If you are not familiar with Azure Services, I’d highly recommend you to purchase pBook or download FREE ebook “Learn Azure in a Month Of Lunches” that I reviewed a few months ago. It’s a great all-in-one guide to get started with almost everything in Azure.

Happy learning and good luck with the exams!

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