Azure: Fundamentals (AZ-900) Exam Prep Guide

This blog is part of a series. For more exam prep guides check back in the future

Updated: 22/05/2020 (v4.0)

My experience with Azure parallels my experience of driving. Today, I am one of those people who absolutely loves it; out on the road every single day and now I can’t quite understand how I managed to get by without a set of wheels. But there was a time – and it was a long time – and during that time I had a lot of preconceptions that it wasn’t for me; so much so I thought I was simply a person who was suited and destined to public transport. So explaining all this to my wife she told me to get over myself and get on with it – and that’s exactly what I had needed all along. This was the case with Azure too – as someone who had spent many years in what is now called Modern Workplace and SaaS, I had to deconstruct all those preconceptions that Azure – and I mean here the aspects beyond what is used with Microsoft 365 (Azure AD, Intune etc) – weren’t for me. In the end all that had stopped me embracing Azure was force of habit

But it’s never too late!

Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900), like it’s equivalent Microsoft 365 Fundamentals (MS-900), is an optional exam. Now, whatever side of the fence you sit on in respect to whether it is worth it for more experienced technicians, there is value here. Having personally taught the MOC (AZ-900T01A) over a dozen times, the general consensus from technicians has been that it’s beneficial to have a broad baseline understanding of the concepts, services and solutions which underpin Azure; then move on to depth. AZ-900, a breadth exam, very much sets up shop for AZ-103 and if you can’t make an AZ-900T01A course all the material is easily sourced between Microsoft Learn and Docs.com. All the links here will aim at these resources. Having been out now for a year, there is also a ton of paid resources around the course including the Official Practice Test, the Official book, EDX and Udemy courses – these are all good for self learning or supplementing learning after a MOC course

Whether you are a technician starting out, or a more experienced technician looking to realign, or a technical seller or business owner looking to understand more about Microsoft’s cloud computing platform and experience new opportunities – AZ-900 is good for one and all. By the time you get your certificate you’ll be thinking where you can go, what you can do and how did you ever get by without Azure in your life

But enough with all the driving analogies. As my wife said – just go do it!

Best of luck – but I very much doubt you will need it

Link to Exam: Here
Released: 31st December 2018
Official Practice Test: Here
MOC Course: AZ-900T01A (1 Day) AZ-900TO0A (2 Day)
Microsoft Learn: Here
Official Book: Here
Open EDX: Here
Udemy: Here

Important Note: this exam prep guide should be used to supplement your own resources and should not be used for the whole of your learning. Some of the resources may be not completely cover the requirements especially if the requirement is vague. If you find better articles than the ones below, please feel free to reach out and I’ll amend

Status: I passed this exam on 03/01/2019 shortly after its release. I had 50 questions in this particular paper. Questions covered all areas pretty equally but I would recommend getting to know the paid support models and the differences between them

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Describe Cloud Concepts (15 – 20%)

Describe the benefits and considerations of using Cloud Services

Describe terms such as High Availability, Scalability, Elasticity, Agility, Fault Tolerance and Disaster Recovery

Describe the Principle of Economies of Scale

Describe the differences between Capital and Operational Expenditure

Describe the consumption based model

Describe the differences between Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) 

Describe Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Describe Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Describe Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Compare and contrast the three different service types

Describe the differences between Public, Private and Hybrid cloud models

Describe Public cloud

Describe Private cloud

Describe Hybrid cloud

Compare and contrast the three different cloud models

Describe Core Azure Services (30 – 35%)

Describe the core Azure architectural components

Describe Regions

Describe Availability Zones

Describe Resource Groups

Describe Azure Resource Manager

Describe the benefits and usage of core Azure architectural components

  • See previous sections and common themes (flexibility, scalability, resiliency, etc.)

Describe some of the core products available in Azure

Describe products available for Compute such as Virtual Machines, Virtual Machine Scale Sets, App Service, , Azure Container Instances (ACI) and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

Describe products available for Networking such as Virtual Network, Load Balancer, VPN Gateway, Application Gateway and Content Delivery Network

Describe products available for Storage such as Blob Storage, Disk Storage, File Storage, and Archive Storage

Describe products available for Databases such as CosmosDB, Azure SQL Database, Azure Database for MySQL, Azure Database for PostgreSQL, Azure Database Migration service

Describe the Azure Marketplace and its usage scenarios

Describe some of the solutions available on Azure

Describe Internet of Things (IoT) and products that are available for IoT on Azure such as IoT Hub and IoT Central

Describe Big Data and Analytics and products that are available for Big Data and Analytics such as Azure Synapse Analytics, HDInsight and Azure Databricks

Describe Artificial Intelligence (AI) and products that are available for AI such as Azure Machine Learning Service and Studio

Describe Serverless computing and Azure products that are available for serverless computing such as Azure Functions, Logic Apps and Event grid

Describe DevOps solutions available on Azure such as Azure DevOps and Azure DevTest Labs

Describe the benefits and outcomes of using Azure solutions

  • Individual Pages Above ^

Describe Azure management tools

Describe Azure tools such as Azure Portal, PowerShell, Azure CLI and Cloud Shell and Azure Mobile

Describe Azure Advisor

Describe Security, Compliance, Privacy and Trust (25 – 30%)

Describe securing network connectivity in Azure

Describe Network Security Group (NSG)

Describe Application Security Group (ASG)

Describe User Defined Routes (UDR)

Describe Azure Firewall

Describe Azure DDoS Protection

Choose an appropriate Azure security solution

Describe core Azure Identity services

Describe the difference between authentication and authorization

Describe Azure Active Directory

Describe Azure Multi-Factor Authentication

Describe security tools and features of Azure

Describe Azure Security Centre

Describe Azure Security centre usage scenarios

Describe Key Vault

Describe Azure Information Protection (AIP)

Describe Azure Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)

Describe Azure governance methodologies

Describe policies and initiatives with Azure Policy

Describe Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

Describe Locks

Describe Azure Advisor security assistance

Describe Azure Blueprints

Describe monitoring and reporting options in Azure

Describe Azure Monitor

Describe Azure Service Health

Describe the use cases and benefits of Azure Monitor and Azure Service Health

Describe privacy, compliance and data protection standards in Azure

Describe industry compliance terms such as GDPR, ISO and NIST

Describe the Microsoft Privacy Statement

Describe the Trust centre

Describe the Service Trust Portal

Describe Compliance Manager

Determine if Azure is compliant for a business need

Describe Azure Government Cloud services

Describe Azure China cloud services

Describe Azure Pricing and Support (20 – 25%)

Describe Azure subscriptions

Describe an Azure Subscription

Describe the uses and options with Azure subscriptions such access control and offer types

Describe subscription management using Management groups

Describe planning and management of costs

Describe options for purchasing Azure products and services

Describe options around Azure Free account

Describe the factors affecting costs such as resource types, services, locations, ingress and egress traffic

Describe Zones for billing purposes

Describe the Pricing calculator

Describe the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculator

Describe best practices for minimizing Azure costs such as performing cost analysis, creating spending limits and quotas, using tags to identify cost owners, using Azure reservations and using Azure Advisor recommendations

Describe Azure Cost Management

Describe Azure Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Describe a Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Describe Composite SLA’s

Describe how to determine an appropriate SLA for an application

Describe service lifecycle in Azure

Describe Public and Private Preview features

Describe the term General Availability (GA)

Understand how to monitor feature updates and product changes

 

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Legacy 

The following sections have been removed from the AZ-900 exam skills from 28th May 2020. However, I would still recommend including this material into your studies for wider knowledge of Azure, and in case questions still emerge in the exam pool for these subjects

Understand the support options available with Azure

Understand support plans that are available such as Dev, Standard, Professional Direct and Premier

Understand how to open a support ticket

Understand available support channels outside of support plan channels

Describe the Knowledge Centre