Microsoft Certified: Azure – Fundamentals Exam AZ-900
Hello there, if you want to earn for yourself the fundamental Microsoft Azure certification before the end of 2022 but are not quite sure how to go about preparing for it then you have come to the right place.
In recent times, there has been a huge surge in the need for professionals with computing skills.
The three major organizations – Microsoft, Amazon and Google have increased constructive advocacy into attracting startups and companies into the need for them to adopt cloud computing and migrate their workloads into the cloud.
Microsoft Azure Fundamentals otherwise and popularly referred to as AZ-900 exam is considered as the fundamental level exam for cloud technology enthusiasts, professionals and non-technical managers who have a plan to start a rewarding career in cloud solutions and services to level up into getting cloud computing skills and services and how to provide these services via Azure.
Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900) Exam Preparation Ideas
In preparation and readiness to make the knowledge of the cloud a seamless journey, cloud providers such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, IBM, Oracle, Ali Baba, etc have their own fundamental level certification exams.
On a high level, they all have a common definition of what cloud computing is all about. Likewise, there is similarity in topics such as storage, network, compute, memory, database among all things.
Other concepts such Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS), Public cloud, Private cloud, Hybrid cloud, and pricing, are also similar across boards.
What is AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (Microsoft Azure) Exam ?
AZ-900 is the beginner level certification offered by Microsoft. Whether you’re just transitioning into technology or you’re an entry level person in the early stage in the cloud computing world using Microsoft Azure platform, then this is the appropriate certification to begin with. This certification is quite easy to prepare for in order to pass in the shortest period of time based on the amount of effort exerted.
Getting your fundamentals and basic concept of Microsoft Azure cleared by passing the AZ-900 exam, rest assured that proceeding into the complex operation, administration and functionalities associated with the Microsoft Azure solution will be very easy to ascend.
Benefits of becoming Microsoft Azure (AZ-900) Fundamentals Certified
As business owners begin to key into adopting cloud services into their business operations and a good number of services sector is undergoing a total digital transformation, it’s imperative that cloud-based solutions providers such as Microsoft give a soft landing for the transformation. Getting Microsoft Azure Certifications for professionals transiting into cloud and experienced professionals becomes compulsory in order to reassure the businesses that migrating their business operations into the cloud landscape will be done by capable individuals.
Here are some of the essential reasons why individuals and distributed teams need to become Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certified:
• Microsoft Azure is one of the major cloud-based solution providers worldwide that has grown exponentially in recent years.
• Microsoft Azure platform is being utilized by more than 80% of Fortune 500 companies.
• Azure also provides services for several countries. They have officially been accredited for their Government processes. The US-run Azure service is referred to as Azure Government for US.
• Job opportunities are now widespread across industries such as Education, Healthcare, Banking, and more. Here, cloud computing has helped in reducing Infrastructure and IT costs.
• Cloud computing is presently rated to be a multi-billion-dollar business globally because of the significant adoption of cloud services by companies.
Prerequisites for AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Exam
Before sitting for the Microsoft AZ-900 exam, it’s not a criteria that you must have gotten a specific expertise and experience in cloud computing nor be a programmer or developer. Here are examples of those who the AZ-900 certification exam is suitable for:
• If your business model is essentially about selling cloud solutions or services, then the AZ-900 Exam will be of benefit for you.
• If you are a beginner and do not have any IT or technical background, then scaling the Microsoft AZ-900 exam will be easy.
• It’s a suitable bedrock for those who want to ascertain, verify and update their cloud solutions knowledge.
• For candidates who have a considerable IT background, knowledge or experience, enrolling in the AZ-900 exam will be a good idea.
• For those who aspire for advanced knowledge in Azure, it’s highly recommended to commence their journey with the AZ-900 exam. This will solidify the fundamental concepts and make moving into the advanced level Microsoft Azure certification a walk in the park.
In the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Exam AZ-900, candidates are usually faced with two format of questions. The first one is the multiple-choice type and the second one being the multiple-response question. The multiple-choice type has one correct option with three incorrect options. The incorrect options are known as distractors. As for the multiple-choice response, there are usually more than one right response out of a possible four or five options.
Note: Getting one response correct and another one wrong in a multiple-response type does not earn one a correct mark.
Objectives of Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Exam
Learners who register for the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900) certification course, will gain knowledge on:
• Understanding of Microsoft Azure cloud concepts
• Foundational understanding of working with Azure cloud solutions.
• Ability to differentiate between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS)
• Understanding cloud service and deployment models such as public, private, and hybrid.
• Familiarizing with core Azure services such as Azure architectural components and Azure management tools
• General knowledge of Azure service lifecycle and Service level agreements (SLAs).
• Azure pricing and subscriptions for their services
AZ 900 Exam Course Outline
Microsoft has simplified the course outline in such a way that the modules to be covered are clearly stated along with the percentage level of coverage. Learning about the course objectives enable potential candidates have clear knowledge and insight about these modules before even starting preparation for the AZ-900 exam.
Exam AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam course includes 3 domains. Details of these domains are given below along with percentage weightage. Ensure your study plan surrounds these topics.
Describe Cloud Concepts – 25 to 30%.
Describe Azure architecture and services (35–40%)
Describe Azure management and governance (30–35%)
Here is a breakdown of the topics:
Describe cloud concepts (25–30%)
Describe cloud computing
• Define cloud computing
• Describe the shared responsibility model
• Define cloud models, including public, private, and hybrid
• Identify appropriate use cases for each cloud model
• Describe the consumption-based model
• Compare cloud pricing models
Describe the benefits of using cloud services
• Describe the benefits of high availability and scalability in the cloud
• Describe the benefits of reliability and predictability in the cloud
• Describe the benefits of security and governance in the cloud
• Describe the benefits of manageability in the cloud
Describe cloud service types
• Describe infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
• Describe platform as a service (PaaS)
• Describe software as a service (SaaS)
• Identify appropriate use cases for each cloud service (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS)
Describe Azure architecture and services (35–40%)
Describe the core architectural components of Azure
• Describe Azure regional, regional pairs, and sovereign regions
• Describe availability zones
• Describe Azure datacenters
• Describe Azure resources and resource groups
• Describe subscriptions
• Describe management groups
• Describe the hierarchy of resource groups, subscriptions, and management groups
Describe Azure compute and networking services
• Compare compute types, including container instances, virtual machines (VMs), and functions
• Describe VM options, including Azure Virtual Machines, Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets,
availability sets, and Azure Virtual Desktop
• Describe resources required for virtual machines
• Describe application hosting options, including the Web Apps feature of Azure App Service,
containers, and virtual machines
• Describe virtual networking, including the purpose of Azure Virtual Networks, Azure virtual
subnets, peering, Azure DNS, Azure VPN Gateway, and Azure ExpressRoute
• Define public and private endpoints
Describe Azure storage services
• Compare Azure storage services
• Describe storage tiers
• Describe redundancy options
• Describe storage account options and storage types
• Identify options for moving files, including AzCopy, Azure Storage Explorer, and Azure File Sync
• Describe migration options, including Azure Migrate and Azure Data Box
Describe Azure identity, access, and security
• Describe directory services in Azure, including Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and Azure
Active Directory Domain Services (Azure AD DS)
• Describe authentication methods in Azure, including single sign-on (SSO), multifactor
authentication, and passwordless
• Describe external identities and guest access in Azure
• Describe Azure AD Conditional Access
• Describe Azure role-based access control (RBAC)
• Describe the concept of Zero Trust
• Describe the purpose of the defense in depth model
• Describe the purpose of Microsoft Defender for Cloud
Describe Azure management and governance (30–35%)
Describe cost management in Azure
• Describe factors that can affect costs in Azure
• Compare the Pricing calculator and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculator
• Describe the Azure Cost Management and Billing tool
• Describe the purpose of tags
Describe features and tools in Azure for governance and compliance
• Describe the purpose of Azure Blueprints
• Describe the purpose of Azure Policy
• Describe the purpose of resource locks
• Describe the purpose of the Service Trust Portal
Describe features and tools for managing and deploying Azure resources
• Describe the Azure portal
• Describe Azure Cloud Shell, including Azure CLI and Azure PowerShell
• Describe the purpose of Azure Arc
• Describe Azure Resource Manager and Azure Resource Manager templates (ARM templates)
Describe monitoring tools in Azure
• Describe the purpose of Azure Advisor
• Describe Azure Service Health
• Describe Azure Monitor, including Log Analytics, Azure Monitor alerts, and Application Insights
How to Prepare for the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Certification Exam ?
After fully knowing the objectives and outlines of the Microsoft Azure Fundamental certification and why individuals should get certified for it and companies sponsoring its employees to getting certified, it’s high time to craft out a plan to pass this prestigious exam.
It’s important to know that this exam is not difficult to pass! What it simply entails is blocking out time to practice and prepare. Just find your learning pattern and routine according to your schedule and therefore progress with baby steps.
Here is a step by step guide to effectively ace the Microsoft’s new AZ-900 or Azure Fundamentals certification in 2022:
1) Microsoft Learn
Even though there are a number of resources to assist with your exam preparation, it’s natural that we start with Microsoft’s own online platform called Microsoft Learn. This platform provides various learning paths and modules. It’s self-paced and all materials there are provided for free. It’s majorly a text-based platform with few video instructions, however, it has a code sandbox where learners are opportune to have hands-on practice where they are given access to the Azure Portal and the Azure Cloud shell. Learners are expected to create profile where their learning progress are recorded, badges displayed and certifications presented all in a single account.
Here is the link to the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification (AZ-900) on Microsoft Learn:
2) A Cloud Guru
A Cloud Guru is one of the major cloud learning platforms with tons of high-quality videos and illustrations that appeals to learners. In collaboration with Pluralsight, they’re currently offering free courses till the end of the year 2022. From amongst the courses provided is the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals. One interesting to note about A Cloud Guru is the fact that it provides very detailed hands-on lab. The hands-on mode is divided into two:
The guided lab mode allows learners practice new skills and instructional support are provided for them. As for the challenge mode, learners are meant to prove their skills without any instructor of any sort while receiving a score. The course is 17.3 hours long, 138 total lessons, 13 course quizzes and 5 hands-on labs.
Asides the hands-on labs, there are also quizzes provided after every course chapter. This enables learners analyze how questions are presented and how to answer them.
Here is the link to access the free cloud courses: Cloud Certification | Pluralsight | Pluralsight
And here is the link for the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals course on A Cloud Guru: AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals – A Cloud Guru
3) Cloud Academy
This platform is also similar to the A Cloud Guru. The platform is majorly about DevOps and cloud computing. The lessons are presented with nice illustrations and video courses. In addition, the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals course has knowledge checks after every lesson and hands-on labs. The hands-on labs are spread across the course but not after every lesson.
The course is 10 hours long, 6 course Exams, and 3 hands-on labs.
Here is the link for the course: AZ-900 Exam Preparation: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals – Cloud Academy
4) Microsoft Day Events
Microsoft has instructor-led trainings all-year round in order to present Microsoft products to the public and what Microsoft has to offer to its customers. For learners who are not able to pay for the AZ-900 fundamental exam. Once you register for the event, join the training for a 2-day session, then you get a free voucher to sit for the exam.
Here is the link for the event, simply select the ‘Fundamentals’ tab: Microsoft Virtual Training Days
5) Andrew Brown’s Youtube course
This course was developed by Andrew Brown of ExamPro. It’s a 3-hour long video explanation of Azure fundamental concepts, illustrations and hands-on session he referred to as “Follow Alongs”
6) John Savill
He has a playlist on Youtube where the fundamentals of Azure concepts are explained. Here is the link: AZ-900 Certification Course – Introduction – YouTube
NB: It should be noted that it’s not a requirement to follow through all the courses and resources mentioned above in order to prepare for the exam. It’s simply just a guide. While preparing for the exam, I observed that some Azure concepts were not clearly explained in a particular course, however, after watching the explanation in a different course, I was finally able to understand.
HOW TO PASS THE MICROSOFT AZ-900 FUNDAMENTALS USING PRACTICE EXAMS
It’s required that learners experience an exam simulation of the real exam. This comes after preparing for the exam through studying the notes taken throughout the course. Here are some of the resources for the practice exams:
1) A Cloud Guru
They provide six practice exams for those preparing for the exam. Each practice exam lasts for 1 hour 30 minutes duration with a total number of 40 questions. Here are the six links for the practice:
2) Cloud Academy
Here, learners are opportune to attempt 50 questions within a time-frame of 1 hour. The questions can be repeatedly done without a limit to the number of times to do them.
Here is the link for the exam: Cert Prep: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900) (cloudacademy.com)
There’s no limit to the amount of time to use the practice exams. The motive is to understand how the questions are presented, the answers are displayed such as multiple-choice (where you have a correct answer and three other distractors) and multiple response (where you have more than one answers in the options).
How to schedule for the exam ?
After adequate studying and you’ve gained enough confidence, this is when you should enroll for the exam. You can schedule for it via Microsoft certification page on Microsoft learn
Here is the link for registration: Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals – Certifications | Microsoft Learn
How much does the Exam cost ?
The exam cost $99 for those in the United States, however, the price is based on the country or region in which the exam is taken. Simply select your country from the drop-down menu to know what it cost.
Where can I sit for the exam ?
You can do this either at the Pearson Vue registered testing centers or at your personal workspace such as home, office, etc.
What is the passing score for the exam ?
The exam report is reported on a scale of 1 to 1,000. One needs a passing score of 700 and above to scale the exam.
Advice and tips based on my personal experience
I will recommend that whoever wants to approach the exam with excellent grades should simply follow the mode of preparation mentioned above. It’s common that people are encouraged to use exam dumps. This is highly discouraged because anyone who simply memorized the answers can pass the exams but this is detrimental to the community in the long run. It will mean that people could be certified but cannot actually defend the certification through a transparent interview process or even head a study session by training others.
Kindly do the following things on the day of your exam:
- Wake up early.
- Eat and drink a lot of water
- Review the practice exams again
- Arrive at the testing center early if you plan to do it from the testing center.
- Ensure your internet connection is great if you plan on doing it at home, office, etc
- Stay positive
Thanks for reading this AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam preparation guide. Wish you success in your exams.