All Things Azure – Apps & Infrastructure

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All Things Azure – Apps & Infrastructure

Careers in Azure

Microsoft’s Azure: or “Azure”, as it is commonly called, has quickly risen in the ranks as one of the most trusted and widely used cloud computing services in the world. With over 95% of Fortune 500 companies utilizing its services/products it is no wonder why Azure has exploded since coming onto the scene in 2008. The creation of Azure was fashioned to assist in the building, testing, deploying, and managing of applications and services through its, Microsoft, data centers. Azure allows users to manage all applications throughout multiple clouds both on and off premises, with the tools and framework that they (users) prefer. As of now Azure boasts over 600 services and 200 products. Microsoft, within the last two years, switched gears from its certifications focusing on specific technologies (product-centric) to a more role specific (role-based) approach after receiving invaluable feedback from its partners and customers. Instead of focusing on the technologies in general, the newer role-based programs mapped easier pathways for jobs/positions. Since the newer certifications were more comprehensive, they divided the wealth of knowledge (of Azure) into four solution areas with each having subdivided levels of difficulty (fundamentals, associate, expert):

  • Apps & Infrastructure
  • Data & AI
  • Modern Workspace
  • Business Applications

In this blog we will be focusing on the Apps & Infrastructure solution area, with its various levels of difficulty and what that means to IT professionals in Azure.

Apps & Infrastructure

Apps & Infrastructure was the first solution to be recognized by Microsoft. With the constant updates of refreshing Azure content, Apps & Infrastructure remains one of the most popular areas of focus. Azure’s focus tends to be aimed towards administrative, development, and security engineer type roles. The best way to dip your toe into the Azure world would be to go through a Fundamentals Course and see which role best suites your needs.

IT training nationwide

Typically, candidates that take the Azure Fundamentals certification have a foundational knowledge of basic cloud services and how those services are provided through Azure. This certification is intended for candidates that are just starting to work with cloud-based solutions and services, or new to Azure. The Fundamentals certificate is a wonderful way to prepare for other Azure role-based certifications but is not a prerequisite for any of them. A good Associate level certification would be AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator. Candidates for this certification generally have subject matter expertise with the implementation, management, and monitoring of an organization’s Azure environment. Typically, an Azure Administrator frequently serves as part of a larger unit dedicated to controlling the cloud infrastructure. The average salary for an Azure Administrator ranges from about $67k-$85k depending on their experience with many opportunities to grow.

Developer vs. Architect

If your skillset is more at an intermediate (Associate) level two potential job roles to entertain would be developer or architect. The Associate level developer would be an ideal candidate for the AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure certification. Candidates that are considering this route typically have a solid foundation and understanding of designing, building, testing, and maintaining cloud applications and services on Azure. This role is responsible for participating in every aspect of cloud development from requirements to maintenance. A typical IT professional with this certification can expect a salary in the range of $101k-$113k. The Azure Developers partner with the Solutions Architect in order to implement solutions. If you are more interested in the architect route, then the MCE: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification is for you. Potential candidates for this certification should be well versed in designing and implementing solutions that run Azure, including aspects like computing, networking, storage, and security. The responsibilities for this role include advising decision makers and translating the requirements into secure, scalable, and reliable cloud solutions. This role manages how decisions in each area (networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data platform, budgeting, and governance) will affect an overall solution. The average salary for an Azure Architect is around $156k. Both the developer and architect have proven track records of job stability with massive endless prospects for growth.

Only Moving Forward

Microsoft has proven its staying power throughout the decades but they outdid themselves with the creation of Azure. With the ability to control scalability, cost-effictive subscription models, top tier cybersecurity, and enterprise-level development tools, it is no wonder why Azure continues to be a popular choice amongst businesses alike. The world has developed an absolute dependence on technology and with that comes the need to have qualified candidates filling the necessary IT professional roles. Becoming certified in Azure provides more stablity and higher salary opportunities than most. If you are interested in learning more about Azure and the potential role-based certifications contact us.




The New AZ:104 Microsoft Azure Administrator

Do you have at least six months of hands-on experience administering Azure? Looking into an administrative IT career? Do you also have a strong understanding of core Azure services, security, governance and workloads? Then the new AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator certification is for you.

What is AZ:104 and how is it Different than AZ:103?

Microsoft recently announced the release of AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator, the replacement for the recently retired AZ-103. If you are wondering what the major differences are between the two then you are not alone. The easiest way to break down the key differences is to point out the obvious,AZ-103 focused its exam topics on the importation and exportation of data to Azure, while AZ-104 goes deeper and focuses on the management of data that is in Azure storage. Each exam focuses its concentration on different domains, as shown below:

AZ-103: Microsoft Azure Administrator

AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator

  • Management of Azure subscriptions and resources
  • Management of Azure identities and governance
  • Implementation and management of storage
  • Implementation and management of storage
  • Deployment and management of virtual machines (VMs)
  • Deployment and management of computing resources
  • Configuration and management of virtual networks
  • Configuration and management of virtual networks
  • Identity management
  • Monitoring and backup of Azure resources

Whereas they appear to be similar, the key takeaway is that the newer Azure Administrator certification exam redirects its focus on deployment and management of computing resources rather than that of virtual networks. Candidates clearly notice the new opportunities and challenges that the AZ-104 exam brings to the table. In all, the AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator course/exam teaches IT professionals how to manage their Azure subscriptions, secure identities, administer the infrastructure, configure virtual networking, connect Azure and on-premises sites, manage network traffic, implement storage solutions, create and scale virtual machines, implement web apps and containers, back up and share data, and monitor your solution.

Is the Cloud the Future?

As cloud infrastructures dominate the IT world and beyond, Microsoft has proven its agility and efficiency in driving innovationAZ-104 Administrative through new insights and capturing new advantages through cloud-based advances. Quickly catching up to its competitors at an astonishing rate it has been reported that the cloud service provider has a YOY (year over year) growth rate of 154% (as of 2020) and the total number of companies adapting and utilizing Microsoft Azure has grown to nearly 400,000. With many more businesses shifting to cloud-based operations it is no wonder why the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics currently projects a higher than average growth rate of 10% within the Azure Administrator field. Companies are constantly looking for employees with the right skillset and it has been shown that candidates that have the Azure Administrator certification not only improve their salary, it also allows them the opportunity to secure their current position (job security) or lock in that promotion. With the current median pay looming around $84,000/year it is no wonder why this certification is so alluring to so many.

Certifications Open Doors

As data has shown the enormous demand for IT qualified candidates is booming and still on the rise. It is anticipated that the average growth rate for IT jobs will increase by 15% by 2028, whereas the national job growth average is projected at 10.5%.  If you seek an administrative IT career that provides job security, massive growth potential, a challenging work environment and financial stability then take a look at Microsoft’s Role Based Certifications. The AZ-104 Microsoft Azure Administrator certification has no prerequisites to take, however, if you are new to the Azure world then you may be interested in the AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals certification exam prior to starting the AZ-104. Stand out above the rest of the competition, prove your skills and knowledge. Certifications offer a way for you to prove your value to future and current employers. Make an investment in yourself and become certified today.