Challenge Yourself with the New AZ:104 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification

Archive for Cloud Technology

Challenge Yourself with the New AZ:104 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification

Do you have at least six months of hands-on experience administering Azure? 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 innovationCloud Technology 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 a 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.

 

Use Your Software Assurance Training Vouchers Before They Expire, Forever

Don’t Let Your Software Assurance Training Vouchers (SATVs) Go Unused

Has your organization purchased a Microsoft Software Volume Licensing agreement? If so, you may be eligible to redeem Microsoft Software Assurance Training Vouchers (SATVs) and get free training for select Microsoft courses. 

Remember: SATVs can only be redeemed for Microsoft Official Courseware (MOC) with an authorized Microsoft Partner like TechSherpas 365. If your organization doesn’t redeem its SATVs, you could be leaving free training dollars on the table!

Microsoft has announced plans to change, and eventually retire, Software Assurance Training Voucher (SATV) benefits. More information, including the expiration timetable, can be found in our blog article “Microsoft Software Assurance Training Voucher (SATV) – Update“.

 

How Do I Know if My Company Has Microsoft SATVs?

  • Locate your Microsoft Licensing Agreement (Your IT Director or Purchasing department usually has the Licensing Agreement.)
  • Identify the Benefits Administrator (BA) named in the Licensing Agreement (The BA is the individual in your company that has the right to access SATV information.)
  • Log into com/Licensing/ServiceCenterto access your company’s SATV information, such as # of available SATVs, Expiration Date, # of Used SATVs, # of remaining SATVs

How Does My Company Redeem SATVs?

  • Identify the employee that will utilize the SATVs and the number of training days included in the desired class
  • Activate the SATVs by assigning the appropriate number of SATVs (one for each day of training) to the student
  • Submit the student’s name and email address, along with the number of vouchers required, on the SATV website
  • The student will receive an automated email from Microsoft containing an 8-digit code

How Does My Company Use SATVs to Purchase Training?

  • Contact TechSherpas 365, an authorized Microsoft Learning Partner, and register for an SATV authorized Microsoft course
  • Forward the email with the 8-digit code to your Account Representative at TechSherpas 365
  • TechSherpas 365 will then redeem the SATV with Microsoft

What Kind of Training Can Be Redeemed with SATVs?

  • Courses can be delivered online, in the classroom, on-demand, and even on site
  • Choose from technical training in Azure, SQL Server, SharePoint, Windows 10, Windows Server, and more

Do SATVs Expire?

  • Yes, SATVs expire 180 days after they are created
  • Training Vouchers must be requested before your Software Assurance expires and used within 180 days of being requested

 

Redeem your SATVs today, and maximize the ROI on your Microsoft technologies investment.

Information Security Measures for Remote Employees

When it comes to the option for professionals to work from home via the internet, the current possibilities are better than ever before. These new possibilities also bring new challenges and one of them is the of information security. This is especially the case when comes to sensitive data and employees who are working remotely/off-site for corporations. Then even more important to maintain the company’s data and information security.

 

Information Security via Intelligent Password Use

 

One basic measure for information security is to protect the computer that stores and processes the business data. In one of our previous blog posts (Safety and Security 

information security

Measures You Should Follow) we have listed several useful password tips. They concern the choice and handling of computer and account passwords to ensure the security of the company computer/mobile device. They also refer to the respective internet accounts (for example email accounts).

 

Access and Identity Management by the Employer

 

The above mentioned blog post mainly describes security measures to be taken by the individual remote worker. Beyond that, access and identities for cloud-based applications, file storage and corporate networks/intranet can be managed on the corporate side by cloud-based services like the Microsoft Azure Active Directory.

 

Company Server Protection

 

Firewall

It might seem like a rather basic thing to mention here, but because of its importance for server and information security, it certainly does belong on this list. The Firewall software helps prevent access to the system from unauthorized parties.

VPN-Connections

In comparison to Virtual Private Networks (VPN), WiFi connections are more vulnerable to hacking attacks. It enhances the server security and therefore information security if remote employees/telecommuters sign up via VPN when they need to connect their devices remotely to the company network.

SSL/TLS Certificates

SSL or TLS certificates for the company servers (HTTPS) ensure encrypted communication and verifies the other participant’s identity

You can read more about security measures to protect a server here.

 

Separate Business and Private Computers and Mobile Devices

 

To be on an even safer side, it makes sense to keep the business and private computer devices strictly separate, and not to use the computer you use for business purposes for any private internet surfing or email use. The reason for this; internet surfing and email attachments are common ways through which viruses and other malware can infect a computer.

Of course, even if a company adapted such a policy for the computers use by their employees, this would be difficult to enforce. That is why it is very important to educate the respective computer users about how to use the internet and its services, as well as, also to make sure that anti-virus programs and system are always up-to-date.

If you are interested in IT certification related to information security, cyber, and computer security, have a look at our training courses!

 

Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224241

https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/11/security-measures-for-remote-workers.html

https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/7-security-measures-to-protect-your-servers

https://techsherpas.com/7-donts-for-your-computer-security/

https://techsherpas.com/cloud-computing-makes-telecommuting-a-real-possibility/

https://techsherpas.com/cloud-computing-microsoft-azure/

What is the Microsoft Azure Active Directory?

The Microsoft Azure Active Directory (in short: “Azure AD”) is a cloud-based service by Microsoft. It is used for the management of identities and respective access rights. These access rights can apply to:

  • a corporate network/intranet and proprietary applications that are cloud-based
  • external services/applications by Microsoft like the Azure portal as such and Microsoft Office 365. Azure AD is also used in connection with third party SaaS (Software as a service) applications.

Microsoft Azure Active Directory

Who uses the Microsoft Azure Active Directory?

 

Azure AD users are therefore typically IT administrators, App/software developers, as well as, subscribers to the already mentioned Microsoft Products or third party Saas offers.

 

Which kind of licenses are available?

 

Currently, there are five different licenses available for the Microsoft Azure Active Directory/Azure AD. They offer several access levels to Azure Active Directory features:

  1. Free
  2. Basic
  3. Premium P1 (includes the features included in “Free” and “Basis” plus additional features like advanced administration and more). Microsoft also offers a free 30-day Azure Active Directory Premium trial to get you started and to “try out” the additional features that go beyond the “Free” and “Basic” options.
  4. Premium P2 (all the features of Free, Basis and Premium 1, plus Azure AD Identity Protection and Privileged Identity Management )
  5. Feature licenses on a “Pay as you go” basis.

 

How can I learn more about working with the Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft Azure Active Directory?

 

TechSherpas offers several training courses relating to Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft Azure Active Directory. Among these are, for example:

 

  • 10993: Integrating on-premises Identity Infrastructure with Microsoft Azure – for IT professionals with already existing knowledge/experience with Microsoft Azure
  • 10992: Integrating On-Premises Core Infrastructure with Microsoft Azure – for professionals in the areas of IT and DevOps (development operations) with a good knowledge of on-premises technologies and at least basic knowledge in the area of cloud technologies
  • 10979: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals On-Demand – for IT professionals (e.g. administrators, developers) with limited knowledge regarding cloud technologies. If you are interested in a more advanced course that requires a better knowledge of Azure and cloud technologies, you might want to consider taking this one first.

 

These are just a few selected courses from our course catalog. Do you have any questions about our courses or about which course might be the best for your skill level? Just contact us, we will be happy to help.

 

Sources:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/fundamentals/active-

 

Your Career Chances with an MCSA Certification

Cloud computing has become an integral part of today’s corporate/business world. Therefore, these businesses need qualified staff that can implement and work with cloud computing technology. As one of the major providers of cloud technology products, Microsoft offers the MCSA certification as well as a set of other certifications that serve as credentials for expertise of these products.

MCSA Certification

What kind of jobs can you get with an MCSA Certification?

An MCSA Certification (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator) is considered an entry-level certification and is a great credential if you are still in the early stages of your IT career. When you look up the job offer requirements for positions like

  • Network Administrator
  • Network Engineer
  • Exchange Administrator
  • Systems Administrator
  • Desktop Engineer
  • Web Administrator
  • IT Project Manager

You will often find “MCSA” among them.

Since there are several similar certifications with different focus areas, the selection of your focus area will of course also influence your fit for specific job descriptions. If you add additional MCSA certifications and additional focus areas, this will enhance your expert profile.

MCSA does not necessarily limit you to entry-level positions: Especially in combination with extensive hands-on work experience and additional qualifications, one or more MCSA certifications can mark the well-rounded profile of IT professionals even in senior positions. If you already have several of these certifications, it might make sense to use these as stepping stones to obtain an MCSE Certification (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) as well. This will show your qualification to work on and build more complex cloud technology solutions and platforms.

The amount of money you can expect to earn of course depends on several additional factors, but to give you an idea: “Payscale” states 72K as the median annual salary for a Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator,

 

Get your certification!

If you want to find out more about how to become an MCSA, you can read more about that in our blog post “MCSA Certification – how to become a certified Microsoft Solutions Associate”. You might also want to have a closer look at our article about the Microsoft Certification Paths, where you can find more information about the requirements and the various focus areas of the MCSA Certification and the MCSE Certification (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert), the next step, which is another part of the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certification program.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, TechSherpas professional certified instructor  provide certification training for MCSA as well as MCSE.

 

Sources:
https://www.itcareerfinder.com/it-certifications/microsoft-certifications/mcsa-2012.html
https://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=msca&vjk=ba8027abcc0d5981
https://techsherpas.com/the-microsoft-certification-paths/

 

 

Work From Home Jobs for IT Professionals

Qualified work from home jobs (or telecommuting/remote jobs) are not that unusual anymore. Instead, the demand for the option to work remotely has become a trend. Modern technology, especially computer, cloud computing and the internet with high-speed connectivity, make that possible. Since information technology provides the means for remote working, the question of whether it is also an option for IT professionals is obvious.

 

Which IT-related tasks can be performed from home/remotely?

Technically, most of the everyday IT-utilizing tasks can be performed remotely – provided that necessary hardware is in place and the adequate infrastructure and procedures for authentication and encryption are in place. The latter is especially important to ensure computer, information, and cybersecurity: Remote working opportunities must be secure to not endanger the employer’s business by making it more accessible to hacking and other cyber-attacks.

There are a few exemptions: When physical access to hardware other than the individual’s own is necessary (e.g. server rooms), the respective IT staff of course needs to be on-site or at least be able to directly communicate with somebody on-site.

 

Availability of remote/work from home jobs in information technology

If you are looking for work from home/remote jobs as an IT professional, look out for job titles like these – as can currently be found on internet job portals:

work from home jobs

  • Network Administrator, Network Engineer, Network Analyst
  • Systems Administrator, Systems Engineer
  • Cloud Operations Administrator
  • IT Support
  • SAP Basis Administrator
  • Linus Administrator
  • Cisco Voice Engineer
  • Azure PAAS Architect
  • .NET Developer
  • Network Operations Coordinator
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Technical Project Manager
  • AWS Architect
  • Database Engineer

Look for job titles like these in combination with typical keywords like:

  • Telecommuting
  • Work from home
  • Remote
  • Virtual

 

Could working from home/remotely be an option for you?

There are various reasons why some people prefer to work from home or – generally – on a remote basis. Maybe you

  • have a particularly long commute
  • are a parent who is just re-starting work after parental leave or other leave of absence
  • need to take care of a child/children at home or are a caregiver otherwise
  • want to travel extensively or even prefer a nomadic lifestyle

Whatever the reasons, the question if remote working is an option for you in your current job is something your employer needs to decide.

Have you been looking through the above listed job titles and are intrigued, but you find that you are still lacking a particular qualification/certification? TechSherpas offers a wide range of certification training courses, live on-site, virtual, or on-demand, to help you reach your career goals.

 

Sources:
https://www.itproportal.com/features/technologys-role-in-improving-work-life-balance-for-remote-workers/

https://www.indeed.com

Overview: Microsoft Office 365 Services and Applications (Part 2)

This is the second part of our overview of the different plans for Microsoft Office 365 and the Office 365 applications and services that are included in those plans. Our emphasis this time is on the Office 365 services, which focus on collaboration, organization and communication among different users (e.g. team members), especially for business purposes.

Collaboration and Communication with the Office 365 Services

OneDrive

OneDrive is a cloud-based file-hosting service.Teamwork with Office 365 Services

Skype/Skype for Business

Skype is a communication software providing the possibility of video and voice calls/messaging, as well as instant messaging/text chats and the exchange of files between the users. It also allows for making calls to regular telephones

Skype for Business includes the already mentioned features, but with advanced functionalities especially in the area of call handling (routing, forwarding). In contrast to the basic Skype version, Skype for Business could manage the tasks of a corporate/enterprise phone system.

SharePoint

SharePoint is an online platform for the storage and management of documents. It features functionalities to enable collaboration within teams/organizations (intranet, wikis, process management), as well as, options for customization/configuration.

Exchange

Exchange is a service for “business class email and calendaring”. Additional add-ins provide the option for further extension and customization of the service,

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams provides the function of a hub for teamwork and collaboration in Office 365.

Office 365 Applications: Access and Publisher

There are also two more Microsoft applications included in some of the Office 365 plans (though only available for PC, not for Mac). They have both been part of the Microsoft Office Suite for decades as well (i.e. the early 1990’s).

Access:

Microsoft Access is a well-known software tool to create databases. It allows you to collect, organize, store and access information electronically.

Publisher:

Microsoft Publisher is a desktop-publishing application that allows for word processing tasks with an emphasis on design and layout.

Mastering Microsoft Office 365 with TechSherpas

We at TechSherpas are your competent partner for IT certification and learning solutions. As a Microsoft Gold Partner we are specifically certified to provide instruction for Microsoft products. If you want to enhance your skill set by achieving in-depth knowledge about the various Microsoft Office 365 applications and features, you can find a variety of Microsoft Office 365 certification and training courses in our course catalogue.

If you have any further questions – just let us know!

 

Sources:

https://www.tecfac.net/2015/10/29/skype-for-business/the-difference-between-skype-and-skype-for-business/

https://products.office.com/en-us/compare-all-microsoft-office-products?tab=2&OCID=AID717974_SEM_RsukckXV&lnkd=Google_O365SMB_NI

Cloud Computing with Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a set of cloud computing services in the Microsoft Cloud. It groups Azure services as well as third-party applications.

About Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is becoming an increasingly important topic, for regular computer users as well as IT professionals. One of the most common and familiar uses of a cloud is online data storage: Instead of saving their files directly to their computer or external storage devices, they can upload it to “the cloud”, which provides the functions of a virtual storage device.

cloud computing Microsoft Azure

The benefits are obvious:

  1. The user requires less space for file storage on their own computers.
  2. Even while using a different computer, the user can still access their files via online-access to the cloud.

What is Microsoft Azure?

File storage options like the ones mentioned above are of course only a small and basic part of what cloud computing can do. While these cloud storage functions save the users space on their computers hard drives, of greater importance for many is the use of other cloud computing services and applications.

The following are just some examples of the solutions Microsoft Azure provides:

  • Virtual Machines: supported by IBM, Linux, SAP, Oracle, as well as Windows Server and SQL Server
  • Databases: Azure SQL Database and Azure Cosmos DB
  • Apps: solutions to create cloud-based apps for mobile and web use
  • Blockchain: connection of your blockchain to the cloud with the Blockchain Workbench
  • Azure DNS: to host your DNS Domain
  • Network Watcher: monitors and diagnoses your network performance
  • Media Services: for encoding, streaming and storing media files (video and audio)

Microsoft Azure Training Courses with TechSherpas

As certified Microsoft Gold Partners for learning solutions, TechSherpas provide a range of Azure-related trainings aimed at IT professionals. This includes boot camp courses and on-demand learning, as well as options to choose either In-Classroom Learning (ICL) or Virtual Live Training (VLT). The availability of these options depends on the specific courses, so please make sure to read the respective course description for details.

If you have any further questions or need information that you did not find there, simply contact us. You can either give us a call, or use the provided contact form.

The technical possibilities of cloud computing have once more revolutionized the way we work with computers. What kind of positive impact did it have on you? Let us know in the comments!

Sources:

http://azure.microsoft.com/
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/get-started/

Take a few simple steps to earn an MCSA/MCSE Cloud Platform & Infrastructure Microsoft Certifications

Certified IT professionals, now more than ever, are being sought out by corporations to ensure they get qualified individuals to run their organizations more efficiently. The streamlined Microsoft Certifications were created with job roles in mind. Depending on the role an IT professional will have, there are certification pathways in place to get them the skills sets and qualifications they will need to fill their role.

Here, we will breakdown the Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certification tracks. There are four pathways to earn the MCSA, which is the first step in earning the MCSE.

 Microsoft Cloud Platform & Infrastructure Certification Pathway

  Microsoft Certifications:

  • MCSA Windows Server 2012,
  • MCSA Windows Server 2016
  • MCSA Linux on Azure (including LFCS)
  • MCSA Cloud Platform
  • MCSE Cloud Platform & Infrastructure

Earning an MCSA requires you to take 2-3 courses/exams (depending on the certificate you are going for). Once you have earned any of the MCSA’s listed above, you only need to take 1 elective course/exam to earn the MCSE.

Target job roles:

  • MCSA level: Cloud administrator, network or computer systems administrator, computer network specialist, cloud specialist in Linux
  • MCSE level: Senior cloud administrator, cloud architect, cloud engineer in Linux, computer support specialist, information security analyst

You can earn an MCSA by taking a bootcamp, or purchasing a bundle. There are Live instructor-led options as well as On-Demand options – all created with you in mind, so there is something to fit every budget and schedule. Sign up today! Get certified!

Boot Camps

Bundles

  • MCSA: Cloud Platform / MCSE: Cloud Platform & Infrastructure
  • MCSA: Linux on Azure / MCSE: Cloud Platform & Infrastructure
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2016 / MCSE: Cloud Platform & Infrastructure

Have questions? Feel free to reach out to us! Our team is ready to guide you towards the right path to fit your learning goals, budget, and schedule.

 

Collaboration Via OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is much more than just a convenient note-taking app – especially once you know how to get the best use out of it.

Collaboration is Made Possible with One Note

Therefore, this is a short overview of the various things you can do within Microsoft OneNote, and how to put them to good use for collaboration purposes with other people (even whole teams).

OneNote allows you to create virtual notebooks and to subdivide these into sections, pages, and sub-pages. The app includes (depending on the version you are using) different functionalities already known from the Microsoft Office package:

General Functions of One Note

Text:

  • Create, format and edit texts
  • Use templates to create various kinds of document styles
  • Create and check-off task lists

Tables/Spreadsheets:

  • Create tables/spreadsheets within OneNote and also convert them into the Microsoft Excel format
  • Import tables from Excel

Graphics, Images, Design:

  • Include and arrange graphics and images (e.g. screenshots, photos)
  • Draw free-hand

Multimedia:

The functionalities may vary depending on your OneNote version.

  • Record and embed audio and video files
  • Link to and/or embed Youtube videos)
  • Embed/insert files in various formats

These functions allow you to collect, arrange and organize information from various sources and in various formats. You can do so on your computer, within your internet browser as well as on your mobile device, and you can easily synchronize your entries via internet access across your different devices (either automatically or manually) as well as with the people you select to share the respective notebook with.

 

Collaboration Methods:

The function that makes OneNote so useful for collaboration purposes is the possibility of sharing one or several of your notebooks with other users, and to determine whether they are merely granted viewing rights or can edit the shared content as well.

Thus it allows several users to compile and view collected information in one place, and to jointly work on text drafts (editing, annotations), check-off to-do lists etc.

When a user makes changes on a page, it synchronizes in almost real-time, and the recent changes appear on the other users’ devices marked with a different color to indicate them as changes done by someone other than oneself.

Your OneNote is connected to your Microsoft account, and you can access OneNote either via the respective mobile app or computer software (which can be downloaded from Microsoft and comes already preinstalled with Windows 10). You can also access it online via your internet browser: https://onedrive.live.com

 

 

https://products.office.com/en-US/onenote

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Share-a-OneNote-2016-for-Windows-notebook-with-other-people-d14b6033-7a95-4536-9216-bb0a5e0f8285

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/a-guide-to-microsoft-onenote-on-windows-10/

https://onedrive.live.com