What is the Microsoft Azure Active Directory?

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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-

 

How Can a Microsoft Azure Certification Boost Your Career?

More and more businesses are using cloud-computing technology. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for people that possess the required skills better known as a Microsoft Azure Certification. One reason this technology has become popular is its ability to help saving on company investment of server space. Another reason for its popularity is because employees increasingly need to be able to access their files from somewhere else other than their stationary office work space. If you need to show that you possess cloud-computing skills and know how to apply them, a Microsoft Azure Certification provides you with just the right advantage over the job-seeking competition.

Microsoft Azure Certification

Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft Azure Certification

In our recent blog post, we have already elaborated on the six different Microsoft Certification Paths and the Microsoft Certification Map: The MCSA Certification (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) with 17 different focus area certifications that form the stepping stones to achieving that goal.

  • one of the five MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) certifications
  • or the MCSD certification, which stands for “Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer.”

Depending on which focus areas and key technologies you focus on while achieving your MCSA Certification, you can set the path towards a Microsoft Azure related MCSE/MCSD certification.

 

Why invest into obtaining an official certification?

It is true: Nowadays, there are many ways to achieve knowledge and to hone one’s skills. One can read books, subscribe to podcasts and newsletters, watch Youtube videos and much more. Theoretically, you might be able to work with Microsoft Azure without any specific certification in that area.

If you have chosen information technology and cloud computing as your actual career fields, then these kinds of self-taught skills are probably not enough to get ahead. Anyone can claim they possess the skills and practical experience, but if you want to make a sustainable career out of those, you are going to need to show corresponding credentials as a recognizable proof of your expertise.

When you are looking for a new job, your CV usually is the first source of information for your potential future employer, and they probably have to decide between a multitude of applicants. A convincing CV is extremely important, because this phase of the application-process is the first hurdle you need to master in order to make it to a personal interview. An official and industry-recognized Microsoft Azure Certification in your CV documents that you have participated in a structured education and made it successfully through the required exams is important. This does not only show your personal dedication, but also provides a certain security for the future employer, that they will be able to rely on you having received your education and certifications by a reputable and recognized provider.

See also:
https://www.techsherpas.com/azure-skills-initiative-and-special-offers/

 

The Microsoft Certification Paths and the Microsoft Certification Map

In our last blog post we discussed two Microsoft certifications – MCSA and MCSE – as entry-level and mid-level IT certifications to boost your career as an IT professional. Today we would like to take a closer look at the six Microsoft certification paths for the certifications of MCSA, MCSE and MCSD: the Microsoft Certification Map.

What do the Microsoft Certification Paths show?

There are six different Microsoft Certification paths as part of the Microsoft Certification Map: 17 MCSA focus areas, 5 MCSEs and 1 MCSD. The Microsoft Certification Map shows how you can combine these focus areas to stepping-stones towards achieving the desired MCSE or MCSD certification.

While MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) is an entry-level certification that can stand on its own, it is also part of the certification path (or track) to an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) or MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer) certification.

The 17 MCSA focus areas are (in alphabetical order):

  • BI Reporting
  • Cloud Platform
  • Data Engineering with Azure
  • Linux on Azure
  • Machine Learning
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations
  • Office 365
  • SQL 2016 BI Development
  • SQL 2016 Database Administration
  • SQL 2016 Database Development
  • SQL Server 2012/2014
  • Universal Windows Platform
  • Web Applications
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2016

 

Microsoft Certification Map

Microsoft Certification Map

 

The Microsoft Certification Map explained

The Certification Map with its six Microsoft Certification Paths shows you, which of the different MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) focus area certifications form the path to each of the five MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) certifications and the MCSD certification.

The five MCSE certifications/focus areas with their different key technologies are:

In addition, there is one MCSD certification path (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer) within the focus area.

  • App Builder with the key technologies: Azure, C#. SharePoint. Office Client, Visual Studio, .Net and HTML5

The have already mentioned stepping-stones for each of these six certification paths which are:

  • combinations of the above mentioned 17 MCSA focus areas
  • PLUS one passed exam from an elective exam pool

These exam pools are periodically updated, and so it is important for you to always consider the current version of the Microsoft Certification Paths.

You can find our most current version of the certification (road-)map here, or by clicking on the image above. This will lead you to not only an enlarged version of the map, but also to a more detailed info graphic for each of the certification paths.

 

Sources:
https://www.techsherpas.com/microsoft-certification-map/
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/browse-all-certifications.aspx?technology=windows%20server

 

 

Which of the Microsoft Office 365 Plans Is Right For Me?

Microsoft Office 365 PlansTo decide, which of the available Microsoft Office 365 Plans is the right one for your requirements, let us go through the various selection criteria to point you into the right direction.

Microsoft Office 365 Plans for Home and Business

First of all, there is the option for home use:

  • Office 365 Home
  • Office 365 Personal

with a special version

  • Office Home and Students 2016 for PC

For business purposes, you have the choice between three different options:

  • Office 365 Business
  • Office 365 Premium Business
  • Office 365 Business Essentials

Microsoft Office 365 is available for PC and Mac. The Homes and Students version (only for PC) can be purchased for a one-time payment. All other versions are paid for on a monthly basis, with a minimum commitment of one year.

Which of the Microsoft Office 365 Applications and Services do you need?

Depending on which of the Microsoft Office 365 plans you select, an array of different Microsoft applications and services is included in the plan.

Applications:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • Publisher (only for PC)
  • Access (only for PC)

All of these applications are included in Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal, as well as (except Publisher) in Office 365 Business and Office 365 Premium Business.

The Office Home and Students 2016 for PC plan includes a limited selection:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote

The Office 365 Business Essentials plan does not include any application.

Services:

  • OneDrive
  • Skype/Skype for Business
  • Exchange
  • SharePoint
  • Microsoft Teams

Office Home and Students 2016 for PC does not include any service.

For the other plans, a differing selection applies:

OneDrive is included in each of the plans (except Office Home and Students 2016 for PC). Apart from Office 365 Business (and the student version), Skype or Skype for Business are part of all plans. Office 365 Premium Business and Office 365 Business Essentials both also include SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.

Getting the best use out of Microsoft Office 365

Finding the right Microsoft Office 365 plan is only the first step though. We, at TechSherpas , are certified Microsoft Gold Partners. In order to get the best use out of the selected plans and its individual features for home and business, have a look at our various Microsoft Office 365 trainings, certification courses and boot camps.

 

Sources:

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

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/b/help-me-choose-office

Microsoft Software Assurance Training Vouchers (SATVs)

Microsoft Training VouchersMicrosoft Training Vouchers (or “Microsoft Software Assurance Training Vouchers”/SATVs) are a great help to limit the costs of professional IT training for Microsoft products. The purchase of software – especially in large volumes – means a financial investment for a company or organization.

The Microsoft Software Assurance Training Vouchers are one way to enhance the value and the return on such investments: They allow businesses and organizations to ensure that their employees receive the proper training in order to use the Microsoft software. They are also an important tool that provides necessary training without having to dip too deeply into the organization’s software training budget.

How do I get Microsoft Training Vouchers?

The Microsoft Software Assurance Training Vouchers (in short: “SATVs”) are among the Software Assurance Benefits for Microsoft Volume Licensing. Current Volume Licensing customers can get detailed information about their particular benefits online via Microsoft’s Volume Licensing Services Center (VLSC) and/or the Business Center. This is also the way to access your benefits.

How do I use the training vouchers?

The training vouchers are available for a range of eligible courses taught by especially certified Microsoft Learning Partners like TechSherpas . Most of the Microsoft-related technology classes are eligible for the use of a Microsoft training voucher. We are a Gold Microsoft Learning Partner. At TechSherpas , we offer a broad range of Microsoft training classes and certifications aimed at IT professionals. Some examples for our Microsoft classes are: Azure, Skype, Office and Project Management, but also SharePoint, Windows OS and Windows Server Training.

Any further questions?

Microsoft provides download options for several resources/guides to give you an overview about their Software Assurance Program and their Volume Licensing terms, for example:

Software Assurance at a Glance” and the “Software Assurance Program Guide”, as well as a “Software Assurance Benefits Chart” and more.

You can of course also contact us here at TechSherpas if you need further information or assistance with redeeming the Microsoft Training Vouchers. Simply call us or use our contact form.

Have you already used Microsoft Software Assurance Training Vouchers before? Let us know about your experience in the comments section.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Licensing/licensing-programs/FAQ-Software-Assurance.aspx
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/licensing-programs/software-assurance-default.aspx
https://www.techsherpas.com/software-assurance-training-vouchers/
https://www.techsherpas.com/technology/microsoft-training/
https://www.techsherpas.com/technology/microsoft-training/certification-programs/

MCSA Certification – How to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate

Microsoft’s MCSA Certification is a stepping-stone for IT professionals to obtain their MCSE Certification. This is a part of the certification program for Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCP). A certification as MCSA also provides you with the necessary core skills that qualifies you for entry-level positions as an IT professional/developer. While MCSE stands for “Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert”, the “A” in MCSA marks the status of an “Associate”. A MCSA is therefore a “Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate”. Such a certification as MCSA is a prerequisite to become an MCSE, which we have already covered the subject of MCSE in last week’s post.

Overview of the different MCSA Certification Focus Areas

  • MCSA – BI Reporting
  • MCSA – Cloud Platform
  • MCSA – Data Engineering with Azure
  • MCSA – Linux on Azure
  • MCSA – Machine Learning
  • MCSA – Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • MCSA – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations
  • MCSA – Office 365
  • MCSA – SQL 2016 BI Development
  • MCSA – SQL 2016 Database Administration
  • MCSA – SQL 2016 Database Development
  • MCSA – SQL Server 2012/2014
  • MCSA – Universal Windows Platform
  • MCSA – Web Applications
  • MCSA – Windows 10
  • MCSA – Windows Server 2012
  • MCSA – Windows Server 2016

MCSA Certification at TechSherpas

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we at TechSherpas are certified by Microsoft to operate as a training and certification provider for various Microsoft products, including MCSA and MCSE. MCSA Certification

Are you still undecided whether you want to aim for the expert level (MCSE) right away, or whether you will be fine with the MCSA Certification alone? No problem, you do not have to decide right away! However, if you already do have a more concrete plan geared towards a MCSE certification, please take a look at our certification map. It gives you an overview about which courses and certifications to select/aim for in order to obtain these Microsoft certifications. Simply click on the preview to get to an enlarged view of the map.

MCSA Certification Boot Camps

Our boot camp learning solutions offer you the possibility to obtain your MCSA certification over the course of just a few days. You have two options to do so:

  • Locally, in the classroom environment of our training facilities (see the “ICL”/“In-Classroom Learning” marker in our course catalogue). We offer our courses at various locations and various dates throughout the year.
  • Virtually, from the comfort of your own computer at home or the office. See our Virtual Live Training (“VLT) option.

Do you have further questions or need assistance with enrolling? Simply contact us, either by phone or via our contact form.

 

Sources:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/mcsa-certification.aspx
https://www.techsherpas.com/microsoft-certification-map/
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/microsoft-certified-professional.aspx

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/

IT Certifications worth considering

If you are serious about building a successful career in the IT field, then you should definitely consider earning one or more IT certifications. Depending on the area you are interested in, there are a number of options. Certification let others know that you are knowledgeable and hold IT-Certifications-300x300specific expertise. Below are just some of the more popular and in demand IT certifications that are available.

Training classes ensure that you pass the certification exam, so be sure to look into those as well. Not only do they prepare you to pass the exam , but they also provide some real hand-on experience through course labs, and other exercises.

Networking Certifications

 Information Security Certifications

 Virtualization Certifications

 Programming Certifications

 System Admin Certifications

  •  Microsoft MCSA & MCSE
  • Linux Professional Institute Certifications
  • Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
  • HP Accredited Systems Engineer & Certified Systems Engineer
  • CompTIA Server+

 Web Certifications for IT Pros

 Cloud IT Certifications

 Telecommunications Certifications

  • Cisco CCNA Voice & CCNP Voice
  • CTNS: Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist
  • CIPTS: Certified IP Telecom Network Specialist
  • RCDD: Registered Communications Distribution Designer
  • CCNT: Certified in Convergent Network Technologies

Wireless Networking Certifications

  • CWTS: Certified Wireless Technology Specialist
  • CWNA: Certified Wireless Network Administrator
  • Cisco Wireless Certifications
  • SANS GAWN: GIAC Assessing & Auditing Wireless Networks
  • iNARTE WDCP: Wireless Device Certification Professional

 Computer Hardware Certifications

  • CompTIA A+
  • ACMT: Apple Certified Macintosh Technician
  • CompTIA Server+
  • CWTS: Certified Wireless Technology Specialist
  • BICSI ITS Technician

 Help Desk Certifications

  • HDI Customer Service Representative
  • ACSP: Apple Certified Support Professional
  • iET Service Desk Analyst & Service Desk Manager
  • MCSA: Windows 8
  • Test-Based Help Desk & Tech Support Certs

 Project Management Certifications

  • PMP: Project Management Professional
  • CAPM: Certified Associate in Project Management
  • CompTIA Project+ Certification
  • MPM: Master Project Manager
  • CPM: Certified Project Manager Certification

 Database Certifications

 Linux Certifications

  • CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI
  • Linux Professional Institute Certifications
  • Novell/SUSE CLA, CLP & CLE
  • Red Hat RHCSA, RHCE & RHCA
  • Oracle Linux OCA & OCP

 IT Governance Certifications

  • ITIL Expert Certification
  • ISACA CGEIT Certification
  • ISACA CRISC Certification
  • GRCP Certification
  • BCS IT Governance & InfoSec Foundation

Gold: The Color of Excellence

TechSherpas places a high value on the ability to provide quality business solutions, guiding and training individuals and corporations in various technologies so that they can effectively learn, retain, and apply this gained knowledge in the real world to achieve professional success. It is for that reason that we felt it necessary to become part of theMicrosoft Partner Network. The Microsoft Partner Network is the single largest technology partner program in the world. This network was created in order to provide a customer solution engine of business and technology solutions for both corporate and individual development, worldwide. Receiving your training certifications through members of the Microsoft Partner Network, will not only ensure that you are get top notch training from qualified individuals, but because they are recognized worldwide, this can give you a competitive edge in the business world no matter where your job takes you!

TechSherpas , a Tampa, FL based IT training company, has earned their Microsoft Gold Partner Learning competency for the 13th consecutive year! The Microsoft Partner Network’s program is structured around competencies which are named based on how customers buy, which allows partners to demonstrate more specific skill sets and strengths. TechSherpas is listed as a Microsoft Partner with a Gold Competency in Learning, which signifies excellence in providing Microsoft solutions, and it was highest partnership level with Microsoft, demonstrating superior performance and expertise.

In order to become a Gold Learning Partner with Microsoft, TechSherpas had to go through a rigorous and auditable approval process including the following requirements:

  • Meet competency requirements by employing/contracting four Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCT) who have obtained the latest certifications
  • Fulfill a series of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in areas of Contribution, Consumption and Quality
  • Pass Licensing Overview, Sales and Marketing Assessments
  • Provide a minimum of 5 customer references

“We are very excited that we’ve achieved this partnership level with Microsoft for over a decade now,” says Randy Dempsey, TechSherpas ’ President and CEO. “It says a lot about the standard of excellence we strive for with all of our classes and training options.”

As a Microsoft Gold Partner for Learning, TechSherpas can offer many benefits to their customers and students.

World-class Instructors—Microsoft Certified Trainers have completed rigorous training and met stringent technical certification requirements. Students can expect to be trained by some of the best in the industry- true experts in the field.

Direct-from-the-source Courseware—Microsoft Official Courses are job-relevant, technical training materials based on specific job roles or technologies.

Learn a new technology—In just a one- to five-day course, students develop practical skills that cover the technology adoption lifecycle from planning to support. Students gain real-world skills through access to hands-on labs and simulations.

Prepare for certificationMicrosoft Certifications are available for core Microsoft technologies and skill levels. Microsoft Official Courses are built with Microsoft Certification in mind and are taught by qualified industry instructors.

Boost your career—Microsoft Official Courses can help students gain IT skills that directly transfer from the classroom to the workplace. According to the IT Skills and Salary Survey conducted by Global Knowledge in March 2011, professionals who took IT or business-related training during the past year earned an average of nearly $3,400 more than those in similar roles who did not.

So those who have received training and earned certifications are earning more income than those who do not. “Sixty percent of technology executive respondents say that one of the biggest challenges in planning large IT infrastructure projects is the availability of professionals with the necessary competencies when needed.” (TEKsystems/CIO Custom Solutions Group, IT Workforce Planning Trends, June 2011). It’s apparent that IT training can make a difference in the professional world. So next time you are considering taking a Microsoft training class, do your research, and find out if the training company is certified in the Microsoft Partner Network. Gold Partners must pass ongoing certification testing and have continuously received recognition from customers regarding their outstanding ability to build and deploy comprehensive business and IT training solutions.  Gold Learning Competency companies excel in training because it is a core service provided to their clients, and they always have the latest Microsoft Official Courses. These certifications are recognized worldwide so no matter where your career takes you, you will still have that edge and the Microsoft Partner Network to back you up!

TechSherpas is a technical training and service provider headquartered in Tampa, FL. The company was founded in 1996. TechSherpas is a Microsoft Gold Partner for IT training and learning solutions, providing expertise in Microsoft training for individuals as well as corporate clients. In addition, they offer quality training for ITIL, VMWare, Cisco, Citrix, CompTIA and Project Management, and other technologies.