Take the latest Microsoft Azure Architect exam for free (when you hurry)!

Microsoft recently released a new Azure architecture certification exam in beta: Exam 534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions. This is an invitation to take the beta version of the exam at no cost for the first 500 respondents. Passing this beta exam earns you a Microsoft Specialist certification.

The beta exam is available at Pearson VUE testing centers or through the online proctoring option.  To take advantage of this exclusive invitation see how to register below.

The exam is testing you on these topics:
Design Microsoft Azure infrastructure and networking (15–20%)

  • Describe how Azure uses Global Foundation Services (GFS) datacenters
    • Understand Azure datacenter architecture, regional availability, and high availability
  • Design Azure virtual networks, networking services, DNS, DHCP, and IP addressing configuration
    • Extend on-premises Active Directory, deploy Active Directory, define static IP reservations, understand ACLs and Network Security Groups
  • Design Azure Compute
    • Design Azure virtual machines (VMs) and VM architecture for IaaS and PaaS; understand availability sets, fault domains, and update domains in Azure; differentiate between machine classifications
  • Describe Azure virtual private network (VPN) and ExpressRoute architecture and design
    • Describe Azure point-to-site (P2S) and site-to-site (S2S) VPN, understand the architectural differences between Azure VPN and ExpressRoute
  • Describe Azure services
    • Understand, at a high level, Azure load balancing options, including Traffic Manager, Azure Media Services, CDN, Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), Azure Cache, Multi-Factor Authentication, and Service Bus

Secure resources (15–20%)

  • Secure resources by using managed identities
    • Describe the differences between Active Directory on-premises and Azure AD, programmatically access Azure AD using Graph API, secure access to resources from Azure AD applications using OAuth and OpenID Connect
  • Secure resources by using hybrid identities
    • Use SAML claims to authenticate to on-premises resources, describe DirSync synchronization, implement federated identities using Azure Access Control service (ACS) and Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)
  • Secure resources by using identity providers
    • Provide access to resources using identity providers, such as Microsoft account, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo!
  • Identify an appropriate data security solution
    • Use the appropriate Access Control List (ACL), identify security requirements for data in transit and data at rest
  • Design a role-based access control strategy
    • Secure resource scopes, such as the ability to create VMs and websites

Design an application storage and data access strategy (15–20%)

  • Design data storage
    • Design storage options for data, including Table Storage, SQL Database, DocumentDB, Blob Storage, MongoDB, and MySQL; design security options for SQL Database or Azure Storage; identify the appropriate VM type and size for a solution
  • Design applications that use Mobile Services
    • Create Azure Mobile Services, consume Mobile Services from cross-platform clients, integrate offline sync capabilities into an application, extend Mobile Services using custom code, implement Mobile Services using Microsoft .NET or Node.js, secure Mobile Services using Azure AD
  • Design applications that use notifications
    • Implement push notification services in Mobile Services, send push notifications to all subscribers, specific subscribers, or a segment of subscribers
  • Design applications that use a web API
    • Implement a custom web API, scale using Azure Websites, offload long-running applications using WebJobs, secure a web API using Azure AD
  • Design a data access strategy for hybrid applications
    • Connect to on-premises data from Azure applications using Service Bus Relay, BizTalk Hybrid Connections, or the VPN capability of Websites, identify constraints for connectivity with VPN, identify options for joining VMs to domains or cloud services
  • Design a media solution
    • Describe Media Services, understand key components of Media Services, including streaming capabilities, video on-demand capabilities, and monitoring services

Design an advanced application (15–20%)

  • Create compute-intensive applications
    • Design high-performance computing (HPC) and other compute-intensive applications using Azure Services
  • Create long-running applications
    • Implement worker roles for scalable processing, design stateless components to accommodate scale
  • Select the appropriate storage option
    • Use a queue-centric pattern for development, select the appropriate storage for performance, identify storage options for cloud services and hybrid scenarios with compute on-premises and storage on Azure, differentiate between cloud services and VMs interacting with storage service and SQL Database
  • Integrate Azure services in a solution
    • Identify the appropriate use of machine learning, big data, Media Services, and search services

Design websites (15–20%)

  • Design websites for scalability and performance
    • Globally scale websites, create websites using Visual Studio, debug websites, understand supported languages, differentiate between websites to VMs and cloud services
  • Deploy websites
    • Implement Azure Site Extensions, create packages, hosting plans, deployment slots, resource groups, publishing options, Web Deploy, and FTP locations and settings
  • Design websites for business continuity
    • Scale up and scale out using Azure Websites and SQL Database, configure data replication patterns, update websites with minimal downtime, back up and restore data, design for disaster recovery, deploy websites to multiple regions for high availability, design the data tier

Design a management, monitoring, and business continuity strategy (15–20%)

  • Evaluate hybrid and Azure-hosted architectures for Microsoft System Center deployment
    • Understand, at an architectural level, which components are supported in Azure; describe design considerations for managing Azure resources with System Center; understand which scenarios would dictate a hybrid scenario
  • Design a monitoring strategy
    • Identify the Microsoft products and services for monitoring Azure solutions; understand the capabilities of System Center for monitoring an Azure solution; understand built-in Azure capabilities; identify third-party monitoring tools, including open source; describe use cases for Operations Manager, Global Service Monitor, and Application Insights; describe the use cases for Windows Software Update Services (WSUS), Configuration Manager, and custom solutions; describe the Azure architecture constructs, such as availability groups and update domains, and how they impact a patching strategy
  • Describe Azure business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) capabilities
    • Understand the architectural capabilities of BC/DR, describe Hyper-V Replica and Azure Site Recovery (ASR), describe use cases for Hyper-V Replica and ASR
  • Design a disaster recovery strategy
    • Design and deploy Azure Backup and other Microsoft backup solutions for Azure, understand use cases when StorSimple and System Center Data Protection Manager would be appropriate
  • Design Azure Automation and PowerShell workflows
    • Create a PowerShell script specific to Azure
  • Describe the use cases for Azure Automation configuration
    • Understand when to use Azure Automation, Chef, Puppet, PowerShell, or Desired State Configuration (DSC)

 

Are there strings attached? Here’s the fine print:

  1. As this is a beta exam, your will not receive a score report immediately upon completion of the exam.  Your results will be delayed for a period of several months until the exam goes live.
  2. The code will only be available to the first 500 people who register for this beta exam.
  3. This beta exam is not available in India, Pakistan, China, or Turkey.
  4. Please review Microsoft’s beta exam policies in full.

 

One of the first 500 participants? You’ll get in for free! Here’s how:

  1. Go to this details page for exam 534.
  2. Use the “schedule now” button, follow the steps, and enter code VPAZARCH when prompted.

 

Good luck on your next exam, whether you’re taking this beta or have another one scheduled.

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