The Microsoft Azure Administrator AZ-104 exam was rolled out in 2020 and has since replaced the previous exam – AZ-103. This exam has been designed to certify IT professionals as Azure Administrators.
Through its various domains and questions, it tests a candidate’s capabilities while:
- Managing Azure identities and governance
- Implementing and managing storage
- Deploying and managing Azure’s compute resources
- Configuring and managing virtual networking
- Monitoring and backing up Azure resources.
What is the Administrator Certification All About?
This certification is an entry-level credential offered by Microsoft that provides new IT professionals with hands-on Azure experience.
The certification has been designed primarily for experienced IT administrators who use Azure regularly at work but is a great Launchpad for new professionals who want to prove their skills and get significant lab experience to secure their first Azure job.
To clear the exam of AZ 104 and secure a job, you need to be able to prove that you are capable of administering an Azure environment for a client and configuring Azure services handled by operations and engineering teams like Compute, Network and Storage.
The AZ-104 Exam:
Like any exam, the AZ-104 has prerequisites and a knowledge base that is required of candidates who are applying for the credential.
Candidates must have the knowledge required to implement, monitor and manage the Azure environment for an organization.
The responsibilities of an Azure Administrator include, but are not limited to the implementation, management, monitoring, identification, governance and storage of compute and VNs within cloud environments, as well as provisioning, sizing and adjusting resources whenever required.
The Azure Administrator generally works as one part of a large team focused on implementing the cloud infrastructure of an organisation. To get certified, you need a minimum hands-on experience of six months where you administer Azure, along with a strong grasp on key Azure workloads, services, governance and security. Additionally, it helps if you have experience working with Azure CLI, Azure Portal, Azure Resource Manager and PowerShell templates.
Preparing for the AZ-104 Exam:
The Azure Administrator certification is an intermediate-level certification. The domains and curriculum have grown beyond what was originally covered in the early days. Preparing for this Azure certification needs dedicated time and effort.
There are four key areas covered in the AZ-104 exam. These are:
- Managing Azure identities and governance (15-20%)
- Implementing and managing storage (10-15%)
- Deploying and managing Azure compute resources (25-30%)
- Configuring and managing virtual networks (30-35%)
- Monitoring and backing up Azure resources (10-15%)
If you pay attention to the percentages mentioned, they are meant to indicate the weightage each domain has within the AZ-104 exam. This translates to up to 35% of questions focused on Networking and about 25-30% more focused on Azure compute. Both these sections together make up about two-thirds of the entire exam, so they need to be your primary focus when you prepare for the exam.
Difficulty Level of AZ-104:
While the AZ-104 is an entrance-level exam, it is still very difficult. When you are preparing for the exam, make sure you are ready for several question types, such as situation-based, multiple-choice and labs.
The trick to succeeding in these exams is to stay calm and not let the exam overwhelm you. There are several questions that you will have to complete, where you can always return to parts that you don’t understand at first. You can benefit from hands-on experience that you can get from demos and also try things yourself using labs that many online platforms offer.
The Microsoft Azure AZ-104 certification is made up of several questions that amount to a total score of 1000. You require more than 700 for passing the exam and earning the Microsoft Azure Administrator credential.
Is the Azure Administration Exam Worth It?
The AZ-104 exam is not for everyone. Candidates who cannot put in the effort and time to prepare for the certification can’t clear the exam by guessing.
But earning this certification makes for a very crucial milestone in an IT professional’s career. Even if this is not the final certification you will earn, it provides a high level of experience with Azure at a level that is not possible with theoretical learning.
Preparing for this credential will make you a better Azure administrator.
Now that you have the necessary information, there’s only one thing left to do. Enroll now and start preparing for the AZ-104 exam.