Microsoft recently announced the launch of AZ-303, the new version of the AZ-300 exam. Even though the version was launched on 29th June 2020, the old version will be retiring on 30th September 2020. AZ-303, the updated version, has a lot of new resources. So, if you are confused between the two, this article is for you. In this article, we will provide you with information on the Microsoft Azure certifications and the difference between the two.
Both AZ-300, as well as AZ-303 Microsoft Azure certifications, are for professionals who advise stakeholders and work on translating the requirements of business into scalable, reliable, and secure applications. As an Azure Solution Architect, you will be partnering with clients, cloud administrators, and cloud database administrators for implementing solutions.
Microsoft Azure certifications are categorized by the number of stars:
- 1 star – Fundamentals certification
- 2 stars – Associate certification
- 3 stars – Expert certification
AZ-300 and AZ-303 are three-star certifications that are considered to be the highest level of Microsoft Azure certifications. Let’s go through both the certifications one by one:
This certification is for solution architects and Azure administrators who want to validate their skill of developing and implementing solutions running on Microsoft Azure in areas like computing, security, storage, and network. To get the Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification, you are required to pass the following two exams:
- Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies – AZ-300
- Microsoft Azure Architect Design – AZ-301
You have to pass both exams to earn the certification. Each exam has somewhere between 40 and 50 questions that include some use cases to study. The passing score is 700 out of 1000. Assuming that each question has the same weight, you have to answer at least 35 questions correctly out of 50 to pass the exam. You have the option of taking the exam in English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese (Simplified). The duration of the exam can be between 180 to 210 minutes, depending on the number of questions. Please note that there are no prerequisites for the course. Microsoft recommends that candidates have at least 6 months of working experience in Azure administration.
In order to be eligible for the exam, you must have strong experience (over two years) in developing and deploying solutions on Microsoft Azure. This will help you in getting a better understanding of all the skills that will be assessed during the certification exam. Since this is a 3-stars certification, it is advised that all the candidates appearing for the exam have more than one 2-stars certification. Also, they should have expertise in at least one of the knowledge domains of Azure- development, DevOps, or administration. The cost of the exam is USD 165. Once you get the certification, it will be valid for 2 years.
During the exam, a multitude of skills will be tested. The AZ-300 exam will be measuring your ability to accomplish the following tasks:
- Deploying and configuring infrastructure (40-45% weightage)
- Implementing security and workloads (25-30% weightage)
- Creating and deploying apps (5-10%)
- Securing data and implementing authentication (5-10%)
- Developing for Azure storage and the cloud (15-20%)
Please note that this list is not exhaustive or definitive. The exams are changed periodically, so the exam topics can change as well.
As mentioned above, AZ-303 Azure Architect Technologies is the updated version of the AZ-300 exam. It became available on 29th June, 2020. Once you have completed the course and given the exam, you can give the AZ-304 exam. Passing both the exams successfully will earn you the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert badge.
The AZ-303 course has been created for all the IT architects and engineers who have previously worked with Microsoft Azure. Ever since the Azure services were launched, Microsoft has tried its best to continue evolving the platform. Several updates and additions have been made to the platform. If you want to pass the AZ-303 exam and achieve success, it is recommended that you enroll yourself in a training program. During the training, you will have access to lectures, demos, study material, and hands-on labs. Through the program, you will get an understanding of the following:
- Configuring Cloud Infrastructure Monitoring
- Creating and Managing Storage Accounts
- Deploying Automation and Configuring Resources
- Deploying Container-based Applications
- Implementing an Application Infrastructure
- Implementing and Managing Data Platforms
- Implementing and Managing Governance Solutions
- Implementing and Managing Hybrid Identities
- Implementing Azure Active Directory (AD)
- Implementing Network Security and Load Balancing
- Implementing Virtual Machines for Linux and Windows
- Implementing Virtual Networking
- Managing Security for Applications
- Understanding the Azure Subscriptions and Active Directory
The course will help you learn the terms and principles of the platform. You will also get hands-on experience in working with Microsoft Azure solutions. Through your free Azure account, you can get a better practical experience.
For the AZ-303 course, having a previous understanding of data center technology areas like compute, storage, and the network is very important. Also, it is recommended that before this program, you complete the AZ-103 or AZ-104 course as it lays down the foundation of the Microsoft Azure platform. Once you have done this, you can dive into the cloud and Microsoft Azure.
AZ-303 Microsoft Azure Architect technologies exam does not have any prerequisites. However, just like AZ-301, it is recommended that you have at least six months of working experience administering Azure. The cost of the exam is USD 165 and you have to score 700 questions correctly out of 1000 to pass it. Once you have passed the exam, the certification will be valid for 2 years.
For the AZ-303, you will be required to cover the following areas:
- Implementing and Monitoring Azure infrastructure (50-55% weightage)
- Implementing Security and management Solutions (25-30% weightage)
- Implementing Solutions for Apps (10-15% weightage)
- Implementing and Managing Data Platforms (10-15% weightage)
As you can see above, there is not much difference between the two except the domain areas. AZ-303 is simply an up-gradation of the AZ-300 exam. To prepare for either of the Azure certifications, you should enroll in a training program. The certification will not only help improve your knowledge but also stand out from your competitors.