You can learn everything you need to know to earn the Azure Administrator Certification by completing this free 11-hour course.
What is Microsoft Azure Administrator?
The Azure Administrator is the most popular Azure certification because it provides the broadest amount of practical knowledge to manage Azure infrastructure. It also allows you to pivot into any career path for Azure-based roles.
If Azure is the primary workload being used by your company, then this cloud certification is an essential Azure certification to get.
If you are completely new to Azure, even if you hold a different cloud certification, I strongly recommend that you first take the AZ-900. This is because Azure Certifications at the associate level are much more difficult than any other certification by other cloud service providers. And although Azure appears on the surface to be similar in terms of service, it is very different in practice.
AWS Solutions Architect vs Azure Administrator
If you are familiar with AWS Certifications, it is the equivalent to the AWS Solutions Architect Associate in terms of importance.
In terms of actual content, the Azure Administrator is more similar to a mix between the AWS Developer Associate and the AWS SysOps Administrator.
This makes sense because Azure's cloud architecture serves as a bridge to Microsoft's legacy on-premise solutions. So engineering cloud-native solutions in an abstract is secondary where understanding how to bring existing Microsoft-based companies onto Azure comes first.
For those who have yet to work in an IT career experiencing Active Directory, Windows Servers, and general Windows management, there will be an extra learning curve.
Azure is a windows-first cloud service provider, and if you do not own a Windows computer, you may only be able to observe and then directly experience how to utilize some of Azure cloud services.
As I mentioned previously, Azure associate certifications are much more difficult than other cloud service providers, so expect to put in more time.
Overview of the Azure Administrator
The Azure Administrator covers the following:
- Azure Active Directory
- User, Groups and Permissions
- Policies to ensure compliance of resources
- Infrastructure as Code via Azure Resource Manager
- Managing resources, scoping, and subscriptions
- Containers and Kubernetes
- Azure Virtual Machines, and Azure Disks
- Various storage models via Azure Storage Accounts
- Azure Networking (there is a lot to cover here)
- SLA Availability, Availability Sets, Scale Sets, Application Gateway
- Azure App Services for fully-managed apps
- Azure Backup, Azure monitor
- and more...
What it does not cover are things like Serverless, Databases, and Application Integration. You can find these in the Azure Developer certification.
How do you get the Azure Administrator certification?
You can get the certification by paying the exam fee and sitting for the exam at a test center partnered with Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft Azure is partnered with Pearson Vue and PSI Online who have a network of test centers around the world. They provide both in-person and online exams. If you have the opportunity, I recommend that you take the exam in-person.
Microsoft has a portal page on Pearsue Vue where you can register and book your exam.
That exam fee is $165 USD.
Can I simply watch the videos and pass the exam?
You need to apply the knowledge, because exam questions will test for practical knowledge. A question, for example, may ask the order of steps to launch a service, and you'll only obtain that knowledge by doing.
Azure has a much higher frequency of updates than other cloud service providers. Sometimes there are new updates every month to a certification.
The exam has 40 to 60 questions with a timeline of 120 minutes.
The exam contains many different question types.
A passing grade is around 70%.
The Free Azure Administrator Video Course
Just like my other cloud certification courses published on freeCodeCamp, this course will remain free forever.
The course contains study strategies, lectures, follow alongs, and cheatsheets, and it's designed to be a complete end-to-end course.
Head on over to freeCodeCamp's YouTube channel to start working through the full 11-hour course.