Hi, i'm Lucian and here I share my experiences, thoughts and opinions on life in the blue cloud. I'm a Cloud Solution Architect, specialising in Azure infrastructure, at Microsoft, in Sydney, Australia.

70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions

References I've put together to help me study for this exam

Image: Microsoft
Caption: Microsoft Certification Roadmap

Last month Microsoft released the first infrastructure certificate for Azure: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions - Exam 70-533. There is a five day training coarse (20533A: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions) that’s been set-up as well to streamline the learning process and break down the wealth of information in reasonable time frame.

I’ve personally started the exam path studying from home with the intent to sit the exam by late January 2015. Having worked with Azure briefly, I’m confident in a 3-5 month window to gain the knowledge required to comfortably pass.

There are very different and always acceptable means of study. However, here are some of the key principles I’ve used to complete over 15 certifications:

  • Analogue over digital - As simple as it may sound, writing notes on paper over writing in say Evernote has been proven to show a stronger conceptual understanding of the content material (reference)
  • Repetition - I don’t just go over the content once, I try at least 3 passes to ensure I didn’t miss anything that might be beneficial
  • Visual learning as well as reading - I try and find video tutorials as well as whitepapers or technical articles to help where possible in taking up the information
  • Competition - I have colleagues and friends that I study along side to help keep me motivated as well as keep my on my toes- I don’t want to be left behind at all!
  • Sooner the better - The sooner you study a new course, the less summarised content there is, meaning you’ll have to read more in depth content and learn more about the technology and understand it better

To help those along the journey, I’ve searched many resources on-line from various other blog sites and put together this quick study guide:

Implement Websites (15-20%)

Deploy websites

Configure websites

Configure diagnostics, monitoring, and analytics

  • Retrieve diagnostics data (content)
  • View streaming logs (content)
  • Configure endpoint monitoring, alerts, and diagnostics; monitor website resources (content, content, content)

Configure scale and resilience

  • Configure auto-scale using built-in and custom schedules (content, content)
  • Configure by metric (content)
  • Change the size of an instance (content)

Manage hosting plans

Implement Virtual Machines (15-20%)

Deploy workloads on Azure virtual machines (VMs)

Implement Images and Disks

  • Create specialized and generalized images for Windows and Linux (content, content)
  • Copy images between storage accounts and subscriptions (content)
  • Upload VHDs (content, content)

Perform Configuration Management

Configure VM Networking

Configure VM resiliency

Design and implement VM storage

Monitor VMs

  • Configure endpoint monitoring, alerts, and diagnostics (content)

Implement Cloud Services (15-20%)

Configure cloud services and roles

  • Configure instance count and size, operating system version and family, upgrade and fault domains, ACLs, reserved IPs, and network access rules (content, content)
  • Configure local storage (content)
  • Configure dedicated and co-located caching, Local and cloud configurations, and local disks (content, content)
  • Configure multiple websites (content)
  • Configure custom domains (content)

Deploy and manage cloud services

  • Upgrade a deployment (content)
  • VIP swap a deployment; package a deployment; modify configuration files (content)
  • Perform in-place updates (content)
  • Perform runtime configuration changes using the portal (content)
  • Scale a cloud service; create service bus namespaces and choose a tier; apply scalability targets (content, content)

Monitor cloud services

Implement Storage (15-20%)

Implement blobs and Azure files

  • Blob, table and queue storage, Azure files (content, content, content, content, content)
    • Read data; Change data
    • Define blob hierarchies
  • Set metadata on a container; use encryption (SSL) (content)
  • Perform an async blob copy (content)
  • Configure a Content Delivery Network (CDN) (content)
  • Implement storage for backup and disaster recovery (content)
  • Configure Azure Backup (content)
  • Configure custom domains (content)
  • Configure the Import and Export Service (content)

Manage access

Configure diagnostics, monitoring, and analytics

Implement SQL databases

  • Choose the appropriate database tier and performance level (content)
  • configure point in time recovery and geo-replication (content)
  • Import and export data and schema (content)
  • Design a scaling strategy (content)

Implement recovery services

Implement Azure Active Directory (15-20%)

Integrate an Azure AD with existing directories

  • Implement DirSync, O365 integration, and single sign-on with on-premises Windows Server 2012 R2 (content, content, content)
  • Add custom domains (content)
  • Monitor Azure AD (content)

Configure the Application Access Panel

  • Configure single sign-on with SaaS applications using federation and password based (content, content)
  • Add users and groups to applications (content, content)
  • Revoke access to SaaS applications (content)
  • Configure access (content)
  • Federation with Facebook and Google ID (content, content)

Integrate an app with Azure AD

Implement Virtual Networks (15-20%)

Configure a virtual network

  • Deploy a VM into a virtual network (content)
  • Deploy a cloud service into a virtual network (content)
  • Configure static IPs (content)
  • Configure internal load balancing (content)
  • Design subnets (content)

Modify a network configuration

Design and implement a multi-site or hybrid network

  • Choose the appropriate solution between ExpressRoute, site-to-site, and point-to-site (content)
  • Choose the appropriate gateway (content)
  • Identify supported devices and software VPN solutions (content, content)
  • Identify networking prerequisites (content, content)
  • Configure regional virtual networks and multi-site virtual networks (content)

I hope that the content I’ve found through various searching across the net helps you in your studies. Of-course there is much more content out there to read and take up; so I encourage you to continue further review until you feel you’re ready to sit the exam. I’ll post a brief on the exam once I’ve completed that as well.