Study guide for Azure Administrator

Hey guys! Today I come here to share with you my journey to achieve Azure Administrator certification. To get the title of Azure Administrator, you need to pass the Az-104 exam.

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My badge validation link

What is expected from an Azure Administrator?

Azure Administrator implements, manages and monitors identity, governance, storage, compute and virtual networks in a cloud environment. Azure Administrator will provision, scale, monitor and adjust resources as appropriate. Candidates must have at least six months of hands-on experience in Azure administration. Candidates should have a strong understanding of Azure core services, workloads, security, and Azure governance.

Candidates for this exam should have experience using PowerShell, Command Line Interface, Azure Portal, and ARM templates.

The exam content:

Manage Azure identities and governance (15-20%)
Implement and manage storage (15-20%)
Deploy and manage Azure compute resources (20-25%)
Configure and manage virtual networking (25-30%)
Monitor and back up Azure resources (10-15%)

What was asked for on my exam?

Many questions based on RBAC (Role-Based Access Control), basically asked what permissions would be needed to perform certain tasks in Azure. I also remember seeing a lot of questions related to locations, ie whether you can interact between resources located in different Azure’s regions. Questions about minimum computing requirements (Virtual Machines), questions about Azure Monitor, Azure Advisor and general questions related to networking.

Some links from previous posts covering the exam content.

RBAChttps://getpractical.co.uk/2021/03/08/understand-azure-role-based-access-control-rbac/

Azure Advisorhttps://getpractical.co.uk/2021/05/03/azures-advisor/

Azure Storagehttps://getpractical.co.uk/2021/06/14/creating-a-storage-on-azure/

Az-Copyhttps://getpractical.co.uk/2021/05/17/how-to-download-and-install-the-azcopy-tool/

My study method:

  1. I always read the outline of the skills measured in each exam.
  2. If there’s anything I’m not familiar with, I’ll read the documentation available in Microsoft Docs (always free and up-to-date).
  3. If I don’t understand what the documents are saying, I use my tenant for proper validations.
  4. I always dedicate 20 to 40 hours (per exam) to perform the laboratories (On Azure you can have a free tenant for 30 days to do your validations).
  5. When it comes to new technology, I start by watching the training available in Microsoft Learn, Pluralsight and/or Udemy.

Azure Free tenant: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/free/

Microsoft Learning: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/

Exam skills outline Az-104: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/az-104

I would soon renew my Microsoft 365 certifications, after all I have a large part of my background in Microsoft 365 migrations and I will no doubt share my journey here.

Take as much time as you need to prepare and first of all, don’t be afraid to fail. I’ve failed exams before and this is part of any IT professional’s journey, whether you’re a beginner or not.

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments that I will try to help you improve. In 2022 I will try the Azure Solution Architect exam, which will be my next goal with Azure (Until Microsft updates everything again lol =/).

See you soon guys and good luck studying.

Joao Costa

Az-Predictor – How to install and use it

In the day-to-day work in IT, we often need to deal with manipulation of massive resources, and often this task ends up becoming difficult, especially if you are not very familiar with PowerShell cmdlets, after all the PowerShell has approximately 4000 cmdlets. Well, thinking about it, the Microsoft team created this incredible tool that is undoubtedly here to stay, Az-Predictor.

What is Az-Predictor?

Az-Predictor, an intelligent command completion module for Azure PowerShell. Az-Predictor helps our Azure developers/administrators find the cmdlet they are looking for efficiently, identify the required parameters quickly, and experience fewer errors

Of course it is possible to use the auto-complete feature already built into the PowerShell (by pressing the TAB), so that the command is automatically completed by the PowerShell, but Az-Predictor is a few steps beyond that, as the tool will not only complete the cmdlet , but also suggest all the parameters that need to be configured, ie Az-Predictor will basically do all the work based on prediction using all the documentation pages already available and the user leverage in PowerShell.

The idea behind this amazing tool is to assist in the correct syntax of commands and parameters based on AI prediction suggesting all commands to be used, including letting you use historical cmdlets, ie cmdlets already used previously.

Getting started with preview 3 (Keep in mind that at the time of this post we are talking about a preview version, so by the time you read this post there may already be a new update or a different way to install the product.)

  • If you have installed the first preview:
  • Close all your PowerShell sessions
  • Remove the Az.Tools.Predictor module

Install PowerShell 7.2-preview 3 – Go to: https://github.com/PowerShell/PowerShell/releases/tag/v7.2.0-preview.3

Select the binary that corresponds to your platform in the assets list.

Launch PowerShell 7.2-preview 3 and Install PSReadline 2.2 beta 2 with the following:

Install-Module -Name PSReadLine -RequiredVersion 2.2.0-beta2 -AllowPrerelease

More details about PSReadline: https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/PSReadLine/2.2.0-beta2

Install Az.Tools.Predictor preview 3

Install-module -name Az.Tools.Predictor -RequiredVersion 0.3.0

More details about Az.Tools.Predictor: https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/Az.Tools.Predictor/0.3.0

Enable Az Predictor

Enable-AzPredictor –AllSession (This command will enable Az-Predictor in all further sessions of the current user.)

Enable the list view mode (Optional) – Believe me, you want to enable this!

Set-PSReadLineOption -PredictionViewStyle ListView

If you want to load Az-Predictor every time you start PowerShell (and trust me you want that ), you can add the last three commands to your PowerShell profile.

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OK, now that we know how to make this amazing tool work, let’s have some fun.

Start by typing known commands and see how Az-Predictor starts trying to predict what you want to achieve based on your history and documentation already available. It’s pretty cool!

See the example below, I just typed “set” and see how many possibilities Az-Predictor “suggested”, cool isn’t it?

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If you use the up and down arrow keys on the keyboard you can choose the command you want to use as if you have a drop down menu,

If you use the up and down arrow keys or you can choose the cmdlet you want to use as if you have a drop down menu, also if you use the right arrow your cmdlet will be completed by Az-Predictor based on the cmdlet that you “selected”, and finally, if you want/need to change parameters of the cmdlets presented, press Alt+A and you start to select each changeable parameter of the command.

See in the command below what happens if I press Alt+A

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You can explore at will and try many other possibilities. I hope you enjoyed it, see you soon!

Joao Costa

Azure’s Certifications

Hi Folks!

Recently I’ve decided to renew my Microsoft certifications and also get new ones. Although I have already good years of experience working with Azure, I never tried to get its certifications, then because of that, I decided to start with Azure’s certifications.

At the moment my certification target is the exam Az-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator. I’ve started my studies in the middle of January, so 2 weeks ago I decided to have a shot at the exam Az-900: Azure Fundamentals, just to have an idea of how my studies are going on, got approved on that \0/ !!

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My Badge

The exam isn’t that hard and has a lot of free content on the Microsoft Learn portal to help understand the exam measures (I will leave the link address at the end of the post).

My study method:

  1. I always read the outline of the skills measured in each exam.
  2. If there’s anything I’m not familiar with, I’ll read the documentation available in Microsoft Docs (always free and up-to-date).
  3. If I don’t understand what the documents are saying, I use my tenant for proper validations.
  4. I always dedicate 20 to 40 hours (per exam) to perform the laboratories (On Azure you can have a free tenant for 30 days to do your validations).
  5. When it comes to new technology, I start by watching the training available in Microsoft Learn, Pluralsight and/or Udemy.

That’s my method, share in the comments how’s your studies method?

So from now on, I will start posting my study path to get approved on these certifications and try to share some acquired knowledge for the most important skill measured on the exams.

Azure Free tenant: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/free/

Microsoft Learning: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/

Exam skills outline Az-900: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/az-900

Exam skills outline Az-104: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/az-104

Got it? Get Practical!