Who would resist to learn Azure cloud and utilize free services that have been annnces this month?
Yes, you have read this correct, there are 4 more servics added to exisiting 25+ always free and 12 months set of free products, up to the monthly limits.
Those services are listed on the infographic:
✔️ Azure Key Vault ✔️ Azure Database for PostreSQL ✔️ Azure Media Services ✔️ Azure Database for MySQL
Have you used these new services in your labs or projects yet? If not, that is okay. Here is the brief description what you can do with these services listed above:
Azure Key Vault – helps teams to securely store and manage sensitive information such as keys, passwords, certificates, etc., in a centralized storage which are safeguarded by industry-standard algorithms, key lengths, and even hardware security modules.
Azure Database for PostreSQL – with Azure you can run your PostgreSQL Server workloads in a hosted virtual machine infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or as a hosted platform as a service (PaaS). The PaaS option has multiple deployment choices, each with multiple service tiers that you can use with Azure Database for PostreSQL.
Azure Database for MySQL – take the model tha we described above and apply it to MySQL. That how simple it is..
Azure Media Services – lets you deliver any media, on virtually any device, to anywhere in the world using the cloud. The collection of services provide encoding, live or on-demand streaming, content protection and indexing for video and audio content.
Which products are free for 12 months?
These products are free for 12 months, up to the monthly limits. Availability is based on resource and region.
Check out the details about each of these services on Microsoft Azure’s website.
I have been asked to expand upon set of available Microsoft Azure services that could help with compromised user devices. One way to deal with such scenarios is to temporarily suspend user access until endpoint is cleaned.
Taking into account that your user’s device is compromized, you can automate response either to restric or restore the access to the endpoint.
Option#1 – Retrict Access
To help with this scenarious you could use the Azure AD’s Conditional Access features. The Conditional Access knows about the device risks because Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MDE) notified Intune, who then updated the compliance status of the device in Azure AD.
During this period, the user is restricted from accessing corporate resources. These applies to all new resource requests and will block any current access to resources that support continuous access evaluation (CAE).
Your user will still be able to do general internet productivity and research (like Wikipedia, external web resources and anything else that doesn’t require corporate authentication), but won’t have access to corporate resources.
Option#2 – Restore Access
The second option (illustrated on infographic) mitigates the “Access restored” scenariou. This correspondce to sceanriou wher threat has been remediated and cleaned up, MDE triggers Intune to update Azure AD and Conditional Access restores the user’s access to corporate resources.
Described two scenarious above, mitigate the risk to the organization by ensuring attackers who may be in control of these devices cannot access corporate resources, while minimizing the impact on user productivity to minimize disruption of business processes.
Two weeks ago, I was able to clear the Azure specialty exam – “Azure IoT Developer” and get certified. More importantly, this was a good opportunity to learn about IoT technologies and services in Azure platform.
What is IoT?
An “Internet of Things” (IoT) device is typically made up of a circuit board with sensors attached that use WiFi to connect to the internet. Here are some examples of IoT devices and use cases:
A pressure sensor on a remote oil pump.
Temperature and humidity sensors in an air-conditioning unit.
An accelerometer in an elevator.
Presence sensors in a room.
The Azure Internet of Things (IoT) is a collection of Microsoft-managed cloud services that connect, monitor, and control billions of IoT assets. In simpler terms, an IoT solution is made up of one or more IoT devices that communicate with one or more back-end services hosted in the cloud.
Check out the following short video, if you never hear about applications of Internet of Things (aka, IoT).
Is there a comprehesive study guide to follow?
The short answer is YES!
As always start with simple and straight forward Microsoft Learn modules on IoT learning path. But that is not the only resource that i have used.
I personally found it very useful to check the Microsoft Tech community blog posts. The IoT sub-section has many tricks and trips and recommendations. Thus, check the following post that has very good information on exam resources:
It is designed for Solution Architects, Business Decision Makers, and Development teams that are interested in building IoT Solutions with Azure Services. The content is comprised of 5 video based modules that approach topics ranging from IoT device connectivity, IoT data communication strategies, use of artificial intelligence at the edge, data processing considerations for IoT data, and IoT solutioning based on the Azure IoT reference architecture.
Thank you for reading this post till this point.
Please, feel free to share your experience, as i am planning to keep this post up to date with your valuable contributions going forward. #keeplearning
Recently, I have been asked about good refences to master security echo-system on Microsoft technologies, especially in Cloud security products and services. Thus, I dived into references and compiled following resources for everyone to enjoy 👍👌
Learn about basic to advanced scenarios on network security, MCAS, Defender, Office365 and other security🛡️🔐 services on Microsoft Azure– from following collection of blog posts:
This session will be a deep dive into different data movement scenarios using first-class tooling in Azure data echo-system and Azure Data Factory (ADF). We will learn about handy new features and data connectors, while copying and transforming datasets from a Data Lake and SQL Relational Database storages. Thus, tune in to learn about latest developments in Microsoft Azure data transformation services.
In my second session, I will share following journey with you:
Abstract of the upcoming session provided below 😉
We will learn about what is ETL and ELT stands for in data world, and how Azure Data Factory (ADF) service could help you. Along the way, we will look into inner-workings and fundamentals of a cloud-based ETL and data integration service that allows you to create data-driven workflows for orchestrating data movement and transforming data at scale.
Finally, we will conclude the session with ADF demo and Q&A
Please let me know, what topics are you interested in?
The Administrative Units (AU) are Azure AD resources which can contain only users and groups.
AUs could manage permissions 🛡️🔐 in a role to any segment of your organization. For example, you could use AUs to delegate the User Administrator role to regional support specialists, so they can manage users only in the region that they support.
The AUs are especially helpful when an organization whose IT department is scattered across globe and wants to categorize and define relevant geographical boundaries.
Currently, supported scenarious from Azure AD portal are:
Create administrative units
Add users and groups members of administrative units
Assign IT staff to administrative unit-scoped administrator roles.
My little intro – well, skip this as it might be boring 🙁
Let’s start with a little bit of background to my somewhat unorthodox journey into Azure Developer cert way back in 2018.
Three years ago, I got a beta exam invite for Azure Core Developer (AZ-200) certification. At the time, there were no readily availiable study materials to learn from and prepare. My focus was on the exam objectives document, with a special highlight on Azure services that I did not have a chance to work with.
Long story short, at the end of the exam I did not know if it was a PASS ✅ or not ❌, as it was a beta exam. However, good and somewhat unexpected “pass news” with a cert email came back in 2 months. I was over the moon 🌜 and delighted to be one of the few candidates to succeed. Later, this exam was retired, as most cert nowadays…
Back to the current time, Feb 2021
Today, I was feeling excited & pumped to go after Azure Developer cert (AZ-204) 🏃♂️🚴♂️🏊♂️💪 – and yes, I posted earlier that I will share the result – either pass or fail.
Well, the good news is – I did not have to wait 2 months to learn the result 😃 It was a pass – and not an easy one though, as there were 60% more materials and more detail oriented questions on different inner workings of Azure services.
Let’s give a round of applause 👏👏👏 to Microsoft Learn modules and Learning path tracks – as they are getting better and better – and help me to cover this material in a somewhat fun way….
How was my actual exam experience?
The overall experience was exciting 😲 and scary 😱 at the same time. Mainly, because of the two case studies appearing at different sections of the exam. Well, at the end of the exam I shared this non pleasant experience by providing feedback ✍. I think every exam participant should be willing to share their experience, as it will be a good set of metrics for exam creators to assess and modify the exam experience to make it better overall.
Speaking about the exam, I got approximately 50 questions❔; where two case studies contained approx. 5-7 questions each. My surprise was to discover 👀, one case study right in the beginning, and another one right at the end of the exam. It threw my timing a little bit off.
So, be prepared to save enough time for exam case studies (yes, there might be more than one, and I had three in the Microsoft exams last year), no matter what, as they consume a considerable chunk of your time and could cause your brain to start steaming ♨ – due to time constraints.
If you are a Cloud Solutions Architect (aka, CSA) you may find certain questions too technical in nature, like knowing the exact sequence of operations to place each task correctly. Well, if you never played with that specific feature then don’t panic. Just focus on the question and use your #quizskills. As an example: I had several educated guesses ⁉ – on what might be the right order of operations without knowing 100%.
In the real world, you could easily find your way with a quick search on your favorite engine… but an exam is an exam… and you are not penalized for wrong answers.
Good news is: a certain number of questions are high level, and your current CSA experience will be very handy; like assessing/suggesting the workload for the most effective Azure service or solution based on customer requirements.
Exam duration is180 minutes⏰ or 220 min including the feedback time. Generally speaking, this should be enough with a small caveat: You have to plan your time carefully and watch for the exact # of potential questions and remaining case studies of the exam. That said, there were several questions with true/false options, many drag-and-drop scenarios, and multi-select choices that seemed easy and tricky at the same time.
Where should I start my Azure Developer journey?
The official exam page AZ-204 is a really good place to start. Followed by the suggested learning track and modules in the bottom of the page.
The exam page AZ-204 gets even better with a final section on “Exam resources“. I consider this section a REAL “gem” 💎💎💎
Dear friends, stay tuned – as your information on how to earn a #free exam voucher is included in this post. Look into Microsoft’s “Cloud Skills Challenge” program below.
FREE exam voucher through Microsoft Cloud Skills Challenge (Expired – Not a Valid anymore)
For a limited time, Microsoft Learn provides a free, interactive way of learning by combining short step-by-step tutorials, browser-based interactive coding and scripting environments, and task-based achievements to help you advance your technical skills while earning achievements.
What are you waiting for? Register today via this link 👍
That is it folk, I tried to share and illustrate my exam experiences in this post. I hope you will find it helpful and apply to your “Azure developer” certification journey.
Please, feel free to share your experience or thoughts, as i am planning to keep this post up to date with your contributions going forward. #keeplearning
Stay safe and be the 4th with you … #nevergiveup #keeppushing
By the way, check out the official CNCF definition (Cloud Native Computing Foundation) definition for clarity.
Cloud-native technologies empower organizations to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. Containers, service meshes, microservices, immutable infrastructure, and declarative APIs exemplify this approach.
These techniques enable loosely coupled systems that are resilient, manageable, and observable. Combined with robust automation, they allow engineers to make high-impact changes frequently and predictably with minimal toil.
Well, it is a Cloud☁️ Access Security Broker (CASB) 🛡️ 🔐 that supports various deployment 🚀 modes; like log collection, API connectors, and reverse proxy.
You can get a rich visibility, control over data travel, and sophisticated analytics to identify and combat cyberthreats across all your Microsoft Azure ™ and third-party cloud services.
Cloud App Security integrates visibility with your cloud by providing: ✔️ Cloud Discovery ✔️ Sanctioning and unsanctioning an app ✔️ App connectors ✔️ Conditional Access App Control protection ✔️ Policy Control ✔️ Types of apps to migrate