Getting you ready for Azure Architect AZ-305 exam!

Hello Cloud Marathoners,

Thank you everyone who took a time from their busy schedule and attended my Global Azure 2022 session – Getting you ready for Azure Architect exam!

It was great pleasure to interact with each of you, and Thank You for great questions that you brought during the session.

Getting you ready for Azure Architect AZ-305 exam

In this session, I focused on a number of changes in Microsoft Azure Architect exam, as it might be troublesome to get ready for it with all the digital distractions around us.

However, in this lightning talk, I shared bits and tips on how to focus on the AZ-305 Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions exam objectives and help you to prepare for a big day.

A screenshot from the participants comments

As part of this presentation, I have shared free, official and community learning resources that will boost your knowledge, and hopefully help you pass this important exam with confidence.

A screenshot of an official practice exam reference

If you missed this session, no worries, you are covered, as this session was recorded. It is freely availiable on the #cloudmarathoner ⏯ 🖐 YouTube channel here.

The slides and as well as links to the recommended resources are posted on my 🖐 👨‍💻 GitHub repo here.

Please, feel free to check up this GitHub repo, share & fork it as you like 👍

Study Guide for AZ-305: Part 12 –Design for high availability

Hello friends!

Thank you for following series of blog posts on this Study Guide for AZ-305!

This is the final (Part 12/12) of blog post series to help you get ready for the latest AZ-305 exam.

Feel free to check the previous posts listed below, if you did not look into them yet 🙂

Table of content (blog series)

What is high availability ?

High availability (HA) is an important quality measure of computing infrastructure that is mission-critical for the customer facing applications and overall organization’s systems. High availability permits the computing infrastructure to continue functioning, even when certain components fail.

Thus, cloud solution providers (CSPs) are expected to deliver certain measures and guarantees to claim the high availability of the offered services.

Image showing availability zones that protect against localized disasters and regional or large geography disasters by using another region.
Azure Regions and Availability zones

The diagram below, equates Service Level Agreement (SLA) percentual to actual downtime, measured in seconds per week, month and year.

Measuring SLA table

How to achieve High Availability in Azure?

Azure infrastructure is composed of geographies, regions, and availability zones which in turn limits the impact of a physical server or Sofware update failure and therefore limit potential impact to customer applications and data.

The Azure availability zones construct was developed to provide a software and networking solution to protect against datacenter failures and to provide increased high availability (HA) to the Azure customers.

Infographic: Reliability with Microsoft Azure

Availability zones are playing very important role in designing your HA solution to meet customer needs. Please, read more about the Azure Regions and availability zones here.

High Availability in Azure: App Service, Function Apps | mithun shanbhag's  blog

Part 12: Design for high availability

The references below are taken from official Microsoft docs and focused on designing HA solutions in Azure. You could also find it helpful to check the Microsoft docs and learning paths with [Tutorials] below 😉.

This collection of links is gathered with a focus on the exam objectives of the AZ-305 certification exam.

Regions and availability zones
Azure geographies
Azure services that support availability zones
[Article] Enabling Data Residency and Data Protection in Microsoft Azure Regions
Azure reliability Overview
Build solutions for high availability using availability zones

Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework
Reliability Patterns
High availability and disaster recovery scenarios for IaaS apps
Infographic: Reliability with Microsoft Azure
[Tutorial] Design for high availability
[Tutorial] Configure virtual machine availability

[Tutorial] Describe high availability and disaster recovery strategies
[Tutorial] Monitor the usage, performance, and availability of resources with Azure Monitor
[Tutorial] Plan and implement a high availability and disaster recovery environment
[Tutorial] Deploy highly available solutions by using Azure SQL

SUMMARY

This is it folk, we did it!!!

Thank you for visiting the AZ-305 Study Guide and checking the Part 12: Design a solution for backup and disaster recovery and completing your learning journey.

Looking forward and ask for feedback.

Study Guide for AZ-305: Part 6 –Design a network infrastructure solution

Hi Cloud Marathoners!

Welcome to the new blog post (Part 6/12) from the Az-305 series to help you get ready for the AZ-305 exam.

You could also check the previous posts listed below, if you landed on this page for the first time 🙂

Table of content (blog series)

What is a Network Infrastructure?

A Network Infrastructure is the physical equipment (also known as, hardware) as well as the software applications that support your company’s services to run. Types of network infrastructure include foundational hardware, software, services and facilities.

The physical network infrastructure requires cabling, routers, switches, and other pieces of equipment which help support them and make sure they are connected internally and externally. However, most Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs) virtualize this physical infrastructure and provide software defined, virtual networks.

Architecture: Global transit network architecture - Azure Virtual WAN |  Microsoft Docs
Click and check the Azure Virtual WAN

WHAT are the network infrastructure solution in azure?

Azure network infrastructure connects and delivers your hybrid and cloud-native applications with low-latency, with Zero Trust based networking services.

The networking services in Azure provide a variety of networking capabilities that can be used together or separately. Those key capabilities are grouped into four services and described on Azure networking services overview :

Front Door Service overview
Click to check the Azure Front Door Service

Part 6: Design a network infrastructure solution

The references below are taken from official Microsoft docs and focused on designing Network Infrastructure solutions in Azure. You could also find it helpful to check the Microsoft docs and learning paths with [Tutorials] below 😉.

This collection of links are gathered with a focus toward the exam objectives of AZ-305 certification exam.

Azure Virtual Network frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Azure subscription and service limits, quotas, and constraints
Virtual network peering
Create, change, or delete a virtual network peering
Load-balancing with Azure’s application delivery suite
What is Traffic Manager?
Traffic Manager Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How Traffic Manager Works

Traffic Manager routing methods
Network security groups
Create a Network Security Group
Microsoft.Network networkSecurityGroups
Azure network security overview
What is Azure Bastion?
[Tutorial]: Introduction to Azure Bastion
[Tutorial]: Configure Bastion and connect to a Windows VM
Azure Bastion FAQ
Using S2S VPN as a backup for ExpressRoute private peering

SUMMARY

Thank you for visiting the AZ-305 Study Guide and checking the Part 6 – Design a network infrastructure solution.

The next blog post will cover the Part 7: Design a migration solution.

Study Guide for AZ-305: Part 4 – Design a compute solution

Hi Cloud Marathoners!

Welcome to the new blog post (Part 4/12) from the Az-305 series to help you get ready for the AZ-305 exam.

Please, check the previous post(s) listed below, if you landed on this page for the first time 🙂

Table of content (blog series)

What is the Compute service in Cloud?

The keyword “compute” refers to the hosting model for the computing resources that your application runs on. However, “cloud computing” is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, like a data storage and computing power without direct active management by the end user.

The compute services play very important role in delivery of digital services and
defining a purposeful compute solution for your project is the first critical step 😎

Why Microsoft Azure Cloud Adoption? Cognilytic Technologies

WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH compute services in azure?

The Azure “Compute” provides the infrastructure you need to run your application, whether you’re building from scratch or deploying existing ones. You could easily pick a compute capacity in the cloud and scale on demand. A variety of services allow you to containerize your applications, deploy any OS in virtual machines (VMs), and take advantage of flexible options to plan and execute your VMs migration into Azure.

You can also rely on comprehensive support for hybrid environment solutions by deploying where you want to. The Azure compute services are supported with enterprise grade integration solutions including identity solution. By using Azure cloud platform you can manage end-point protection, and Active Directory support that helps secure access to on-premises and cloud workloads and applications.

Click to learn about the compute choices in Azure

Part 4: Design a compute solution

The references below are taken from official Microsoft docs and focused on designing compute solutions in Azure. You could also find it helpful to check the Microsoft docs and learning paths with [Tutorials] below 😉.

This collection of links are gathered with a focus toward the exam objectives of AZ-305 certification exam.

Shared responsibility in the cloud
Choose an Azure compute service for your application
Sizes for virtual machines in Azure
Azure Batch best practices
Azure Marketplace – Compute
Azure App Service plan overview
App Service overview
Set up staging environments in Azure App Service

What is Azure Container Instances?
What is Kubernetes?
Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
CUSTOMER CASE STUDY – Azure Functions (Serverless Computing)
CUSTOMER CASE STUDY – Azure Logic Apps and Azure API Management

Security considerations for Azure Container Instances
Getting started with Docker
Run background tasks with WebJobs in Azure App Service
Azure Logic Apps
What is Azure Batch?
Linux Virtual Machine Pricing
Choose the best Azure service to automate your business processes
Integration Services
Authentication and authorization in Azure App Service and Azure Functions

[Tutorial] Create an Azure Batch account by using the Azure portal
[Tutorial] Host a web application with Azure App Service
[Tutorial] Introduction to Azure Logic Apps
[Tutorial] Introduction to Azure virtual machines

SUMMARY

Thank you for visiting the AZ-305 Study Guide and checking the Part 4 – Design a Compute solution on Azure.

The next blog post will cover the Part 5: Design an application architecture solution.

Study Guide for AZ-305: Part 3 –Design a solution to log and monitor Azure resources

Hello friends!

This is the continuation (Part 3/12) of blog post series to help you get ready for the latest AZ-305 exam.

Feel free to check the previous posts listed below, if you did not look into them yet 🙂

Table of content (blog series)

What is the Monitoring ?

The monitoring is a skill and not a full-time job. In today’s world of cloud-based architectures that are implemented through DevOps projects, developers, SREs, and operations staff must collectively define an effective cloud monitoring and logging strategy. This strategy should focus on identifying when service-level objectives (SLOs) and service-level agreements (SLAs) are not being met, likely negatively affecting the user experience.

Cloud monitoring is a method of reviewing, observing, and managing the operational workflow in a cloud-based IT infrastructure. Manual or automated management techniques confirm the availability and performance of websites, servers, applications, and other cloud infrastructure.

Azure Monitor overview
Azure Monitor Overview

WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH logging and monitoring?

Azure Monitor helps you maximize the availability and performance of your applications and services. It delivers a comprehensive solution for collecting, analyzing, and acting on telemetry from your cloud and on-premises environments. This information helps you understand how your applications are performing and proactively identify issues affecting them and the resources they depend on.

Microsoft docs

The Azure Monitor collects the following sets of data:

  • ✔️ Application Monitoring data
  • ✔️ Guest OS monitoring data
  • ✔️ Azure resource monitoring data
  • ✔️ Azure subscription monitoring data
  • ✔️ Azure tenant monitoring data
Measuring Metrics: Log Analytics vs Azure Metrics - Part 1 Introduction -  AdinErmie.com
Azure Monitoring and Log Analytics Overview

Part 3: Design a solution to log and monitor Azure resources

The references below are taken from official Microsoft docs and focused on designing logging and monitoring Azure solutions.

This collection of links are gathered with a focus toward the exam objectives of AZ-305 certification exam.

Analyze your Azure infrastructure by using Azure Monitor logs
Best practices for monitoring cloud applications
Cost Management tools in Azure
What are Azure Active Directory reports?

Overview of Log Analytics in Azure Monitor
Tutorial: Log Analytics
Monitor performance of virtual machines by using Azure Monitor VM Insights
Designing your Azure Monitor Logs deployment
Overview of Azure Monitor agents

Azure Monitor Frequently Asked Questions
Azure Monitor Workbooks
Application Insights overview
Azure Data Explorer

SUMMARY

Thank you for visiting the AZ-305 Study Guide and checking the Part 3 – Design a solution to log and monitor Azure resources.

The next blog post will cover the Part 4: Design a compute solution.

Study Guide for AZ-305: Part 2 – Design Authentication and Authorization Solutions

Hi Cloud Marathoners!

This is the continuation (Part 2/12) of blog post series to help you get ready for the latest AZ-305 exam. As title says – our focus will be on understanding and designing Authentication and Authorization Solutions in Microsoft Azure.

Feel free to check the previous post (Part 1/12) if you did not look into it yet 🙂

Table of content (blog series)

What is the Authentication and Authorization?

To put it in plain English language, authentication is the process of verifying who someone is, where as authorization is the process of verifying what specific applications, files, and data a user has access to.

To relate these concepts to a real-world scenarious, you may think about your airport access and on-boarding to the plane experience. Thus, when you go through the security in an airport, you are required to show your ID to authenticate your identity. Then, you proceed and arrive at the gate, you present your boarding pass to the flight attendant, so they can authorize you to board your flight and allow access to your assigned seat.

Authentication vs Authorization. Authentication vs. Authorization— These… |  by Frank D'Amico | Medium

WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH Authentication and Authorization?

The authentication and authorization services are part of the Microsoft’s identity platform.

The Authentication sometimes shortened to ‘AuthN’.
The Microsoft identity platform uses the OpenID Connect protocol for handling authentication. On the other hand, Authorization sometimes shortened to ‘AuthZ‘. The Microsoft identity platform uses the OAuth 2.0 protocol for handling authorization.

In Microsoft Azure your authentication and authorization is delegated to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). By using this centralized identity provider you can enable following secure workflows for your business:

  • Conditional Access policies – that require a user to be in a specific location.
  • The use of multi-factor authentication, which is sometimes called two-factor authentication or 2FA.
  • Enabling a user to sign in once and then be automatically signed in to all of the web apps that share the same centralized directory. This capability is called single sign-on (SSO).
From AD to Azure AD – Your Hybrid Identity Journey - New Signature

Part 2: Designing Authentication and Authorization solutions

The references below are taken from official Microsoft docs and focused on designing Azure Authentication and Authorization solutions. You could also find it helpful to check the Microsoft docs and learning paths with [Tutorials] below 🙂

This collection of links is gathered with a focus on the exam objectives of the AZ-305 certification exam.

Azure identity management security overview
Azure Identity Management and access control security best practices
Five steps to securing your identity infrastructure
What is Azure Active Directory?
Compare Active Directory to Azure Active Directory
Azure Active Directory B2B best practices
Overview: Cross-tenant access with Azure AD External Identities (Preview)
Identity Providers for External Identities
Authentication and Conditional Access for External Identities
What is Azure Active Directory B2C?
Technical and feature overview of Azure Active Directory B2C
What is Conditional Access?
Plan a Conditional Access deployment

[Tutorial]: Secure user sign-in events with Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication
[Tutorial]: Enable users to unlock their account or reset passwords using Azure AD self-service password reset (SSPR)
[Tutorial]: Enable Azure Active Directory self-service password reset writeback to an on-premises environment

What is Identity Protection?
What is risk?
Azure Active Directory Identity Protection – Security overview
Identity Protection policies
What are Azure AD access reviews?
What are managed identities for Azure resources?
What is identity lifecycle management?

Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework – Security
Authenticate apps to Azure services by using service principals and managed identities for Azure resources
Application and service principal objects in Azure AD
Azure Key Vault basic concepts

Best practices for using Azure Key Vault
Azure Key Vault logging
Virtual network service endpoints for Azure Key Vault
Monitoring Key Vault with Azure Event Grid

SUMMARY

Thank you for visiting the AZ-305 Study Guide and checking the Part 2 Designing Authentication and Authorization Solutions.

The next blog will cover the Part 3: Design a solution to log and monitor Azure resources.

Study Guide for AZ-305: Part 1 – Design a Governance Solution

Hello friends,

As you might already know, a new AZ-305 exam for Azure Architects has been officially released a few days ago!!!

I would like to take this opportunity and help all my students and followers with preparation for this important exam.

My plan is to create a blog post series that cover official and community learning materials in addition to the Microsoft Learn, self-paced learning modules.

Table of content (blog series)

This exam is focused on designing cloud and hybrid solutions on Microsoft #Azure, and was made with #architects in mind 😏


A list of helpful reference materials that will complement your four Microsoft Learn AZ-305: XXX learning paths on the official learning site are screenshotted below for your references 🙂

What is the Cloud Governance ?

The Cloud Governance is a framework that guides how end users make use of cloud services by defining and creating policies to control costs, minimize security risks, improve efficiency and accelerate deployment. It’s imperative to have good cloud governance because it’s a foundational element to your cloud practice that provides the ability to scale and be successful.

In short, the governance in Azure is one aspect of Azure Management. This includes the tasks and processes required to maintain your business applications and the resources that support them. Azure has many services and tools that work together to provide complete management. 

What you can do with Azure Governance?

  • Enforce and audit your policies for any Azure service
  • Create compliant environments using Azure Blueprints, including resources, policies, and role-access controls
  • Ensure that you’re compliant with external regulations by using built-in compliance controls
  • Monitor spend and encourage accountability across your entire organization

The references below are taken from official Microsoft docs and focused on designing Azure governance solutions.

Build Enterprise Agile Azure Governance Foundation

Part 1: Design a governance solution

The references below are taken from official Microsoft docs and focused on designing Governance solutions in Azure. You could also find it helpful to check the Microsoft docs and learning paths with [Tutorials] below 🙂

This collection of links is gathered with a focus on the exam objectives of the AZ-305 certification exam.

How to protect your resource hierarchy
Cloud governance guides
What are Azure management groups
Azure subscription and service limits, quotas, and constraints
What is Azure Resource Manager
Lock resources to prevent unexpected changes
Use tags to organize your Azure resources and management hierarchy

Azure Policy
What is Azure Policy?
Azure Policy built-in policy definitions
Azure Policy built-in initiative definitions
What is Azure role-based access control (Azure RBAC)?
Organize and manage multiple Azure subscriptions
Recommended policies for Azure services
What are Azure management groups?
[Tutorial] Describe core Azure architectural components
[Tutorial] Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure
Governance in the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure
Define your tagging strategy

Summary

Thank you for visiting the AZ-305 Study Guide and checking the Part 1 – Design a Governance solution.

The next one will be Part 2: Design Authentication and Authorization Solutions.

What is MCAS and why would you need it?

Hello cloud marathoners,

The MCAS (Microsoft Cloud App Security) 🛡️🔐 – helps to identify and combat cyberthreats across all your cloud services. This is a cloud access security broker (CASB) that provides multifunction visibility, control over data travel, and sophisticated analytics.

Here is a high level architecture diagram from Microsoft docs.

What are the main benefits of this cloud service?

Here are the main three benefits ot brings alone:
✔️ Discovery & Manage your apps
✔️ Govern access to apps and resources
✔️ Check compliance on your cloud apps

Check out this detailed level architecture of #appsecurity in Microsoft Azure ™ 👍

MCAS – Microsoft Cloud App Security.


What are the main use cases for your business?

✔️ Shadow IT Discovery & Control
✔️ Secure Access
✔️ Security Poster Management
✔️ Threat Protection
✔️ Information Protection
✔️ User & Entity Behavioral Analytics

Another beauty of above architecture lies in a fact that you could easily integrate this model with third party SaaS apps, all listed on a diagram.

Thank you Matt Soseman for bringing this diagram  #SharingIsCaring❤️️

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ᴍᴇ 🎯 ᴀɴᴅ become ᴀ #cloudmarathoner ⛅🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐍𝐄𝐂𝐓 👍

#microsoftazure
#MCAS#securitymanagement
#OAuth#secureaccess #appsec
#threatprotection
#securityengineering
#bestpractices
#continuouslearning

What are the Microsoft Azure’s Multi-Cloud and Cross-Platform Capabilities?

Hello cloud marathoners,

There are many security and multi-cloud capability services under Microsoft Azure umbrella of services. In this post, I will reference the Microsoft documentation to clarify those capabilities on high-level.
I hope this post will clarify intent and purpose of these capabilities for you.

Important: Please zoom into a infographic – as it is of a high quality and can be very informative in understanding the article.

Microsoft’s cross-platform or cloud security starts with endpoints and cloud visibility and controls: namely Endpoint management and Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) that provides insight across your multi-cloud and on-premises datacenter estate as well as Cloud Workload Protection capabilities

Next are the SIEM and XDR Strategy – where Microsoft provides integrated capabilities for the Security Operations / SOC to get the broad and deep visibility needed to rapidly detect, hunt for, and respond/recover to threats across clouds and platforms.

The following capability on the infographic is – Infrastructure Extended Detection and Response (XDR). These capabilities are provided through set of services, namely Azure Defender, Azure Arc, Microsoft 365 Defender with number of features combined under the suit of services.

Next set of capabilities are Identity Enablement and Security – where Azure Active Directory provides comprehensive solutions, including Zero Trust access control that explicitly verifies trustworthiness of devices (via XDR) and users via native UEBA, Threat Intelligence and analytics.

And finally, Information Protection capabilities – utilize the Microsoft Information Protection and Azure Purview services that provide a full lifecycle approach to discovering, classifying, protecting, and monitoring structured and unstructured data as your organization generates and leverages more data. These capabilities provide insights to drive mission completion and competitive advantage.

What would be your approach?
Please, share in the comments section 👍
#SharingIsCaring❤️️

Important: Please zoom into the infographic – as it is of a high quality and can be very informative in understanding this article.

#microsoftazure
#multicloud
#crossplatform
#endpointmanagement
#SOC
#securityengineering
#identityaccessmanagement

Get started with data transformation services in Azure – Global Azure 2021

Azure Global 2021 event in mid-April 2021

Hello friends,
I am back again, this time with another follow-up announcement of a second Global Azure 2021 session in Azure Data focus area, for ALL of you!

I am truly excited to present the following session on April 17th, live from my broadcasting studio in East Cost:)

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

TheCloudMarathoner 🙂

Please let me know, what topics are you interested in?