AZ-103 vs AZ-104 Exam

Differences between AZ-103 and AZ-104 Exam

AZ-104 is the new replacement exam of the AZ-103 exam for the Microsoft Azure Administrator role. Let’s find the difference between AZ-103 and AZ-104 exam. 

Microsoft Azure is one of the groundbreaking players in the public cloud landscape presently. It has been revising the conventional notions of cloud computing with its new and exciting offerings. Therefore, the adoption of Microsoft Azure by large enterprises exerts a promising influence on the development of career opportunities.

Microsoft Azure certifications are among the most sought after certifications in the field of IT and Software technology right now. One of the unique reasons for the exceptional demand surrounding Microsoft Azure certifications is its role-based model. The new debate of AZ-103 vs AZ-104 relies largely on an understanding of Microsoft Azure’s role-based certification model. 

The AZ-103 exam is the current valid exam for the role of Microsoft Azure Administrator. However, Microsoft Azure has to transform according to the changing demands of the business environment and introduce new products alongside changing the focus of its certifications. The certification model of Azure ensures that qualified candidates are capable of addressing real-life tasks in their job roles. Therefore, the AZ-104 exam is the revised version of the existing AZ-103 certification exam.

Candidates aspiring for the role of Microsoft Azure Administrator should understand the differences between AZ-103 and AZ-104 exam clearly. As a result, they can avoid any confusion regarding both exams and appear for the right exam they prefer. The following discussion would provide an important contribution to the AZ-103 vs AZ-104 debate by highlighting the differences between them. 

Comparison of the AZ-103 and AZ-104 Certification Exam

First of all, candidates should know that the AZ-104 exam will be the new standard certification exam for the role of Microsoft Azure Administrator. After the beta exam, the actual exam has been available from March 31, 2020. The good news is that Microsoft Azure has not retired the AZ-103 exam.

Azure follows a 90-day phased schedule for launching the new Azure Administrator certification exam. This means that both the AZ-104 and the AZ-103 exams will be available simultaneously for 90-days before the latter retires. According to the official website of Microsoft Azure, the AZ-103 certification exam will retire on or around June 30, 2020. 

The basic details of both exams can provide initial pointers for the AZ-103 vs AZ-104 comparison. For starters, the AZ-103 certification exam is available in four languages, such as English, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. However, AZ-104 is presently in the beta stage and is available only in the English language. However, the registration fee for both the exams is the same i.e., $165 USD. 

Target Audience Comparison

Another promising highlight in the comparison between AZ-104 and AZ-103 certification exams is the target audience. As you all know, the AZ-104 certification exam is the new version of the existing certification exam for the Microsoft Azure Administrator job role i.e., AZ-103. Therefore, the target audience for both the exams includes candidates aspiring for Azure Administrator job roles.

Candidates for the AZ-104 and AZ-103 exams generally have six months of hands-on experience in administration of Azure workloads. In addition, candidates for the Azure Administrator certification exam should also depict promising skills in security, core Azure services, workloads, and governance. 

One of the important aspects of the job role of Azure Administrators is their ability to make recommendations for services to achieve desirable scalability and performance. Azure Administrators are also responsible for implementing, managing, and monitoring identity, governance, virtual networks, storage, and compute in a cloud infrastructure. The responsibility of Azure Administrators also includes provisioning, sizing, monitoring, and adjustment of resources according to the requirements of the cloud infrastructure.

The AZ-103 vs AZ-104 comparison shows that both exams help in validating the capability of candidates for the job of Azure Administrator. However, the comparison also shows that the new version of the AZ-103 certification exam i.e., AZ-104 is somewhat comprehensive and more suited for new job roles of Microsoft Azure Administrators. 

The Difference in Exam Prerequisites 

Another prominent factor that helps in determining the differences between AZ-103 and AZ-104 exam refers to exam prerequisites. Many candidates might wonder that they didn’t find any prerequisites on the official certification page, so why are we discussing them! Yes, you are right about the fact that there are no prerequisites either for the AZ-103 or the AZ-104 exams.

However, there is a set of recommended knowledge and experience requirements that make a candidate ideal for every Azure certification exam. In the case of the new Azure Administrator certification exam i.e., AZ-104, candidates can find more knowledge and experience requirements as compared to the AZ-103 certification exam. Here are the prerequisites that establish essential differentiation in the AZ-103 vs AZ-104 debate. 

  • Six months of practical experience in administering Azure workloads.
  • Promising fluency in core Azure Services.
  • In-depth understanding of Azure workloads, governance, and security.
  • Experience in the use of Azure Portal, PowerShell, and Command Line Interface and ARM templates.
  • Strong skills in networking, cloud infrastructure, virtualization, storage structures, and operating systems.

Preparing for the Azure AZ-104 exam? Follow this comprehensive guide for the AZ-104 Exam Preparation and give your preparation a new edge.

Differences in Domains Covered in the Exams 

The differences between the AZ-103 and AZ-104 certification exam are also visible in the domains covered in each exam. The AZ-103 certification exam covers the following domains. 

  • Management of Azure subscriptions and resources.
  • Implementation and management of storage.
  • Deployment and management of virtual machines (VMs).
  • Configuration and management of virtual networks.
  • Identity management.

On the other hand, the exam AZ-104 deals with the following domains.

  • Management of Azure identities and governance.
  • Implementation and management of storage.
  • Deployment and management of computing resources.
  • Configuration and management of virtual networks.
  • Monitoring and backup of Azure resources.

Reflecting on the domains covered in each of the two Azure Administrator certification exams shows some vital insights into the AZ-103 vs AZ-104 debate. First of all, one could clearly note the similarities in the domains covered by both exams. For example, the implementation and management of storage and the configuration and management of virtual networks are two similar domains.

On the other hand, the new Azure Administrator certification exam focuses on the deployment and management of computing resources rather than the deployment and management of virtual networks. Let us dive further into the differences in domains covered in both exams for strengthening the AZ-103 vs AZ-104 debate.

Labs for AZ-104

AZ-104 hands-on labs will give you a practical experience of that concept. Explore and expertise with our labs. 

How’s your preparation going for the AZ-104 exam? Check your preparedness with the AZ-104 practice tests and get ready to pass the exam.

Beginning Shows the Day!

The foremost highlight about the new Azure Administrator certification exam i.e., the AZ-104 exam, is that the first domain changes its focus from subscriptions and resources towards identities and governance. The subtopics obviously differ only with the similarity of focus on the management of role-based access control (RBAC). 

  • Attention towards Management of Data in Azure Storage

The debate on AZ-103 vs AZ-104 is necessary for estimating the suitability of both certification exams for modern Azure Administrator job roles. The new exam i.e., AZ-104, presents the same second domain, although with an increased focus on the management of data. The second domain dealing with implementation and management of storage in both the AZ-103 and AZ-104 exams shows contrasting differences in both exams.

While the AZ-103 certification exam dealt with topics such as creation and configuration of storage accounts in this domain, the new exam additionally deals with the management of storage accounts. The AZ-103 certification exam included topics only on importing and exporting data to Azure. On the other hand, AZ-104 focuses on the management of data in Azure storage. 

  • Special Domain for Backup and Recovery

The new Azure Administrator certification exam also dedicates a specific domain for backup and recovery. Rather than including Azure backup in the implementation and management of Azure Storage, a new domain dedicated to monitoring and backup of Azure resources highlights the AZ-104 certification exam. The new domain includes subtopics that involve the use of Azure Monitor for monitoring resources and implementing backup and recovery. 

  • Focus on Compute Resources  

Another prominent difference that one could notice in the domains of the Azure Administrator certification exams is the change in focus from virtual machines to compute resources. The new Azure Administrator certification exam i.e., AZ-104 dedicates the third domain for deployment and management of Azure Compute resources. Candidates will also find subtopics regarding the creation and configuration of Web Apps and containers in the new domain included in AZ-104. 

Therefore, candidates can clearly notice that the new Azure Administrator certification exam brings a lot of opportunities and challenges. Candidates have to learn new topics and develop expertise in different domains for qualifying the Microsoft Azure certification for the Azure Administrator job role. The facility of credible guidance and trusted advice on preparing for the new exam is highly crucial for any candidate.

Therefore, a clear understanding of the differences between the existing and new versions of an Azure certification exam can help candidates find the right preparation tools. Furthermore, awareness of the differences helps candidates establish the suitability of their existing preparation and skillset for the certification exams. As a result, they can know which exam is right for them. 

Preparing for an Azure interview? Go through these top Azure interview questions and get ready to crack the interview in the first go.

Ready to Take the AZ-103 or AZ-104 Exam?

If you have understood the AZ-103 vs AZ-104 debate discussed here, then it’s time to gear up for preparations. Always trust the best training course providers in the business if you want to qualify in the first attempt. There will be many difficulties in preparing for an Azure certification exam, and only reliable platforms such as Whizlabs can help.

Such platforms allow candidates to access credible and highly efficient learning materials and guidance for Azure certification exams. In addition, candidates should also follow all the best practices to prepare for AZ-103 and AZ-104 exams for achieving promising results every time.

If you’re preparing for the AZ-104 exam, then check out our AZ-104 training courses!

About Pavan Gumaste

Pavan Rao is a programmer / Developer by Profession and Cloud Computing Professional by choice with in-depth knowledge in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform. He helps the organisation figure out what to build, ensure successful delivery, and incorporate user learning to improve the strategy and product further.

1 thought on “Differences between AZ-103 and AZ-104 Exam”

  1. Boost your learning and prepare for Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate (AZ-104) with hundreds of real-time exam questions. You can use these questions , most of them actually appear in my exam.

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