Blog Microsoft Azure AZ-104 Exam: Microsoft Azure Administrator (New Version of AZ-103)
Azure AZ-104 Exam

AZ-104 Exam: Microsoft Azure Administrator (New Version of AZ-103)

Microsoft Azure is one of the names to reckon with in the world of cloud computing. Over the years, it has emerged as one of the top players in the public cloud computing landscape with its unique offerings for enterprises. Therefore, the demand for Microsoft Azure certified professionals is also increasing. Recently, Microsoft announced a big change in its Azure certification path by putting a date on the retirement of the AZ-103 exam and introducing a new AZ-104 exam.

AZ-103 exam would no longer be available after June 30, 2020. However, Azure would launch the replacement i.e., the AZ-104 exam on or around March 31, 2020. 

The following discussion would dive into important details regarding the new AZ-104 certification exam launched by Microsoft Azure. The important highlights of the discussion include references to the target audience for the new certification exam and the objective domains in the exam. The discussion would also reflect on some essential pointers to prepare effectively for the AZ-104 certification exam. 

New Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Exam: AZ-104 Exam 

You can consider the AZ-104 certification exam as the new version of the AZ-103 exam. The AZ-104 certification exam would be the new exam for becoming a Microsoft Azure Certified Administrator. Presently, the exam is in the beta stage, and candidates can appear for the actual exam on or around March 31, 2020. The exam would test and prove the candidate’s capabilities as an Azure Administrator.

Candidates should note that the AZ-104 exam is not available now, and Microsoft will be following a unique 90-day phased release schedule. According to the phased schedule, both exams will be available concurrently before finally retiring the AZ-103 exam. 

Target Audience for AZ-104 Certification Exam

The AZ-104 certification exam is simply the new version of the AZ-103 exam with slight modifications. The exam is ideal for candidates aspiring to become an Azure Administrator with at least 6 months of practical experience in the administration of Azure workloads. The candidates for the AZ-104 certification exam should also have strong fluency in core Azure services, governance, workloads, and security.

The job role of an Azure administrator would involve making recommendations of services for achieving optimal performance and scalability. Azure administrators have to ensure implementation, management, and monitoring of identity, storage, governance, compute, and virtual networks in a cloud infrastructure. They are also responsible for provisioning, sizing, monitoring, and adjusting resources according to the infrastructure requirements.  

Requirements for the Exam

There are no mandatory prerequisites for the AZ-104 exam. However, the recommended knowledge and experience for AZ-104 can help you improve your chances of qualifying. Here are the recommended prerequisites for the AZ-104 certification exam. 

  • Six months of practical experience in Azure administration
  • Strong understanding of core Azure Services 
  • Knowledge of Azure workloads, security, and governance
  • Experience in using the Command Line Interface, Azure Portal, ARM templates and PowerShell
  • Proficiency in virtualization, networking, operating systems, cloud infrastructure, and storage structures

The AZ-104 beta exam will be available in the English language only. The registration fee for the exam is $165 USD that is subject to variation depending on the country where the exam is proctored.

AZ-103 Online Course

Domains Covered in AZ-104 Certification Exam

The next important piece of detail regarding the AZ-104 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Exam refers to the domains covered in the exam. However, candidates have to note that Azure certification exams do not cover the preview features. The features are added to an exam only after they achieve General Availability (GA). The AZ-104 exam tests the following abilities of candidates. 

  • Management of Azure identities and governance
  • Implementation and management of storage
  • Deployment and management of Azure compute resources
  • Configuration and management of virtual networking
  • Monitoring and backup of Azure resources

These abilities serve as the domains of the AZ-104 certification exam. Let us reflect briefly on the weightage of each domain and the subtopics included in each domain.

Domain 1: Management of Azure Identities and Governance

The first domain in the AZ-104 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Exam deals with the management of Azure identities and governance. Candidates can find almost 15% to 20% of the total question in the exam from this domain. The subtopics in this domain include the following.

  • Management of Azure Active Directory (AD) objects 
  • Management of role-based access control (RBAC)
  • Management of subscriptions and governance

Domain 2: Implementation and Management of Storage

The second domain of the exam deals with the implementation and management of storage. Candidates could find around 10% to 15% of the questions in the AZ-104 beta exam from this domain. The subtopics in this domain include the following.

  • Management of storage accounts
  • Data management for Azure Storage
  • Configuration of Azure files and Azure blob storage

Domain 3: Deployment and Management of Azure Compute Resources

The third domain of the new Azure Administrator certification exam deals with deployment and management of Azure compute resources. Candidates will have to exert major effort in this domain for their preparations for the AZ-104 certification exam. This domain accounts for almost 25% to 30% of the total questions in the AZ-104 certification exam. The subtopics in this domain include the following.

  • Configuration of virtual machines for high scalability and availability
  • Automation of deployment and configuration for virtual machines
  • Creation and configuration of virtual machines
  • Creation and configuration of containers
  • Creation and configuration of Web Apps

Domain 4: Configuration and Management of Virtual Networking

The fourth domain in the new AZ-104 exam deals with the configuration and management of virtual networking. This domain would account for almost 30% to 35% of the total questions in the exam, thereby making it the most important domain for candidates. The subtopics in this domain would include the following.

  • Implementation and management of virtual networking
  • Configuration of name resolution
  • Secure access to virtual networks
  • Configuration of load balancing
  • Monitoring and troubleshooting virtual networking
  • Integration of on-premises network with Azure virtual networks

Domain 5: Monitoring and Backup of Azure Resources

The fifth and final domain covered in the new Azure Administrator certification exam deals with monitoring and backup of Azure resources. This domain would account for almost 10% to 15% of the questions in the exam. The subtopics in this domain would be as follows.

  • Monitoring resources through Azure Monitor
  • Implementation of backup and recovery

Also Check: Microsoft Azure Cheat Sheet

Differences between AZ-103 and AZ-104 Certification Exams

So, what changed exactly between AZ-103 and the new AZ-104 exam? First of all, you can notice a change in the percentage of weightage for the sections in AZ-104. 

  • Emphasis on Identities

In the new certification exam, the two sections of Managing Azure subscriptions and identities have been merged into one. The first domain of the AZ-104 exam deals with the management of Azure identities and governance. As compared to the AZ-103 exam in which the first domain deals with the management of Azure subscriptions and resources, the new exam deals with the management of Azure identities and governance. The subtopics vary considerably, albeit with a similar topic involving management of role-based access control (RBAC).

  • Improved Focus on Management of Data

The second domain i.e., implementation and management of storage are the same in both AZ-103 and the AZ-104 exam. However, the new exam deals with the management of storage accounts rather than the creation and configuration of storage accounts. In addition, the new exam also deals with the management of data in Azure storage rather than just importing and exporting data to Azure, like in the AZ-103 exam. The new exam excludes the implementation of Azure backup from the domain of implementation and management of Azure Storage. 

  • New Domain for Backup and Recovery

The addition of monitoring and backup of Azure resources as a domain in the new Azure Administrator certification exam is also a notable difference. The new domain would deal with using Azure Monitor for monitoring resources and the implementation of backup and recovery.   

  • Shift from Virtual Machines to Compute Resources

The AZ-104 exam would focus on the deployment and management of Azure Compute resources rather than virtual machines in the third domain. The new Azure administrator certification exam also includes topics on the creation and configuration of containers and Web Apps in this domain. 

Check your preparation level with AZ-103 practice tests. Try AZ-103 Free Test now!

Pointers to Prepare for Success in AZ-104 Certification Exam

Therefore, you can clearly note that the new AZ-104 certification exam would focus extensively on monitoring and backup alongside the management of identities. Candidates can prepare for the AZ-104 exam in advance before its availability by following the pointers mentioned below.

  • Go for the Official Certification Page First!

The official certification page is a helpful source to gain information about the exam. Candidates can find reliable information about the new exam and the date of its availability. Furthermore, candidates could also find information about prerequisites for the exam on the official certification page. 

  • Download the Exam Guide and Stick to It

A study guide or exam guide is an essential requirement for candidates to prepare for the new Azure certification exam. Candidates can download the exam guide for the AZ-104 certification exam on the official certification page. The exam guide not only provides you a detailed impression of the exam’s syllabus but also information about the target audience for the exam.

  • Online Courses and Practice Tests 

Online training courses by reliable platforms such as Whizlabs can be a supportive mechanism for candidates to prepare for the exam. Training courses enable candidates to obtain reliable guidance from experts in Microsoft Azure administration. Furthermore, candidates should also use practice tests to tests their preparation for the new certification exam. 

Planning to take the AZ-103 exam? Follow this comprehensive AZ-103 exam preparation guide and get ready to pass the exam on the first attempt.

Bottom Line

So, if you want to become an Azure administrator, then you have to know that there is a new exam about to arrive in town! The AZ-104 exam will change the exam format that is currently followed for Azure administrator certification. You can find all the details about the changes in the new Azure Administrator certification exam in the above-mentioned discussion.

The next step for aspiring candidates is to capitalize on the above-mentioned information as soon as possible. Candidates can review all the topics in the new exam and change their preparation schedule accordingly. Furthermore, candidates should also stay updated with the Microsoft Azure learning community for any new changes in the AZ-104 certification exam. Stay informed, Stay Ahead!

Note that the last date to take the AZ-103 exam is June 30, 2020. So, start your preparation for the exam now and get ready to take the exam. You can enroll for the AZ-103 training course and practice tests to prepare well and pass the exam on the first attempt.

About Neeru Jain

Technology Scientist by Mind and Passionate Writer by Heart!! With an enthusiasm for technological research and learning, Neeru turned out to be a technology expert. Her Belief: “Words are powerful enough to change Mind, Life, and the World; only the writer should have a real passion for Writing!!”
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