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How to prepare for Microsoft AZ-800 Exam?

A Windows server hybrid administrator installs, maintains, handles, and troubleshoots Windows server 2022 systems. Taking AZ-800 certification will help you achieve half the requirements of this Windows administrator role and is highly specific and advanced. But the first step includes knowing what exactly AZ-800 is. 

In this article, let us learn how to prepare for the Microsoft AZ-800 certification exam and how it helps to pass your actual certification exam. AZ-800 is an intermediate-level Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure training program. To earn Microsoft Certified: Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate you’ve to pass two exams AZ-800:Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure & AZ-801:Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate.

This will help you get a hold of all avenues of hybrid server management- from common concepts to pro-level subjects. AZ-800 is one of them and covers general server administration tasks. To delve deeper into specialized accountabilities like disaster recovery and workload migration, you must go through AZ-801 exams.

Passing the AZ-800 exam would mean that you can conveniently administer a Microsoft server in a hybrid environment. In that case, this certification will teach you how to onboard new server administrators and implement individual or team training plans and Microsoft reference resources. 

Let’s dig a little deeper and find out what constitutes the AZ-800 exams, why it is beneficial, what you need to prioritize while preparing, and if there are any deal-breakers. 

 

Who can take this AZ-800 certification exam?

Anyone who wants to upgrade to associate level certification and wants to take the Windows administrator game one level up should be taking this exam. Also, if you are a mid-level experienced Microsoft manager, you would need to take this exam to earn an extra feather in your cap.

You might have completed previous Azure certifications, AZ-900, DP-900, AI-900, SC-900, etc. But unfortunately, these certifications are no longer efficient enough to make you eligible for the current-day Azure administrator challenges or relevant to your experience. The only way left to upskill yourself is to certify yourself with AZ-800.

Secondly, if you are someone looking for a career switch or discovering new avenues of Microsoft domains, this is the certification you need. This certification will streamline your experience and help you manage Azure and Microsoft servers in ecosystems.

Passing the exam will help you achieve a valid identity as a Microsoft Azure Associate. Though, it becomes easier to pass the AZ-800 Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure if you have rigorous experience working with Windows Server Operating Systems.

Why you should take the AZ-800 exam?

Speaking of administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure, it is all about delving deeper and knowing all the concepts of Azure Hybrid Benefit. Again, learning about the Azure Hybrid benefit service becomes crucial since this will allow you to move your on-premises Windows Server and SQL Server licenses with Azure’s pay-as-you-go subscriptions.

When you learn to combine Azure Hybrid Benefit, reservation savings, and extended security updates, you can save up to more than 80% on a normal Azure subscription and achieve a reduced total cost of ownership. And AZ-800 prepares you to do all of this and makes handling and implementing on-premises and hybrid solutions like identity, management, compute, networking, and storage a breeze.

Additionally, Microsoft recently introduced many beta certifications based on myriad job roles, which are vital for upgrading your career. By clearing the AZ-800 exam, you achieve a milestone and get one step away from getting Microsoft certified: Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate, one of the most significant and compelling Microsoft certifications for associate-level professionals. 

Have a look at these google trend statistics, which shows how the demand for ‘Microsoft Azure‘ has increased.

microsoft azure windows server
Source: Google Trends

Along with this, AZ-800 will also allow you to test your on-premises skills on Azure. You will be able to improvise your Windows Server management skills and learn to configure and communicate in Hybrid networking. And last but not least, you get to work with enhanced infrastructure management by leveraging Microsoft Azure. 

Exam Format of AZ-800 Exam – Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure

The duration of the AZ-800 exam is 150 minutes, or 2 hours and 30 minutes, and it is a computerized test. The exam would contain 40-60 questions and multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, case studies, and multiple response questions.

On a scale of 1 to 1000, passing marks are 700: The validity of the exam is for 1 year and would cost $165. No prior certification is required, but as mentioned above in detail, you would need to understand the advanced skills required to operate Windows servers and operating systems. 

Microsoft AZ-800 certification

Try learning these free AZ-800 exam questions which give you a clear overview of the actual Microsoft exam questions

Requirements for AZ-800 Exam

Like all the other Azure exams, there are certain prerequisites of the AZ-800 exam that you need to be well-versed with before you enroll yourself for the certification and jump on the bandwagon. You would need to remember that you should have at least three to four skills mentioned in the list below. But then, don’t worry if you don’t have these skills now. It will not be a deal-breaker.

You can always choose to build these skills and get acquainted with them after enrolling for AZ-800 and preparing for the certification. You can appear for the AZ-800 exam after you can get practical exposure to the topics. 

The requirements of the AZ-800 exam are:

  • Experience with Microsoft Server Operating System.
  • Complete knowledge of integrating Microsoft Windows Server Environment with Azure services. 
  • Experience in collaborating with Azure and Microsoft 365 administrators, architects, and network engineers. 
  • Expertise in configuring and managing the workload of Windows Server on-premises, hybrid, and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). 
  • Managing implementation and migration of IaaS workloads to Azure from an on-premises network.
  • Familiarity with Azure, Arc, Powershell, and Windows Admin Center. 

What will you learn from the AZ-800 exam?

Before you delve into preparations for AZ-800, here’s a sneak peek of what to expect from this certification and what you will achieve once you complete it.

Domains Covered in the AZ-800 Exam

AZ-800 exams evaluate five domains or skills in total. Here’s the bird’s view of the skills the exam evaluates: 

  • Deployment and Management of Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) in the cloud and on-premises environments (30-35%): Includes 

– Deploying and managing AD DS controllers

– Configuring and managing forests and domain trusts

– Creating and managing security principles

– Implementing and managing hybrid identities

– Managing Windows servers by using Domain-based Group policies

  • Managing Windows Servers and workloads in a hybrid environment (10-15%): Includes – Managing Windows Server in a hybrid environment.

– Managing Windows Server and workloads using Azure services

  • Management of virtual machines and containers (15-20%): Includes 

– Managing hyper V and guest virtual machines

– Creating and managing containers

– Managing Azure Virtual Machines to run Windows Server

  • Implementation and management of on-premises and hybrid networking infrastructure (15-20%): Includes 

– Implementing on-premises and hybrid name resolution

– Managing IP address in on-premises and hybrid scenarios

– Implementing on-premises and hybrid network connectivity

  • Managing storage and file services (15-20%): Includes

– Configuring and managing Azure file sync

– Configuring and managing Windows Server files share

– Configuring Windows Server storage

Each of the domains mentioned in the above list carries a specific weight in the exam. Deployment and Management of AD DS in the cloud and on-premises environment remains at the top of the roster. Management of virtual machines and containers, implementing and managing on-premises and hybrid networking infrastructure, and managing storage and file services carry almost equal weightage in the examination.

Managing Windows Servers in a hybrid environment comes at the bottom of the pyramid and covers around 15% of the total weight in the AZ-800 exam. 

AZ-800 makes you capable of accomplishing technical tasks like:

Integrating and managing Active Directory Domain Service (AD-DS) in the cloud environments and on physical premises: By learning how to implement Active Directory Domain Services, you can create a scalable, secure, and easy to handle the infrastructure for user and resource management. You also become capable of providing support for directory-enabled applications like Microsoft Exchange Server.

Handle Windows Servers and Workloads in a hybrid environment: You will learn to administer Windows Server securely by leveraging the appropriate management tools. You will also discover how to streamline the administration of Windows Server with Just Enough Administration (JEA) and deploy hybrid technologies in Windows Server management without any hassles.

To be an effective hybrid cloud administrator, you would first need to understand and then compute both on-premises and in Azure to handle virtual machines and containers. Through this certification, you will learn ways to deploy Hyper-V machines and Windows containers in a hybrid cloud environment using Microsoft.

Manage the Virtual machines and containers: You will be able to manage Hyper-V and guest virtual machines where you do operations such as enabling, managing, and configuring VM resources. Also, you will be able to create/manage containers in virtual machines that run windows servers.

Implement and manage on-premises and hybrid networking infrastructure: Hybrid cloud networking helps you link your local and cloud environments friction-less and secure. This certification will teach you ways to plan, implement and configure hybrid cloud networking situations.

Manage storage and file device: You will find out in detail how to use Azure Blobs, manage files in the cloud and on-premises environments, Azure queues, block-level storage volumes for Azure VMs, etc.

AZ-800 Exam preparation – Study Materials:

You will find sample resources that will help you prepare better for the AZ-800 exam. To begin with, Microsoft Learn AZ-800 is a good source to get acquainted with the subjects and the concepts of the exams. It is a free online training and learning place for myriad Microsoft technologies.

You will not only find reading material but also come across control questions and free online labs. The links provided below will guide you through the domains covered in the exam:

  • For deploying and managing identity infrastructure
  • Managing Windows Server and Workloads in a hybrid environment
  • Managing virtualization and containers in a hybrid environment
  • Implementing and operating on-premises and hybrid networking infrastructure
  • Configuring storage files and services

Next in the queue comes Training labs. These labs provide you with sequential and hands-on experience and help configure Windows Server Hybrid Services. These labs are relatively newer and yet to mature, but you will get good practice and expertise here. There are, in total, 10 labs, and they are available on Github. 

The third thing that you can refer to is Microsoft’s very own Instructor-led virtual training, which is named AZ 800-T00 course. This course will teach you ways to handle core Windows Server workloads via on-premises, hybrid, and cloud technologies. You will also learn how to deploy and manage on-premises and hybrid solutions like identity, management, computing, and networking in Windows Server hybrid scenarios. 

Finally, the most talked-about book, which has all the good reviews and is said to work wonders for ones appearing for the AZ-800, is: Exam Ref AZ-800 Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure 1st Edition by Orin Thomas. The book will help you prepare professionally, maximize your productivity concerning the exam and also gain a perspective on practical aspects.

The author aims to highlight the modern IT professional deliberations and guide you through the skills required to get full-fledged expertise in the design, deployment, and handling of Windows Service Core Infrastructure in hybrid scenarios. 

Summary

Finding resources and preparing for AZ-800 is not as hard as it seems. The harder part is to get your hands on the six skills listed and understand the purpose and significance of AZ-800 and Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure. Focus on getting familiar with the skills and domains and get the concepts at your fingertips. 

The second tricky part is obtaining accurate resources. You will find millions of guides and blogs and videos and unauthentic free docs and PDFs, but unfortunately, not all are trustworthy. Even Microsoft views them as illegitimate. 

So before you dive headlong into preparation, we recommend you analyze what exactly you would refer to as a resource for the AZ-800 exam. Try gathering information from Microsoft-certified resources and websites and then decide which one to pursue. You can also seek insights from various tech forums and platforms. 

Speaking of which, we at Whizlabs are always looking forward to assisting you in getting AZ-800 certified. Subscribe to our AZ-800 practice test and guide and add another precious feather to your Azure cap. 

 

About Abilesh Premkumar

Abilesh holds a Master's degree in Information technology and Master of Philosophy Degree in Computer Science and did his Research on Information security via Collaborative Inference Detection. Also, received an Honorary Doctorate from UNO recognized organization. He contributes to Cloud research and supports building cloud computing tools.
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