Tag Archives: Certification

Exam Prep Resources for Microsoft Azure 70-473 Design and Implement Cloud Data Platform Solutions

I’m currently preparing for 70-473  Design and Implement Cloud Data Platform Solutions exam, so I’ve decided to compile a list of resources which may be useful to prepare for this exam. I’m going to append it with additional materials as I keep working on my preparation and I hope it may be useful to other test takers.

As with any MSFT exam your starting point has to be MSFT exam description page which contains run down of all exam topics as well as links to additional resources, so here it is – Exam 70-473 Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions. You should keep in mind that though this exam has been released in December 2015, it is being updated quarterly, so once in a while you need to check exam page to see if any new topics were added there. At the moment last update to this exam was made in June 2017 and changes are explained in exam 70-473 change document.

Paid resources:

70-473 Cloud Data Platform Solutions course by SoftwareArchitect.ca – this is an affordable (25$) online course which I bought and used during my preparation – good overview of all concepts at a fair price, and when I searched it was only 70-473 specific course from online training vendors which I was able to find. Author goes through all the “skills measured” topics as they stated in exam description. What I dislike about this course is amount of typos and some little issues like mismatch between numbering and naming  of videos in course navigation pane and inside of the videos themselves. One exactly the same video even inserted/listed twice there. So I would describe it as lack of QA/editing problem. My other complain would be lack of hands-on demos, there are some of them in the course but I wanted more. 🙂 Only after completion of the course I found that it is also available on Udemy and there it was priced 9,99$ with discount when I checked – so check both locations and compare prices if you want to try it.

Free resources and video recordings:

Certification Exam Overview: 70-473: Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions MVA course

Cert Exam Prep: Exam 70-473: Cloud Data Platform Solutions – exam overview video by MCT James Herring

Second link is YouTube video, looks like both of these links cover more or less the same material and delivered by the same person, yet YouTube session has newer slides, it seems, and they are not absolutely identical – so watch both of them.

Channel 9 – Keeping Sensitive Data Secure with Always Encrypted

YouTube – Secure your data in Azure SQL Database and SQL Data Warehouse

MSFT documentation:

Resolving Transact-SQL differences during migration to SQL Database

This article covers things which will work in SQL queries run on on-prem SQL Server while won’t work while run against Azure SQL DB. For example things you probably discovery very quickly is that USE statement is not supported.

Azure SQL Database – Controlling and granting database access

Article explains unrestricted administrative accounts, server-level administrative roles and non-administrator users + “access paths”.

Sizes for Windows virtual machines in Azure

General purpose virtual machine sizes

High performance compute VM sizes

You may expect questions around VM sizing based on given requirements so need to remember which series has premium storage and which not along with some other things which you can learn from the articles above.

Securing your SQL Database

Always Encrypted (Database Engine)

Always Encrypted Wizard

This article explains 2 very important things you should be aware of: key storage options and Always Encrypted Terms.

SQL Database dynamic data masking

Azure Blog – Microsoft Azure SQL Database provides unparalleled data security in the cloud with Always Encrypted

Azure SQL has loads of security features and you supposed to know them all 🙂 At least when to use, along with requirements and limitations.

Azure Cosmos DB: SQL API getting started tutorial

Get started with Azure Table storage and the Azure Cosmos DB Table API using .NET

ADO.NET Overview

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Exam 70-741: Networking with Windows Server 2016 beta exam

I’ve recently took exam 70-741 which is currently still in beta. I heard some feedback that this exam is quite tough, and honestly giving the fact that sub-net calculation skills tend to fade away without regular practice along with “great constants” (especially new set of IPv6 prefixes and other things you have to remember) I expected to be the difficult one.

Though after watching George Dobrea’s (@gdobrea70-741 preparation session recorded at TechEd NA I realized that I rather like practical focus on the exam – much better have network only stuff in one exam instead of having it dispersed across all the other exams in tiny nuggets as we have it in previous generation of certification exams from Microsoft. I really like the way they structured it now, and even early retake of 1 exam requirement is rather good/expected.

After taking beta exam itself I would say that I really liked it as question are really practice focused with short and concise possible answers and really test both your understanding of how it works as well as how to work with it (PowerShell/GUI).

I’m not sure whether I passed or not (for beta exams results being sent to you only after release date and only if you passed this exam) – but overall I didn’t feel like I failed despite plethora of questions about new things and some old things I didn’t remember well enough. Examples of things exam touches on which require revision for me are TrustedAnchors DNS zone, IPAM in general, DNS scavenging, root DNS server and Network Controller.

And just one more observation: The way MSFT orchestrates their product launches for last three product generations or so is really remarkable example on how to do it for any software company. They have it all: well before fancy launch events there is a work and engagement with community and early adopters, exams, training courses and books are prepared to be published just around the release date and by now already traditional free ebooks “Introducing …” available well before the release date clearly communicating selling points and positioning of product (touching on technical topics quite well but mainly giving you a big picture). Probably not any software company has that scale to afford all of this, but if you are vendor of enterprise grade software with established client base you may learn how to do launches from Microsoft – probably no surprises here, at the end of the day this is a company shipping software products since November 1985 release of Windows 1.0 – surely they know how to do this. But by now they really achieved remarkable mastery in product launch process which I can’t help noticing.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

70-689 exam – another attempt

So last weekend I failed my second shot attempt for 70-689 exam. I knew that I’m slightly missing the mark with my preparation but tried to make it before 31st of May to participate in that “Step up to Windows 10” challenge. I’m failed and it means that 697 exam won’t be free of charge for me. I guess something like 1 more week for preparation would be enough for me to pass. How you can knew in advance that you are not ready for exam? Let’s say you have some preparation questions/test (I used one from MeasureUP) and your results in exam simulation mode look something like this:

70-689 MeasureUP 01

This is clear sign that you are not ready – you want to have 100% here to be on a safe side. 🙂

So my results from first and second attempt looks as follows:

70-689

Exam attempt 2-2

So I improved my results (from 781 to 836 in configuring domain, and from 630 to 665 in supporting domain), and pleased with it, but alas again slightly missed the passing threshold of 700 for support domain. 🙁 Anyhow I will make it eventually, I know 🙂

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Free resources for SQL Server MCSA and MCSE Exam preparation

Just sharing number of links to some MVA resources which can be helpful for Microsoft SQL certification preparation and learning Microsoft SQL Server in general.

nosql

Don’t ask me why is the picture above has any relevance to this blog post 🙂

Anyway, the following courses cover SQL Server 2012, along with performance tuning and high availability features of SQL Server 2014:

Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases (prep for Exam 464)Designing Database Solutions for SQL Server (prep for Exam 465)Implementing Data Models & Reports with Microsoft SQL Server (prep for Exam 466)Designing BI Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server (prep for Exam 467)

And next, these courses complement the existing online exam prep resources for MCSA: SQL Server 2012 exams:

Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (prep for Exam 461)Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases (prep for Exam 462)Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (prep for Exam 463)

Source – Born to Learn Blog

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Windows client certification upgrade

It’s been a while since I last time taken Windows client certification exams. Well I’m certified on Windows client starting from the Windows XP/MCDST certification, and actually did all the upgrades all the way up to Windows 7. But it seems that now is quite good time to either took or refresh Microsoft Client certification as Microsoft suggests you to Step Up to Windows 10 challenge. To put things simply it means that if you earn a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification in Windows 8 between February 15, 2015, and May 31, 2015, and you’ll be eligible to take a Windows 10 exam (Exam 697) for free.

So I decided to participate and for me it should take only 70-689 upgrade exam which I already paid for and scheduled – challenge accepted 🙂 .

MCSA Windows 8.1

So I guess as a part of my preparation to 70-689 I will write series of posts covering exam objectives and everything it is necessary to know about Windows 8.1 (at least in terms of passing certification exam). I think this is also good idea for me as since last time I seriously learnt client side stuff was at the time of Windows XP, next there were upgrade exams with lesser amount of learning and preparation, with Windows 8.1 and soon to be released Windows 10 windows client OS amassed critical mass of changes and features which are warranting for thorough learning and review.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail