I am so happy and grateful now that… I passed the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) 70-535 Exam: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions.
This exam is one of the toughest exam I experienced over the past couple of years. As a Cloud Solutions Architect, this exam is very important for my day to day job as an architect.
I learned that if you want to be successful, you have to transition yourself away from a traditional IT Pro to a more hybrid/cloud role. That said, I am in the process to re-focus, of course not leaving my “old stuff” behind because I still love and believe in Hyper-V. But this is my journey and it will of course also have an impact on my blog – so stay tuned for more Cloud/Azure related stuff in the future. Think Cloud! Think Azure! Think Azure Stack!
As you may have seen the news, Microsoft retired the previous architect exam 70-534 on December 31, 2017, and replaced it with a new exam 70-535. Microsoft Certified Professional program continually reviews their current and planned certifications to ensure that certifications reflect the latest Microsoft technologies. If you have been following all the Azure Updates https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates that are released daily, you know a lot has changed in Azure since the 70-534 exam was released.
I figured that I would share my experience in this post to help you prepare and tackle this exam successfully.
In this exam, I got something around 55 questions, and the total time for this exam is 180 minutes. The questions do pretty much match the list of skills measured below.
Skills measured on this exam
This exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical tasks listed below. The percentages indicate the relative weight of each major topic area on the exam. The higher the percentage, the more questions you are likely to see on that content area on the exam.
Design Compute Infrastructure (20-25%)
- Design solutions using virtual machines
- Design solutions for serverless computing
- Design microservices-based solutions
- Design web applications
- Create compute-intensive application
Design Data Implementation (15-20%)
- Design for Azure Storage solutions
- Design for Azure Data Services
- Design for relational database storage
- Design for NoSQL storage
- Design for CosmosDB storage
Design Networking Implementation (15-20%)
- Design Azure virtual networks
- Design external connectivity for Azure Virtual Networks
- Design security strategies
- Design connectivity for hybrid applications
Design Security and Identity Solutions (20-25%)
- Design an identity solution
- Secure resources by using identity providers
- Design a data security solution
- Design a mechanism of governance and policies for administering Azure resources
- Manage security risks by using an appropriate security solution
Design Solutions by using Platform Services (10-15%)
- Design for Artificial Intelligence Services
- Design for IoT
- Design messaging solution architectures
- Design for media service solutions
Design for Operations (10-15%)
- Design an application monitoring and alerting strategy
- Design a platform monitoring and alerting strategy
- Design an operations automation strategy
Do not take the exam lightly at all!
Overall, I spent four months preparing for this exam. I was an early adopter of the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) and I passed the three required exams for this certification (70-532, 70-533, and 70-534).
In addition to performing my daily work, moving jobs and moving to another country, and going through all of the objectives listed above. Having said that, I passed this exam on the third attempt, I took around two hours to finish this exam, and did my best. Yes, it is a tough exam!!!
Exam Target Audience
The 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam is targeted towards Solutions Architects or Software Architects. This this is an architecture exam, and as such does focus a bit higher level than the Developing Azure Solutions (70-532) and Implementing Azure Solutions (70-533) exams. As a result this exam does not cover as much of the lower level, development or implementation details as the other two exams. It also has a greater emphasis at analyzing solution requirements and enterprise scenarios with architecture case studies to test your ability to design an appropriate solution using Azure services.
Lessons learned and preparation
Practice, practice and practice… I cannot stress enough that hands-on experience will help you to pass this exam. In fact, when I prepared for this exam in early 2018, I did not have any preparation materials at hand. Microsoft did not release any preparation options.
The key success to pass this exam is to work with Microsoft Azure on daily basis. You can create your free Azure account today and start practicing the new features.
You can also Pre-order the book Exam Ref 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions which will be released on 10/05/2018 (432 pages).
The Exam Ref is the official study guide for Microsoft certification exams. Featuring concise, objective-by-objective reviews and strategic case scenarios and Thought Experiments, exam candidates get professional-level preparation for the exam. The Exam Ref helps candidates maximize their performance on the exam and sharpen their job-role skills. It organizes material by the exam’s objective domains. This Exam Ref is a complete guide for the 70-535 exam covering architecting cloud solutions on Azure including all aspects of designing and creating a strategy for a complete solution leveraging the Microsoft Azure Cloud. This includes Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, Networking, Security, application storage and data access, advanced applications, web and mobile apps, compute infrastructure, and managing, monitoring and creating a business continuity strategy.
If you prefer an Instructor-Led Training course delivered in a classroom, Microsoft recommend you prepare for the exam by completing the relevant MOC (Microsoft Official Curriculum) Course 20535A: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions.
Very important source to read is the Microsoft documentation here. You can select any objective from the list above and then deep dive.
I also recommend you to buy 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions training from udemy and watch it entirely couple of times. This course is continuous being updated.
You can also buy 70-535: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Microsoft Official Practice Test from mindhub and start practicing. This practice test contains 211 questions and robust explanations. The MeasureUp 70-535: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions practice test is designed to help you prepare for and pass the Microsoft 70-535 exam.
Last but not least, you can practice sample set of questions for free from exam topics here.
If you are planning to take this exam… I wish you all the best and Happy Studying!!!
Thank you for reading my blog.
If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.