In this article, I would share my experience and impressions to help you prepare and pass the AZ-600 – Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack Hub exam successfully.
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Microsoft is keeping evolving its learning programs to help you and your career keep pace with today’s demanding IT environments. The new updated role-based certifications will help you to keep pace with today’s business requirements. Microsoft Learning is constantly evolving its learning program to better offer what you need to skill up, prove your expertise to employers and peers, and get the recognition—and opportunities—you’ve earned.
Back in December 2020, Microsoft announced a new and updated certification for Azure Stack Hub Operators – Exam AZ-600: Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack Hub.
In 2018, I passed the former 70-537 exam: Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack. I decided to update my skills and take the refreshed new AZ-600 exam since Microsoft introduced a lot of new topics. My Azure Stack journey began very early in 2016, and I contributed to review the old Microsoft Official Courseware 20537 – Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack.
The AZ-600 exam opened first as a beta in January 2021. I was one of 300 peoples worldwide that I had the opportunity to sit for this beta exam. I did the beta exam in early February, and by the end of the exam, I received a message that the result won’t be available until the exam’s live publication date. You should receive your printed score report by email within eight weeks (two months) after the exam’s live publication date. Finally, the exam was released to the public in March 2021, and on April 6th, I received the result with a PASSING score.
I am so happy and grateful now that I passed the AZ-600 exam – Microsoft Certified Azure Stack Hub Operator Associate. I figured that I would share my experience and impressions in this article to help you prepare and tackle this exam successfully.
In this exam, I got 53 questions including 2 case studies, and the total time for this exam is 180 minutes (3 hours), so you have enough time to finish it. The questions do pretty much match the list of skills measured below.
Exam Profile Audience
This exam is for Azure Stack Hub Operators. Azure Stack Hub Operators are Azure administrators or hybrid cloud specialists who provide cloud services to end-users or customers from within their own datacenter using Azure Stack Hub.
Candidates of this exam should have experience managing and operating Azure Stack Hub environments. They should have a strong understanding of Azure, in addition to some knowledge of virtualization, networking, and identity management. They need to understand how Azure Stack Hub enables DevOps processes and the hybrid development model.
After completing this course, you will be able to:
- Prepare for Azure Stack Hub deployment
- Manage infrastructure certificates for Azure Stack Hub
- Manage Azure Stack Hub registration
- Configure an Azure Stack Hub home directory
- Provision a service principal for Azure Stack Hub
- Recommend a business continuity disaster recovery (BCDR) strategy
- Manage Azure Stack Hub by using privileged endpoints
- Manage Azure Stack Hub Marketplace
- Offer App Services and Event Hub resource providers
- Manage usage and billing
Successful Azure Hub Operators start this role with experience in operating systems, virtualization, cloud infrastructure, storage structures, and networking.
Additionally, some experience with planning, deploying, packaging, updating, and maintaining hybrid cloud infrastructure.
This knowledge includes:
- Understanding of on-premises virtualization technologies, including VMs, virtual networking, and virtual hard disks.
- Understanding of network configuration, including TCP/IP, Domain Name System (DNS), virtual private networks (VPNs), firewalls, and encryption technologies.
- Understanding of Active Directory concepts, including users, groups, role-based accessed control.
- Understanding of resilience and disaster recovery, including backup and restore operations.
You should have a minimum of 12 months of hands-on experience administering Azure and have a strong understanding of core Azure services, Azure workloads, security, and governance. You should also have experience in using Azure PowerShell, the Command Line Interface, Azure Portal, and ARM templates.
If you are new to Azure and cloud computing, consider the free online content: Azure Fundamentals course.
Please note that to take this exam, you must have expert Azure administration skills. Check my AZ-104 Exam: Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Associate study guide to get prepared.
Skills measured on this exam
The certification exam measures your ability to accomplish certain technical tasks for a job role. The study areas are based on the Job Task Analysis that was conducted for this role in December 2020.
This exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical topics listed below based on the latest update from Microsoft. Links to relevant reading from the official Microsoft documentation for each skill tested on this exam are listed below to help you prepare:
Provide Services (30-35%)
Manage Azure Stack Hub Marketplace
- Populate Azure Stack Hub Marketplace in a disconnected environment
- Create a custom Azure Stack Hub Marketplace item
- Manage lifecycle for Azure Stack Hub Marketplace items
Offer an App Services resource provider
- Plan an App Services resource provider deployment
- Deploy an App Services resource provider
- Update an App Services resource provider
- Scale roles based on capacity requirements
- Rotate App Services secrets and certificates
- Manage worker tiers
- Back up App Services
Offer an Event Hubs resource provider
- Plan an Event Hubs resource provider deployment
- Deploy an Event Hubs resource provider
- Update an Event Hubs resource provider
- Rotate Event Hubs secrets and certificates
- Create and manage quotas
- Create and manage plans
- Create and manage offers
- Create and manage user subscriptions
- Change user subscription owner
Manage usage and billing
- Set up usage data reporting
- View and retrieve usage data by using the Usage API
- Manage usage and billing in multi-tenant and CSP scenarios
Implement Data Center Integration (15-20%)
Prepare for Azure Stack Hub deployment
- Recommend a name resolution strategy
- Recommend a public and internal IP strategy
- Recommend a data center firewall integration strategy
- Recommend an identity provider
- Validate identity provider integration
- Configure the Time Server (NTP)
Manage infrastructure certificates for Azure Stack Hub
- Recommend a certificate strategy
- Validate the certificates
- Run secret rotation PowerShell cmdlet for external certificates
Manage Azure Stack Hub registration
- Recommend a registration model
- Register in a connected environment
- Register in a disconnected environment
Manage Identity and Access (10-15%)
- Configure Azure Stack Hub home directory
- Register the guest tenant directory with Azure Stack Hub
- Disable multi-tenancy
- Update guest tenant directory
- Identify an appropriate method for access (service principal, users, groups)
- Provision a service principal for Azure Stack Hub
- Recommend a permission model
- Configure access in Azure Stack Hub
- Create a custom role
Manage Infrastructure (30-35%)
Manage system health
- Recommend a monitoring strategy
- Monitor system health by using the REST API
- Includes resource providers such as Event Hubs
- Monitor system health by using Syslog Server
- Manage field replacement or repair
- Configure automatic diagnostic log collection
- Collect diagnostic logs on demand by using Powershell
- Configure Syslog forwarding for Azure Stack Hub infrastructure
Plan and configure business continuity and disaster recovery
- Recommend a business continuity disaster recovery (BCDR) strategy
- Recommend a strategy for infrastructure backups
- Configure storage target for infrastructure backups
- Configure certificates for infrastructure backups
- Configure frequency and retention policy for infrastructure backups
Manage Azure Stack Hub by using privileged endpoints
- Connect to a privileged endpoint
- Configure the cloud admin user role
- Unlock a support session
- Close the session on the privileged endpoint
- Stop and start Azure Stack Hub
- Perform system diagnostics by using Test-AzureStack PowerShell cmdlet
As announced by Microsoft Worldwide learning due to the pandemic situation, it appears they have suspended performance-based lab questions given their need to reserve Azure capacity for paying customers. So you better get your exams registered as soon as possible to take advantage of this situation. The biggest subject areas that I saw on the AZ-600 exam are Privileged Endpoints (PEP), Business Continuity Disaster Recovery (BCDR), and perform various tasks with PowerShell. You need to prepare and be an expert on those subjects.
Microsoft Worldwide Learning is doing a good job of gradually shaping these exams to reflect real-world Azure Stack Hub practice scenarios. The AZ-600 objective domain is more logically organized now compare to the old 70-537 exam.
Practice, practice, and read… I cannot stress enough that hands-on experience and understanding all the concepts will help you to pass this exam. The key success to pass this exam is to work with Microsoft Azure and Azure Stack Hub on daily basis. You can create your free Azure account today and start practicing using Azure Stack Development Kit (ASDK) single node.
To prepare for this exam, I use the official Microsoft Azure Stack documentation which is a great resource to learn.
Videos and Slides
Since Azure Stack Hub launched, Microsoft together with Intel created a program to enable and accelerate our customers and partners around the world in their adoption of Azure Stack Hub. The main drivers of the program have been the Microsoft Enterprise Services teams (both Microsoft Consulting Services, as well as Microsoft Premier) and through the Consultants, Premier Field Engineers, and Architects, have delivered a large number of projects – ranging from smaller workshops, all the way to full-blown production deliveries.
The Azure Stack Hub Foundation Core training is a set of materials (PowerPoint presentations, workshops, and links to videos) aiming to provide Azure Stack Hub Operators the foundational materials required to ramp up and understand the basics of operating Azure Stack Hub.
You can access the full training using the following links:
- Azure Stack Hub Foundation – Core video series (24 videos).
- Azure Stack Hub Foundation – Core 27 slides.
Once you go through the Azure Stack documentation, watching the videos, and reviewing the slides, the next step would be to gain some operational experience – hands-on knowledge. The Operator Workshop aims at providing a starting point for gaining this hands-on experience, with two workshops. Microsoft has released two Lab guides:
- Cloud Operator Training – Azure Stack Hub User Lab Guide.
- Cloud Operator Training – Azure Stack Hub Operator Lab Guide.
Instructor-led virtual training
Last but certainly not least, if you prefer instructor-led training, Microsoft released the AZ-600T00-A 4 days course. This course teaches Azure administrators and Azure Stack Hub operators how to plan, deploy, package, update, and maintain the Azure Stack Hub infrastructure. Lessons include deploying Azure Stack Hub, managing the Azure Stack Hub Marketplace, offering App Services and Event Hub resource providers, managing Azure Stack Hub registration, and maintaining system health.
Bypassing the AZ-600 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure, you will earn the Azure Stack Hub Operator Associate certificate.
I hope you enjoyed my AZ-600 certification experience and exam preparation. Did I miss any links, or do you have any recommendations? Please let me know in the comment section below.
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.