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Exam AZ-301: Microsoft Azure Architect Design Crash Course

Tim Warner

In this live training, Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Tim Warner walks you through what to expect on the AZ-301 Microsoft Azure Architect Design exam. The new Azure certifications are aligned to industry job roles; earning Azure certification both validates your specific Azure skill set and increases your value in today's crowded IT job market. You will derive great benefit from this course even if certification is not your goal. Specifically, you will develop the knowledge and skills required to do the work of the Azure cloud solutions architect (CSA).

To earn the Azure Architect certification, the candidate must pass both Exam AZ-300 (Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies) and Exam AZ-301. These exams complement each other in the following way: AZ-300 ensures that the candidate can identify the major Azure products and actually use them, and AZ-301 validates the candidate can compose these products into solutions that meet the needs of their customers.

It doesn't matter which order the candidate completes these exams, and they are both graded on a simple pass/fail basis.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

At course conclusion, you will be able to: - Complete your AZ-301 exam preparation with confidence - Determine Azure workload requirements - Design Azure solutions for identity and security - Integrate the Azure data platform into your solutions - Design a business continuity strategy - Develop an infrastructure strategy

This training course is for you because...

  • AZ-301 certification candidates
  • Current or prospective Azure cloud solution architects (CSAs)
  • On-premises data center administrators and/or developers who are pressured to “skill up” in Azure
  • Microsoft Partners who require certification to achieve a competency rating


The Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect is an expert-level credential. Accordingly, the learner needs to have a healthy skills balance among three Azure job roles:

  • Azure administrator: Deploying, managing, and troubleshooting all sorts of Azure resources by using Azure portal and Azure PowerShell
  • Azure developer: Coding and maintaining PaaS and IaaS applications, most of which rely on Azure AD, databases, and so forth
  • Azure architect: Choosing which Azure services to compose for a customer to meet their business goals and financial/technical constraints

Course Setup

To follow along with the demonstrations and practice on his or her own, the learner should have the following environment available:

  • Windows or macOS computer
  • Web browser and Internet connection
  • Microsoft account to create an Azure trial subscription (free)
  • Microsoft Azure 30-day trial (free)
  • A paid Azure subscription if they already used their trial
  • Tim’s course files will be available at his AZ-301 course GitHub repository

Recommended Preparation

Before the class, please study the following resources from the O'Reilly Online Learning platform to assist in your preparation: - Read Exam Ref 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions, First Edition from Microsoft Press. Although this book covers the old Azure Architect exam, its content remains valid for our purposes - Study the Exam AZ-301 exam page at Microsoft Learning. This content is your "base of operations" for certification success - Study the Exam AZ-300 exam page as well. After all, the candidate must pass both AZ-300 and AZ-301 to earn the Azure Architect certification badge.

Recommended Follow-up

After the class, please study the following resources from the Safari Books Online library to broaden and deepen what you learned: - Study the Microsoft Azure Architecture Center. This content is a daily reference for the Microsoft cloud solutions architect - Study the Microsoft Azure Application Architecture Guide. This site goes into great depth, and is a super valuable resource - Refer to the diagrams at the Microsoft Azure Solutions Architectures website. These are handy for cert prep and for the real world - Work through the Solution Architect learning path at Microsoft Learn. Here you'll gain hands-on familiarity with Azure services while you reinforce what you learned in our class

About your instructor

  • Tim Warner is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in Cloud and Datacenter Management based in Nashville, TN. He is a Pluralsight staff instructor, a Microsoft Press author, and a part-time Microsoft Azure solutions consultant. Tim’s professional specialties include Microsoft Azure, cross-platform PowerShell, and all things Windows Server-related. You can reach Tim via Twitter (@TechTrainerTim), LinkedIn or his personal website, techtrainertim.com


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing


(3 hours)

Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Set expectations
  • Perform high-level course overview
  • Give tips and tricks to maximize benefit from this course

Module 1: Determine Workload Requirements (45 minutes)

  • Gather information and requirements
  • Optimize resource consumption
  • Design and auditing and monitoring strategy

Module 2: Design for Identity and Security (45 minutes)

  • Design an identity management
  • Design authentication
  • Design authorization
  • Design for risk prevention for identity
  • Design a monitoring strategy for identity and security

(Break: 5 minutes)

Module 3: Design a Data Platform Solution (45 minutes)

  • Design a data management strategy
  • Design a data protection strategy
  • Design and document data flows
  • Design a monitoring strategy for the data platform

Synthesis (30 minutes)

  • Certification exam strategy
  • Q&A
  • Content review
  • Takeaways
  • What we'll cover in Day 2

DAY 2 (3 hours)

Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Briefly review Day 1 material
  • Perform Day 2 content overview
  • Answer any outstanding questions from Day 1

Module 4: Design a Business Continuity Strategy (45 minutes)

  • Design a site recovery strategy
  • Design for high availability
  • Design a data archiving strategy

Module 5: Design for Deployment, Migration, and Integration (45 minutes)

  • Design deployments
  • Design migrations
  • Design an API integration strategy

(Break: 5 minutes)

Module 6: Design an Infrastructure Strategy (45 minutes)

  • Design a storage strategy
  • Design a compute strategy
  • Design a networking strategy
  • Design a monitoring strategy for infrastructure

Synthesis (30 min)

  • Certification exam strategy
  • Content review
  • Q&A
  • Takeaways
  • Next steps/Goodbye