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Exam AZ-304: Microsoft Azure Architect Design Crash Course

Topic: System Administration
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-304 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-303 (Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies) and Exam AZ-304. These exams complement each other in the following way: AZ-303 ensures that the candidate can identify the major Azure products and actually use them, and AZ-304 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-304 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...

This course is for:

  • AZ-304 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:

  • 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 GitHub repository: https://github.com/timothywarner/az304

Recommended Preparation

Recommended Follow-up

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


Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Set expectations: Explain AZ 304
  • 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


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