Retired Exam: This exam is being retired December 31, 2017, and is being replaced by Exam 70-535: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions. The exam content will be similar but different enough that Microsoft is giving it a new number to differentiate it more clearly.
I have already shared my own guides for both the Microsoft Azure Developer (70-532) and Infrastructure (70-533) exams on my own personal journey to earning the MCSD: Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect certification. Since, I recently passed the 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions exam, it’s time for me to share the list of study materials I used when preparing for this exam.
Exam Target Audience
The 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions is targeted towards Solutions Architects or Software Architects. This this is an architecture exam, its focuses primarily at a higher level than the Developer (70-532) and Infrastructure (70-533) exams. This is fitting since when working at an Architecture level, you need to have a better understanding of how the various technologies within Azure work and can be configured in relation to each other. As a result this exam does not cover as much of the lower level, technical, implementation details as the other two exams.
Here’s a brief overview of the topic objectives covered on this exam, along with the estimated percent of how much of the exam questions cover each topic:
- Design Microsoft Azure infrastructure and networking (15-20%)
- Secure resources (15-20%)
- Design an application storage and data access strategy (15-20%)
- Design an advanced application (15-20%)
- Design websites (15-20%)
- Design a management, monitoring, and business continuity strategy (15-20%)
UPDATE Nov 2016: The 70-534 exam is being updated to include new exam objectives covering newer features and services in Microsoft Azure, like Azure Resource Manager (ARM) and others.
The official page for the 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions exam contains the full, more detailed list of exam objectives.
Free Video Courses / Training
There are many, very good training courses on Azure available for Free! The top of my list are the videos at the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). However, there are many other excellent videos on all things Azure.
The Exam Prep 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions (~1.25 hrs) session via Channel9 from Microsoft Ignite 2015 provides a great overview of the overall exam objectives.
Here’s a list of additional videos I used while studying:
- Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (~6.5 hrs) via MVA
- Establish Microsoft Azure IaaS Technical Fundamentals (~5 hrs) via MVA
- Dive Deep into Networking Storage and Disaster Recovery Scenarios (~5 hrs) via MVA
- Optimize Workload Architecture and Administration Capabilities Within Azure (~5 hrs) via MVA
- Azure Friday videos – there are MANY short videos hosted by Scott Hanselman. This is an excellent archive to go through!
- Channel9 Microsoft Azure videos – there are MANY videos on Channel9. This is an excellent archive to go through!
There are a number of Free eBooks on Azure available. While these are great ways to read up on various Azure features, the Exam Ref 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions book from Microsoft Press is another excellent resource to use for studying for the exam.
The Exam Prep book is a great, condensed resource for studying for the exam. It’s not a Training Guide, you will need to use other books or resources if you are looking for a more training focused path to learning about Azure.
The Microsoft Azure documentation is an excellent resource for learning all about the different Azure Services. After all, the exam, books and all other materials are developed from the documentation to begin with.
It can be hard to rely solely on the documentation since it’s not as condensed as a book or other resource. This is why it’s nice to use one or more books as study materials in addition to supplementing those with the Azure documentation articles.
Microsoft provides a Free Trial with $200 to spend on all Azure Services as you see fit. This is an excellent resource to use for getting your hands dirty and setting up some real Azure solutions.
Nothing beats real, practical experience when getting to know how to design and configure the various components available in the Microsoft Azure platform.
When you’ve covered all the materials and hit each of the exam objective bullets points it’s an excellent time to utilize a practice test to hone in on your expertise in preparation for taking the real exam. Not only does this help you memorize materials better, but practice tests can be invaluable in getting you used to the overall format and structure of the different types of questions on the Microsoft certification exams.
There are a couple practice tests available for the 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions exam:
- MeasureUp 70-534 Practice Test (contains 150 practice questions)
- MindHub 70-534 Practice Test (contains 150 practice questions)
Remember not to rely to heavily on the practice tests, as they wont cover 100% of the material in the Azure documentations. You should use the practice test as just 1 of your many study resources.
I hope this list of resources for the 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions exam helps you pass the exam and earn your Azure certification! Happy Studying!