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AZ-700 Designing and Implementing Microsoft Azure Networking Solutions

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One of the fun parts of working for a small-ish Microsoft Partner is that you have to take a lot of exams. Some of which aren’t in your direct comfort areas–last year I took a couple of security exams (which was mainly my own doing) and even the Cosmos DB developer exam, which was a bit of a stretch, but I’m pretty familiar with NoSQL, and I just had to understand the specific Cosmos API calls and methods. Azure Networking was something I was more comfortable with, but the breadth of this exam, and some services that I hadn’t worked with meant I had to take a different tact.

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You should note–I do a ton of work with Azure and am very familiar with a lot of the services, so your preperation may need to be different than mine. I like to write these to talk about what I did to pass, and let you decide your path from there. Denny asked me to take this exam about a month ago, and I scheduled it over the holidays, and I have been doing for the other exams I’ve taken recently, I purchased access to the practice exam from MeasureUp during that process.

I’m of two minds on the practice exams–I feel like, if you think you can pass a given exam cold, you should just take the exam, and use it as your practice. If you fail, you most likely know the areas where you struggled and lacked confidence in your answers and can work to improve those. However, the practice exams (while not being exactly the same format as the real exam) can help you identify your weaknesses and let you address them in real-time. My strategy for most of these recent exams has been to take the practice exam in training mode (where it instantly shows you wrong answers), if I know nothing about a question, I refer to learn.microsoft.com for that subject area, and try to gain understanding. If I think I know the answer, but get it wrong, I read the notes on the answer.  I repeat this process until I’m scoring 85-90% on the exam (note you’ll have the write answers memorized after a few times, but as long as you know why they are correct, I don’t think this is an issue). This strategy has worked well for me for the exams I’ve taken in the last couple of years.

Specific to the exam–you can find the study guide here. I’m not a network engineer, but because of Azure I’ve had to pick up a lot of skills in this area. You need to be familar with basic concepts like:

  • IP ranges and public and private IPs
  • Virtual Networks and Subnets
  • Routing
  • VPNs–the different flavors available in Azure

Some of the specific Azure stuff you should know, includes

  • Azure Firewall and how it works
  • The various load balancing solutions, and when you use them, and how to configure them
  • Virtual WAN
  • Azure Front Door and App Gateway
  • Azure Network Security

Overall, I thought the exam was very fair, and a reasonable test of knowledge. I took it a training center, and my only complaint was that some of the diagrams (or exhibits) were very complex, and on a small-ish monitor, it was hard to get the image, and the relevant text on the same screen as the question.

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