Passing Exam 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions


I just passed Exam 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions on the first attempt! So I figured I'd share my study material. First off, please know that I rarely deal with public cloud offerings and so I entered into this endeavor with only a little book knowledge but a lot of private cloud/IaaS experience. As much as I hated studying for another exam, I do see the benefit in taking the "good medicine" as it will help one stay relevant with Microsoft Azure offerings well into the future.

Do not take the exam lightly! Overall, I spent ~80 hours preparing for the exam. I skipped sleep and studied all night prior to the exam (which is not a good idea as you can imagine). In addition to performing my due diligence (reading all of the material below), I said a prayer to Jesus just before the test, and then did my best in that state despite almost falling asleep several times with the clock ticking down! Not ideal and I personally thought I wouldn’t pass it in the end. I barely passed the exam; but PTL anyway for "pulling my fat out of the fryer" again! Story of my life.

With my disclaimer and acknowledgement out of the way, here's the material that I consumed in preparation:

Sizes for Virtual Machines
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/virtual-machines-size-specs

Azure Active Directory
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/active-directory-whatis

Azure Active Directory editions
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/dn532272.aspx

Azure Multi-Factor Authentication
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/multi-factor-authentication

How to Authenticate Web Users with Azure Active Directory Access Control
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/documentation/articles/active-directory-dotnet-how-to-use-access-control

Use a SAML 2.0 identity provider to implement single sign-on
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/dn641269.aspx

Role-based access control in the Microsoft Azure portal
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/role-based-access-control-configure

Access Control Service 2.0
https://msdn.microsoft.com/library/hh147631.aspx

Directory integration
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/jj573653.aspx

Determine which directory integration scenario to use
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/jj573649.aspx

Review the requirements for deploying AD FS
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/dn151311.aspx

About secure cross-premises connectivity for virtual networks
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/vpn-gateway-cross-premises-options

VPN Gateway FAQ
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/vpn-gateway-vpn-faq

How to move a VM or role instance to a different subnet
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/virtual-networks-move-vm-role-to-subnet

Allocating Static IP Addresses to your VMs
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/niallsblog/archive/2014/02/23/allocating-static-ip-addresses-within-a-vnet.aspx

Azure Websites Pricing
http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/websites

Configuring a custom domain name for an Azure cloud service
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/cloud-services-custom-domain-name

Configuring SSL for an application in Azure
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/cloud-services-configure-ssl-certificate

Configure web apps in Azure App Service
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/web-sites-configure

Microsoft Azure Storage
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/storage-introduction

Azure Storage Replication
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/storage-redundancy

Use the Microsoft Azure Import/Export Service to Transfer Data to Blob Storage
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/storage-import-export-service

Windows Azure Virtual Machines – Gotcha’s!
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/narahari/archive/2013/01/15/windows-azure-virtual-machines-gotcha-s.aspx

Windows Azure Storage Logging: Using Logs to Track Storage Requests
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsazurestorage/archive/2011/08/03/windows-azure-storage-logging-using-logs-to-track-storage-requests.aspx

Enabling Storage Logging and Accessing Log Data
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/dn782840.aspx

Storage Analytics Logging
https://msdn.microsoft.com/library/azure/hh343262.aspx

Configure a custom domain name for blob data in an Azure storage account
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/storage-custom-domain-name

Azure App Service plans in-depth overview
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/azure-web-sites-web-hosting-plans-in-depth-overview

Azure Service Bus
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/service-bus-fundamentals-hybrid-solutions

How to use the Azure Service Bus relay service
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/service-bus-dotnet-how-to-use-relay

Azure Queues and Service Bus queues - compared and contrasted
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/service-bus-azure-and-service-bus-queues-compared-contrasted

Azure Table Storage and Windows Azure SQL Database - Compared and Contrasted
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/jj553018.aspx

Designing a Scalable Partitioning Strategy for Azure Table Storage
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/hh508997.aspx

Azure SQL Database Overview
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/sql-database-technical-overview

Elastic Database Jobs Overview
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/sql-database-elastic-jobs-overview

Azure Business Continuity Technical Guidance
https://msdn.microsoft.com/library/azure/hh873027.aspx

Azure SQL Database Business Continuity
https://msdn.microsoft.com/library/azure/hh852669.aspx

Azure Exam Prep – Fault Domains and Update Domains
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/plankytronixx/archive/2015/05/01/azure-exam-prep-fault-domains-and-update-domains.aspx

How to Scale an Application
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/cloud-services-how-to-scale

Best Practices for Maximizing Scalability and Cost Effectiveness of Queue-Based Messaging Solutions on Azure
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/Hh697709.aspx

Hosting a Multi-Tenant Application on Windows Azure
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh534478.aspx

.NET multi-tier application using Azure Service Bus queues
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/service-bus-dotnet-multi-tier-app-using-service-bus-queues

Run Background tasks with WebJobs
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/web-sites-create-web-jobs

Transparent Data Encryption with Azure SQL Database
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/Dn948096(v=sql.120).aspx

Using Azure Traffic Manager with Azure Web Sites
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/waws/archive/2014/03/18/using-windows-azure-traffic-manager-with-waws.aspx

Traffic Manager documentation
http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/services/traffic-manager

What is Azure Rights Management?
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/JJ585026.aspx

Introduction to machine learning on Microsoft Azure
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/machine-learning-what-is-machine-learning

Azure Media Services Overview and Common Scenarios
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/media-services-overview

Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN)
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/cdn-overview/

How to map Custom Domain to Content Delivery Network (CDN) endpoint
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/cdn-map-content-to-custom-domain

Azure Notification Hubs
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/notification-hubs-overview

Upload images to Azure Blob storage by using Mobile Services
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/mobile-services-javascript-backend-windows-universal-dotnet-upload-data-blob-storage

Add push notifications to your Mobile Services app
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/mobile-services-javascript-backend-windows-universal-dotnet-get-started-push

Windows Azure Management Cmdlets
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/dn495184.aspx

Azure Service Management Cmdlets
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/dn708504.aspx

Azure Automation
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/automation-create-runbook-from-samples

Credential assets in Azure Automation
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/automation-credentials

Collect Logging Data by Using Azure Diagnostics
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/gg433048.aspx

Debugging a Cloud Service or Virtual Machine in Visual Studio
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/ff683670.aspx

Run Startup Tasks in Azure
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/hh180155.aspx

xPath Values in Azure
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/hh404006.aspx

Monitor, diagnose, and troubleshoot Microsoft Azure Storage
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/storage-monitoring-diagnosing-troubleshooting

Understanding Monitoring Alerts and Notifications in Azure
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/dn306639.aspx

Receive alert notifications
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/insights-receive-alert-notifications

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