Understanding Azure Certifications: AZ-900 vs AZ-104 vs AZ-204

Understanding Azure Certifications: AZ-900 vs AZ-104 vs AZ-204

Introduction

In the ever-evolving ecosystem, certification plays a crucial role in validating one's expertise in mastering the diverse components of a cloud platform.

Microsoft, known for its strong presence in the Cloud sphere through Azure, offers many such prestigious certifications.

For beginners and professionals looking forward to enhancing their Azure skills, deciphering the right certification can sometimes be perplexing.

AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

The AZ-900 certification is well-suited for candidates who have minimal to no prior knowledge of Azure. Furthermore, it serves as an introduction to essential cloud concepts and covers key offerings within Azure, such as Compute, Networking, Storage, and Databases.

This certification not only guides candidates on important topics like Azure security, privacy, compliance, and trust, but it also provides foundational knowledge on Azure pricing, SLA(s), as well as the basics of cloud migration and optimization.

While it does not focus extensively on hands-on expertise, having a basic understanding of IT operations can be advantageous.

AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator

Strategically designed for Cloud Administrators, sticks to Azure administration, focusing on managing, monitoring, and implementing Azure resources.

Candidates undertaking AZ-104 certification are expected to have prior hands-on experience with Azure workloads, security, governance, data storage, and other Azure services.

It dives deeper into aspects like:

  • Managing Azure governance,
  • Implementing and managing storage,
  • Deploying and managing Azure compute resources
  • And virtual networking.

A noteworthy chunk of this certification is geared towards managing Azure identities and governance – a critical area for professionals managing cloud deployments.

AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

The AZ-204 certification is specifically designed for Azure Developers and Software Engineers, with an emphasis on developing and deploying Azure Cloud solutions.
Candidates are required to have a minimum of one year of experience in scalable solutions across all stages of software development.

Additionally, they should be proficient in at least one programming language supported by the cloud.

Topics under this certification include :

  • Developing Azure compute solutions
  • Implementing IaaS services
  • Creating Azure Functions
  • Developing solutions that use Cosmos DB storage
  • And securing, optimizing, and monitoring Azure solutions.

Comparison

While each certification has its unique value, the choice eventually drills down to your job role, interests, and long-term career objectives.

  • AZ-900 is an excellent starting point for individuals with little or no prior knowledge of the cloud. In addition, it provides a strong foundation. However, it tends to be more theoretical in nature.
  • AZ-104, on the other hand, is more practical and digs deep into the administrative tasks related to Azure cloud. It requires hands-on experience and is geared towards SysAdmins or those aspiring to be Azure Administrators.
  • AZ-204 is developer-oriented, focusing on designing, building, testing, and maintaining cloud solutions on Azure. It is the best fit for current or aspiring Azure Developers.
ExamDescription & Target AudienceFocus Areas
AZ-900Ideal for candidates with minimal to no prior knowledge of Azure. –   Introduction to cloud concepts
–   Core Azure offerings: Compute, Networking, Storage, and Databases
–   Azure security, privacy, compliance, and trust
–   Azure pricing, SLA(s), and cloud migration
AZ-104Focused on managing, monitoring, and implementing Azure resources. Ideal for SysAdmins or those aspiring to be Azure Administrators–   Managing Azure governance
–   Implementing and managing storage
–   Deploying and managing Azure compute resources
–   Virtual networking
–   Azure identities and governance
AZ-204Focused on development and deployment of Azure Cloud solutions. Ideal for Azure Developers and Software Engineers–   Developing Azure compute solutions
–   Implementing IaaS services
–   Creating Azure Functions
–   Developing solutions using Cosmos DB storage
– Develop message-based solutions
–   Securing, optimizing, and monitoring Azure solutions
Comparison Summary Table

Conclusion

The AZ-900, AZ-104, and AZ-204 certifications each provide a different lens to look at Azure and its myriad capabilities. Depending upon where you stand in your career journey and where you aim to go, choosing between these certifications can set the ground for a successful cloud career.

Remember, these certifications are not end goals, but journey markers in your lifelong path of learning.

Happy learning!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *