Azure World Newsletter – Issue 1.3

Welcome to the THIRD edition of this bi-weekly newsletter, covering the world of cloud computing and Azure.

I’ve been traveling for the past two weeks, but I was still able to sit down and pick a few things to talk about. I’ll be back home tomorrow, so things should return back to normal then. Let’s get into it!


Microsoft cloud income up 62% to $50 billion annual run rate.

“This quarter was an absolute ‘blow out quarter’ across the board with no blemishes and in our opinion speaks to an inflection point in deal flow as more enterprises pick Redmond for the cloud,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note

More enterprises are picking Azure. As I’ve said in previous newsletters, AWS seems to have more customers and charges those customers more, but Azure is picking up more large business customers.

This makes sense, as Microsoft has a long history of success in the Enterprise. So the fact that this success appears to be extending into the cloud space was perhaps inevitable.


As luck would have it, Microsoft released the details of the new Azure exams just hours after my last newsletter went out. Once they did that, I released a video where I covered the differences between the old and new exams. You can see that here.

In fact, the new AZ-204 Azure Developer exam goes into beta in two weeks’ time. On Feb 24, 2020.

People have been asking whether they should take the old exams before they expire, or wait and take the new exams. That’s a tough question, and there’s no clear cut answer at the current time.

You have to weigh the pros and cons of taking the existing exams.

Pros of taking the existing exams: plenty of study materials out there, get the results right away, the exam itself is shorter, move on with your life, certification is good for 2 years so you don’t have to think about it again until 2022.

Cons of taking the existing exams: you might not qualify for some future benefit that only recognizes the new exams not the old one

Honestly, when I compare it written down like that, I say take the existing exam. There is no benefit to waiting that I can think of.

If you can think of one, feel free to reply and let me know what the benefit to waiting might be.


Global Knowledge released their top 15 IT certifications list for 2020, based on a salary survey that they do.

Last year, Azure wasn’t even on the list. But in 2020, I’m happy to report that Azure is in there, but the results are a bit surprising.

Forbes Image:

Azure Fundamentals is the highest paying Azure certification, at $126,652 annual salary!

That’s a bit crazy. #1 is Google Cloud Architect, #2 is AWS architect, and Azure architect is not even on the list.

Something is a bit broken with that report…

Anyways, that’s an interesting list for sure.


There were a lot of little announcements from Azure over the past two weeks. Here are a select few that caught my eye.

  • Azure Site Recovery now supports customer-managed keys
  • Azure Point-to-Site VPNs now support Azure Active Directory authentication
  • Azure Key Vault now supports private endpoints – finally
  • API Management now integrates with Azure App Service

Be sure and check out the Azure Updates page if any of these affect you.


Last week, I was down in California recording for LinkedIn Learning. As much as I love working with them, I am also glad it’s over. I fly back home tomorrow and can turn my attention back to a couple of projects that have been lingering.

You can expect to see glimpses of the course updates for AZ-104, AZ-204, AZ-303, and AZ-304 over the coming weeks. I don’t want to rush those updates out too fast because those exams are not even in beta. But I do want the changes to be there for those that would like the updated content.

I want to finish up DP-200/DP-201 too. I’ll do that as quickly as I can.

I also want to re-record my TOGAF courses for 9.2. Not Azure related, but it’s on my agenda.


Thanks for sticking it out this far! This is the end of issue 1.3! Hopefully, you found it valuable, at least a little bit! 

What is your favorite platform to be on? Perhaps we can connect there.

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See you in two weeks!