Azure World Newsletter – Issue 1.12

The meteorologists are predicting several weeks of hot weather here where I am, in Toronto. Temperatures were hitting 34 C the other day, which is only 93 in those American degrees. So it’s nice to stay inside and work on some courses. The virus is also encouraging me to stay home. So home it is. 

Let’s look at the last couple of weeks in the world of Microsoft Azure.


So I actually took the AZ-303 and AZ-304 exams last week. They are in beta, so it’s not something that I recommend people do. I now have to wait a couple of months for the results. 

I recorded a video talking about my experience, here:

I also recorded a video talking about AZ-304, but I am going to hold off on releasing it. I did not have a great experience with AZ-304, and it might take me a couple of more days to formulate my thoughts on that. 

Today, dozens of people were reporting problems taking the online exams in the various Facebook groups that I’m in. I’ve heard about the Microsoft certification dashboard being “down” or extremely slow. This is not a good look.

I’ll say one thing. When they start allowing people to take tests in testing centers again, I’ll probably be going back to doing it that way. At least there is somewhere on site responsible for the technology.


Microsoft released it’s earnings last week too. I have been watching the Azure cloud growth since I first started teaching in the space 4 years ago. They announced Cloud revenue growth of 47%. This is the first time that number has dipped below 50%. So we’re seeing some slowing in the growth of the cloud space. 50% year over year growth is still fantastic. 

Of course, we should have expected this slowdown. It’s not that other competitors are doing any better. It’s just that almost all large businesses are using a cloud strategy, and the gains we’re going to see are now the growth in those businesses.

Amazon reports its earnings in the next day or two, and we’ll see how AWS is doing as a comparison.


Azure has slowly been rolling out their data certifications, and I’ve been following them closely.

For those that are just starting out in their career, or are new to the cloud, there is the DP-900 certification.

DP-900 is Data Fundamentals (beta). This exam is intended for candidates beginning to work with data in the cloud. It covers topics such as core data concepts, relational data, non-relational data, transactional workloads, analytical workloads, and reporting fundamentals.

I recently launched a course to help you prepare for DP-900. It’s also good for anyone who wants a short overview of data technology in the cloud. Use coupon code LAUNCH10 at checkout for that one.

DP-200 is Implementing an Azure Data Solution. Candidates for this exam are Azure data engineers who work with data services in Azure. This exam goes deeper into the technologies of Azure data, including Cosmos DB, SQL Database, Synapse Analytics, Azure Data Factory, Azure Stream Analytics, Azure Databricks, and more.

I also have a course on DP-200 if you are interested in taking your career with Azure Data further. Use coupon code JULYSUN at checkout for that one.


Some updates to Azure over the past two weeks:

  • Azure Storage now supports anonymous public access for blobs and containers, not just on the blob account type
  • Azure Blob “versioning” now available in more regions (public preview)
  • Azure Monitor for Containers now has recommended alerts
  • Azure Application Gateway now has a URL rewrite and wildcard listener feature (public preview)
  • You can now secure AKS Pods using Azure Policy (public preview)
  • Azure Monitor for SAP Solutions now available
  • Azure Disk Storage supports Shared Disks
  • Azure Disk Storage has performance tiers (private preview)
  • Azure Reservations for Azure Database for PostgreSQL-Hyperscale (Citus)

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


I’m finishing up my fifth course for LinkedIn Learning this week. And then it’s on to doing required updates for AZ-303 in the existing AZ-300 course.


And that’s it for issue 1.12. Thanks for reading this far.

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

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See you in two weeks!