Azure World Newsletter – Issue 2.15

August 4, 2021

Welcome to the fifteenth edition of the Azure World Newsletter in 2021. 

As I sit here to write this newsletter, I can’t help but feel extremely grateful that you’re subscribed to this list. I have the privilege of writing this newsletter every two weeks in an email that gets sent to tens of thousands of you, recording courses that guide thousands of students around the world, and virtually connecting with many of you over Twitter, Facebook, and through Udemy. Thank you for being here.

Thanks so much for subscribing. The unsubscribe link is at the bottom if you want to stop receiving these emails.


Ransomware has been in the news a lot in the past couple of years. From entire American cities that have been taken over by it (Baltimore 2018), core energy infrastructure such as a gas pipeline (Colonial Pipeline), schools, hospitals, and companies all over the world have been taken hostage by these hackers demanding payment to unlock their devices.

These attacks appear to be increasing every year. It’s clear something more needs to be done.

Microsoft is adding Fusion ransomware detection to Azure Sentinel. This tool can detect attacks in place, and alert you to help prevent them from succeeding.

It does this of course through pattern matching (machine learning). According to the article, “The Fusion system will correlate data from Azure Defender (Azure Security Center), Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, Microsoft Defender for Identity, Microsoft Cloud App Security and Azure Sentinel scheduled analytics rules.”


Over time, Azure continues to chip away at AWS’ global cloud market share.

According to the most recent revenue reports from Amazon and Microsoft, Azure has grown to take 22% of the global market share for cloud “infrastructure” services. Meanwhile, over the past 4 years, AWS has maintained about a 31% market share.

Now surely the overall market is growing, so market “share” is a bit misleading. 

But it’s interesting nonetheless to see these two Internet giants slowly approach market parity. Interesting to me, at least. 

Google Cloud Platform is also “standing still” while maintaining an 8% market share.

I’ve been saying for years that the trend is “multi-cloud”, where big companies use the best services from both top vendors (and perhaps all three). 

Azure has been releasing various services that happily co-exist with AWS, including Azure Arc, Application Gateways, Azure Monitor, Cost Optimization, Service Fabric and others that can integrate with servers running in AWS.


Have you gone through any Azure Certification renewals yet?

I’ve gone through a few already. I actually thought the process was pretty good. Here are my top 10 tips on the certification renewal process. If you have a renewal coming up – or a few –  hopefully these tips make it seem easier than it seems.

  1. Microsoft will send (several) emails to your registered email address to remind you of the renewal. The ones that I’ve seen are 180-days and 90-days. I’m sure they send more, but I haven’t let the certifications get that close to expiry yet.
  2. Passing the certification renewal adds one year to the expiry date of your certification, regardless of when you take the renewal assessment. Waiting to take the assessment until the expiry date doesn’t add more time, and taking the assessment early doesn’t penalize you.
  3. Taking the assessment is free. If you fail, you can re-take it once more in the first 24 hours, and once per 24 hours after that.
  4. If you fail, Microsoft suggests some MS Learn modules for you to take before retrying.
  5. The assessment tests focus on “new exam objectives” since you took the exam. So in some ways, these assessments might be more difficult than you expect. Instead of getting 1 or 2 questions about a topic on a real certification exam, you might find 6 or 7 questions about the same topic on an assessment.
  6. You can see the assessment topics on the certification renewal page, before starting the assessment. So you can see the list of topics and do a little studying beforehand to prepare before starting the assessment for the first time.
  7. Unlike a real certification test, there is no time limit to finish the assessment. You can take minutes or you can take hours.
  8. There is no proctor, no ID required, and nobody is watching you.
  9. You get your results right away, pass or fail. Microsoft puts up a little fireworks to congratulate you if you passed and tells you your new certification expiry date.
  10. Don’t be afraid to fail. Just take the assessment without much preparation the first time, to get a feeling for it. There is no penalty for failing and you’ll be much better prepared to take the exam the second time. And who knows, you just might pass the first time without preparation.

Those are my tips for the exam renewal process. Below is a video I made a few weeks ago, talking about my experience with it.


The following announcements were made in the last two weeks: 

  • Azure ExpressRoute has 3 new peering locations: Campinas, Sao Paulo2, and Dublin2
  • Immutable Storage with Versioning for Blob Storage now in public preview
  • Start VM on Connect for Azure Virtual Desktop in GA
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF) geo-match custom rules on Application Gateway in GA
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF) bot protection on Application Gateway in GA
  • Azure Backup now supports Archive Tier for backups of SQL Server in Azure VMs in GA
  • Azure Database for MySQL – Flexible Server now offers reserved instance pricing
  • Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Flexible Server now offers reserved instance pricing

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


My AZ-700 course launched 2 weeks ago and has been very popular. Thanks to all of you who have taken the course. Your reviews mean the world to me!

I am writing some practice test questions for AZ-700 and will add them to the course. I’ll also have a full “practice test” course available at some point on Udemy.

Thanks for reading this far! 


And that’s it for issue 2.15. Thanks for reading this far.

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

Facebook Page: 





LinkedIn Learning: