Azure World Newsletter – Issue 2.19

October 20, 2021

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

I am so grateful to have you as a subscriber.

A reminder that Microsoft Ignite 2021 is coming up on November 2-4, and registration is now open. It’s a conference I used to enjoy going to in-person, and get a lot out of it online.

I was away from home two weeks ago, and so this has been the first newsletter in a month. We have a lot of catching up to do…

The unsubscribe link is at the bottom if you want to stop receiving these emails.


An unnamed Microsoft Azure customer in Europe was recently attacked with a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack at an amazing 2.4 terabits per second. And survived. This is the highest volume Azure has ever seen – 140% higher than the previous record from 2020.

According to an announcement by Microsoft, around 70,000 sources in the USA, Vietnam, Taiwan, and others (a botnet) sent a massive UDP flood attacking an Azure customer with UDP packets across a wide range of ports in an attempt to overwhelm the network and take the target website offline. The attack lasted just 10 minutes.

But thanks to Azure’s DDoS platform protection, the attack was not successful.


Azure’s Architect Expert certification is undergoing a change in 2022.

The current Azure Architect Expert certification requires two exams – AZ-303 and AZ-304. In the future, the exam will also require two exams – AZ-104 and AZ-305.

Many of us already have the AZ-104 exam because it’s the Azure Administrator certification test. So if you get Azure Administrator, getting the Architect certification only requires one additional exam.

If you already have the Azure Architect Expert certification, this news doesn’t affect you. You’re certified, and in a year you’ll need to renew in the normal way.

If you are currently studying for one or both of the AZ-303 and AZ-304 exams, you’ll have some time to pass both before it’s too late. Those exams expire in March 2022. So you have 4 or 5 months to pass the existing tests, and in that way, this news may not affect you either.

But if you have already passed AZ-104, and want to take the shortcut by passing AZ-305, you can wait a little. The exam goes into Beta in November 2021. Beta exams are not scored right away, so it’ll take a few weeks to find out if you passed.

Or you can wait until early 2022 when the exam is live, and pass AZ-104+AZ-305 or AZ-303+AZ-305.

As you can expect, I’ll be all over this for the next few months, updating my courses. Stay tuned for news on that.


Also in exam news, Microsoft seems to be coming up with more specialty exams. The first of these is an Azure Cosmos DB Developer specialty certification.

This makes sense, as Cosmos DB is an important central component of Azure data skills. Some of the existing exams (like DP-300) focus on the relational data side, and so it’s good to see Cosmos DB getting some certification attention.

So the new DP-420 exam will focus on the non-relational side of databases. This is an exciting new release for developers who want to prove their expertise with certification.


The following announcements were made in the last two weeks: 

  • Oracle consistent snapshots using Azure VM Backup is in GA
  • Azure Database for MySQL: Azure Pipelines support in public preview
  • Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Flexible Server: Azure Pipelines in public preview
  • Azure Functions runtime 4.0 is now in public preview
  • Norway East Availability Zones now GA
  • Azure Purview is now generally available
  • Enable hierarchical namespace for existing Azure Storage accounts in GA
  • Azure Maps Geolocation Service is now GA
  • Korea Central Availability Zones now GA
  • South Africa North Availability Zones now GA
  • Windows 11 on Azure Virtual Desktop now GA
  • Azure Functions Python 3.9 support is now generally available
  • Dynamic concurrency in Azure Functions in public preview
  • AKS support for Kubernetes 1.22 in public preview
  • AKS: IPv6 for Kubenet in public preview
  • IP-based website protection for Azure Static Web Apps now GA
  • Azure Synapse Analytics pre-purchase plans, now GA

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


I had a lovely trip away at the end of September and the beginning of October. I’m now ready to get back to work.

I have a number of courses in various stages of development. This week, I’ve been spending time working with Jordi on a DP-300 Administering Relational Databases on Azure certification course. There’s a lot of work to go on that, but videos are being produced and uploaded to Udemy. The course is slowly coming together.

I’ll hold off talking about the other courses since it’s better for me to focus on one thing at a time. Now that we’re halfway through October, there are only two more months left in the year and I need to buckle down and complete everything I have underway.


And that’s it for issue 2.19. Thanks for reading this far.

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

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