Azure World Newsletter – Issue 3.08

May 4, 2022

Welcome to the eighth edition of the Azure World Newsletter in 2022. 

I’ll start with the usual Star Wars Day greeting, May the Fourth be with you. I’ll now divert the rest of this intro to talk about Star Trek.

This makes me wonder, when is Star Trek Day? There’s no similar play on words that can be made for “Live Long and Prosper.” The Internet says it’s on September 8th, the day the show first debuted in 1966. But I’m a bit disappointed by the lack of creativity with that date.

I was more of a Star Trek fan growing up. Watched The Next Generation on TV every week. Fast forward a couple of decades, and everything is streamed, and I haven’t gotten into Picard at all. But have watched every episode of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. 

So Happy Star Wars Day, everyone!

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I recently went through the “annual renewal” process for several Azure certifications. The notifications from Microsoft were piling up in my Inbox, and I decided to tackle as many of them on the same day as possible. 

A quick recap: Microsoft role-based certifications now expire after one year. Within 6 months of expiry, you can renew them for free online. The online assessment can be taken as many times as you need to pass, once per day.

On the whole, I found the experience to be pretty good. Clicking on the link from the notification email took me to the landing page that outlined the objectives of the renewal. A reminder that the renewal objectives are way more focused than the full certification test. It generally only covers “new” topics that would not have been on the exam a year prior.

The number of questions varies, but one assessment I took had 24 multiple-choice questions. There are no labs, no drag-and-drop. Just multiple choice. 1-in-4 shot at the right answer for any guess.

As best as I can tell, each correct answer is worth one point. 

The passing score is a bit varied too, but one assessment said it had a passing score of 57%, which seems quite generous. 

Once you answer a question, there is no going back to the previous question. No “marking” questions to review them later as you can with PearsonVUE tests. 

There is no time limit, that I can tell. Maybe the browser cookies have a timeout, but nothing is displayed on-screen. 

Technically, you can probably Google the answers to each question. Sorry, I meant Bing Search. You’re probably not supposed to do that, but it’s probably naive to assume no one does that. But then again, you can also just take the exam, fail, do some studying in between, and try again.

As I said, it was a pleasant experience. Only 30-45 minutes are required to take the assessment. And then I was done (with that certification renewal) for another year.

Some assessments were more difficult than others. The Architect Expert was fairly easy (to me). I passed the AI Engineer less confidently, but some of my guesses must have been correct. And the Azure Networking certification reminded me exactly of the exam itself, with all the “VM1, Vnet1, Subnet1, NSG1” questions. 

As before, if you fail an assessment, you will be given a convenient collection of Azure Learn modules to review before you attempt again. This is really, really smart and I’m pushing Udemy to adopt a similar feature in their product in some way. Imagine taking a Practice Test on Udemy, and then being given an hour-long video playlist to watch that only focuses on your weak topics. Brilliant.


The next Microsoft Build conference for 2022 is coming up from May 24-26.

This conference is focused on code and application development. So if that’s up your alley, this could be for you. Registration is free, and Microsoft usually does a pretty good job ensuring the streams are available at times convenient around the world. Not just reruns, but live events happening at hours outside of the United States time zones.

A specific agenda hasn’t been published yet, but you can sign up at the link above and find the tracks that best suit your interests.


The number of new announcements has increased dramatically in the last two weeks. Good on the Azure team for continuing to improve the product. 

The following announcements were made in the last two weeks: 

  • Azure App Services now supports Java 17 and Tomcat 10.0.0
  • Azure Monitor now supports Windows 10 and 11 clients, in preview
  • Azure Container Instances now supports Managed Identities, in preview
  • Deploy into Azure Container Apps using Visual Studio Code, in preview
  • Deploy into Azure Container Apps using Visual Studio, in preview
  • Azure Container Apps now supports health probes, in preview
  • Azure Container Apps now supports alerts and log analytics queries, in preview
  • Azure Static Web Apps now has private endpoint support
  • Azure Monitor now supports custom and IIS logs, in preview
  • Azure SQL Database general-purpose tier supports zone redundancy
  • Cosmos DB autoscale range is now 100-1000 RU/s, down from 400-4000 RU/s
  • Stable URLs for Azure Static Web Apps, in preview
  • Rehydrate an archive tier blob to a different storage account
  • Azure App Service now has networking capabilities at the Basic pricing tier
  • Gitlab and Bitbucket were added as CI/CD providers for Static Web Apps, in preview
  • Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra now supports Cassandra 4.0 clusters, in preview
  • Azure SQL Database now supports Change Data Capture in GA
  • Azure SQL Database storage limits increase for selected compute sizes
  • Azure Functions Linux Elastic Premium plan increased maximum scale-out limits
  • Automated key rotation now in Azure Key Vault, in GA
  • Azure Machine Learning Reinforcement Learning preview will be retired on 30 June 2022
  • Azure Video Analyzer (preview) will be retired on 30 November 2022
  • Static Web Apps support for preview environments in Azure DevOps, in preview

Check out the Azure Updates page if any of these affect you.


My latest AZ-900 course for the 2022 requirements is live on Udemy…

My next course target for a refresh is the AZ-204 track. I’ll keep you posted on that.


And that’s it for issue 3.08. Thanks for reading this far. Talk to you again in two weeks.

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

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