On July 15, 2021, Microsoft officially released the AZ-700 exam (beta) for Designing and Implementing Azure Networking Solutions. Derek Smith, Trace3 Cloud Evangelist, had an opportunity to take the test. Here’s a glimpse at his process, overall experience, and tips for exam success.
Pre-Skills for Success
For many, beta exams can be a little daunting because they are not official yet. An exam like the AZ-700 requires a particular set of skills and understanding to be successful. Yet there may be testing glitches to be fixed, and at times the preparation material can be subpar. And, you hardly ever receive your scores right away—which can be frustrating if you’re used to immediate feedback and are eager to know how you fared against the test.
You should at least have the CompTIA Network+ or equivalent knowledge around core networking and AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals for basic Azure concepts. While these are not official Microsoft requirements, this skill level will help you in your understanding of the various Azure Networking technologies covered in this exam.
The Power of Prep
Preparation is key when you are looking to take any exam, but especially one like the AZ-700. The official Microsoft Learn website, the detailed AZ-700 Study Guide by Thomas Maurer, or video-based resources like Pluralsight and Cloudskills.io are all great resources. In-person training is also available from some of the major IT learning providers.
As an Azure Network Engineer, you are expected to be familiar with various forms of implementation. If you have only practiced with Azure Portal, then you are strongly encouraged to add Azure CLI, Azure PowerShell, and ARM templates to ensure you are comfortable with the syntax of deployment from these tools.
Take the Test Where You Are Comfortable
The work-from-home and hybrid work ecosystem has had a huge impact on pretty much everything. The AZ-700 test can be completed online from the comfort of your own home office or testing center. Take the test in whichever experience is less stressful for you, whether that is at home, at a testing center, or using the private access code option.
The AZ-700 Exam
The exam questions cover core networking resource areas like Virtual Networks, Subnets, VPN, ExpressRoute, Networking Security Groups, Load Balancers, NAT Gateway, and Azure Firewall. Some questions focus on Azure Virtual WAN implantation, routing, and things like how Virtual Network Integration capabilities of PaaS work with Subnet Delegation or Private Endpoints. With just two hours to complete the exam, if you get stuck on a question, skip it, move on, and plan to come back to it near the end of your testing time.
The Microsoft Azure Network Engineer Associate exam is on the more challenging end of an Associate level exam. That said, as Microsoft Azure has a deep and expansive cloud networking stack, it will appropriately test you on many of the various solutions you would typically encounter in an Azure environment.
Derek works as a Cloud Evangelist at Trace3. As part of the Cloud + Azure team, he engages with clients to help transform their business applications, operations, and initiatives to the Azure Public Cloud. Additionally, Derek also regularly serves within the Azure Community as a mentor, public speaker, content creator, and enthusiast for all things Azure Public Cloud. Outside of work, you’ll typically find Derek enjoying time with his two kids, reading, snowboarding during the winter, or playing video games.
Read Derek’s full AZ-700 Azure Network Engineer Associate exam review on LinkedIn.