Microsoft Azure provides cloud solutions to meet today’s business needs. Trainer Ben Finkel launches the training path for CBT Nuggets with the first in his series, Microsoft Azure 70-533
. Ben’s course follows a new approach to training at CBT Nuggets with an emphasis on more efficient content and learning. The average Nugget length in Ben’s course is just 14 minutes, making training more convenient than ever!
We asked Ben about his new course
and its value to learners.
Q: Why should companies train their IT professionals in this technology? What value does it bring?
Having a workforce that is trained for transitioning to the cloud is a necessity today. No matter the size of your organization or the industry you’re in, you are going to be spending more and more time developing and implementing solutions on cloud service providers. Microsoft Azure has a few very specific features that make it particularly appealing. Using familiar Microsoft tools and technology means that your workforce can be up and running on Azure quickly. Its integration with existing Microsoft infrastructure solutions means that you can easily create a “hybrid” cloud solution and on-ramp onto the platform with ease.
Q: From a student-perspective, what did you keep in mind when creating this course?
I had to keep in mind that the course covers a LOT of material from a wide variety of IT disciplines. Development, software architecture, even network design all play a part. Most of us only have expertise in one or two of these fields and so the Nuggets needed to take that into account. I wanted to make sure I explained each of the basic concepts fully so that I could ensure I wasn’t ahead of a learner who may have initially felt outside their comfort zone on a given topic.
Q: Any outside-of-the-box tips for students to get the most out of your course?
Do everything at least twice. Working with Microsoft Azure means being comfortable with a number of different ways to interact with it. Most things can be accomplished in the web user interface but you’ll want to be very familiar with the PowerShell commands as well. Visual Studio has a lot of different ways to integrate with Azure as well – in ways you may not expect – such as connecting to and administering Azure VMs. There are also platform independent interfaces like the Xplat-CLI and RESTful APIs that you’ll want to know about if you plan to work with them.
Q: What’s one real-world application someone can expect to use, thanks to this course?
Single-Source identity management via Azure Active Directory. This means synchronizing users from a local or on-premise Active Directory out to a cloud-based Azure Active Directory. From there, a wide variety of applications can use that identity (i.e. username and password) to secure and authenticate against their system. You can even develop a custom web app that relies on Azure Active Directory for authentication.
Q: What are four topics or technologies covered in this course?
Microsoft Azure’s Platform-as-a-Service (Web apps), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (VMs), and the blend of the two (Cloud Services). Azure Virtual Networks for software defined networking infrastructure. Azure Active Directory for cloud-based single source identity management. Azure Storage for a variety of data storage solutions in the cloud.
Q: What was your favorite Nugget to create?
Azure Active Directory: Integrate with Custom Apps. I loved this Nugget because it addresses a common roadblock for new web app development: How to handle user authentication. In this Nugget I got to spin up a Microsoft Windows server and add a new user to the Active Directory. Then with a very short command that user was synchronized out to the cloud where I wrote a web application that used the Azure Active Directory to allow me to log in with the same credentials I created when I added that user locally.
Q: What roadblocks did you come across when creating this training and how did you overcome them?
The Microsoft Azure platform is still under very active development and I found it difficult to keep the Nuggets up-to-date with the changing environment. This can be nice due to the frequency of new and updated features, but Microsoft’s official publications and documentation would frequently be out of date so I had to spend a fair amount of time researching the tools on my own.
Q: What’s the ONE thing you hope learners take away from this training?
How powerful and fast and easy the Microsoft Azure Platform is to use. If you’ve worked with Visual Studio in the past you can easily begin development on Azure using that same interface. If you’re more familiar with the tools of the open source world like Node.js or PHP then you can STILL deploy onto Azure easily and quickly. Azure makes it easy to leverage the scalability and reliability of the cloud.
Start conquering Azure today!