Ben Finkel completed his Microsoft Azure 70-534 course, concluding the suite of courses that prepare learners for Microsoft’s MCSD Azure Solutions Architect certification. The suite of courses includes Ben’s priors courses for the 70-532 and 70-533. Ben’s latest course (70-534) addresses topics including Azure GFS datacenters, designing data storage, Azure mobile services, architecting Azure web apps, and more.
We caught up with Ben to ask him about his newest course.
Q: Why should companies train their IT professionals in this set of standards? What value does it bring? The entire IT industry is undergoing a massive shift onto public cloud services like Microsoft Azure. Every organization in every industry needs to be staffed and prepared for this change. While there are a lot of cloud providers out there, Azure represents a service that offers broad enterprise-capable products and tools.
Q: From a learner perspective, what did you keep in mind when creating this course? That “the cloud” is still new to many people, and even to the cloud providers themselves. The technology is maturing and changing at a rapid pace, so it’s easy to get lost. By focusing on straightforward explanations and use cases for the various Azure services, I aimed to keep it relevant and understandable.
Q: Any out-of-the-box tips for learners to get the most out of your course? Find some companion material to follow along with or use as a supplemental guide. Unlike the other Azure courses, this one is very high-level and focuses on system architecture and design. These conceptual ideas can be hard to apply in a simple practice or lab environment, so it’s beneficial to find a different way to reinforce them.
Q: What’s one real-world application someone can expect to use, thanks to this course? A user can envision and design an entire product migration or implementation on Microsoft Azure. By taking a high-level holistic approach, this course ensures that the learner understands how and when to use the various products, tools, and services available.
Q: What was your favorite Nugget to create? My favorite Nuggets are the ones that deal with the implementation of wide-ranging enterprise features such as load balancing, data replication, and virtual machine backups. The traditional version of technologies like these require thousands of dollars in licensing fees and advanced expertise to implement. With Azure they can now be rolled out for a fraction of that cost and with minimal training.
Q: What’s the one thing you hope learners take away from this training? That Microsoft Azure is a powerful, complex, and flexible product. It brings enterprise-level IT infrastructure and design into the hands of any organization at any budget. Virtualized infrastructure takes nothing more than a few scripts or mouse-clicks, and it brings with it a truckload of advanced features.