If your aim is to build a career as a database administrator, then the Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator Associate certification is for you. This designation proves that you are a real professional in working with Microsoft SQL Server & Microsoft Azure Data Services, and that you are knowledgeable of how to deal with all aspects of solutions based on a cloud-native or hybrid data platform. In addition, a certified Azure Database Administrator is capable of using various tools and methods to perform daily operations, that refer to implementing T-SQL administrative management goals. Passing the DP-300 exam guarantees you getting this accreditation from Microsoft.
The DP-300 exam checks your skills in administering relational databases based on Microsoft Azure. The exam lasts 100 or 120 minutes (depends on the inclusion of labs in the exam questions as with them it lasts longer). Within the given time you are to solve 40-60 questions of various types. The exam types of questions will be known only at the exam. Before taking the test, you need to be knowledgeable of the concepts tested in the DP-900 exam, and pay a registration fee of $165.
Regarding the exam content, it consists of 7 parts each of which validates specific skills. The first topic is focused on planning and using data platform resources. This encompasses competence in deploying resources by applying manual methods, designing resources for performance, and choosing a suitable database that meets specific requirements. In addition, your expertise in choosing a strategy to migrate on Azure, as well as in upgrading it will be assessed.
The second topic is centered on creating a secure environment. This topic will check your skills to implement database and platform tools to design both database authentication and authorization procedures. You also should be able to use security for data at rest, by implementing Dynamic Data Masking, object-level encryption, and Azure Key Vault. Besides, you should be ready to demonstrate your skills in using security for data in transit as well as controls for sensitive data.
The third part will assess your capacity in optimizing and monitoring operational resources. This implies that you are good at carrying out tasks related to maintenance and defining them and monitoring performance and activity. This means that you know how to work with performance metrics and interpret them, use tasks that involve index and statistics maintenance, assess cases that induce blocking, design Query Store that helps to collect data. In addition, your proficiency in designing recourses along with a user database for efficient performance will also be measured.
In the fourth section, you will be tested on your ability to optimize query performance. First, you should be able to find the type of execution plan, then find weak areas in it, check the Query Store, find the way to gather query performance data, and apply index changes for queries. Finally, you should demonstrate your skills in checking index design and a database table.
The fifth topic refers to carrying out automation of tasks. What is covered in this part includes creating scheduled tasks, operating and automating tasks in Azure, and utilizing an alert along with a notification strategy. So, you should be knowledgeable of how to operate schedules to endorse jobs, design multi-server automation and notification for task failure or success. You also should be able to apply automated evaluation modes, and carry out automated designing methods. Your ability to create various event notifications will also be assessed.
The sixth topic is dedicated to planning and using a HA and HADR setting. Within this section, you will be tested on finding an HADR strategy to provide a data platform solution. For that purpose, you should be familiar with RPO and RTO requirements, be able to assess HADR used for hybrid design, and define resources for HADR solutions. Other skills evaluated here involve testing an HADR strategy, designing HADR by implementing database, platform, and OS tools, and carrying out backup.
The seventh section aims to validate your skills in performing administration by utilizing T-SQL. In this part, you will need to demonstrate your proficiency in the following areas: checking system health, implementing T-SQL to monitor database configuration, carry out backup, guide authentication and authorization. That’s why you should know how to utilize DMVs to assess server health and database health, check database configuration options, work with Always On Availability Groups, operate security principles and certificates.
This associate-level exam is not so easy to crack as it covers a lot of topics you need to be proficient in. Still, with proper preparation you definitely will. And to motivate you more, being a Microsoft Certified Azure Database Administrator Associate you can get about $107,683 per year, as stated on the Ziprecruiter website.