The Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification is of the highest level in the Microsoft Certification program. It is intended for candidates that are proficient in designing hybrid and cloud solutions based on Microsoft Azure and related to network, storage, security, compute, and monitoring. Azure Solutions Architect Expert collaborate with admins and developers to apply solutions on Azure. For this candidates should have top-notch skills to deal with IT operations, which include identity, networking, virtualization, security, disaster recovery, governance, and data platforms. Such experts should be skilled enough to assess how decisions taken will affect a common solution. Additionally, these experts should be proficient in Azure administration, development, and DevOps processes.
Currently, there are different ways of how to obtain the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification. The first one is by passing the new AZ-305 exam available in beta version now. The second way is to pass two exams AZ-303 and AZ-304, that are valid till 31st of March, 2022. The third way implies passing the AZ-303 exam (before its retirement date) along with AZ-305. And as any certification of the highest level, it has prerequisites, such as being the owner of the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate.
Speaking of the latest exam AZ-305, it consists of 40-60 questions of various types that are to be completed within 120 minutes. You need to score 700 points to pass it at the first attempt. In addition, this test will cost you $165. As for the exam content, it includes 4 domains each of which will check the definite skills.
The first domain refers to design identity, governance, and monitor solutions. It means that you should possess skills to design a log routing solution, recommend monitoring tools for a solution and a suitable level of logging. In addition, your skills to design governance, identities, and access for apps will also be checked.
Design data storage solutions is the second domain you need to be proficient in. Here you should demonstrate your skills in creating a data storage solution for relational data, and be able to recommend a solution for data integration and analysis. Besides, your skills to recommend a solution for storing various types of data (relational/semi-structural, and non-relational) will also be assessed.
The third domain is about designing business continuity solutions. It’s necessary for you to have skills in implementing a recovery solution for Azure, working with recovery objectives, such as Recovery Level Objective, Recovery Time Objective, and Recovery Point Objective, and understanding the recovery solutions for containers, databases, and unstructured data. Also, your skills to design for HA will be tested.
The fourth domain is centered on design infrastructure solutions. In this section, your abilities to recommend an appropriate solution (virtual machine-based/container-based/serverless-based) will be checked. Additionally, you should be proficient in designing an application architecture, migration, and network solutions.
Since the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification is of the highest level, according to the Ziprecuiter website, you can earn annually about $152,094, and having more experience in the field, your salary can be about $201,000.