AZ-303 Exam Study Guide (Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies)

AZ-303 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies Certificate Study Guide

Preparing for the AZ-303 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies exam? Don’t know where to start? This post is the AZ-303 Study Guide, which helps you to achieve the Microsoft Azure Certified Solutions Architect expert certification.

Note: You also need to clear AZ-304 to achieve this certification.

This post contains a curated list of articles from Microsoft documentation for each objective of the AZ-303 exam. Please share the post within your circles so it helps them to prepare for the exam.

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AZ-303 Microsoft Azure Architect Online Course

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AZ-303 Azure Architect Other Training Materials

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AZ-303 Sample Practice Exam Questions

AZ-303 Microsoft Azure Architect Exam Certificate Practice test

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AZ-303 Curriculum Topics:

Implement and Monitor an Azure Infrastructure (50-55%)

Implement Cloud Infrastructure Monitoring

Monitor security (Note: Log Analytics, Azure Security Center, Azure Sentinel)

Visualize and monitor your data

What is Azure Security Center?

What is Azure Sentinel?

Monitor performance

Configure diagnostic settings on resources

Linkedin Learning: Configure Diagnostic Setting (check with a free trial)

Create a performance baseline for resources

LinkedIn: Performance Baseline (Check with a free trial)

Monitor for unused resources

Finding Unused Resources Impacting Azure Costs

Monitor performance capacity

How to chart performance with Azure Monitor for VMs

Visualize diagnostics data using Azure Monitor

Visualizing data from Azure Monitor

Monitor health and availability

Monitor networking

Azure Monitor for Networks (Preview)

Monitor service health

See current issues which impact your services

Monitor cost

Monitor spend

Use cost alerts to monitor usage & spending

Report on spend

Download or view your Azure billing invoice & daily usage data

Configure advanced logging

Implement and configure Azure Monitor insights, including App Insights, Networks, Containers

Overview of Insights in Azure Monitor

Configure a Log Analytics workspace

Create a Log Analytics workspace in the Azure portal

Log Analytics Workspace

Configure logging for workloads

Monitor workload – Azure portal

Initiate automated responses by using Action Groups

Create & manage action groups in the Azure portal

How to trigger complex actions with Azure Monitor alerts

Configure and manage advanced alerts

Collect alerts and metrics across multiple subscriptions

Azure Monitor alerting just got better!

View Alerts in Azure Monitor logs

Create, view & manage activity log alerts using Azure Monitor

Azure certification Frequently Asked Questions

Implement Storage Accounts

Select storage account options based on a use case

Introduction to the core Azure Storage services

Configure Azure Files and blob storage

Create an Azure file share

Configure network access to the storage account

Configure Azure Storage firewalls & virtual networks

Implement Shared Access Signatures and access policies

Grant limited access to Azure Storage resources using SAS

Define a stored access policy

Implement Azure AD authentication for storage

Azure Active Directory (AD) based access control

Authorize access to blobs & queues using Azure AD

Manage access keys

Manage storage account access keys

Implement Azure storage replication

The explanation for Azure storage replication

Implement Azure storage account failover

Disaster recovery & storage account failover

Initiate a storage account failover

Implement VMs for Windows and Linux

Automate Deployment and Configuration of Resources

Save a deployment as an Azure Resource Manager template

Download the template for a VM

Modify Azure Resource Manager template

Updating resource in an Azure Resource Manager template

Evaluate the location of new resources

Set resource location in the ARM template

Configure a virtual disk template

Deploy Azure virtual machines from VHD templates

Deploy from a template

Create a Windows VM from a Resource Manager template

Manage a template library

What are ARM templates?

Create and execute an automation runbook

Deploy an ARM template in a PowerShell runbook

Implement Virtual Networking

Implement VNet to VNet connections

VNet-to-VNet VPN gateway connection using PowerShell

Implement VNet peering

YouTube video: VNet Peering demo

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Implement Azure Active Directory

Implement and Manage Hybrid Identities

Implement Management and Security Solutions (25-30%)

Manage Workloads in Azure

Migrate workloads using Azure Migrate

Assess infrastructure

Assess VMware VMs for migration to Azure VMs

Select a migration method

Select a VMware migration option

Prepare the on-premises for migration

Prepare on-premises machines for migration to Azure

Recommend target infrastructure

Pluralsight: Target environment (Free trial)

Implement Azure Backup for VMs

Back up an Azure VM from the VM settings

Implement disaster recovery

Set up disaster recovery for Azure VMs

Implement Azure Update Management

Enable Update Management from the Azure portal

Implement Load Balancing and Network Security

az-303 Exam details & Tips

Implement and Manage Azure Governance Solutions

Create and manage hierarchical structure that contains management groups, subscriptions, and resource groups

Create a management group

Assign RBAC roles

Grant a user access to Azure resources by Azure portal

Create a custom RBAC role

Create an Azure custom role using Azure PowerShell

Configure access to Azure resources by assigning roles

Add a role assignment

Configure management access to Azure

Best practices for Azure RBAC

Interpret effective permissions

View the access a user has to Azure resources

Set up and perform an access review

What are Azure AD access reviews?

Implement and configure an Azure Policy

Create & manage policies to enforce compliance

Implement and configure an Azure Blueprint

Working with Azure Blueprints

Manage Security for Applications

Implement and configure Key Vault

Pluralsight course on Azure Key Vault (Free trial)

Implement and configure Azure AD Managed Identities

Windows VM system-assigned managed identity to access ARM

Register and manage applications in Azure AD

Register an application with the Microsoft identity platform

Implement Solutions for Apps (10-15%)

Implement an Application Infrastructure

Implement Container-based Applications

Implement and Manage Data Platforms (10-15%)

Implement NoSQL Databases

Configure storage account tables

Create an Azure Storage table in the Azure portal

Create a table dynamically with the .NET SDK (Table API)


Don’t get confused with the Table API in Cosmos DB and Azure Table storage. They both share the same data model and expose similar query operations through their SDKs.

But, Table API in Cosmos DB has premium capabilities like global distribution, throughput & high availability. So, you should look to migrate your existing app to Table API, given a chance.

Select appropriate CosmosDB APIs

Review the Learning Path: Choose the appropriate API for Azure Cosmos DB


Cosmos DB is a Multi-Model Database Service. It means that you can build any of the NoSQL database models with the following APIs:

1. Gremlin (Graph) API – To describe the relationship between entities.

2. Azure Table API – use only to migrate applications using Azure Table Storage to Cosmos DB. Else just avoid.

3. MongoDB API – If your project is already using MongoDB, use this API. Migration is as simple as just updating the connection string.

4. Cassandra API – If your team already uses Cassandra DB / skillful of Cassandra Query Language (CQL), use this API.

5. Core SQL API – For all other cases & for new projects, use SQL API. Superior in functionality to other APIs. When in doubt, use Core SQL.

Set up replicas in CosmosDB

A Pluralsight module on understanding global distribution & replication

Add/remove regions from your Cosmos DB account

Configure Multiple write-regions

Configure Multi-master in your app (To write to the nearest write location)


a. Why data replication is important in Azure Cosmos DB?

1. To reduce the latency of your application. If you have a global audience, then the users farther from the database may experience high latency (time duration between request & response). By enabling Cosmos DB replication, you direct the request to the nearest data center. The SDK will make sure of that.

2. Replication enables Business Continuity. If there is a natural disaster in a data center, you know the data is safe elsewhere.

b. In addition, to read replication, you can set up multi-region writes. But why? Same reason! To reduce write latency. But, this may cause conflicts as the data is updated in different regions.

Implement Azure SQL Databases

Configure Azure SQL database settings

Configure Server-level IP firewall rules

Configure security features of Azure SQL Database like:

a. Advanced data security (Detects security threats like SQL injection)

b. Auditing (Tracks & logs database events to gain insights into discrepancies)

c. Dynamic data masking (Hides sensitive data in your DB)

d. Transparent Data Encryption [TDE] (Encryption at rest)


You need to open port 1433 if you try to connect the Azure SQL database from your system (with a client tool like SSMS).

You can create Server-level firewall rules in the Azure portal and T-SQL (with SSMS). Database-level firewall rules can be configured with only T-SQL statements.

Server-level firewall rules apply to all the databases in the server & they are created in the master database. The rules for the database-level firewall are stored in the individual database making them easily portable.

Implement Azure SQL Database managed instances

Getting started with Azure SQL Managed Instance

Creating an Azure SQL Database Managed Instance


Best used for migrating existing on-premises applications with minimal effort (lift-and-shift). Provides the latest stable DB engine version.

Azure SQL Managed Instance = Best of Azure SQL Database + Best of SQL Server on Azure VM

Configure HA for an Azure SQL database

High-availability for Azure SQL Database


What High Availability ensures for Azure SQL Database?

    • That data is immune to failures.
    • SQL, Windows maintenance operations do not impact the workload.
Az-303 Azure Architect Tech - High Availability Azure SQL Database

High-availability models available:

Standard: Basic, Standard & General Purpose tiers use the standardmodel: Two layers – a stateless compute layer & a stateful data layer (the .mdf & .ldf files) stored in Azure premium storage (built-in high availability). In the case of failure, Azure Service Fabric kickstarts another stateless compute node. Not suitable for a heavy workload, as the new compute node does not have any files (cold cache).

Premium (leveraged by Premium & Business Critical service tiers): Unlike the previous model, both the compute and the storage is in the same node. This node is replicated 3-4 times (others are secondary nodes) to provide high availability (implemented with Always On availability groups).

Additional benefits of Premium availability model:

Read Scale-Out: You can redirect read operations to the secondary nodes

Availability Zones: You can place the databases in availability zones so the data is replicated across data centers in a region. Although the data is immune to data center-specific failures, you may observe network latency (due to distance between data centers) as transactions are committed across availability zones.

Publish an Azure SQL database

This brings us to the end of the AZ-303 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies Study Guide

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section if I have missed out on anything. Also, I love to hear from you about how your preparation is going on!

In case you are looking for other Azure certification exams check out this page

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