Azure Training and Certification Is Well Within Your Grasp

Azure may be defined, somewhat drily, as a "cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers." In fact, that's how Wikipedia actually does define it.


Azure ML PublishToGallery

Microsoft Azure machine learning screen capture. (Courtesy of Microsoft)


That definition, however, fails to capture the awesome majesty and breadth of what Azure can do. It majesty and breadth can instead be much more readily appreciated through the Azure Products page, which lists more than 60 offerings tied to that platform, with hundreds more options available through other channels.


It all starts with what you'd expect from the cloud — namely, software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) — but from there the products page picks up and runs with this idea to places you might think the cloud would never go.


In addition, Azure also supports a wide range of programming languages, frameworks and tools, and development environments, too. In fact, Visual Studio, MS's flagship development platform, supports Azure through ASP.NET, PHP, Node.js, and Python.


Companies everywhere are moving business applications into the cloud, using Azure to make that transition. For this cloud-based platform, the sky really is the limit!


Azure and You


So how is an enterprising and interested IT professional (or aspiring professional) going to find his or her way into this wonderland of technology?


Microsoft Azure concept

One good avenue of access comes from what this week's MCP Flash calls "the Azure Offer." It's a surprisingly good deal, especially for such a hot and booming technology nexus. Here's the deal:


? Pointers to free training via massively open online courses (MOOCs, in other words) from the Microsoft training catalog at Open edX. I count 18 of them there at the moment.
? $99 to take one Azure MCP exam, with a free retake and an official MeasureUP practice test with 30-day access. MS is charging more than $200 for this kind of bundle for most other MCP exams right now, so this is a massive discount.
? $279 gets you the same deal for THREE Azure MPC exams, plus free retakes and an equal number of practice tests. This is very nearly a three-for-one discount, as compared to typical $249 bundle pricing.


Here's the list of Azure MCP exams that fall under this offer, in case you'd like to check them out:


? Exam 70-473: Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions
? Exam 70-475: Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions
? Exam 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
? Exam 70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions
? Exam 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions


Best of all, passing 532 and 533 will get you half-way to the MCSA: Cloud Platform credential (passing any of these exams makes you an MCP). If you're looking for new Microsoft worlds to conquer, might as well go big and jump on Azure. Enjoy!


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.