70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions – Prep & Exam Experience

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mcsa-cloudplatform-logo-blkspec_impl_azure_infrasol_bwReaders of this blog know that my focus has shifted towards hybrid cloud and the architecture to enable customers to consume Microsoft Azure for varying requirements.

Having passed 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure back in March 2016, I had been putting off the  70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure
Infrastructure Solutions
 due to the sheer volume of Azure work I was undertaking with customers which didn’t leave much time for studying.  Anyhow, I thought it was about time I sat the 70-533 exam which covers:

  • Implement Web Apps
  • Implement Virtual Machines
  • Implement Cloud Services
  • Implement Storage
  • Implement Azure Active Directory
  • Implement Virtual Networks

Preparation

I went back over my previous blog posts on the following topics to make sure I was up to speed on the basics again.

Microsoft Azure Concepts – Availability Sets

Microsoft Azure Concepts – Backups

Microsoft Azure Concepts – Clusters

Microsoft Azure Concepts – Content Delivery Network

Microsoft Azure Concepts – Failures

Microsoft Azure Concepts – Identity & Access

Microsoft Azure Concepts – Media Services

Microsoft Azure Concepts – Mobile Apps

Microsoft Azure Concepts – Networks

Microsoft Azure Concepts – Network Security Groups

Microsoft Azure Concepts – SQL Data Warehouse

Microsoft Azure Concepts – Storage

Microsoft Azure Concepts – Virtual Machines

After I gotten my head around these again, I decided it was time to focus on the exam objectives that would present the greatest challenge which was performing tasks in PowerShell.

The difficulty was that the exam covers both the Azure Classic Deployment and Azure Resource Manager, so I found myself doubling up on commands.

ProTip: Like me, if you are not a PowerShell guru, then I suggest you use PowerShell ISE as it’s far more intuitive than just a command prompt!

I purchased the book Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions by Michael Washam and Rick Rainey.  This is an excellent introduction to the exam, but I wasn’t convinced it would be enough to see me through the exam.

To compliment the book, I watched a number of Pluralsight videos on Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions by Tim Warner which really helped plug any gaps I had.

As well as reading and watching the training material, I also spent time using Azure.  I’m lucky enough to have a work sponsored Azure Subscription I can access to play around.  I strongly suggest you are familiar with Azure and also you understand the basics of PowerShell commands.

The Exam

I decided to take the Microsoft Online Proctored exam with Pearson Vue.  I have to say that the security requirements where far higher than attending a Pearson Vue site, I literally had to empty my pockets and show the invigilator every part of the room I was sitting in twice.

A few things you should note about taking a proctored exam:

  • If you have an external monitor, they will make you turn it around
  • If you have a cup of coffee they will ask you to remove it from the room
  • They expect your desk to be completely clear, so no pen or paper for making notes

The exam itself was broken down into forty eight individual questions consisting of your usual multiple choice or drag and drop.

The exam expects you to know the blueprint and the material contained within it.  You also need to be able to understand when and why you would make technical decisions for example:

When would you choose yo use Point-to -Site over a Site-to-Site VPN.

Final Thought

I’m pleased to say I passed the 70-533 Exam.  It was challenging due as I don’t spend all my time implementing Azure solutions (especially on the PowerShell front).  In fact a lot of my time is spent researching new Azure features for customers to see if they stand up from a technical and commercial perspective.

Overall, I would recommend the exam to anyone looking to develop their understanding of Microsoft Azure.

It appears that when you pass both the 70-533 and 70-534 exam you become certified a MCSA: Cloud Platform.  So my advice, is pick up the books and crack on with some studying, things are moving to the cloud whether we like it or not!

6 thoughts on “70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions – Prep & Exam Experience

    1. Sorry not yet, I’m studying for the 70-532 at the moment, so will write up a blog post as and when I pass. Good luck with the studying.

  1. Hi Craig,

    I wondered if you passed the exam after the refresh on 22nd November, 2016? It seems that the new update on the exam focuses more of the ARM model which is not covered in great depth in the books or training videos. Any thoughts on preparing for the exam after exam refresh from Microsoft?

      1. Thanks Craig. The book you mentioned that you used for the exam preparation, do you think it covers ARM areas in depth, enough for preparing for the exam?

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