As I’ve been running a few AZ-104 exam preparation sessions recently as well as a few coming up, I thought it would be worth putting this together for those of you who need some additional resources for exam preparation.

I’ve previously passed all of precursors to this exam – AZ-100, AZ-101, AZ-102, AZ-103, as well as AZ-104, and have run training courses and exam preparation sessions on all of them, there are a few recommendations and suggestions I’ll make that may be a little bit different to what you see elsewhere.

What do I mean? As this exam has evolved, one of the things that has held true is that the people who tend to find this exam the easiest are those with traditional on-premises IT skills, combined with some Azure exposure. The reason why this combination of experiences makes the exam easier is many of the general concepts around networking and connectivity and virtualization are skills that are usually stronger with those that have had these experiences pre-cloud. That’s not to say it’s always the case, but it’s what I’ve seen over the last few years since AZ-100 and AZ-100 were first introduce.

Now, who are those who struggle the most? The group that I encounter that tend to find this exam tougher are those who might know alot about scripting, automation, and DevOps in general, but don’t really have what would be considered core on-premises IT skills. Common feedback from these exam takers is that it really feels like it should be called the Azure IaaS exam, especially if they live in world of PaaS and SasS, where many of the underlying infrastructure components are mostly already configured.

Regardless of where your skills are strongest, the important thing is to focus on your weakness with your exam preparation, rather than getting too carried away learning about the things you already work with. An example of this is that if you work mostly with SaaS via Microsoft 365, you may already have a strong enough set of skills to get through the identity questions without a challenge.

If you don’t have a networking background at all, I can’t stress enough how much a basic understanding of subnetting and CIDR notation can simplify many of the scenarios in this exam and it’s predecessors, I’m calling this one out in particular because of the number of times I’ve been asked “what does the slash and number at the end of that number with the dots in it mean?”, which means that some scenarios that weren’t designed to be testing these skills might end up being problematic for those exam takers.

Manage Azure identities and governance (15-20%)

Manage Azure AD objects

Manage role-based access control (RBAC)

Manage subscriptions and governance

Implement and manage storage (10-15%)

Manage storage accounts

Manage data in Azure Storage

Configure Azure files and Azure blob storage

What is Azure Files?

Deploy and manage Azure compute resources (25-30%)

Configure VMs for high availability and scalability

Automate deployment and configuration of VMs

Create and configure VMs

Create and configure containers

Create and configure Web Apps

Configure and manage virtual networking (30-35%)

Implement and manage virtual networking

Configure name resolution

Secure access to virtual networks

Configure load balancing

Monitor and troubleshoot virtual networking

Integrate an on-premises network with an Azure virtual network

Monitor and back up Azure resources (10-15%)

Monitor resources by using Azure Monitor

Implement backup and recovery