While database administration isn't anything new, there has been a significant shift to the cloud in recent years and much more is to follow. Cloud-based database solutions have been multiplying. Organizations like to hold on to more data, and for longer. The cloud provides limitless capabilities, both in storing as well as processing your data. Administering this data is the challenge, and that is where you come in. As an Azure Database Administrator you will be managing this data for your organization.
In this guide you will learn about the Microsoft Azure Database Administrator Associate certification and the exam you can take to achieve it.
The Azure Database Administrator Associate certification follows Microsoft's departure from more broad certifications like the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) or its older sibling, the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). Nowadays the focus is on specific roles. Please note that this exam is currently in beta.
As the name suggests, this certification has "database administration" written all over it, specifically Azure database offerings and features. Since it is an Associate-level certification the required exam covers a wide range of database topics and technologies.
As a candidate for the Azure Database Administrator Associate certification you should be an experienced database administrator or data management specialist who can manage on-premises and cloud relational databases built on top of SQL Server and Azure Data Services.
As an Azure Database Administrator you implement and manage the operational aspects of cloud-native and hybrid data platform solutions built on Azure Data Services and SQL Server. The Azure Database Administrator uses a variety of methods and tools to perform day-to-day operations, including applying knowledge of using T-SQL for administrative management purposes.
This role is responsible for management, availability, security and performance monitoring and optimization of modern relational database solutions. This role works with the Azure Data Engineers to manage operational aspects of data platform solutions.
A single exam is required to gain the Azure Database Administrator Associate certification. It is important to understand that Microsoft has taken up the practice of retiring and replacing exams at a much faster pace than in the past. Since the cloud is ever changing Microsoft updates live exams frequently. The DP-300 exam is currently in beta so be prepared for changes to its syllabus before its full release.
The price for the exam is US$165/€165. Microsoft offers a student discount if you verify your academic status when booking the exam by using one of the following: a school email account, a school account, an International Student Identity Card, a verification code. Alternatively you can also supply documentation proving your eligibility for the student discount.
While there are no specific prerequisites to achieving this certification beyond passing the DP-300 exam, it is worth noting that experience with the required skills is key to a successful experience. Having passed the DP-900 Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals exam and achieved the corresponding Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals certification, while not mandatory, will help you prepare for this level since it introduces a number of technologies covered in the DP-300 exam.
Ensure that you possess sufficient experience and invest the time to go through the relevant Pluralsight courses and other resources.
Your skills will be measured in the following seven categories:
These categories are broken down into details as follows:
Deploy resources by using manual methods
Recommend an appropriate database offering based on specific requirements
Configure resources for scale and performance
Evaluate a strategy for moving to Azure
Implement a migration or upgrade strategy for moving to Azure
Configure database authentication by using platform and database tools
Configure database authorization by using platform and database tools
Implement security for data at rest
Implement security for data in transit
Implement compliance controls for sensitive data
Monitor activity and performance
Implement performance-related maintenance tasks
Identify performance-related issues
Configure resources for optimal performance
Configure a user database for optimal performance
Review query plans
Evaluate performance improvements
Review database table and index design
Create scheduled tasks
Evaluate and implement an alert and notification strategy
Manage and automate tasks in Azure
Recommend an HADR strategy for a data platform solution
Test an HADR strategy by using platform, OS and database tools
Perform backup and restore a database by using database tools
Configure DR by using platform and database tools
Configure HA using platform, OS and database tools
Examine system health
Monitor database configuration by using T-SQL
Perform backup and restore a database by using T-SQL
Manage authentication by using T-SQL
The cloud business has been booming in the last several years. Microsoft has closed the gap with its main competitor and keeps growing. While COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way, it certainly doesn't seem to have had a negative impact on Microsoft's cloud growth.
Gaining an up-to-date certification like the Azure Database Administrator Associate certification from a household name like Microsoft should make you much more attractive to both your current and future employers, especially since the cloud is booming. Your current employer might not raise your salary, but the next time you go looking for a job make sure you check trusted Internet sources for up-to-date information on salaries in your region.
It's difficult to provide absolute figures because they will depend on numerous factors like your experience, company type and size, industry, and region. Expect salaries for experienced database administrators to range from US$80,000 to US$135,000 in the United States.
As an Associate-level certification, gaining the Azure Database Administrator Associate credentials, while challenging, would earn you the recognition to prove that you are a subject matter expert in this field. All it takes is a single exam. Sign up to Microsoft Azure, utilize the free cloud credits and services and book the exam, which you can take right in your home or in one of many testing centers.
I hope that this guide is useful and wish you good luck with gaining your certification.