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Microsoft unveils new hybrid admin cert; Linux vulnerability requires manual patch

Learn more about the Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate cert (and AZ-800 & AZ-801 exams), plus the Azure Linux vulnerability you need to patch.

Jun 08, 2023 • 5 Minute Read

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  • Cloud
  • Learning & Development
  • Security
  • azure

What’s going on in the world of Microsoft Azure this week? In this post, I have news of new certification exams, a serious Linux vulnerability, and an interview with the man behind the Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate (AZ-800 and AZ-801).

It’s something sweet, something sour, and something hot. Yeah, that analogy totally works . . . Regardless, let’s dig into Azure This Week!

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Introducing the Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification

The last couple of years, the certifications in Azure have been focused on the existing services in Azure, such as with AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals, AZ-104 Azure Administrator, and AZ-204 Azure Developer.

While that suits students and professionals that are in the cloud already, what about the many, many IT professionals who are still working with on-premises infrastructure and are looking at the cloud as an add-on?

Recently, the AZ-600 exam addressed part of this area by covering the Azure Stack Hub hybrid cloud products, and this week, there is a new certification for you: the Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification.

Instead of me telling you all about it though, I went straight to the source, Orin Thomas, Principal Cloud Operations Advocate at Microsoft, to get his thoughts on it. Watch the interview below or read on for the highlights!

Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification Q&A

The answers below are edited responses from our interview with Orin Thomas. Check the chat out in its entirety here.

What's the new certification?

Microsoft recently announced the Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification. To obtain this certification you need to pass two exams: the AZ-800 (Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure) and AZ-801 (Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services).

When will the certification available?

The AZ-800 and AZ-801 exams are not yet available, but are expected to go into beta in December 2021.

(Editor's note: While you can't take the exams yet, Microsoft is currently offering study guides here if you want to be the first kid on your block to snag this cert.)

What are these two new exams, the AZ-800 and the AZ-801?

These exams are for a certification that is for people who are implementing hybrid technologies. This is designed for people who are, for example, responsible for managing very traditional Microsoft on-premises types of networks but who are starting to reach up to the cloud and are starting to integrate their existing on-premises network with the appropriate cloud services, such as Azure Arc, Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery, and so on.

Why are there two exams for this certification and not just one?

There are two exams here because there are a vast variety of technologies that someone who is an on-premises Windows Server administrator or Windows Server hybrid administrator actually deals with.

In the first exam, we start off with the core: identity, storage, management, networking, and compute. What we're looking at there is your meat and potatoes — all the things you would absolutely need to know before you start moving into more complicated topics.

In the second exam, we're looking at security, high availability, backup and recovery, troubleshooting, monitoring, and then migrating on-premises workloads into Azure. So the idea there with the second exam is that these are the topics that you would hit once you had those foundational or core topics down.

Who is this certification for?

This certification is for people who work with Windows Server on a daily basis and are starting to use, already use, or are interested in using Microsoft cloud technologies.

Want to learn more about this and other cloudy goodness? Check out ACG’s free plan and get access to a rotating line-up of free courses and quizzes, plus learning paths and original series content. You don’t even need a credit card to sign up. See this month's free courses!

Azure Linux admins to manually patch OMIGOD bugs

Do you or someone you love use Linux on Azure? Chances are you probably do, as more than 50% of VMs on Azure are running Linux. Well, pay attention now!

Four security flaws (allowing remote code execution and privilege escalation) were found in the Open Management Infrastructure (OMI) software agent silently installed on more than half of Azure instances. Yeah, silently, as in you didn’t know it was happening.

OMIGOD — that's the name of the vulnerability given by the cool kids — affects Azure VMs that use Linux management solutions with services such as Azure Automation, Azure Automatic Update, Azure Operations Management Suite (OMS), Azure Log Analytics, Azure Configuration Management, or Azure Diagnostics.

Successful exploitation enables attackers to escalate privileges and execute code remotely on compromised Linux VMs. There are already reports of the vulnerability being used for . . . any guesses? Yeah, crypto mining, of course.

Microsoft has no mechanism available to auto-update vulnerable agents on all impacted Azure Linux machines though, so they have urgently asked everyone to manually update their VMs. Including you! Yes, quick! Go patch that Linux VM. Details are here.

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That’s all for this week!

What do you think of the new certification or the Linux vulnerability? Don't just yell it at your device! Head over to the ACG Discord server and yell . . . er, I mean, join the conversation.

As we say on the A Cloud Guru team when there is yet another Azure certification and we have only just finished getting our head around the last one: "Seek and you shall cloud." See you next week, and keep being awesome, cloud gurus.

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