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Prep for Azure certification with Microsoft's new exam sandbox

Getting ready for a Microsoft or Azure certification exam? Good news! The new Microsoft Exam Sandbox lets you get a taste of the test without the stress.

Jun 08, 2023 • 5 Minute Read

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What's going on with Azure This Week? You can now get a feel for an Azure exam without the stress of actually needing to pass thanks to the newly released Microsoft Exam Sandbox; Confidential Compute now gives you a cheaper way to keep your secrets . . . secret; and you can now monitor your monitoring in Azure Monitor with Log Queries!

Want to know the details? Here we go!

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Microsoft Exam Sandbox released

If you’re preparing for a Microsoft Azure certification exam, it’s absolutely normal to be a little bit scared or at least curious about what the experience will be like. To help with this, Microsoft’s new exam sandbox is a great way to get familiar with the look and feel of a Microsoft exam, from start to finish.

You can experience different question types, as well as the question review and feedback functionality — all without the pressures of whether you’ll pass or fail.

Whether you’re new to Microsoft exams, or just looking at a refresher before you sit your next one, it’s pretty handy stuff! 

Now, I actually failed the exam in the sandbox, but I’m sure you’ll have better luck than me. Give it a shot, and let us know how it goes on Discord or Twitter.

Looking for more insights around Azure certifications? Check out our post on which Azure certification path is right for you.

Price reductions for Confidential Compute

You don’t need to search very far these days to find a news story of some data breach, exploit, or other security concern. So knowing about the different tools you can use to secure your solutions is becoming increasingly important.

Well, with Microsoft recently announcing a price reduction for Azure’s Confidential Compute, this might be another security tool you could add to your arsenal. 

You might’ve heard about protecting data in transit and data at rest. Well, with Confidential Compute, we can also protect the data IN USE. Protecting data IN USE is really talking about data that’s stored in memory or being processed.

To help protect that data Microsoft Azure provides some special virtual machine families with added technologies that can help securely isolate your data. And with this change in pricing, you can now get access to these VMs at a 33% lower price.

So if you’re looking to process some secret information in the cloud, you might want to check this out.

Next up, one thing that shouldn’t be kept secret is a new feature for monitoring your monitoring within Azure monitoring.

Azure Monitor Log Queries now support auditing

Finally, here's a bit of an update to Azure Monitor from late 2021 that you might have missed over the holidays.

Azure Monitor has had plenty of name changes over the years (including Log Analytics, OMS, Monitoring Solutions). And it's seen lots of improvements and capabilities added over time. Today, Azure Monitor has become a powerful monitoring solution, and helps you to monitor apps, operating systems, and resources both inside and outside of Azure.

So you can capture lots and lots of monitoring data. But how do you deal with all of this data? You do so with an Azure Monitor feature known as Log Queries. Well, Log Queries uses a powerful query language to help you search through and analyze all of that log data. But one thing that was missing was the ability to track and monitor the Log Queries itself.

So as Microsoft puts it, with this update you can now track  “when a query was run, who ran it, what tool was used, the query text, and performance statistics describing the query's execution.” This can really help you with both the performance, and security of your log queries.

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