Top Skills an Azure Expert Needs to Master

Today almost every company is recognizing that the cloud has real strategic advantage for them. They are deploying cloud instances across more business processes than ever before, from data processing and storage to more advanced functions. Software development, AI and data science, customer-facing activities, and more automated IT operations fall under the purview of cloud today. And the more business processes they’ve taken on with the cloud, the more they turn to multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud deployments.  

It just so happens that Azure, Microsoft’s fast-growing cloud platform, is ideal for hybrid- and multi-cloud environments, and brings a wealth of advantages to the table. Last year, adoption of Microsoft Azure grew to 58 percent in the enterprise space, a significant advance from the previous year. There is so much you can do with Azure as a core cloud platform, and that’s why companies of all sizes are upskilling their technology teams to leverage all it has to offer. Here are some key skill sets and recommendations to keep in mind when you consider the cloud’s role in your organization.

1. Public/Private Cloud Balance

Hybrid cloud environments, where companies use both public and private clouds in specialized deployments to meet their diverse technology needs, are now table stakes at most organizations. Fifty eight percent of companies are planning a hybrid cloud strategy, according to RightScale. And Forrester reports that nearly 60 percent of North American enterprises now rely on public cloud platforms, 5x the percentage than just five years ago. Private cloud adoption is growing fast too as companies seek to leverage powerful on-premise cloud platforms to manage workloads and process data. Microsoft Azure offers strong support for hybrid cloud services, with platforms like Azure StorSimple, Hybrid SQL Server, and Azure Stack, a new hybrid cloud product that allows you to bring near full public Azure functionality to your own on-premises data centers.

2. Azure Operations and Administration

Another advantage Azure has over other cloud platforms is its ease of use from an administrative standpoint. IT admins who are already familiar with Windows environments will find Azure particularly easy to work with and deploy. Tools such as SQL databases and Active Directory work well with Azure, and you’ll find integrating on-premise Windows servers with cloud instances fairly straightforward to help create your hybrid cloud environment.

The latest Azure Admin training is aligned to the most current Microsoft certification exams: AZ-100: MS Azure Infrastructure and Deployment and AZ-101: MS Azure Integration and Security. This type of curriculum covers every aspect of being an Azure administrator, including managing subscriptions and resources, implementing and managing storage, deploying virtual machines and networks, managing and securing identities, migrating servers to Azure and managing app services.

3. Cloud Development with Azure

Developing app services in the Azure cloud is one of the core proficiencies for cloud developers. The end goal, of course, is to develop an approach that leverages vast computing power to create valuable operations and services, and do so in a way that keeps costs low and productivity high. With Azure, companies have saved money and resources, and gained the flexibility to grant new capabilities, computing power, and PoC scenarios, all without compromising production workloads, computing power or other investments. Others have found that Azure has helped them reduce costs using Web Apps and Functions to change how they developed solutions and reduce time to market.

New Azure Developer skills training is aligned with the latest Microsoft certification exams AZ-203. The learning path ranges from foundational to advanced functionality, helping new developers select, develop and implement Azure cloud technology solutions. They also learn how to develop cognitive app service web apps using CLI, Powershell and other tools, and deploy cloud storage, security and API integration.

4. Azure Architecture

Cloud architects are considered to be at the pinnacle of cloud computing expertise, and they are charged with not just building full-scale cloud environments, but doing so in a way that maximize their return on investment. That means cloud developers must utilize the most effective cloud architecture and best practices to produce real value and overcome the frightening statistic that companies these days are wasting as much as 35 percent of their cloud spend.

Azure Architect skills training is aligned with the latest Microsoft certification exams AZ-300: Azure Architect Technologies and AZ-301: Azure Architect Design. Cloud architects learn how to configure their infrastructure, implement workloads and security, create and deploy apps, secure data, determine workload requirements, architect data platform and cloud solutions. They also learn how to create continuity and infrastructure strategies, and execute deployment, migration and full API integration.

Remember too that cloud experts are one of the hardest roles to fill, so upskilling can help you get hired for roles and be an asset  for your organization. With so much emphasis being placed on advanced cloud platforms like Azure, get started with training immediately.

About the Author

Stuart RauchStuart Rauch

Stuart Rauch is a 25-year product marketing veteran and president of ContentBox Marketing Inc. He has run marketing organizations at several enterprise software companies, including NetSuite, Oracle, PeopleSoft, EVault and Secure Computing. Stuart is a specialist in content development and brings a unique blend of creativity, linguistic acumen and product knowledge to his clients in the technology space.

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