Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Training and tips to get certified with Microsoft (Part 2)

In my previous post I answer the first of the regular questions I usually get in regards of the MCSA certification, if you haven't seen it I encourage you to go back and see it. In this post I'll try to explain the second question Where did you train?

Where can you get prepared? By no doubt, the best resource you can get is experience, this will give you the best tools you need to pass this exams, however there are online resources you can use to train.
Lets go exam by exam.
The first one (70-764) evaluates this 4 areas:
Configure data access and auditing (20-25%)
Manage backup and restore of databases (20-25%)
Manage and monitor SQL Server instances (35-40%)
Manage high availability and disaster recovery (20-25%)
In the exam you can see scenarios such as which would be the best options to backup the databases, the steps as to how to recover a database to the most recent state with the minimum data loss, which Azure tiers will be the best where you can be cost effective and at the same time support the different environments described, how to secure the databases, assignment of security roles, etc.
One quick guide I initially found was this https://www.mssqltips.com/sqlservertip/4696/exam-material-for-the-microsoft-70764-administering-a-sql-database-infrastructure/  which gave me a great source of material where to start, however in that post you will find some payed resources as well as some that might be outdated.
There is a good training in O'Reilly specially designed with all the topics covered by the exam, however with most of the topics you are only able to see it at a glance but it provides some tips for when you present the exam.
There are good courses you can take in the Microsoft Virtual Academy.
1. Securing your data in Microsoft Azure SQL Database: https://mva.microsoft.com/en-US/training-courses/securing-your-data-in-microsoft-azure-sql-database-16076?l=ds8WZndSC_3105121157 this one will cover topics such as how to secure and audit SQL Databases in Azure (which is also part of the exam).
You can also find out there tips and tricks as to how to get data restored, but there is one in particular that is not well documented out there and is Piecemeal restore which you can find in this URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuUAHI10o4E
This storage training will help you understand key features where you can backup databases not only on premises but Azure SQL as well https://mva.microsoft.com/en-US/training-courses/microsoft-azure-for-it-pros-content-series-storage-17237.
With the Management and Monitor, I recommend you to focus on the configuration for Data Collector, one video you can use to learn how to configure it can be found here although, the video is intended for SQL Server 2012 the steps are the same and Query Store and a good video to learn from it is this.
This two are features included in recent versions which most of the time you are not related to and will help you not only to pass the exam but also in real life scenarios when you need to troubleshoot problematic queries.

With Manage high availability and disaster recovery, do a thorough training with Always On, get familiar with the setup and troubleshooting, my best advice is that you to test it, Create an Azure account and test it, also download the evaluation version of SQL 2016 (or developer) and build your own scenarios, there are tons of videos and documentation in the web in regards of this but you will fully understand it until you get hands on it, so test it!

Also another MVA course that will help you for both exams  (764 and 765) is Migrating SQL Server databases to Azure this course is an incredible resounce to get the MCSA, specially the eBook that is given for free as it describes all the steps you need to follow to migrate your on premises database to Azure (SQL Azure or Azure VM) how to get the storage set, your recovery options, etc.
Lastly, in the day of the exam, be relaxed, don't let your nerves to betray you, try to get a good sleep the night before and get on time to the examination center, if you decide to present the exam online, be sure to turn off all the possible distractions, I prefer to go to an evaluation center as it force me to unplug from the world during the time of the exam (Usually 2hrs) and avoid any sort of distractions so that my focus is a 100% on the exam and nothing else.

For this exam in particular there is no practice test yet available or at least in the official site that you can use to practice or if you have never taken a Microsoft exam to get familiar with it, 70-765 does have practice test and that's the reason why I took that before as I wasn't familiar with any of this tests in the past and it let me get comfortable when I was going through it.

I'm already working with the material for the 70-765 post however I'd like to keep each post short enough to give you the tools you need and not get you bored so I'll be publishing it in the next days.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Tools to connect to a SQL database