AZ-900 Certification: A Gateway to Advanced Azure Certifications

  • az-900
  • Published by: André Hammer on Jun 07, 2024

Master Microsoft Azure can open numerous doors for IT professionals, and the AZ-900 certification is the ideal starting point. This foundational credential validates the core knowledge required to understand cloud services and how those services are provided with Microsoft Azure.

It acts as a springboard, leading to more advanced certifications and a deeper grasp of cloud technologies. Whether you're just beginning your career or looking to solidify your cloud expertise, the AZ-900 is a strategic move in today's cloud-centric IT industry.

This article aims to shed light on the AZ-900 certification, its role within the Azure ecosystem, and how it can serve as a gateway to more advanced Azure certifications, ultimately enhancing career trajectories in the cloud computing field.

AZ-900 as a Foundational Certification

Purpose of the AZ-900 Exam

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900) is specifically designed to validate that the candidate has the foundational-level knowledge of cloud services and how those services are provided with Microsoft Azure. It's tailored to ensure that even those with no technical background can understand the basic concepts of cloud computing and the Azure platform.

This certification lays the groundwork for all other Azure certifications and is intended to provide a strong baseline of knowledge for all professionals.

Role of the AZ-900 Certification within the Azure Ecosystem

Holding the AZ-900 certification signifies a solid understanding of cloud concepts, core Azure services, and the fundamentals of cloud security, privacy, compliance, and trust.

As a gateway certification, AZ-900 is often the first step toward advanced Azure credentials, paving the way for specialized certifications such as:

  • Azure Administrator Associate (AZ-104)

  • Azure Developer Associate (AZ-204)

  • Azure Solutions Architect Expert (AZ-305)

  • Azure DevOps Engineer Expert (AZ-400)

It establishes a robust foundation, enabling professionals to pursue these more targeted and complex Azure roles with confidence.

Key Skills Earned from AZ-900

1. Understanding Cloud Concepts

Grasping cloud concepts is a critical skill earned from the AZ-900 certification. Specifically, candidates will learn to:

  • Identify the differences between Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

  • Understand the implications of cloud scalability, elasticity, and agility.

  • Recognize the financial advantages of a cloud model, including consumption-based pricing.

  • Distinguish between public, private, and hybrid cloud models.

  • Comprehend the concept of high availability and disaster recovery in the cloud context.

  • Assess the environmental benefits of cloud computing, such as reduced physical data center footprints.

These foundational concepts form the bedrock of cloud literacy, equipping candidates with the knowledge necessary to navigate the cloud ecosystem effectively.

2. Core Azure Services

The AZ-900 certification offers an in-depth exploration of the various services that form the backbone of Azure's offerings. Individuals gain practical knowledge of:

  • Azure Virtual Machines, providing on-demand, scalable computing resources.

  • Azure Virtual Network, ensuring secure and flexible networking capabilities.

  • Azure Blob Storage, for resilient cloud storage solutions.

  • Azure SQL Database, offering managed relational database services.

  • Azure Cosmos DB, catering to globally distributed, multi-model database needs.

  • Azure Functions, enabling efficient event-driven serverless computing.

Understanding these services, professionals are equipped to design, implement, and manage robust cloud solutions that leverage Azure's powerful and diverse capabilities.

3. Security, Privacy, Compliance, and Trust

The certification provides comprehensive insights into the security and privacy features of Azure. It highlights tools like Azure Security Center for unified security management and Azure Key Vault for safeguarding cryptographic keys. Candidates learn about Microsoft's privacy policies and how they align with global standards.

The credential also emphasizes the importance of compliance, introducing the Azure Trust Center and detailed compliance documentation, which together ensure that Azure services meet regulatory requirements. This knowledge is crucial for engineers to ensure that their cloud deployments are secure, private, and compliant with industry standards.

4. Azure Governance and Management

Candidates will learn about the governance mechanisms within Azure that help maintain control over the cloud environment. This includes understanding role-based access control (RBAC) for defining precise access permissions, resource locks for protecting critical resources from accidental deletion, and tags for organizing resources for clarity and accountability.

Management tools like Azure Monitor, which provides data and insights to drive performance and availability, and Azure Service Health, which alerts users to service issues, are also covered.

These governance and management capabilities are essential for ensuring that cloud resources are used effectively and in alignment with organizational policies and compliance requirements.

Advanced Azure Certifications after AZ-900 Certified

1. Azure Administrator Associate (AZ-104)

After solidifying foundational knowledge with the AZ-900, candidates can elevate their expertise by pursuing the Azure Administrator Associate certification.

The AZ-104 exam focuses on the implementation, management, and monitoring of an organization’s Azure environment. Topics covered include managing Azure identities, governance, storage, compute, and virtual networks in a cloud environment.

This certification is ideal for those looking to demonstrate their capabilities in Azure administration and to take on roles that require managing cloud infrastructures.

2. Azure Developer Associate (AZ-204)

The Azure Developer Associate certification is a natural progression for those who have completed the AZ-900 and are involved in cloud-based application development.

The AZ-204 exam validates the skills needed to design, build, test, and maintain cloud applications and services on Microsoft Azure. It encompasses knowledge of Azure compute solutions, Azure Functions, and managing Azure storage solutions, as well as proficiency in implementing security in application development.

3. Azure Solutions Architect Expert (AZ-305)

Building on the foundational certification, the Azure Solutions Architect Expert designation is aimed at individuals who have a deep understanding of Azure's various components and can design solutions that run on Microsoft Azure.

The AZ-305 exam assesses the ability to design governance, compute, application architecture, and storage strategies on Azure.

This expert-level certification is suited for those who have experience in IT operations, including networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data platforms, and governance.

4. Azure DevOps Engineer Expert (AZ-400)

Professionals who have obtained the AZ-900 certification and are interested in the intersection of development and operations will find the Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification particularly beneficial.

The AZ-400 exam covers designing and implementing strategies for collaboration, code, infrastructure, source control, security, compliance, continuous integration, testing, delivery, monitoring, and feedback.

It is targeted at individuals who seek to streamline the development life cycle and ensure end-to-end quality in software development and deployment.


The AZ-900 certification serves as a comprehensive introduction to the vast capabilities of Microsoft Azure. It provides candidates with the foundational knowledge necessary to understand cloud computing and its implementation with Azure.

Starting with AZ-900, IT professionals set the stage for a career in cloud services, with the potential to specialize further through advanced certifications. Each subsequent certification builds on the last, allowing for a tailored career path that meets the evolving demands of the industry and empowers individuals to become experts in their chosen area of the Azure platform.


What is the AZ-900 certification?

The AZ-900, also known as the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification, is an entry-level credential that validates an individual's basic knowledge and understanding of cloud services, particularly those offered by Microsoft Azure. It assesses a candidate's grasp of cloud concepts, Azure services, Azure workloads, security and privacy in Azure, as well as Azure pricing and support.

Who should take the AZ-900 certification?

The AZ-900 certification is designed for individuals new to cloud computing or those looking to validate their foundational cloud knowledge. It is suitable for IT professionals, non-technical background individuals such as sales, marketing, and business managers who need a basic understanding of cloud services, and for those looking to demonstrate their commitment to the industry and to further their careers with additional certifications.

How does AZ-900 help in career advancement?

Earning the AZ-900 certification demonstrates a commitment to professional development and an understanding of the cloud, which is increasingly crucial in IT roles. It lays the groundwork for more advanced certifications and specializations in Azure services, which can lead to career opportunities such as cloud administrator, developer, solutions architect, and more. The knowledge gained can open doors to higher positions and potentially higher salaries in the rapidly growing cloud services sector.

What are the next steps after obtaining AZ-900?

Upon obtaining the AZ-900 certification, individuals can pursue more specialized Azure certifications depending on their career goals. Options include the Azure Administrator Associate (AZ-104), Azure Developer Associate (AZ-204), Azure Solutions Architect Expert (AZ-305), and Azure DevOps Engineer Expert (AZ-400). Each of these certifications requires a deeper level of expertise in their respective areas and prepares individuals for specific roles within the Azure ecosystem.

What resources are available for preparing for the AZ-900?

A variety of resources are available for preparing for the AZ-900 exam, including:

  • Microsoft Official Azure Fundamentals Certification study guide, comprehensive guide published by Microsoft;

  • Self-paced or structured online training courses;

  • Practice tests that provide sample questions and simulate the exam environment;

  • Study groups and forums where candidates can discuss topics and share study tips.

Readynez's AZ-900 training course is tailored for those seeking foundational Azure knowledge, featuring live instruction, real-world scenarios, and comprehensive exam preparation to ensure mastery of cloud fundamentals.

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