How to Prepare for the AZ-304 Exam - Study Guide

Introduction to AZ-304 Exam

With time Microsoft is evolving on its learning programs by helping an individual career keep pace with the continuously demanding IT environments in today's date.

The new and advanced certifications will help a candidate to keep pace with the latest requirements in business. Microsoft Azure Architect Design AZ-304 is a certification course where an exam measures a candidate's ability to accomplish certain technical tasks like the design identity, design monitoring, and security; design infrastructure; design business continuity; and design data storage.

AZ-304 Exam Details

Exam Name Microsoft Azure Architect Design
Exam Code AZ-304
Total Number of Questions 40-60
Exam Format Multiple Choice and Multi-Response Questions
Duration 160 Minutes
Languages English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean
Passing marks Minimum 700( with a total of 900)

Who Should Take the AZ-304 Exam?

Any individual who aspires to become an Azure Cloud Solutions Architect and be part of the Azure Architect team is required to take up this AZ-304 exam. Candidates appearing for the AZ-304 exam should have deep and thorough knowledge in designing implementation.

Candidates must possess thorough knowledge as well experience in IT operations like networking, identity, business continuity, data platform, security, budgeting, governance, virtualization, and disaster recovery.

The candidate also needs to have excellent skills in Azure Administration. And also candidate must have knowledge in Azure development processes and Azure DevOps processes.

What are the prerequisites for AZ-304 Exam?

A candidate for this exam should clear his/her AZ-303 Exam before taking the AZ-304 exam.

With the certification of AZ-303, a candidate must have up-to-date experience and knowledge of IT operations. This includes networking, virtualization, security, identity, business continuity, data platform, disaster recovery, governance, and budgeting. This job role should be able to manage how decisions in each area can affect an entire solution.

Also, this job role should have high expert-level skills in Azure administration and also have experience with Azure development and the DevOps processes. Along with this, a candidate should also have.

  • Knowledge of on-premises virtualization technologies, also including virtual networking, VMs, and virtual hard disks.
  • Knowledge of network configuration including the TCP/IP, DNS, VPNs, encryption technologies, and firewalls.
  • Knowledge of Active Directory concepts including the forests, domains. Domain controllers, Kerberos protocol, and replications.
  • Knowledge of disaster recovery and resilience including restore operations and backup.
  • Having an understanding of data concepts.

Is the AZ-304 worth it?

Passing the AZ-304 exam is worth it. After passing the exam you will get the certification from Microsoft where you get the certified tag of a Microsoft Certified Azure Architect.

Not only the handsome salary will be your advantage but also you will get the scope to gain recognition within the Azure solutions architect experts community where you will be able to exchange and share your ideas and knowledge with them.

Moreover, you also get the scope to play a vital role in the development of advanced and new products and services of Microsoft Azure.

Skills Required For The AZ-304 Exam?

The skills that are measured illustrate Microsoft's intention to assess the specific skills. The official documents from Microsoft mention clearly the skills that they measure are not definitive and exhaustive. So in this regards the candidates should always stay updated in the given mentioned skills.

Skills Weightage
Design Monitoring 10-15%
Design Identity and Security 25-30%
Design Data Storage 15-20%
Design Business Continuity 10-15%
Design Infrastructure 25-30%

While following the above course structure you should also consider this elaborated course outline to get the precise idea of how you can plan your preparation-

Topic 1: Design Monitoring

1.1 Design for cost optimization

  • Recommending a solution for cost reporting and cost management.
  • Recommending solutions to minimize costs.

1.2 Designing a solution for monitoring and logging

  • Determining storage locations levels for logs.
  • Planning for integration with the monitoring tool. Also, including Azure Sentinel and Azure Monitor.
  • Recommending appropriate monitoring tool for a solution.
  • Choosing a mechanism for escalation and event routing.
  • Recommending a logging solution for all compliance requirements.

Topic 2: Design Identity and Security

2.1 Design authentication

  • Recommending a solution for single-sign-on
  • Recommending a solution for authentication
  • Recommending a solution for Conditional Access, also including multi-factor authentication
  • Recommending a solution for all the network access authentication
  • Recommending a solution for a hybrid identity including Azure AD and Azure AD Connect
  • Connecting Azure AD Connect Health and cloud sync
  • Recommending a solution for user self-service
  • Recommending and implementing a solution for the B2B integration

2.2 Design authorization

  • Choosing an authorization approach
  • Recommending a hierarchical structure that includes resource groups, management groups, and subscriptions
  • Recommending an access management solution including the RBAC policies, role assignments, access reviews, Privileged Identity Management (PIM), Just In Time (JIT) access, Azure AD Identity Protection

2.3 Design governance

  • Recommending a strategy for tagging
  • Recommending a solution for using Azure Policy
  • Recommending a solution for using Azure Blueprints
  • Recommending a solution that leverages the Azure Resource Graph Design security for applications
  • Recommending a solution that includes the Key Vault
  • Recommending a solution that includes the managed identities
  • Recommending a solution for integrating the applications into Azure AD

Topic 3: Design Data Storage

3.1 Design a solution for databases

  • Selecting an appropriate data platform based on the requirements
  • Recommending database service tier sizing
  • Recommending a solution for the database scalability
  • Recommending a solution for data in transmission, encrypting data at rest, and data in use

3.2 Design data integration

  • Recommending a data flow to meet the business requirements
  • Recommending a solution for data integration, including Azure Databricks, Azure Data Factory, Azure Data Lake, and Azure Synapse Analytics

3.3 Select an appropriate storage account

  • Choosing between the storage tiers
  • Recommending a storage access solution
  • Recommending storage management tools

Topic 4: Design Business Continuity

4.1 Designing a solution for the backup and recovery

  • Recommending a recovery solution for the Azure hybrid and also on-premises workloads that meet the
  • Recovery objectives (RTO, RPO, RLO)
  • Azure Site Recovery solution and design
  • Recommending a solution for the recovery in different regions
  • Recommending a solution for the geo-redundancy of the workloads
  • Recommending a solution for the Azure Backup management
  • Designing a solution for retention and data archiving

4.2 Design for high availability

  • Recommending a solution for workload redundancy and application, including compute, Storage and database
  • Recommending a solution for auto-scaling
  • Identifying resources that require high availability
  • Identifying storage types for high availability

Topic 5: Design Infrastructure

5.1 Design a compute solution

  • Recommending a solution for the compute provisioning
  • Determining appropriate compute technologies, including the virtual machines, Service Fabric, Azure Functions, Azure Virtual Desktop, App Services, Batch, HPC, and containers
  • Recommending a solution for containers
  • Recommending a solution for automating compute management

5.2 Design a network solution

  • Recommending a network architecture ( Virtual WAN, hub and spoke)
  • Recommending a solution for name resolution and network addressing
  • Recommending a solution for the network provisioning
  • Recommending a solution for the network security including the Private Link, gateways, firewalls, network segmentation (perimeter networks/NVAs/DMZs)
  • Recommending a solution for the on-premises networks, network connectivity to the Internet, and all other Azure virtual networks
  • Recommending a solution for the automating network management
  • Recommending a solution for traffic routing and load balancing

5.3 Design application architecture

  • recommending the microservices architecture including the Event Grid, Service Bus, Event Hubs, Logic Apps, Azure Queue Storage, Azure Functions, AKS, Service Fabric, webhooks, and Azure App Configuration
  • recommending an orchestration solution for the deployment and also maintenance of the applications including the ARM templates, the Azure
  • Automation, the Azure Pipelines, the Logic Apps, and Azure Functions
  • Recommending a solution for the API integration

5.4 Design migrations

  • Assessing and interpreting on-premises servers, applications, and data for migration
  • Recommending a solution for migrating the applications and VMs
  • Recommending a solution for the migration of databases
  • Determining the migration scope, including redundant, trivial, related, and outdated data
  • Recommending a solution for migrating the data ( Azure Data Box, Storage Migration Service, Azure File Sync-based migration to the hybrid file server

Microsoft AZ-304 Preparation Guide

To prepare for the AZ-304 Microsoft learn is great of learning that provides great and informative self-paced skills training on Azure Architect topics. The given below are the modules that are recommended to be followed are covered in the group of Azure:

  • Architect network infrastructure - which includes 12 modules
  • Architect storage infrastructure - which includes 9 modules
  • Architect compute infrastructure - which includes 9 modules
  • Architect infrastructure operations - which includes 5 modules
  • Architect data platform - which includes 10 modules
  • Architect message brokering and also server-less applications - which includes 8 modules
  • Architect modern applications - which includes 8 modules
  • Architect API integration - which includes 5 modules
  • Architect migration, disaster recovery, and business continuity - which includes 9 modules

The books that a candidate may follow while preparing for the AZ-304 Exam are:

  • Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies and Design - Complete Study Guide Exams AZ–303 and AZ–304 Paperback
  • Azure for Architects Paperback

Various other online Practice Tests and Mock Tests are available which a candidate can enrol in order to score the passing percentage at the final exam.

Also, there are online communities where a candidate can come up with their queries and get them resolved by experts.


At the end of this article, you have got a clear view of the AZ-304 exam. Also, you have learned what the prerequisites for this exam are. The article also tells about the skills that are measured in the exam.

The article also tells you after passing the exam what are the benefits that you get from the certification. There is also a preparation guide on the modules that you must study before appearing for the exam.

Curated by-

Ms. Mahima Garg

She is a technology enthusiast and an author who is passionate about ideation, planning, implementing, integrating, and managing business processes for business growth. This led her and the team to build a Global IT Certification and Preparation Platform for professionals which help them get certified and enhance their career growth. With 20+ years of experience in IT and Management, she believes to impart what she has learned in her exciting career.

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