Today at Windows Server Summit, Microsoft announced a new Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification, a certification that members of the team responsible for this blog have been highly involved in developing.
To obtain this certification you need to pass two exams: AZ 800 (Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure) and AZ 801 (Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services). The objectives associated with the exams address knowledge of configuring and administering core and advanced Windows Server roles and features, from AD DS, DNS, DHCP, File, Storage and Compute through to Security, High Availability, DR, Monitoring and Troubleshooting. Both the traditional on-premises elements of these Windows Server roles and features are covered by the exam objectives as well as the interaction of these elements with hybrid cloud technologies.
We’ve created two study guides to help you prepare for each exam. In these study guides you will find links to relevant MS Learn modules and learning paths and docs.microsoft.com articles. You can find them here:
If you just want to get a good overview of the content of each exam, I ran through the contents of each in briefings to Jeff Woolsey from the Windows Server & Azure Stack HCI product team. Each briefing is about 20 minutes in length and watching both should give you a great idea of what each exam and the certification is all about:
How these exams and the certification came about is directly related this team’s role as Cloud Advocates and our responsibility of advocating to and on behalf of the IT Operations audience. Certification has always been important to us and many of us got our groundings in core Microsoft technologies through preparing to take certification exams.
A good number of us first got certified on Windows NT 4 and my first book was a Microsoft Press training kit for the Windows Server 2003 admin exam. When Rick Claus made the first post on this blog introducing the team back in 2018, one of the first comments we got asked us about future Windows Server training and certification. We know the topic is important to you, our audience, because it has regularly come up when presenting to audiences at Ignite or user groups, or on twitter, or in casual conversation at the supermarket.
Over the last 18 months Cloud Advocates have worked with World Wide Learning, Marketing, and the Windows Server and Azure Stack HCI product teams to design and develop MS Learn and instructor led training content that covered the fundamental technologies addressed by the AZ 800 and AZ 801 exams. These modules, paths, and courses laid the path for the certification announced today.
It’s not a stretch to say that over the last few years cloud technologies have increasingly interacted with the on-premises world. Just as WINS was critical to NT4, AD was critical to Windows 2000, and virtualization critical to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012, cloud technologies are an important element of today’s on-premises Windows Server deployments.
Role based certifications address the tasks that people perform in the course of their jobs. Any new certification around Windows Server not only had to address the core on-premises roles, but also how those roles are extended by technologies hosted in the cloud. Through our regular interactions with our audience we’ve seen time and time again that we’re all living in a hybrid world even if the degree to which we’re living in that world varies from organization to organization.
Windows Server 2022 has been designed as to work in hybrid cloud environments, something you see through Windows Admin Center through to extended capabilities made available through Azure Arc and Azure File Sync. The description for each exam indicates that exam candidates should have experience with technologies they are being tested on. Whereas a few years ago the hybrid story wasn’t as comprehensive of compelling, the release of Windows Server 2022 provided an opportunity to return to a certification that attests to how people do and will use the operating system today and into the future.
The AZ-800 and AZ-801 exams will go into beta towards the end of 2021. An announcement will be made when the betas are available and we expect that uptake of available seats on the beta will be swift. The exams are likely to RTM early in 2022. By providing you with a lot of information now, we hope you’ll have a good amount of time to get prepared for this brand new certification.
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