Is AZ900 worth it?

Microsoft unveiled a new Azure certification path at Ignite 2018. Or, to be more precise, a series pointing to various Azure certs. The AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam was one of the new features in this approach.
Although it is not mandatory, it is the first step in every Azure certification path. This means that it offers a lot of value for your money. All azure certifications offer bang for your bucks.
This article will explore the AZ900 exam’s structure and the context surrounding it. It will answer the question, “Is AZ900 worth it?”
What does the AZ-900 cover?
Microsoft’s new role-based certification pathways narrow the focus of each certificate to specific roles within an organization. These certifications are extremely easy, with only one exam required for more than half of them.
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Start trainingThe AZ900 exam is an optional preparatory step on your path to the actual certification exams. This tells us two important things. The material is sufficiently broad to be applicable to all Azure roles, which also means that it won’t be critical enough to play any role in any of Microsoft’s mandatory exams.

The chart above shows that as much as half of the exam is made up of basic principles (Understanding Cloud Concepts, Understanding Security, Privacy, Compliance, Trust, and Trust). The second half of the exam covers core Azure concepts such as Pricing, Support, and Services. We need to look at the wider economic context in order to understand why Microsoft created this exam.
Cloud computing services are revolutionizing IT industry. AWS is still the market leader in overall market size, but Azure is growing fast and is quickly gaining ground. These two giants offer services at a 99 percent equivalence, which makes the distinction for subscribers a business decision and not a technological one.
Microsoft realized that to keep up with AWS’s expansion and competition, they needed to quickly recruit a large number of professionals. Because of the sheer number of people involved, many would not have technical backgrounds or be able to use cloud computing. This makes an introductory path a necessity.
Is the AZ-900 worth it? Maybe.
This problem was solved by AZ-900. Microsoft’s learning path is designed to take anyone from a “I don’t know anything about Azure or cloud computing” position to pass the exam in a mere ten hours. This is great news for those who fall into one of these categories:
Cloud computing is new to you. You are just starting out in the industry and don’t know how your career will develop or what role you want to play.
Although you are familiar with cloud computing, you have little to no experience with Azure.
You are an architect or sysadmin on the prem who is moving into a cloud-based position.

This video will discuss the question in more detail.

Cloud Computing is a new concept
AZ-900 may be a good choice if you’re new to cloud computing. It’s a significant achievement to pass your first official exam. AZ-900 provides a low-risk environment for you to do this. You can gain momentum by preparing for tougher tests with momentum. This will help you get far and you don’t want to let your first failure discourage you from making further progress. It can also give you an opportunity to see the multi-step certification process in action: AZ-900 prepares for the next exam, regardless if you choose the path that leads to a Microsoft Azure certification.
You have used GCP or AWS, but not Azure
If you

IPSec vs OpenVPN: Cloud+ Encryption Technologies

VPNs. It’s impossible to go anywhere without being told about the importance of a VPN for protecting your data and work. Every tech blog and publication worth their salt will mention the importance of a VPN. It is a requirement that everyone use the VPN when using your laptop outside the office. You might need to use the VPN to access files, apps, and the intranet of the company when you work remotely. You can’t even watch YouTube videos or listen to podcasts anymore without hearing “Brought today by our sponsor, [insert VPN provider here]!”
We get it. Use the VPN to surf the internet anywhere you are not at home or in the office. Secure your data. Cyber snooping is prevented. Anonymize your traffic. It’s okay, I guess. I assume this is important because it’s what I’m told. Perhaps a better understanding about infosec principles will help me understand the whys of VPNs instead of IT/YouTube sponsor telling me to.
Why use VPNs?
VPNs are a long-term security mechanism to protect data. They protect traffic by protecting your confidentiality, integrity, availability, and anonymity. These aren’t just buzzwords that will make you feel good about using your Starbucks laptop. They are the three sides of a crucial infosec concept called the CIA triad.
First confidentiality. This is the most important one when it comes VPNs. They encrypt all traffic between your laptop’s computer and the VPN software’s endpoint. It can be a virtual or physical server running VPN software or a hardware appliance such as a firewall or VPN concentrator. It can be hosted on any cloud provider, in a server room, or in your office’s data center. All traffic between your laptop’s and the other point is encrypted.
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“But do I really require a VPN if so many web traffic is already encrypted using HTTPS?” This is a great question, especially since browsers such as Chrome are pushing for HTTPS encryption on all websites. The VPN will add an additional layer of encryption to the HTTPS encryption. Although HTTPS is secure by itself, the VPN will add another layer of encryption.
Even with HTTPS, a website will see that your traffic comes from the same city you are surfing from. Although not with great accuracy, it is usually within a specific region or metro area. VPNs remove this problem as your traffic will appear from wherever the VPN terminates from (either your office or a cloud host). Masking your location is definitely a violation of the CIA triad point about confidentiality.
While confidence is the main reason for using a VPN service, let’s not forget about the other two. Integrity is the ability to ensure that data is not altered in transit. To ensure integrity, VPN protocols include hashing algorithms.
A hash is an algorithmically generated fixed length value from a block data. The hash will change if even a little bit of the original data is changed. A hash is sent when data is encrypted on one side. The other decrypts the data and hashes it again. Then, the hash is compared to the transmitted hash. If the hash matches, data integrity is achieved.
The availability is the final point in the CIA triad. To be useful, any system must be available. This means it cannot be taken down by DDoS attacks, files held ransom by Cryptolocker, or any other evil act that prevents you from working.
A VPN increases availability in corporate settings by reducing the public attack area. A VPN allows a company to access email, files, and apps. Instead of allowing access from a remote location, a VPN is used to protect the company’s data.

Chuck Keith, our newest trainer, is here

SPOTO’s newest trainer is Chuck Keith, a networking expert. He will initially focus on collaboration topics within the CCNP Collaboration Paths, then move to networking, administration and other IT topics.
Chuck’s hiring marks a new generation SPOTO trainers, who have become better SPOTO learners. Chuck was guided by long-standing SPOTO trainers Keith Barker and Jeremy Cioara, who helped him to earn his CompTIA and Cisco certifications.
Keith stated, “I grew professionally with SPOTO.”
Chuck created Network Chuck in 2014 and quickly grew it to over 16,000 subscribers. The YouTube channel was initially created to be a technical resource for Cisco collaboration. However, Chuck has since shifted the channel’s focus to IT career advice and certification preparation advice.
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We asked Chuck some questions to get to know Chuck better.
Before becoming a trainer, you worked in IT. However, you also had a successful YouTube channel. Why did you decide to start it?
It was something I needed to do and I created it. I started by creating tutorials on collaboration topics, because that’s what my brain knew. But then I began to think about what I wanted from a YouTube channel. I didn’t want training videos. SPOTO was my platform. Instead, I wanted information about how people study and train. I began creating these videos and tried to build a community. I answered every question and comment, and I was able to grow my subscriber base from 500 to almost 17,000.
This is about the time Jeremy Cioara discovered your channel.
Jeremy found my channel and messaged me. We set up a phone call. I went through the interview process. Fast forward a few more months, and I’m now a full-time SPOTO instructor. Keith Barker taught me how to create training.
What is your training philosophy?
I believe I want to connect the technical material with a message that motivates and takes control of your career. IT is about creating your own path. Certifications are like hacking into the system. To prove your knowledge, you don’t have to go to school for many years. Certificates show that you can learn, study, and then validate your knowledge. This is the main message I want to convey when I create training. It’s not about passing a test or learning the material. It’s about continuing to learn so that you can be motivated to learn more.
Your beard is quite impressive. How long have it been growing?
I get asked this question all the time. It’s a difficult question because I do trim it every now and then, but it takes me about three years to complete the task. My success is largely due to my beard.
Final question: Would a dragon be better? Or, be a dragon.
You should definitely be a dragon. If I were a dragon, I would be a target. If I had a dragon, I would have a weapon.
Chuck Keith brings industry experience and networking knowledge to his upcoming training. He holds the Cisco CCNA Routing & Switching Voice and CompTIA Security+ certifications.
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SPOTO offers everything you need to improve your IT skills and advance in your career: unlimited video training and Practice exams, Virtual Labs and validated learning with in–video Quizzes, Accountability coaching, and access to our exclusive IT professionals community.

Intro to Business Intelligence

Data is everywhere. Every company generates data. It is the key to creating better versions of existing products. It is the guideline a business owner must follow in order to provide a better service. It will give you all the information you need and show you how to do it. These are not exaggerations. We have become an automated society and generate tons of data that can be used.
Who? What? Where? When? Why? What? These were the questions reporters used to ask. We have the ability to answer these questions today with relatively basic knowledge and off-the-shelf tools.
You will be amazed at how fascinating data can be. Knox is a great trainer and his passion is infectious. This training is free. SPOTO has more Business Intelligence training.
Video 1: Intro (4:57)
Data Scientist? Business Intelligence Developer? These are the jobs you should be interested in. These are the highest-paid jobs in the world.
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Video 2: Business Intelligence Career Path (5.42)
The ability to understand and use data is vital to modern business operations. Our content, strategies, as well as plans for improving the learning experience, are based on the data that our learners provide us.

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Video 3: Business Intelligence Certificates (5:28).
Although the data science education at universities is important, it tends to be primarily theoretical. The training and certifications for BI are focused on how you can help the business you work for. You will learn how to use tools and deliver results for business leaders. Both types of learning are important.

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Video 4: BI Terms & Acronyms (5.16)
Before you can walk the talk, you need to start talking the talk.

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Video 5: Business Intelligence Tools (4.28)
Learn which software you will be using on your learning journey.

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Video 6: Dimensions & Measurements (3:28).
It is important to understand the difference.

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Video 7: Data Types (3.12)
You will crush BI! First, you need to be able to identify the data types. Grab a cup of coffee, and get to work.

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Video 8: Data Sources (5.20)
This is where BI can make you a detective. It can be difficult to find and make use of all the data that a business collects.

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Video 9: The Structured query Language (4:16).
In the 1970s, IBM created SQL. This was a major breakthrough in technology. SQL is simple, yet powerful and flexible.

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Video 10: Tableau or PowerBI? (5:19)
These two great tools are able to accomplish the same task in a unique way. Find out which one is right for you.

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Video 11: BI in Real Life (3:44)
It is impossible to swing a dead cathode raytube without hitting a real-world implementation on the Internet. Knox will show where.

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Video 12: Next Steps & How to Get Started (2.45)
It’s easy to get started on your journey to learn data science.

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Here’s what you need to do next:
Take the Intro to Business Intelligence quiz to validate what you have learned. Each video has one question. Pay attention. To earn your certificate of completion, you must pass the quiz. You can go back to the videos or review the quiz again, as it isn’t timed.
SPOTO offers a monthly subscription. The first week is completely free.
You can commit to training for 30 minutes per day, five days per week. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn in a mere 10 hours per month.

Download
Are you not a SPOTO subscriber yet? Start your week-long free trial now.
SPOTO offers everything you need to improve your IT skills and advance in your career: unlimited video training and Practice exams, Virtual Labs and validated learning with in–video Quizzes, Accountability coaching, and access to our exclusive IT professionals community.