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How can you become an Azure architect and earn an admirable salary

13 Sep 2022
11 min read  

How can you become an Azure architect and earn an admirable salary

In the present era, there is rising demand for Azure cloud solution architects. This is due to the great reputation of Azure in the DevOps field. The rising demand and appealing job opportunities suggest that it is vital to know how to become an Azure Architect.

Fundamentally, Microsoft Azure is a Cloud Computing service extensively used for building, testing, deploying, and managing services & applications. The management of services and applications is accomplished by the data centers controlled by Microsoft. In the current market scenario, Microsoft Azure is the fastest-growing cloud service provider.

Before knowing how to become an Azure Architect, it is inevitable to know the meaning of an Azure Architect. So, let’s dive into details of each of the related sections as below:

When you get the overview of Microsoft Azure Architect, the question may arise i.e. what is an Azure architect. Better known as an Azure Cloud Solutions architect, it is Microsoft’s branded version of the generic cloud architect. Fundamentally, Cloud architects lead their business’ cultural change towards cloud implementation. They develop and coordinate cloud architecture, prepares a cloud strategy, and streamlines its authorization by the business stakeholders.

A senior Azure Architect is a technical person holding minimum of 10 years of experience in how to build and manage software solutions. Azure Architects comprehend each phase of a software project life cycle, management, team roles, and comprehensive technical implementation. Moreover, they comprehend networking, virtualization, storage, processing, security, identity, backup and recovery, budget and planning, data management, and governance. Furthermore, experienced Azure Architects are skilled in Azure administration, development, testing, and DevOps.

At this point, the question may arise i.e. who can be the right fit as an Azure Architect. Well, if you are the one who counsels stakeholders and transforms business requirements into safe, scalable, and reliable solutions, then you can be the best fit for this role. The reason is these will assist you to become industry-ready.

In other words, Azure cloud solutions architects are promoters of Azure cloud computing. They work with IT professionals and other associated team members for building, designing, and implementing an Azure cloud environment. Furthermore, they also deal with cost estimation, risk analysis, and communication with non-IT personnel to guarantee flawless execution and transition.

Having known the meaning of an Azure Architect, it’s now essential to be aware of what are their responsibilities. So, continue reading the following section:

Responsibilities of an Azure Architect

Based on the type and size of the organization, the roles and responsibilities of Azure Architects can differ. Listed below are the general roles and responsibilities of almost all Azure Architects:

  • Develop and deploy Azure cloud architecture
  • Practical implementation of planned solutions and offer technical guidance to teams throughout the development and deployment phases of the solutions
  • Independently work with business and technical stakeholders to comprehend the organization’s impediments, and provide proper care on how to resolve such impediments
  • Capability to convey technical direction and handle a team of one or multiple Azure architects
  • Guide a group of architects and assist them with the appropriate knowledge on how to implement a cloud solution
  • Approximate and summarize the solutions required to employ cloud migration and continued operations
  • Discerningly provide team members with adequate information and assistance of engineering strategies, standards, and finest practices
  • Discover, communicate, and alleviate the risks and issues that happen during the whole project lifecycle
  • Ascertain that architectural principles, universal product-specific requirements, practical design standards, and other directives are followed.
  • Maintains a balance between tactically logical aspects and realistic implementation
  • Capability to think and operate at diverse levels of abstraction
  • Decision-making ability in each area affected

Aspects that Azure Architects are thoroughly aware of:

  • Azure Architects hold a comprehensive understanding of a plethora of aspects listed below:
  • Monitoring your Azure infrastructure
  • An appropriate approach to be used for configuring key metrics and logs for resources deployment on the Azure platform
  • Resources building through Azure Resource Manager templates
  • How to work with varied facets of Azure storage accounts.
  • Proper understanding of how to design for identity and security within the Azure Active Directory
  • The correct way of deploying network architectures
  • How to manage network storage and security for organization’s workloads on Azure
  • Implementation of solutions through Azure Functions, Azure Web Apps, and Azure Logic Apps
  • Executing backups for your infrastructure that is hosted on Azure
  • Setup of container-based environments through Azure Kubernetes
  • Setup of data stores like Azure Cosmos DB and Azure SQL database
  • How to design a business continuity tactic for a company
  • Comprehending the best practices required for deployment migration of your workloads to Azure

Skills expected in an Azure Architect

To secure a job as an Azure Architect with an admirable salary, there are some skills that organizations expect. They are mentioned below:

  • Implement workloads and security
  • Create and deploy apps
  • Deploy and configure infrastructure
  • Implement authentication and secure data
  • Discern workload requirements
  • Develop for the cloud and Azure storage
  • Design for identity and security
  • Design a business continuity strategy
  • Design a data platform solution
  • Design for deployment, migration, and integration
  • Design an infrastructure strategy

Adoption of appropriate strategy helps an Azure Architect to better handle his/her responsibilities. Key strategies involved in this respect include Storage Strategy, Compute Strategy, Networking Strategy, and Monitoring Strategy. They are briefly described below:

Storage Strategy

Designing a Storage Strategy entails designing a storage access strategy, designing a storage provisioning strategy, recognizing storage requirements, advising a storage solution and storage management tools.

Compute Strategy

It incorporates designing of compute provisioning and secure compute tactics, evaluating proper compute technologies (like virtual machines, service fabric, functions, container instances, and more.), designing an Azure HPC environment, recognizing compute requirements, and advising management tools for computing.

Networking Strategy

It involves designing network provisioning and network security tactics, evaluating proper network connectivity technologies, recognizing networking requirements, and advising network management tools.

Monitoring Strategy

Design task of Monitoring Strategy for an infrastructure entails designing an alert and metrics strategy and designing for alert notifications.

Tools used by an Azure Architect

After knowing the responsibilities and skills anticipated for Azure Architects, the next important aspect is to know what tools are being used by them. To fulfill their duties and responsibilities, they utilize plenty of tools.

Below are the tools that any decent Azure architect requires to succeed:

  • Understanding of one or more of the below subjects: Azure development, Azure administration, or DevOps
  • Experience in building cloud environments on Azure
  • Understanding a broad range of IT operations like business continuity, budgeting, data management, governance, identity, networking, security, disaster recovery, and virtualization.
  • Since Azure architects must validate cloud-related expenses to balance performance goals against budget restraints, they must possess cost analysis experience.
  • Familiarity with cloud concepts like microservices
  • Excellent communication skills because Azure cloud solutions architects would be dealing with team members, managerial staff, and business stakeholders

Learning Path for an Azure Architect

The roadmap to Azure architect certification path is long but the result justifies that the path is worthwhile. The learning path is vital for every Azure Architects because it helps to fulfill the organization’s goal and lets the Azure Architects better handle their responsibilities. If you aspire to become an Azure Architect then you can consider the following learning path:

  • At least a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Technology, or any other associated technical discipline. Certain organizations insist on a master’s degree. So, the training must involve an understanding of scripting and programming languages
  • Learning all the components of Azure’s cloud infrastructure solutions that entail IaaS, PaaS, OSS, BCDR, and Infra
  • Knowledge on how the databases like MySQL
  • Understanding of Java
  • Acquire expertise with integrated development environments, and a minimum of one operating system (Windows or UNIX, or Linux)
  • Experience in how to use open-source technologies like OpenStack, Docker, and Redis
  • Working experience with networking elements like Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), DNS, IP addresses, HTTP, TCP/IP, LAN/WAN technology, routers, switches, and firewalls
  • Understanding of how cybersecurity works. (While working in the Cloud, it is inevitable to have strong proficiency in cybersecurity processes and practices. The knowledge of cybersecurity helps the organization alleviate security concerns and facilitate easy migration to Cloud.)
  • Development and enhancement of soft skills like leadership ability, planning and organization skills, business and strategy insight, and influential communication abilities.

How to become an Azure Architect

The next and the crucial question comes now i.e. - how to become an Azure architect. If you are an experienced Cloud architect holding decent knowledge of Microsoft Azure and already built, implemented, and managed Azure applications and services then you can get certified to become an Azure Architect.

To become an Azure Architect, Microsoft provides two exams. Passing these exams gives you a badge of a Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert. Once you pass these certification exams, you would be equipped with proficiency in computing, networking, storage, and security. Therefore, you can effectively design solutions that run on Azure.

Listed below are the exams you need to pass to become an Azure Architect:

  • Exam AZ-300: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies
  • Exam AZ-301: Microsoft Azure Architect Design

The cost of each of these exams is US $165.

Let’s get a brief overview of these exams:

Exam AZ-300: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies

Candidates for this examination are Azure Solution Architects who counsel stakeholders and transform business requirements into reliable, scalable, and secure solutions. It is known that candidates must have advanced proficiency and knowledge on different facets of IT operations like networking, virtualization, security, identity, business continuity, data management, disaster recovery, budgeting, and governance.

This role demands managerial ability that suggests how decisions in each domain can influence on overall solution. Furthermore, candidates should be proficient in Azure development, Azure administration, and DevOps. They must hold exceptional expertise in a minimum of one of these domains.

This exam is designed with a goal to assess the candidates’ working experience and higher-level functional knowledge of Microsoft Azure. Those candidates who pass this exam would be recognized as Microsoft Azure Solution Experts.

Exam AZ-301: Microsoft Azure Architect Design

This exam is designed to assess candidates’ ability in the following areas:

  • Fundamentals of cloud concepts
  • Core Azure services; security
  • Privacy, compliance, and trust
  • Azure pricing and support

Prominent domains covered in this exam are determine workload requirements; designing for identity and security; designing a data platform solution; designing a business continuity strategy; designing for deployment, migration, and integration; designing an infrastructure strategy.

Azure architect salary

The common and most important question that all candidates aspiring to become an Azure Architect have is what the Azure architect salary is?

In India, the average salary for a beginner Azure Architect is INR 18.50 lac/year. This average salary is computed based on the salary estimates of several Azure Architect employees.

When it comes to the salary range for an experienced Azure Architect, it is INR 20.7 lac to INR 26.5 lac. This salary estimate is dependent on salary figures obtained from employees of Microsoft Azure.

On the other hand, Azure Architect salaries working at Microsoft can vary from $128,722 to $210,212. After factoring in bonuses and compensation, an Azure Architect at Microsoft can anticipate earning an average total pay of $190,830.

To earn an admirable salary, an Azure Architect is anticipated to hold experience in the following aspects:

  • Azure Fundamentals
  • Understanding of Azure Architecture and Design
  • Manage resources in Azure
  • Data storage, insight, and Azure Databricks
  • Perform data engineering
  • Analytical and technical problem-solving abilities

Skills that influence on salaries of Azure Architects

Being an Azure Architect certified is not just enough if you want to advance in this field and earn an admirable salary. Acquiring different skills and keeping yourself updated helps you to obtain higher pay.

Here are the popular skills that can influence Azure Architect salaries:

  • C Programming Language
  • IBM WebSphere
  • IT Security & Infrastructure
  • Kubernetes
  • Salesforce
  • SAP Sales and Distribution (SAP SD)
  • Node.js
  • Data Warehouse
  • Oracle eBusiness Suite
  • PegaRules
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About Author
Shailendra Chauhan (Microsoft MVP, Founder & CEO at Scholarhat by DotNetTricks)

Shailendra Chauhan is the Founder and CEO at ScholarHat by DotNetTricks which is a brand when it comes to e-Learning. He provides training and consultation over an array of technologies like Cloud, .NET, Angular, React, Node, Microservices, Containers and Mobile Apps development. He has been awarded Microsoft MVP 8th time in a row (2016-2023). He has changed many lives with his writings and unique training programs. He has a number of most sought-after books to his name which has helped job aspirants in cracking tough interviews with ease.
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