Microsoft AZ-500 down, more to go

Another month, another Azure cert! 🙂

So, for the last couple of weeks, I was reading about, learning and playing around with Azure security technologies, mainly as a preparation for AZ-500 (Microsoft Azure Security Technologies) exam.

And then… today I took the exam and… PASSED!

I must say, with a few certificates under my sleeve, this exam was not the easiest I took. I was feeling prepared and still – passing it demanded concentration on the details and a bit of thinking! Nonetheless, it’s over now – one down, more to go!

Note that… by passing this exam, I’m not automatically an Azure security guru (!) – it just means that I know a thing or two about what Azure offers in terms of security and how it works. 🙂

What did I use to prepare?

There is a great book about Azure governance called Pro Azure Governance and Security, written by my MVP colleagues Peter De Tender, David Rendon and Samuel Erskine. It’s purpose is not to be an exam prep guide, but to tackle into the world of governance and security features available within Microsoft Azure (which are part of the exam, who would know).

There is also a great post, containing a bunch of helpful AZ-500 material from Stanislas Quastana, located here, and Thomas provided some useful links in his post here and even did a webinar on Azure Security Center (hosted by Altaro) the other day – you can find the recording here.

Of course, there is also the official exam page with skills measured and

And… don’t forget to try things out yourself! There is also a free Azure subscription, you know?! 🙂

If you’ll be taking this exam – good luck, hope this resources help you!


Windows Server 2012 R2: Hyper-V – What’s new (at first glance)?

Well, the new version (R2) of the best server operating system is on it’s way! Windows Server 2012 R2 brings many new & upgraded features as announced at TechEd: North America 2013 conference last week.

Although I like Windows Server 2012, I’m specially excited about the news coming in the next Hyper-V upgrade. Some of them are:

  • Gen2 VMs – imagine VMs that don’t have anything emulated – no emulated devices such as IDE disk controllers and NIC cards. Well, that’s coming in R2 – we will have the new virtual machines that will be capable of booting from SCSI disks, machines that can use Secure Boot feature introduced in Windows 8, etc. This will have one downside however – to use it, you will need to run Windows 8 (x64) or Windows Server 2012 as guest OS.
  • VM Direct Connect – the new feature that allows you remote desktop connection into the virtual machine, without using network and channels you usually use – this time, you are going into the machine from the “inside”, through VM bus.
  • Hyper-V Replica to a third site – now you can have two replicas of you VMs – pretty cool and veeeery useful, if I may say so!
  • Replica frequency – now you can control the replication frequency (no more fixed 5 minutes replication intervals which allows you to “fine tune” the replication intervals to your networking infrastructure).
  • Compression – allowing from 2x to 10x faster live migrations (depending on hardware used)… do I need to say more?
  • Dynamic Memory for Linux – finally we have support for Dynamic Memory on Linux virtual machines also.
  • Online VM exporting and cloning, VHDX resizing
  • and much, much more!

This is just a list of some features and improvements that caught my attention. More is available in Ben’s talk at TechEd

See you soon!