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.
Thank you so much Thomas for sharing the information.
Thank you for sharing this. Is there a recording of the summit @OrinThomas
If you sign up here, you can review the summit on demand
Thanks Orin for the post! Lots new and/or improved since Windows Server 2016! I would imagine even though it’s been five years this is somewhat in line with not having R2 versions of Server exams in the past.
This cert is different from prior generations where each time a new version of WS came out (or there was an R2 revision) there was a substantive bump in exam content.
With new certs, you get a certification and then each year you take a free reassessment through Microsoft Learn (that you have several months to do and you can take the reassessment once a day). Here is a more detailed explanation of the renewal process: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/renew-your-microsoft-certification
This cert is a Windows Server Hybrid cert, not a WS 20XX cert going forward (though the content will be based of WS 2022). You’ll also be able to maintain it as new versions of Windows Server come out rather than taking a new set of exams. If you check through my guide and the video reviews with Jeff, you’ll understand pretty quickly that many of the core technology bits addressed by the cert are the important stuff that stays the same across WS releases. I’m reasonably sure that you could study for and pass these exams using a lab built off WS 2016, WS 2019 or WS 2022 . Sure there’s one or two bits where that’s not the case, but mostly the stuff where there is more delta is the Azure side of the hybrid equation (containers are an area where that’s less true – but the AD, Networking, Storage, HA, Security, Monitoring, Troubleshooting stuff is meat and potatoes WS Admin).
We will make sure we cover updates to the cert as they occur. We’re also planning to do some exam prep videos to go along with the study guides so make sure you’re subscribed to the ITOpsTalk YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/c/ITOpsTalk
© Microsoft. This article was originally published by Microsoft's ITOps Talk Blog. You can find the original article here.