How to prepare for Microsoft Azure Administrator AZ-104?

Let me start off by saying that Microsoft AZ-104 certification exam is not an easy one. You need to have subject matter expertise implementing, managing, and monitoring an organization’s Microsoft Azure environment.

It goes without saying the responsibilities for a Microsoft Azure Administrator include implementing, managing, and monitoring identity, governance, storage, compute, and virtual networks in a cloud environment, plus provision, size, monitor, and adjust resources, when needed.

As per Microsoft, a candidate for this exam should have at least six months of hands-on experience administering Azure, along with a strong understanding of core Azure services, Azure workloads, security, and governance. In addition, this role should have experience using PowerShell, Azure CLI, Azure portal, and Azure Resource Manager templates.

Preparation Tips For The AZ-104 Exam

  1. I prepared for around 2 hours each day and on the weekend around 4 hours. Overall it took me around a month and a half to complete all the course and the labs.
  2. Create a free account with Azure to get the $100, create your own subscription and use it for your labs. This is a must to get familiar with the Service offered by Azure.  
  3. I would highly recommend getting familiar with the syntax of both the Azure CLI and AZ Powershell. If you’re not too familiar with it, start with the basics like create a resource group, then a subnet, a VM and so on. If you do for few times, you’ll have the basis of the commands nailed down.
  4. Some of the questions are lengthy and tricky. You need to understand possible dependencies and where to spot them to be able to answer questions quickly.
  5. My weakest area was “Configure and manage virtual networking”. I would highly recommend creating Virtual Network (VNET), subnets, Network Security Group (NSG), Virtual Machine (VM), test RDP, install webserver, create allow/deny rules etc to make yourself familiar with the entire Azure VNET ecosystem. 
  6. Another important lab is around You can use Azure Web App in your free account and play around with it. Expect to see multiple questions there.
  7. On the official Azure link, it suggests buying official practice test cost of which is $100. I would NOT recommend buying that.
  8. I didn’t get a lot of Kubernetes questions in the exam but I’ve heard some of my friends get not so easy questions there.
  9. Another important topic is the Azure Active Directory. Check the list of topics below in the Official Exam Guide. I must have received at least 6-7 questions there.
  10. Some of the questions are lengthy and tricky. I would recommend to check them to be revisited at the end. If not sure of an answer, use the elimination process to get rid of options that are not applicable before making a guess.
  11. Azure Documentation has a lot of tutorials and quickstarts. While you do not need to go through all the tutorials but doesn’t hurt if you really want to understand the Azure Cloud in depth.

Important Links for Microsoft Azure Administrator AZ-104 Exam

  1. Microsoft Learn Az-104
  2. Microsoft Learn Az-104 Labs
  3. AZ-104 Practice Exams on ReviewNPrep

Microsoft Azure Administrator AZ-104 Official Exam Guide

As per the AZ 104 Exam Syllabus, I’m listing down the official documentation links from Azure that I’ve compiled from the internet:

Manage Azure AD objects

What is Azure Active Directory?

Manage role-based access control (RBAC)

What is role-based access control (RBAC) for Azure resources?

Manage subscriptions and governance

Overview of Management services in Azure

Implement and manage storage (10-15%)

Manage storage accounts

Introduction to Azure Storage

Manage data in Azure Storage

Configure Azure files and Azure blob storage

What is Azure Files?

Deploy and manage Azure compute resources (25-30%)

Configure VMs for high availability and scalability

Automate deployment and configuration of VMs

Create and configure VMs

Create and configure containers

Create and configure Web Apps

Configure and manage virtual networking (30-35%)

Implement and manage virtual networking

Configure name resolution

Secure access to virtual networks

Configure load balancing

Monitor and troubleshoot virtual networking

Integrate an on-premises network with an Azure virtual network

Monitor and back up Azure resources (10-15%)

Monitor resources by using Azure Monitor

Implement backup and recovery

I hope you’ll find this guide helpful. As per Microsoft, Azure Administrator AZ-104 exam will be updated on January 27, 2021. Hopefully, there aren’t much updates and the course is still relevant.

Good Luck!

The preparation journey from Zack Davis is originally featured here.

Author of the exam guide, Ralph Bryant is a cloud enthusiast who likes to tinker with all things cloud. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

Have questions? Participate in AZ-104 discussions on our Forums. Click here.


Check out Microsoft Azure Practice Exams on

  1. Azure Fundamentals AZ-900
  2. Azure Administrator AZ-104
  3. Azure Security Engineer AZ-500