AZ-104 Exam Study Guide: Microsoft Azure Administrator

Welcome to my AZ-104 Exam Study Guide. The aim of this guide is to help prepare you and provide you with all the information you need to book and pass the AZ-104 exam, earning you the title of Microsoft Azure Administrator.

The goal of earning this certification is to prove you have the technical expertise to implement, manage and monitor an organisation’s Microsoft Azure Environment. Microsoft recommends you have at least 6 months of experience with Azure before taking this exam. I am here to say that is not the right expectation and you have come to the right place!

AZ-104 Exam Info

The AZ-104 exam is the single exam you need to pass to earn the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification.

AZ-104 exam path

Here is the snippet from Microsoft’s exam page:

“Candidates for this exam should have subject matter expertise implementing, managing, and monitoring an organization’s Microsoft Azure environment.

Responsibilities for this role 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.

An Azure administrator often serves as part of a larger team dedicated to implementing an organization’s cloud infrastructure.

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.”

Skills measured in this exam

  • Manage Azure identities and governance
  • Implement and manage storage
  • Deploy and manage Azure compute resources
  • Configure and manage virtual networking
  • Monitor and back up Azure resources

How hard is the AZ-104 exam?

The AZ-104 exam leads you to an associate-level certification, meaning its difficulty level is intermediate. You are expected to have some practical experience with Azure and a strong understanding of core Azure services. 

My advice is that you can earn this certification with only lab experience which can be gained for free using Microsoft labs and free azure services.

How long does is take to study for the AZ-104 exam?

Approximately 22 hours of study is required to get you to a level when you may pass this exam. Of course, this is dependent on your existing knowledge and experience of using Microsoft Azure.

You should use your study time wisely and effectively. There is no “one method fits all” when it comes to studying. So when you are looking through my AZ-104 Exam Study Guide, make you try to identify which area would be most beneficial to you.

Do I need experience for the AZ-104 exam?

There are different types of experiences you may have prior to going into this exam. One person may have hands-on real-life experiences with Azure and the other may just have experience completing labs and using the free Azure credits. But in reality, it does not matter if you have any experience before going into this exam. 

Yes, the exams should demonstrate your ability to work with Azure, but I think they demonstrate something more important. That is your determination and motivation to push yourself as an engineer. It shows you are focused on yourself and want to be the best possible. 

And if you are looking to leverage this certification to help prospect for your first job in Azure, then the knowledge you have gained through training is perfect!

My AZ-104 exam feedback after passing

In this exam, I got 60 questions and 3 case studies, in total I was given 180 minutes to complete the exam. At the time of taking the exam, there were no labs involved, however, that could have changed, so be prepared!

The exam was quite difficult, it covered a wide range of topics spanning the entirety of the skills outline you will find below. I found the questions particularly heaving on Azure compute management, such as creating and managing VM’s, scale sets, containers and app service. As well as virtual networking, including DNS, Firewall and security rules. There really was no hiding from anyone subject, so make sure you know a little bit of everything!

As with all Azure exams, if you do not already know, the questions were in the usual format, which included: multiple choice, drag and drop, pairing items, filling in the blanks and case studies. This goes for all Azure exams, so the more familiar you are with the format of the exams the better. If this is your first exam I suggest you take a look at the Microsoft Exam Sandbox and familiarise yourself with the formatting.

AZ-104 Microsoft Docs Exam Study Guide

Manage Azure identities and governance (15-20%)

Manage Azure AD objects

create users and groups

manage user and group properties

manage device settings

perform bulk user updates

manage guest accounts

configure Azure AD Join

configure self-service password reset

Manage role-based access control (RBAC)

create a custom role

provide access to Azure resources by assigning roles

interpret access assignments

manage multiple directories

Manage subscriptions and governance

configure Azure policies

configure resource locks

apply tags

create and manage resource groups

move resources

remove RGs

manage subscriptions

configure Cost Management

configure management groups

Implement and manage storage (10-15%)

Manage storage accounts

configure network access to storage accounts

create and configure storage accounts

generate shared access signature

manage access keys

implement Azure storage replication

configure Azure AD Authentication for a storage account

Manage data in Azure Storage

export from Azure job

import into Azure job

install and use Azure Storage Explorer

copy data by using AZCopy

Configure Azure files and Azure blob storage

create an Azure file share

create and configure Azure File Sync service

configure Azure blob storage

configure storage tiers for Azure blobs

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

Configure VMs for high availability and scalability

configure high availability

deploy and configure scale sets

Automate deployment and configuration of VMs

modify Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template

configure VHD template

deploy from template

save a deployment as an ARM template

automate configuration management by using custom script extensions

Create and configure VMs

configure Azure Disk Encryption

move VMs from one resource group to another

manage VM sizes

add data discs

configure networking

redeploy VMs

Create and configure containers

create and configure Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

create and configure Azure Container Instances (ACI)

Create and configure Web Apps

create and configure App Service

create and configure App Service Plans

Configure and manage virtual networking (30-35%)

Implement and manage virtual networking

create and configure VNET peering

configure private and public IP addresses, network routes, network interface, subnets, and virtual network

Configure name resolution

configure Azure DNS

configure custom DNS settings

configure a private or public DNS zone

Secure access to virtual networks

create security rules

associate an NSG to a subnet or network interface

evaluate effective security rules

deploy and configure Azure Firewall

deploy and configure Azure Bastion Service

Configure load balancing

configure Application Gateway

configure an internal load balancer

configure load balancing rules

configure a public load balancer

troubleshoot load balancing

Monitor and troubleshoot virtual networking

monitor on-premises connectivity

use Network Performance Monitor

use Network Watcher

troubleshoot external networking

troubleshoot virtual network connectivity

Integrate an on-premises network with an Azure virtual network

create and configure Azure VPN Gateway

create and configure VPNs

configure ExpressRoute

configure Azure Virtual WAN

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

Monitor resources by using Azure Monitor

configure and interpret metrics

configure Log Analytics

query and analyze logs

set up alerts and actions

configure Application Insights

Implement backup and recovery

configure and review backup reports

perform backup and restore operations by using Azure Backup

create a Recovery Services Vault

use soft delete to recover Azure VMs

create and configure backup policy

perform site-to-site recovery by using Azure Site Recovery

Microsoft Learn self-paced learning paths

Microsoft learn is one of the best places for you to study for the AZ-104 exam. They consist of self-path modules which cover the entirety of the skills outline, listed above. 

View the collection of Microsoft Learn paths here.

How to take the AZ-104 Exam for Free

Microsoft always provides many incentives for people to learn their products. And probably the biggest one of all is offering users to take their exams for free. However, it is not always obvious how you can do just that.

Take a look at my post on How to get Free Microsoft Exams Certifications. I cover all of the known methods that you can legitimately get access to free Exam vouchers and heavy discounts on all the popular exams, including the AZ-104 exam.


Thank you for taking the time to read my AZ-104 exam study guide. I hope this will aid you to book and passing the AZ-104 exam, earning your the title of Microsoft Certificate: Azure Administrator Associate. 

For additional study resources and content check out my post detailing all my favourite Azure exam study resources here:

Complete Azure training and online learning guide

If you are looking to renew your Azure certification, check out my certification renewal exam feedback.

Azure certification renewal feedback for the AZ-104 exam

Daniel Bradley

My name is Daniel Bradley and I work with Microsoft 365 and Azure as an Engineer and Consultant. I enjoy writing technical content for you and engaging with the community. All opinions are my own.

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