Get Certified: Microsoft Certified – Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty
|In this blog post you will find some personal suggestions about how to study for exam AZ-120 and get Microsoft Certified: Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty
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Last Update: June 2021, added link to LinkedIn group.
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For a discussion about why you might consider getting certified, see
The certification may be of specific interest to SAP BASIS administrators working in on-premises environments but interested in upskilling and to prepare for the next decade when enterprises, as predicted by the industry analysts, move their SAP landscapes to the cloud.
Azure is favourite amongst SAP customers
For general information about the Microsoft certification program, see
For the poster of the program, go to
The Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty certification is an “add-on” and considerable knowledge of both the Azure platform and SAP technology is expected.
Microsoft recommends you get certified first as Azure administrator or architect, although this is not a requirement.
For those relatively new to the platform, consider taking the fundamentals training (and exam) first. You need to be familiar with virtual machines, virtual disks, virtual networks, virtual gateways, load balancers, and other types of virtual plumbing.
On the SAP side, the SAP Certified Technology Associate – SAP HANA 2.0 (C_HANATEC) certification is certainly recommended or at least the HA100 and HA200 trainings.
SAP Workloads, as Microsoft likes to call it, covers both the SAP HANA and the SAP NetWeaver technology stack. The SAP Certified Technology Associate – System Administration (SAP HANA or Any DB) with SAP NetWeaver 7.5 certification would be helpful or, again, at least some of the TADM trainings.
How Hard Can It Be?
Although challenging, for those familiar with SAP HANA and SAP NetWeaver technology combined with the Azure platform the exam is fair and attainable.
Depending on your background, anticipate 1-3 weeks of full-time study.
The exam preparation guide describes in detail the topics of the exam and what to expect. This is also where you can book your exam.
For this exam, the number of questions and allotted time are not explicitly stated, so your mileage may vary. Time of writing, it contained 36 questions, some with a single right answer, some with multiple possible selections, plus two business cases with 6 questions each. To answer you get 150 minutes which should be enough for most as the questions, apart from the business cases, do not require great amount of reading and reflection.
Microsoft has been in the certification business for a long time and it shows, as the exam experience is very smooth. You get the opportunity to provide feedback to each question once you are done with the exam (but before you get the results), to comment upon the language used, technical accuracy, or other observations. Other vendors should take note.
To book your exam, select Schedule Now to be redirected to your Microsoft Learning Dashboard.
|Make sure to check for discounts before check out as this may cover up to 100% of the cost.|
From the Microsoft Learning Dashboard you can schedule (and re-schedule) your appointments, start the online exam, collect your badge, or print the certificate or a transcript of past achievements.
Like SAP, IBM, Oracle, and other vendors, Microsoft badges are also shared with Acclaim / Credly for a cross-vendor overview, record keeping, and social media sharing. This requires your agreement, of course.
The entry links back to the program.
From the exam page you can download the outline of skills measured. This is updated regularly, so make sure you are looking at the latest version.
Time of writing, skills measured are divided into five categories, each further subdivided and listing a number of skills
- Migrate SAP Workloads to Azure (10-15%)
- Design an Azure Solution to Support SAP Workloads (20-25%)
- Build and Deploy Azure for SAP Workloads (35-40%)
- Validate Azure Infrastructure for SAP Workloads (10-15%)
- Operationalize Azure SAP Architecture (10-15%)
How To Prepare
Learning Paths and Trainings
According to the AZ-120 exam page, there are two ways to prepare. We will list them here but read on for a suggested third approach.
- Three learning paths covering ten modules (10 hours)
- 4-day instructor-led course AZ-120T00-A: Planning and Administering Microsoft Azure for SAP Workloads
The lab instructions of the trainings can be found on the Microsoft Learning repository on GitHub, in case you prefer a yourself-led course.
The learning path modules provide a good start and we recommend to make abundant notes as they serve as the basis for the exam.
However, the modules do not cover all topics. You will also need to study the SAP Workloads section of the documentation. The good news is that you print it the whole section as PDF. The bad news is that the results in 1,300 pages.Fortunately, you do not need to know everything so my recommendation would be to return to the Skills Measured doc and search every skill in the SAP Workloads documentation. This will avoid going from one rabbit hole to the next and loose focus.
The documentation includes several step-by-step guides and tutorials, e.g.
- Installation of SAP HANA on Azure virtual machines
- Tutorial: Azure Active Directory Single sign-on (SSO) integration with SAP NetWeaver
The SAP Workloads documentation from Microsoft references several SAP support notes, some of which you might want to read carefully and bookmark.
- 1928533 – SAP Applications on Azure: Supported Products and Azure VM types
- 2015553 – SAP on Microsoft Azure: Support prerequisites
- 2513384 – SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications on Azure
- 2694118 – Red Hat Enterprise Linux HA Add-On on Azure
- 1409604 – Virtualization on Windows: Enhanced monitoring
The Exam Ref Series from Microsoft Press does not (yet) include an exam guide for AZ-120.
SAP on Azure
Recently, two guides have been published about SAP on Azure by Packt and SAP PRESS. Although not intended as exam guides, these books are well-written, share many insights, and are highly recommended.
- SAP on Microsoft Azure Architecture and Administration by Ravi Kashyap [SAP PRESS]
- SAP on Azure Implementation Guide by Bartosz Jarkowski and Nick Morgan [Packt]
|Time of writing, Microsoft provides a free download of the implementation guide. We may assume the authors have been informed. Get yourself a copy while stock last.|
|Note that just reading these book will not suffice for the exam as they cover topics you will not be questioned about while many of the measured skills are not covered.|
PluralSight has recently started to publish the first courses about SAP Workloads on Azure.
- Building and Deploying Azure for SAP Workloads by Tim Warner
- Designing an Azure Solution to Support SAP Workloads by Steve Buchanan
Time of writing, there are no courses yet about SAP Workloads on Azure or AZ-120 in the catalog of LinkedIn Learning, Cloud Academy, Coursera, EdX, etc.
|Note that just reading listening to these relative short courses will not suffice to pass the exam but may serve as an introduction to the material covered.|
Stay Up To Date
Beyond the scope of the exam, there are many excellent resource to stay up to dat about SAP on Azure. A good place to start, of course, is the SAP on Azure Solution portal.
- SAP on Azure | Microsoft
It is not an official tag, but when you follow the “SAP on Azure” tag, you will be notified when authors like Bartosz Jarkowski of the above-mentioned Implementation Guide, post another blog. His SAP on Azure series (today’s count is at #24) provide highly recommended reading and even make for a good exam prep.
SAP on Microsoft Tech Community
Sign-up for the SAP on Microsoft Tech Community, for blogs, announcements, and discussions.
SAP on Azure | YouTube
For podcast, demos, and tutorials visit the SAP on Azure YouTube Channel.
Deploy, Learn, Fork, and Contribute
To get hands-on, take a look at the ARM templates, hosted on GitHub.
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