Azure Administrator/Cloud Admin Interview questions 2020

  1. Resource group

A container in Resource Manager that holds related resources for an application. The resource group can include all of the resources for an application, or only those resources that are logically grouped together. You can decide how you want to allocate resources to resource groups based on what makes the most sense for your organization.

  1. Shared access signature (SAS)

A signature that enables you to grant limited access to a resource, without exposing your account key. For example, Azure Storage uses SAS to grant client access to objects such as blobs. IoT Hub uses SAS to grant devices permission to send telemetry.

  1. What are virtual machine scale sets in Azure?

Explanation: Virtual machine scale sets are Azure compute resource that you can use to deploy and manage a set of identical VMs. With all the VMs configured the same, scale sets are designed to support true autoscale, and no pre-provisioning of VMs is required. So it’s easier to build large-scale services that target big compute, big data, and containerized workloads.

  1. What is an Availability Set?

Explanation: An availability set is a logical grouping of VMs that allows Azure to understand how your application is built to provide redundancy and availability. It is recommended that two or more VMs are created within an availability set to provide for a highly available application and to meet the 99.95% Azure SLA. When a single VM is used with Azure Premium Storage, the Azure SLA applies for unplanned maintenance events.

  1. What are Fault Domains?

Explanation: A fault domain is a logical group of underlying hardware that share a common power source and network switch, similar to a rack within an on premise data-centers. As you create VMs within an availability set, the Azure platform automatically distributes your VMs across these fault domains. This approach limits the impact of potential physical hardware failures, network outages, or power interruptions.

  1. What are Update Domains?

Explanation: An update domain is a logical group of underlying hardware that can undergo maintenance or can be rebooted at the same time. As you create VMs within an availability set, the Azure platform automatically distributes your VMs across these update domains. This approach ensures that at least one instance of your application always remains running as the Azure platform undergoes periodic maintenance. The order of update domains being rebooted may not proceed sequentially during planned maintenance, but only one update domain is rebooted at a time.

  1. What are Network Security Groups?

Explanation: A network security group (NSG) contains a list of Access Control List (ACL) rules that allow or deny network traffic to subnets, NICs, or both. NSGs can be associated with either subnets or individual NICs connected to a subnet. When an NSG is associated with a subnet, the ACL rules apply to all the VMs in that subnet. In addition, traffic to an individual NIC can be restricted by associating an NSG directly to a NIC.

  1. Why is Azure Active Directory used?

Explanation: Azure Active Directory is an Identity and Access Management system. It is used to grant access to your employees to specific products and services in your network. For example: Salesforce.com, twitter etc. Azure AD has some in-built support for applications in its gallery which can be added directly.

  1. Which of the following web applications can be deployed with Azure?

ASP.NET

PHP

WCF

All of the mentioned

Answer: D All of the mentioned

  1. There are 3 types of roles in Microsoft Azure:
  • Web Role
  • Worker Role
  • VM  Role

Let’s discuss each of these roles in detail:

  • Web Role – A web role is basically used to deploy a website, using languages supported by the IIS platform like, PHP, .NET etc. It is configured and customized to run web applications.
  • Worker Role – A worker role is more like help to the Web role, it used to execute background processes unlike the Web Role which is used to deploy the website.
  • VM Role – The VM role is used by a user to schedule tasks and other windows services. This role can be used to customize the machines on which the web and worker role is running.
  1. A _________ role is a virtual machine instance running Microsoft IIS Web server that can accept and respond to HTTP or HTTPS requests.
  • Web
  • Server
  • Worker
  • Client

Answer: A. Web 

Explanation: The answer should be Web Roles, there are no roles such as Server or Client roles. Also, Worker roles can only communicate with Azure Storage or through direct connections to clients.

  1. Is it possible to create a Virtual Machine using Azure Resource Manager in a Virtual Network that was created using classic deployment?

Explanation: This is not supported. You cannot use Azure Resource Manager to deploy a virtual machine into a virtual network that was created using classic deployment.

  1. What are virtual machine scale sets in Azure?

Explanation: Virtual machine scale sets are Azure compute resource that you can use to deploy and manage a set of identical VMs. With all the VMs configured the same, scale sets are designed to support true autoscale, and no pre-provisioning of VMs is required. So it’s easier to build large-scale services that target big compute, big data, and containerized workloads.

  1. Are data disks supported within scale sets?

Explanation: Yes. A scale set can define an attached data disk configuration that applies to all VMs in the set. Other options for storing data include:

  • Azure files (SMB shared drives)
  • OS drive
  • Temp drive (local, not backed by Azure Storage)
  • Azure data service (for example, Azure tables, Azure blobs)
  • External data service (for example, remote database)
  1. . What is an Availability Set?

Explanation: An availability set is a logical grouping of VMs that allows Azure to understand how your application is built to provide redundancy and availability. It is recommended that two or more VMs are created within an availability set to provide for a highly available application and to meet the 99.95% Azure SLA. When a single VM is used with Azure Premium Storage, the Azure SLA applies for unplanned maintenance events.

  1. What are Fault Domains?

Explanation: A fault domain is a logical group of underlying hardware that share a common power source and network switch, similar to a rack within an on-premise data-centers. As you create VMs within an availability set, the Azure platform automatically distributes your VMs across these fault domains. This approach limits the impact of potential physical hardware failures, network outages, or power interruptions.

17. What are Update Domains?

Explanation: An update domain is a logical group of underlying hardware that can undergo maintenance or can be rebooted at the same time. As you create VMs within an availability set, the Azure platform automatically distributes your VMs across these update domains. This approach ensures that at least one instance of your application always remains running as the Azure platform undergoes periodic maintenance. The order of update domains being rebooted may not proceed sequentially during planned maintenance, but only one update domain is rebooted at a time.

  1. What are Network Security Groups?

Explanation: A network security group (NSG) contains a list of Access Control List (ACL) rules that allow or deny network traffic to subnets, NICs, or both. NSGs can be associated with either subnets or individual NICs connected to a subnet. When an NSG is associated with a subnet, the ACL rules apply to all the VMs in that subnet. In addition, traffic to an individual NIC can be restricted by associating an NSG directly to a NIC.

  1. Do scale sets work with Azure availability sets?

Explanation: Yes. A scale set is an implicit availability set with 5 fault domains and 5 update domains. Scale sets of more than 100 VMs span multiple placement groups, which are equivalent to multiple availability sets. An availability set of VMs can exist in the same virtual network as a scale set of VMs. A common configuration is to put control node VMs (which often require unique configuration) in an availability set and put data nodes in the scale set.

  1. What is a break-fix issue?

Explanation: Technical problems are called break-fix issue, it is an industry term which refers to “work involved in supporting a technology when it fails in the normal course of its function, which requires intervention by a support organization to be restored to working order”.

  1. . Why is Azure Active Directory used?

Explanation: Azure Active Directory is an Identity and Access Management system. It is used to grant access to your employees to specific products and services in your network. For example: Salesforce.com, twitter etc. Azure AD has some in-built support for applications in its gallery which can be added directly.

  1. What happens when you exhaust the maximum failed attempts for authenticating yourself via Azure AD?

Explanation: We use a more sophisticated strategy to lock accounts. This is based on the IP address of the request and the passwords entered. The duration of the lockout also increases based on the likelihood that it is an attack.

  1. Where can I find a list of applications that are pre-integrated with Azure AD and their capabilities?

Explanation: Azure AD has around 2600 pre-integrated applications. All pre-integrated applications support single sign-on (SSO). SSO let you use your organizational credentials to access your apps. Some of the applications also support automated provisioning and de-provisioning.

  1. How can I use applications with Azure AD that I’m using on-premises?

Explanation: Azure AD gives you an easy and secure way to connect to the web applications you choose. You can access these applications in the same way you access your SaaS apps in Azure AD, no need for a VPN to change your network infrastructure.

25. What are the differences between Subscription Administrator and Directory Administrator?

Explanation: By default, one is assigned the Subscription Administrator role when he/she signs up for Azure. A subscription admin can use either a Microsoft account or a work or school account from the directory that the Azure subscription is associated with. This role is authorized to manage services in the Azure portal. If others need to sign in and access services by using the same subscription, you can add them as co-admins.

Azure AD has a different set of admin roles to manage the directory and identity-related features. These admins will have access to various features in the Azure portal or the Azure classic portal. The admin’s role determines what they can do, like create or edit users, assign administrative roles to others, reset user passwords, manage user licenses, or manage domains.

26. Are there any scale limitations for customers using managed disks?

Explanation: Managed Disks eliminates the limits associated with storage accounts. However, the number of managed disks per subscription is limited to 2000 by default.

27. What is the difference between Service Bus Queues and Storage Queues?

Explanation: The Azure Storage Queue is simple and the developer experience is quite good. It uses the local Azure Storage Emulator and debugging is made quite easy. The tooling for Azure Storage Queues allows you to easily peek at the top 32 messages and if the messages are in XML or Json, you’re able to visualize their contents directly from Visual Studio Furthermore, these queues can be purged of their contents, which is especially useful during development and QA efforts.

The Azure Service Bus Queues are evolved and surrounded by many useful mechanisms that make it enterprise worthy! They are built into the Service Bus and are able to forward messages to other Queues and Topics. They have a built-in dead-letter queue and messages have a time to live that you control, hence messages don’t automatically disappear after 7 days.

Furthermore, Azure Service Bus Queues have the ability of deleting themselves after a configurable amount of idle time. This feature is very practical when you create Queues for each user, because if a user hasn’t interacted with a Queue for the past month, it automatically gets clean it up. Its also a great way to drive costs down. You shouldn’t have to pay for storage that you don’t need. These Queues are limited to a maximum of 80gb. Once you’ve reached this limit your application will start receiving exceptions.

28. What is Azure Redis Cache?

Redis is an open source (BSD licensed), in-memory data structure store, used as a database, cache and message broker. Azure Redis Cache is based on the popular open-source Redis cache. It gives you access to a secure, dedicated Redis cache, managed by Microsoft, and accessible from any application within Azure.  It supports data structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets with range queries, bitmaps, hyperloglogs and geospatial indexes with radius queries.

29. Why doesn’t Azure Redis Cache have an MSDN class library reference like some of the other Azure services?

Explanation: Microsoft Azure Redis Cache is based on the popular open source Redis Cache and can be accessed by a wide variety of Redis clients for many programming languages. Each client has its own API that makes calls to the Redis cache instance using Redis commands.

Because each client is different, there is not one centralized class reference on MSDN, and each client maintains its own reference documentation. In addition to the reference documentation, there are several tutorials showing how to get started with Azure Redis Cache using different languages and cache clients. To access these tutorials, see How to use Azure Redis Cache and click the desired language from the language switcher at the top of the article.

30. What are Redis databases?

Explanation: Redis Databases are just a logical separation of data within the same Redis instance. The cache memory is shared between all the databases and actual memory consumption of a given database depends on the keys/values stored in that database. For example, a C6 cache has 53 GB of memory. You can choose to put all 53 GB into one database or you can split it up between multiple databases.

31. Is it possible to add an existing VM to an availability set?

Explanation: No. If you want your VM to be part of an availability set, you need to create the VM within the set. There currently no way to add a VM to an availability set after it has been created.

32. What are the username requirements when creating a VM?

Explanation: Usernames can be a maximum of 20 characters in length and cannot end in a period (“.”).

The following usernames are not allowed:

33. What are the password requirements when creating a VM?

Explanation: Passwords must be 12 – 123 characters in length and meet 3 out of the following 4 complexity requirements:

  • Have lower characters
  • Have upper characters
  • Have a digit
  • Have a special character (Regex match [\W_])

T

he following passwords are not allowed:

34. How much storage can I use with a virtual machine?

Explanation: Each data disk can be up to 1 TB. The number of data disks which you can use depends on the size of the virtual machine. 

Azure Managed Disks are the new and recommended disk storage offerings for use with Azure Virtual Machines for persistent storage of data. You can use multiple Managed Disks with each Virtual Machine. Managed Disks offer two types of durable storage options: Premium and Standard Managed Disks.

Azure storage accounts can also provide storage for the operating system disk and any data disks. Each disk is a .vhd file stored as a page blob.

35. How can one create a Virtual Machine in Powershell?

# Define a credential object
$cred = Get-Credential
# Create a virtual machine configuration
$vmConfig = New-AzureRmVMConfig -VMName myVM -VMSize Standard_DS2 |
` Set-AzureRmVMOperatingSystem -Windows -ComputerName myVM -Credential $cred |
` Set-AzureRmVMSourceImage -PublisherName MicrosoftWindowsServer -Offer WindowsServer `
-Skus 2016-Datacenter -Version latest | Add-AzureRmVMNetworkInterface -Id $nic.Id

36. How to create a Network Security Group and a Network Security Group Rule?

# Create an inbound network security group rule for port 3389
$nsgRuleRDP = New-AzureRmNetworkSecurityRuleConfig -Name myNetworkSecurityGroupRuleRDP -Protocol Tcp `
 -Direction Inbound -Priority 1000 -SourceAddressPrefix * -SourcePortRange * -DestinationAddressPrefix * `
 -DestinationPortRange 3389 -Access Allow

# Create an inbound network security group rule for port 80
$nsgRuleWeb = New-AzureRmNetworkSecurityRuleConfig -Name myNetworkSecurityGroupRuleWWW -Protocol Tcp `
 -Direction Inbound -Priority 1001 -SourceAddressPrefix * -SourcePortRange * -DestinationAddressPrefix * `
 -DestinationPortRange 80 -Access Allow

# Create a network security group
$nsg = New-AzureRmNetworkSecurityGroup -ResourceGroupName myResourceGroup -Location EastUS `
 -Name myNetworkSecurityGroup -SecurityRules $nsgRuleRDP,$nsgRuleWeb

37. How to create a new storage account and container using Power Shell?

$storageName = “st” + (Get-Random)
New-AzureRmStorageAccount -ResourceGroupName “myResourceGroup” -AccountName $storageName -Location “West US” -SkuName “Standard_LRS” -Kind Storage
$accountKey = (Get-AzureRmStorageAccountKey -ResourceGroupName myResourceGroup -Name $storageName).Value[0]
$context = New-AzureStorageContext -StorageAccountName $storageName -StorageAccountKey $accountKey
New-AzureStorageContainer -Name “templates” -Context $context -Permission Container

38. How can one create a VM in Azure CLI?

az vm create ` –resource-group myResourceGroup ` –name myVM –image win2016datacenter ` –admin-username azureuser ` –admin-password myPassword12

39. What are the various power states of a VM?

40. How can you retrieve the state of a particular VM?

Get-AzureRmVM `
 -ResourceGroupName myResourceGroup `
 -Name myVM `
 -Status | Select @{n=”Status”; e={$_.Statuses[1].Code}}

41. How can you stop a VM using Power Shell? 

Stop-AzureRmVM -ResourceGroupName myResourceGroupVM -Name “myVM” -Force

42. Why was my client disconnected from the cache?

Explanation: The following are some common reason for a cache disconnect.

  • Client-side causes
    • The client application was redeployed.
    • The client application performed a scaling operation.
    • In the case of Cloud Services or Web Apps, this may be due to auto-scaling.
    • The networking layer on the client side changed.
    • Transient errors occurred in the client or in the network nodes between the client and the server.
    • The bandwidth threshold limits were reached.
    • CPU bound operations took too long to complete.
  • Server-side causes
    • On the standard cache offering, the Azure Redis Cache service initiated a fail-over from the primary node to the secondary node.
    • Azure was patching the instance where the cache was deployed
    • This can be for Redis server updates or general VM maintenance.

43. What is Azure Search?

Explanation: Azure Search is a cloud search-as-a-service solution that delegates server and infrastructure management to Microsoft, leaving you with a ready-to-use service that you can populate with your data and then use to add search to your web or mobile application. Azure Search allows you to easily add a robust search experience to your applications using a simple REST API or .NET SDK without managing search infrastructure or becoming an expert in search.

44. My web app still uses an old Docker container image after I’ve updated the image on Docker Hub. Does Azure support continuous integration/deployment of custom containers?

Explanation: Yes, it does. For private registries, you can update the container by stopping and then re-starting your web app. Alternatively, you can also change or add a dummy application setting to force an update of your container.

45. What are the expected values for the Startup File section when I configure the runtime stack?

Explanation: For Node.Js, you specify the PM2 configuration file or your script file. For .NET Core, specify your compiled DLL name. For Ruby, you can specify the Ruby script that you want to initialize your app with.

46. How are Azure Marketplace subscriptions priced?

Explanation:

Pricing will vary based on product types. ISV software charges and Azure infrastructure costs are charged separately through your Azure subscription. Pricing models include:

BYOL Model: Bring-your-own-license. You obtain outside of the Azure Marketplace, the right to access or use the offering and are not charged Azure Marketplace fees for use of the offering in the Azure Marketplace.

Free: Free SKU. Customers are not charged Azure Marketplace fees for use of the offering.

Free Software Trial: Full-featured version of the offer that is promotionally free for a limited period of time. You will not be charged Azure Marketplace fees for use of the offering during a trial period. Upon expiration of the trial period, customers will automatically be charged based on standard rates for use of the offering.

Usage-Based: You are charged or billed based on the extent of your use of the offering. For Virtual Machines Images, you are charged an hourly Azure Marketplace fee. For Data Services, Developer services, and APIs, you are charged per unit of measurement as defined by the offering.

Monthly Fee: You are charged or billed a fixed monthly fee for a subscription to the offering (from the date of subscription start for that particular plan). The monthly fee is not prorated for mid-month cancellations or unused services.

47. What is the difference between “price,” “software price,” and “total price” in the cost structure for Virtual Machine offers in the Azure Marketplace?

Explanation: “Price” refers to the cost of the Azure Virtual Machine to run the software. “Software price” refers to the cost of the publisher software running on an Azure Virtual Machine. “Total price” refers to the combined total cost of the Azure Virtual Machine and the publisher software running on an Azure Virtual Machine.

48. What are stateful and stateless microservices for Service Fabric?

Explanation: Service Fabric enables you to build applications that consist of microservices. Stateless microservices (such as protocol gateways and web proxies) do not maintain a mutable state outside a request and its response from the service. Azure Cloud Services worker roles are an example of a stateless service. Stateful microservices (such as user accounts, databases, devices, shopping carts, and queues) maintain a mutable, authoritative state beyond the request and its response. Today’s Internet-scale applications consist of a combination of stateless and stateful microservices.

49. What is the meaning of application partitions?

Explanation: The application partitions are a part of the Active Directory system and having said so, they are directory partitions which are replicated to domain controllers. Usually, domain controllers that are included in the process of directory partitions hold a replica of that directory partition. The attributes and values of application partitions is that you can replicated them to any specific domain controller in a forest, meaning that it could lessen replication traffic. While the domain directory partitions transfer all their data to all of the domains, the application partitions can focus on only one in the domain area. This makes application partitions redundant and more available.

50. What are special Azure Regions?

Explanation: Azure has some special regions that you may wish to use when building your applications for compliance or legal purposes. These special regions include:

  • US Gov Virginia and US Gov Iowa
    • A physical and logical network-isolated instance of Azure for US government agencies and partners, operated by screened US persons. Includes additional compliance certifications such as FedRAMP and DISA
  • China East and China North
    • These regions are available through a unique partnership between Microsoft and 21Vianet, whereby Microsoft does not directly maintain the datacenters. 
  • Germany Central and Germany Northeast
    • These regions are available via a data trustee model whereby customer data remains in Germany under control of T-Systems, a Deutsche Telekom company, acting as the German data trustee.
  1. What are Azure Service Bus?

Simplify enterprise cloud messaging. Depend on Azure Service Bus when you need highly-reliable cloud messaging service between applications and services, even when one or more is offline. Available in every Azure region, this fully-managed service eliminates the burdens of server management and licensing. Asynchronous operations give you flexible, brokered messaging between client and server, along with structured first-in, first-out (FIFO) messaging, and publish/subscribe capabilities—excellent for tasks like order processing.

  1. Describe what the purpose of an ARM template is for Azure?
  1. What is the difference between Azure Traffic Manager and Azure Load Balancers?
  1. Azure Load Balancer

The job of Azure Load Balancer is to direct traffic inside a region.  This is combined with Azure Traffic Manager, where traffic manager routes interior to a region between virtual machines.  If you combine the two you get global traffic management combined with local failover.

  1. Azure Traffic Manager. 

The job of Azure Traffic Manager is to route traffic globally based on flexible policies, enabling an excellent user experience that aligns with how you’ve structured your application across the world.  Traffic Manager has several different policies:

  1. Overview of the Azure Content Delivery Network

The Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) caches static web content at strategically placed locations to provide maximum throughput for delivering content to users. The CDN offers developers a global solution for delivering high-bandwidth content by caching the content at physical nodes across the world.

  1. IaaS, PaaS, SaaS definition and examples?

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), as the name suggests, provides you the computing infrastructure, physical or (quite often) virtual machines and other resources like virtual-machine disk image library, block and file-based storage, firewalls, load balancers, IP addresses, virtual local area networks etc. 

Examples: Amazon EC2, Windows Azure, Rackspace, Google Compute Engine.

PaaS (Platform as a Service), as the name suggests, provides you computing platforms which typically includes operating system, programming language execution environment, database, web server etc. 

Examples: AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Windows Azure, Heroku, Force.com, Google App Engine, Apache Stratos.

While in SaaS (Software as a Service) model you are provided with access to application software often referred to as “on-demand software”. You don’t have to worry about the installation, setup and running of the application. Service provider will do that for you. You just have to pay and use it through some client. 

Examples: Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365.

  1. What are availability sets and Affinity Group?

Availability Set: is predominately to provide High Availability for your deployment. Azure does this via Fault domains and Upgrade domains. 

A fault domain: is basically a different hardware rack in the same datacenter. The solution will be deployed in two different hardware racks.

Update domains: is exactly same like fault domains in function, but they support upgrades rather than failures. The Update domain is a logical unit of instance separation that determines which instances in a particular service will be upgraded at a point in time. 

Affinity Group: In order to explain it, we need to take peek into Azure DC . Windows Azure Data Centers are purpose build , you might see rows and rows of containers (something like shipping containers) that contain clusters and racks. Each of those Containers have specific services, for example, Compute and Storage, SQL Azure, Service Bus, Access Control Service, and so on. Those containers are spread across the data center. 

When you deploy a service using Portal or PowerShell , the service will talk directly to RDFE (Red Dog Front End). The RDFE controls the DC and nodes. The Cluster of nodes is controlled by Fabric Controller.. When you specify Affinity Group , the Fabric controller will place all the required elements of a deployment together. This has number of advantages like reducing latency (since required elements are close together) , Networking.

  1. What is Azure Service Fabric?

Explanation: Azure Service Fabric is a distributed systems platform that makes it easy to package, deploy, and manage scalable and reliable micro-services. Service Fabric also addresses the significant challenges in developing and managing cloud applications. Developers and administrators can avoid complex infrastructure problems and focus on implementing mission-critical, demanding workloads that are scalable, reliable, and manageable. Service Fabric represents the next-generation middleware platform for building and managing these enterprise-class, tier-1, cloud-scale applications.

  1. What is a VNet?

Explanation: VNet is a representation of your own network in the cloud. It logically isolates your instances launched in the cloud, from the rest of your resources.

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