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Azure Interview Questions

Posted in Microsoft Azure
Azure Interview Questions

Table of Contents

Microsoft Azure is one of the market’s leading cloud platforms, and it is increasingly becoming a part of the arsenal of tech firms. It provides several benefits and has expansive applications, which can be daunting to some.

However, being an ever more common tool, developers or would-be developers should know all the fundamentals of the cloud computing platform. Interviewers will certainly test your knowledge with Azure interview questions during the hiring process, so you should do your best to be prepared.

Here, we’ll give you a breakdown of what Microsoft Azure is and go over the most popular Azure interview questions and answers. This will include some explanations of Azure development, and some Azure interview questions for experienced developers — so both beginners and veterans can benefit.

What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform developed by Microsoft, and is used by companies across the world to build and manage their applications. The Azure platform has more than 200 products & services that provide solutions for different problems that companies might face today. Applications can be customized, built, and deployed as per business needs. 

Azure is a truly hybrid platform, with unique features such as:

  • Supports both PaaS and IaaS
  • Hybrid-ready, i.e., you can choose between public and private cloud, making storage, backup, and recovery easy and quick
  • Scalable and economical with pay as you use options
  • Supports languages like C#, Java, Python; and operating systems like Windows, Linux, Oracle, SQL Server, etc.
  • Mobile services and mobile engagement to collect real-time analytics data
  • Handles data-intensive queries through SQL Data Warehouse for efficient data management
  • Provides secure media services through CDN (Content Delivery Network) and Microsoft Machine Learning

Why Learn Azure?

Apart from technical information about Microsoft Azure, interviewers can also ask you business-related questions like why Azure? Why would you use Azure when AWS is so popular?

The first reason is that if AWS is first, Azure is a very close second in the market. Further, a smart business wouldn’t rely on just one provider — if AWS goes down, will the whole business shut down? 

That brings us to another question: what is the market share of Azure? Azure is the second most popular provider with a 28.4% share right after AWS, which has a 37.1% share. After this comes GoogleCloud.

Before reading these Azure cloud interview questions, you must already know Azure fairly well — at least finished some tutorials and certifications. You should be familiar with what Azure is, how the Azure dashboard looks like, and so on. If you have seen the dashboard, resources like Virtual Machines, SQL databases, Load Balancer, Traffic Manager, data warehouses, etc., are listed on the left, and all the tasks can be done on the right side. Dashboards are a more organized way of viewing all your cloud resources on the Azure portal.

Azure is huge and has many components. As a developer, you may not be concerned about how everything works. However, if you are an admin, you should know how to work with the Dashboard, give permissions, access services, etc. You should start your Azure learning journey with a bit of reading about cloud services, followed by core concepts and services, then move on to more advanced concepts like security, networking. 

General Interview Tips

Answering technical Azure interview questions is not difficult as long as you are thorough with the concepts — most questions don’t require detailed answers. Most of the interviewers start by asking basic questions, and then the subsequent questions are a continuation of the previous questions. 

The more detailed answers you give, the more questions you will get. Be crisp and answer only what you know entirely. If you are not sure about something, admit it up front. Remember that no one expects a perfect candidate. They want someone who can learn and grow. 

 

Top Azure Interview Questions and Answers

 

1. What do you know about cloud computing platforms?

Through cloud computing, we can store and process data on remote servers instead of local machines and servers. Using the cloud to manage software, databases, networking, servers, etc., makes accessibility faster, flexible, and more scalable. The resources that are stored on the ‘cloud’ are available on-demand and are delivered over the internet. In cloud computing, a resource is a service — Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service.

 

2. What are the different types of cloud service models?

different types of cloud service models

There are three cloud computing service models:

  1. IaaS: The bottom-most and the most important layer, IaaS provides networking hardware and infrastructure over the internet. Virtual Machine is a great example of such a resource. You can just login to an IaaS platform to use a VM to install the OS, software, databases, and other programs required. The VM acts as a virtual data center. So, if the data center crashes for some reason, the infrastructure remains unaffected. Hardware maintenance costs are also greatly reduced.

     

  2. PaaS: It is the middle layer in the stack that provides a platform to run your cloud applications. You can customize your applications using the pre-built tools and APIs provided by PaaS vendors. The benefits of PaaS are that you can pay only for the services that you want to use, applications built on PaaS are compatible on multiple platforms, and PaaS allows for dynamic scaling.

     

  3. SaaS: In this model, cloud providers provide you access to the software required for your application over the internet. You need not install any additional software on your servers, and hence without any upfront cost, you can enjoy the services using the UI. Any upgrades are taken care of by the vendor at minimal costs.

     

3. What are the advantages of cloud computing systems?

The main advantages of cloud computing systems are reduced operational and IT maintenance costs and faster development, leading to improved time to market products and services. Cloud computing systems allow for rapid application development without businesses worrying about their infrastructure, software, and hardware requirements. There is infinite storage capacity and high availability. Cloud systems are cost-efficient, flexible, and secure. The failover and backup processes are straightforward.

 

4. What are the types of cloud services provided by various providers?

There are four types of services:

  1. Public: In this service, the entire infrastructure lies in the company's premises providing cloud services, giving them access to the data
  2. Private: You host all your resources on your own with the highest level of security and control. Highly critical data is usually hosted on a private cloud
  3. Hybrid: Depending on the purpose, both public and private cloud services are used in a mixed manner
  4. Community: Organizations with a common goal or fit into a specific community share the infrastructure amongst themselves in the community cloud

 

5. Mention some differences between private and public clouds.

Public cloud

Private cloud

Not fully customizable

Completely customizable

Suitable for content that is not too sensitive

Suitable for highly confidential data

Supports multiple customers

Supports a cluster of dedicated customers

Virtualized resources are shared publicly 

Virtualized resources are shared privately

Connects over the internet

Connects over a private network and fiber

Lower cost of operations as services are managed by the provider

Higher price because of customizations and control

 

6. Which of the cloud service types is the best? Support your answer with reasons.

You can offer your own on this Azure interview question. The answer should be justified with valid reasons. 

For example, you can say that the public cloud is better for storing data that is not too sensitive as it is cost-effective and managed by the provider itself. However, the private cloud offers more flexibility and control and can be customized. It is also more secure. You can also support the hybrid model, stating that it has the benefits of both public and private, i.e., you can pay for the services you use yet have complete control and security of the data. 

 

7. What is horizontal scaling? How is it different from vertical scaling?

horizontal scaling

In a horizontal scaling model, we add the necessary additional infrastructure by adding more machines in the network and sharing the memory and processing workload across all the devices. It is also called scaling ‘out’.

 

Horizontal scaling

Vertical scaling

Adding more machines (instances) to get more power into the system

Adding more power to the existing machines to improve the infrastructure requirements. For example, increasing the RAM, CPU, memory, etc.

Also known as scaling-out

Also called scaling-up 

No downtime while adding new machines to the network

Since the existing machines are upgraded, the server has to be down until the process is complete

 

8. What is Azure? What are its benefits?

Azure is a cloud computing service provided by Microsoft, formally released in 2010. Microsoft provides the data centers on which applications are built, tested, managed, and deployed. Azure offers SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. In total, there are more than 600 services, and it is a leading cloud service provider, after AWS. 

Some benefits of Azure are:

  • Flexibility and agility
  • Powerful capabilities with many services like database, HDInsight, CDN, VPN, analytics, media, mobile services, etc.
  • Free setup and account creation with limited features
  • On-demand scalability
  • High security and reliability of data
  • Analytics and big data insights
  • Hybrid model thus giving best of services

     

9. What are some uses of Azure?

Some important uses/applications of Azure are Web application development, testing, application hosting, creating virtual machines, integrate and sync features, collect and store metrics, virtual hard drives, big data analytics, and machine learning.

 

10. What are some services that manage Azure resources?

Some Azure services are: Azure DevOps, Virtual machines, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure active directory, and Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN).

 

11. Explain the different types of roles in cloud management.

We need different roles to perform various functions smoothly. These roles are:

  • Web role: This role is used to deploy websites using IIS platform-supported language customized for the specific web application.
  • VM role: It is used to schedule Windows tasks and services 
  • Worker role: Execute the background processes that run upon deploying the website

     

12. Can you mention some major differences between AWS and Azure?

Azure

AWS

Azure was launched in 2010, a few years after AWS

It was launched in 2006

11-12% market share

about 31% share in the market

Provides integration with all Microsoft tools and open source support, provides Hybrid cloud, contains a broad set of features

Mature and extensive offerings with many features like monitoring, security, configuration, etc., open and flexible, has a better global reach

Compared to AWS, it is not so much enterprise-ready

Too many options making it challenging to use; needs extensive cost management 

Follows on-demand pricing with per minute usage

On-demand pricing on per hour basis

Maximum memory in VM is 3800 GB

Maximum memory in VM is 3904 GB

Virtual servers are managed using virtual machines and scale sets

Virtual servers are managed using Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Docker container registry: Container registry 

Docker container registry: using EC2 container registry

Blob storage

Simple Storage Services (S3)

 

13. What is a break-fix issue?

Break-fix issues are technical issues that occur while using Azure services. They are supported by the Azure technology using Azure support plan.

 

14. What is the benefit of enterprise warehousing?

There are several benefits of enterprise warehousing:

  • Data integration: Centralized data placement ensures higher data availability and saving time and resources
  • Risk reduction: If data is messy and dirty, it may lead to many errors in interpretation and processing. Having clean, organized data can reduce risks and improve productivity.
  • Streamlined reporting: Data can be easily accessed and converted into reports with high accuracy
  • Better revenue and profits: Because of centralized storage, data entry and reporting can be automated, saving money and focusing more on business

 

15. What are some differences between unconnected and connected lookups?

Connected lookup

Unconnected lookup

Can use static or dynamic cache

Uses static cache

Input is directly received from a pipeline

Input is received as a result of a :LKP expression in some other transformation

Provides support for user-defined values (default)

No support for default user-defined values

If there are no matching results for the lookup condition, the service returns a default value

A NULL value is returned if there is no match

 

16. How can you get a more scalable outcome from Azure?

We can do so by using the service fabric, a distributed systems platform where microservices and containers can be easily deployed and managed. Many Microsoft services like Azure SQL DB, Cortana, Power BI, Cosmos DB, etc., are powered by the service fabric.

 

17. What are API apps in Azure?

API Apps allow developers to host web applications using the standard API features rather than having to code them. API apps make hybrid connectivity, security, access control, and integration seamless and straightforward. You can create APIs easily using Visual Studio and host them in the Azure API app.

 

18. What is the purpose of the Azure active directory?

The Azure Active Directory is an identity and access management service for sign-in and internal and external resource access. AD uses a Single Sign-On (SSO) approach.

An admin can also use AD (active directory) to control and manage apps and resources depending on business requirements.

 

19. What are the compute options provided in Azure?

The major compute options in Azure are:

  • Virtual Machine (VM): We can deploy VMs inside a Virtual network, which is a type of IaaS service
  • App service: It is a PaaS service that offers hosting web apps, RESTful APIs, backend of mobile apps, or automated business processes
  • Azure container instances: The fastest way to run an Azure container, without a VM or high-level service
  • Service Fabric: Used to create & manage microservices across a cluster of machines
  • Cloud service: Uses a PaaS hosting model and runs cloud applications
  • Azure Functions: Serverless compute service that provides ‘compute-on-demand’

     

20. What are some networking services provided by Azure?

There are different types of networking services provided by Azure:

  • Connectivity services like Azure DNS, Virtual WAN, VPN Gateway, ExpressRoute etc.
  • Application Protection Services like private link, firewall, NSG (Network Security Groups), Virtual Network endpoints, DDoS etc.
  • Application Delivery Services like Content Delivery Network (CDN), Load balancer, application gateway, traffic manager etc.
  • Network monitoring like Azure Monitor, ExpressRoute Monitor, Network Watcher, VNet TAP (Terminal Access Point) etc.

     

21. What are some storage services provided by Azure?

  • Blob storage: Stores all unstructured data like media objects, documents, log data, along with the meta-data
  • File storage: For legacy systems 
  • Queue storage: Used for exchanging messages between components
  • Table storage: Stores data as tables, and is scalable and easy to use
  • VM disk: Data is stored in solid state drives (SSD) for better output and clarity

The first four are standard storage services, while VM disk is premium.

 

22. What is the difference between blob storage and queue storage?

Blob Storage

Queue storage

Object storage solution for the Azure cloud

Stores a large number of messages  accessible via Http or Https authenticated calls

Unstructured data of any data model and type can be stored

Queue takes up only messages

Massive amounts of unstructured data can be stored without any limitation

One Queue message can be max of 64KB, and queues can have a million messages based on the capacity limit of the storage account

Example: Media files, streaming audio and videos, and log files

Example: Message processing and file sharing over the cloud

23. How can we ensure security while using Azure Virtual Network?

Using a Virtual network bars users from directly accessing Azure functions over the internet. The applications inside the same Virtual Network (VNet) can provide access using a public IP address or public Load Balancer. 

 

24. Do you remember how to create a free Azure account?

On the Azure website, click to create a ‘Free Account’. It's on the top right of the page.On the next screen, you should click on ‘Start for free’.

You will be asked for an email address. Enter a new address that’s not already registered with any Azure account. Create a secure password. Next, select your country and date of birth. 

On the next page, you will be asked for more information about yourself, like name, phone number, email address, etc. You have to enter card details, although they won’t charge you for the first year.

Lastly, agree to the terms and conditions, and that’s it! You will be able to see your Azure portal upon successful account creation.

 

25. What are some examples of Azure’s PaaS services?

Some examples of PaaS services are mobile apps, Azure WebJobs, service logic apps, Web apps, and Azure functions.

 

26. What is SQL Azure? What are its features?

SQL Azure is the cloud database service provided by Microsoft. Organizations can store relational data on the cloud and upscale or downscale the database depending on their business needs.

Features of SQL Azure are:

  • Fast and flexible
  • Based on SQL Server technology
  • Managed infrastructure and platform
  • Dynamic scalability

     

27. How can you build big data solutions using Azure?

Azure provides complete solutions for big data analytics. This explains how:

  • We get a large amount of unstructured, structured, or both types of data from various data sources
  • Once data is obtained from various sources, it has to be integrated and processed into one storage. Microsoft’s Azure HDInsight is the big data solution based on Apache Hadoop that processes enormous amounts of data easily. 
  • The data is analyzed using data models and analytics. Azure has about 50 services dedicated to AI (Artificial Intelligence), IoT, and analytics. For example, Azure analysis services, Log Analytics, Azure Databricks, Data lake analytics etc.
  • Visualization and reporting are the final steps for a big data solution. Some services are PowerBI, SQL Server reporting services, SharePoint etc.

 

28. What are the benefits of Azure Stream analytics?

Azure stream analytics analyses and processes high volumes of fast streaming data from different sources (IoT devices) simultaneously. It has various devices, sensors, clickstreams, social media feeds, and applications to identify patterns. 

The benefits are:

  • Ease of use: You can connect to multiple sources and sinks with just a few clicks
  • Tools for event processing and real-time analytics: Enhances developer productivity using SQL query language and other tools like Azure PowerShell, CLI, stream analytics Visual Studio tools etc.
  • Fully managed PaaS offering on Azure, which means there is no additional hardware or infrastructure required
  • Reliable and secure
  • High performance as millions of events can be processed every second 

Learn more on the official MS documentation page.

 

29. What are Network Security Groups? 

A network security group provides a virtual firewall for resources having the same security posture. The NSG contains security rules that permit or deny inbound or outbound network traffic to or from various Azure resources. We can specify source, destination, protocol, and port for each security rule defined. 

 

30. How can you achieve high availability and responsiveness in Azure services?

Azure traffic manager provides high availability and responsiveness in Azure services. It is a DNS-based traffic load balancer. DNS directs a particular client request to the correct service end-point based on a traffic-routing method. It also provides healthy monitoring for each endpoint, giving high availability and automatic fail-over if an endpoint goes down. 

 

31. What is the Azure table? What is it used for?

Azure table storage is a service through which structured NoSQL data can be stored in the cloud, giving a key-attribute store in a schema-less design setup. It is a good way to store data that doesn’t need complex joins, stored procedures, foreign keys  etc. Table storage provider, a part of Azure table storage, is also used as a session provider that centralizes session information.

 

32. What are some other ways to manage session states in Azure?

Some other ways to manage session states are:

  • Windows Azure AppFabric caching: It is a distributed in-memory cache service giving fast access, and is officially supported by Microsoft. However, it is slightly expensive. Microsoft recommends this option and is automated provisioned based on the Windows Server AppFabric Caching Technology.
  • InProc session: It stores the session in the web server’s memory, thus giving faster access. It is cost-effective but valid for a single instance only.

 

33. Do you know how to build a CI/CD pipeline using Azure? 

Yes. We can do so using Azure DevOps. It is a tool that automates the CI/CD process. To do so, you should: 

  • Create a sample DevOps project (ASP.NET) using the Azure DevOps Starter resource 
  • Check the Azure CI/CD pipelines configured by the starter
  • Replicate (clone) the project into the system
  • Commit the code
  • Execute CI/CD

     

34. What are the components of Azure DevOps?

Some components of Azure DevOps are Azure Repos, Azure Pipelines, Azure Boards, Azure Test Plans, and Azure Artifacts.

 

35. What is the Azure data factory?

The Azure data factory is a managed cloud service built for the ETL, ELT and data integration tasks that are complex and hybrid in nature.We can create data-driven pipelines for data transformation and movement at scale. This transformed data can then be published to data stores like Azure Synapse Analytics for further processing.

 

36. What are some differences between the Azure service manager and Azure resource manager?

Azure Service Manager (ASM)

Azure Resource Manager (ARM)

Provides cloud services majorly for IaaS workload and specific PaaS workloads

A new portal that provides services for all IaaS and PaaS workloads

XML driven REST API

JSON driven REST API

Removal of a resource is slightly tedious

Resource removal is simple and easy by using Resource Groups

Deployment is done using PowerShell script

Deployment is done using ARM templates 

Many features are not available in ASM

Many features like resource tagging, resource movement within the same region, role-based access control feature etc. are available

 

37. What is a resource group?

Resource groups store metadata about the resources. It is a container that holds the resources related to a particular Azure solution. A resource group can either include all the resources or only the ones that you want to include for managing as a group. 

 

38. What are the benefits of using a resource manager?

Arranging assets in a logical group allows for easy and automatic provisioning, monitoring, better cost management, and access control of resources. This is done by the Azure Resource Manager. It provides a set of APIs that provision resources in Azure. 

ARM can manage the dependencies of resources to be provisioned and the order in which they have to be provisioned before creating a VM – on its own. Before ARM, the developers would have to do it.

Also, resources can be provisioned declaratively using JSON, which gives flexibility and ease of management of resources belonging to a resource group. There are also templates available to provision different resources available on repositories like GitHub or Azure marketplace.

 

39. Do you know about the Azure security center?  Explain how it addresses some major security challenges.

Azure security strengthens the security of your data centers by providing advanced threat protection across all the workloads on the cloud – even if they are not Azure. It is a unified security management system that keeps all the workloads secure. It addresses the most important security challenges by:

  • Protection against threats by assessing the workloads and raising alerts and threat prevention recommendations
  • Strengthening security posture by assessing the environment and understand the security status of the resources
  • Faster speed to be secure as Azure Security center is integrated and can be deployed easily

 

40. What is Azure machine learning? What does it contain?

Azure machine learning can train, deploy, manage, automate and track machine learning models in a cloud environment. You can use it for classical ML, deep learning, supervised, or unsupervised learning algorithms. Azure machine learning contains many tools like Azure machine learning designer, Jupyter/R notebooks, Machine learning CLI, TensorFlow, scikit-learn, PyTorch etc. 

 

41. What is an event grid? State examples of events handled by the event grid.

Event grid reads events from various sources like Azure ML and other services. The events are then sent to handlers like Logic Apps, Azure functions, Azure event hubs etc. 

Some examples are: registering and deploying a model, sending emails on run success/failure, using Azure function once a model is registered, and triggering a machine learning pipeline when drift is detected.

 

42. What is the Azure service fabric? Is it PaaS or IaaS?

The Service Fabric provides a runtime platform through which you can package, deploy and manage microservices and containers. It is PaaS and powers many of Microsoft’s services today like PowerBI, Azure IoT Hub, Azure event hub, Skype for Business, Dynamics 365 etc.

 

43. What are ARM templates? What are its advantages?

ARM templates allow us to automate deployments and implement infrastructure as code in Azure solutions. This is done so that teams can manage infrastructure code and application code as a single unified process. Some advantages are:

  • Templates use declarative syntax, which means you can create and deploy virtual machines, network infrastructure, storage systems etc., declaratively
  • Same templates can be deployed multiple times to get the same resources in the same state
  • The resource manager takes care of the deployment order and also deploys resources parallelly as it deems fit

 

44. What is a SAS token? How can you generate it programmatically?

The SAS (Shared Access Signature) Token is a string generated on the client-side. It is a way to control how much Azure data can be accessed by a client. Azure storage does not track SAS. You can control the token validity time, resources that the client can access, permissions given to the client etc. It is easier to generate a SAS token using the Azure portal, but we can also do it programmatically. See the implementation on the MS docs page.

 

45. What is Azure Cosmos DB? In which language are the stored procedures written?

It is a multi-model Microsoft cloud database that can support different ways of storing and processing data. It replaces the NoSQL document-oriented data model and uses containers called ‘collections’ to store data. Stored procedures are written in JavaScript and are executed as a single transaction.

 

46. Which object gives you access to the operations that can be performed in an Azure Cosmos DB stored procedure? Provide an example.

Access to all the operations can be given through the context object using the getContext() method. It also gives access to the request, response and container objects. For example,

var context = getContext();

         var response = context.getResponse();

response.setBody(“Welcome to Hackr.io”);

 

47. What is Azure PowerShell?

PowerShell is a set of cmdlets that provides many features for automation. We can create, test, deploy and manage Azure resources and services from the Powershell command line. It is an extension of Windows PowerShell.

 

48. What is cmdlet? What is its purpose?

A cmdlet is a .net framework class object and can be invoked or created programmatically through the Windows PowerShell APIs. After performing an action, cmdlets return a .NET object to the next command. cmdlet is a lightweight command and is used in Windows PowerShell.

 

49. How can you connect two or more Virtual networks in Azure? What types of peering are supported by Azure?

Virtual networks in Azure can be connected using Virtual network peering. The networks appear as a single one for connectivity. We can connect virtual networks within the same Azure region using virtual network peering. Another type of peering is the Global virtual network peering, where virtual networks are connected across Azure regions.

 

50. What is integration runtime?

Azure data factory uses integration runtime to enable various data integration capabilities across the network environments. Integration runtimes are of three types:

  • Azure integration run time: It can copy data between cloud data stores and can dispatch the activity to various compute services like SQL server or HDInsight for data transformation
  • Self-hosted integration runtime: Useful to copy data between a cloud data store and a private network data store. It also dispatches transform activities on on-premises or virtual network resources. 
  • Azure SSIS integration runtime: Using this, we can execute SSIS packages natively in a managed environment. It is useful for shifting SSIS packages to the Azure data factory.

 

Time to Ace Your Azure Interview 

Azure is a broad platform, and there are many aspects of development that we haven’t covered here, but this guide will give you a fair idea of what actual Azure interview questions will be like. 

Hands-on experience matters the most when it comes to Azure development. The interviewers will focus on your conceptual knowledge as well as experience in working with the technology. They don’t expect you to give perfect definitions, but you should know the right jargon to explain the answers. 

Microsoft has exhaustive documentation on all the Azure concepts and is a great place to learn about Azure. Also, check out some recommended courses compiled by Hackr.io for learning Microsoft Azure

 

Need To Get Azure Certified? Take This Course!


AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Exam Prep - DEC 2021

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Zoe Biehl

Zoe Biehl

Zoe is Hackr.io's Senior Editor. With more than 8 years in the tech industry, her passion is writing and editing technology content that anyone can understand. View all posts by the Author

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