Microsoft's Azure Architecture Center: A Mind Map to Help You Navigate the Labyrinth
I recently made a career change from corporate IT leadership to the technology services sector. I am very passionate about technology, especially around cloud and digital transformation, and this role seemed to better suit my passion about all things tech. As part of this change, I needed to begin my pursuit of technical certifications across both AWS and Azure. First up – Microsoft’s Azure Administrator.
One of the first challenges people have with today’s cloud environment is the multitude of cloud services available and the many ways to use these services to solve business challenges. This, of course, means that there is a veritable smorgasbord of documentation available which is quite intimidating to find, traverse, and digest. Microsoft has migrated most of their documentation to docs.microsoft.com, and they have a great repository of Azure information at the Azure Architecture Center. At first glance, this looks very straightforward and is nice and clean layout as you can see below.
And to Microsoft’s credit, if you are simply looking for a specific item of information, you can probably find it pretty quickly. However, once you begin traversing the navigation pane on the left and the links within the content pane on the right, you realize you have entered a labyrinth of links and shiny objects and perhaps not even a trail of your own breadcrumbs can get you back to where you started.
I’m a very visual person when it comes to learning, and I wanted a better way to organize the information for myself, both for my preparation for the certification exam and for myself professionally as I help educate GreenPages’ customers on Azure. I wanted to get the bigger picture of all of the information available to me, and decided to begin capturing some of this using the Swiss army knife of information capture, Microsoft Excel.
After about 10 rows of data entry I realized that the information I wanted to enter wasn’t going to fit nicely into rows and columns, so I needed to find a better tool. After a variety of Google searches, I settled on using a Mind Map tool from Coggle. It’s intimidating to actually see the amount of documentation available at the Azure Architecture Center, but if your goal is to ensure that you absorb it all, I think this mind map accomplishes that nicely. Here is a zoomed-out version of how I mapped to every tidbit of architecture documentation:
I found this representation of their documentation very beneficial, and I wanted to share it with you. As you traverse the mind map, you will notice that the leaf nodes (end nodes) all have active links to the actual article. You can view the mind map here: http://bit.ly/GP_Azure_Arch_MindMap
If you are considering a journey into the cloud as part of your digital transformation initiatives, or if you want to discuss how to further leverage the cloud for business benefit, please contact us at GreenPages. We have a wealth of experience with cloud readiness assessments, cloud migration assistance, cost optimization, and well-architected reviews. Please feel free to comment on the mind map in the comments section; I am already working on a mind map of the many Azure security services available.
Jeff Fudge, Client Services Director
Jeff has more than 30 years of experience with corporate IT positions, including Director of IT Operations, CIO, CTO, and VP of Innovation and Technology. As GreenPages’ Client Services Director, Jeff is responsible for clearly articulating the value of GreenPages’ services, helping shape client engagements, and ensuring successful project outcomes.
Jeff has been involved in startups up through large enterprise environments and has helped multiple companies migrate to the cloud in both Azure and AWS environments. Jeff is also well-versed in ecommerce, PCI compliance, and digital transformation. Jeff is the founder of the Tampa Bay Azure, AWS and GCP user groups which meet on a monthly basis.