A May Shower of Resources for IT Pros

It’s May (already!!) and with it brings a bunch of good resources for IT Pros looking to refresh their skills this spring.  Your first two stops should be the new IT Pro Cloud Essentials and IT Pro Career Center, which provide access to some great tools and features to help you tune up your skill set for the future, including:

  • A 3 month Pluralsight subscription
  • Role specific MVA training suggestions
  • One free exam voucher (limited supply, don’t wait to claim this!)
  • Azure credits and trials!
  • Guidance for career mapping, including salary information

If you are looking for something to read and want to refresh the items on your e-reader, this recommendation comes straight from Jeffrey Snover – the free e-book on Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview.

If you are already starting to architect a hybrid solution for your organization, I highly recommend checking out some of the architecture resources for hybrid cloud and other cloud related systems, like storage and networking.  These are great Visio diagrams and posters to help you understand and explain what changes might benefit your company.

  • Hybrid cloud overview  Microsoft’s cloud offerings (SaaS, Azure PaaS, and Azure IaaS) and their common elements.
  • Architecture of Microsoft hybrid cloud scenarios  An architectural diagram of hybrid cloud for Microsoft’s cloud offerings, showing the common layers of on-premises infrastructure, networking, and identity.
  • Hybrid cloud scenarios for Microsoft SaaS (Office 365)  The SaaS hybrid scenario architecture and descriptions of key hybrid configurations for Skype for Business, SharePoint Server, and Exchange Server (2 printed pages).
  • Hybrid cloud scenarios for Azure PaaS  The Azure PaaS hybrid scenario architecture and the description of an Azure PaaS hybrid application, with an example.
  • Hybrid cloud scenarios for Azure IaaS  The Azure IaaS hybrid scenario architecture and the description of a line of business (LOB) application hosted in Azure IaaS.

Finally, if you are a Bay Area local, keep an eye on the Microsoft Reactor events calendar.  The Reactor hosts a variety of community events on a variety of topics, including Microsoft and open source technology.



Do You Need More Books? Of Course You Do!!

I’m sure you need a resolution for 2014 to read more books about technology!  If that happens to be one on your list, here are few that might interest you.

  • FREE eBook – Introducing Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Technical Overview by Mitch Tulloch with Symon Perriman and the System Center Team. Read more about it at the Microsoft Press blog. This is also available in print format from Amazon, but you’ll need to pay for that.
  • Practical IPv6 for Windows Administrators by Edward Horley.  Due out by the end of December, you can currently pre-order this title.  The Kindle version should be available in January.
  • In early Spring, look for the release of Networking for VMware Administrators, by Chris Wahl and Steven Panto. While geared toward folks who work with VMware vSphere, I think it’s valuable to be able to understand virtual networking concepts and how they are used by various vendors, even if you aren’t a VMware shop. Estimated at about 350 pages, this isn’t going to be very light reading!

Do you have any reading recommendations? What’s on your list for 2014?