Microsoft Virtual Academy for Office365, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility and More!

I wish I had more time to watch some of the things that are available on the Microsoft Virtual Academy.  If YOU have some time, here are a few things that could be worth checking out.

Love ’em? Hate ’em? Let me know!  

Hybrid Cloud – What’s all the Fuss?

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the hybrid cloud lately and this post won’t be all that different.  But what is all the fuss?

We know the benefits of virtualizing compute and sharing other resources on-prem, but there are limits to what a lot of enterprises can obtain within their own four walls.  You can leverage what the cloud has invested in things such as storage, redundancy, failover and authorization services and use that to expand resources as your business needs them.  The hybrid cloud is the future because it’s not “one size fits all” – build based on the needs of the business service or application that you are making available or improving on.

That being said, if you are looking to learn a bit more about how Azure can meet you hybrid cloud needs be sure check out the Hybrid Cloud for the IT Pro Blog Series in progress right now, covering a variety of topics related to developing your plan for extending your datacenter beyond it’s current walls.

I also recommend checking out this MVA course on Moving to Hybrid Cloud with Azure. It’s only 90 minutes and it’s hosted by Keith Mayer and Brian Lewis, two of my favorite Tech Evangelists.  Plus they really know their stuff.

Upcoming MVA Courses

I was poking around on Microsoft Virtual Academy today and discovered a bunch of great looking live events that are coming up in the next several weeks.  If you’ve never checked out MVA, now is the time to visit and register!

Resources from the MVA Modernizing Your Datacenter Jumpstart

If you happened to join Matt Hester and I during our MVA Jumpstart, thanks for hanging out with us! We hoped we brought you some good ideas and resources for modernizing your datacenter.  

I think that one of the best things you can do when you are looking at refreshing technology for you business is to take the time to think about how you can leverage improved software, hardware and cloud technologies to make your server room (regardless of size) work better for your customers and become easier to maintain, protect and recover.

If you want to work more some of the things we covered, particularly DSC, please check out the Microsoft Virtual Labs.  I highly recommend the Windows Server 2012 R2 – Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration lab.

If you want to learn more about deploying Scale Out File Servers visit

For more details about the Windows Server Migration Tools that Matt covered check out

And for Azure, learn more about Security and Compliance, install that nifty Cost Estimator Tool or learn more about the Migration Accelerator for Azure.

Matt and I were happy being able to spend the day telling you about things we really enjoy. If you want us to do more of that kind of thing, please drop us note or reach out to us on Twitter. If you missed it, the recordings will be available on demand in a few weeks at Microsoft Virtual Academy.

Upcoming Events – In-Person and Online!

If you haven’t heard about the upcoming Microsoft Virtual Academy event I am doing with Matt Hester on October 28th, this TechNet Radio teaser might entice you – click for part 1 and be sure to register for this FREE, live online training event. While Matt and I are presenting live, the chat room will be monitored by some of my other evangelist friends from across the US. 

And for those of you who know developer types who want to learn more about Azure, give them a chance to roll up their sleeves and learn about the latest Microsoft Azure development tools and technologies. Join Microsoft technical experts at a local Microsoft Cloud DevCamp and leave with code running in the cloud!   

Learn how to use the new Microsoft Azure features and services like Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines, Websites, and Visual Studio 2013 to build and move a variety of apps to the cloud, including websites, mobile applications, and enterprise-class applications. 

Developers of all languages are welcome. With Microsoft Azure, you can use practically any language, framework, or tool to build or move existing applications to the cloud. Plus, I will be talking about IaaS at the San Francisco event next week!

Finally, don’t forget to check out AzureConf on the 21st. This event will feature a keynote presentation by Scott Guthrie, along with numerous sessions executed by Azure community members. It will all be streamed live on Channel 9.

Microsoft Virtual Academy – Modernizing Your Data Center JumpStart is Coming!

Worried about Windows Server 2003 end of support?

Fear no more. You can get ahead of the game with a look at modernization and data center transformation options in Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure. Want to decide what works best in your environment? Check out “Modernizing Your Data Center,” on October 28, and learn from the experts exactly what you need to update your data center to match your workloads.
Join me and Matt Hester for a look at administration tools, storage improvements, Hyper-V, and best practices for virtualizing domain controllers, plus how to simplify day-to-day server management with PowerShell and Desired State Configuration. Explore Microsoft Azure and how to make hybrid cloud a reality. And review the four major steps for planning a migration project. 
Take this opportunity to get your modernization questions answered!
Course Outline
·       Windows Server 2012 R2 and Automation
·       Azure Infrastructure as a Service
·       Migration Processes, Roles, and Tools

Modernizing Your Data Center Jump Start

Date:  October 28, 2014
Time: 9am‒2pm PDT
Where: Live, online virtual classroom
Cost: Free!

Software-Defined Networking with Windows Server and System Center Jump Start

Just wanted to make sure you knew about this upcoming, free online event with live Q&A with the WAP team: It’s two half-days – Wednesday July 16th & Thursday July 17th – 9am-1pm PST

The details: IT Pros, you know that enterprises desire the flexibility and affordability of the cloud, and service providers want the ability to support more enterprise customers. Join us for an exploration of Windows Azure Pack’s (WAP’s) infrastructure services (IaaS), which bring Microsoft Azure technologies to your data center (on your hardware) and build on the power of Windows Server and System Center to deliver an enterprise-class, cost-effective solution for self-service, multitenant cloud infrastructure and application services.
Join Microsoft’s leading experts as they focus on the infrastructure services from WAP, including self-service and automation of virtual machine roles, virtual networking, clouds, plans, and more. See helpful demos, and hear examples that will help speed up your journey to the cloud. Bring your questions for the live Q&A!

Register here:

Monday Tidbits!

Here are a few items to start off your week!

— 1 —
Investigating Cyber Threats? Want an easier way? Learn more and request your invitation to the upcoming private preview release of Microsoft System Center Advisor at:

— 2 —
The IT Pro Evangelism team, Microsoft Learning (LEX) and the Microsoft Virtual Academy are pleased to announce the next free and public event DevOps for IT Pros Jump Start. This online event will run on Wednesday, May 7th  from 9:00 am – 2:00pm PT hosted by Microsoft technology experts David Tesar, and Morgan Webb.

— 3 —
Save the Date! Join Stephen Rose for a discussion that will cover past, present and what’s next for Microsoft technologies.


May 27, 2014 6:00pm-8:00pm 
The Box SF 
San Francisco, CA 
— 4 —

TECHDAYS-SF IS JUNE 5-6! Register now for TechDays-SF which will be happening June 5-6 (so no June user group meeting). We already have shaping up a great list of presentations and speakers. Register at This year the price has been lowered to $200, you really can’t beat that. Details on sessions at

From my Friends over at Microsoft Virtual Academy

9/23/2014 Update – This event is available on demand, when you need it.  If you are just starting to take a closer look at Windows Server and Hyper-V, this is a great way to get a jumpstart.


Free Online Event: Virtualizing Your Data Center with Hyper-V and System Center
Free online event with live Q&A:
Wednesday, February 19thfrom 9am – 5pm PST
If you’re new to virtualization, or if you have some experience and want to see the latest R2 features of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V or Virtual Machine Manager, join us for a day of free online training with live Q&A to get all your questions answered. Learn how to build your infrastructure from the ground up on the Microsoft stack, using System Center to provide powerful management capabilities. Microsoft virtualization experts Symon Perriman and Matt McSpirit (who are also VMware Certified Professionals) demonstrate how you can help your business consolidate workloads and improve server utilization, while reducing costs. Learn the differences between the platforms, and explore how System Center can be used to manage a multi-hypervisor environment, looking at VMware vSphere 5.5 management, monitoring, automation, and migration. Even if you cannot attend the live event, register today anyway and you will get an email once we release the videos for on-demand replay! 
Topics include:
  • Introduction to Microsoft Virtualization
  • Host Configuration
  • Virtual Machine Clustering and Resiliency
  • Virtual Machine Configuration
  • Virtual Machine Mobility
  • Virtual Machine Replication and Protection
  • Network Virtualization
  • Virtual Machine and Service Templates
  • Private Clouds and User Roles
  • System Center 2012 R2 Data Center
  • Virtualization with the Hybrid Cloud
  • VMware Management, Integration, and Migration

 Register here: 
Also check out the www.MicrosoftVirtualAcademy.comfor other free training and live events.

New System Center Training on Microsoft Virtual Academy

If you don’t regularly check in with the Microsoft Virtual Academy, you are missing out on a great way to learn at your own pace.  If System Center is something you are getting into, or even if you’ve been using it for years, you might want to look at some of the new recordings available.  Here are a few that are fresh this week!

Infrastructure Provisioning (with Kenon Owens)
Many organizations have a very diverse underlying infrastructure. From different pieces of hardware, to different hypervisors. Regardless of this, they need to be able to manage everything in a consistent way. With System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager, they are able to have a consistent management experience across these multiple hypervisors. This course will address deployment of compute, storage, and networking resources, and how to construct all of the different resources that we have and construct them together into a private cloud. Finally the course will delve into day-to-day operations to keep the infrastructure up and running, and deploying services to the end users as well as the architecture behind it all.

Infrastructure Monitoring (with Won Huh)
This course covers new monitoring capabilities and opportunities offered in Systems Center 2012 R2. Moving away from physical boxes being monitored only by individual teams, this course goes over all monitoring opportunities, including Private Cloud Monitoring, Public Cloud Monitoring, Hybrid Cloud Monitoring, OS and Workload Monitoring. Also included in this course is information about proactive monitoring integrated through System Center Advisor, and an overview of the new customized widget dashboard.