So Much to Watch – So Little Time!

Yeah, I know… I barely have time to watch these things too, but there is some good stuff out on the interwebs that you might want to check out.

Available Now
On TechNet Radio, in Part 4 in our “To the Cloud” series, Blain Barton examines Microsoft Dynamics CRM and shows us how you can improve your customers’ experience with sales, marketing, and customer service anywhere, anytime and with any device.
  • [2:50] DEMO: Dynamics CRM
Tuesday, October 6th
Watch the Microsoft 2015 Virtual CIO Summit, streaming LIVE from the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, WA!
Time: 8:00am – 2:45pm PDT
Hear from industry thought leaders, key Microsoft experts and your peers at this year’s CIO Summit. The Summit will cover key topics ranging from how the digital age is changing the way IT leaders do business to understanding the threats of cybercrime and how changing customer expectations are making strategic IT investments and partnerships all the more important.
Save the date and join us online for the 2015 Virtual CIO Summit to learn more about these key trends and new technologies that can empower you and your business.  Check out the agenda and register here!

Week 4 of the Hybrid Cloud! More TechNet Radio and Upcoming Blog Topics

The “Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud” series continues with Part 4 featuring Blain Barton and Keith Mayer as they tackle the topic of virtualization in a Hybrid Cloud environment.  Tune in as they discuss how virtualization is no longer constrained to the physical capacity of an on-premise environment and then showcase some tools and techniques that are available in Microsoft Azure that can help assist your move to Hybrid cloud virtualization.

  • [1:26] What do you see as some of the differences or new opportunities that IT Pros need to consider when planning virtualization for a Hybrid Cloud environment?
  • [3:31] How do traditional IT Pro virtualization skills translate into Hybrid Cloud?
  • [5:05]  When planning Hybrid Cloud virtualization, how should IT Pros approach it?
  • [8:01]  You mentioned Azure Pack – what is that?
  • [10:51]  If I already have an existing Hyper-V environment with custom VM templates defined, can I leverage them with Azure Pack?
  • [11:03] DEMO: Let’s see some of this in action
Then check back later in the week as the series blog posts cover the following topics:

  • Migrating Physical Servers to Virtual Machines
  • Migrating VMware VMs to Hyper-V and Azure
  • Implementing VM Templates and Service Templates
  • Using Custom VM Images and Resource Group Templates in Microsoft Azure

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Week 3 Has Arrived!

This week’s focus is on networking. It starts out with Kevin Remde and Keith Mayer continuing the series on “Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud” and in today’s episode they discuss various options for networking. Tune in as they go in depth on what options are available for hybrid cloud networking as they explore network connectivity and address concerns about speed, reliability and security.

  • [2:46] What components are involved in Hybrid Cloud Networking?
  • [5:30] What are some of the technical capabilities of Hybrid Cloud networking?
  • [9:25]  Which VPN gateways are supported with Microsoft Azure?
  • [11:28]  What are some of the common scenarios that customers are implementing for Hybrid Cloud networking?
  • [15:40]  Besides Site-to-Site IPSec VPNs, are there any other connectivity options for Hybrid Cloud networking?
  • [20:10] DEMO: Can you walk us through the basic steps for setting up a Hybrid Cloud network?
Check back at as the week progresses for some related blog posts:
  • Tuesday: Step by Step: Setting a Static IP address on your Azure VM by Brian Lewis
  • Wednesday: Building Microsoft Azure Virtual Networks by Matt Hester
  • Thursday: Cross-premises connectivity with Site-to-Site VPN by Kevin Remde
  • Friday: Cross-premises connectivity with ExpressRoute by Keith Mayer

Week 2 Brings Episode 2: Modernizing Your Infrastructure on TechNet Radio

Kevin Remde and Dan Stoltscontinue the series on “Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloudwith an overview on how to plan for a hybrid cloud storage solution using Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure. Tune in for this lively discussion on the many storage options available to you as well as discussions around performance, reliability and security.  

  • [1:18] Let’s start with a quick summary of existing storage capabilities using modern infrastructure on-premises as supported by Windows Server 2012 R2
  • [10:16] What is Azure Storage?
  • [11:17]  Can you give us a quick overview of Azure Storage Architecture?
  • [12:30]  In order to connect local systems to Azure Storage accounts, I have to think there is some kind of authentication required to make that happen securely. How is that done?
  • [16:00]  What is Blob Storage?
  • [17:30] What are some common uses of Azure File Storage?
  • [18:18] Is Azure data reliable?
  • [21:10] Since we can access storage from Azure services or from our on-premises services, what kind of performance can we expect?
  • [23:17] I understand we can take snapshots of data in Azure. Can you tell us a bit snapshots
  • [24:37] Other than through the azure portal, how can businesses access Azure data?
  • [28:45] What can you tell us about StorSimple?
  • [32:21] Can I use Azure to host my SQL Server database?
  • [35:19] Are there other storage components that we have not talked about?

Stay tuned for these blog posts later this week:
  • Tue: Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 R2 by Matt Hester
  •  Wed: Hyper-V over SMB by Matt Hester
  •  Thu: Provisioning Storage Accounts and Azure Files on Microsoft Azure by Jessica DeVita

Follow the whole series! 

Modernizing Your Infrastructure – The Series Starts This Week!

For the next 6 weeks, IT Pro Tech Evangelists will be posting something daily around modernizing your infrastructure with hybrid cloud.  Each week will bring a TechNet Radio episode and four blog posts. You can find a complete list of the whole series as it’s posted at

Matt Hester and Keith Mayer kick it off with Part 1 where they discuss the importance of planning for your organization’s move to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure.
  • [1:18] Why should I start planning now? 
  • [2:41] Why Migrate to Windows Server 2012 R2?
  • [5:45]  Why consider Azure as part of your migration strategy?
  • [12:38]  What tools are available to help in the migration process?
  • [17:40DEMO MAP and the Azure IaaS Cost Estimator
Also, stay tuned for later in the week when I’ll have post around some common workloads and scenarios you might consider for the cloud.

  • Tue: Assessing your current IT infrastructure with the MAP tool by Dan Stolts
  • Wed: Conducting a VM readiness assessment by Kevin Remde
  •  Thu: Estimating costs for migrating VM workloads to Azure by Dan Stolts
  •  Fri: Common Application Workloads and Scenarios for Azure by Me!

The Last Part of "Accelerate DevOps in the Cloud" on TechNet Radio

Alright everyone, all good things must come to an end.  Here is the last part of the DevOps Series on TechNet Radio.

Concluding the special “Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud” series on TechNet Radio, Keith Mayer welcomes back Jeff Fattic to the show as they discuss how Visual Studio Online can help DevOps organizations optimize the performance of their applications in Part 10.

  • [2:16] How does Visual Studio Online help organizations monitor the performance of their applications?
  • [5:16] Can Application Insights notify me proactively when performance issues are occurring?
  • [6:00]  Can Application Insights help me track and ensure availability of my deployed applications world-wide?
  • [6:32] Can Application Insights help me understand how my users are actually using my deployed applications?
  • [8:16] What about an application that is generating exceptions? Can Application Insights help my Developers and Ops teams work together to identify the issue and reduce “finger pointing”?
  • [11:08] Does Application Insights require me to deploy applications to Azure, or can I also continue to deploy some applications on-premises and still monitor them?
  • [13:12] How can I configure Application Insights for an application? Is it difficult?
  • [13:50] DEMO: Application Insights

Acclerate DevOps with the Cloud – I’m hosting Part 8 on TechNet Radio!

As promised, in part 8 of the  “Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud” series on TechNet Radio, Keith Mayer and Jennelle Crothers explore the world of roll-backs and how Microsoft Azure can streamline both the roll-back and roll-forward process for most dev teams.

  • [1:40] It seems like most dev teams spend lots of time on roll-forward plans for new code releases, but roll-backs are always a chore! Why is this?
  • [3:28] How can Azure help to streamline the roll-forward and roll-back process?
  • [8:00]  What about Virtual Machines – does Azure have anything to help with roll-forward and roll-back?
  • [9:44]  I hear a lot of “Continuous Deployment” of code releases. Isn’t that risky?
  • [13:40] DEMO: Let’s see how this is done in Azure!
Then in part 9 of the series, Keith Mayer and Yung Chou are back and discuss in depth the ability for DevOps organizations to scale up or scale down cloud applications. Tune in as they discuss Azure’s unique flexibility in terms of capacity planning for cloud applications.
·       [1:07] How is planning for application capacity different when using a cloud platform?
·       [4:50] How is scaling application capacity different or better when using the cloud?
·       [5:52]  Are there application scenarios that are particularly well-suited for scaling in the cloud?
·       [14:01]  Is there a way to trigger scaling operations automatically for applications in the cloud?
·       [15:20] DEMO: Could you show us the basics of how this all works in Azure?
o   Scaling Up Cloud Applications
o   How to Scale Out Cloud applications on a schedule
o   Auto-Scaling Cloud Applications
Only one more part to go!

Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud – Part 7 on TechNet Radio!

In part 7 of the  “Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud” series on TechNet Radio, Keith Mayer and Yung Chou welcome Sr. Program Manager Michael Greene to the show as they discuss the importance of configuration management for organizations that are starting to leverage the cloud for their daily operations. Tune in as they also demo PowerShell DSC and show us how it can be used with Azure. 
  • [2:30] When an organization is beginning to leverage the cloud, why is Configuration Management important?
  • [5:01] How is Configuration Management different from Automation?
  • [6:48]  Is Configuration Management more than just initial provisioning?
  • [10:29]  What tools and resources are available to perform Configuration Management?
  • [13:03] How does PowerShell DSC differ from PowerShell scripts?
  • [15:11] Is PowerShell DSC specific to only Windows workloads?
  • [17:23] DEMO: Can you show us how PowerShell DSC can be leveraged with Azure?

Download the PowerShell DSC Resource Kit here!

Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud – Parts 5 & 6 on TechNet Radio

In case you are curious, there are 8 parts to this TechNet Radio series, so expect 2 more.  Part 8 will be especially exciting since I’ll be the host!
In Part 5 of the  “Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud” series on TechNet Radio, Tommy Patterson welcomes Developer Technology Solutions Specialist Randy Pagels to the show as they discuss ways in which your budding DevOps organization can find effective testing methods by using Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio Online.   
  • [2:00]Why is having an effective Testing process so critical when an organization is considering their DevOps strategy?
  • [4:50] How does Visual Studio Online + Azure help to streamline and accelerate the testing process?
  • [6:00]  Performance is another area that Dev and Ops teams struggle with prior to the release of a solution, how can it be tested to determine what kind of load it can handle?
  • [8:30]  What’s the difference between test plan management in Visual Studio Online vs Visual Studio Ultimate?
  • [9:00] DEMO: Creating and walking through a web-based test plan in Visual Studio Online
Continuing the series in Part 6, Yung Chou welcomes Sr. Program Manager Charles Joy to the show as they discuss the be the importance of automation in your datacenter especially when it comes to advancing your DevOps strategy.
  • [2:36] How does automation help organizations accelerate the delivery of new solutions as they move to the Cloud?
  • [5:18] What tools and resources are available to help IT Pros get started with automation? Do they need to be a professional “scripter”?
  • [6:04]  Do IT Pros need to learn a different set of tools for automating each component?
  • [6:26]  If an IT Pro is automating cloud resources in Azure, do they have to spin up an entire set of infrastructure components just to handle automation? How does Azure automation organize and leverage these automation sequences?
  • [7:22] How can Runbooks be triggered? Based on schedule? Based on other events?
  • [8:24] Is Azure Automation extensible? Can I incorporate other PowerShell modules?
  • [9:10] DEMO: Quick walkthrough of Azure Automation accounts, assets, runbooks, schedule

Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud – Part 4 on TechNet Radio!

About this Video:
In Part 4 of the  “Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud” series on TechNet Radio, Keith Mayerwelcomes Developer Technology Solutions Specialist Jeff Fattic to the show as they discuss source control in the cloud with the help of Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio Online.

  • [1:48] What is Visual Studio Online?
  • [2:32] Is Visual Studio Online only for Developers, or does it provide value to IT Pros as well?
  • [3:08]  What’s the difference between Visual Studio Online and TFS?
  • [4:28]  How can Visual Studio Online be leveraged with Microsoft Azure to help accelerate projects?
  • [7:08] How is Github different than Visual Studio Online? Are there advantages for Enterprises to use Visual Studio Online vs. Github?  
  • [9:52] What’s the single most exciting capability for you about Visual Studio Online?
  • [11:47] How can IT Organizations best get started with Visual Studio Online? Where can they go to learn more about Visual Studio Online?
  • [12:05] DEMO: Visual Studio Online in action
Check out the full series of posts and videos at!