Microsoft OpenHack on Containers comes to San Francisco – May 15-17


OpenHack brings together groups of diverse developers to learn how to implement a given scenario on Azure through three days of immersive, structured, hands-on, challenge-based hacking. This scenario is focused on implementing container solutions and move them to the cloud.


Join us for three-days of fun-filled, hands-on hacking where you will team up with community peers and learn how to containerize Linux and Windows based workloads to the cloud. During OpenHack you will:

  • Choose your desired tooling and technology based on Kubernetes or Azure Service Fabric.
  • Hack on challenges structured to leave you with skills and expertise needed to deploy containers and clusters in the work place.
  • Network with fellow community members and other professional developers from startups to large enterprises, as well Microsoft developers.
  • Get answers to your technology and workplace project questions from Microsoft and community experts.


In addition to the challenge-based learning paths, a limited number of 1-hour envisioning slots will be made available on a first come, first served basis to work side-by-side with Microsoft experts on your own workplace projects.

OpenHack is FREE for registered attendees!

Food, refreshments, prizes and fun will be provided. If travelling, attendees are responsible for their own travel expenses and evening meals.

What you need:

To be successful and maximize value from the event, participants should have a basic understanding of the following concepts and technologies. You are not required to be an expert or authority, but a familiarity with each will be advantageous:

  • Docker containers
  • Cloud hosted services
  • REST Services
  • DevOps
  • IP Networking & Routing

Click here to register!

OpenHacks are invite only and space is limited. You may be put on a waitlist. When your registration is confirmed, we will follow up with additional details.

Keeping Up with the Releases

There are a lot of great things to say about the faster release cycles we see with software these days. Bugs are fixed and features become available to us sooner, security issues are resolved quicker too. In a lot of cases, our operating systems and software packages are smart enough to check themselves and let us know updates are available or automatically install themselves.

I work between two different machines regularly and depending on my schedule sometimes favor one machine over the other for several weeks at a time. For better or for worse (mostly for the better), Windows 10 takes care of itself for me, as does Visual Studio Code and Docker for Windows. This means I often find myself sitting down at the “other” machine and once again waiting for those updates to install. While sometimes I admit to rolling my eyes in frustration every time I get an update alert, I do appreciate that I don’t have to think about those updates otherwise.

But for software that doesn’t automatically update, I will sometimes find myself wondering why demo notes I’ve drafted on one machine suddenly aren’t working when I try them on the other machine or worse, blaming documentation for being incorrect when the commands don’t work as instructed.

When it comes to documentation freshness vs software freshness… Let’s not go there today. I generally always start with when I’m looking for information about Azure and other Microsoft products. While nothing is above being error free and sometimes out of date, more often than not my problems exist between my keyboard and monitor – in the form of some piece of software needing an update.

The top two things on my machines that I have to manually update regularly are:

  • Azure CLI 2.0Instructions for Installing or Updating Azure CLI 2.0
    • Type “az –version” at your command line to see what version you at running.  As of this writing (10/17/17) the current version is 2.0.19.
    • If you aren’t a regular Azure CLI user and just want to try it out via the Azure Portal, check out the Cloud Shell.
  • Azure PowerShellInstructions for Installing or Updated Azure PowerShell 4.4.1
    • I recommend the command line installer for this one, but if you want to do something other than that (like install within a docker container) you can find those instruction here.
    • You can check your version of Azure PowerShell by typing “Get-Module AzureRM -list | Select-Object Name,Version,Path” at the PowerShell command line, however if you don’t get any response back, you don’t have 4.4.1 installed at all.
    • Also, don’t confuse the Azure PowerShell Modules with the PowerShell that comes on your Windows machine itself.  That’s at version 5.1 right now if you have Windows 10 with your updates turned on. You can check that by typing “$PSVersionTable” at your PowerShell command line. If you want instructions running the beta version 6, you can find all that information here with the general installation instructions.


DevCamps for Azure and O365 for public sector companies

Do you work in the health, government, public safety or education industries and are looking to learn more about Azure, Office365 and DevOps?  This free training from Microsoft is 300-level and geared toward partners who want to learn more about coding on these Microsoft platforms using .NET, Node.js, and Java.

This course are crafted as a combination of lecture and lab that put you on track to explore new Microsoft integrations, Modern Cloud Apps, Infrastructure as Code, Azure Active Directory, and much more!

You can register here for the one upcoming in Silicon Valley on January 24 and 25th.


Arm in ARM with VM Backups

With all the interesting announcements with BUILD this week, you might have missed this which, to me, signals that the end is near for the wait for Azure Backup and DR related features to be available in “Azure v2” aka Azure Resource Manager.

Now in public preview: Azure Backup for ARM VMs!  Check out the full post with instructions on how to get started –

Seeing some of the these features being ported over means that organizations looking to start out using the cloud to supplement there on-prem backup and recover plans aren’t locked into the Azure Service Manager model.

No word yet on the big guns like Azure Site Recovery, but being able to snapshot an Azure VM for backup purposes making moving some on-prem workloads to the cloud much easier!


The TechNet Virtual Conference – Coming Soon!

Pop Quiz:
What happens when you put Mary Jo Foley and Rick Claus in the same room?

Answer: They kick off Day 1 of the TechNet Virtual Conference!

And what is the TechNet Virtual Conference?
It’s 3 days (well, two and half days) of awesome speakers talking about all that on the minds of IT Pros, Sys Admins and Windows Aficionados alike!

Learn about what is the future for IT careers, cyber-security and tech-driven businesses. Catch up on all that is new in Azure, Nano, Containers, Azure Stack, Operations Management Suite, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility Suite, Microsoft Passport… you get it.

But if being tied to your computer on March 1st thru March 3rd isn’t your style, trust that most of content will be available after the event to stream on demand.

Bonus!: If you really want to talk about Cloud Infrastructure with someone in person (and you live in the SF Bay Area) it’s not too late to sign up for the TechNet on Tour | Cloud Infrastructure event on March 3rd.

Learning “Cloud” – Maybe in City Near You

Just a quick post to let you know about some “cloud” and Azure events coming up!

TechNet on Tour | Cloud Infrastructure

  • 1/21 – Irvine TX and Tempe AZ
  • 1/28 – Tampa FL
  • 2/2 – Cambridge MA
  • 2/4 – Los Angeles CA
  • 2/11 – Chicago IL
  • 2/24 – Philadelphia PA
  • 3/3 – San Francisco CA
  • 3/8 – Edina, MN
  • 3/15 – Redmond WA
  • 3/29 – New York, NY

Microsoft Cloud Roadshow

  • 1/26 – 1/27 – Los Angeles CA

If local, community events are more your style:

Favorite Tweets from 2015 (Social Edition)

Last week I brought you some science and tech tweets from 2015, but for this slow week between Christmas and the New Year, I bring you some links that aren’t as tech focused, but still really interesting.  Enjoy!‏

@SFGate, Feb 2
Roald Dahl wrote a pro-vaccination letter after his daughter died of measles in 1962:

@dlbmortgage, Feb 18
20 Moments that Changed History: A Reading List

‏@ThroughADogsEar, Feb 19
5 Pet First Aid Tricks You Can Do At Home.
Why do those pet emergencies always happen during non-business hours?…

@SFGate, Mar 28
Tagged up wreck in @dogpatchsf to become ctr. of doremi art dist. @lhertz @SFAC   #openartsf

@melindagates, Apr 3
Here is what life is like for a woman with no bank account in a developing country:

@SFGate, Apr 12
The cheapest and most expensive U.S. supermarkets, according to a Consumer Reports survey

@RobinDotNet, Mar 14
Here’s why I don’t buy bottled water. #wasteOfMoney #noStandards

@misscrisp, Mar 11
“Red lights are forbidden at Disney, as they imply something bad happened. Nothing bad can happen at Disney World.”

‏@StevenLevy, Mar 31
“This is a HUGE dose. Oh my God, did you give this dose?”  “Oh my God,” she said. “I did.”

@WIRED, Nov 2
Families pose next to everything they’ve ever bought online

‏@SFGate, Nov 4
Read the tale of the world’s greatest cat painting, commissioned by an S.F. woman in 1891.