Atlanta Techstravaganza 2014 – June 6th – Register Now!

Join us on June 6, 2014 for the 2014 Atlanta Techstravangaza, opening keynote by Simon May, several tracks, great speakers, and a hands on labs area for diving into the technology.

Most IT pros and the IT organizations they work for have the challenge of supporting a wide diversity of apps, operating systems, and devices for their users. Although each app, operating system, or device might have its own management solution, IT pros need a unified management solution. This presentation will show how Server 2012 R2, Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, Intune, and Windows 8 provide a comprehensive, unified management solution that can handle the ever-increasing diversity of apps, operating systems, and devices. Also as a bonus, Simon will show how organizations can support Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives and manage devices that are not domain joined, regardless of whether they are owned by the organization or the users. 

Click here to find out more info and register: ATL TechStravaganza 2014

 

New TechNet Radio Edition is Now Live: Azure and Office365 – Interview with Jeff Mitchell @ Bitwizards

Join Dan Stolts, Blain Barton and myself as we welcome Jeff Mitchell from Bit-Wizards to discuss a bevy of topics from Microsoft Azure, Office 365, BuildYourBiz.org, the Florida IT Roadshows, and much, much more! Tune in for this great community corner episode and also learn about some of the upcoming happenings in your area.

New Early Experts – Labs and Guides for 74-409 – Win Prizes Too!

In an increasingly multi-hypervisor world, more and more IT organizations are using Microsoft Hyper-V and Microsoft Azure to achieve superior performance and workload flexibility at the best possible price. With nearly two-thirds of businesses on more than one virtualization platform, adding Microsoft virtualization and cloud skills to your technical repertoire can improve your career options and prepare you to face new IT demands.

Join Early Experts! We'll help you get certified!

What is Early Experts? Read more

Are you ready to begin your Quest of the Cloudwalker?

Hark beleaguered IT Professionals! We know of the evils which plague you daily—mountains of help desk tickets, crashing computers, ridiculous requests from management, and far, far worse. But fear not, for we have felt your misery and despair, and created a fantastical world where you can use your hard-earned knowledge to crush demonic personifications of your IT woes.

So begin thy quest, choose from one of three heroic avatars, and arm yourself with up to four of the righteous weapons of IT. For each mystical weapon you arm yourself with, you’ll receive a code to enter in the game for a chance to win a fabled Xbox One.

Then carry onward into battle, where eight of your greatest foes await. There is Tickakomus, the God of forgotten passwords and missing power cords; Messglore, master of server closet chaos; and of course, the most feared monster of all, Chronos, Devourer of Time and Destroyer of Reality!

The task before you is mighty, but if you are true of heart and steeped in knowledge, your victory is assured. Become the savior all besieged IT Pros have been waiting for, in Quest of the Cloudwalker!

Watch the Build Conference Live Today!

//build is here!
As your technical evangelist, I wanted to invite you to watch the //build virtual event April 2nd–3rd.
This week, developers from around the world will gather for Microsoft’s annual //build conference
to talk about what’s next for Windows, Windows Server, Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio, and more.
While the physical event is sold out, we wanted to share with you how to get involved virtually! 

Join the virtual event.
On April 2nd–3rd, you can watch the //build keynotes and select sessions live online from the
comfort of your favorite chair. Keynotes will begin at 8:30 am (PST) and end at approximately
11:30 am (PST). You can download the Channel 9 Events App, to browse all content and create
your own schedule. 

Additionally, join the social chatter around news and announcements by following @BLDWIN
and checking out the official Microsoft blog

Missed the event? Watch on Channel 9.
If you missed the event, we will post every //build session for on-demand consumption on
Channel 9 within 24 hours. We’re looking forward to seeing what you //build next!

Direct feedback to Microsoft? Here’s your chance to influence future virtualization and cloud offerings!

Are you a Systems Administrator or Security Analyst?  Would you like to influence the future of products to manage and secure your virtualized infrastructure? Here is your opportunity to be heard by Microsoft Cloud and Data Center Management Research and Program Managers! They would like to talk to IT Pros that manage and secure your organizations virtualized and cloud environments.

If you are interested in talking further with Microsoft, please complete a short survey that will help us to determine how your job fits within the management and security of cloud and datacenter virtual computing.

The team is looking to run a series of interviews over the next few months. Join the discussion, we want to hear from you!

Click here to access the survey

Step-by-Step Lab Guide for Building a Windows Server 2012 R2 Remote Desktop Services Environment

Today’s blog post is a real treat.  Why? Because it is a complete series of posts written by Eddie Kwasnik, an outstanding virtualization consultant that I have met through the Atlanta pro camp series last year.  Eddie has a passion for VDI and Terminal Services, and has recently decided to start blogging to share his knowledge with others.  In this blog series he dives into Windows Server 2012 R2 Remote Desktop Services(formerly known as Terminal Services).  He guides us through building our own environment step-by-step.  So let’s jump in and get started! 

The first post in the series dives into the beginnings of building the RDS farm:  “In our deployment, we will be logged into a single server and through Server Manager we will deploy our new Remote Desktop farm. Each of the servers designated in the environment are virtual, domain joined and were created from a template with the latest Windows updates. No other special changes or configurations were done to any of the servers with the exception of Read more

Disaster Recovery Planning for IT Pros Series Day 4 – Replication – How Hyper-V Replica Can Save the Day

Any good disaster recovery project requires the replication of the most critical workloads to somewhere other than the primary site in which they would normally operate.  This can be done in several ways, whether the solution is delivered via storage, application, operating system or hypervisor replication, IT shops have been performing replication for many years.  Let’s talk through each style of replication and the challenges that go along with each: Read more

TechNet Radio: Delivering Results – How PoliticalTracker uses Windows Azure and More!

This was by far my most exciting TechNet Radio episode yet!  Join me in this exclusive interview with the CEO and COO from PoliticalTracker.com where we discuss all of the aspects concerning the new site design, how they are using the online solutions in Windows Azure, as well as Visual Studio Online.  We make our way into the development environment then to production with SQL Server 2012 Always On technology running in virtual machines in the cloud, Azure SQL Databases, Azure Web Services, and the tight integration required for the full Dev-Test-Prod life cycle.  We then dive into Office365, Skype, and more!

 To jump to certain parts of the video here is a full index:
  • [0:16] What is PoliticalTracker?
  • [6:18 DEMO: PoliticalTracker.com
  • [8:16] DEMO: Windows Azure Overview, Virtual Machines, Web Services, etc.
  • [12:16] Visual Studio Virtual Machines in Windows Azure  
  • [20:36] SQL Server Virtual Machines in Windows Azure
  • [21:47] Bizspark Program for Startups, Discounts and Free Azure Services In Use
  • [29:31] Why do some people fear Azure SQL Databases?
  • [30:47] Office 365 in the Workplace, SharePoint, Outlook, Wiki
  • [33:10] DEMO: Office365 in Action
  • [34:50] Skype, Developers Overseas, Collaboration
  • [36:47] What’s Coming Next for Political Tracker?

Also, if you missed yesterday’s digital short film then take a walk in the clouds with me here!