Cloud, Development, ITPro, Product Announcements, USCloud

VMware or Microsoft? – The Complete Series

Some of the guys on my team have created an AMAZING series of blog posts comparing Windows Server and Hyper-V to VMWare’s offerings. Here’s a complete list of the entire series – you should DEFINITELY take a look…

Date Article Author
Aug 12, 2013 Series Introduction Kevin Remde@KevinRemde
Aug 13, 2013 What is a “Purpose-Built Hypervisor? Kevin Remde@KevinRemde
Aug 14, 2013 Simplified Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 Host Patching = Greater Security and More Uptime Chris Avis@ChrisAvis
Aug 15, 2013 Reducing VMware Storage Costs WITH Windows Server 2012 Storage Spaces Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Aug 16, 2013 Does size really matter? Brian Lewis@BrianLewis_
Aug 19, 2013 Let’s talk certifications! Matt Hester@MatthewHester
Aug 20, 2013 Virtual Processor Scheduling Tommy Patterson@Tommy_Patterson
Aug 21, 2013 FREE Zero Downtime Patch Management

Keith Mayer@KeithMayer

Aug 22, 2013 Agentless Protection Chris Avis@ChrisAvis
Aug 23, 2013 Site to Site Disaster Recovery with HRM Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Aug 25, 2013 Destination: VMWorld Jennelle Crothers@jkc137
Aug 26, 2013 Get the “Scoop” on Hyper-V during VMworld Matt Hester@MatthewHester
Aug 27, 2013 VMWorld: Key Keynote Notes Kevin Remde@KevinRemde
Aug 28, 2013 VMWorld: Did you know that there is no extra charge? Kevin Remde@KevinRemde
Aug 29, 2013 VMWorld: A Memo to IT Leadership Yung Chou@YungChou
Aug 30, 2013 Moving Live Virtual Machines, Same But Different Matt Hester@MatthewHester
Sep 2, 2013 Not All Memory Management is Equal Dan Stolts@ITProGuru
Sep 3, 2013 Can I get an app with that? Matt Hester@MatthewHester
Sep 4, 2013 Deploying Naked Servers Matt Hester@MatthewHester
Sep 5, 2013 Automated Server Workload Balancing Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Sep 6, 2013 Thoughts on VMWorld Jennelle Crothers@jkc137
Sep 9, 2013 Shopping for Private Clouds Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Sep 11, 2013 Dynamic Storage Management in Private Clouds Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Sep 12, 2013 Replaceable? or Extensible? What kind of virtual switch do you want? Chris Avis@ChrisAvis
Sep 13, 2013 Offloading your Storage Matt Hester@MatthewHester
Sep 16, 2013 VDI: A Look at Supportability and More! Tommy Patterson@Tommy_Patterson
Sep 17, 2013 Agentless Backup for Virtual Environments Special Guest Chris Henley@ChrisJHenley
Sep 19, 2013 How robust is your availability? Kevin Remde@KevinRemde
Sep 20, 2013 VM Guest Operating System Support Brian Lewis@BrianLewis_
Sep 23, 2013 How to license Windows Server VMs Brian Lewis@BrianLewis_
Sep 24, 2013 Comparing vSphere 5.5 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V At-A-Glance Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Sep 25, 2013 Evaluating Hyper-V Network Virtualization as an alternative to VMware NSX Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Sep 26, 2013 Automation is the Key to Happiness Matt Hester@MatthewHester
Sep 27, 2013 Comparing Microsoft’s Public Cloud to VMware’s Public Cloud Blain Barton@BlainBar
Sep 30, 2013 What does AVAILABILITY mean in YOUR cloud? Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Azure, Cloud, Development, Featured, ITPro, Product Announcements, USCloud, Windows

Rock Paper Azure Redux

Have you heard the news? We’ve recently raised the stakes with Rock Paper Azure game. This cloud-based coding challenge is back for just six weeks – and anyone can win! Simply get your Windows Azure account, and build and upload a bot (or re-boot your existing bot if you’ve already built one). Tweet about it with #AzureRPS to @RockPaperAzure and you’ll be automatically entered to win one of five weekly prizes. When the dust settles, we’ll enter each week’s top 10 bots (60 total) in a random draw for one of three grand prizes.

  • 1st Prize: A Surface tablet.
  • 2nd Prize: A 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect.
  • 3rd Prize: A Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360.

Don’t have an azure account? Get a FREE 90-day trial at http://aka.ms/thecloud.

Don’t have an existing bot? Build a new one by visiting the Getting Started page on the Rock Paper Azure website.

Full details can be found at the Rock Paper Azure website, located at http://www.rockpaperazure.com/

Azure, Cloud, Development, ITPro, Open Source, Startup, USCloud

Activating your BizSpark MSDN Azure Benefits

Every BizSpark member has a set of Azure benefits that come with their MSDN subscriptions. These benefits are outlined in the graphic below:

azure msdn benefits

Activating your Azure Benefits is a simple process requiring just 3 steps:

  1. Activate Windows Azure Subscription
  2. Download the Developer Tools: Windows Azure is an open and scalable platform for building amazing applications in the cloud. To that end, we have multiple Open Source SDKs for various platforms and technologies. Here are some convenience links to getting all the tools you’ll need:
  3. Get the Training: The Windows Azure Training Kit includes a comprehensive set of technical content to help you learn how to use Windows Azure and SQL Azure. The training kit has updated content for folks using either Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2010 tool sets. It also contains plenty of content to help you learn features currently in preview such as Windows Azure Virtual Machine, Windows Azure Virtual Networks and Windows Azure Media Services.

Simple, right? BizSpark members – follow these steps and get your benefits activated today. Once activated, download your favorite SDK and get busy building amazing applications in the cloud!

Azure, Cloud, Development, Featured, ITPro, Open Source, Silverlight, Students, USCloud, Web, Windows, Windows 8, WP7, WP8

BizSpark for Startups

My good friend and colleague Taylor Cowan has begun working on a blog post series entitled “25 Ways Software Startups can use BizSpark”.  Even if you haven’t already formed a company around your latest great idea, Taylor’s series will help you understand how startups can take the best advantage of all the amazing features that BizSpark has to offer. Today was Day 6 (I know, I’m a little behind) but there are still 19 more days to come!

Tune into 25 Ways Software Startups can use BizSpark at http://taylorcowanonline.com

BizSpark, for those that don’t know, Microsoft® BizSpark® is a global program that helps software startups succeed by giving them access to software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, and providing marketing visibility.  The program also includes access to Windows Azure, a flexible, comprehensive, and powerful cloud platform for the creation of web applications and services.  In addition, BizSpark offers technical support, business training and a network of over 2,000 partners to connect members with incubators, investors, advisors, government agencies and hosters.  Since it was established in 2008, more than 45,000 companies in over 100 countries have joined BizSpark.

Here is the BizSpark membership critera:

  1. Privately-held company
  2. Less than 5 years old
  3. Earns less than $1M US per year
  4. In the business of developing software (on any platform, with any language, for any type of device)

That means, if you are building a Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 application that you intend to sell on in their respective marketplaces, you qualify for BizSpark and can get access to ALL of those amazing benefits!  Contact Taylor today via his blog at http://taylorcowanonline.com to find out more about joining the BizSpark family today!

Azure, Cloud, Dallas, Development, Events, ITPro, Students, Texas, Training, USCloud

IaaS Bootcamp in Dallas

Whether you build apps or support the infrastructure that runs the apps, the cloud can be a really big place. For some, it’s a natural evolution for their application and infrastructure to embrace the power and scale of the cloud. For others, it’s a journey that has to begin with a single step.

Windows Azure provides that first step with a scalable, flexible platform for deploying your applications your way. With our Infrastructure as a Service platform (IaaS) called Windows Azure Virtual Machines, you get the flexibility to choose between Windows and Linux with full control over the operating system configuration and installed software, matched with the portability of Hyper-V disk images. Windows Azure Virtual Machines provide the perfect environment for meeting all of your Infrastructure-as-a-Service needs.

To learn more about our Infrastructure as a Service platform, we invite all developers and IT Professionals to join local Microsoft cloud experts as they introduce you to the Microsoft Cloud Platform, dive deep into Windows Azure Virtual Machines, and help walk you through a hands on demonstration of the power of IaaS on the Windows Azure platform.

WHEN: December 17th, 2012

WHERE: Microsoft Office in Dallas

REGISTRATION: http://aka.ms/iaasdallasreg

All participants registering for the event will get a FREE 90-day trial of the Windows Azure platform and services, including access to the Virtual Machines preview. Simply visit http://aka.ms/TheCloud to take advantage of this FREE offer!

All participants to successfully complete the lab and demonstrate their running application to the instructor will be put into a drawing for a $500 gift card to the Microsoft Store, among other prizes!

Azure, Cloud, Development, Events, Featured, ITPro, Online, Training, USCloud

AzureConf

On November 14, 2012, Microsoft will be hosting Windows AzureConf, a free event for the Windows Azure community. This event will feature a keynote presentation by Scott Guthrie, along with numerous sessions executed by Windows Azure MVPs and community members. Streamed live for an online audience on Channel 9, the event will allow you to see how developers just like you are using Windows Azure to develop applications on the best cloud platform in the industry. Community members from all over the world will join Scott in the Channel 9 studios to present their own ideas, innovations inventions and experiences. These presentations will provide you the opportunity to see how your peers in the community are doing great things using Windows Azure offerings like Mobile Services, Web Sites, Service Bus, virtual machines, and more. Whether you’re just learning Windows Azure or you’ve already achieved success on the platform, you won’t want to miss this special event. For more information on Windows AzureConf or to register for the event, please visit http://windowsazureconf.net.

While you’re waiting for the conference to kick off, here are some helpful links to prepare your mind, body and soul for the Windows Azure experience:

SO – Get out to http://windowsazureconf.net and sign up today!

 

Arkansas, Development, General, ITPro, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, user group

Looking for a User Group?

Then I know the place to go!

For a while now, I’ve been maintaining a list of User Groups that meet in my part of the world – TX, OK, LA and AR.  It’s not a comprehensive list (at least I’m pretty sure it’s not) but I’d like it to be.  It’s essentially a listing of all the user groups I know about, or have heard rumors about that I can find online in my four-state area.  Not to be confused with Community Megaphone, this site is not about events or meetings – it’s about groups.  And, it’s not just about .NET groups – it’s about any technical community user group that meets. There are .NET/Microsoft-friendly groups for sure, but also Linux groups, PHP groups, Node.JS groups, iOS groups, Android groups and others too.

Where do you find it?

http://southcentralcommunity.com 

 

Current features include:

  • Monthly calendar of events showing all user groups
  • Listing of all user groups, by state
  • Details on each user group including meeting location w/ map, upcoming meeting dates/times, group contact and recurring schedule information
  • Map of all user groups

Planned features include:

  • API for querying groups
  • iCal support for one group, some groups, or all groups
  • Blog/Website badges for one group, some groups, or all groups
  • Support for more complex meeting schedules
  • Integration with CommunityMegaphone (presuming I can do some sort of match on user group name, or something)

Apart from these features, and a bit of a face-lift, the new site needs more data! If you know about any groups in your area that are NOT on my list, please drop me a line at southcentralcommunity@live.com with at least the following info:

  1. Group Name
  2. Website
  3. Meeting Day (e.g. 3rd Monday, or 2nd Thursday)
  4. Meeting Times (start/stop)
  5. Contact Name / Email
  6. Meeting Location Name & Address (+phone, if you have it).

Me and my crack team of data entry clerks (a.k.a. my daughter) will get this information posted just as fast as we can. Also, if you see any data errors, especially meeting times/nights – please also let me know that ASAP and I’ll get that fixed up.

Lastly, if you’re interested in helping out with any of the planned changes, or making it look more pleasing than the default template from MVC 4, I’d love to get your help…

Cloud, Dallas, Development, Events, ITPro, Texas

Microsoft Cloud Summit a Success!

Yesterday Microsoft hosted our first ever Microsoft Cloud Summit in Dallas, TX. Run locally by our DPE team here in Dallas, and supported by our peers throughout Central Region, we hosted 365 developers and IT Pros from all over TX, OK, AR and LA. The topic of conversation: Windows Azure and Cloud Computing on the Microsoft Platform. For a first-time conference like this, in this town, on a topic like Cloud Computing, I have to admit that I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. Although it’s easy to say that we’d love to have more people attend, I think that the combination of a July event and the fact that it was July in Texas during the week of Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto still didn’t take away from what turned out to be an amazing experience.

The event started off with a Keynote from none other than Scott Guthrie,  Corporate VP for Windows Azure, and the closest thing that Microsoft has to a true Rock Star. He gave an overview of the new features released during the Windows Azure Spring Release this past June. LOADs of great stuff in there, but I’m becoming increasingly interested in the Service Bus and Caching capabilities – will have to play more with those…

Other sessions of the day included a great mix of developer and IT professional content, which you can download online, including:

During lunch, we held a Q&A session with Scott called “Grill the Gu” where we invited attendees to tweet questions to Scott using the #GrillTheGu hashtag, so that he could alternate between answering live questions from the audience and those tweeted in earlier during the keynote. I lost track of how many questions we were able to get through, but we definitely had some great ones come through, and some great conversations in the answering.

In addition to all the great content and presentations, we had five  of our local area partners participate in the event by setting up display tables and chatting with folks all day long at our Partner Pavilion. As an added bonus, each partner got 5 minutes at the beginning one of the sessions to present their success stories around Windows Azure. I got a lot of positive feedback about their participation in the event, so future events will probably continue to include invitations to partners.  Partners participating in the Partner Pavilion included:

The most important part of a conference like this, of course,  is to make sure that the people attending enjoyed and learned from what they saw. I’m happy to say that across all of the evaluations we received, our sessions scored an average attendee rating of 8.4 out of 9, which is absolutely fantastic! People enjoyed the presentations, and felt like they got a lot of valuableinformation out of them.

I had a great time working with these guys, and many others to make this event successful. If you enjoyed the event, be sure to let us know – and definitely indicate what you’d like to see in the future!  All in all, a spectacular event that I hope we can repeat some day in the future.  Maybe we’ll have a Microsoft Cloud Summit 2013? I will see if I can find some money to do just that…

Azure, Cloud, Dallas, Development, Events, ITPro, Students, Texas, Training

Microsoft Cloud Summit 2012

Windows Azure and the Microsoft Cloud Computing platform are some of the most exciting, and important technologies around today. Infinite scale and ultimate power are awaiting you – are you ready?

Join Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Windows Azure Scott Guthrie and a host of local Microsoft Cloud experts as we share with you the tools, techniques and technologies you’ll need to take your applications to the next level!

Join us for the Microsoft Cloud Summit 2012!

July 10, 2012 – Irving Convention Center in Irving, TX

In a day full of informative sessions and hands-on activities, you’ll learn the most important parts of the Cloud Computing capabilities from Microsoft both inside Windows Azure as well as within your own datacenters. By attending the Microsoft Cloud Summit 2012 you will learn how to:

  • Build and quickly deploy web sites to Windows Azure
  • Migrate, integrate, and extend existing code and applications with Windows Azure
  • Build flexible, multi-tier applications
  • Consume Windows Azure services within your application such as Windows Azure Storage, SQL Azure, and the Service Bus
  • Architect highly scalable and fast applications using cloud services
  • Build Web APIs that power mobile devices
  • Use the latest Visual Studio tools and SDKs for the cloud
  • …and MUCH MORE!

Seating is limited, so reserve your space today and join us for the most important technical training sessions you’ll attend all year – the Microsoft Cloud Summit 2012!

 

Microsoft Cloud Camp 2012 – Agenda**

8:00am Check-in Opens (bring your confirmation!)
8:45am Welcome and Kick-Off
9:00am Keynote: Introducing the Spring Release of Windows Azure
Scott Guthrie, CVP for Windows Azure Developer Platform
10:30am Break
10:45am Windows Azure Virtual Machines
Clint Edmonson, Microsoft
11:45am Lunch – featuring “Grill the Gu” Q&A session with Scott Guthrie
1:15pm Windows Azure Web Sites
Brian Prince, Microsoft
2:15pm Break
2:30pm Windows Azure Storage, Databases and Service Bus
Mike Benkovich, Microsoft
3:30pm Break
3:45pm Windows Azure Cloud Services
Adam Hoffman, Microsoft
4:45pm Giveaways and Wrap-up
5:15pm Dinner
6:00pm Windows Azure and Private Cloud Hands-on Labs and coding room

 

**The agenda is subject to change – please check back often for new and updated information.