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…
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/
Every BizSpark member has a set of Azure benefits that come with their MSDN subscriptions. These benefits are outlined in the graphic below:
Activating your Azure Benefits is a simple process requiring just 3 steps:
- Activate Windows Azure Subscription
- 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:
- 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!
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:
- Privately-held company
- Less than 5 years old
- Earns less than $1M US per year
- 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!
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
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!
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:
- FREE 90-day Trial of the Windows Azure platform: http://aka.ms/TheCloud
- Windows Azure Training Kit: http://aka.ms/watk (or in source code form at http://aka.ms/watk-git)
- Windows Azure Developer Blog: http://aka.ms/AzureBlog
- Download the Windows Azure SDK for Windows, Mac and Linux: http://aka.ms/GetAzureNow
- Explore the new Windows Azure Store: http://aka.ms/AzureStore
- Read Windows Azure customer success stories: http://aka.ms/AzureCaseStudies
SO – Get out to http://windowsazureconf.net and sign up today!
Here it is – pure awesomeness…
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with at least the following info:
- Group Name
- Meeting Day (e.g. 3rd Monday, or 2nd Thursday)
- Meeting Times (start/stop)
- Contact Name / Email
- 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…
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:
- Clint Edmonson: Windows Azure Virtual Machines
- Brian Prince: Windows Azure Web Sites and the Web API
- Mike Benkovich: Connecting Windows 8 Applications with Windows Azure
- Adam Hoffman: Windows Azure Building-block Services
- John Weston: What’s New with Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 3
- Keith Mayer: Building a Private Cloud with System Center 2012
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…
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
|10:45am||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
|2:30pm||Windows Azure Storage, Databases and Service Bus
Mike Benkovich, Microsoft
|3:45pm||Windows Azure Cloud Services
Adam Hoffman, Microsoft
|4:45pm||Giveaways and Wrap-up|
|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.