Category: Cloud Advocate

Azure Unblogged - Azure Stack HCI and the Future

Azure Unblogged – Azure Stack HCI and the Future

You might have seen last week’s Azure Unblogged video with Holly Lehman where we talked about Microsoft feedback and customer engagement programs. This week, I had the honor to publish an Azure Unblogged video with Carmen Crincoli (Senior Program Manager) to talk about the Azure Stack HCI solution program, why it was created, the value it provides to customers, and some of the work we’re doing to engage with customers to improve future versions of the product.

You can watch the video on Microsoft Channel 9.

Azure Stack HCI is a hyper-converged Windows Server 2019 cluster that uses validated hardware to run virtualized workloads on-premises. And allows you to optionally connect to Azure Hybrid services for cloud-based backup, Site Recovery, and more. This allows you to take advantage of the Microsoft Hybrid Cloud services to make your on-premises environment even better.

If you want to learn more about Azure Stack HCI, check out the following links:

You can also watch other episodes of Azure Unblogged on Microsoft Channel 9 and check out my blog at ITOpsTalk.com.

Let me know if you enjoyed the Azure Unblogged – Azure Stack HCI and the Future video and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel here.



Azure Unblogged - Microsoft Feedback and Customer engagement programs

Azure Unblogged – Microsoft Feedback and Customer engagement programs

You might have seen that I started a video series called Azure Unblogged, in which I talk to people in Microsoft and the Microsoft community about different products, services, stories, and much more. This week I am releasing a video on Azure Unblogged in which I had the chance to talk to Holly Lehman (Program Manager in the Azure CxP Team) about Microsoft feedback and customer engagement programs. In this video, we talked about how vital feedback for Microsoft is and how the different teams are managing and capturing feedback.

You can watch the video on Microsoft Channel 9.

If you want to know more about the different insider programs at Microsoft, Check out the Microsoft Insider page for an overview of some of the programs that Microsoft offers for our customers to join!

You can also watch other episodes of Azure Unblogged on Microsoft Channel 9 and check out my blog at ITOpsTalk.com.

Let me know if you enjoyed the Azure Unblogged – Microsoft Feedback and Customer engagement programs video and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel here.



Microsoft Teams Video Call

How to host Tech Workshops and Trainings online

I just got asked by one of my blog readers, who is a consultant and trainer, about what tools I use to give online tech workshops and trainings. I thought this would make a good blog post; that’s why I want to share with you how you can provide tech workshops and trainings online. This can obviously also be used in day to day collaboration and meetings.

How to give Workshops and Trainings online

In my previous job, I worked with a lot of customers and provided workshops and trainings. Here are some of the tools I used, and I am still using. I know that there are a lot more applications out there which can give you a great experience. Some of them are optimized for public streaming, others for collaboration. The same is true for my list; depending on the use-case, meeting, workshop, or content you have, maybe one tool is better than the other. So have a look at these tools and decided which one works best for your workshop or training. I also need to point out that you can use them not just as a standalone app, but also in combination with each other.

Microsoft Teams

The first tool which pops in mind and is the one I use the most is Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams is a fantastic collaboration tool. It lets you do a couple of things like meetings and video calls with screen sharing and PowerPoint presentations as well as included whiteboard experience. In addition to meetings and chats, you also get a rich collaboration space with teams and channels, which you can also use to share workshops and training material over time. You can provide an excellent experience for your customers and team members even after the workshop or training is done. There are many features in Microsoft Teams. The best thing is to check out the product page to see all the capabilities of Microsoft Teams. You can invite people outside of your organization as guest accounts to have a collaboration space.

Microsoft Teams Video Call

Microsoft Teams Video Call

I want to share two of the live chat and video experiences that you can use in Microsoft Teams for online meetings, trainings, and workshops.

Microsoft Teams Online Meetings – This is the experience most users probably are familiar with. With Microsoft Teams online meetings, you can host audio, video, and web conferences with anyone, and you get features such as scheduling assistance, meeting note-taking, screen sharing, meeting recording, and instant messaging.

Microsoft Teams Live Events – With Microsoft Teams live events you can broadcast video and meeting content to large online audiences. This can be inside and outside of your company. Live Events are meant for one-to-many communications where you are leading the interactions, and audience participation is primarily to view the content shared by you. Live events feature is excellent if you want to organize things like webinars. While the online meetings functionality has a chat, the live events comes with a Q&A feature, which makes it easy to keep track and answer questions.

If you want to learn more about how to present PowerPoint in Microsoft Teams, check out Sarah Lean’s blog post.

Microsoft Whiteboard

Another tool I use a lot is the Microsoft Whiteboard app, and I already wrote a blog post about why IT Pros should use the Microsoft Whiteboard app.

Microsoft Whiteboard

Microsoft Whiteboard

The Whiteboard app is a digital whiteboard that allows you to invite people online to collaborate in real-time. It also integrates into Microsoft Teams as well.

PowerPoint – Present Online and record Presentations

PowerPoint Present Online

PowerPoint Present Online

As mentioned before, you can use Microsoft Teams to share and present your PowerPoints. However, what a lot of people don’t know is that PowerPoint already has an integrated sharing feature. You can share and broadcast your PowerPoint presentation online directly within PowerPoint, without the need for an additional tool.

Present Online in PowerPoint

Present Online in PowerPoint

You can also record PowerPoint presentations and share them online later on.

Record Slide Show

Record Slide Show

 

Visual Studio Code Remote Share

When it comes to code, Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code (VS Code) offer you a feature called Visual Studio Live Share. Live Share allows you to share your code in real-time. You can collaborate and work with multiple people on the same code. New is that you can not only join using VS Code or Visual Studio, but you can now also join by just using a browser.

Invite people with Visual Studio Live Share:

Visual Studio Code Live Share

Visual Studio Code Live Share

Collaborate on the same file:

Sharing code online with VS Code Live Share

Sharing code online with VS Code Live Share

I hope this blog was helpful and gives you a couple of ideas on how you can provide workshops and trainings online as well as collaborating in real-time with people. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Thanks to Martin Dimovski, who gave me the idea of this blog post.



Run Azure PowerShell in a Docker Container Image

Run Azure PowerShell in a Docker Container

Yesterday, the Azure PowerShell team announced the Azure PowerShell Docker Container images. In this post, I want to quickly highlight that announcement and show you how you can download, pull, and run Azure PowerShell in a Docker container image from Microsoft.

But first, let’s talk about why you would want to run an Azure PowerShell in a Docker container. Azure is continuously evolving, and the Azure PowerShell team releases a new version of the Azure PowerShell modules every three weeks. This makes it challenging to maintain a production or development environment up to date and ensuring the smooth execution of scripts. With the Azure PowerShell docker container image, you can quickly run scripts against a specific version of Azure PowerShell.

The team highlights the current scenarios:

  • On the same machine, you can run scripts that are using a different version of Az with no conflicts.
  • You can test a script against a different version of Az with no risks.
  • You can run the latest container image interactively.


Azure Friday - Manage and govern your hybrid servers using Azure Arc

Azure Friday: Manage hybrid servers using Azure Arc

Last Friday, I had the chance to join Donovan Brown on Azure Friday to talk about how you can manage and govern your hybrid servers using Azure Arc. I showed how you can manage and govern your Windows and Linux machines hosted outside of Azure on your corporate network or other cloud providers, similar to how you manage native Azure virtual machines. When a hybrid machine is connected to Azure, it becomes a connected machine and is treated as a resource in Azure. You can watch the full episode here on Microsoft Channel 9.

Azure Friday - Manage and govern your hybrid servers using Azure Arc

Azure Friday – Manage and govern your hybrid servers using Azure Arc

If you want to know more about the Azure Arc and Azure Hybrid services, check out the following blog post and Microsoft Docs articles:

If you want to check out my other Azure Friday episode, in which I was joining Scott Hanselman to talk about how you can connect Windows Server to Azure Hybrid Cloud services using Windows Admin Center. And how you can use other Azure Hybrid services to improve your on-premises environment, check out my blog here.

I hope you liked this Azure Friday episode about how you can manage and govern your Windows and Linux machines hosted outside of Azure on your corporate network or other cloud providers, using Azure Arc for servers. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. And yes, this is a Surface Pro X.



Microsoft Virtual Training Day NL

Speaking at the Microsoft Virtual Training Day NL

I am happy to let you know that I will be speaking at the free Microsoft Virtual Training Day NL online event on Wednesday, March 11th. You might have heard that Microsoft Ignite The Tour Amsterdam was canceled due to COVID-19. Microsoft Virtual Training Day NL is an alternative to speed you up and support you in your technical skills. This day will be full of technical sessions based on our Microsoft Learning Paths from Microsoft Ignite The Tour.

Join us during this digital event to get inspired and to learn from our technical specialists. We have great (inter)national speakers that will bring exclusive content and demos to you. Microsoft Ignite The Tour Amsterdam got cancelled due to COVID-19. Microsoft Virtual Training Day | NL is an alternative to speed you up and support you in your technical skills.

Explore the tracks

We offer 7 tracks including 5 sessions per track, based on the Learning Paths of Azure Cloud Native, Azure Data, Azure Infra & Ops, Business Applications, Power Platform, Modern Workplace and Surface. On the day itself you can join sessions of different tracks. Please see below the summarized schedule with all sessions.

I will be presenting in the Azure Infra & Ops track, which you can register here. You can now watch some of the Microsoft Ignite The Tour sessions online!

Azure Infra & Ops

Understand key cloud concepts and core services, and learn how Microsoft Azure allows you to build applications with the full power and resilience of the cloud. Also, learn how to migrate existing VM workloads to Azure and define governance, security, and policies for your Azure environment.

Migrating IaaS workloads to Azure

Now that the migration of their server hosts from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2019 is complete, Tailwind Traders wants to begin the process of “lift and shift”: migrating some of their on-premises VMs they’ve been running in their datacenter. In this session, learn about how Tailwind Traders began the process of migrating some of their existing VM workloads to Azure and how this allowed them to retire aging server hardware and close datacenter and server rooms that were costing the organization a substantial amount of money.

Azure governance and management

Tailwind Traders’ deployments are occurring in an ad hoc manner, primarily driven by lack of protocol and unapproved decisions by various operators or employees. Some deployments even violate the organization’s compliance obligations, such as being deployed in an unencrypted manner without DR protection. After bringing their existing IaaS VM fleet under control, Tailwind Traders wants to ensure future deployments comply with policy and organizational requirements. In this session, walk through the processes and technologies that will keep Tailwind Traders’ deployments in good standing with the help of Azure Blueprints, Azure Policy, role-based access control (RBAC), and more.

Hybrid management technologies

Tailwind Traders has now migrated the majority of their server hosts from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2019. Now, they are interested in the Azure hybrid technologies that are readily available to them. In this session, learn how Tailwind Traders began using Windows Admin Center and Azure Arc to manage its fleet of Windows Server computers and integrated hybrid technologies, such as Azure File Sync, Azure Site Recovery, and Azure Update Management, to improve deployment performance and manageability.

If you want to watch the Microsoft Ignite The Tour sessions online, join us online for the Microsoft Virtual Training Day NL event. I hope to see you there virtually!



Microsoft Ignite The Tour Amsterdam 2019 Thomas Maurer Speaking

Speaking at Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2020 Amsterdam

I am happy to let you know that I will be speaking at Microsoft Ignite The Tour in Amsterdam. This will be my stop number 7 for Microsoft Ignite The Tour (MITT) 2019-2020 after Shenzhen, London, Milan, Prague, Copenhagen, and my home tour stop in Zürich, Switzerland. Last year I had a lot of fun at Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2019. For those who haven’t heard of MITT yet, Microsoft Ignite The Tour brings the very best of Microsoft Ignite to a city near you. The tour provides technical training led by Microsoft experts and your community. You’ll learn new ways to build solutions, migrate and manage infrastructure, and connect with local industry leaders and peers.

  • Date: March 11-12, 2020
  • Location: RAI Amsterdam

By the way, if you are interested in taking a Microsoft certification exam for free, check out the following blog post: Free Microsoft Certification exam voucher at Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2020. We also offer free certification vouchers at Microsoft Ignite in Amsterdam.

Microsoft Ignite The Tour Amsterdam

Our industry-leading conference is hitting the road—and coming to a city near you. You don’t want to miss the very latest in cloud technologies and developer tools with guest speakers, industry experts, and more. Get on the list today!

I will be speaking in the Microsoft Ignite The Tour learning paths. I am thrilled to show you some cool stuff about PowerShell, Windows Server 2019, Windows Admin Center, Azure Arc, and much more! I will be presenting the following sessions:

MSI20 - Hybrid management technologies

Tailwind Traders has now migrated the majority of their server hosts from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2019. Now, they are interested in the Azure hybrid technologies that are readily available to them. In this session, learn how Tailwind Traders began using Windows Admin Center and Azure Arc to manage its fleet of Windows Server computers and integrated hybrid technologies, such as Azure File Sync, Azure Site Recovery, and Azure Update Management, to improve deployment performance and manageability.

MCO20 - Azure governance and management

Tailwind Traders’ deployments are occurring in an ad hoc manner, primarily driven by lack of protocol and unapproved decisions by various operators or employees. Some deployments even violate the organization’s compliance obligations, such as being deployed in an unencrypted manner without DR protection. After bringing their existing IaaS VM fleet under control, Tailwind Traders wants to ensure future deployments comply with policy and organizational requirements. In this session, walk through the processes and technologies that will keep Tailwind Traders’ deployments in good standing with the help of Azure Blueprints, Azure Policy, role-based access control (RBAC), and more.

I am looking forward to speaking at Microsoft Ignite The Tour (MITT) 2019-2020 in Amsterdam. Let me know in the comments if you are going too, and I hope to see you there!