Tag: IT Pro

Joining Microsoft

Joining Microsoft

Today is a great day! I’m excited and proud to announce that as of February 1st, 2019, I’m joining Microsoft. I will join the Microsoft Azure Engineering (Cloud + AI) team as a Senior Cloud Advocate. After being a Microsoft MVP for seven years and working very closely with Microsoft in the last couple of years, this is a great new opportunity and an exciting time ahead.

Microsoft Cloud Advocate

Microsoft Azure Cloud Advocate

The Microsoft Cloud Advocate Mascot by Ashley McNamara

My role is part of the Microsoft Developer Relations group and more specific the Cloud Advocates. I’m joining the AzOps team of Rick Claus, which many of you know from Channel9, Microsoft conferences and his overall work at Microsoft. Our team is focused on the IT Ops and IT Pro community. This allows me to do what I love most, which is being an advocate for customers in the Azure product group, sharing knowledge and engaging with the community.

We are advocates for the IT community within Microsoft. Using the products, listen to customers, and help the product teams to prioritize their work. We develop tools to help use the products, we write documentation and tutorials, and we build connections between the community and the engineering teams.

Our team’s charter is to help every technologist on the planet succeed, be they students or those working in enterprises or startups. We engage in outreach to developers and others in the software ecosystem, all designed to further technical education and proficiency with the Microsoft Cloud + AI platform.

A large part of our mission is to make Microsoft Azure the best platform to run your applications and services, as well as making migration to the Microsoft Azure ecosystem simple. Our team looks for common pain points and works with the product teams to address them. In other cases, we build the missing pieces like tools and documentation.

My focus is going to be on the Azure and Microsoft hybrid cloud strategy. Besides the Azure services, this will include products and services like Windows Server and Azure Stack, which will help to bring that consistent cloud experience to life, so our customers can make the best out of the Intelligent Cloud and the Intelligent Edge.

If there’s anything, you would like us to improve reach out to our team or me. We listen to your needs and consider your feedback in our future developments.



SurfaceBook

10 reasons why the Surface Book is great for IT Pros

As I mentioned in my little Surface Book review a couple of days ago, I really like the Microsoft Surface Book and it is my daily driver since November 2015. The Surface Book has a lot of reasons why it is a great device, but I want to highlight  some reasons why it is not only a great device for artists, but also for the IT professionals.

The performance is incredible

SurfaceBook

As many of you know I am using my Surface Book for a lot of demos and also testing a lot of stuff. I run Hyper-V on my Windows 10 machine and it is extremely fast. Virtual Machines boot up in just a couple of seconds and if you for example run the new Nano Server in a Virtual Machine, the installation of a new Nano Server Virtual Machine is done in under 3 seconds. If you want to run more Virtual Machines on your device, make sure you get the 16GB RAM model. Not only do you get plenty of power with the Intel Core i5 or Core i7 chip, the NVMe SSD disk is blazing fast and can be up to 1TB.

The touchscreen with the pen support is great

Surface Pro and Surface Book

If you have a touch screen machine you just get used to use your fingers while browsing or writing stuff down in OneNote. The pen is just perfect for taking notes or doing presentations or workshops with customers. Since I got my first Surface device, I never really used a whiteboard or something like that. I just used OneNote and a projector to draw and after the meeting I could easily sent the drawings to all the attendees.

Tablet Mode can be handy

Surface Book Tablet Mode

I wouldn’t consider myself as a huge tablet user, but there are several scenarios where you will love the possibility to convert your Surface Pro or Surface Book into a tablet. For my job I travel a lot and I realized, I used the tablet mode a lot while for example being in a plan or train, to just read some stuff or watch movies. This is also really handy if you sit at home in front of the TV or if you are in a hotel room and just wanted to watch some Netflix, before you go to sleep. But there are two other very useful scenarios for me. The first one is while I am doing presentations for customer I use the Surface Pen a lot, but instead of sitting in front of my Surface Book, I can take the keyboard of and walk around while doing the presentation and draw on my Surface. The second one is when I am in a meeting and I want to take handwritten notes, the tablet mode is perfect, I can just use it as a piece of paper, which makes it much more attractive to write on and also I am not hiding behind a computer screen. By the way, the tablet or screen it self is extremely light so even holding it with one hand is great.

Enterprise Security and Windows Hello

Surface Book Windows Hello

Well if you are working and traveling a lot, security is a very important part. Protecting your data using the Surface Book is very easy, since it comes with a TPM 2.0 chip you can encrypt your SSD and all the data stored on. The other thing I really like is the camera supporting face detection using Windows Hello. First I thought this feature is just a nice toy, but hey, I really got used to it, I just open my Surface Book and I get logged in without typing the password.

Battery Life is awesome

When did you get a thing and light device and you didn’t had to worry about battery life for a whole day? With the Surface Pro 3 I was very close to it, but the Surface Book finally gets me trough a whole day without the need to recharge. I get around 8-12 hours of battery life depending on the workload I am running. In the morning I can leave without a power supply and can work the whole day.

The Screen

Surface Book

This is another great feature of the Surface Book, the screen is sharp and the colors are amazing, but this is not the only reason I love the Surface Book screen. The Surface Book comes with a 13.5” PixelSense display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and a resolution of 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI). This gives you enough space on the screen to get some work done, without making the device to big. Especially the 3:2 aspect ratio is one thing I really like, especially while writing and reading.

Connectivity and accessories

Microsoft also adds a lot of great accessories to the Surface product line. The Surface Book comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports, a full-sized SD card slot, a headset jack, a Mini DisplayPort and a Surface Connect port, which allows you to connect the power supply or the Surface Docking station. It also used the latest Wifi and Bluetooth connections to connect wirelessly to networks or devices. The Surface Book comes also with great cameras, stereo microphones and speakers which make the device great for video or voice conference calls. But also the small things you will start to like, for example the additional USB port in the power supply, which allows you to charge other devices like your smartphone or your Microsoft Band, without having to carry another charger.

The Docking Station makes it a great workstation

Surface Book Home Office

If I am at home or in our company office I can connect the Surface Book to the Surface Docking Station, which turns it into a full workstation. At home I use 2 Dell 27” screens using the 2 Mini DisplayPort adapters on the Surface Docking station. I also like the additional USB 3.0 ports you get with the docking station.

Perfect device to travel

Surface Book Travel

The Surface Book and also the Surface Pro are in my opinion some of the best options if you travel a lot. First the devices are light and have a small footprint, so carrying them is easy. But they still have a lot of performance to run some heavy workloads where ever you are, and with the battery life you get, even long flights or long work days are not a problem at all. But what really makes it great, you just need one device, you don’t have to carry a notebook and a tablet to have all the options, you can simply unplug the keyboard and you can go from laptop mode to tablet mode. With Windows 10 owning a 2in1 or 3in1 devices makes even much more fun.

Deliver great presentation using the Wireless Display Adapter

Surface Book Presentation

As I mentioned before, I use the Surface Book for a lot of presentations and workshops. With the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter you can even do this wirelessly, which makes especially workshops more interactive and fun.



MCSD Azure Solution Architect

Passed MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect

Today I just passed the last Microsoft Azure exam for the MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect. Since I focus on Microsoft technology, I always try to be certified in the specific areas where I am focused on. With Public and Hybrid Cloud scenarios becoming more and more important, I started to work with Microsoft Azure and other Microsoft Cloud Services such as Office 365, so it made sense to learn more about the solutions and earn the certifications. For the Azure part, Microsoft has a certification called MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect, which includes three different exams:

  • 70-532 (Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions)
  • 70-533 (Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions)
  • 70-534 (Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions)

I already go 70-533 at the beginning of this year, since this was the topic I was working with for quite some time. With Developer and DevOps scenarios becoming more and more important, I decided to prepare also for 70-532, which is focused on the Developer site of Azure, and the 70-534, which is an overall architecture exam. Bringing IT Pro and Developer skills together in this Cloud-focused world makes sense. IT Pros will have to learn some necessary developer skills to make sure they can keep up with the fast-moving cloud world. I am proud the be the second certified MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect within itnetX, after Marcel Zehner. This shows our strong focus, knowledge, and commitment to the Microsoft Cloud Strategy. If you want to do the exams as well, here are some recommendations:

  • Get a Microsoft Azure Subscription and start playing and testing. Btw, this is something you should have done a while ago.
  • Learn PowerShell, well I have been saying this for years now, learn PowerShell and get some knowledge on that topic, even if it’s not Azure related.
  • Install Visual Studio. Yes, you will need this in the future, not just for the exams.
  • Check out the Microsoft Certification page and learn about the exams and which skills are measured. Login to Azure and start working with these topics. To be honest, it doesn’t take a lot of time to build some demos.
  • Check out the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) courses. Microsoft offers some great exam preparations and courses with several hours of video content, examples, and preparation questions.
  • Check out the current Azure Portal and the new Preview Azure Portal.
  • Look out for some great blog posts with study guides, for example, from Keith Mayer, Anders Eide, and Marius Sandbu.

With that you will not only pass the exams, you will also learn a lot about how things are going to work in the future.



Microsoft MVP

Microsoft MVP 2014 Hyper-V

Since it is a really busy time, launch of the Preview of Windows 10, System Center and Windows Server, I almost forgot about the renomination of my Microsoft MVP status. So I am even more happy and proud that my Microsoft MVP status was renewed for another year.

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2014 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Hyper-V technical communities during the past year.

The Microsoft MVP Award provides us the unique opportunity to celebrate and honor your significant contributions and say “Thank you for your technical leadership.”

Mike Hickman Director Community Engagement Microsoft

This is the third Microsoft MVP award since 2012 and 2013. The Microsofft MVP award and the included opportunities add a huge benefit like the Microsoft MVP summit where you have the chance to talk to the Microsoft Product Groups and enter your feedback. But of course the Microsoft MVP award also adds some other great advantages.

  • I have met a lot of great people from Microsoft, other MVPs, other Tech experts, friends or customers.
  • I have attended some great events like the MVP Summit, the E2EVC or the System Center Universe.
  • and much much more…

There are of course a lot of people I have to thank but I want to keep the list as short as possible. I would like to thank my employer itnetx which is supporting me in the best possible way, current and former colleagues, Microsoft MVPs (just a great community) and of course Microsoft employees.

Get more information about the Microsoft MVP award: Microsoft MVP Award Website