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  • Blog Post: Azure Data Services–what are they?

    This might be a recurring theme but worth mentioning again - Azure continues to change and expand at an alarming rate. On the one hand this is simply scale, for example we now have access to bigger compute resources like the G class virtual machines, ever cheaper storage, and higher and higher limits...
  • Blog Post: TechDays on Line 2015–it gets better

    I have been out in Seattle for the last couple of weeks as a roving reporter for our upcoming TechDays Online 2015 and I have managed to get footage of some of the engineers who write the stuff we all use. I have also been having coffee with some of them to make sure we can share the very latest thinking...
  • Blog Post: IT Camp - Extend your Data Centre with Azure

    I have been on a journey over the last year that some of you may already be embarked on and that is to transition my skills to use cloud services and specifically Azure. For me it’s like going to America, the language is similar, the culture less so and everything over seems to be much bigger such as...
  • Blog Post: IT Camps–What are they good for.

    One of the most rewarding yet most difficult part of my job over the last three years has been involved with designing and delivering something called an IT camp. So I thought it might be useful to explain what they are in case an invite lands in your mailbox. What IT Camps are: Technical. it’s designed...
  • Blog Post: Don’t be a turkey

    It’s not great being a turkey, pheasant or grouse at Christmas, but my Christmas sketch this year isn’t too worried as he’s a protected and valued Capercaillie. In the same same way the cloud first world might not seem like a great time to be an IT Professional but there are certain species who are similarly...
  • Blog Post: Learning Machine Learning using a Jet Engine

    In this post I want to try and explain what machine learning is and put into context with what we used to do when analysing and manipulating data. When I started doing all this the hot phrase was Business Intelligence (BI), but this was preceded by EIS (Executive Information Systems) and DSS (Decision...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Virtual Academy

    I don’t think data centre management or the private cloud is particularly difficult to learn, but it could be easier to find out where to start.  Of course if your focus is virtualisation or you only make tools in this space then your site should make this journey pretty straight forward. ...
  • Blog Post: Project Atlanta part 1 – Introduction

    In the post Christmas rush to get fit the well off will have personal trainers assigned to them to help get back into shape. Similarly in the world of SQL there is an abundance of experts to help ensure that SQL server is as lean and mean as possible, however not everyone can afford that expertise, or...
  • Blog Post: How Dense are you?

    One of the drivers to moving to the cloud be that public or private is the promised reduced management overhead and cost savings. Part of this comes from how effectively infrastructure can be utilised and so partially idle virtual machines can be consolidated alongside each other to get the most out...
  • Blog Post: Bye bye Atlanta, Hello System Center Advisor

    One of the many announcements to come out of the recent Microsoft Management Summit was System Center Advisor . Essentially this is Operations Manager (SCOM) in the cloud, so a sort of InTune for servers.  I had a look at the precursor to this, Project Atlanta back in January, but at the time it...
  • Blog Post: Five New Year’s Resolutions for 2011

    I  think a lot of people, IT Professionals included are worried about the year ahead, so here are some likely problems and my new year resolutions: Energy prices are spiralling This means the cost of moving whole atoms rather than just electrons is even more pronounced than ever, so moving data...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft is all in

    When Steve Ballmer says “We’re all in the cloud”  this should be viewed in the same way as when  Bill Gates talked about “a PC in every home”.  I could quote statistics on the investment Microsoft is making in the cloud or show you some cool pictures of containers in one of the data centres...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft, and Hadoop for Big Data

    Despite common misconceptions Microsoft now has extensive interoperability with open source technologies for example you can run a php application on Azure, get support from us to run RedHat, SUSE or CentOs on Hyper-V and manage your applications from System Center. ,  So extending this approach...
  • Blog Post: Give us the tools and we’ll finish the job

    I have spent the day dug in at the Cabinet War Rooms in London for Inframon’s annual War on Cost event with the top experts in systems management .  The venue was chosen to reflect the them of the event and much like world war 2 the Americans in the form  of 9 Microsoft experts from the System...
  • Blog Post: System Center 2012–It’s all about the application

    The Accountants, sales guys and lawyers in your business don’t understand or care about how fast your hypervisor is or how many nodes there are in your cluster. What they care about is that the e-mail works the intranet is up and the business can trade with its customers. In short they care about...
  • Blog Post: 3 clouds and a screen

    No I haven’t got the numbers the wrong way round, the three clouds I am referring to are the three tracks we have put together for TechDays on 8th October and the screen is where you’ll be watching it as this is Online rather than in person. Those three tracks are: Cirrus Room - A high-level summary...
  • Blog Post: Windows Server 2012 IT camps

    I have been out in the US for the past four weeks, and during my absence the rest of the UK TechNet team have filled my diary with various events including the next series of IT camps.  These camps will all be  on Windows Server 2012 specifically around how virtualisation changes in this release...
  • Blog Post: SQL Azure Update

    The annoying thing about cloud services like SQL Azure is that they keep changing as more features are added. The great thing about cloud services like SQL Azure is that they keep changing as more features are added. So if I write post about version x of SQL Server that has some value while that version...
  • Blog Post: Normal Service has been resumed

    I’ve just got back from 5 weeks off in NZ to celebrate my 50th lap of the sun, hence the guest posts on here recently. Just before I went away  the UK TechNet team setup  Tech Days Online .. based on a chat Simon and I had about what 2011 holds for the IT Professional which you can watch here...
  • Blog Post: Haiku-V

    Virtualisation Good management tools Private cloud appears     Public cloud worries Cause myth and uncertainty, Trust is essential   [ Haiku is a strict form of Japanese poetry dating back to the 1600s]
  • Blog Post: A cloudy day at EZE IT

    I got asked to do a 40 minute slot on Virtualisation and cloud at a partner event to day run by EZEIT , while Simon got the tough job of condensing windows deployment down to  40 minutes as well (his post and deck is here).. I got a bit flat footed here, as the audience were already familiar with...
  • Blog Post: Just the Facts

    I spent the first part of my career working IT for various UK government departments, and in every case we had exacting methods for working out the total cost of ownership (TCO) of any IT system we acquired, the point being it was our model based on the way IT is run in our organisations.  This...
  • Blog Post: SQL Azure – Back to the Future

    As I write this I am setting up a SQL Azure database to use as the source for some of my BI demos over the coming months, and the experience takes me back to when I first started in business intelligence. If you haven’t come across SQL Azure, imagine someone  has set up SQL Server for you on a server...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2012 and the private cloud

    Putting up a marketing slide that says SQL Server is a good private cloud citizen is good marketing, but what’s in the box to back the claim up? My top three would be: Windows Server core .  Patching is a major maintenance problem with lots of virtual machines, and server core cuts that in half...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft System Center and BMC Management Tools Integration and Interaction

    In his second guest post Greg Charman from Kelverion has a look at BMC integration. Many customers have made large investments in both Microsoft System Center and BMC Datacenter Management Tools. Historically integrating these two vendors product sets has been challenging and time consuming.With the...