I was out West the other week, attending the itech summit (in Calgary and Vancouver) and paying a visit to VANTUG (Vancouver Technology User Group).  I had a great time talking to everyone about Virtualization, Private Cloud and a bit of Public Cloud.  Out of all the great conversations that I had, I found that something kept coming up, so much so that I thought it would be good to include in a blog post, so everyone could benefit from it.

UPDATE: There have been some product UPDATES and I wanted to call them out.

System Center 2012 Pre-Release Evaluations System Center solutions help you manage your physical and virtual IT environments across datacenters, desktops and devices. Download any or all of the available pre-release products. I talk about this with our Private and Public cloud integration capabilities and bringing the cloud learnings INTO your private datacenter hosted environments.

 We have an OFFER you can take advantage of. Virtualization Certification : Get the right skills to move ahead and join the ranks of the most skilled IT virtualization professionals. Take the Virtualization Challenge and for a limited time, you can take Exam 70-659: MCTS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization at no cost, from a Microsoft Learning Partner near you.**

**click here for Microsoft Virtualization Challenge: Terms and Conditions.

How about some more resources?  

I've been pointing to these resources at the end of my sessions to date - they have come in handy. I have some video / screencasts that I need to include - but they need to be re-uploaded to YouTube

  1. Microsoft Virtual Academy: Free online training on Virtualization and the Cloud (Private/Public).  Not only are there great courses like Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals, Introduction to Windows Azure or Office 365 for the IT Pro, it’s self-paced and completely online, did I mention it was free?
  2. The TechNet Cloud Hub: Think of this as your one stop shop for Cloud news and information.  There’s always new and updated content being posted and from here you can link out to other relevant sites (it really is a hub).
  3. The TechNet Evaluation Center: So you’ve gotten the information, you’ve taken the training and now you actually want to get your hands dirty.  This is the place to do it.  You can download trials of our software to evaluate it before you buy.  You can even download beta or release candidate software (like System Center 2012).  My entire demo setup is made from this Eval Center download software - I'll have a post up talking about it in the not too distant future.
  4. The AlignIT Portal: In my opinion, this is one of the best places out there for Infrastructure Managers.  Not only is there a ton of manager specific content, there’s a monthly live webcast and a monthly newsletter with more information.
  5. TechDays Online: The in person event so many people love to attend is ramping up in a big way online.  What is an event site today, will become a place to go to view videos, and other complimentary content to TechDays in person.  The best part is you can interact with the site all year long.

Of course, don’t just take my word for it, go check them out and let me know what you think. 

Do you have any other sites you think should be added to the list?  Leave a comment and let me know.