We’re running another camp for IT Pros who need to get up to speed with Windows Azure. At the end of the day you’ll walk away from the camp with a complete Sharepoint infrastructure deployed with AD, SQL Server and a Sharepoint Farm of 2 servers. It’s basically your first pop-up lab.
They are great days, ask anybody who’s been.
Register here for London on 2nd May
Here’s a quick video of a Dev Camp – OK so the material is different but the feel of the day is the same.
See you there!
Newham Council wanted to support staff working remotely and make efficiency savings by developing systems using cloud-based services. The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games presented an opportunity to use the Windows Server 2012 operating system and Microsoft System Center 2012 to give secure remote access to information for 1,400 employees. Home working resulted in staff becoming more productive, paving the way for further cloud services.
The London Borough of Newham is a unitary local authority led by a directly elected mayor, serving a population of around 300,000 living close to the site of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. High-quality public services and innovative approaches to their delivery are central to Newham Council. And nowhere is this more evident than in the IT team under the leadership of Chief Information Officer (CIO) Geoff Connell, who is also CIO for neighbouring Havering Council.
In 2011, Newham Council embarked on a project to share IT and support services with Havering, aiming to save £11 million (U.S.$16 million) by 2015. Driving down costs and increasing efficiency are challenges shared by all local authorities in the U.K., and Newham Council aims to do this through its focus on citizen-centric services.
In terms of innovation, Newham Council has made a substantial commitment to remote working, online self-service for citizens, shared services, and collective procurement—all with the aim of doing more with less. This strategy proved particularly successful during the 2012 Olympic Games, when home working relieved pressure on services and staff were more productive.
These innovations—including the shared infrastructure with Havering Council and a self-service portal for citizens—have created a strong argument for developing cloud-based systems. Connell has predicted that within five years most Newham Council IT services will be cloud-based, which will involve close collaboration with Microsoft. “Success is about collaborating with your suppliers. You can’t do everything from scratch. You have to find partners that are prepared to be flexible,” he says.
As a result of these policy changes, Newham Council is now using the Microsoft private cloud solution to deliver further savings and efficiencies, while at the same time taking advantage of its existing Microsoft-based estate.
To learn more about this private cloud solution they used have a trial of:
Find out Newham Council managed to meet their requirements by viewing the Case study here
Do you wonder how the different cloud storage offerings stack up? Nasuni.com have been doing some research and have produced the following infographic for you to enjoy.
Pop over to their website to view the full report.
I am delighted to announce that during Tech Days Online we will be conducting an interview with:
Microsoft Ambassador, Former British Lion and RWC Winner, Will Greenwood
Will Greenwood is one of England's greatest ever rugby players. In a professional career that spanned 11 years and 55 international caps he established a reputation as an unsurpassed mid-field creator. The second highest international try scoring centre of all time, he was an integral part of England's victorious World Cup campaign of 2003, a character and leader in one of the most successful team dynamics seen in recent times. Since retirement Will has gone on to establish himself as one of the foremost voices in the rugby media; a renowned analyst, and one of the most intelligent and entertaining characters in the game.
We will be talking to Will about how he is using technology to be effective as an analyst and media pundit. He will be following the Lions to Australia this summer and will be relying on technology to keep on top of the action. We will be asking him all about this via a live interview.
The full agenda can be found here:
If you've not yet registered, then you can do so here: <Register>
So....... now you know what the agenda looks like for Tech Days Online. It's about time that we announce our first guest speaker:
Jeffrey Snover - Microsoft Technical Fellow
Taken from his blog:
Jeffrey Snover is a Distinguished Engineer and the Lead Architect for the Windows Server Division at Microsoft. He is the inventor of Windows PowerShell, an object-based distributed automation engine, scripting language, and command line shell.
Jeffrey joined Microsoft in 1999 as divisional architect for the Management and Services Division, providing technical direction across Microsoft’s management technologies and products.
Jeffrey has over 30 years of industry experience with a focus on management technologies and solutions. He was an architect in the office of the CTO at Tivoli and a development manager for NetView. He was also a consulting engineer and development manager at DEC, where he led various network and systems management projects.
We are incredibly excited to have Jeffrey join us for Tech Days Online. If you are attending the event, then you will have the opportunity to post questions to Jeffrey.
The Agenda can be found here:
Check out the blog, this time tomorrow for the final guest speaker announcement.
The 3rd and final day of Tech Days Online looks like this:
Day 3 - 26th April:
Look out for tomorrow's post where I will be announcing one of the two special guests.
If you want to view the full agenda, you can do so here:
Keep tuned to the blog for further announcements.
In this deployment sessions video I take a look at the Deeplinking process using Windows Intune to install an app on Windows RT. The deeplinking process essentially lets you place apps from the Windows Store in your own company store, or Company Portal – essentially letting you curate the best Windows Store apps for your users. You don’t need the code just a link to the app in the Windows Store, so there is nothing for you to store on your servers or in your cloud and the app publisher keeps the app up to date through the Windows Store.
The videos is, as always, split into sections:
If you want to see more videos like these then check out The Deployment Sessions and please Like the YouTube videos.
By Dan Scarfe, CEO of Dot Net Solutions
I remember the day clearly. It was February 25th 2009 and I was sitting in the Platform Adoption centre in Redmond at a Software Design Review for Windows Azure. I recall us having a debate about IaaS and PaaS. Coming from a development background myself, a number of us argued passionately and religiously that PaaS was the true definition of Cloud Computing. Software virtualisation was the key, not hardware. Oh how wrong we all were.
I still genuinely believe PaaS is a better software design pattern and I’d choose it 99 times out of 100 for new software projects. What not all of us in that room recognised that day was just how difficult it is to move legacy software in to a PaaS environment, especially off-the-shelf solutions, and that these solutions typically comprise 90%+ of an enterprise IT estate. Other vendors in the marketplace offering IaaS did a great job of delivering simple to consume VMs that worked the way traditional on-premises servers did. Just in the Cloud.
So today, with Microsoft, we find ourselves in an unbelievably exciting place. Windows Azure IaaS is GA. Not generally awesome, which it already was, but generally available. The icing on the cake is that Virtual Networking, which underpins IaaS, has also gone live. Both of these are in additional to Windows Azure Active Directory, which went live last week.
Microsoft is now unique in the marketplace offering a true hybrid IaaS / PaaS environment. Other providers have both parts, but none have a unified platform with unified networking and unified identity. Windows Azure Virtual Networking also offers compelling hybrid scenarios where Windows Azure can become part of one single, unified IT infrastructure.
This notion of multi-datacentre fabrics is what underpins the Cloud OS, Microsoft’s vision for enterprise IT. For the very first time, we now have an ability to run a true hybrid estate with a common identity model (Active Directory), virtualisation (Hyper-V), management (System Center) and development tools (.NET/Java/PHP et al). The Cloud OS delivers on-premises private Clouds, public and private Clouds from service providers and a global public Cloud using Azure.
Customers can now choose to deploy individual pieces of software to an appropriate Cloud on a case by case basis, from a unified platform using unified tools. Not long ago it would have been the stuff of dreams. Today those dreams became reality.
At Dot Net Solutions IaaS is something we’re really excited about. The scenarios it now unlocks for us are limitless. In almost all cases we are delivering a hybrid solution with Windows Azure. That just got a whole heap easier. The new virtual networking components are a great complement, allowing Azure to become a seamless extension of a customer’s IT infrastructure. Many large enterprises are now looking to Azure to provide controlled access, in line with company security models, to the public Cloud. Along with reducing cost and providing better service, it helps manage the dangers of credit-card-dependent IT systems showing up in production.
This massive vision is not only relevant to large enterprises, everybody can benefit. The small business or entrepreneur can create a large and complex infrastructure that would normally be completely out of reach because of the cost of capital investment. IaaS services level the playing field such that it is no longer the businesses with the biggest budgets that are most successful, but the businesses with the best ideas. IaaS services and the advent of pop-up labs have the potential to change the way everybody from end-customers, to small one-man bands, to small and medium sized businesses, government departments and large multi-national companies do business.
With our ADFS Online service we have made extensive use of Windows Azure IaaS, Virtual Networking and Windows Azure Active Directory. We’ve soak tested it, automated it within an inch of its life and really pushed the boundaries. It’s great to see how well it performs, how reliable it is, and easy it is to use.
If you haven’t had a chance to play with Azure, please do. If you have any questions about what Azure means for your business, get in touch.
CEO, Dot Net Solutions
Yesterday I announced the line up for Day 1 of Tech Days Online. Now it's time for Day 2, which will be the first day for IT Pros.
You will notice from below that we have some guest speakers for Day 2. It's too early in the week to let you know who they are but what I will say is that we will be doing a live interview with a senior technical individual from Microsoft in Seattle.
Here is the agenda for:
Day 2 - 25th April
If you want to view the full agenda then you can do so here:
By Vicky Lea
In a previous blog I talked about what you could do with free software, and referred to TechNet subscriptions and MSDN subscriptions. In this blog I am going to look into some more detail as to what your TechNet or MSDN subscription will allow you to do, starting first with TechNet.
There are a number of ways to gain access to a TechNet subscription; one is as a Microsoft partner with a silver or gold competency where you will be eligible for TechNet for Microsoft Competency Partners subscription, another way is as an Action Pack Solution Provider subscriber where you will receive TechNet for Microsoft Action Pack Solution Provider. Alternatively if you are not a Microsoft partner you can purchase a Microsoft TechNet subscription.
But what does your TechNet subscription give you access to?
Well, TechNet subscriptions allow the licensed user to download and evaluate the latest full-version software and beta releases as well as giving access to extensive technical information about Microsoft technologies. Meaning that you can confidently evaluate Microsoft software and plan deployments. There are two main subscriptions you can purchase, TechNet Subscription Standard and TechNet Subscription Professional. The benefits that you receive do vary between the two subscriptions but include:
· Access to full-version software for 12 months with no feature limits – for evaluation purposes only
· Microsoft E-Learning
· 24/7 online chat for site assistance
· Priority Support in TechNet forums
· Access to Microsoft infrastructure products
· Two complimentary Professional Support Calls – TechNet Professional Subscription only
To see more detail around these benefits can I recommend you visit this site: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/subscriptions/bb892759.aspx
It is also worth being aware that customers with Software Assurance on qualifying products do also have access to certain TechNet benefits such as the TechNet Subscription SA Services which provide IT Professionals with answers to technical questions from industry colleagues, and TechNet Plus Direct which consists of the same benefits as TechNet Subscription Professional. Check out the Product List document to see more information about the qualifying products for these SA benefits.
The other area to discuss is what you can do with your MSDN subscription.
MSDN subscriptions can be purchased for individual users either alongside Visual Studio or as a standalone subscription in the form of MSDN Operating Systems. Each MSDN subscription has its own set of benefits including:
· Software and Services for Production Use – only with Visual Studio with MSDN
· Software for Development and Testing
· Technical support incidents
· Priority support in MSDN forums
· MSDN Magazine
· MSDN Flash Newsletter
· MSDN Online Chat
The key element that varies with each MSDN subscription is the list of software that is available for production use and the software available for development and testing. To see a complete list of the benefits per subscription check out this site: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/buy.aspx
And if you wish to see more detail on the individual benefits can I recommend you look here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/aa718661.aspx
As with TechNet, MSDN subscriptions are licensed per named user, allowing that user to access the software, services and support associated with the particular subscription. But whereas with a TechNet subscription access to Microsoft software is for evaluation purposes only, with an MSDN subscription the licensed user has access to Microsoft software for design, development, testing and demonstration purposes as well as being able to evaluate software and simulate customer environments in order to diagnose issues related to their programs.