My Appearance on Windows Weekly

If you don’t know it, Windows Weekly on the TWiT podcast network, is one of the (if not the) biggest Microsoft news podcast around. I’ve been a listener for a long time, and enjoy the news & conversations between the hosts, with news coming from Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott. Because of my writing on, a sister site of Paul’s site, I’ve gotten to meet Paul a few times. Mary Jo and I have talked a few times and met at conferences over the years – she gave me a massive opportunity a few years ago by inviting me to do a guest article on her site while she was on vacation. Both are real journalists using the blogging platform, and they’re the sort of people I respect in the media … and they’re nice people too.

I first met them in person at the TechEd in New Orleans when I was given a press pass. I was sitting out in the press room, and the two megastars of Microsoft news sat across the table from me. I kind of nerded out Smile

Anyway … I’m here at the Ignite conference and Mary Jo and Paul were doing a live recording of Windows Weekly in a studio that Microsoft had set up to do various live community podcasts throughout the week. I’d always thought that I’d love to visit the studio in California when Windows Weekly was on but never had the chance. This was an opportunity to sit in and enjoy the show live instead of in my car while commuting to/from work. I sat in, and it was enjoyable. As usual, the two had some background news and information from interviews with senior Microsoft staff that filled out knowledge that I had.

Often at recording at events, the show opens up an audience mic for Q&A. I think at one point Paul said something about “why is there no Cortana in my country”. After a series of questions where Windows Phone came up, I decided to walk up and offer up something different. It starts at the 1:25:49 mark.

It was very cool to appear, even in a tiny way, on a show that has informed me so much over the news. Thanks Paul & Mary Jo, and to the TWiT network for the opportunity!

Microsoft Ignite 2017 Keynote Notes

I’m live blogging from Microsoft Ignite in Orlando. Hit refresh to read more.

Before the Keynote

The score so far:

  • Orlando: 10
  • Chicago: Minus 5 trillion

This place is huge and the crowds are huge. But getting here was easy. My hotel is a good bit up “I-Drive” in Orlando, but it took less than 10 minutes to get here, from walking out the hotel door to walking into one of the conference buildings. I got in at 08:25, but the main keynote hall was already full and we were being redirected. I ended up on the “community hall” to watch the keynote on some big screens. Sounds like a downer, but I’m sitting at a table and I can easily type on my laptop.

We’re counting down to Julia White, the “host” of Ignite, before Satya Nadella takes command. That’ll be two hours of intelligent edge, mobile user experience, and his new book (I guess).

Roll the music … a video plays to show us highlights from the last year. Microsoft tech changing business, enabling someone to write again, saving a baby’s life. They really do this type of media well, but they need to share it on TV, not just at conferences.

Julia White

The “host” of Ignite takes the stage and talks about how hurricane Irma could have ended all this. Donation stations, kit assembly stations, and blood donation stations are throughout the conference centre.

We are “change agents” apparently – this week’s buzz phrase? There’s real-time translation in 12 subtitled languages, powered by MS AI.

Satya Nadella

The CEO takes the stage. He thanks the local community for helping with ensuring the conference could run. He offers words of support for the Texas and Florida communities.

The Ignite conference has a diverse range of attendees. Generations of Microsoft customers, with diverse roles from end user devices to back end. Envision is also on here, and this includes the business/C-level customers. “Digital Transformation”. 1 Drink. Continuous change and renewal is the theme of the two conferences.

Technology shouldn’t degrade humanity. Big chrome robots won’t crush your skinless skull after AI machine learning/deep learning launches nukes at us.

It’s hard to keep up with this. It’s lots of words, but it’s fluff. I’ll pause until the salad is finished and the meat is served.


Quantum Computing

Think about the limitations of a classic computer. It would try/fail/try to solve a maze – a brute force system. Instead of doing 1 or 0, a quantum computer does 1 and 0 simultaneously. It can try every path in the maze at the same time. Sounds easy, but it’s not. It starts with a world-class team, lead by Craig Mundie. Physics, computer science, and math must be put together.

Dr. Michael Freedman (maths), Dr. Charie Marcus and Dr. Leo Kouwaenhovern (physics) and Dr. Krysa Svore (computer science) come on stage for The Early Early Show with Satya Nadella. Seriously, these people are smart. I haven’t a clue – that’s not a complaint, they’re just incredibly intelligent.


Going to Ignite 2017 & Azure Architect Bootcamp

Not only is H2 of 2017 insanely busy at work, but I’m going to be travelling for the next 2 weeks. I’ll be one of over 20,000 attendees at Ignite 2017 in Orlando, starting on Monday. Ignite is Microsoft’s biggest tech event, focusing on the business technology solutions.

There will be lots of announcements and lots of new things to learn. Not only will I be trying to keep with my on-premises and Azure infrastructure knowledge, but my plan is to grow what I know in the PaaS space too.

I plan to do a lot of live blogging from the conference so make sure you check out my site next week.

Then on the following Sunday, I fly up to Bellevue, which lies between Seattle and Redmond. Work has enrolled me in an Azure Architect Bootcamp for Microsoft Partners. This event, for MS Partners only, offers three level 300-400 tracks on infrastructure, platform, and data. You might expect me to attend the infrastructure track, but my focus will instead I registered for the the platform track.


If you’re at either of these events then don’t be afraid to say “hi” if you see me about. I’m in the Bellevue area from Oct 2 to 6th, and if anyone is looking for a user group speaker in the general area then I’d be happy to do something in the Azure IaaS area – I’ve got lots of content so just email me and all I ask for is a coke or a coffee.

Future Decoded: My Session Is “Azure Site Recovery – Be A Super Hero!”

I’m going to be talking about Azure’s DR-as-a-Service or DR-site-in-the-cloud solution, Azure Site Recovery (ASR) at Future Decoded, a fantastic IT event by Microsoft UK beside London City Airport, on November 1/2.

“Remember; when disaster strikes, the time to prepare has passed” , Stephen Cyros.

We all think that disasters never happen near us; bushfires, earthquakes and flying cows are things that happen elsewhere. But the truth is very different, disasters strike every day without making headlines, sometimes wiping out a company or just that one critical server, and the cruel thing about disasters is that they tend to strike those that are unprepared; it’s those times that the business needs a hero. Unfortunately, a hero needs to be prepared, and during a disaster is not the time to prepare. IT Pros know that we need to have DR solutions, but often they’ve proven to be too costly or too difficult to implement. Times have changed; cloud computing has democratized and simplified DR. ASR’s low cost OPEX model makes replication of physical, vSphere, or Hyper-V servers to Azure more … more so now, thanks to recent price cuts. Large and small enterprises benefit from ASR’s orchestration which makes failover easy and reliable – you can order failover of machines and build in scripted extensions, and test your orchestrated failover without impacting production systems.

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Future Decoded will have lots of great content from a variety of speakers with different backgrounds, and come along to my session to learn how you can be the super hero, and get your business back operational when everyone else is panicking.

Webinar: An Overview of Azure

I’ve been asked to deliver a webinar this week, focusing on an overview of Microsoft Azure. This overview sessions will talk about what Azure is, what it isn’t, and the types of services that it delivers. I will be focusing on Azure, as sold through the CSP channel (an ARM-only implementation of Azure).

The webinar will be under 1 hour long, starting at 2pm (UK/Ireland) and 3PM (CET), on Thursday 6th October.



All the details and registration are here.

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Windows Server 2016 Launch in Ireland

I’m delighted to announce that my employers are running the community launch of Windows Server 2016 (WS2016) in Dublin, Ireland, on October 26th, starting promptly at 10:30.

You might have heard that Microsoft announced general availability yesterday at the Ignite conference in Atlanta, USA – actual GA is mid-October with the pieces being on the October price list. Unfortunately, this will be another Windows Server and System Center release that will not be publicly launched by Microsoft Ireland. In that absence, MicroWarehouse and a selection of expert speakers from around Europe will be gathering at the Marker Hotel in Dublin to share their knowledge.  These folks have been working with the technology since the first public preview nearly 2 years ago, and some have a deep knowledge that they’ve built up by working closely on testing the products, shaping their futures, and even running the previews in production!

Quite honestly, there has never been a panel of speakers put together like this before for a Microsoft event in Ireland. So far we have confirmed:

  • Carsten Rachfahl (MVP, Germany)
  • Didier Van Hoye (MVP, Belgium)
  • Damian Flynn (MVP, Ireland)
  • Kevin Greene (MVP, Ireland)
  • Me (another MVP, Ireland)

There will be a keynote followed by 2 tracks of breakout sessions. The two tracks are based on the fact that WS2016 + the new Azure Stack complete Microsoft’s hybrid cloud vision:

  • On premises track, focusing on Windows Server 2016 and Azure Stack
  • Hybrid cloud track, looking at how we can extend IT into Microsoft Azure

I cannot tell you how much new stuff there is in WS2016 – it’s a huge product, and there’s loads more to learn about in Azure! If you are paying attention, then it’s time to update awareness of what the new platforms can do, and this launch is the place to start.


  • The Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2, D02 CK38, Ireland
  • Registration opens at 10:00 on October 26th



Intended Audience

Anyone from anywhere that wants to increase their awareness of what Windows Server 2016, Azure Stack, and Microsoft Azure can do:

  • Technical, consultants, administrators, engineers
  • IT sales
  • Technical pre-sales & architects
  • Microsoft partners
  • Microsoft customers
  • Students who want to be ready for the real world

There is a small fee to ensure that those who register online intend to attend the event and to discourage the “muffin munchers” that are more interested in free snacks.

Online Options

The event will not be streamed online and will not be recorded.

Webinar: What’s New in WS2016 Failover Clustering & Storage

We’ve only just wrapped up our webinar on Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V, and we’ve just announced our next one, this time focusing on high availability and storage in Windows Server 2016. This is a huge release for these areas and there’s lots to cover … and show in demos (I am definitely mad to do live demos with a technical preview release).

The webinar is at 14:00 UK/Ireland, 15:00 CET, and 09:00 EST (I think) on September 22nd. You can register here.


In case you’re wondering why I’m taking a 1 month break from webinars … I need some time to update my Azure IaaS training course materials. We’ll share more about that on when we’re ready.

Webinar Today: Reducing Costs By Switching From VMware to Hyper-V on DataON Cluster-in-a-Box

I’m presenting in a webinar by DataON Storage later today at 6PM UK/Irish time, 7PM Central Europe, and 1 PM Eastern. The focus is on how small-medium businesses can switch to an all-Microsoft server stack on DataON hardware and greatly reduce costs, while simplifying the deployment and increasing performance.


There are a number of speakers, including me, DataON, a customer that made that jump recently, and HGST (manufacturer of enterprise class flash storage).

You can register here.

Webinar – What’s New in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V

We just wrapped up delivering our latest webcast, which will be shared on the MicroWarehouse site in the next few days, along with the deck and digital handout. And we’ve already scheduled the next webinar, which will be the first in a series of webinars focusing on Windows Server 2016 ahead of the launch at Microsoft Ignite on 26th of September – probably followed up by being on the “new sales” price list on October 1st.

The first WS2016 webinar will focus on Hyper-V – further sessions will be scheduled on storage, clustering, networking, etc. And I’m going to be doubly brave. I’m going to do demos based on a technical preview release (what an idiot!), and I’m going to do them live in the webinar (what a moron!). Hey – it’s all fun, right?!?!?

So come on and join us on August 25th at 14:00 (UK/Ireland), 15:00 CET and 09:00 Eastern, to see if it all blows up in my face and maybe learn something new about where virtualization is going in this era of cloud computing.


Register here and download the calendar reminder.

Webinar – Affordable Hyper-V Clustering for the Small/Medium Enterprise & Branch Office

I will be presenting another MicroWarehouse webinar on August 4th at 2PM (UK/Ireland), 3 PM (central Europe) and 9AM (Eastern). The topic of the next webinar is how to make highly available Hyper-V clusters affordable for SMEs and large enterprise branch offices. I’ll talk about the benefits of the solution, and then delve into what you get from this hardware + software offering, which includes better up-time, more affordability, and better performance than the SAN that you might have priced from HPE or Dell.


Interested? Then make sure that you register for our webinar.