My Windows Azure Data Services Session at WPC 2013

This afternoon, I have the privilege of joining Scott Klein and Joanne Marone on stage at the 2013 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. If you are wanting to learn more about key Windows Azure scenarios that we see with our customers and how Windows Azure Data Services help you drive more opportunities in these key scenarios, you will not want to miss this interactive session. You will have the chance to get involved, ask questions and get involved in this interactive session. The when, where and what for this session is below.

Drive Opportunities with Windows Azure Data Services

When: Monday, July 8th @ 4:30 PM
Session Code: SC27i
Room: GRBCC: 372 A

Create new business opportunities with Windows Azure, which enables partners to mix-and-match cloud-based data management services to reimagine application design and IT solutions. In this session, you will be exposed to a variety of real-world scenarios that can be used to solve today’s real-world challenges and, based on Microsoft experience, you’ll see where the hidden revenue potential lies.

What’s New in Windows Azure – Chicago Tour

On the evening of June 6th, Microsoft published the Meet Windows Azure Fact Sheet that provided a summary of new and improved Windows Azure capabilities. The following day, the new Windows Azure capabilities were made available at Meet Windows Azure led by Microsoft CVP, Scott Guthrie. And last week, many great Windows Azure technical sessions were delivered at TechEd North America 2012. If you missed all of those amazing opportunities to learn more about What’s New in Windows Azure, and you live in the Chicagoland area, you’re in luck.

Starting tomorrow, I will begin a tour of Chicago User Groups presenting “What’s New in Windows Azure”. In this “What’s New in Windows Azure” tour, I’ll present an overview of the improvements and new Windows Azure capabilities that were just announced. I will visit a number of Chicago groups both in the Western suburbs and in the Downtown Chicago Loop, so if you want to learn more about the new features and capabilities in Windows Azure, RSVP for one of the following Chicagoland events.

Chicago Windows Azure User Group
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 5:30 PM
Microsoft Office – Downers Grove
3025 Highland Pkwy, Suite 300
Downers Grove, IL

Chicago Cloud Computing Meetup
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 @ 5:30 PM
Pariveda Solutions
550 West Washington Blvd, #410
Chicago, IL

Software Development Community
Sunday, July 1, 2012 @ 1:00 PM
Microsoft Store in Oakbrook Center
49 Oak Brook Center
Oak Brook, IL

In New York Speaking at Visual Studio Live! Next Week

This afternoon, I’m packing my carry-on and first thing tomorrow morning I’m leaving Chicago for Visual Studio Live! New York. One of the unique things about this Visual Studio Live! trip is my wife Shelly will be joining me and we’ll be enjoying some downtime in NY. If you have any ideas on things we should do, or places we should see in NYC, please send me your suggestions.

Visual Studio Live! is one of the best developer conferences with four locations to choose from, Las Vegas, New York, Redmond @ Microsoft HQ and Orlando. VS Live! features code-filled days, networking nights and independent education for .NET developers, software architects and designers. The expert presenters make each session interactive, so you can discuss your particular development roadblocks and come away with actionable solutions.

Visual Studio Live! New York is taking place at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, May 14th-17th, 2012 and on Wednesday, May 16th, I’m presenting the following three sessions on Cloud Computing and Windows Azure.

Windows Azure VM Role
May 16th, 2012 @ 1:30 PM
The Windows Azure Platform is a great cloud platform for scalable, on-demand computing power. However, there are scenarios that are not supported by Azure’s web and worker role abstractions. In this session, we will explore the traditional Azure web and worker compute roles and walk through the common challenges encountered when using these. We will explore the architecture and internals of Windows Azure, and then explore VM Role and the scenarios that are enabled having access to the OS. We will walk through the lifecycle of installing, configuring and deploying a VM to Windows Azure and we’ll consider the tradeoffs and alternatives to using VM Role. Finally, we will take a look at what’s new in VM Role and how to get started.

Storage Strategies in Windows Azure
May 16th, 2012 @ 3:00 PM
The Windows Azure Platform provides a plethora of options for data storage and trying to make sense of it all can be overwhelming. In this session, we will explore the Windows Azure data services including SQL Azure, Table and Blob Storage, Local Compute Storage and Caching. We will walk through the scenarios that each data service addresses, and we will dive into how to work with each of them. Lastly, we will explore the factors that encourage using one service over another when multiple fit into your solution and how they can complement each other when used together.

SQL Azure Intro and What’s New
May 16th, 2012 @ 4:30 PM
Windows Azure provides many options for storing data. SQL Azure is Windows Azure’s solution for working with relational data. If you are familiar with SQL Server, SQL Azure will be a natural extension of your knowledge and skills.
In this session, you will get introduced to SQL Azure and learn how to get started. We will explore how to migrate an existing on-premise SQL Server database to SQL Azure. We will then walkthrough how to manage and administer your SQL Azure servers and databases. We will take a look at how to connect and build applications using SQL Azure. Next, we will look at more advanced scenarios using new capabilities like reporting with SQL Azure Reporting, scaling and sharding databases with SQL Azure Federations and synchronizing data with SQL Azure Data Sync for hybrid scenarios and global reach. Finally, we will explore some of the things you should consider when using SQL Azure.

If you are attending Visual Studio Live! New York, I’ll see you next week. If not, and you like education, training and conferences, you should check out Redmond in August and Orlando in December.

Windows Azure Service Name Update – emPHAsis on the Wrong syLLAble

Last night, Windows Azure customers received an email from the Windows Azure Team with “Service Name Updates” in the subject. The first paragraph of the email reads:

In the coming weeks, we will update the Windows Azure Service names that appear in the usage records you download. These are only name changes – your prices for Windows Azure are not impacted. The table below summarizes the changes:

This table followed:

Nowhere in the email was there mention of the Windows Azure name going away, in fact Windows Azure was used eight times in the email excluding the previous table. However, social media and bloggers have developed a conspiracy theory that the Windows Azure brand is history. I would suggest that they completely missed the forest for the trees. If you look at the Prior Service Names for the Windows Azure Platform services, they fall into three major buckets, Windows Azure, AppFabric and SQL Azure. In the New Service Names, there is no mention of those three.

I would suggest that instead of this being a move to deprecate the Windows Azure brand, this might be a move to reduce confusion and consolidate more on the Windows Azure name.

Chicago Windows Azure Kick Start on May 3rd

I’ve been in Redmond all week hanging out with some awesome folks on the Microsoft campus. This evening, I will be heading back to Chicago to host a Windows Azure Kick Start. If you are new to the Cloud and Windows Azure, or would just like some time to get hands-on and create an app in Windows Azure, tomorrow’s Windows Azure Kick Start is for you. There are only 4 seats left and if you’d like to attend, you should register soon.

Register for the Windows Azure Kick Start

Tomorrow, May 3rd, you will get to spend the day with some of the nation’s leading cloud experts in learning how to build a web application that runs in Windows Azure. We will show you how to sign up for free time in the cloud, and how to build a typical web application using the same ASP.NET tools and techniques you already use today. We will explore web roles, cloud storage, SQL Azure, and common scenarios. We will save time for open Q&A, and even cover what should not be moved to cloud. This will be a hands-on event where you will need a laptop configured with the required pieces. We will have help onsite to get the right bits installed as well.

Lunch and prizes will be provided and you could get lucky and win a Kinect!

Microsoft – Chicago Office
200 E Randolph St
Chicago, Illinois 60601
9:00AM – 5:00PM

To make the best use of your time at the Windows Azure Kick Start Event, we recommend you prepare the following requirements before the event:

  • A computer or laptop: Operating Systems Supported: Windows 7 (Ultimate, Professional, and Enterprise Editions); Windows Server 2008; Windows Server 2008 R2; Windows Vista (Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise Editions) with either Service Pack 1 or Service Pack 2
  • Install the free Windows Azure SDK and required software using Web Platform Installer.
  • Setup a Free Windows Azure Platform Trial. If you have MSDN you should activate your MSDN Azure Benefits.
  • The sample code and handbook for the labs will be provided at the event.
  • Consider bringing a power strip or extension cord to stay charged all day.

Register for the Windows Azure Kick Start