Friday, January 12, 2018

Microsoft Azure Essentials

Yes, there is no way around it: Azure is here to stay. Even Microsoft’s on-premise products are being tied more and more into Azure. By this companies are enabled to get the best out of both worlds, without (too many) headaches.

However, Azure is in overdrive. New services are added on almost weekly basis where already existing ones are upgraded, renewed or extended in capabilities.

And as we all know, KNOWLEDGE & EXPERIENCE are key factors for good adoption of new technologies and services. Without people and companies will be hesitant to embrace ‘the new world’.

Already Microsoft has launched efforts in order to address the ‘knowledge & experience’ gap related to Azure. Their latest effort is branded Microsoft Azure Essentials and gives the participants FREE access to Azure services and TRAINING!

As the website states: ‘…You've arrived at the best place to get started with Azure and learn new skills. Whatever your level of expertise, Azure Essentials can help you take it further. Choose a topic and use the curated set of demo videos, hands-on labs, and product trials to learn about and try Azure at your own pace. Azure Essentials also offers multiple learning paths, Azure certification, and support. Best of all, we'll guide you every step of the way…’

You can sign up with a Microsoft account or with your LinkedIn account. Less then a minute you’re in and ready to start your personal training.

There are three pillars/angles here:

  1. Azure Essentials: Aimed at different competences, or area’s of expertise. Select the one (or more!) most suited for your personal situation and start learning by the three steps approach: Watch, Learn & Try.

  2. Career Essentials: Here you can choose a career path, related to the Azure cloud. What is your next level? Data Scientist? IT Architect? Or Cloud IT Architect? Much to choose from, and when selected there are one or more options available, depending to the career path you’ve chosen: Explore, Learn & Do.

  3. Webinars: Watch until you drop Smile. This allows you for a more in-depth dive of the Azure services/technologies you’re interested in.

This new website is a great effort by Microsoft, enabling you to start your own Azure training today. From here you can decide for yourself what to learn, how and when. Don’t be surprised though when additional training and certification, outside the boundaries of this new effort, is required.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New UNLEASHED Book: Microsoft Hybrid Cloud Unleashed with Azure Stack and Azure 1st Edition

For me the UNLEASHED books are the best. Why? Because these books are not only written by the experts themselves who work on a daily basis with the technologies the related books are about, but the content is reviewed by other real life experts as well, most of the times lined up from the vendor delivering the related technologies/products/services. Every time the result is the same:

A book without any marketing mumbo jumbo (except the foreword that is Smile), packed with tons of real life scenario’s, tips & tricks and deep insights about how a certain technology/product/service really works. Many times the work force of the vendor of the related technologies/products/services use the same book as well, because it’s the only book where everything comes together.

So I am more than happy to announce that a new book of the UNLEASHED series is available: Microsoft Hybrid Cloud Unleashed with Azure Stack and Azure 1st Edition:

This book is written by fellow MVPs: Steve Buchanan, Kerrie Meyler,‎ Mark Scholman,‎ Jakob Gottlieb Svendsen, and Janaka Rangama.

On top of this already impressive line-up, Daniel Savage (Principal PM from the Azure Stack team) wrote the foreword and Marc van Eijk (Senior PM from the Azure CAT team) served as technical reviewer.

What to find in this book? Taken directly from the Amazon website:

Detailed information on how to:

  • Run a private/hybrid cloud on your hardware in your data center, using APIs and code identical to public Azure
  • Apply ITIL and DevOps lifecycles to your hybrid cloud implementation
  • Gain a deep understanding of Azure Stack architecture, components, and internals
  • Install and configure Azure Stack and master the Azure Stack Portal
  • Integrate and utilize infrastructure, core, and custom resource providers
  • Effectively provision, secure, and manage tenants
  • Manage, monitor, troubleshoot, and back up Azure Stack with CloudOps
  • Automate resource provisioning with PowerShell, the Azure CLI, templates, and Azure Stack’s API
  • Write your own Azure Resource Manager templates
  • Centrally automate cloud management and complex tasks connected to external systems
  • Develop customized, production-ready Azure Stack marketplace items

As you can see, this book is a MUST HAVE for anyone technically involved with Azure and Azure Stack.

Where do I get this awesome book?

  • Go here to the Amazon webpage
  • Go here to the webpage (Dutch readers only).

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

With 5 days to go it will be Christmas. Therefore I wish you all a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year. See you all back in 2018!

Image result for merry christmas and happy new year

Friday, December 15, 2017

Azure Archive Storage General Available

For a few days now Archive Blob Storage, AKA Azure Archive Storage is general available. As Microsoft states: ‘…(it) is designed to provide organizations with a low cost means of delivering durable, highly available, secure cloud storage for rarely accessed data with flexible latency requirements (on the order of hours)…

Please know that for now the tier selection has to be set on blob level, because you can’t select the required tier on account nor on container level. Hopefully this will change in the future.

Want to know more? Go here and also read the comments as well.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Retirement Date Classic Azure Portal–Set & Confirmed

Finally the classic Azure portal ( will be retired. The retirement date (also referred to as the ‘sunsetting date’) is set for January 8, 2018.

So from that date on, only the current Azure portal ( will be available.

This is good news, since it will streamline the overall Azure management experience. Want to know more?

  • Go here, to read about the ‘sunsetting’ of the classic Azure portal;
  • Go here, to read an earlier posting about the same retirement.

Free Ebook: Azure Strategy & Implementation Guide - For Azure users

Microsoft has recently published a new free ebook, all about implementing Azure.

As Microsoft describes this ebook: ‘…(it) offers both a high-level overview of topics and specific tactics. Regardless of where you are personally focused in infrastructure, data or application arena, there are important concepts and learnings here for you…’.

Go here to download your free copy today.

Free Ebook: Enterprise Cloud Strategy, 2nd Edition

For some time now Microsoft has published a free ebook all about how to establish a strategy and execute the migration to Azure.

This book covers topics like:

  1. What to consider when choosing between hybrid, public, or private cloud environments;
  2. How cloud reduces costs, and even benefits on-premises computing;
  3. New analytics and IoT capabilities;
  4. Security and compliance considerations.

For anyone involved with Azure, this ebook is a must read. Go here to download your free copy today.