Never worry about shadow IT again…

Kind of an ambitious title, eh? I was asked to talk about this subject recently and started to mull some things over in my head. I mean, lets start with the basics – what is “shadow IT” and why should you care.  As an IT Professional who works in the IT Space – you should definitely care. It represents an individual / project / team who has gotten fed up with the current process for procuring “IT Services” and has gone around the blocking team and set something up themselves. this could lead to a couple of assumptions:

  • “The IT department” is going to be left holding the bag when something goes wrong
  • “The IT department” has become so mired in the day to day muck that they can’t properly advise on how to “efficiently” do something that will have long term impact to the company
  • “The IT department” is viewed as a stoic and non agile department that is not perceived as being innovative and providing value to the business

In case you don’t see the trend here, these are negative assumptions. There may be others, but when the term “shadow IT” comes up, it has generally already gone down the wrong path.  This is something everyone in “IT” needs to help prevent – in a more proactive and agile way.

When I was starting out in IT a long time ago – the IT Manager I worked for enjoyed his position on the leadership team as an advisor and a partner. He did a good job of evaluating the requests and collaborating with the various groups and departments on projects that were important to the business.  As Projects got more and more complex, additional full time resources and additional skillsets were not able to be secured or got left behind, which lead to a traditional problem of resource constraints. At some point he realized that there was a disconnect with what the business wanted to do and the actual “costs” associated with it. Long story short – the IT Department evolved into a cost center that was pushed out of relevancy with the rest of the business and the old school equivalent of Shadow IT crept in.

How can you keep it from happening OR how can you “recover” from it already appearing in your work environment.  To some (on the other side) they see it as a good thing, so long as the project goes well and security / architecture was properly thought out. It’s when crap goes wrong that the chips fall and debts are repaid.

Going back to my story of working in that IT department with my Manager and looking back with 20/20 hindsight, some things could have been done to help overall.  If budget was not a factor <sarcasm> we all have unlimited budget, right? </sarcasm> we could have implemented the following:

  • Invest more time to update skills of staff with regards to new technologies they already work in AS WELL AS new emerging technologies that the business could leverage.
  • Invest in additional headcount to distribute the existing workload and allow for more self development time.
  • Commit to Moving the 80% effort for maintaining and fixing existing systems down in order to invest more than 20% effort at exploring new options and technologies.
  • Partnering with new projects as they develop and understand what sort of resources and technologies they need BEFORE they are asked for. I stress the word PARTNERSHIP here.
  • Ensuring current processes are streamlined and not in place to keep the status quo.
  • Rekindle the relevancy of the IT group so that it is viewed as a value added partner to the organization and one that understands how it’s projects affect the business.

The main problem here is that all these points are mostly systemic and require some serious reform and commitment from all those folks in charge. What can an individual IT pro do?  We are one part of the problem and also one part of the solution to change this perception.  Admit it – as IT Folks, we love to solve problems and work on systems so that they provide services to the community of end users. It’s solving these challenges that keep us going and interested in the job. When we are no longer challenged, we get bored and look for new ones.

Here is what I have done to keep me happy and mostly SANE working in IT and help influence change within organizations I work in.

  • Commit to a lifelong learning approach to IT.  I take time in the job and after work to learn about new things – ALL THE TIME. You have to, or you get left behind.
  • Don’t just focus on your core areas of existing expertise. Explore additional areas that are of interest and that you think will be usefull going forward.
  • Share your learnings with others.  Give brownbag lunches to your colleagues. discuss new technologies over beer. Attend conferences and “report back” with good trip reports that include your opinions and insights. Having to explain and teach people what you have learned helps solidify your knowledge and sets you up as a go to person for new technologies.
  • Volunteer for projects that are outside of your comfort zone. your strengths from your existing toolbox will come in handy or at least your approach and alternate viewpoint will bring new light into the project.
  • Provide constructive criticism on how things can be done better. In other words – look to find ways to solve issues and share them in such a way that it’s not assigning blame and its providing a solution instead of just complaining about something that is broken.

Do these things by themselves make your IT department more agile? Would it prevent a Shadow IT department from forming or fix up one that already has? I don’t think it is a silver bullet.  As I mentioned before – it’s a bigger issue than one person to fix, but a bunch of people with a similar mindset AND a supportive management chain that is willing to try to be more responsive and agile will go a LONG WAY to fixing the issues and changing perceptions.

This whole being more agile and having more “dev ops” approach to projects and IT really comes down to some basics that are NOT rooted in various online services, 3rd party tools or solutions sold by different vendors. It’s about the PEOPLE you have in place, their ability to WORK TOGETHER towards a goal and their ability to keep COMMUNICATING without bias. I’m not going to go into a long discussion around DevOps here – my friends Volker Will and David Tesar have been doing a GREAT job talking about DevOps on their blog ( with more of a People/Process focus.  They from an OPS background (which is rather refreshing in the DevOps world) with DEV experiences.  Go check them out.

This was very much a commentary piece. I don’t profess to have all the answers – I can only talk from my experiences. We all have war stories about how things have gone wrong in various IT organizations we worked in.  Hopefully we also have good stories of when things are going RIGHT as well. Do you have any ideas or stories to share? Comment below!

Azure IaaS for IT Pros and SysAdmins


This has been a long time coming, but it is finally here.  I am pleased to announce the event I have been wrangling for months has now finally come to fruition. It’s a 4 day LiveStream activity (December 1st to December 4th) with over a DOZEN engineers from a number of teams – all focusing on various aspects of Azure specifically targeting IT Pros and SysAdmins.  Yup – a soup to nuts interactive event covering everything from windows workloads to hybrid connectivity, Linux and OSS to PaaS and SharePoint solutions.

I’ll be acting as Host and will be joined by some very cool folks! Here is just a sample of some of the heavy hitters who will be involved in the delivery of this event.

  • Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft Azure will kick the event off with a session on what’s important for IT Pros and SysAdmins
  • Corey Sanders, Partner Group Program Manager for Azure IaaS team diving deeper into all things IaaS and changes to the IaaS platform
  • Drew McDaniel, Principal PM Manager on Corey’s team will guide us though the Windows Server workload best practices and architecture
  • Madhan Arumugam, Principal PM Manager on Corey’s team will cover off the Linux and OSS workloads running on Azure

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s lined up. Stay tuned for more details and full agenda for this event.

Go to to register and reserve your spot for this free LiveStreamed event

Hybrid Cloud: you know you can set it up, but how much is right for you?

When I talk with Customers about Microsoft Azure, I can usually gauge pretty quickly if they are ready to dive or not quite ready yet. Lets face it, if you are a die hard IT Pro who has been working On-Premises for the bulk of your career, starting to use “The Cloud” can be a little unnerving. That’s one of the reasons I always try to get something across from the start: Using public cloud resources should be an AND conversation, not a mutually exclusive OR conversation.

No one is trying to get you to drop and migrate all your resources out to “The Cloud”.

I started dabbling in Microsoft Azure a while back, when IaaS first came out.  Things have changed a lot since then, lots of new functionality has been added and it’s getting easier and easier to use. I’ve started to think about it as simply “another” location I could use when I decide to deploy new virtual machines. What are your options for connectivity to these machines? You can abstract it out to 4 levels of connectivity:

  1. Remote Management only: When you spin up new systems in Azure – You control remote connectivity to the machine by modifying things called EndPoints. There are only 2 EndPoints that are open for remote management – an RPD session on a custom port and remote management port is open.   End result, you can get into your machine and if there are multiple machines in your setup, they could have connectivity to each other.
  2. Point to Site VPN: I typically see this one as a quick and dirty connection method for a single machine that resides on premises to have unfettered access to the machines up in Azure. Think of this as either a development box or maybe a database server that you want to keep on-premises for whatever reason, but you want the machines in Azure to have two way communication back to it. Simple to setup, easy to manage.  You configure this from the Azure portal and download the VPN client to run on the box.
  3. Site to Site VPN: Similar to the Point to Site, but it requires some additional setup.  You have to define all the subnets you want connectivity to on premises and in Azure and then download a Gateway configuration script. It could either be a hardware router that need to setup on premises or it could be a configuration file that you can load into a Windows Server 2012 R2 RRAS server. The nice thing about this option is that connectivity is not limited to only one system.  Any system that is within the network ranges you defined will be able to route it’s packets out to Azure and Back.
  4. ExpressRoute: This is the ultimate connectivity option if you plan on going full on Hybrid after trying out one of the other three options.  This is a subscription service which can be enabled on your account that leverages an existing connection you have with one of our partner network providers.  Our partner providers have direct connections to various Azure Regions, allowing for a direct connection from your network over their private lines into the Azure Datacenter.  Your packets are never transmitted over the public internet – it all stays within the network of the provider or Azure Datacenter at a very high speed with minimal latency.  This option comes in very handy when you have a large number of resources on premises that need connectivity without latency up to the Azure world.

I have had very good success using both the Point to Site and Site to Site VPN in smaller production rollouts or pilots / proof of concepts. When it comes to a more robust connectivity options, ExpressRoute is definitely the top tier solution.

Breaking news: We made some announcements at TechEd Europe this week – two additional European partners have been added to the ExpressRoute family (Orange and BT).

Everything you need to know about What’s New in Microsoft Azure

…or maybe “How the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks do you keep up with What’s New in Azure?” would be better. ;-)

 It’s just about an impossible feat to accomplish – based on the number of teams working on this massive thing called “Microsoft Azure”, all with a cadence of what seems like 1-2 weeks…

Welcome to the world of “The Cloud”. As Mark Russinovich said to me during an interview at TechEd:

“In order to go fast in a cloud world, you actually have to go fast”

He wasn’t joking.

Part of what I do for my Job at Microsoft is talk about technologies in a specific area in context of the bigger picture of the IT Industry. I work with various Engineering / product teams to understand their technologies and how it would apply to solve issues in “the real world”. I used to focus exclusively on the core infrastructure of Windows Server. Over the last couple of years I decided to expand that focus to include Microsoft Azure. But wait, Azure is a big place – lots of innovation in all sorts of areas. How do I narrow it down? I focus my effort on technologies and solutions using Azure that would be beneficial for IT Professionals and SysAdmins to  bring into their organizations to be more successful.

Besides talking and meeting with the Teams here on Campus – one of the best places to find out what is new is via the official Azure Blog.  I find I tend to focus just on Virtual Machines and supporting technologies categories (View all posts in Virtual Machines).  From there, I dug up my “top 3” things from the past year that I thought I’d share with you here:

#3) D Series Machines – with SSD

As we roll out new hardware in our datacenters around the world, we are able to offer up new capabilities to our services. Virtual Machines is no exception to that. As a result – we get a new series of machines that have faster processing power, better memory to core ratio and faster disk options. Introducing The D-Series Machines.

Name vCores Memory (GB) Local SSD (GB)
Standard_D1 1 3.5 50
Standard_D2 2 7 100
Standard_D3 4 14 200
Standard_D4 8 28 400
Standard_D11 2 14 100
Standard_D12 4 28 200
Standard_D13 8 56 400
Standard_D14 16 112 800

Get more information about them, what they can do and how to use them (as well as pricing links) from the Azure Blog.

#2) ExpressRoute and other VPN solutions

When I talk about “The Cloud” and Microsoft Azure with anyone, I always make sure to do it as an AND conversation, not an OR conversation.  I see the Public Cloud as an extra tool you can use in your toolbox when designing architecture for new or existing projects.  It’s an AND, mainly because of our connectivity options AND existing skillsets. 


VPN Connectivity could mean a point-to-site discussion for a specific box that is located on-prem or it could be a Site-to-Site connectivity option to truly act as an extension of your on-premises environment.  We announced in May 2014 the addition of what we’re calling ExpressRoute connectivity to select datacenters. Think of this as your internet provider with whom you already have WAN connectivity or Internet connectivity with now having the option to route traffic directly into an Azure Datacenter instead of going across the public internet. 


Want to know more? Check out these posts from Ganesh:

#1) – Azure Site Recovery in General Availability

Think of this scenario for a minute.  You are working with SystemCenter on-premises to define your “clouds” of VMs managed by System Center Virtual Machine Manager.  You want to enable a level of disaster recovery that you currently can’t have, because you only have one Datacenter.  You can now use Azure as your second site and replicate them (provided they are Generation 1VMs) up to Microsoft Azure – using Azure Site Recovery.


Not only is this useful for Disaster Recovery – it could also be used to spin off isolated development environments or as a method of migration from on premises to Azure IaaS… I’ll be honest – it’s a bit tricky to setup and has some hefty requirements on the on-premises side (SystemCenter), but it’s a very attractive option for some DR goodness.

My friend Abhishek has a good starting point for you to research how to enable this… It’s something I also plan on documenting in a simpler format here on the blog.

There you have it – my “Top 3” things that I’ve found interesting from the past year. What about you – got anything that you find particularly useful to share in the Azure space? Any cool sources – share theme here in the comments!

How To: Delete Windows.Old from an upgraded Windows 10 / Threshold system

Yup – I was wondering why I had disk space issues – turns out I had the same problem I documented in this post, once I upgraded my system from Windows 8.1 Update to Windows 10 Technical Preview (a.k.a. Windows 10).

I had Space Issues and Permissions Issues!


Let’s revisit that post for the quick steps on getting back your space:

Here’s how you do it.

  • Download Junction.EXE from Sysinternals. I extracted and saved it to c:\source. You will use this tool to generate a list of all the junctions that have to be removed.
  • create a reference file that lists all the junction points and symbolic links in use by opening up a command prompt, changing into C:\source and running

junction.exe –s –q c:\windows.old >junctions.txt

  • open up PowerShell ISE administrator rights and RUN the following script to remove all symbolic links and junction points in c:\windows.old.

foreach ($line in [System.IO.File]::ReadLines(“c:\source\junctions.txt”))
if ($line -match “^\\\\”)
$file = $line -replace “(: JUNCTION)|(: SYMBOLIC LINK)”,””
& c:\source\junction.exe -d “$file”

Now it’s some simple taking of ownership, granting rights and deleting windows.old to get your space back.

  • to take ownership use

takeown /F C:\windows.old /R /D Y

  • delete c:\windows.old – you now have permissions and ownership.

How much space you get back will change based on your particular situation.  I got back my 6 ish GB…

Edge Show 122: Azure Automation Runbook Gallery with Beth Cooper

In this episode of The Edge Show – I catch up with some of my Azure RSS feeds and discover this little announcement and blog post by Beth Cooper, Program Manager on the Azure Automation team. After a quick exchange of emails – I managed to get her to come down and give us a tour of this cool option and tell us how anyone in the community can contribute their own Runbooks!


Partner Corner:

  • Silect Software Inc gives you a tool to help design and develop new Management Packs (MPs) for Operations Manager 2012 or customize existing MPs through an easy-to-use wizard-driven interface, without knowledge of the underlying MP structure or XML development.  Check out for details.


Ping 224 Band Seeking, predicting the future, Creative Sway, Windows Insiders, Forza Horizons 2 and Middle Earth

Hey everybody! Welcome back to Ping!  It’s episode 224, which is 2+2=4!!!.  (Yes, we passed math – or at least Mark did). 224 episode of what MSFTies are pingin’ each other about.

[03:32] Cortana will never let you miss a concert by your favorite bands

[05:18]  Microsoft is trying to predict the future, and so far it’s succeeding

[07:04] Microsoft’s new Sway app is a tool to build elegant websites

[09:12] Join the Windows Insider Program and get the Windows 10 Technical Preview

[10:56] The Top 5 Cars to Pick Up First in Forza Horizon 2

[14:07] Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Review


[16:17] Question of the week! What commands would you like Cortana to respond to with Home Automation OR what NEW Interests would you like to see in there?


Chat with us throughout the week using  #PingShow on Twitter

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Get the Windows Server Technical Preview bits

October 1st, 2014 marks the release of the “IT Pro” Focused version of Windows 10 from the client perspective.  I am sure you have seen all the tweets / social media / blog posts / press releases all over the place. As a “Server Hugger”, I’m more interested in the Windows Server Technical Preview – which released the same day. I thought I’d share my experiences of getting ready to evaluate Windows Server TP and what I did to get setup.

  1. If you haven’t already – GO SIGN UP FOR THE WINDOWS 10 TECHNICAL PREVIEW for the Enterprise Client… once you have done that, you can start the DL and prep your administrative workstation.  Like all Administrators – you should be managing your servers REMOTELY using RSAT tools – which are client and server version specific.
  2. Next Up – you will need the Windows Server TP RSAT tools – which you can grab from here. remember – I mentioned above – they are Client and Server specific…
  3. Now for the Bits – Windows Server Technical Preview. Well – at the time of writing, they are trickling out.  The official announcement blog post for Windows Server TP and System Center TP can be found HERE.  From that post:

Windows Server Technical Preview

System Center Technical Preview

But wait – say you don’t want to wait to download – or you want to DO something while you are waiting for the download to finish? Check out the Microsoft Azure Gallery Image that was released today for Windows Server TP.  It’s all setup and ready to deploy!

How? Get yourself setup on a 30 day trial of Azure and create a new VM from gallery – Windows Server Technical Preview, October 2014 is a selectable option in the Windows Server image gallery.


Reminder: These are not final – even for evaluation. Don’t use them in production. Features and capabilities will be evolving over the course of the TP, so don’t take everything you see in the TP as being final if you are evaluating a technology.

Lastly – Here is where I go for all the top level “Things I should be trying out….”  The TechNet Library.

  • What’s New in Active Directory Federation Services. Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) in Windows Server Technical Preview includes new features that enable you to configure AD FS to authenticate users stored in Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directories. For more information, see Active Directory Federation Services Overview.
  • What’s new for Hyper-V in the Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of the Hyper-V role in Windows Server Technical Preview, Client Hyper-V running on Windows 10 Technical Preview, and Microsoft Hyper-V Server Technical Preview.
  • Windows Defender Overview. Windows Defender is installed and enabled by default in Windows Server Technical Preview, but the user interface for Windows Defender is not installed. However, Windows Defender will update antimalware definitions and protect the computer without the user interface. If you need the user interface for Windows Defender, you can install it after the operating system installation by using the Add Roles and Features Wizard.
  • What’s New in Remote Desktop Services in the Windows Server Technical Preview. For the Windows Server Technical Preview, the Remote Desktop Services team focused on improvements based on customer requests. We added support for OpenGL and OpenCL applications, and added MultiPoint Services as a new role in Windows Server.
  • What’s New in Storage Services in Windows Server Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of Storage Services. An update in storage quality of service now enables you to create storage QoS policies on a Scale-Out File Server and assign them to one or more virtual disks on Hyper-V virtual machines. Storage Replica is a new feature that enables synchronous replication between servers for disaster recovery, as well as stretching of a failover cluster for high availability..
  • What’s New in Failover Clustering in Windows Server Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of Failover Clustering. A Hyper-V or Scale-out File Server failover cluster can now easily be upgraded without any downtime or need to build a new cluster with nodes that are running Windows Server Technical Preview.
  • What’s New in Web Application Proxy. Web Application Proxy now supports preauthentication for applications using the HTTP Basic protocol, wildcards in external URLS of applications, redirection from HTTP to HTTPS, use of pass-through authentication with HTTP applications, publishing of Remote Desktop Gateway apps, a new debug log, propagation of client IP addresses to backend applications, and improvements to the Administrator console.
  • What’s New in Windows PowerShell 5.0. Windows PowerShell 5.0 includes significant new features—including support for developing with classes, and new security features—that extend its use, improve its usability, and allow you to control and manage Windows-based environments more easily and comprehensively. Multiple new features in Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) are also described in this topic.
  • What’s New in Networking in Windows Server Technical Preview. With this topic you can discover information about new networking technologies, such as Network Controller and Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) Tunneling, and new features for existing technologies, including IP Address Management (IPAM), DNS, and DHCP.

Go out there, try them out – and PLAY SAFE.

Ping 223: CastleStorm, xBox One Comedy Central app, Inbox Personality Rules, MSFT Hardware and Home Automation

Hey everybody! Welcome back to Ping!  It’s episode 223, which is country code, not an area code.  Travel schedules and studio availability got the best of us this past week – sorry about that!  As a bonus – there were LOTS of comments on 222 – so much so, we took the first 9 minutes of the show talking about them all!  But we digress….

We talk about your suggestions about the coolest cooler and more these stories that we’ve been pinging each other about…

[T9:09] CastleStorm: Definitive Edition available for xBox One

[T10:22] Cancel Your Plans: Comedy Central’s Now on xBox One

[T11:37] Give your inbox a personality with Advanced Rules in

[T14:12] Microsoft Creates a keyboard for iOS and Android tablets

[T15:37] Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter

[T18:15] Insteon integrates with Microsoft Cortana for voice control in the home


[T14:32] Question of the week! What commands would you like Cortana to respond to with Home Automation?


Chat with us throughout the week using  #PingShow on Twitter

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How to stay relevant in a changing IT world?

As a self-proclaimed “Server Hugger”, I have had to undergo a transformation of sorts in order to overcome my apprehension of Cloud technologies and level up my IT Skills. My friend Joey Snow and I did two sessions at TechEd North America talking about “Real World Guide to upgrading your IT Skills” a while back, but I thought I’d share a condensed version of three of the things that stuck with me the most and have helped me bring clarity to the role of the IT Professional in a cloud world.

1) The IT Industry is in a constant state of Change. This is the one thing that won’t change!

We have been facing this as IT Professionals for as long as we’ve have been in the industry. Heck – I got started back when there were “green screen terminals” that connected back into one of the Mainframes. I remember ripping those out in place of PCs with emulator cards (for backwards compatibility) and setting them up to login to a Banyan Vines network. Fast forward to Client – Server applications, x.400 addressing for WAN in order to get inter-office mail working, ISDN connections to this “internet” thing, NT 4, Novell NDS, Active Directory – the list goes on and on. It’s always changing and putting NEW TOOLS into my tool belt, provided I took the time to learn those technologies and how I could use them to light up new opportunities for my users and my companies.

How did I deal with it? I embraced it. You need to as well, instead of being a blocker. Set yourself up to be a lifelong learner. You can to.  Go explore things at on a regular basis to learn new things. Check out some of the learning paths to explore new technologies and evaluate some in your lab environments. Follow your curiosity to see where it leads down each path of new technologies. Learn about how to apply them to positively affect your business and your career.

Think of these Technologies as additional tools for your IT toolbox.

2) You have to learn to automate. Period. Full Stop.

I don’t care if it’s PowerShell, Chef, Puppet, Docker – whatever. Being that I am mostly a Windows kind of guy – I lean more towards the PowerShell world. Start with little things that you do on a regular basis via a traditional GUI tool and begin to automate your tasks more often.  Yes – it takes time to learn this, but it is time well invested. Why? In a “cloud” world, automation is the norm, not the exception.  Knowing how to do it now in your on-premises environment will prep you for when you start to create projects in the public cloud space.  If you still have not taken the time to learn PowerShell and need to get started – I HIGHLY recommend Don Jones and Jeffery Hicks book “Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, Second Edition”.

Start small, keep at it – eventually you will find yourself reaching for the PowerShell prompt more instead of the GUI interface.

3) Treat your servers like Cattle, not Pets.

This was a stretch for me. As IT Professionals, we treat our servers individually, each one is unique like a snowflake and therefore would be far to difficult to replace. We need to stop doing this.  Here’s an example that hit me recently: I had an issue with a lab environment where I moved some domain controller VMs between clusters. It required an export and import due to networking issues.  No matter what I did after the physical move, the VMs would not initialize correctly. To make a long story short – I was hit with a new technology that protects us from having duplicate DCs in a virtual world and it was blocking their initialization (which is by design). I spent hours trying to figure out what was going on, defaulting to my FireFighter troubleshooting mode.

It’s in our nature to sit and bang our heads over troubleshooting an issue in our day to day work.  We do this consciously, thinking it’s the fastest way to get something done when the fire is burning – just get it fixed, right?  Subconsciously, we’re learning what is going on under the covers so that we can prevent it from happening again.  In my above example – if I had only stepped back for a moment and looked at this from a different angle – I would have realized that it would have been faster to “re-create and re-deploy” instead of trying to bash my way through it.  Make the systems more generic and document / automate the specialties and configurations so that they can be recreated as required.

In a Cloud world, working with Azure – when I am building new architectures for customers or working on a lab / demo environment that will be used by a number of people – I need to design it in such a way that it’s easiest to wipe it out and re-create it as required instead of troubleshooting it to death.  Sure – spend some time to figure out what went wrong, but when it’s “fixed”, document and automate it so that you can blow it away and re-create it without the issue – and move on. I’d never have done that in my on-premises world – it would have taken too long.

By taking these three tips and updating your mindset – I think you will come to realize that it’s really just a continuation of what you have already been doing, with a few tweaks. Your skills are not going to become magically obsolete, provided you keep on refining your skills, embracing change and learning new skill that are complementary. Keep an open mind towards these new technologies and figure out how you can integrate them into your environment – where it makes sense.

P.S: Remember those sessions from TechEd I mentioned at the start? I was asked for the links – so here they are – approximately 75 minutes each including technical demos.

The Real-World Guide to Upgrading Your IT Skills AND Your Infrastructure, Part 1

The Real-World Guide to Upgrading Your IT Skills AND Your Infrastructure, Part 2