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#PingShow 249: Imagine Cup, Windows 10 shortcuts and #ILookLikeAnEngineer

Mark was away this week – I asked Naz to step in to second chair this episode. It’s Episode 249!  Two hundred and Forty Nine episode of whatever Microsoft-ies are pinging each other about.

[00:33] Hey It’s Golnaz!
[01:08] Last show…

[03:07] After tragedy, Imagine Cup team seeks ‘to show the world what Nepal can do’
[05:37] Everything You Can Ask Cortana to Do in Windows 10
[08:50] The best Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts Bonus links, 21 best Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts you should know & 28 essential keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Edge that you should know
[11:26] Get Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta for free!
[13:14] Female software engineer slammed for being ‘too pretty’ and ‘not real’ fights back with online campaign proving nerds can be attractive too,

Bad joke time and Question of the week: [17:41] What is your favorite Windows Keyboard Shortcuts?

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The Ping Show
c/o Channel 9, Bldg 20
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

Live PatchAndSwitch episode Friday 27/2/2015 9 am PST


UPDATE: Hey @PatchAndSwitch fans… Due to unfortunate circumstances, we’re going to have to RESCHEDULE tomorrows episode. 

It’s a little wonky, but a good laugh to enjoy and listen to Patch and Switch over a coffee or a beer on a Friday. It’s that time again, albeit a little late with getting the episode posted. This will be OUR LAST episode using the old technologies.


(I’m sorry – I had to use the cheesy gifs…)

But fear not – we shall be back, hopefully while staying on schedule.  Our new solution should be ready now that we have moved into the new Bunker 2 weeks ago.

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!

Challenge Accepted: #IceBucketChallenge for ALS

Well it had to happen and thanks to Heike Ritter @heikeritter it did.

Simon May and I grabbed some ice, some water and a bucket and got it done.

We nominated some people you might have heard from: Mary Jo Foley (@maryjofoley), Paul Thurrott (@thurrott), Simon Bisson (@sbisson), Mary Branscombe (@marypcbuk), Tom Warren (@tomwarren) and Dina Bass (@dinabass).

Yeah – we might owe some folks a beer next time we see them, but it’s worth it.

Interview with Brad Anderson – behind the scenes of PCIT

I get to talk to some very cool people in my role at Microsoft. I managed to get some time with Vice President of Windows Server and System Center – Brad Anderson.  I learned about the concept of how Microsoft goes about planning out it’s releases of software with the concept of Pillars made up of uber-scenarios addressing customer issues – Way cool stuff!

I chat with Brad about the People Centric IT pillar and some of the scenarios and technologies that fall under that Pillar with regards to the preview release of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2.

Brad has a blog that he’s using to cover these pillars in more depth (providing context) and linking out to all sorts of Engineering blogs who cover more technical details around the technologies supporting these scenarios. This portion of the blog series has two guest posts By Paul Maydield:

  • Post 1 about users data on all sorts of devices (ms and non ms)
  • Post 2 about the consistent management experience and user experience.

The whole blog series can be viewed in his “In The Cloud” blog.

Some of the topics covered in this interview:

  • [00:58] How Microsoft approaches building product and services.
  • [04:42] Where did the design pillars come from?
  • [06:39] Going deeper into scenarios from People Centric IT.
  • [14:41] What software revisions are required to enable these technologies?
  • [19:03] What’s involved to get these blog posts crafted?
  • [23:43] In The Cloud Blog, comments and Next Steps section.
  • [25:08] WorkFolders example for People Centric IT scenario
  • [28:05] Any “Ah-ha moments” from the Demos used in your keynotes?
  • [29:18] What’s planned for the next posts in the series?

How To: Deliver Impactful Demos. Part 4 – A Video

It’s been a while since I posted another demo delivery tips post here on the blog.  Previously I shared my thoughts on how to help you deliver more impactful demos with three posts covering Demo Machine Prep, Use of ZoomIt and Virtualization Guest VM switching.

It just so happens that I was asked to deliver some of these tips and more to a worldwide gathering of Microsoft Certified Trainers as a segment on their quarterly update online event.  I asked my partner in crime Joey Snow to help out and what resulted is a 55 minute video of tips, tricks and story telling that wraps all of this together.

I finally got my hands on a copy of the raw video and spliced it together so I could put it up here. Enjoy!


Edge Show 55 – GroupPolicy goodness with Alan Burchill

Joey and I are on the road for some fun Live Q&A with people about Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. Even though we’re busy and engaging with people – we decided to step it up a notch and record an episode of The EdgeShow while at the hotel.

What’s really cool is this was SHOT with my Nokia 920 phone, resting on my backpack on a chair in the lobby of the hotel in Kansas City.  To get better audio, you can see I used my portable Roland R26 recorder on the desk and had to mash up the audio stream from it into the video in post production. All that was done in the hotel room on my laptop while havin’ a pint of Tanker #7 ale.

Hosting MVA “Office Hours” Live Q&A on Win8 & WS2012

OfficeHoursMy team has hosted a number of online “JumpStarts” for Microsoft Learning focused on Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. In case you missed them – they are live multi-day events streamed online focused on a particular technology and have an interactive Q&A panel where you can get your questions answered. This interaction and Q&A is by far the most fun and valuable – but we’re focused on delivering the content and have help staffing the Q&A forum as it can get backed up with questions.

I was chatting with the MVA team who asked if I would be interested in piloting a live Q&A event with my partner in crime Joey Snow. The twist is: this time the focus IS the live Questions area focusing on getting the ANSWERS out and using Demos to explain the concepts.  We’re focusing on Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 (kind of  like the Peanut Butter and Jelly “better together” concept) for this round. After talking with Joey and working out more logistical details – We’re all in. It’s going to be 90 minutes of all out Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 Q&A / Demo-pa-looza goodness.

The Date has been set – January 15th, 2013. 8:30 AM – 10 AM PST. Get your full details over at the registration page and get your spot reserved EARLY. It’s a pilot. If we get good registration and great participation during the event – we’ll look at making these a more regular occurrence going forward. This one is the pilot to “test the waters”.

Can’t wait to catch you online !

TechEd Europe Foundation Session: Modernizing Your Datacenter resources


As the curator of the TechEd Modernizing Your Datacenter foundational session, I have compiled a one stop resource to complementary sessions about the technologies we demonstrated during the event. You can click on the links to view the session details in schedule builder.

If you are coming across this post AFTER TechEd 2012 has come and gone – don’t worry – there are recordings of each of these sessions you should be able to watch online.

Thanks for stopping by – keep coming back if you are a Windows Server 2012 geek like me.


Section One: Build and scale your infrastructure

VIR308 – What’s New in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V

Speaker(s): Jeff Woolsey
Room: Forum on Tue, Jun 26 12:00 PM1:15 PM

This two-part session overviews the new and updated features for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, including Multitenancy, High Availability, flexibility infrastructure, and Scale and Density. Over the two sessions, it provides a complete summary of why Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V is the best virtualization platform for server consolidation, key workload support and VDI, as well as the ideal platform for Infrastructure as a Service, including Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, and Public Cloud. #TEVIR308

VIR305 – Hyper-V Network Virtualization for Scalable Multi-Tenancy in Windows

Speaker(s): Sandeep Singhal
Room: Hall 2 on Thu, Jun 28 2:45 PM4:00 PM

“Any service at any server in any cloud.” Next generation data centers should allow dynamic resource allocation and consolidation across large resource pools. The topological constrains of today’s data center networks limit how services can be assigned to servers. Windows Server 2012 enables you to create an agile, multi-tenant cloud on top of your existing infrastructure by virtualizing the network. Network virtualization decouples server configuration from network configuration to provide a virtual dedicated network to each tenant. This allows seamless migration of workloads, while continuing to provide security isolation between tenants. Partners have the opportunity to become multi-tenancy aware and provide the next generation of services, devices, appliances, both physical and virtual, to augment and complete the Windows offering to build secure, scalable, multi-tenant public and private clouds. #TEVIR305

Section Two: Deploy applications and services

WSV332 – What’s New with Internet Information Services (IIS) 8: Performance, Scalability, and Security

Speaker(s): Shaun Eagan and Wade Hilmo
Room: Hall 2 on Thu, Jun 28 10:15 AM11:30 AM

The session focuses on the new performance, scalability, and security features that are available in IIS 8, including how IIS scales on modern hardware, offers additional security via dynamic rules, and manages the end-user expectations on the age old question, “why does the first request take a long time on IIS?” #TEWSV332

WSV42-HOL – Exploring Application Scale and Management Enhancements in IIS 8

All week in Hands On Labs area

The lab steps through the key SSL investments in next version of IIS. Learn about how to configure SNI (Server Name Indication) and manage the certificate quickly and securely by keeping them in a central location. This lab is particularly relevant for those who manage many secure sites in a server farm.

MGT304 – Cloud? It’s All about the App!

Speaker(s): Maarten Goet
Room: Hall 10A on Wed, Jun 27 12:00 PM1:15 PM

The applications to empower our businesses are what we should focus on. We should choose the platform to host the application that best meets the needs, whether it’s a public cloud (Windows Azure) or a private cloud (Hyper-V). In this session Maarten Goet, five-year Microsoft System Center MVP, shows how System Center can help you make those choices and provides integrated management for all cloud worlds. He demonstrates Hyper-V with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 and System Center App Controller 2012 with Azure and provides you with a practical approach to embracing the right cloud for your application. #TEMGT304

Section Three: Manage and maintain availability

WSV205 – Windows Server 2012 Overview

Speaker(s): Michael Leworthy
Room: Forum on Tue, Jun 26 2:45 PM4:00 PM

Windows Server 2012 brings Microsoft’s experience building and operating public clouds to the server operating system, making it a dynamic, highly available, and cost-effective platform for private clouds and on-premise datacenters. It can take you Beyond Virtualization while offering The Power of Many Servers, and the Simplicity of One. It helps with Every App, Any Cloud, and offers to help Enable the Modern Work Style. Learn what we mean by all that and furthermore, experience this in a number of demos showing exciting new features and scenarios. #TEWSV205

WSV306 – Inside Windows Server 2012 Multi-Server Management Capabilities

Speaker(s): Erin Chapple and Jeffrey Snover

Room: Hall 9C on Tue, Jun 26 4:30 PM5:45 PM

Windows Server 2012 will offer excellent total cost of ownership as an integrated platform with comprehensive, multicomputer manageability. Two areas in which Windows Server 2012 improves multicomputer management are Server Manager and Windows PowerShell 3.0. Server Manager in Windows Server 2012 helps you efficiently deploy and manage roles and features on the local server, on remote servers, and on both online and offline virtual hard disks. It also provides a multiserver experience where you can centralize your Windows Server management in a single view, and streamlined your server configuration and deployment from the same window. Windows PowerShell 3.0 provides an extensive platform to help you manage server roles and automate management tasks. With access to over 2300 commandlets (a tenfold increase from the previous version), Windows PowerShell 3.0 offers comprehensive management across your datacenter. This session overviews these subjects in detail and prepares you for enhancing your management capability. #TEWSV306

WSV322 – Update Management in Windows Server 2012: Revealing Cluster-Aware Updating and the New Generation of WSUS

Speaker(s): Erin Chapple, Mallikarjun Chadalapaka
TechEd NorthAmerica REPLAY

Today, patch management is a required component of any security strategy. In Windows Server 2012, the new Cluster-Aware Updating (CAU) feature delivers Continuous Availability through automated self-updating of failover clusters. In Windows Server 2012, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) has evolved to become a Server Role with exciting new capabilities. This session introduces CAU with a discussion of its GUI, cmdlets, remote-updating and self-updating capabilities. And then we proceed to highlight the main functionalities of WSUS in Windows Server 2012 including the security enhancements, patch deployment automation, and new Windows PowerShell cmdlets to perform maintenance, manage and deploy updates. #TEWSV322

Section Four: Securely Deliver Services to Devices

SIA207 – Windows Server 2012 Dynamic Access Control Overview

Speaker(s): Matthias Wollnik and Rutwick Bhatt

Room: Hall 2 on Wed, Jun 27 2:45 PM4:00 PM

This session provides an overview of the new Dynamic Access Control capabilities built into Windows Server 2012 and how it can best be leveraged for Compliance and Data Leakage Prevention to enable Data Governance. Administrators now have greater control over file server data by leveraging Active Directory claims, a more robust ACL model, Active Directory centralized authorization/auditing policy, and data classification. This session provides an overview of the principal Dynamic Access Control scenarios, showcases the data classification toolkit and integrated partner solutions, and provides a foundation for the Dynamic Access Control breakout sessions. #TESIA207

SIA341 – Windows Server 2012 Dynamic Access Control Deep Dive for Active Directory and Central Authorization Policies

Speaker(s): Matthias Wollnik

Room: Elicium 1 on Wed, Jun 27 5:00 PM6:15 PM

How does Dynamic Access Control affect Active Directory Domain Services? Come to this session and find out how it works! This session provides a technical deep-dive on Dynamic Access Control specifically targeted to the AD Administrator. Topics include the mechanics of Active Directory claims, central access policies, new authentication and authorization capabilities, the latest guidance on AD token bloat, and more. #TESIA405

SIA21-HOL – Using Dynamic Access Control to Automatically and Centrally Secure Data in Windows Server 2012

Available all week in Hands On Labs area

In this lab, explore Dynamic Access Control in Windows Server 2012. Learn how to create Central Access Policies, explore the new Access Denied Remediation features, as well as how to utilize the audit capabilities built into Dynamic Access Control.