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  • Blog Post: Cloud projects and cross-country moves

    I tend to take real-life events and correlate them to computational scenarios. It’s a hazard of being a technical professional, I suppose. In the United States, it’s kind of a law that you have to move your family across the country at least once in your life. I’ve done it a lot...
  • Blog Post: Videos and Training on Windows Azure IaaS from TechEd New Orleans

    I’m catching up on a bunch of features, functions, updates and more learning from the TechEd Event in New Orleans recently. In fact, videos, Windows Azure documentation, and of course blogs are the new way to keep up – books are just too slow to produce to handle the pace. I thought I’d...
  • Blog Post: Cloud Computing Architecture Patterns: Don’t Focus on the Client

    Normally I try to put topics in the positive in other words "Do this" not "Don't do that". Sometimes its clearer to focus on what *not* to do. Popular development processes often start with screen mockups, or user input descriptions. In a scale-out pattern like Cloud Computing on Windows Azure, that...
  • Blog Post: The “Consumerization” of IT and the Dark Side of the Cloud

    Cloud computing is actually being largely driven by the “Consumerization of IT”. That phrase, as grammatically incorrect as it is, represents a fundamental change to the way businesses think about technology, and subsequently how the IT team provides it. Years ago, technology was introduced...
  • Blog Post: How Does the Cloud Change a Developer's Job?

    I've recently posted a blog on how cloud computing would change the Systems Architect’s role in an organization , another on how the cloud changes a Database Administrator's job , and the last post dealt with the Systems Administrator . In this post I'll cover the changes facing the Software Developer...
  • Blog Post: How Does the Cloud Change a Systems Administrator's Job?

    I recently posted a blog entry on how cloud computing would change the Systems Architect’s role in an organization , and another on how the cloud changes a database administrator's job . This time I'll cover a few of the changes the cloud brings for the Systems Administrator . The systems administrator...
  • Blog Post: How Does the Cloud Change a Database Administrator’s Job?

    I recently posted a blog entry on how cloud computing would change the Systems Architect’s role in an organization . In a way, the Systems Architect has the easiest transition to a new way of using computing technologies. In fact, that’s actually part of the job description. I mentioned that...
  • Blog Post: How Does the Cloud Change a Systems Architect’s Job?

    I know - I said I didn't like the "cloud" term, but my better-phrased "Distributed Systems" moniker just never took off like I had hoped. So I'll stick with the "c" word for now, at least until the search engines catch up with my more accurate term. I thought I might spend a little time on how the...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Windows Azure Disaster Recovery Options for On-Premises SQL Server

    One of the use-cases for a cloud solution is to serve as a Disaster Recovery option for your on-premises servers. I’ll explain one particular use-case in this entry, specifically using Windows Azure “IaaS” or Virtual Machines as a Recovery Solution for SQL Server (more detail here:...
  • Blog Post: Developing a Support Plan for Cloud Applications

    Last week I blogged about developing a High-Availability plan. The specifics of a given plan aren't as simple as "Step 1, then Step 2" because in a hybrid environment (which most of us have) the situation changes the requirements. There are those that look for simple "template" solutions, but unless...
  • Blog Post: Cloud Computing - just get started already!

    OK - you've been hearing about "cloud" (I really dislike that term, but whatever) for over two years. You've equated it with just throwing some VM's in some vendor's datacenter - which is certainly part of it, but not the whole story. There's a whole world of - wait for it - *coding* out there that you...
  • Blog Post: The Windows Azure Software Development Kit (SDK) and the Windows Azure Training Kit (WATK)

    Windows Azure is a platform that allows you to write software, run software, or use software that we've already written. We provide lots of resources to help you do that - many can be found right here in this blog series. There are two primary resources you can use, and it's important to understand what...
  • Blog Post: Using Resources the Right Way

    It’s an interesting time in computing technology. At one point there was a dearth of information available for solving a given problem, or educating ourselves on broader topics so that we can solve problems in the future. With dozens, perhaps hundreds or thousands of web sites and content available...
  • Blog Post: Cloud Computing: Start with the problem

    At one point in my life I would build my own computing system for home use. I wanted a particular video card, a certain set of drives, and a lot of memory. Not only could I not find those things in a vendor’s pre-built computer, but those were more expensive – by a lot. As time moved on and...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure Database (SQL Azure) Development Tip

    When you create something in the cloud, it's real, and you're charged for it. There are free offerings, and you even get free resources with your Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscription, but there are limits within those. Creating a 1 GB database - even with nothing in it - is a 1 GB Database...
  • Blog Post: The Importance of Paranoia for the Technical Professional

    I recently read a blog post from a technical professional who’s account had been hacked ( http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/08/apple-amazon-mat-honan-hacking/all/ ) – not because he used poor passwords or unsafe practices, but because the hackers used some social engineering to get around...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure Visio Shapes

    Normally when I diagram a solution for a customer, I use whatever they are comfortable with. I do most of my work these days in OneNote, especially when it’s an Architecture Design Session (ADS), since I can capture notes, handwriting, drawings, web pages, whiteboards, camera shots and even voice. In...
  • Blog Post: In the Cloud, Everything Costs Money

    I’ve been teaching my daughter about budgeting. I’ve explained that most of the time the money coming in is from only one or two sources – and you can only change that from time to time. The money going out, however, is to many locations, and it changes all the time. She’s made a simple debits and credits...
  • Blog Post: Creating a Corporate Data Hub

    The Windows Azure Marketplace has a rich assortment of data and software offerings for you to use – a type of Software as a Service (SaaS) for IT workers, not necessarily for end-users. Among those offerings is the “Data Hub” – a  codename for a project that ironically actually does what the codename...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure – Write, Run or Use Software

    Windows Azure is a platform that has you covered, whether you need to write software, run software that is already written, or Install and use “canned” software whether you or someone else wrote it. Like any platform, it’s a set of tools you can use where it makes sense to solve a problem...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure End to End Examples

    I’m fascinated by the way people learn. I’m told there are several methods people use to understand new information, from reading to watching, from experiencing to exploring. Personally, I use multiple methods of learning when I encounter a new topic, usually starting with reading a bit about the concepts...
  • Blog Post: Book Review (Book 11) - Applied Architecture Patterns on the Microsoft Platform

    This is a continuation of the books I challenged myself to read to help my career - one a month, for year. You can read my first book review here , and the entire list is here . The book I chose for April 2012 was: Applied Architecture Patterns on the Microsoft Platform . I was traveling at the end of...
  • Blog Post: Preparation is key to a successful cloud deployment

    If you want to be wise, watch the actions and outcomes of others. Emulate the successful actions, and avoid the actions that cause failure. That’s true in life in general - and in technology projects in specific.  I’ve worked with several clients who have created or migrated an application to “the...
  • Blog Post: Pay in the future should make you think in the present

    Distributed Computing - and more importantly “-as-a-Service” models of computing have a different cost model. This is something that sounds obvious on the surface but it’s often forgotten during the design and coding phase of a project. In on-premises computing, we’re used to purchasing a server and...
  • Blog Post: “I could use a little help here” or “I can do it myself, thank you” for Cloud Projects

    Windows Azure allows you to write code in languages within the .NET stack, you can use Java, C++, PHP, NodeJS and others. Code is code - other than keeping things stateless, using a Web or Worker Role in Azure is not all that different from working with an on-premises system. However…. Working in a scalable...
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