As a fitting complement to last Fall’s Windows Azure Firestarter series put on by my colleagues Brian Hitney, Peter Laudati, and myself, East Region IT Professional Evangelists, Bob Hunt and Yung Chou, will be kicking off the new year with their own set of all-day Firestarters, taking a deep, IT professional-focused look at cloud computing.

Click city to register
February 1 Chevy Chase MD
February 3 Malvern PA
February 8 Iselin NJ
February 10 New York City
March 8 Coral Gables FL
March 10 Tampa FL
March 22 Waltham MA
March 24 Alpharetta GA

Session 1 - Cloud Computing Essentials for IT Pros

While cloud computing is emerging as a promising IT service delivery vehicle, to cloud or not to cloud? That is not the question. For IT professionals, it is crucial to recognize the opportunities and play a key role in the transformation from existing infrastructure-focused IT into a service-oriented, user-centric, and IT as a service environment. Are you ready for the challenge to lead and transform your IT organization?

This session is to clarify myths and provides pertinent information of cloud computing from an IT professional’s viewpoint. We will review the architecture and examine the service delivery models of cloud computing while stepping through business scenarios and operations of employing public cloud and private cloud.

Session 2 - Physical, Virtualized, and Cloud

With virtualization and cloud computing, IT now has many options to deliver services on premises and beyond. How does virtualization work? What to virtualize? Is virtualization relevant to cloud computing? And what is cloud? Do we need cloud? Is cloud the right solution? Which resource to put in the cloud, or not at all? How do we get from point a to point b? This session is to connect some of these dots for and help IT professionals gain insights of transitioning existing IT into a cloud-friendly and cloud-ready environment.

Session 3 - Public Cloud: What, Why, and How

Instead of worrying about plumbing, public cloud gives IT the power to focus on business logic with ability to scale up or down resource capacities depending on business demands. Further with a pay-for-use business model, IT won’t be wasting money on providing services you thought you might need but never got around to using. This session demonstrates employing public cloud for information workers to carry out work routines while IT is realizing the benefits on a daily basis.

Session 4 - Private Cloud: What, Why, and How

Cloud computing with attributes like pooled computing resources, automated management, scalability, on-demand provisioning, etc. is a very opportunity to transform enterprise IT from a device-dependent and infrastructure-focused deployment structure into a customer-centric service-oriented delivery vehicle. For enterprise, the roadmap of IT as a Service is via a common management framework and private cloud.

This session presents the criteria, examines strategies, and walks through the processes of assessing and constructing private cloud with demonstrations on delivering and managing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in an enterprise setting.