J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

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  • Blog Post: Cloud Scenarios at Your Fingertips

    If you don’t know the scenarios for the Cloud, it’s hard to make the case for the Cloud.  Whether you’re a Solution Architect, Enterprise Architect, Business Leaders, IT Leaders, CIO, analyst, etc., you need to know the pains, needs, and desired outcomes so that you can rationalize the technology...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Cloud Analysis Tool and Infrastructure Optimization Tool

    I had 20 minutes before my meeting so I did a quick step through of the new Microsoft Cloud Analysis Tool and the Infrastructure Optimization Self-Assessment Tool.   The Microsoft Cloud Analysis Tool helps you build a roadmap to the Cloud based on your business needs, constraints, and desired...
  • Blog Post: Portfolio Management

    How do you manage your portfolio of IT investments?  Do you have a mental model for portfolio management?   Here is an example: While there are a lot of ways to manage a portfolio, I find the frame above to be highly effective.  It’s from the Cranfield School of Management in the...
  • Blog Post: Stevey's Google Platforms Rant

    I’m a fan of lessons learned.   I especially like Stevey’s Google Platform Rant because it’s raw and it’s real, and it’s an insider’s lessons on what they think Amazon does right, and what Google does wrong, and how to fix it.  It’s a call to action. It did not strike me as a bash post...
  • Blog Post: IT Drivers for the Cloud

    While putting together lessons learned from our Cloud-related Enterprise Strategy engagements, we consolidated a set of recurring IT drivers. The improvement of IT services and operations can deliver benefits such as improved service levels and cost savings. The Cloud offers numerous routes to IT optimization...
  • Blog Post: IT Scenarios for the Cloud

    “I think it is one of the foundations of the next generation of computing." -- Tim O'Reilly While putting together lessons learned from our Cloud-related Enterprise Strategy engagements, we consolidated a set of recurring IT scenarios and themes.  You may find these useful if you are thinking...
  • Blog Post: Business Scenarios for the Cloud

    While putting together lessons learned from our Enterprise Strategy cloud engagements, we consolidated a set of recurring business scenarios and themes.  You may find these useful if you are thinking about cloud opportunities from a business perspective, and are looking for some common patterns...
  • Blog Post: Create New Revenue Streams from Existing Capabilities

    While putting together business scenarios for the cloud , one of the scenarios that came up is “create new revenue streams from existing capabilities.”  The business opportunity, solution, and benefits are summarized as follows: Opportunity Monetize business capabilities as a revenue generator....
  • Blog Post: Achieve Cost-Effective Business Continuity

    While putting together business scenarios for the cloud, one of the scenarios that came up is “achieve cost-effective business continuity.”  The business opportunity, solution, and benefits are summarized as follows: Opportunity Business continuity risk can be transferred to vendors by leveraging...
  • Blog Post: Why Some Companies Execute Better

    Execution is king.  That’s what one of my most seasoned mentors taught me, early on at Microsoft. I’m always on the hunt for principles, patterns, and practices that improve execution, whether at the individual, team, or organization level.  Since I’ve joined the Microsoft Enterprise Strategy...
  • Blog Post: Move to the Cloud, Use the Cloud, or Be the Cloud

    Mental models can really help you simplify how you think about a problem.  One of the more useful mental models I’ve come across while working across cloud solutions is:  … Move to the Cloud, Use the Cloud, and Be the Cloud. It’s a simple way to think about the role you play in the cloud arena...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Cloud Case Studies at a Glance

    Cloud computing is hot.  As customers makes sense of what the Microsoft cloud story means to them, one of the first things they tend to do is look for case studies of the Microsoft cloud platform.  They like to know what their peers, partners, and other peeps are doing. Internally, I get to...
  • Blog Post: User Stories for Cloud Enterprise Strategy

    This is a collection of user stories for the cloud.  This collection is a simple way to share the most common scenarios that Enterprise Architects, business leaders, and IT leaders will be facing as they adopt cloud technologies. I decided to kill two birds with one stone.  First, I wanted...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure Whitepapers Roundup

    While hunting and gathering cloud-related white papers, I found a nice collection of our Windows Azure white papers: A Developer’s Guide to Service Bus for the Windows Azure Platform AppFabric Alinean TCO Case Study – Whitepaper An Introduction to Windows Azure Platform AppFabric for Developers Cloud...
  • Blog Post: Cloud Scenarios Hub on TechNet

    If you haven’t seen it, TechNet has a Cloud Scenarios Hub . I like the focus on scenarios – it’s a great way to bring together a problem and a solution in context, while pulling together all the relevant guidance.  It’s a focusing anchor-point in action. Here’s a quick tour of the scenarios they...
  • Blog Post: How Microsoft IT Does Cloud Computing

    While researching some cloud topics, I came across a nice resource on TechNet called How Microsoft IT Does It . It’s an insider’s look showcasing how our Microsoft IT department plans for, deploys, and manages our enterprise solutions across the business lines using our Microsoft product and technology...
  • Blog Post: Azure Canonical Application Architecture

    While working with a customer last week at our Microsoft Executive Briefing Center (Microsoft EBC), one of the things we need to do was find a simple way to whiteboard the architecture.  We walked through a lot of variations of application patterns, but the customer ultimately wanted to see one...
  • Blog Post: How To Use ASP.NET Forms Auth with SQL Server on Windows Azure

    This post is a quick step through of creating a Windows Azure cloud project that authenticates using ASP.NET Forms Authentication with SQL Server as the user store. The core steps are very much the same as my previous post How To Use ASP.NET Forms Auth with Azure Tables .   The key difference...
  • Blog Post: Getting Started with Windows Azure

    While ramping for Windows Azure, we created a quick set of steps to get other team members quickly started with Azure.  The goal is tight – get Azure running on your local box and be able to explore and run the Azure SDK samples. Installing the Azure SDK and the Visual Studio Tools for Azure Here...
  • Blog Post: VMs for Web and Worker Roles in Windows Azure

    This is my current mental model for Virtual Machines (VMs) for Web and Worker Roles in Windows Azure: On Windows Azure, you run your application in Web and Worker Roles.  Each instance of a Web or Worker Role runs in a VM.  You define how many instances of each Web or Worker role you want to...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure Platform at a Glance

    This is my first attempt at parsing and summarizing the Windows Azure Platform, so I expect it to evolve as I iterate on it. The Windows Azure platform is a set of cloud computing services for creating and consuming cloud applications and services.  The key components of the Windows Azure Platform...
  • Blog Post: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

    In cloud computing, you might hear the terms SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. These are simply different logical layers in the stack. You can visualize it like this: As you move up the stack, you increase abstraction. As you move down the stack, you increase control. Here is a brief summary of each term: Infrastructure...
  • Blog Post: Visual Model of Cloud Computing

    “All models are wrong, some are useful.” – George Box This is a simple visual model we’re using on our patterns & practices Azure Security guidance team to dialogue around cloud computing concepts. Here are the key things to know: Characteristics are simply the three key characteristics we defined...
  • Blog Post: Cloud Defined

    “Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson It’s tough to talk about clouds until we have a simple, working definition. While ramping for Azure Security guidance , we defined the cloud as follows: A cloud is a managed infrastructure providing network, compute...
  • Blog Post: Cloud Security Frame

    I posted a draft of our Cloud Security Frame at Shaping Software .  This frame is especially important because we’re using it to help us map out the Cloud security space for our patterns & practices Cloud Security Guidance project.  It’s helps us scope our project.  The frame is basically...
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