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Free Private Cloud Jump Start Training! Register Now!

Posted by Rubel Khan on February 13, 2012

Are you interested in attending two (2) days of free Cloud Training?

Over 4,000 global IT Professionals registered for the February 21-22, 2012 offering! To accommodate demand, Microsoft is running this course again on April 3-4, 2012. You don’t want to miss it, so register now!

Microsoft Learning and the Microsoft System Center 2012 team are partnering to bring provide IT Professionals an exciting opportunity to learn what they need to know to deploy, manage and maintain Microsoft’s private cloud solution. Leveraging the popular Jump Start virtual classroom approach, the industry’s most gifted cloud experts will show attendees why this new private cloud solution, based on System Center 2012 and Windows Server, has garnered so much attention. Here are the details:

  • Date/Time: April 3-4, 2012 from 9:00am – 5:00pm PST | NEWLY ADDED
    IMPORTANT: The Feb. 21-22, 2012 class is fully booked and closed to new registrations
  • Where: Live virtual classroom (online from wherever you are)
  • Cost: FREE!
  • Target audience: IT Professionals (IT Implementers, managers, decision makers)



Day 1: Deployment & Configuration
Part 1: Understanding the Microsoft Private Cloud
Part 2: Deploying the Infrastructure Components
Part 3: Deploying the Private Cloud Infrastructure
Part 4: Deploying the Service Layer
Part 5: Deploying the Applications & VMs

Day 2: Management & Operations
Part 6: Managing the Infrastructure Components
Part 7: Managing the Private Cloud Infrastructure
Part 8: Managing the Service Layer
Part 9: Managing the Applications & VMs

Students have the opportunity to learn from and interact with the industry’s best cloud technologists! This high-energy, demo-rich learning experience will help IT Professionals understand why Microsoft private cloud solutions are making a splash in the industry. Here are the instructors for this two-day event!

  • Symon Perriman, Microsoft Technical Evangelist
  • Kenon Owens, Technical Product Manager, System Center Cloud and Datacenter Infrastructure
  • Adam Hall, Senior Technical Product Manager, System Center Application Management
  • Sean Christensen, Senior Technical Product Manager, System Center Service Delivery & Automation
  • Anant Sundaram, Senior Product Manager, System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management

What’s a “Jump Start” Course?
Training specifically designed for experienced technologists whose jobs demand they know how to best leverage new, emerging Microsoft technologies. These advanced courses assume a certain level of expertise and domain knowledge, so they move quickly and cover topics in a fashion that enables teams to effectively map new skills to real-world situations. Check out recordings of the Office 365 Jump Start and the Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals, too!

Register now for the Private Cloud Jump Start

Source: Microsoft Learning – Born To Learn

Posted in Cloud Computing, Free Training, Microsoft, Microsoft Learning | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

New Roles and Skills for Cloud Computing!

Posted by Rubel Khan on August 14, 2011

By David Linthicum, Microsoft

This article is commissioned by Microsoft Corp. The views expressed are the author’s own.

Clearly, cloud computing requires new skills inside of organizations that are moving to the cloud. We all get that. However, many companies have difficulty understanding exactly what those skills are, the scope required, and the timing. According to a recent survey covered by NetworkWorld, cloud adoption can run into resistance when stakeholders within an organization are unclear about how they’ll be affected by the migration.

There are several ways this can play out. Many companies take the position that cloud computing is much the same as traditional computing, and that their existing teams and skillsets will suffice. That’s a huge mistake. Others will rapidly retrain their existing staff to the use of the cloud. A few are on cloud computing hiring sprees, offering signing bonuses and big salaries.

My take on all of this is that before we ignore the problem, or toss money at it, perhaps this a good time to put some lines in the sand around what skills are required as the cloud creeps into our IT universe. (My colleague Jeff Vance recently outlined how CIOs and IT workers can reposition themselves for a cloud-based future.)

When considering what skills are needed to thrive in the cloud, I like to use a role-based approach, with the new roles being:

  • Cloud Architect
  • Cloud Security Specialist
  • Cloud Developer
  • Cloud Infrastructure Manager
  • Provider Specialist

Cloud architect is the No. 1 job posting that I see from any company or consulting organization looking to move into cloud computing. While the job descriptions vary widely, typically the cloud architect has an understanding of enterprise architecture, SOA, and the new directions that cloud computing can take both of those disciplines.

More simply put, the cloud architect is a jack-of-all-trades, but master of cloud. They should have a detailed knowledge of PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS, including the players and solutions that are available on the market. This means working with developers and existing IT leadership to progress toward the use of cloud computing, making the right decisions along the way.

Cloud security specialist is perhaps the most important role and skillset you’ll need in moving to the cloud. He or she should understand the new security models and enabling security technology that’s required to keep you out of trouble as you relocate core business processes and data to private, public, or hybrid clouds.

Core skills here are an understanding of what changes with regard to security issues when you move to cloud. I’ve found that cloud security specialists need to understand newer security models and technologies, such as federated identity management and the ability to support data encryption both in flight and at rest in and between clouds. They typically work with existing security staff, so this person needs to have some people skills as well.

Cloud developer core skills are an understanding of core PaaS platforms, private or public, and how applications are designed, developed, and deployed on those platforms. This is a creative and innovative position, if you ask me; one that really requires people who can learn on their own and are willing to experiment with new technology that is rapidly emerging.

I find that cloud developers are typically self-taught. They work with cloud computing by leveraging free trial accounts to create applications on their own time. While that may seems scary to you, those are the types of developers you want on your side.

Cloud infrastructure manager seems like an oxymoron considering that we’re looking to push processes and data outside of the firewall—what  infrastructure needs to be managed? However, this person has a rather important role.  Cloud computing requires special attention to networking and remote or local server monitoring. Thus, somebody needs to pay close attention to the management of their infrastructure in support of cloud, else you’ll find your clouds are not as reliable as they should be.

Skills required here would be knowledge of existing network, application, and database management approaches and technologies, and a deep knowledge of the cloud providers and/or technology you’re leveraging. I would suggest you target those better infrastructure managers in your IT organization and retrain them.

Provider specialist is the person who understands the details around the cloud providers you’re leveraging—public, private, or hybrid. This means that his or her skills are all about being the go-to person in terms of questions that need to be answered and problems solved around a specific provider.

While you can hire these people if you can find them, I find that, in most cases, they are created within organizations through extensive provider training programs. You find the smarter people in IT who have an interest in diving deep into a product or service and then spend some budget to get them the skills. Huge ROI there.

The fact of the matter is that we’re always changing the skillsets required to support IT. The use of cloud computing is not much different. What is new is the degree of change that needs to occur in a relatively short period of time.

Leveraging cloud computing to the fullest is all about the talent you have around you. Investing in training, consulting, mentoring, and even paying through the nose for a few highly desirable skills will be the way of the world for the next several years. However, the return to the business easily justifies the investment.


Posted in Azure, Cloud Computing, Microsoft | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Interested in learning about Office365? Get a "jump start"

Posted by Rubel Khan on July 5, 2011

If your company is considering Office 365 or if you’re simply curious about this evolving technology, you’ll be interested in these free Jump Start videos, which leverage a "team-teaching" approach.

Each video, presented by Microsoft evangelist Adam (Bomb) Carter and senior Microsoft technologists, features real-world scenarios, best practices, and the benefits and options for adopting Office 365.

Additional training materials are also available on Born to Learn.

Office 365 Platform

Exchange Online

Lync & SharePoint Options

Posted in Cloud Computing, E-Learning, Exchange Server, Free Training, Lync and Lync Server, Microsoft, Microsoft Learning, SharePoint | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New! The Microsoft Virtual Academy

Posted by Rubel Khan on May 1, 2011

Why Enroll, other than it being free?

The Microsoft Virtual Academy helps you to improve your IT skill set and advance your career with a free, easy to access training portal that allows you to learn at your own pace, focusing on Microsoft technologies.

What Do I get for enrolment?    

  • Free training to make you become the Cloud-Hero in my Organization
  • Help mastering your Training Path and get the recognition
  • Connect with other IT Pros and discuss The Cloud

Where do I Enrol?


Posted in Azure, Cloud Computing, Virtualization | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Now available: Lync Server certifications

Posted by Rubel Khan on April 13, 2011

Exams 664 and 665 are available in Prometric testing centers! This means that you now can earn the MCTS: Lync Server 2010, Configuration and the MCITP: Lync Server 2010 Administrator certifications. Microsoft Lync Server 2010 is an integral part of the Microsoft "software-plus-services" cloud offering, Microsoft Office 365. Earning a Lync Server 2010 certification will distinguish you as skilled in the Microsoft cutting-edge cloud technologies. You can earn the MCTS by passing 664, or pass both 664 and 665 to earn the MCITP.

Visit the exam’s product pages for a list of the skills measured on each exam:

Need to study up a bit? Well, we’re still putting the finishing touches on the instructor-led training. Course 10534A will be available later this month, and Course 10533A will be available in May. Here’s a list of some other resources you can check out in the meantime. Remember that hands-on experience is the best way to build your skills!

Please note, even though you can earn these certifications today, it will be at least another week before you can download the certificate. Microsoft is aware of the issue and are working to resolve it right now.

Now go out there and get certified!


Posted in Certifications, Cloud Computing, Lync and Lync Server | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Free Windows Azure Training Just Released!

Posted by Rubel Khan on January 15, 2011

Just before the Holidays, Microsoft hosted another new and exclusive Jump Start virtual training event, this time covering the Windows Azure Platform. What a success! “Building Cloud Applications using the Windows Azure Platform” was tailored for application architects and developers interested in leveraging the cloud.

While many of the attendees were already building a pilot project or planning to migrate an application, around 35% were searching for real-world answers as they consider whether or not the Windows Azure Platform fits their needs. They were in for a treat since all 12 hours of this training was led by two of the most respected authorities on Microsoft development technologies, David S. Platt and Manu Cohen-Yashar. Learn strategies for your cloud application lifecycle, know your options for storage in the cloud, understand the realities of Security using Azure and find out all your team should consider to truly design for scale and elasticity.

The feedback has been great, but due to the Holidays many of you weren’t able to join Microsoft back in December. So whether you were with them and want to refresh and reinforce what you learned, or you want to check it out for the first time, all 12 hours of the HD-quality videos were just released and are ready to go! Just browse this list and get started!

Session 01: Windows Azure Overview
Session 02: Introduction to Compute
Session 03: Windows Azure Lifecycle, Part 1
Session 04: Windows Azure Lifecycle, Part 2
Session 05: Windows Azure Storage, Part 1
Session 06: Windows Azure Storage, Part 2
Session 07: Introduction to SQL Azure
Session 08: Windows Azure Diagnostics
Session 09: Windows Azure Security, Part 1
Session 10: Windows Azure Security, Part 2
Session 11: Scalability, Caching & Elasticity, Part 1
Session 12: Scalability, Caching & Elasticity, Part 2, and Q&A

By the way, feel free to check out the course materials and code samples while you’re watching.

Get Access to the Windows Azure Platform for the Labs and learn about training & certification options by visiting the Windows Azure Online Portal.

Posted in Azure, Cloud Computing, Free Training | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Windows Azure – Training Portal

Posted by Rubel Khan on January 10, 2011

Microsoft Learning just published: thier new Windows Azure Training and Certification Portal, where you can review learning plans, watch snacks, find training, and prep for exams on Windows Azure. Microsoft Learning will update the site as new resources become available.

Windows Azure is a flexible cloud-computing (Internet-based computing) platform that allows you to shift your focus from managing and maintaining physical servers to solving business problems and addressing customer needs online. Without the upfront investment in an expensive infrastructure, you pay only for the services that you use. You can scale up when you need capacity, and pull back when you don’t. Microsoft handles all the updates and maintenance of the platform, with more than 99.9 percent uptime.

Posted in Azure, Cloud Computing, Microsoft | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Windows Azure/Cloud Computing Learning Snacks

Posted by Rubel Khan on November 14, 2010

Learn more about Microsoft Windows Azure Platform, Microsoft Online Services, and other Microsoft cloud offerings by watching the short, bite-sized snacks featured on the Microsoft Silverlight Learning Snacks page.

Cloud computing is a paradigm shift that provides computing over the Internet. It offers infrastructure, platform, and software as services; organizations can use any of these services, depending on their business needs. Organizations can simply connect to the cloud and use the available resources on a pay-per-use basis. Microsoft offers flexible cloud-computing solutions that help communicate, collaborate, and store data in a cloud. The cloud services offered by Microsoft are cost effective, secure, always available, and platform independent. This snack explains the concept of cloud computing and its advantages. The snack also provides an overview of Microsoft’s cloud-computing strategy and offerings.

Posted in Azure, Cloud Computing, Microsoft Learning | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Are You New to Windows Azure? – Cloud Computing

Posted by Rubel Khan on October 15, 2010

Would you like to see how others are leveraging Windows Azure? Try out these short Learning Snack videos.

Learning Snacks

“What is Windows Azure?” “How do I get started on the Windows Azure platform?” “How have organizations benefited by using Windows Azure?” These are some of the questions answered by Microsoft’s new series of Windows Azure Learning Snacks. Time-strapped? You can learn something new in less than five minutes:

Enjoy. Happy Friday!

Posted in Azure, Cloud Computing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Free E-Book: Microsoft Patterns & Practices (Cloud)

Posted by Rubel Khan on September 26, 2010

Volume 1, Moving Applications to the Cloud on the Windows Azure Platform, provides an introduction to Windows Azure, discusses the cost model and application life cycle management for cloud-based applications, and describes how to migrate an existing ASP.NET application to the cloud.

Available now on MSDN: the second volume in our Windows Azure Patterns and Practices series. This new book demonstrates how you can create from scratch a multi-tenant, Software as a Service (SaaS) application to run in the cloud by using the latest versions of the Windows Azure tools and the latest features of the Windows Azure platform.

Posted in Azure, Cloud Computing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »


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