Archive for category Presentations

The Windows Server 2012 Community Roadshow

imageWindows Server 2012 (formerly known as Windows Server “8”) is nearing completing.  With a “Release Preview” set to be available in early June, it’s a great time to bet familiar with the extremely long list of new features in Microsoft’s latest server platform. 

To help IT pros learn from those that have experience with the new features, Microsoft, Dell, HP, and the Global IT Community Association (GITCA) are sponsoring the Windows Server 2012 Community Roadshow.  These events will be covering many areas throughout the U.S. and internationally and presentations will be made by local/regional Microsoft MVPs.  I’ll be presenting in Austin, TX on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm (location details coming soon).  Visit the event web site to find a location near you (dates and locations are still being added), and be sure to register if you plan to attend.  Here’s a brief overview of the topics that will be covered:

This event will showcase presentations and demos from Microsoft MVPs on the following topics

· Manageability

· Simplifies configuration processes

· Improved management of multi-server environments

· Role-centric dashboard and integrated console

· Simplifies administration process of multi-server environments with Windows PowerShell 3.0

· Virtualization

· More secure multi-tenancy

· Flexible infrastructure, when and where you need it

· Scale, performance, and density

· High availability

· Storage and Availability

· Reduces planned maintenance downtime

· Addresses the causes of unplanned downtime

· Increases availability for services and applications

· Increases operational efficiency and lower costs

· Networking

· Manage private clouds more efficiently

· Link private clouds with public cloud services

· Connect users more easily to IT resources

As an aside, I recently returned from the TEC 2012 conference in San Diego, where I gave two presentations on just the storage features in Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 3.0.  That alone was a lot of information to cram into just a couple of hours.  This no small release, and there’s a lot to learn.  I hope readers of this blog are able to make it to either the Austin event or one of the many other locations which will be added soon!

Austin Code Camp 2012

The Austin .NET User Group (ADNUG) is again holding it’s annual Austin Code Camp 2012 event.  The date is Saturday, June 9th, 2012 at the St. Edward’s Professional Education Center (PEC) (the same location as the last few years).  The event runs all day, and attendees can pick which sessions are most interesting to them.  Visit http://austincodecamp2012.com/ for more information about the event.

The event features speakers that focus on development-related topics with a focus on real demonstrations (rather than marketing information).  All sessions are free to attendees, and volunteers in the community are invited to speak.  Organizer John Teague states it a little better:

All of the content in community driven, presented by members of the community.   I would encourage you to come and talk about whatever is interesting in the world of software development.  While the event is organized by the Austin .Net Users group, it is not limited to discussions about .Net.   It is an excellent opportunity to gain public speaking experience.

If you’re planning to attend, please be sure to register on the Austin Code Camp 2012 Eventbrite page. That will help the planners determine how much space (and food!) they’ll need.

I have presented at the conference every year since 2008, and it has been a great experience!  The number of attendees is always impressive (I think 2011’s event included more than 250 IT pros and developers).  I’m planning to give two presentations this year:

Practical SQL Server Performance Monitoring & Optimization

Developers can dramatically improve performance by monitoring and analyzing real world queries.  This session covers SQL Server monitoring at various levels to the most impactful performance improvements.  The presentation will start with an overview of different optimization tools and techniques and will be based on practical examples of real-world performance monitoring and troubleshooting.  Details include the use of server monitoring tools, SQL Profiler, the Database Tuning Advisor, and analyzing query plans, Dynamic Management Views, and related methods.  The overall emphasis will be on solving practical, real-world database performance problems.

SQL Server Reporting Services: Develop & Deploy Reports

This session will begin with a brief architectural overview of Reporting Services and details on getting up and running with Reporting Services.  Then, we will look at demonstrations of creating new reports by building connections and data sets using Report Builder and Visual Studio.  Reporting design features including parameterization, dynamic drill-downs, matrix reports, charts, and sorting will be provided. 

Next, we’ll look at deployment details, including scheduling reports, configuring caching, creating snapshots, and managing security.  The presentation will also include details about new reporting and BI features in SQL Server 2012

Those topics are updated versions of presentations I’ve done in the past.  I’m still trying to decide whether they’d work best as one-hour or two-hour sessions.  Feel free to leave comments below if you have any opinion.

Virtualization and Storage Presentations at TEC 2012

It’s still a few months away, but I’ll be presenting at two storage-related presentations in the Virtualization and Cloud track at The Experts Conference (TEC) 2012 in San Diego, CA.  Below are the abstracts.  For more information about the conference, please visit the TEC 2012 Conference web site.

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Storage Improvements in Windows Server 8 / Hyper-V 3.0

Virtualization architects and administrators have long sought quicker, simpler and more cost effective ways to scale and manage storage in their data centers. Microsoft has made many significant improvements in the architecture and storage features of Hyper-V 3.0 and the Windows Server 8 platform. Examples include support for SMB-based virtual disks, management UI improvements, network stack improvements, Hyper-V Replicas, NTFS reliability improvements, incremental VHD backups, storage de-duplication, offloaded data transfer, SMB protocol improvements, and Storage Spaces. These features can help improve storage management for many different types of virtualization deployments and can help bring the idea of cloud-based automation closer to reality.

This session will focus on technical details and demonstrations of new features in the Windows Server 8 platform and in Hyper-V 3.0. The focus will be on practical suggestions for how and when the new features should be used to reduce costs, simplify administration, and increase performance.

Designing Storage for Virtual Environments

One of the most common issues related to virtual infrastructure design is related to planning for and managing the storage environment. Successful SAN, NAS, and local storage deployments require the provisioning of highly-reliable, high-performance, cost-effective solutions to meet business and technical needs. The challenge for IT is in consolidating and optimizing infrastructures while staying within budgets. The primary concerns – including storage capacity, performance, and reliability – can drive the success or failure of virtualized deployments.

This presentation begins with recommendations for designing a storage environment based on requirements, starting with a solid understanding of application workload characteristics. Strategies for collecting storage statistics through historical and real-time performance monitoring can provide valuable insight into real requirements. Based on this data, IT departments can compare different storage approaches, including centralized network-based storage, and cloud-based options. Important features to consider include file- and block-level de-duplication, thin provisioning, high-availability, clustering, and disaster recovery. Attendees will learn methods by which they can best plan for, implement, manage, and monitor storage for virtualization in their own environments.

BrightTALK Webcast: Managing VM Sprawl: [Re]gaining Control of Your Data Center

imageI hope the New Year is off to a good start for everyone!  For many data center administrators, the tasks related to supporting a wide variety of virtual machines and related infrastructure is going to take a lot of time and resources.  To help address some of the chaos, I’ll be presenting a free webcast titled Managing VM Sprawl: [Re]gaining Control of Your Data Center at the upcoming BrightTALK Virtualization Conference.  The presentation will take place on January 11, 2012.  Here’s an overview of the topic:

As virtual machines have become the default method of deploying new applications and services many organizations have found that they’re encountering the problem of “VM Sprawl” – the rapid proliferation of VMs that make management difficult.

In this presentation, you’ll learn:

  • Common causes of VM sprawl and how to address them
  • Specific technical administration issues that are unique to virtual machines
  • Methods of managing a VM’s “life cycle”, from initial deployment to retirement
  • Ways to maintain control of data center resources while also allowing for end-user self-service
  • Ways in which automation can help manage the major causes of VM sprawl

This online conference provides a wide variety of different presentations, so be sure to check out information about the Virtualization Summit and register for the event.

Note: To access the recording of this session (and all of my past BrightTALK webinars), please search using https://www.brighttalk.com/search?q=Anil+Desai.

TechNet Radio Community Corner: Virtualization with Microsoft MVP Anil Desai

I often enjoy talking with other technical professionals about the path of IT (in general) and about new or upcoming technology (the geeky details).  I’m happy to have had the opportunity to appear as a guest on a recent TechNet Radio Community Corner.  In the ~15-minute conversation, we discussed information about supporting the IT community, the current and future state of virtualization (including directions of Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM)). 

Here’s some brief information about this episode, titled TechNet Radio Community Corner: Virtualization with Microsoft MVP Anil Desai:

In today’s Community Corner, Sr. IT Pro Evangelist John Weston interviews Microsoft Virtualization MVP, Anil Desai to the show. Tune in as they discuss cloud computing’s impact to IT, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012, as well as the relationship between Virtualization and Private Cloud solutions.

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Special thanks to Chris Caldwell and John Weston for inviting me and for a fun conversation!  For more shows and episodes of related shows, visit the TechNet Edge web site.

SQL Server Presentations on UserGroup.tv

imageA couple of months ago, I delivered a couple of SQL Server presentations at Austin Code Camp 2011.  I think the sessions went well and were well-attended.  I also got a lot of good questions and comments during and after the presentations.  If you missed the presentations (or couldn’t get enough the first time), UserGroup.tv has recorded them and has made them available for free online. 

Here are the links to the recorded presentations:

Thanks to Shawn Weisfeld for attending, producing, and posting the presentations.  I hope you find the content to be useful!

Focus Webcast: Migrating to Exchange Server 2010

imageOn Tuesday, November 15th, I’ll be joining a group of presenters to discuss the benefits of moving to the latest version of Microsoft’s messaging platform, Exchange Server 2010.  Exchange 2010 provides many advantages in the areas of availability, reliability, messaging management, and the user experience.  Here are the details from the Focus.com web site:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
10:00AM PST / 1:00PM EST

imageAre you considering a migration to Microsoft Exchange 2010?  Are you currently using Exchange, but want to upgrade and optimize your current platform?  If you answered yes to either of these questions, this webinar is the right one for you! The discussion will focus on your top concerns including business performance, operational efficiency, stability, and need for high performance.

Learn more about Exchange benefits and features such as:

  • Lower costs with more flexible deployment and management options
  • Protected information and meeting compliance requirements with the new e-mail archive
  • Improved user productivity with the ultimate inbox experience

In addition, we will cover best in class advice on all aspects of a customers’ email & calendaring platforms, best practices in moving platforms to the cloud, and the critical steps of the Exchange migration and upgrade process, from understanding your unique pain points to designing and implementing a solution that is right for you and your business needs.

For more information on this free live webcast, details on the list of speakers, and to register to attend, please see Focus Webcast: Benefits of Migrating to Microsoft Exchange 2010 to Optimize your Current Platform.

Austin Code Camp 2011

Lest you think that “Back to School” is only for those that are enrolled in school, the 2011 edition of the Austin Code Camp is here!  For those that aren’t familiar with it,  here are some details about the free event:

The Austin .Net User Group is proud to sponsor it’s fifth Annual Code Camp

This is one day FREE conference For The Community, By the community.

The Conference is on September 10, 2011 at St Edward’s Professional Education Center from 8 am to 5 pm. Click the link on the Location Tab for additional information about St Edward

I’ll again be presenting two topics that are focused on SQL Server (details below).  If you live in or near Austin, be sure to register and stop by for some great developer-focused sessions!

SQL Server Reporting Services: Develop & Deploy Reports

This session will begin with a brief architectural overview of Reporting Services and details on getting up and running with Reporting Services. Then, we will look at demonstrations of creating new reports by building connections and data sets using Report Builder and Visual Studio. Reporting design features including parametrization, dynamic drill-downs, matrix reports, charts, and sorting will be provided.

Next, we’ll look at deployment details, including scheduling reports, configuring caching, creating snapshots, and managing security. Time permitting, the presentation will include a demonstration of using Report Viewer controls within ASP.NET and Windows Forms applications. The session is intended for developers that have basic familiarity with report development (in any technology) and a basic understanding of SQL.

Practical SQL Server Performance Monitoring & Optimization

Developers can dramatically improve performance by monitoring and analyzing real world queries. This session covers SQL Server monitoring at various levels to the most impactful performance improvements. The presentation will start with an overview of different optimization tools and techniques and will be based on practical examples of real-world performance monitoring and troubleshooting. Details include the use of server monitoring tools, SQL Profiler, the Database Tuning Advisor, and analyzing query plans, Dynamic Management Views, and related methods. The overall emphasis will be on solving practical, real-world database performance problems.

This session assumes that attendees have basic familiarity with SQL Server and with writing database queries.

TEC 2011: Virtualization Approaches and Storage Presentations

imageAs I mentioned in a previous post, I’m scheduled to speak at The Experts Conference 2011 in Las Vegas (April 17 – 20, 2011).  I’ll be giving two presentations in TEC’s new Virtualization and Cloud track.  My sessions abstracts are below.  In addition, Session Abstracts for each of the tracks and the Conference Agenda are now available online.  Let me know if you plan to attend or if there’s anything you’d like to see me cover (either in the presentations or on this blog).

Storage Considerations for Virtualization

Key considerations related to successful virtualization deployments revolve around provisioning highly-reliable, cost-effective solutions to meet business and technical needs. The challenge for IT is in consolidating and optimizing infrastructures while staying within budgets. The primary concerns – including storage capacity, performance, and reliability – can drive the success or failure of virtualized deployments.

This presentation begins with recommendations for designing a storage environment based on business and technical requirements and a solid understanding of application workload requirements. Strategies for collecting storage statistics through historical and real-time performance monitoring can provide valuable insight into real requirements. Based on this data, IT departments can compare different storage approaches, including centralized network-based storage, and cloud-based options. Important features to consider include data de-duplication, thin provisioning, high-availability, clustering, and disaster recovery. Attendees will learn methods by which they can best plan for, implement, manage, and monitor storage for virtualization in their own environments.

Evaluating Virtualization Approaches

The term "virtualization" can apply to a broad range of varying technologies, ranging from storage to networks to servers to applications. The primary goal of these approaches is to simplify management, increase efficiency, allow for scalability, and meet reliability requirements. With recent improvements in virtualization technology, the challenge for IT professionals is in deciding which approaches are the most relevant, given specific requirements.

The focus of this presentation is on understanding the technology behind various virtualization approaches, including presentation-, application-, session-, user state-, desktop-, and server-virtualization. The topic will begin with information on understanding business, technical, and service requirements. These details will then be used to compare a wide variety of different approaches to solving common IT problems. Attendees will receive information that will help them choose which approaches make sense in their own environments.

Virtualization and Storage Presentations at The Experts Conference

imageI’m currently scheduled to speak on two topics at The Experts Conference 2011 in Las Vegas (April 17 – 20, 2011).  The conference has tracks that focus on Directory Services, Exchange, SharePoint, and Virtualization. 

The two topics I’m planning to present are tentatively titled Storage Considerations for Virtualization and Evaluating Virtualization Approaches. I’ll post more details and abstracts here as the conference gets closer.

“Habits of Highly Successful South Asians” in Austin: August 24th

netipaustin_aug28th_backThe Austin Chapter of the Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP) is hosting it’s annual Professional Development event this Saturday, August 28th, 2010 from 10:00am to noon.  I decided to take a somewhat different track from other professional development events in putting this one together.  Most events have a single or two speakers (or sometimes a panel) of “experts” that will focus on a single topic.  While that approach can certainly be helpful, I prefer to hear from a wide range of successful people about their careers, backgrounds, and what they’ve learned.  The focus of this event is on having numerous ~10-minute presentations from a wide variety of different backgrounds.

For more details, including a list of speakers and their topics, see the NetIP Austin Web Site and Events Calendar (we’ve got a lot of other stuff going on, as well).  If you’d like to attend, please RSVP via our Facebook Event Page.  I hope to see you there!

Microsoft Thrive: IT Pro of the Month!

It’s no secret that IT professionals and their organizations have been significantly affected by the downturn in the economy.  Those of us that have been through the so-called “dot-com” days can see how much things can change within a few years.  Fortunately, at least some companies are developing resources to help IT professionals weather the downturn.  I’d go a bit further in saying that these otherwise dismal times can provide significant opportunities for those that are willing to invest in their skills and their profession.

MicrosoftThriveThe Microsoft Thrive web site is a free resource that is designed to help IT professionals in a variety of ways.  For example, the site includes the following goals and areas:

  • Advance Your Career
  • Enhance Your Technical Skills
  • Align IT with Business

Some of the content is Microsoft-focused, but much of it applies to just about any area of IT specialization.

I’m honored to say that I’ve been chosen as the Thrive IT Pro of the Month (see Thrive IT Pro of the Month: Anil Desai)!  I recorded a brief (~9 minutes long) presentation that covers, among other things, some recommendations for IT pros to get ahead, how IT pros can demonstrate their value, details on technology-focused topics and even a mention of the importance of hobbies.

The entire audio presentation is available from download using the previous link.  Here’s an excerpt from the written transcript:

As an independent consultant, I’m fairly diversified in the area of IT. I’m also used to the ups and downs in the IT industry, starting from the dot-com days in the late 1990’s to today. I use a variety of different specializations to fill in the inevitable downtime between projects. So, I’m fairly fortunate in that I’ve been able to maintain my business through the recent crunch.

However, the downturn in the economy has certainly had an impact on my clients, especially in the area of prioritization. Many organizations have focused on cost-cutting and many organizations have removed or scaled-back many of their non-essential projects. Those changes can sometimes translate into lay-offs, increased work for remaining staff, and short-term changes at the expense of long-term gains.

All of this provides some serious challenges (as well as some opportunities) for IT professionals. One change is that it really puts the emphasis on IT professionals’ ability to work as a strategic part of their businesses. I’ve heard it said that people know when IT departments are doing their jobs when they don’t know that IT departments are doing their jobs. The idea here is that IT is traditionally seen as a behind-the-scenes force (or sometimes just as a cost center). Business leaders might feel that IT provides little strategic value to the overall business.

Tough economic environments bring this issue to the forefront: IT professionals must understand overall business goals and must be able to apply the right technical solutions to solve business problems. And, they need to demonstrate their value within and outside of their IT groups. For those IT pros that have been able to focus on just the technical aspects of their skillset, this is a good time to branch out into the rest of the business world.

Feel free to e-mail me if you’d like the entire transcript.  And please post here if you have any questions, comments, or recommendations for your IT peers.

SQL Saturday in Dallas: May 22, 2010

SQLSaturday SQL Saturday is a series of free single-day conferences that’s being held throughout the United States.  Here’s some basic information about the conference from the web site:

We started SQLSaturday in 2007 as a platform for free one day training events for SQL Server professionals. We focus on local speakers, providing a good variety of topics, and making it all happen through the efforts of volunteers. Whether you’re attending one or thinking about hosting your own, we think you’ll find it’s a great way to spend a Saturday.

Events are currently scheduled through October, 2010 (see the site for details on dates and locations).  Also, if you’re interested in speaking at one of the events, be sure to submit your session early.

I’ll be presenting two SQL Server sessions (details below) at SQL Saturday Dallas 2010.  As of this writing, it looks like there are nearly 500 registered attendees.  It should be a great event!

SQL Server Basics for non-DBAs

Despite the importance and value of relational databases, many developers and administrators often have only a basic understanding of how they work.  This session covers the basic architecture of SQL Server, including basic installation and configuration of the server.  The focus will be an overview of the most important topics, including: Managing database storage, performing regular database maintenance, managing security and data protection.  Finally, we’ll conclude with some best practices for managing database schemas and objects.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their server and database management questions.

Reporting Services: Development and Deployment

This session will begin with a brief architectural overview of Reporting Services and details on getting up and running with Reporting Services.  Then, we will look at demonstrations of creating new reports by building connections and data sets using Report Builder and Visual Studio.  Reporting design features including parameterization, dynamic drill-downs, matrix reports, charts, and sorting will be provided. 

Austin CodeCamp 2010: May 15, 2010

The Austin .NET User Group (ADNUG) is holding it’s free, annual technical event in mid-May.  Austin Code Camp 2010 will include dozens of technical sessions that are focused on programming methodology (such as Test-Driven Development) and practices.  Here’s some basic info from the conference web site:

The Austin .Net User Group is proud to sponsor it’s fourth Annual Code Camp

This is one day FREE conference For The Community, By the community.

The Conference is on May 15, 2010 at St Edward’s Professional Education Center from 8 am to 5 pm. Click the link on the Location Tab for additional information about St Edward’s.

If you’re planning to attend, please be sure to use the site’s Session Voting page.  This will give organizers and speakers some help in planning room assignments and will help speakers tailor their presentations for audience size.

I’ll also be presenting two sessions at this year’s event.  Below are the details.  Feel free to respond here if you have any questions or comments on the topics, and I hope to see you there!

SQL Server Reporting Services: Develop & Deploy Reports

This session will begin with a brief architectural overview of Reporting Services and details on getting up and running with Reporting Services. Then, we will look at demonstrations of creating new reports by building connections and data sets using Report Builder and Visual Studio. Reporting design features including parametrization, dynamic drill-downs, matrix reports, charts, and sorting will be provided.

Next, we’ll look at deployment details, including scheduling reports, configuring caching, creating snapshots, and managing security. Time permitting, the presentation will include a demonstration of using Report Viewer controls within ASP.NET and Windows Forms applications. The session is intended for developers that have basic familiarity with report development (in any technology) and a basic understanding of SQL.

Practical SQL Server Performance Monitoring & Optimization

Developers can dramatically improve performance by monitoring and analyzing real world queries. This session covers SQL Server monitoring at various levels to the most impactful performance improvements. The presentation will start with an overview of different optimization tools and techniques and will be based on practical examples of real-world performance monitoring and troubleshooting. Details include the use of server monitoring tools, SQL Profiler, the Database Tuning Advisor, and analyzing query plans, Dynamic Management Views, and related methods. The overall emphasis will be on solving practical, real-world database performance problems.

This session assumes that attendees have basic familiarity with SQL Server and with writing database queries.

Live Webcast: Data Center Cost-Efficiency, Security and Compliance

IT operations groups and datacenter managers are always searching for new ways to reduce costs while still meeting security, configuration, and compliance requirements.  Fortunately, there are numerous methods by which organizations can achieve these goals.  On February 25th, I’ll be presenting a free, live webcast on the topic of The 2010 Data Center: Driving Cost-Efficiency, Security and Compliance.  Here’s an overview of the topic from the webcast’s web site:

Thursday, February 25, 2010
10AM PST / 1PM EST

With the new decade comes new opportunity to implement the best technologies and practices for IT.  Join this FREE live webinar to learn how to cost-effectively plan, implement and manage a 21st century data center to drive greater efficiency, security and compliance.

You’ll hear from leading experts about ways organizations are leveraging technologies such as virtualization and configuration management to build flexible, resilient, cost-efficient and high-performing data centers for 2010.

Join now to:

• Get a blueprint to plan and implement IT best practices to modernize, consolidate, and secure your technology environment
• Hear how to cost-effectively drive improved security and compliance across your IT infrastructure while staying agile and competitive
• Learn about the benefits of a combined solution for configuration assessment with configuration change auditing for improved data center operations

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The presentation is arranged by Focus.com and is sponsored by TripWire.  I’ll begin the presentation with an overview of technical best practices.  Then, Barak Engel from EAmmune will provide specific information on products, technologies, and approaches you can use to achieve these goals.  We’ll wrap up by taking live questions from the audience.  The entire webcast should last under an hour.