Archive for category Webcasts

24 Hours of PASS: Summit Preview: Free SQL Server Info

I had the privilege of serving as Moderator for three great webinar sessions at the 24 Hours of PASS: Summit Preview online event.  If you were unable to join the sessions live, they’re all available for your viewing by using the online Schedule.

I moderated the following sessions, all of which I’d highly recommend!

  • “Writing User Stories and Slicking Epics for DW/BI Teams” (Speaker: Lynn Winterbroer)

  • “Introduction to Global Data Quality ” (Speaker: Oscar Li)

  • “Why Did My Clever Index Change Backfire?” (Speaker: Kendra Little)

I hope you find the content to be useful!


SQL PASS Summit 2017: Data Quality and Data Security

The Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS) is hosting a free online summit on May 3rd – 4th, 2017.  The focus is on two very important topics: Data Security and Data Quality.  I had the pleasure of moderating two of the sessions, and learned a lot!  You can find more information about PASS at and about the event at the event web site:

24 Hours of PASS: Data Security and Data Quality

Attend the Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference: May 14-15, 2015

MVP15_MicrosoftMVP_VC_EmailBannerMicrosoft is soon hosting a great free event that Microsoft and the MVPs are putting on, May 14th & 15th.  Join Microsoft MVPs from the Americas’ region as they share their knowledge and real-world expertise during a free event, the MVP Virtual Conference.  As a member of the IT Pro selection committee, I can definitely vouch for the many interesting session topics (I’m planning to attend as many as I can on both says).

The MVP Virtual Conference will showcase 95 sessions of content for IT Pros, Developers and Consumer experts designed to help you navigate life in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.  Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Developer Platform, Steve Guggenheimer, will be on hand to deliver the opening Key Note Address.

Why attend MVP V-Conf? The conference will have 5 tracks, IT Pro English, Dev English, Consumer English, Portuguese mixed sessions & Spanish mixed sessions, there is something for everyone!

Come learn from the best and brightest in the tech world today. All of the sessions will all be delivered by the Americas’ Region Microsoft MVPs. These MVPs are experts who present at premiere conferences, independent community events and local user groups all over the globe.

This is a technical conference focused on helping attendees to learn and develop skills for everything from everyday technical work to wackier weekend projects. Whether it is on the IT Pro, Dev or Consumer side of things, you can bet that the content of MVP V-Conf will be cutting edge, exciting and relevant.

Be sure to register quickly to hold your spot and tell your friends & colleagues.

The conference will be widely covered on social media, you can join the conversation by following @MVPAward and using the hashtag #MVPvConf.   We hope to see you there!

SQL Server Presentations on


It’s no secret that attending local or regional user group meetings and events is a great way to keep up-to-date with technology and to network with peers and experts in the field.  The major problem is that it can be difficult to find the time to fit some meetings into a busy work/life schedule.  I try to make it a point to attend at least a few local events each year, and one of those is Austin Code Camp.  I’m planning to present again this year (see my post about Austin CodeCamp 2012) with updated versions of my previous topics. 

If you weren’t able to make it to last year’s event, the Team has you covered!  They recorded several of the sessions and have posted the video presentations online.  Specifically, two of my topics are online and available to view now:

I think the recordings turned out really well, though I’ll admit that you might miss some of the audience interaction by viewing them online.  You can also find more recordings of other presentations from Austin CodeCamp 2011 (which took place on Sept. 10, 2011).  A very special thanks to the crew at for taking the time and effort to record and publish this content!

BrightTALK Presentation: Application Performance Monitoring (APM) in Virtualized and Cloud Environments

imageOn June 6th, I’ll be presenting another live, free webinar on BrightTALK.  The title is Maintaining Service Levels with APM in Virtualized & Cloud Environments.  Here’s the abstract/overview of the content:

Significant changes in IT infrastructure approaches are driving data centers towards high levels of efficiency and automation. Virtualization and public/private/hybrid cloud architectures can help reduce costs and simplify administration, but the primary goal for IT organizations is to ensure that the applications and services they deliver meet or exceed their users’ needs. This presentation will provide advice and recommendations that focus on end-to-end monitoring and management of highly virtualized and cloud infrastructure components, including user experience, storage, networking, and hypervisors.

Visit the site to register for the webinar, or use the below information to sign up. And, while you’re there, be sure to check out the huge library of related content that’s available for free!

A BrightTALK Channel

Note: To access the recording of this session (and all of my past BrightTALK webinars), please search using

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

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.


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

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), 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 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.

Talk TechNet Webcast: Virtualization Q & A

imageI was recently invited to be a guest in a TechNet Webcast.  The Webcast is scheduled for Friday, June 10th at 11:00am Central time.  You can see more details and register to attend at the following page:

TechNet Webcast: Talk TechNet with Keith Combs and Matt Hester – Episode 36: Virtualization with Anil Desai (Level 200)

Here’s a brief overview of the topic description:

Want to talk about Virtualization?  This is the show for you.  Anil Desai is a Microsoft Windows Server Virtualization MVP so bring your Hyper-V questions. I’m sure Anil will be happy to takes questions on some of the other products like System Center Virtual Machine manager.  Tune in and listen, call in, or send us questions on the web via Live Meeting.  Take advantage of this great opportunity to get your questions answered.

Keith Combs, Sr. Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation, Matt Hester, Sr. IT Pro Evangelist, Microsoft Corporation, and Anil Desai, Independent Consultant, Microsoft Windows Server Virtualization MVP

I look forward to answering questions from attendees!

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.

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

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


The presentation is arranged by 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.

Webcast: “Understanding and Managing VM Sprawl”

The idea of virtual machine “sprawl” – the rapid proliferation of VMs without adequate IT oversight or management – seems to be a popular one.  I have written and spoken on this topic before, but there have been enough changes in the tools and implementation methods for server virtualization to merit an updated presentation.  That’s the topic of a recent webcast that I recorded for TechTarget’s site. 

The webcast is titled “Understanding and Managing VM Sprawl”.  An archived version is available for viewing at no cost (though registration is required).  Here’s a brief abstract of the topic:


Virtualization can help address many of IT’s biggest headaches, but it can also lead to a problem known as "VM sprawl" – the rapid proliferation of VMs without sufficient IT oversight.  The result is an environment that doesn’t meet security or administration requirements, putting applications, services, and data at risk.

This webcast will provide an overview of VM sprawl – its root causes and related issues, along with ways to mitigate the main issues.  Specifically, it will provide best practices for managing the entire virtual machine life cycle (from deployment to retirement) and details related to tracking VMs in the environment.  The webcast will then describe how automated virtualization management solutions can help provide all of the benefits of virtualization with minimum administrative overhead.

The content is targeted towards IT managers and higher-level IT people.  It focuses on virtualization management strategies, though there’s a good amount of technical depth.  The presentation is roughly 45 minutes in length.  I hope you find it useful, and feel free to post questions or comments here.

Virtual Event: Next-Generation Networks

Network Computing is hosting an online, virtual event that focuses on next-generation networking technologies.  Here’s a brief blurb from the event web site:


This Next Generation Networks virtual event will bring you up to speed on networking state of the art by discussing the technologies that are going to drive network design and implementations today and in the future. You will learn from peers, analysts, and vendors about where the technologies are today and how you can prepare for a network overhaul.
Attendee Benefits:

  • Download informative research, white papers, and other resources straight to your Virtual Briefcase.
  • Access insightful webcasts  featuring industry experts, Network Computing editors, and analysts.
  • Interact with our guest speakers, other attendees, and exhibitors through real-time chat tools.
  • Visit vendor booths and browse through products and solutions in our unique, interactive and entertaining environment.

Use the Event Registration page to sign up to attend.  In addition to the virtual conference booths, you can view a list of presentations on the Distinguished Speakers page.  I’ll be attending and will try to answer as many technical questions as possible in the Microsoft booth. 

Microsoft Virtual Event: The New Efficiency

If you’ve been following some of the latest keynotes and presentations from Microsoft, you’ve probably run into the theme of “The New Efficiency”.  Microsoft has been using this term to describe the benefits of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange Server 2010.  While listening to presentations can be useful, it’s also valuable to spend some interactive time with other technical professionals and experts.  To that end, Microsoft is hosting another live “Virtual Conference” on October 27, 2009.  Visit the Event Overview page to see details of the virtual conference.  Here’s an excerpt that describes what’s covered and who will be presenting:

Join renowned Microsoft technologies expert Paul Thurrott, Windows IT Pro senior technical director Michael Otey, Exchange guru Paul Robichaux, and Windows IT Pro editor in chief Jeff James for an in-depth, spin-free deep dive into the new efficiency.
In just three hours, directly from your own computer, the keynote and three technical sessions will provide you with:

  • an overview of everything that Windows® 7 has to offer
  • a deep-dive into enterprise-oriented features such as AppLocker, Branche Cache, DirectAccess, federated search, and BitLocker to Go
  • a complete coverage of all of the new features and functionality brought by Windows® Server 2008 R2, including Hyper-V virtualization with live migration and PowerShell 2.0
  • an in-depth presentation of the rich user experience, the many deployment options, and information protection and control capabilities offered by Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010
  • a clear understanding of the ways Windows® 7, Windows® Server 2008 R2, and Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 work better together

This event is presented in an interactive, real-life simulation! You will experience a lifelike visual environment, networking and interactive tools, staffed sponsor booths, and educational chats to complement each conference session.

I’ll be available to answer technical questions in the Microsoft booth during the morning sessions (from 9:30am to around noon Central time).  Feel free to stop by and ask questions or view the materials and presentations that are available online.

For more details, see the Agenda and Speaker Info pages.  Be sure to Register – it’s free, and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home or office to attend.