Friday, August 21, 2015

Server 2016 TP3, Containers and Azure - All Together

Sometimes I think I'll never get caught up. Every day, there are new, interesting announcements from the technology companies we use every day, plus we have to juggle the tasks, fires and projects we have at work.  It's really hard to keep up.  I'll bet you are feeling that way right now.

This week, it's possible for you to check a few new things off your list - ALL AT ONCE!  (And it's already Friday!)
  1. Try out Azure
  2. Check out Server 2016
  3. Learn about Containers
 Ready?

First make sure you have an Azure subscription or trial.  If your company has an enterprise agreement with Microsoft, you might have credits to use in Azure and not even know it.  So check there first.  If not - go to http://aka.ms/NewAzureTrial to sign up for $200 you can use for the next 30 days.

Once you've got access to Azure, you'll find we have two web portals for accessing it.  The "classic" or current portal at http://manage.windowsazure.com and the preview portal at http://portal.azure.com. Depending on what you need to do, the feature set varies between portals.  But for this, it doesn't matter.

Whichever portal you pick, you've opened the door to the easiest way to test out new versions of Windows Server.  No hunting around for free hardware, no downloading ISO images and practically no wait. Just take advantage of your own personal datacenter in the "cloud". 
  
Next, look for the Server 2016 versions - there are two of them. One is the Full GUI version, listed as Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3.  (In the new portal, the Full GUI version can be found in the Marketplace.)  The other one is listed as "Windows Server Container Preview".

If poking around with the new full version is your goal, spin that up and get started.  RDP to it and you are good to go.  If you need a walk-thru on how to set up a VM on either portal, you can find it here : https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/virtual-machines-windows-tutorial/

If your company develops software and is thinking about micro-services and "containers" are new buzzword in the office, you'll want to spin up the Container Preview.  And even if your company doesn't fit that description and you just want to see what this container/Docker thing is all about, spin up the Container Preview too.

Once that machine is up and running, you'll log into to find yourself at a command prompt window and nothing else.  Containers are supported only on the Windows Core (and eventually Nano) versions. To get you started, take some time to review this documentation (http://aka.ms/windowscontainers) and dust of your command line skills.

Viola!  Now go check off that list. :-)

Note: With the preview, there is A LOT of work to be done still, so don’t be surprised when things aren't super polished and feature-rich yet.  And seriously, don't try to use any of this for production.  This is just the tip of the iceberg to come.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Summer Reads!

Ah, summertime…. Vacations, relaxing on the patio, fruit salads, sparkly drinks and learning. Right? I spent some time by the beach and the pool recently and then came back to a pile of interesting things I wanted to read or try out.

There are also two new video blogs available on Channel 9 that will keep adding new content you might want to check out.

Monday, August 10, 2015

TechNet on Tour - Disaster Recovery!

We technical evangelists are at it again!  This September and October, we will visit 10 cities to talk about using Microsoft Azure as part of your disaster recovery plan.

Attendees will receive a free Microsoft Azure pass and the opportunity to complete several disaster recovery related labs during the course of the workshop.
  • 9/1 - Seattle, WA
  • 9/3 - San Francisco, CA
  • 9/22 - Houston, TX
  • 9/29 - Charlotte, NC
  • 9/30 - Malvern, PA
  • 10/6 - Indianapolis, IN
  • 10/7 - Tampa, FL
  • 10/8 - New York, NY
  • 10/14 - Irvine, CA
  • 10/16 - Dallas, TX
Register now to join in!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hybrid Cloud with Azure and Yung Chou (AND with Videos!)

If you don't know Yung Chou, you should!  And if you don't regularly check out TechNet Radio, you should! :-)

That being said, Yung kicked off a short series back in June on Extending Your Datacenter with Microsoft Azure and he graciously invited me to be his guest co-host.  The first two parts are available right now and the final two parts should be available in a few weeks.

Hanging out with Yung is always a blast, even if we can only do it remotely. We hope you enjoy the shows and learn a little something-something about making Active Directory work for you in the cloud.


Monday, July 27, 2015

It's Nearly August... Don't Ask Me How That Happened

I don't know where the summer has gone!  With vacations, keeping busy at work and all those things we love about managing our lives and families... I just can't believe August is approaching!

Of course, Windows 10 is coming!  I've got a couple devices just waiting for July 29th, including my parents machines... so I'll be enjoying some time helping them get their computers upgraded.  

However, once August rolls around, there are other things to do, so it's time to get out from behind the computers and check out some upcoming events.

First off, for you Seattle folks, SITPUG will be having their August 5th meeting from 6:00 to 8:00pm in Bellevue.  Visit www.SITPUG.com for more information.

If you are in Boston, Portland and Denver, be sure to check out the upcoming Angelbeat events in those areas.  My Tech Evangelist colleagues and I have been presenting at those events as we can and they are a great way to get a quick update on tech topics.  The Boston and Denver events will even be having special extended sessions on Azure.