Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Renewed as an MVP for 2020 - 2021!

The 1st of July is known to Microsoft MVP's all around the world as 'F5 Day' - mainly because many keyboard F5 buttons get worked extra-hard when MVP's are refreshing their inbox and/or online MVP profile to see if they've been re-awarded for another year!

Thankfully for me, I didn't break my F5 button while finding out I've been renewed as a Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP for 2020 - 2021!

This is my ninth year in the MVP program and I'm really proud that I made it this far. It's not easy to maintain the high level of standards required for renewal each year, especially with hectic work and family commitments so it's a testament to all of the MVP's across the world who have managed to remain in the program for this coming year.

The Cloud and Datacenter Management (CDM) category I've been renewed in ties in nicely with the Azure projects we've been diving into lately and which we have planned for the coming year. Azure management technologies and services such as Azure Monitor, Azure Governance, Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery and Azure Migrate are some of the areas covered by the CDM award and it also includes hybrid management and connectivity scenarios (e.g. Azure-attach solutions) with on-premises environments.

I'm very thankful to have an employer (Ergo) that supports me and my colleagues on this MVP journey where we get the projects, tools and learning time that we need to help us stay current within our specialist areas - which in turn, helps me to contribute back to the community through this blog and my public speaking engagements.

Some of the community contributions I've submitted for award renewal this year and which have kept me busy include presenting at events such as Experts Live Europe, the Global Azure Bootcamp, the Cloud and Datacenter Conference Germany and even a couple of bucket-list presentation slots at Microsoft Ignite in London. I've also managed to squeeze in some time to complete the authoring process with my MVP friends on the latest edition of our recently released (and free) 'Inside Azure Management' book.

Although 2020 has been a very strange year with the global COVID-19 lockdown affecting community gatherings across the world, the MVP Community have come together with many other community leaders and contributors to re-imagine conferences as digital-only events for now. These have worked out well in many cases however, we all wait in hope for when the in-person events return and we can all catch up again to talk tech.

Thanks everyone for all your support over the last year!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Inside Azure Management Book (2020 Edition) Released!

Things have been pretty quiet on this blog over the last while and one of reasons for this is that I've been pushing hard with some of my awesome MVP friends to author and publish the latest edition of our 'Inside Azure Management' book - fully free and available for download to the Azure community!

Keeping up with the lightning pace that Microsoft Azure is moving at, this book builds on the success of last years release with even more content and amazing authors to deliver a premium grade learning resource for free (if you download the e-copy).

Working on this book is always a fun experience and I'll normally jump at the chance to collaborate again with my good friends and co-authors from the last book - Stanislav ZhelyazkovTao Yang and Pete Zerger.

As usual, Pete retained the role of 'Taskmaster (aka Mother Goose)' who kept us all organised and on-track with deadlines and chapter edits.

We also had some new (and equally awesome) additions to the full authoring team this year and were joined by:
All great technical books require a great technical reviewer and Anders Bengtsson (one of our co-author's from last years book), has taken on that role for us in this release.

Every chapter from the previous book has been updated to reflect the new features and capabilities of each topic and some of those chapters have undergone nearly a full re-write.

Like last year, I learned a bunch of new skills and tricks from authoring my own chapters and reading the content the rest of the team has put together too. I revisited the same chapters I wrote in last years book which focused on Azure Migration, Azure Infrastructure Monitoring and Azure Disaster Recovery.

Here's the full list of Chapters that we've included across the book:

  • Implementing Governance in Azure
  • Migrating Workloads in Azure
  • Configuring Data Sources for Azure Log Analytics
  • Monitoring Applications
  • Monitoring Infrastructure
  • Alerting and Notification
  • Monitoring Databases in Azure
  • Monitoring Containers in Azure
  • Implementing Process Automation
  • Implementing Configuration Management
  • Monitoring Security-Related Configuration
  • Data Backup for Azure Workloads
  • Implementing a Disaster Recovery Strategy
  • Update Management for VMs

As I mentioned earlier, and sticking to our promise from last year's release - all of the authors and technical reviewers are strong advocates in the Azure Management community and wanted to give something back so we've agreed to release this book as a free download to anyone who wants it. Don't be fooled into thinking this lacks quality or effort by the fact that we're giving it away for free as we're confident that you won't get a better book than this on Azure Management from any of the usual paid-for publishing channels.

You can grab your free copy of the book from our new download URL here:

We hope you enjoy this book as much as we did authoring it and feel free to reach out to any of us with questions you have on the content.

Thanks as always for your support!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Global Azure Virtual Bootcamp 2020

This week sees the kick off for the annual Global Azure Bootcamp and due to the restrictions across the world with COVID-19, the event has gone fully virtual - which means more access to sessions for more attendees!

The event runs from Thursday 23rd April - Saturday 25th April with a good mixture of live presentations and pre-recorded sessions - all dropping on hourly across multiple timezones.

There are literally hundreds of amazing speakers and hosts lined up to present and chat with throughout the event and you can check out the full list of them along with the global schedule from the official site at the following link:

I'll be working with our local community here as part of the UK and Ireland Global Azure Virtual event and will be co-hosting Track 2 with my esteemed MVP colleague and Azure Ninja - Gregor Suttie.

You can check out all of the sessions and tracks for the UK and Ireland event here:

Main Site -

Track 1 -

Track 2 -

Track 3 -

Enjoy the event everyone!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Presenting at Microsoft Ignite The Tour: London

This week, I'm heading back over to the UK to present two sessions at Microsoft Ignite The Tour: London.

The two-day conference is sold out and will be hosted in the massive ExCel venue right in the middle of London City. I'll be accompanied by some of my Ergo colleagues and will be presenting the following two sessions on Friday:

Friday 17th January 09:00am - 09:15am

Session Code:

Theatre 1

Session Type:
Theatre (15 mins)

Azure Monitor and SCOM 2019, Real World Tips and Tricks!

Whether you’re using SCOM 2019 or Azure Monitor in stand-alone deployments or integrated together, you’ll be sure to find value with these tips and tricks from the trenches. With over a decade of real-world monitoring experience in the Microsoft space for this presenter to share, this is a session that you won’t want to miss.

Friday 17th January 10:45am - 11:30am

Session Code:

Capital Suite 7 - 9

Session Type:
Breakout (45 mins)

Azure Monitor Deep Dive - Everything you need to know

In this presentation, we'll walk you through all of the many integrated services of Azure Monitor with live demo's and real-world tips to help you gain an understanding of this awesome monitoring service. We'll also show you how to leverage the skills you've built up over the years with traditional on-premises monitoring tools and apply them to the new wave of monitoring from Microsoft's public cloud.

Note: If you'd like to play a small role in one of the web application monitoring demo's I have for the Azure Monitor Deep Dive session, then please take a browse around my fictionial bakery website here and my new Tailwind Traders website here. I'll be capturing the web browsing telemetry that you generate and will present it in the session on Friday!

Hopefully I'll see some of you in London this week and please stop by my sessions if you'd like to learn more about what's going on in the Microsoft world of monitoring.