Tag Archive: Cloud

Continuing my long running series on Azure at 4sysops, this time I look at Azure Active Directory, synchronising it with your on-premises Active Directory and the benefits it offers, as well as the Azure service Cloud App Discovery. This service (CAD?) inventories the cloud services in use in your network (commonly called Shadow IT) to help IT departments to actually know what’s happening instead of guessing. Read it here.

Enjoy! And thanks for reading. 

Continuing my series on Azure for 4Sysops, my next piece is now live. This one covers Azure Automation (AA? Alcoholics Anonymous?), a service to run PowerShell workflows in Azure to automate common tasks. Read it here.

Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Getting Cloud Certified?

It used to be easy – a new version of your chosen software package would come out and you’d go (at some stage in the products lifecycle) and do the exam to prove that you knew all the ins and outs of the new features.

So if you’re a DBA, you’d keep up with the latest version of SQL Server (or DB2, Oracle or whatever), if you’re an email administrator, ditto for Exchange and so forth.

The value of certification has been discussed in many a forum by many IT Professionals and the opinions range from “it’s just a piece of paper – I don’t need that to prove how good I am at X” to “it’s the only impartial way to show a prospective employer or client what I know”. I’m firmly in the latter camp.

I have been Microsoft certified since 1996, I take between two and five exams per year and I keep up with several key Microsoft technologies. You can see all about my achievements on my Virtual Business Card here, click on learn more to see the whole list.

The main reason I do all that study and spend the time learning new technologies isn’t to further my career (I love teaching where I teach at the moment), to gain more clients (most of them don’t really know what my certifications mean anyway) or even to be a better teacher. It’s simply my way to show myself that I really do know new technology – a case of personal satisfaction. And it’s also “insurance” for the future, should I find myself looking for a job at some point.

When I wrote my piece on what the cloud will mean for IT Professionals for the CloudBold.com website (read it here) I was lamenting the fact that there really was no “Cloud IT Pro” certification, from Microsoft or anyone else. That’s about to change as Microsoft is introducing Private Cloud Certification with two new exams focused on System Center 2012 technologies and how they enable the Private Cloud. And lets not forget the two new exams focused on Microsoft’s Public cloud – Office 365. I took both of those exams in beta in January – I haven’t received confirmation whether I passed or not yet.

You can read more about how Microsoft keeps their exam development process current here and you can read about the new Private Cloud certification here.

Will I take these two new exams (70-247 and 70-246)? Absolutely! Will I take them in beta form? If the gods smile on me and I’m picked out of the list of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) Microsoft have on file – I love taking beta exams. The challenge is bigger when there’s no ready made study material available.

So, as I say to my students at TAFE (the local IT Academy where I teach), becoming Microsoft certified is part of landing that first (and hardest to get) job in IT, and the above certification paths is evidence that Microsoft’s program is evolving to encompass that most elusive of new job roles – the Cloud IT Pro.

Thanks for reading.

Which clouds play nice?

I recently wrote a big article for zdnet.com.au reviewing CRM packages and my contact at SugarCRM (one of the reviewed suites) pointed me to a recent article by IT News (download it here). This is a really well written piece, pointing out the hazards for businesses in jumping into the cloud without realising the dangers.

In IT we’ve spent the last 20 years figuring out how to integrate systems on-premise, it looks like most of that work is gone when it comes to the cloud and we’ll have to start again. Apart from a slight anti- Microsoft bias in the article (it was sponsored by VMware) it’s a really good read with excellent down to earth information.

Thanks for reading.

Definitely getting close to the finishing line on this eight part series, part 7 is now online at 4Sysops, read it here.

Enjoy! And thanks for reading.

Now we’re getting close to the finishing line for the Office 365 technical review series on 4Sysops. Read it here.

Enjoy and thanks for reading.

And my Office 365 overview continues, in this part we look at migrating to Exchange online. Read it here.

Enjoy! And thanks for reading.

Here’s part four of eight of the Office 365 overview for 4sysops.

Enjoy! And thanks for reading Smile

And now part three is online at 4sysops– Office 365 is certainly a big bet by Microsoft and in this article series you can really get the tech details without the marketing fluff. Read it here.

Enjoy – and thanks for reading!

And here’s my second part in this eight part series – enjoy!

Thanks for reading