Azure For The IT Pro Firestarter Series

azureLogo125Last fall, Brian Hitney, Jim O’Neil, and I went on the road to deliver a series of Azure Firestarter events up and down the east coast. Those events were focused on what’s in Azure for developers. There is so much there for developers to learn, despite the fact that Cloud Computing sounds more like an IT Pro topic, you know… servers, networking, scale, etc.  However, developers should ignore the cloud at their peril. 

My peers, Bob Hunt & Yung Chou, are about to kick off a new series of Firestarter events that looks at Azure from the IT Pro perspective.  This event series will provide in-depth information on what Cloud Computing means for the IT Pro, as well as outlining and demonstrating the various offerings available in Microsoft’s Public and Private cloud solutions, including Office 365, Windows Azure and Windows Live.

This event series will kick off at the Microsoft Washington D.C. Office on February 1st.  Registration for this event and the seven other cities (Malvern February 3rd, Iselin, New Jersey February 8th, New York City February 10th, Ft. Lauderdale March 8th, Tampa March 10th, Waltham March 22nd and Atlanta March 24th) is now open at

Hope to see folks locally at the NYC and Iselin events!

An outline of the day is below:

Event Overview

Session 1: Cloud Computing Essentials for IT Pros

75 minutes, 9 AM – 10:15 AM

While cloud computing is emerging as a promising IT service delivery vehicle, to cloud or not to cloud? That is not the question. For IT professionals, it is crucial to recognize the opportunities and play a key role in the transformation from existing infrastructure-focused IT into a service-oriented, user-centric, and IT as a service environment. Are you ready for the challenge to lead and transform your IT organization?

This session is to clarify myths and provides pertinent information of cloud computing from an IT professional’s viewpoint. We will review the architecture and examine the service delivery models of cloud computing while stepping through business scenarios and operations of employing public cloud and private cloud.

Session 2: Physical, Virtualized, and Cloud

75 minutes, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM

With virtualization and cloud computing, IT now has many options to deliver services on premises and beyond. How does virtualization work? What to virtualize? Is virtualization relevant to cloud computing? And what is cloud? Do we need cloud? Is cloud the right solution? Which resource to put in the cloud, or not at all? How do we get from point a to point b? This session is to connect some of these dots for and help IT professionals gain insights of transitioning existing IT into a cloud-friendly and cloud-ready environment.

Session 3: Public Cloud: What, Why, and How

75 minutes, 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Instead of worrying about plumbing, public cloud gives IT the power to focus on business logic with ability to scale up or down resource capacities depending on business demands. Further with a pay-for-use business model, IT won’t be wasting money on providing services you thought you might need but never got around to using. This session demonstrates employing public cloud for information workers to carry out work routines while IT is realizing the benefits on a daily basis.

Session 4: Private Cloud: What, Why, and How

75 minutes, 2 PM – 3: 15 PM

Cloud computing with attributes like pooled computing resources, automated management, scalability, on-demand provisioning, etc. is a very opportunity to transform enterprise IT from a device-dependent and infrastructure-focused deployment structure into a customer-centric service-oriented delivery vehicle. For enterprise, the roadmap of IT as a Service is via a common management framework and private cloud.

This session presents the criteria, examines strategies, and walks through the processes of assessing and constructing private cloud with demonstrations on delivering and managing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in an enterprise setting.

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