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TechEd North America aka. Drinking from the fire hose

Flying home after TechEd I can conclude that once again TechEd is a bit of an overwhelming experience for me. It’s so cool coming here as a speaker. I never have time to go to any sessions. My time is filled with catching up with my friends from all over, catching up with all of the latest news delivered from the Key Note, catching up with my own demos I’m about to deliver this week, catching up with some sleep since I spend large portions of the night wide awake due to being in the wrong time zone.

All in all there is a lot of catching going on!

All week I feel like a juggler who threw one more ball into the air than he could handle and now all the balls are coming down!

And I L-O-V-E IT!

Either I’m masochistic or it is the adrenaline of drinking from the fire hose that just feels too (darn) good!

This IS the right time to be in the Cloud because it really is all the rage these days! From the key note stage Scott Guthrie announced a slew of new features for Windows Azure. Here is a short recap of all the most recent goodness:

  • Dev/Test in the Cloud: MSDN Use Rights, Unbeatable MSDN Discount Rates, MSDN Monetary Credits
  • BizTalk Services: Great new service for Windows Azure that enables EDI and EAI integration in the cloud
  • Per-Minute Billing and No Charge for Stopped VMs: Now only get charged for the exact minutes of compute you use, no compute charges for stopped VMs
  • SSL Support with Web Sites: Support for both IP Address and SNI based SSL bindings on custom web-site domains
  • Active Directory: Updated directory sync utility, ability to manage Office 365 directory tenants from Windows Azure Management Portal
  • Free Trial: More flexible Free Trial offer

(Read it all in Scotts blog post: Windows Azure Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing)

On the floor of the conference I managed to get cornered by the marketing team again. They recorded the following two comments from me on the new release:

What else should I say about this new Winodws Azure play from Microsoft? Well, it’s very clear that Microsoft wants to enable joe developer to easily leverage Windows Azure to quickly deploy and work with Dev/Test. It does not take a genius to realize that if developers learn to use the platform for their development and testing they will be more likely to use or suggest continued usage for production deployment of the applications they develop. Learn the platform and keep using what’s familiar. Having that said, quite bluntly, I also want to say that there really is nothing wrong with this picture at all!

Microsoft can lead developers to the fire hose but they can’t make them drink! ;~)

In this announcement Microsoft is giving away a LOT of value to their loyal MSDN subscribers each month to enable development agility and time to market acceleration. At the same time they are offering easy access for non-MSDN potential customers to try out Windows Azure for a limited amount of money by offering them to buy $ credits as a free trial. This may be spent on any/or all services in the ever growing Windows Azure portfolio. This is a power play to entice more people to embrace the Cloud. As a Cloud devout, a Cloud Developer and a Cloud Consultant this is naturally something I welcome warmly.

My session at TechEd was actually all about Continuous Delivery Zen on Windows Azure. The official title of my talk was “Continuous Integration with Team Foundation Services and Windows Azure Websites”. I was very happy with the result of the session so I hope you who might click in and look at it like it too.

All you have to do folks, who read this and already pay for MSDN, is log into the Windows Azure site and with the Microsoft Account tied to the subscription and claim your free monthly usage. I would say it’s almost a stackable offence not to do it.

And what’s in it for me – you might ask? I can save money for my company. Fine. What’s in it for you? Except the fact that you can develop faster and with more cool confidence and look really good in your bosses eyes. Speaking of boss he’s not going to have to bother you any more about the latest demo environment once you have that automatically deploying every night. And the testers will be out of your hair too since you will be able to provide them with (read only) access to your builds meaning they will be able to fire off a new test environment deployment without having to come to you (bothering you) for the latest build. If this is not enough… Wait there’s more! ;~)

You can win an Aston Martin! Yes that’s right folks – a Bond car!


* Drool! *

Here is the link to the Windows Azure Aston Martin contest site. One might think this is an excessive contest with a big luxury car as the first price. I think it’s really cool and I would love to win! You can count on that I will enter this contest.

Naturally I had to stick my head in on this new contest too. Microsoft, or rather the Windows Azure Marketing team, decided to do a set of new interview style videos. And I GOT TO DO ONE! It was a lot of fun working with the professional project team that handled the interviewing/recording. Thanks a lot Amy for letting me be part of this. Here is the finished product:

2013-06-08 14-56-43

Hope this summary of the Windows Azure parts of TechEd is useful to you!



Posted by: Magnus Mårtensson
Last revised: 2013-06-08 01:10 History

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