2015 Microsoft Virtual MVP Conference–IT Pro Track

MVP15_MicrosoftMVP_VC_WebBanner_920x400pxHere is the full IT Pro Track Session list for the MVP Virtual Conference is coming on May 14th and May 15th.  Over 5000 people have already registered for the event with content driven by Microsoft MVPs in three main tracks, IT Pro, Developer, and Consumer.  I have been highlighting some of my favorite sessions all week, but here are the rest in the IT Pro track.  It is shaping up to be a great event.  To register for free online conference, just go to this link:  http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/virtualconference-sessions.aspx

IT Pro Track

Deploying Highly Available SQL Server in Microsoft Azure IaaS

speaker: David Bermingham

Moderator: Joseph D’Antoni

SQL Server always on AG and FCI still form the under pinning of SQL Server availability in Windows Azure, but there are a few things you need to know before you jump in with both feet. In this session you will learn how to leverage Azure Fault Domains, Upgrade Domains and Internal Load Balancers to ensure the high availability of SQL Server deployments within the Azure cloud. Hybrid cloud configurations will also be introduced as a disaster recovery solution for SQL Server deployments.

Dynamics CRM MVP Ask the Experts

Speakers (Panel): Donna Edwards, Christopher Cognetta, Alex Fagundes, Shan McArthur, Matt Wittemann

Moderator: Donna Edwards

This will be an interactive discussion featuring Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVPs. The panel will not only share their knowledge but also respond to product and project related questions. We are looking forward to helping you with any challenges you face from technology and infrastructure, to features and tools, through implementation and professional development. This session is your opportunity to ask those pressing questions and get real-time answers from CRM product and industry experts.

Power BI as a Self-Service BI Platform: Architecture, Use Cases, Strengths, and Shortcomings.

Speaker: Melissa Coates

Moderator: Rafael Salas

Power BI is Microsoft’s newest solution to facilitate self-service business intelligence. In this session we will discuss which components of Power BI are associated with cloud services, SharePoint on-premises, and client applications such as Excel and Power BI Designer. With an emphasis on the newly overhauled Power BI Preview, we will discuss and demonstrate the key elements of the system, its strengths, its limitations, and how Power BI can fit into an organization’s data delivery platform.

A pain-free migration to Office 365

Speaker: J. Peter Bruzzese

Moderator: Naomi Moneypenny

Migration to Office 365 is a painful experience in many cases due to legacy archive data issues, throttling and bandwidth barriers, professional services fees and more. In this session we will reduce the pain through improved planning and clearly identification and elimination of those pain points. Migrations are always going to being taxing but there are ways to make them less so. I’ll show you how.

Azure Test Labs:  From Zero to Hero

Speaker: Garth Gorling

Moderator: Colin Smith

In this session, I will take the participants on a journey as we create a training lab in Azure. The session will start with an introduction to Azure. We will look at the various interfaces available to leverage the power of the cloud. Once we have covered some of the core concepts that Azure relies on we will move on the more in-depth technical aspects and setup a virtual network. Basic Azure networking will be covered and a fully functional network will be built quickly and easily. The next phase of our Azure discovery journey will be populating the network. We will look at ways to create virtual machines by using the gallery and quick create. We will create two virtual machines and look at ways of adding machines to the network created at the beginning of the learning adventure. The session continues as we move into application of the learning. Here, we will promote one of the virtual machines created previously to a domain controller and will then join the client machine to our newly created domain. This is the core focus of the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 R2 exam and once we have built out this environment it can be used for much of the learners needs as they study for exams or just learn and play with some cutting edge technology.

BYOD with Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite

Speaker: Jason Milgram

Moderator: Justin Harris

Join us and learn all about Microsoft’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solution. People want access to corporate applications from anywhere, on whatever device they choose—laptop, smartphone, tablet, or PC. We’ll talk about how to support BYOD across all popular platforms: Windows, iOS, and Android. Improve efficiency and simplify administration with no infrastructure required, how to manage PCs and mobile devices in one place, and protect corporate assets with configuration policies and remote wipe.

Microsoft Surface in the Enterprise

Speaker: Colin Smith

Moderator: Garth Gorling

The Microsoft Surface has been steadily increasing its penetration into the enterprise workplace. In order to get the most productive use of the devices, end users, line of business units, and IT departments all have to adapt and make changes to existing processes, procedures, and work styles. This session will cover some of the common challenges organizations will face in trying to make the best use of Microsoft Surfaces and provide some potential solutions.

Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Automation with PowerShell

Speaker: Trevor Sullivan

Moderator: Anil Desai

Are you using the Microsoft Azure cloud today? Do you love automation? Does your business require rapid elasticity? You’ll want to be sure to come to this session, where we will discuss provisioning and management of cloud resources in Microsoft Azure, using the Windows PowerShell automation platform! We’ll talk about the Azure Service Management and Azure Resource Manager APIs, and some of the key concepts to the automated building of infrastructure services on Azure. Be prepared for a session packed with architectural and technical information!

What is new in Skype for Business

Speaker: Evan Zaleschuk

Moderator: Michael LaMontagne

With the recent release of Skype for Business, this session will outline what is new and what has changed in Skype for Business from the previous version of Lync 2013. We’ll talk about changes such as: Skype Look and Feel, Cross Platform Support plus Conversation History across devices, Connectivity to Skype, SQL Always On, Native Video Interop , Call Via Work… and more. We will then look into two popular topics in more detail, SQL Always On and Connectivity to Skype and Federation.

Modern IT: DevOps to ITIL

Speaker: Nathan Lasnoski

Moderator: Annur Sumar

Are you confused about how the DevOps movement fits into traditional ITSM practices? You aren’t alone. In this session, we’ll demonstrate using technology in the process lifecycle from development to operations using practices from DevOps and ITIL. You’ll learn practical skills to implement these practices within your own organization. Understand the impact on configuration management, controls, releases, and automation. We’ll talk about the modern lifecycle of development and operations and its relationship to tools like Visual Studio Online, Azure, and System Center.

Azure Remote App for your Line of Business Applications

Speaker: Adnan Cartwright

Moderator: Elias Mereb

This session gives an overview of utilizing Azure RemoteApp for Mobility and BYOD scenarios where IT can enable users to access corporate data and applications while ensuring compliance. Whether you are running your business entirely in the cloud or in a hybrid deployment, learn how Azure Remote Desktop app end users can access corporate applications from a variety of devices and platforms including iOS, Mac OS X, and Android, in addition to Windows and Windows RT.

Troubleshooting Hyper-V Performance Issues – Black Belt Notes from the field

Speaker: Dave Kawula

Moderator: Marcos Nogueira

In this session we will cover common techniques for troubleshooting Hyper-V Performance issues. These ticks, tricks and techniques have all been used in the field and will be of immense value. Dave has developed a great approach to troubleshooting from the ground up with Hyper-V, and this demo-centric session will deal with common questions like “Why is my server so slow?” During the performance troubleshooting process, we first look at the Host Server, Network Configuration, Storage, and Operating System, followed by troubleshooting the actual guests (VM’s). This unique presentation will showcase PowerShell scripts that will be used to break the environment and simulate real world scenarios for active participation and troubleshooting. At the end of this session you will be on the road to getting your very own Black Belt in Hyper-V Performance Troubleshooting.

Automating Service Delivery with System Center 2012 R2

Speaker: Pete J. Zerger

Moderator: Chris Ross

In this session targeted to IT decision makers and IT Pros new to System Center, learn about the capabilities Microsoft System Center brings to the service delivery lifecycle in heterogeneous and hybrid cloud environments. Key topics will include: Server, Client and Application Management, Automated Deployment and Self-Service Automation, Integration with 3rd party management platforms, Monitoring, Security and Data Protection. For organizations that already own System Center, learn the “Why not System Center?” method to identifying where System Center fits in your environment.

Best Practices for Virtualizing and Managing SharePoint 2013 with System Center Windows Server 2012

Speaker: Marcos Nogueira

Moderator: Dave Kawula

SharePoint 2013 is now a company standard, but what is supported, sensible, or even practicable? How do we go about monitoring and managing SharePoint? In this session, we discuss the virtualization path and best practices using Hyper-V for high availability and why virtualization makes sense. With the foundations in place we take a deep dive on how we can monitor SharePoint Farms, the availability of each role and how we can profit from a combination of the Health Service within SharePoint 2013 and the wealth of what System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2 can offer to make the management experience an easier one. We also look at advancements we can make outside of the box by directly integrating the Hive for exceptions. What will we learn? How to effectively manage and monitor our SharePoint farms of any size. Why not make a complex task fun, with measurable results.

Migrating from VMware to Hyper-V for VMware Professionals

Speaker: Andrew Syrewicze

Moderator: Rob McShinsky

Many IT Pros in the industry have begun their virtualization training with VMware, but as the market shifts in other directions, a lot of administrators are finding themselves managing multi-hypervisor environments. Many businesses are now in the process of migrating some or all of their virtual workloads to the Microsoft Hyper-V platform for a number of reasons including, cost savings, scalability, and ease of management. While managing a Hyper-V cluster is somewhat similar in concept to ESXi, there are some fundamental differences. This session will cover Hyper-V clustering, management differences, and the migration of VMs from ESXi to Hyper-V. The entire session will be geared towards VMware administrators who are looking to broaden their horizons by adding Hyper-V know-how to their toolbox.

Healthy SQL III

Speaker: Robert Pearl

Moderator: Jason Brimhall

Are your SQL Servers Healthy? Are all the SQL Servers you manage running optimally and have the high availability that is expected? How do you know for sure? Have you checked on the health of your SQL Servers lately? What is a Health Check, and how do we perform one? If you are a DBA, then you ought to know! Robert Pearl talks about the importance of regular health checks of your SQL Server(s). We will talk about the need to create a baseline and provide some time-tested ways to determine if your SQL Servers are healthy and prove it to your managers, clients and even your IT auditors. Using various tools and scripts, and native SQL Server features, you will come out of this session feeling much better.

PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) – Custom Resource Development

Speaker: Craig Martin

Moderator: Brian Desmond

PowerShell DSC is a great configuration management system built into Windows, and very extensible to cover systems that need configuration management but lack the DSC resources. Come see demonstrations of custom DSC resources, and sharing of lessons learned including handy techniques for making the DSC resources great.

Securing Your Azure Data Center

Speaker: Eric D Boyd

Moderator: Marcin Policht

With security breaches being a daily news story, and businesses suffering significant losses as a result, the topic of security is more important than ever. And the public cloud brings this conversation to the forefront. From my experience helping customers develop applications and migrate workloads to Azure, there are three major areas of concern as it relates to security, 1) Access 2) Data 3) Visibility and then there’s the bonus conversation regarding regulatory issues and compliance. In this session, you will learn how to manage and control access to your Azure data center, both external and internal. Next, you will learn how to secure the data in your Azure data center from internal and external threats. Then, you will learn how to audit and monitor activities and traffic in your Azure data center. And finally, we will explore how Microsoft operates and manages the data centers, and how Azure helps you with compliance.

Just Enough Explanation of JEA, Windows’ New “Just Enough Administration” (JEA) Tool

Speaker: Mark Minasi

Moderator: Sean P Kearney

Most of us who’ve run networks for more than about two days have learned “the principle of least privilege,” a short way of saying, “when you create an account to administer service ‘X’ (Exchange, SQL, a file server, SharePoint or whatever), don’t create that account as a domain administrator, create it with only the privileges and permissions that it needs… no more.”  It’s a wise intention, but a hard one to follow in the Windows world. But that’s changing. PowerShell mastermind Jeffrey Snover’s team recently released an experimental toolkit they call JEA, short for “Just Enough Administration.” Aimed for implementation on servers from 2008 R2 and later, JEA lets you create custom-made administrative accounts with finely-tuned, purpose-built capabilities. Even better, you set this stuff up from a central location with Desired State Configuration, Windows’ relatively new group-policy-for-servers-but-even-better tool. (And of course, anyone using a JEA endpoint is logged from start to finish.) Securing modern server management seeks to isolate, restricts and tracks administration tasks in a role-based fashion. Third party tools or hundreds of hours of scripting might accomplish that… but why waste that time and money? Attend this session with Windows automation guru Mark Minasi and understand JEA’s pieces, see how to set it up and customize it for your needs.

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