May 2017 will be a travelling month


In ICT, you never stop learning. Changes come and go fast. Navigating through these turbulent times of rapid change, short value cycles in order to provide continuity in both services & value without falling behind or being held back is a challenge we all face every day. If you hire or employ technologists, please take a moment to consider what they pull off for you every day. It helps to be realistic on what to expect from and to achieve with them. For that a solid understanding of the technology ecosystem and good doctrine to achieve your goals are necessary. For that to really happen and for their efforts to pay off we need to make sure politics and bureaucracy are kept under control. Let your people shine and move ahead. Long term planning does not equate a strategy and you might find yourself out paced & maneuvered by the industry and your competitors. That’s a reason why you see technologist move up the ladder and take on the leadership role inside many companies. They tend to be better placed to see the opportunities and what these require. In that respect, it pays off to walk out of your office every now and then in order to prevent tunnel vision and echo chambers. That’s one of the reasons that for me May 2017 will be a travelling month.

May 2017 will be a travelling month

Cloud & Datacenter Conference Germany

First, I’ll be in Munich, Germany, fort he Hyper-V community day and to both attend / speak at the Cloud & Datacenter Conference Germany 2017. That’s a conference for and by the community and the speakers are all highly experienced people who talk the talk and walk the walk.


I you can grab a ticket asap. From the very 1st edition the Cloud & Datacenter Conference Germany has set the standard for what a conference should be like.  I’ll be talking about SMB Direct / RDMA on the Hyper-V community day and about Windows Server 2016 Failover Clustering & Hyper-V at the conference. Please feel free to come over an chat.

Dell EMC World 2017

After that I’m off to DELL EMC World 2017 where I’ll be diving into the offerings that exit today and in the near future. As you might have guessed I’m very interested in the DELL Storage Spaces solutions, there take on and use of ReFSv3 and Windows Server 2016. Next to that, I would not be nick named RoCE Balboa if I was not interested in networking. Hardware wise I have my eye on the S-Series S6100-ON as that is one versatile piece of equipment. Man, I imaging having a lab with a 6 of those to test and play around with. No to mention the S2D clusters & backup targets to hammer them with a nice workload. Throw in the Mellanox cards for good measure. I can dream right ? As I’m a realist I’m also very interested in their servers and still, the Compellent offerings, which as far as traditional SANs go is one easy to manage & leverage piece of gear. It goes without saying I’ll be taking a look at what the EMC addition to the portfolio can achieve for us as well as the DELL EMC 3rd party offerings


VeeamOn 2017

After that I continue on to VeeamON 2017 which makes a great addition to the two above. The Windows Server 2016 core stack as the basis for Azure Stack, S2D running on that great DELLEMC hardware. Now have that protected and made continuous available by the Veeam Availability Suite 9.5. That’s how you get an amazing stack of technologies on which to build, support amazingly good services.


At VeeamON 2017 I’ll be joining two big names in the industry Luca Dell’Oca and Carsten Rachfahl to talk about ReFSv3. We’ll be attending sessions and “hanging out” at the MSFT boot as well.

So, no rest for a Microsoft MVP, Microsoft Extended Experts team member, Azure Advisor, a DELL Community Rockstar and a Veeam Vanguard. We’re always reading up, learning, investigating, sharing experiences & insights with our peers and learning from them. Conferences done right are very valuable and a great networking / leaning opportunity. Make the most of them when you can.

My value is your value

These conferences together with our focus on some very innovative and promising public and hybrid cloud technologies in Azure will keep me busy contemplating designs, testing the concepts of solution I have in my mind and delivering very efficient and effective solutions both in functionality as well as in TCO and ROI. That (and caffeine) combined with working with great and smart people is what makes me run. So for that reason alone I do not mind that May 2017 will be a travelling month.

Heading to the MVP Global Summit 2016

It’s that time of the year where I’ll be making my way to Redmond (Washington, USA) to attend the MVP Global Summit 2016.


It’s going to be and interesting one as after 2 years of Technical previews Windows Server 2016 went RTM  last September and is generally available. Our hardware partners are selected for best value and that means early and good support for new releases of Windows. Dell, Emulex, Intel and Mellanox delivered and that means we can already share our first real life experiences around the finished product with Microsoft.

We’ll also be talking shop about future directions and provide feedback on what we want to see happen and need. Next to Windows (which is so much more than “just” an operating system nowadays) we have a stake in SQL Server  2016 and Azure. Azure in all it’s offerings, SAAS, PAAS, IAAS – both public and hybrid use cases.

To do so we need to get there first so we’ll hop on a Boeing (hey I’m flying to Washington, kind has to be a Boeing right?) for long haul a flight to Redmond and go talk shop all week long from early dawn at breakfast to night caps in downtown Bellevue with friends and colleagues.


Next to pure technology we also talk about business challenges and opportunities. The best positioned organizations are the ones where the technical people have taken and been given the opportunity to lead. I know it’s scary for some managers that feel threatened by this but when the techies lead the IT side of the business the rest can can focus on the business and avoid the costly mistakes that I see so many make today. Most organizations have failed at getting business people up to speed on IT. I’ve seen a lot of successful organizations let technical people show how the business how to thrive in a mobile and cloud first world. It just makes sense to let your experienced and talented technical people take the lead. Don’t think for one second that they’re just janitors mopping the floor in an outdated server room when not busy handling the “other” facilities. Do that and you will fail painfully. Put away your politics, fears, long term gigantic projects and learn to let fast, inexpensive, simple, small technology solution rule in a federated world to maximize time to market, results and flexibility. If you don’t let go of centralized, long term, overly complex technology projects and old school enterprise solutions – where everything is held by back by everything else – you’ll fail, lose vast amounts of money and time. Don’t!

Heading Home after Ignite 2016

While traveling back home here are some musings on Microsoft Ignite 2016. I’m not going to regurgitate all the news and announcements here.

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There were many and they were divers. Azure Identity, Security, storage, management, Windows Server 2016, Hyper-V, Storage Spaces, Storage Replica … are all offering a wide variety of new capabilities and options. It’s impressive now and it will be even more impressive in the future. When I connect the dots and look at the opportunities my take on what the future roadmap can and might be visualizes in front of my eyes. That’s the value I can add to an organization that’s committed to its future and realizes it needs to leverage IT to it’s fullest potential. That means you cannot treat IT as a facility because we build it on commodity products. Every success is build on creative and well directed use of the components and the capabilities. This requires a lot more than lip service or merely covering up bad choices and political ambitions with a thin layer of “big principles”. The key to success is speed, agility, insight in a world where mobile and cloud offer tremendous new opportunities. Large, long term, centralized projects have their place but sticking to them by default in the wrong place, the wrong way and manner will lead to failure in a 24/7/365 mobile world where federation, collaboration across boundaries are paramount. The small, cost effective and efficient projects delivering real value with a purpose will make giants, bot in government and the private sectors stumble and even fall.

We have so much opportunity here that many cannot see the trees through the forest anymore. This will lead to many failed projects, ambitions and organizations in combination with a waste of time and money. That’s were we can make the difference.

As an attendee and MVP I was very happy to be able to attend in order to calibrate my compass and correct course. In good tradition I signed the billboard for attending MVPs at Ignite 2016  I’m already looking forward to heading back to Redmond for the MVP Global Summit and continue the discussion at the Microsoft Head Quarters.


To me, the Ignite 2016 edition was one of intensive networking with Microsoft experts and management. This extended to 3rd party vendors and partners of Microsoft. This, in combination with the discussions with my peers  to discover their views and insights have given me a very up to date view on where we are at and where things are going. That’s the value I’m taking back home to work with and help people reach their full potential. That’s not an easy task as many today are or feel at least a bit out of balance to completely lost. Technologists are the one to step up all the way to the board level and steer their organizations towards a successful future.  Many companies are not ready for this and some management feels threatened by this. There’s basically no need for that fear as we are technologists, not politicians. We solve problems, we don’t create them. We drive companies towards success, if you let us.

Attending the MVP Global Summit 2016

The Microsoft MVP Global Summit 2016 has been announced last week. For any MVP this is a  happy communication to get and we start planning time away from work and look into flights.

The MVP Global Summit 2016 happens in Bellevue (offices, hotels) and Redmond (campus), the two locations where Microsoft has it’s main presence in the Puget sound area.

It at least 4 –5 days of intensive feedback sessions, brainstorming, education along with a non stop exchange of knowledge and experiences. But even on the weekend before and after the meet ups and discussion start or close the MVP summit. Those are the days you can get together and talk shop with your fellow MVPs and experts from all around the world. How often can you get such people to converge in such numbers in the same location?

There’s always extra opportunities to organize meetings and discuss technology with the people in the know. Both at Microsoft and with Microsoft business partners in and around the greater Seattle area, or the ones that fly in to be able to talk to us. That’s what many of us do while we’re there, stay the entire week and weekend. Many of us take some vacation days to make that happen.

It’s an intense period of long days and lots of activity. You’ll be tired that’s for sure. But that’s not even a thought that enters your mind. For passionate IT people this part of work is so interesting and stimulating you float through it as if you’re walking on air. It’s over before you know it.

My advice is to stay at least an entire week and make sure you get to talk to the people you want to have a chat with. If you’re not from the US you’ve flown long haul just to get here, make the most of it. Start your list of topics you’d like to discuss. Then prepare to find and contact the people you need to talk to about these. Don’t shy away from doing so on weekends. Many are willing to meet up with you in the evening or spend a few hours in the weekends over breakfast, lunch or dinner. In that regards, the MVP Summit is really an investment for all involved, we get our return on investment based on the time and the effort we put in. So yes it’s work, but as passionate IT people this is the kind of thing we love. People are more than willing to talk to you. Bring feed back, experiences, ideas, insights. Invest a bit in this al year round. The PMs at Microsoft really want to reach out and help make their products better and do well in real life.

Read more about the MVP Global Summit 2016 at T-Minus 182 Days to the MVP Global Summit!