Being a Microsoft MVP and “The Big Ask”

Being a Microsoft MVP and “The Big Ask’’

I’m proud to be recognized once more as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in 2017 for the Cloud and Datacenter Management expertise. It’s fantastic to be part of that community and I enjoy the feedback, discussion between my fellow MVPs and Microsoft. So what’s all this about Being a Microsoft MVP and “The Big Ask’’ you might wonder?

Being a Microsoft MVP and “The Big Ask’'

Many readers have reached out for help lately.  I hope that, at least, I have guided you towards the information and knowledge to find a solution. Please understand that I cannot help out everybody out there individually. With a job to do, community efforts, a life and only 24 hours in a day, there is a limit.. So yes, it’s a big ask, but I also enjoy the learning and the interaction. So don’t get me wrong on this. I love doing it.

I hope I can keep learning, growing and sharing in this industry for many years to come. I’m looking forward to some “out of the box” solutions based on Microsoft technologies in 2017-2018. The aim is  to offer the best possible solutions fast, good & affordable. These will be shared via this blog and the community for the benefit of you all!

Thank you reading!

Happy New Year & Microsoft MVP 2017 Renewal

Happy new year to all of you. May you and your loved ones enjoy good health, happiness, prosperity and interesting work and studies in 2017.

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While I enjoy the time off around new year and appreciate the comfort of a soap stone wood stove on a cold winter evening I also enjoy IT work.Luckily, as I cannot retire yet to enjoy road trips for sightseeing and hiking for the remainder of my time on this planet.

Designing, building, deploying, supporting & troubleshooting high available on premises, hybrid and cloud infrastructure is what I love to do. Today that means ever more a software defines approach. That doesn’t mean you have to work at Amazon, Google or Microsoft. That means you have to investigate how PowerShell, DSC, JSON & Azure Automation can help you achieve your goals. That also doesn’t mean you don’t have understand clustering, networking, storage or virtualization anymore yet. Trust me on that.

This afternoon I also received my renewal e-mail as a Microsoft MVP in the Cloud and Datacenter Management expertise. This is my sixth award and I’m as happy, honored and proud to be one as ever.

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2017 will be filled with many Windows Server 2016 projects on top of our already strong start in 2016 after it became generally available. These projects will be tied to some new cloud efforts in Azure, efforts that surpass IAAS alone.

The IT world evolves and moves fast but technology doesn’t disappear over night. Keeping things tied together, moving forward to the new, leveraging new capabilities, enabling new opportunities and staying up to date takes a serious effort. Sharing what we learn with the global community is what the MVP program recognizes and stimulates. We all learn together and advance by sharing experiences and knowledge. We also help each other out and this year I’ve seen and participated in a number of cases where community members and fellow MVPs came together when needed to solve some serious problems.

Unscheduled Maintenance for WorkingHardInIT Blog

If you tried to visit my blog on December the 15th you might have found it to be unreachable or that it timed out. My blog is attracting quite a bit or traffic and that was beginning to show for while now, mainly in CPU cycles and memory consumption. To be honest, the sizing was “tight” for budget reasons.

Well,  the site finally caved in under the load that became too much for the virtual machine in Azure it’s running on. I did investigate any other possible cause, but in the end it just needed more CPU and memory. So that’s what was behind the spotty behavior and suboptimal responsiveness yesterday which we kindly refer to as unscheduled maintenance.

Anyway, this meant I had to move the VM to a bigger size and pay more. I hope this will do for a while and I’ll see how much the bill will be to see if the costs are sustainable. The blogging is “just” a community effort in the end.

The exceptional value of a great technical community

There is a tremendous value in being an active community member. You learn form other people experiences. Both their successes and their mistakes. They learn from you. All this at the cost of the time and effort you put in. This, by itself, is of great value.

There are moments that this value reaches a peak. It becomes so huge it cannot be dismissed by even the biggest cynic of a penny pinching excuse for a manager.You see, one day bad things happen to even the nicest, most experienced and extremely competent people. That day, in the middle of the night you reach out to your community. The message is basically “HELP!”.

Guess what, the community, spread out across the globe over all time zones answers that call. You get access to support and skills form your peers when you most need it. Even if you have to pay an hourly fee that would still be a magnitude cheaper than many “premium” support schemes that, while very much needed for that vertical support, cannot match the depth and breath of the community.

For sure, you don’t have a piece of paper, and SLA, an escalation manager. That might upset some people. But what you do get are hard core skills, extra eyes and hands when you need it the most. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the exceptional value of a great technical community at work. Your backup when the system fails. Who ever has committed community experts as employees or partners or owners of a business indirectly has access to a global network of knowledge, talent, skills and experience. If you truly think people are the biggest capital you have, than these are the gems.