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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
On Friday September the 30th 2016, in the afternoon, after Microsoft Ignite had come to an end Carsten Rachfahl assembled some of us, all MVPs attending Ignite for chat. Click on the picture below or here to follow the link.
Left to right you see Philip Elder aka @MPECSInc, Didier Van Hoye aka @WorkingHardInIT, Carsten Rachfahl aka @hypervserver and Charbel Nemnom aka @CHARBELNEMNOM
We discussed some of the features we like and look forward to in Windows Server 2016.
After this video, the post Ignite interactions with peers were not done yet. That night, over dinner, we spent many hours talking shop. Some of the dinner companions were quite the industry heavy weights in storage, virtualization networking and cloud. Too much of this was NDA to talk about here but it helped tremendously to put some things into perspective.