I received the Microsoft MVP Award 2020

I received the Microsoft MVP Award 2020

Yesterday I received the email informing me that I received the Microsoft MVP Award 2020. July 1st is that time of the year that as a Microsoft MVP you find out if you are renewed for the new fiscal year. I was. That was cause for a celebration. But I had to wait a bit to shout out my happiness as I was in a Teams meeting on Veeam Backup for Azure.

I received the Microsoft MVP Award 2020

I enjoy being a Microsoft MVP

I am thrilled to be awarded as an MVP again. To this day I remain in the Cloud & Datacenter category which is a very good fit for me. As I do indeed work across both worlds. That’s where I help fill the gap to ensure digital transformations go smooth & you don’t lose out wherever you run your solutions. There are many creative solutions to be designed in hybrid scenarios and at the edge. Places where you can investigate, research, and find opportunities to build those creative solutions.

People who follow me know I don’t just copy/paste “best practices.” I research what works best and come up with ways to leverage technologies. I apply out of the box thinking to deliver excellent value for money efficiently and effectively. Then, I share my experiences and what I learn by writing, blogging, and speaking. That includes my successes and failures, as we learn from both.

What do I do?

I like to work end to end. The full-stack. No silos. There is no hiding behind another team or blocking another team. You could describe me as a multi-pronged T. Various prongs go deeper based on need or interest. But there are many and the T is wide so we can act and work without needing to much help to get something going. For one, this also enables me to give feedback with enough real-world knowledge to be valuable. Secondly, it keeps me honest. I do not just do design, I deploy it and support it. It has to work. I dislike support or consulting with tunnel vision or that design only for maximum profit instead of for the need at hand. My approach leaves money for better solutions and saves money in the long run. What I learn and see I take back to Microsoft in feedback, in discussion and interactions with the program managers. That is valuable for me as well as I learn a lot from them as well. In the end, it leads to better products and experiences for all of the community and customers.

I received the Microsoft MVP Award 2020

I enjoy being a Microsoft MVP for the opportunities it gives me to learn and share with like-minded people from all over the globe. While it takes a village to raise a child, the child needs to get out of the village into the world to evolve and keep learning. Today that is easier then ever before thanks to technology which eliminates many boundaries.

2020 is a bit of a special year

Talking about the globe at the time of writing. In a time of Corona and COVID-19 running amok in the world, it is our technology that makes this still possible while we do not travel en limit ourselves for the better good of all. I am proud to say that our technologies were in place to go in lockdown immediately without having to scramble for solutions. telecommuting is something we did already routinely and technologies could scale up and out, both on-premises and in the cloud, both in the areas where they excel.

That, combined with living in a country where we have universal healthcare and social benefits (taxes for the better good of all) helped ease the blow we all received. We all have shortcomings. But as a nation, businesses, and people we were ready, willing, and able to do what needed to be done.

All this means that this year and next year we do not have an in-person MVP Summit.

I received the Microsoft MVP Award 2020
A reminder of great times in Redmond & Bellevue

That saddens me. The face to face discussions from breakfast till literally in the hotel hallways before we go to sleep are priceless. Those chats with our peers and Microsoft employees are very insightful rewarding and educational. That experience and intensity are hard to recreate in a virtual event. We are all eager to get past lockdown, social distancing, and travel restrictions. We can only achieve this by self-discipline and acting responsibly at our own personal and local level. That and relentless efforts to find a vaccine, which, hopefully, will grant us back some of the privileges we enjoy.

Good intentions for 2020-2021

While I am very happy to receive the Microsoft MVP Award 2020 I want to make sure all recipients feel appreciated and are able to be themselves in our community. I plan to pay extra care into making sure that diversity, inclusiveness, and equity are always on the radar. My extra effort in order to keep the community a welcome and safe place for all.

A small gift

As a special give on the 1st of July, Microsoft made Azure Firewall Manager generally available. I have been working with this in preview the last couple of months. Today I am very pleased I can start using it in production!

I am a Veeam Vanguard 2020

I am a Veeam Vanguard 2020

In these somewhat disconcerting times (Corona & Covid-19, for those reading this 2010 years time) good news still happens. Early this evening I got an e-mail from Nikola Pejková. It stated that my nomination for Veeam Vanguard 2020 was approved.

The Veeam Vanguard logo and program

This, my dear readers, puts a smile on my face and makes me happy. It is a great program to be in. We share experiences, knowledge and learn with and from each other. This translates into better insights, designs, and implementations of Veeam solutions. Not only for ourselves, but also for our employers, customers and the community at large. With them, we share all this knowledge. This happens via blogging, user groups, speaking at conferences, webinars, webcasts, showcasts, podcasts, etc.

What does this mean?

We get access to key Veeam personnel who share their extensive insights with us. Their names read like a list of the top 25 people in the backup world today. Danny Allan, CTO and SVP at Veeam (Executive sponsor of the Vanguard program) is one of them. Then we have Anthony Spiteri, Michael Cade, David Hill, Karinne Bessette, Melissa Palmer, Rick Vanover, Technologist staff at Veeam. They, together with Kirsten Stoner, Dmitry Kniazev, Andrew Zhelezko, Nikola Pejková, Technical Analyst staff at Veeam get the honor of herding us cats. Last but not least at all are Anton Gostev, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Mike Resseler, Director, Product Management.

Anton Gostev sharing his insights with us at the Veeam Vanguard Summit 2019

On top of that, we are invited to Join the Veeam Vanguard Summit where we spent some intensive days in briefings and discussions with that team. It is quite an experience to be there. First and foremost, I am both humbled and proud to get this opportunity again this year. The chance to be part of all that comes with the fact that I am a Veeam Vanguard 2020. Second, I get the opportunity once more to pick the brains of the best and provide feedback on how we see, experience and use Veeam solutions is priceless.

Finally, thank you for the opportunity, thanks for the trust and I am looking forward to working with Veeam and my fellow Vanguards for another year. I hope to see you all in good health this year!

Back from Experts Live Europe 2019

Back from Experts Live Europe 2019

I am back from Experts Live Europe 2019. The conference was very well organized and a great success. The speakers and attendees alike were passionate, drive and inquisitive IT professionals. We all came there to learn from each other. To talk shop and share our experiences and war storage. There were plenty of opportunities to network to do exactly that.

k from Experts Live Europe 2019
Back from Experts Live Europe 2019

I call these types of conferences “boutique conferences”. They are open to all who want to learn and be part of the community. The real-world content is not driven by marketing but by people sharing their experience and knowledge. People like you and me, who practice IT on a daily basis.

A big thank you to the attendees of my session Hyper-V Backups – The good, the bad, the ugly. I had fun presenting and the vibe in the room felt good. It enjoyed seeing that I was pointing out some of the problems some of my attendees encountered. It was even better to able to help them out. I sent the slide deck (pdf) to the conference organizers and it will be shared with you shortly. If you found my contributions helpful and enjoyed the session and the talks we had let the conference organizers know via your feedback. Also, note if something could have been done better. It helps us improve.

Well done!

Finally, dear Isidora and Marcel, well done. We all felt so welcome and appreciated at the conference. This made it easy to share with each other and learn how to become better technologists together. I hope to make it back next year! Thank you!

I can only advise you to try it out and attend or speak in order to learn with the community. Be part of it and advance professionally as well as personally.

Presenting at Experts Live 2019 Europe in Prague

Presenting at Experts Live 2019 Europe in Prague

I am happy to announce that I will be presenting at Experts Live 2019 Europe in Prague. The conference is held between 20-22 November 2019. This is my first time speaking there and I am really looking forward to it.

I am speaking at Experts Live Europe 2019
My session is: Hyper-V backups – The good, the bad and the ugly

I will be talking about Hyper-V backups, the good, the bad and the ugly. Many people are still on older Windows Server versions and the improvements in backup alone should make for a strong use case to upgrade. I’ll show you why. I’ll share details improvements in speed, reliability, and scalability no matter what storage technology you use. Local, HCI, SAN, … they all benefit. We’ll share tips on how to leverage the improvements for the best results and make you backups shine. Finally, we’ll provide some feedback on what is still needs improvement. Remember as long as you run workloads on virtual machines you have to maintain it, keep it up to date and protected! If you know all this already, no worries, come for the over 40 other experts presenting. Take a look at the session catalog and see for your self.

Join us!

The conference focusses on Microsoft technologies at large and deals with Cloud, Datacenter, Security, Identity Management and the Modern Workplace. As such it realizes there is a lot of variety out there in building blocks used to make a company run. This means it offers content that reflects that reality and helps people succeed in their digital efforts to help their businesses run smoothly and securely on-premises as well as in the hybrid and public cloud.

I encourage you to attend if you have the opportunity. The content of other Experts Live Conferences I have done in the past was always excellent and the speakers were very knowledgeable. The same goes for Experts Live Europe I hear from my fellow MVP and colleagues who have attended before. Note that It is right after Microsoft Ignite 2019 and there are quite a lot of Microsoft attending as well. This means you’ll be getting some new information and insights hot of the press.

Life long learning is fun and doesn’t only happen at your desk or in a course. Get out of the office and into the world. It helps to get rid of the blinders and widen your view and vision on what is possible. It helps to learn from others, from your peers. So don’t delay and register here

Network, socialize, share and learn

With so many colleagues, experts, Microsoft Cloud Advocates, Program Managers and technologists at the event it offers excellent networking opportunities.

I will be around at the VIP Cloud Party, which provides plenty of networking opportunities and the chance to chat to the presenters and your peers. On top of that, I will be available between sessions and the “Ask The Experts” (ATE) speaker booth.

If you have questions about Hyper-V, Backup, Storage, Networking and best practices do come and find me. I don’t know it all, far from, but I have been able to help out many people before at conferences. Whether you work in small, medium or enterprise-sized organizations it’s free to ask and the worst that can happen is that I don’t know. I have a sweet spot for RDMA and PMEM, so if you ‘d like to chat, come find me!

Join us in Prague at Ask The Experts Europe

I hope to see you in wonderful Prague at a great conference! I am looking forward to meeting you there and presenting at Experts Live 2019 Europe in Prague. You can make new friends and catch up with others while you educate yourself. That’s a great deal.