This is my first blog post in this new blog. I recently moved from New York to Nashville. I used to have a blog, Cloudy In New York where I blogged about all things related to Windows Azure.
Continuing to blog as Cloudy In New York clearly does not work for me any more as a blog title now that I am here in Nashville. So I am sealing off the old blog and have started this new one. I will continue to post here about “Clouds in general and Windows Azure in Particular” as the masthead says on the old blog and this one.
For those of you who know me you know that I am a big believer in technical communities having founded or acted as a leader of several user groups over the years, groups such as: the New York Windows Azure Users Group, the New York .NET Developers Group, the New York Enterprise Windows Users Group and the New York Chapter of the International Association of Software Architects.
Despite being pretty busy with the move I have found the time to help start up a Nashville Windows Azure Users Group. (I told someone lately that I am indeed an “Azureholic” or “Cloud Addict”. )
I will be focusing my time on that group and this new blog going forward.
It seems appropriate to start this blog off with a newsletter that describes the new group. We expect to publish this newsletter monthly.
Of course I will also be blogging about anything related to Windows Azure that I think you should know about. Some of that is covered in the newsletter sections below under Latest Windows Azure News and Help!!!
The Windows Azure Newsletter for July 2013
The Nashville Windows Azure Users Group (Nashaz) was founded for the purpose of educating and informing its members about all aspects of Windows Azure that are relevant to CIOs, CTOs, Architects, Developers, IT infrastructure Managers and others. It also provides a forum for open discussion and networking.
If you are interested in finding out more about Windows Azure then we invite you to be part of this group. Topics that we discuss at meetings include:
- What is Windows Azure?
- Who is using it?
- Where is it appropriate and not appropriate?
- How to make effective use of it.
After only meeting for two months the group is growing rapidly. We currently have 32 members and generally get 15-20 attendees from local companies at each meeting.
We meet every 2nd Wednesday of the month starting at 6:00 PM. Our meetings are held at Vaco, 5410 Maryland Way, Suite 460, in Brentwood Tennessee.
The topics and presenters that we currently have scheduled for future meetings are:
- August: Windows Azure Tables Deep-Dive
- September: (To be announced)
- October: Migrating your SQL Server database to Windows Azure SQL Database (SQL Azure)
- November: Windows Azure Security and Compliance
If you have any ideas for additional topics that you would like covered at future meeting please let us know. Also if you are interested in presenting an Azure related topic at a future meeting we are very interested in talking to you.
And last (but by no means least ) if you or your company are interested in sponsoring one or more of our meetings by providing food and beverage for us please let us know that as well.
What you missed
If you were unable to attend the previous meetings here are some of the thing that you may have missed:
In June our inaugural meeting was held at Microsoft and featured a Windows Azure Overview presentation by Bill Zack, Cloud Architect and Consultant at Walgreens/Take Care Health in Franklin. All attendees were given a one-month free subscription to Pluralsight’s excellent on-line training library. We also raffled off several books from O’Reilly Publishing; one of our continuing sponsors.
Our July meeting actually had three parts. We started with a discussion by local Windows Azure users on the subject of Windows Azure Local Success Stories. Leading the discussion were:
- Michael Atkins (Chief Enterprise Architect) from Walgreens/Take Care Health; who spoke about using Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to reduce the processing time of database loads in a NoSQL CouchDB and Node.js based healthcare application.
- Vishnu Kumar Tiwari (Windows Azure Insider, BizTalk MVP and Consultant) from HCA covered: extending a Windows HPC cluster to include Windows Azure components to increase the capacity of an on-premises cluster on-demand.
- Hitesh Dhingra (Manager Integration – Business Performance Group) from HCA started the discussion of the basic use of Windows Azure Storage features such as Blobs, Drives, Tables and Queues. This topic will also be continued at the August meeting.
We closed the meeting by raffling off some more books and other goodies donated by our sponsors.
You can download all meeting slides from the Meetup site Files Section.
Our on-line presence
You can always find us and information about the group and upcoming meetings on our Meetup site and in our LinkedIn Group. We will also be launching a new web site (hosted in Windows Azure of course ) in August. Watch for news about that soon.
If you need to contact us directly you can do that by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being a member of the group entitles you to take advantage of various benefits such as:
- A free 10-day trial and 20% off unlimited access to the Safari Books Online Library
- 30% off the entire Apress book catalog
- 30% off of all Manning publications
We are always in the process of getting more of these benefits for our members; so be sure to watch the Meetup site Sponsorship page for additions.
Latest Windows Azure news
A sampling of interesting news about Windows Azure:
- Windows Azure proven to be the highest-performing cloud provider in objective study
- SQL Database (SQL Azure) Premium service announced for high performance requirements
- Windows Azure Auto scaling now built in
- Windows Azure and StorSimple in Healthcare
This section of the newsletter covers where to get help with Windows Azure, and where to learn about it. That includes helping you find out about out about sources of on-line Microsoft and Community support information such as Forums as well as local on-line and in-person events. It will also highlight useful videos, blog posts and other sources of information.
To start off this month we recommend:
- The Windows Azure Training Kit which includes a comprehensive set of technical content to help you learn how to use Windows Azure. This includes numerous samples, demos, presentations and hands-on labs
- Channel 9 home of Windows Azure presentation recordings
- Excellent Windows Azure Web Sites presentation from Build
- All the Build Windows Azure presentations
In addition, here are some study tips: Find the latest Microsoft event (Build, TechEd, Windows Azure Deep-Dive event, etc.) in any country where the presentations were delivered in English. (US, Barcelona, etc.) Then search for “Azure”. Most of the presentations have slides that you can download as well as video in several formats (WMV, MP4, etc.) The reason for getting the latest is that things change rapidly in the Cloud.