Nashville Microsoft Azure Users Group Meetings 2020-2021

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We founded the Nashville Microsoft Azure Users Group in 2013 two weeks after we moved here. Back then we started with 4 members. Now we have over 1800!

For most of that time we have been meeting at Microsoft in Nashville on the third Thursday of every month. Approximately two years ago we started recording and posting our meetings.  When the Pandemic hit we moved to just meeting online.  Although we very much miss not being able to meet in person, and hope to resume in-person meetings sometime in the near future, meeting online has had some advantages. Specifically it has enabled us to draw on talented Azure folks  from near and far as presenters.

We have decided to take a checkpoint and produce a summary of all the meeting recordings that we have posted on our YouTube channel in case you have missed any of them.

Here they are:

How to Get and Stay Current with Azure – March 19, 2020

The Azure product portfolio grows every single workday. This presentation will tech you how to stay on top of Azure-related announcements, changes, and retirements.

Presenter: Microsoft MVP Tim Warner will cover the skills you need to embrace the Azure cloud and maintain your sanity.

Windows Virtual Desktop – April 16, 2020

With the current pandemic more and more companies are finding it necessary to support their employees working from home. Windows Virtual Desktop is a solution that they are adopting to make that possible. Windows Virtual Desktop is a set of technologies that allows you to deploy and scale virtual desktops and apps on Azure in minutes. Users can access their desktop via the internet from any device. It’s the only virtual desktop infrastructure that delivers simplified management and multi-session Windows 10 together with the best Office 365 experience.

Presenter: Jerry Lambdin Senior Consultant at Planet Technologies.

Azure: What to use When – May 21, 2020

For this meeting we catered to those new to Azure, or who have not been keeping up to date on the latest Azure developments. If you are in the novice category great. But even if you are more advanced you are more than welcome to participate and share your experience.

Presenter: Bill Zack, Cloud Solutions Architect & President, The Nashville Microsoft Azure Users Group.

DevOps and Pipelines – June 18, 2020

You cannot do DevOps activities like automation or CI/CD without understanding the why of DevOps. In this meting we covered the why and how of DevOps and how it can benefit everyone in the organization. Then we discussed and walked through creating CI/CD pipelines in Azure DevOps. With testing and infrastructure as code, this should enable attendees on their devops journey.

Presenter: Chris Ayers is a DevOps Lead with a history of Full-Stack Development and Cloud Architecture. Chris has a focus in modern applications built with microservices, containers, Single Page Apps, RESTful APIs, and cloud technologies following agile practices. Throughout his career, Chris has tried to follow industry best practices and standards. Earlier in his career, he had lots of experience with security, infrastructure, and networking. Focusing on Dev Ops ties all of the different roles together. In his free time, Chris is a speaker at numerous meetups, an avid reader and a gamer.

DevOps Security – July 16, 2020

• What is DevSecOps and why should you care?
• Principles and objectives of DevSecOps
• Utilize the Secure DevOps Kit for Azure
• Securing the Azure DevOps Pipeline
Presenter: Jeffrey Lockwood, HealthStream AVP, Technology and Cyber Security

What it Means to Be an Azure Solutions Architect – August 3,2020

Azure MVP and Pluralsight Author Tim Warner Interviews Cloud Solutions Architect Bill Zack on what it means to be a Cloud Solutions Architect.

Don’t Pass on PaaS – August 20, 2020

As an application developer or architect, how can you get started with modernizing your applications to take advantage of cloud-native services, such as queues, secret stores, application performance management, and more? Whether you can begin a greenfield project, or you have a mature codebase to migrate to Azure, this session will introduce you to several PaaS services, including Azure Storage, Key Vault, and Application Insights. In addition to the basics about the services, you’ll learn about the available SDKs, and best practices.

Presenter: Sven Aelterman is a Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft, where he works with US educational institutions. Prior to his current role, Sven was director of IT and lecturer in Information Systems for the Sorrell College of Business at Troy University

Demystifying Azure Networking – September 17, 2020

Different Azure Networking services can be used to connect cloud and on-premises infrastructure and services. In this hour-long session, Vaibhav will cover the basics of Azure Networking services including Virtual Networks, VPN gateways, and different load balancing options in Azure. He covered what each of the networking services does and when should it be used? He also showed a couple of demos and shared some useful resources for further reading. It was be a level-100 session which helped the audience to get a clear understanding of Azure Networking. It was also useful to administrators, developers, and solution architects who are preparing for Azure role-based certifications.

Presenter: Vaibhav Gujral, Cloud Architect at Kiewit & Microsoft Azure MVP

Securing Your Azure Subscriptions – October 15, 2020

Common beginner and first steps to secure your Azure subscriptions and environment.
1 Identity and Access Management (IAM) and Authentication
2 Security Center
3 Networking Best Practices and Network Security Groups (NSG)
4 Azure Active Directory (AAD), Groups, and Group Policy
5 Conditional Access
6 Encryption and Protocols, SSL Certs, Storage encryption

Presenter: Jon Bowker, CISO at Ncontracts

Terraform in Azure – November 19, 2020

Hashicorp develops tools to automate cloud workflows: provisioning, security, networking, and orchestration. Terraform is an industry leading tool automating the multicloud provisioning workflow. This session introduced and demonstrated Terraform Cloud, the enterprise version of Terraform with its expanded governance capabilities.

Presenter: Chris Smith is a Senior Solutions Engineer at Hashicorp covering the Tennessee and Kentucky region. He has worked in enterprise computing for 22 years as a sysadmin, a DBA, a software engineer, and in devops

Machine Learning for Azure Folks Without (or With!) a PhD – January 21, 2021

Let’s face it, machine learning is hard. As developers with lots of tasks already, we need all the help we can get. That’s where Microsoft Azure comes in. Azure provides three levels of machine learning services to developers. This talk covered those three levels. First are the Azure Cognitive Services, a set a RESTful APIs exposing trained models for common tasks, which require almost no knowledge of machine learning to take advantage of.
Second is the Azure Machine Learning Studio which lets you visually design machine learning workflows at a conceptual level. And finally, third is the Azure Machine Learning Service which manages the entire machine learning lifecycle, using a process called MLOps. Azure also provides services related to machine learning such as the Azure Bot Framework, and Azure Databricks. There is something for everyone in machine learning from Azure, those who do and do not have a Ph.D.

Presenter: Douglas Starnes is a tech author and Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in developer technologies in Memphis, TN.

Azure Resource Manager Template Proven Practices – February 18, 2021

This meeting of the Nashville Microsoft Azure Users Group was on “Azure Resource Manager Template Development and Best Practices”. This also included discussing Azure Bicep; the new Domain Specific Language for making ARM Templates a lot easier to develop.

The presenter was be our own board member Tim Warner, Microsoft MVP and Pluralsight author.

Introduction to Azure Image Builder – March 18, 2021

Image Builder is an Azure solution that provides a pipeline for custom image creation and management. This session explored what Azure Image Builder is and how it’s used to manage images. The presentation uses a Windows image as an example, identifying options for Linux images along the way. We also reviewed how to use PowerShell to customize Azure Marketplace images with custom software.

Presenter: Travis Roberts is a Cloud Infrastructure Architect at RBA Consulting, MVP, MCT, and author of “Zero to Hero with Windows Virtual Desktop” on Udemy.com. Travis has 20 years of IT experience in the legal, pharmaceutical, and marketing industries and has worked with IT hardware manufacturers and managed service providers. Travis has held numerous technical certifications throughout his career from Microsoft, VMware, Citrix, and Cisco.

Azure Landing Zone Deployments at Scale – April 15, 2021

As more and more companies are preparing to transition their critical applications to the public cloud, the need for a strong foundation that accounts for their unique scale, security, governance, networking, and identity requirements are greater than ever. The best way to accomplish this is through an Azure Landing Zone. This presentation stepped through how to set up the right Azure foundation, decide on a workload specific subscription design, showed you how to manage governance across multiple subscriptions, and then walked you through the buildout of the scaffolding needed for a foundational Azure environment through the use of Infrastructure as Code (“IaC”)

Presenters:
David Walden, Manager, SHI
Donald Pollard, Manager, Azure Services @ SHI
Keith Valentine, Manager, Azure Services @ SHI

We will  continue to meet on the third Thursday of every month and will post post those meeting in our YouTube channel. Stay tuned!

Bill Zack, President, The Nashville Microsoft Azure Users Group.

About CloudyInNashville

I am a Cloud Architect and Consultant. Over several years I have been working with companies to help them design and build .NET based applications for public and private clouds. My focus is the Cloud, Public Clouds and Microsoft's Windows Azure Cloud platform in particular.
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