DevOps for the IT Pro, TechEd New Zealand

I had an amazing time at TechEd New Zealand, and wanted to share a few photos and a link to my session on devops. Thanks to all of the amazing DX team in New Zealand for the invitation!











Provisioning Azure Files

5877564863_281d7cf6d9_m First check out and bookmark the IT Pro TechNet Blog for the rest of the “Modernize your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud” series at and our TechNet Radio series at

Get a big cup of coffee, we’re going to do some PowerShell. So what is Azure Files? Currently in preview is a new service in Azure that gives you access to shared storage across all your VM’s. This could come in handy for a group of files you access most often as a sysadmin. I wrote a post on getting started with Azure Files last month, you can read it here. This is an update to that post. If you need a free trial for Azure you can sign up here

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CyberGirlz Summit at Cal Poly Pomona

I just returned from a great event at Cal Poly Pomona for over 100 middle school and high school girls. The Cybergirlz Summit was a collaborative project between Cal Poly Pomona and LAUSD. The event was organized by Dr. Daniel Manson, Chair of Computer Science at Cal Poly Pomona and Yenny Yi, the Site Director of UCLA AfterSchool @ Franklin High School. Christine Matheney presented a workshop on building a “flappy bird” like application using Touch Develop. The last activity of the day was Capture The Flag, where the teams could work together to solve security questions. It was a great team building exercise.

The panelists included:
Lee Ann Kline-President/Founder of STEM Advantage
Shyama Rose-VP of Information Security for Live Nation Entertainment 
Priscilla Rodriguez-Winner of the 2011 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award 
M. Simonne Hinkle-IT Security Professional
Jessica DeVita - Microsoft Technical Evangelist
Christine Matheney- Microsoft Technical Evangelist 
Tobi West-Adjunct Faculty in Computer Information Systems at Cal Poly Pomona
Lily Ablon-Researcher at the RAND Corporation
Luz Rivas-Founder of DIY Girls 
Tess Cacciatore-COO of Global Women’s Empowerment Network
Shirin Salemnia-Founder/CEO of PlayWerks 
Karen Stanton-Coordinator for the CISCO WASTC and is Curriculum Lead at CREATE CATC 
Jennifer Terrill-Vice President, Information Technology at True Religion Brand Jeans

For the Sysadmin who rage quits cli tools

I was thinking about how to improve DevOps adoption in the enterprise, and even with all the recent announcements around Microsoft’s integration with other platforms like Chef, Puppet, etc, in Azure, there’s still a ton of room for innovation. You shouldn’t automate what you don’t understand. Steven Murawski said

“there’s this rush to automate everything, the first thing we really need is visibility into what we have in our environments. Trying to automate everything can hide potential problems, magnify configuration errors, and cause us to lose visibility into our system configurations.” @StephenMurawski

Tooling should be more accessible, audit-able with a goal of having executable, version controlled documentation of not just server configs, but hardware and cloud services as well. Thanks to @ehorley and @StevenMurawski for the introduction to Scriptrock. I saw a demo of Scriptrock Guardrail, the UX is elegant, and wants to be the solution for the systems administrator who “rage quits cli tools”.

I don’t love the disco music in their demo video, but you can just mute it. It looks beneficial to enterprise and SMB, possibly displacing several tools at once.

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Why Rails Rocks

On Processes

You don’t need a certified project manager to install some whiteboards on your office walls, or open up a Trello board. Transparency and low taxonomy on processes allow you to find the constraints in the business quickly.

Azure Files

One of my favorite new features of Azure announced at TechEd is Azure Files. This is a key component to have access to a file share from any of your Azure servers. The Azure File service offers file shares using the standard SMB 2.1 protocol, but you can also access it with APIs like ReadFile and WriteFile, and via a REST interface.

Symon Perriman and Rick Claus discuss this in the Edge Show

Some of the use cases that I see for this service include lift and shift of legacy apps, shared storage for VM tools, shared application settings location, shared location for processing logs / dumps, etc.

The service is in preview, and here are a few basic getting started steps.

Browse to and scroll down to the Azure Files and click Try it





Then sign into the portal (do not click the preview portal)








Next, choose the subscription you’d like to use for the service.












Once the service has been activated for you, you’ll need to create a new storage account, then go to the dashboard to see that the feature is activated.























For next steps in leveraging Azure Files and other tips for accelerating DevOps in the Cloud, be sure to check out our complete series at:

–        Read: Accelerating DevOps with the Cloud using Microsoft Azure & Friends







On Habits (part 3)

images (1)In part 1 and 2 of this series, I discussed giving up my two favorite habits in the world; cigarettes and coffee. In part 3, I want to give you the formula to change any habit that is holding you back. This is going to sound over simplified, and I want to assure you that it is not easy to do. But here’s my handy dandy habit changing formula. Your mileage may vary.

1. Notice the habit without judgment

Literally, just acknowledge the habit, without trying to change it or judge yourself for it. Just say to yourself, I am smoking. I am drinking coffee. Or whatever the habit is, just notice it without judging it. I learned this from mindful meditation classes.

2. Decide you want to change or remove the habit

Just notice the desire to change or remove the habit, and again without judgement, make a decision that you want to change.

3. Choose a replacement habit

For every habit you have that you want to change, you’re going to need to do something in it’s place. That could mean doing 10 jumping jacks, having a cup of tea, eating a carrot or calling your mother. Whatever, just pick something to do in place of the habit.

4. Re-decide and re-commit to the replacement habit


You WILL fail, you WILL fall off your wagon. That’s OK. Just re-decide. Re-commit. Renew your decision to change the habit. It will not be easy.


Let me know how you’re doing. You CAN DO THIS!

TechNet Radio: (Part 1) What is “DevOps” and Why is it Important for IT Pros?

Jessica DeVita welcomes Gene Kim, co-author of The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps And Helping Your Business Win” and founder and former CTO of Tripwire to the show as they kick off this special “Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud” series on TechNet Radio.

I met with Gene Kim to talk about his work in the DevOps community, his upcoming DevOps Enterprise Summit and how IT pros can pivot and put the ideas to work in their own careers. We also discussed the results of the 2014 State of DevOps Report. You can follow Gene on Twitter @realgenekim and search the #devops hashtag to keep up with the latest discussions.

If you’re interested in learning more about the products or solutions discussed in this episode, click on any of the below links for free, in-depth information:

On Habits (part 2)

imagesIn part one of this series, I talked about how I quit smoking after a 20 year habit. That was the first habit I have ever successfully quit. It gave me tremendous hope in my abilities, and gave me a sense that I could overcome anything if I put my mind to it. So what next? Coffee. I know, I know, blasphemous that I should even mention it. Coffee is the substance that is so widely accepted and loved. But for me coffee had become my enemy. I have struggled with anxiety for a good portion of my life. So coffee and I do not get along, and I simply had to part ways. I’d go a few days without it, have terrible headaches and think to myself, oh I can have just one cup. No. I can not have just one cup. But how to stop? I love coffee. I love chai lattes (I still indulge in these once in awhile).

The thing about habits, is that you have to replace them with another habit. It really is that simple. But what could replace coffee? It turns out that Early Grey tea was a perfect substitute. It still contains caffeine, but doesn’t make me anxious. So every morning I enjoy a hot cup of Earl Grey, with some milk and sugar. It’s hot and delicious, and anxiety free!