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#386 - September 17, 2014

Software Defined Storage with Aidan Finn (Guest Info)

Richard talks to Aidan Finn about Software Defined Storage. Picking up he left off in April talking about Microsoft's Scale-Out File Server, the whole concept of Software Defined Storage is abstracting the details of the storage hardware away from the actual storage process. Aidan digs into how mixtures of SSD and spinning drives to optimize performance using Windows 2012 R2 Storage Spaces reduces costs and simplifies getting significant amounts of storage without any custom gear. And as Aidan says, in the end, it's all just Windows. Storage continues to evolve, and not just for the big enterprise folks - there are clustered storage solutions for small and medium businesses too!

#385 - September 10, 2014

Azure Active Directory with Venkat and David (Guest Info)

Richard chats with Venkat Kalyanasundaram and David Apolinar about Azure Active Directory. The conversation starts out with a focus on the whole idea of claims-based security and what it takes to make single sign on work, especially with heterogeneous clients (like mobile phones and tablets) and cloud-based applications. David digs into the use and limitations of Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) letting you keep your AD infrastructure in-house and your cloud-based applications authenticating against it. What happens when you want to scale further? Azure AD opens the door not only to high-scaling authentication infrastructure, but also support for a larger diversity of devices and applications. There are thousands of cloud-based applications supported by Azure Active Directory! Azure AD also opens the door to support for multi-factor authentication and other features to keep identities more secure and resistant to hacking. Check it out!

#384 - September 03, 2014

Desired State Configuration Update with Jeffrey Snover (Guest Info)

Richard catches up with Jeffrey Snover, father of PowerShell and one of the moving forces behind Desired State Configuration (DSC). After just over a year since the original version of DSC came out, Windows 2012 R2 has shipped and DSC has gone through a number of revisions. Jeff refers to a Window Powershell Blog post on DSC Resource Wave 6! Not bad for one year. DSC is also part of Windows Management Framework Preview 5.0 which is an ongoing bundling of all sorts of tools you need to really take advantage of the power of Desired State Configuration. The conversation also digs into new version of DSC for Azure and for Linux. The Linux version you can find on GitHub as an open source project! Jeff wraps up the show with some information about the Open Management Initiative and a whitepaper called Just Enough Administration. Huge show with a ton of info, including a callout to our sponsor, ScriptRock!

#383 - August 27, 2014

Security Insanity with Troy Hunt (Guest Info)

Richard chats with Troy Hunt about some of the crazy things being said in the same of security these days. Troy's first story involves a UK cell phone company that decided that short passwords made their customer experience better - insanity! This event a number of others inspired Troy to start @infosecinsanity. Follow to see some amazing bad security statements by companies that really ought to know better. The conversation also digs into the state of affairs around SSL, why CPUs have the cycles to encrypt everything and the need to use a decent certificate in the first place.

#382 - August 20, 2014

Defining DevOps with Alan Sharp-Paul (Guest Info)

Richard talks to Alan Sharp-Paul about the challenges of building a DevOps culture in your organization. Alan talks about the problem just defining DevOps - it's approaching the abused word state with so many organizations piling onto the term. The discussion digs into the early stages of DevOps culture, focusing first on discovery: Do you really know how your infrastructure is set up and configured? For sure? How do you check? And what about drift? Providing visibility into how your systems actually work starts the conversation about making them better, and those conversations start you down the path of a DevOps culture. Have a listen!

#381 - August 13, 2014

Microsoft Azure Management Libraries with Scott Klein (Guest Info)

Richard chats with Microsoft Evangelist Scott Klein about the Microsoft Azure Management Libraries (MAML). MAML wraps up the REST calls to Azure to allow you to do a huge host of cloud tasks, such as provisioning new instances, monitoring, configuration, maintenance and more. Yeah, it's a dev library, but it can build things that the operations people want! Scott discusses three pretty powerful scenarios for MAML: automating elasticity/scaling, testing in the cloud and creating Software as a Service apps. You can get more info from Brady Gaster's Blog Post on MAML.

#380 - August 06, 2014

An IT Pro Guide to DevOps with David Tesar (Guest Info)

Richard chats with David Tesar about DevOps for the Microsoft-oriented IT Pro. DevOps has been a big thing in the Linux/Open Source community for the past few years, and it's starting to really resonate in the Microsoft world also. David focuses on the core ideals of DevOps - that it is first and foremost of culture of building better systems faster. Resist the tools and focus on the people! Not that tools don't have a role, but without culture, the tools can't help you. David has a blog post of IT Pro Learning Resources that points to other interviews, conference sessions and a Microsoft Virtual Academy course on getting started with DevOps. Check 'em out!

#379 - July 30, 2014

Windows Performance Analysis with Clint Huffman (Guest Info)

Richard chats with Microsoft Premier Field Engineer Clint Huffman about his book the Windows Performance Analysis Field Guide. Clint is also the genius behind the Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool on CodePlex. See a theme here? Clint is focused on understand why things in Windows (and elsewhere) go fast or slow. And he's willing to share his insight! The book focuses primarily on Windows challenges, and also references the Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA). Between PAL and WPA, you have all the tools you need to understand Windows performance better - and they're free! But the book isn't free, and you should buy it. It's real world advice from a guy who's been there and done that.

#378 - July 23, 2014

The Next Windows with Stephen Rose (Guest Info)

Richard chats with Stephen Rose about how Windows has continued evolving with some thoughts on what future versions might look like. Windows 8 brought the tablet to the Microsoft space, and with it a chance to explore how different form factors fit into the enterprise. Stephen talks about the cool kinds of retail projects he's working with that are taking advantage of these form factors. This naturally leads to a discussion about what new features might look like, how the experience can continue to be improved, managing more devices, more portable identity and configuration, and whole new areas of work. Lots of interesting thoughts on the future of Windows!

#377 - July 16, 2014

Chef on Windows with Steven Murawski (Guest Info)

Richard chats with Steven Murawski on the day he is leaving Stack Exchange to join the Chef team as a Community Manager. So naturally, the conversation turns to Chef. Chef is a configuration management system that comes from the Linux world - it's scripting language is Ruby. But in the past year, Chef has added Windows to it's repertoire with support from Microsoft and Desired State Configuration. Steven mentions a free DSC EBook you can download from to help get you started on DSC. There's also the Learn Chef site to get you started on Chef. It's early days for Chef and Windows, but things continue to improve - Steven also mentions John Ewart's book Managing Windows Servers with Chef as a starting point for managing Windows and Linux servers side by side.