Cloud vs. On-Premises: The Debate Rages On

You think the 2016 presidential debates were contentious? Try sitting between a couple of IT guys debating whether they’re better off keeping their apps and data on-premises or stored in the cloud. When it comes to the topic of cloud vs. on-premises, things can get heated and ugly. I’d recommend wearing a helmet.

Actually, there are cost, security and operational benefits to consider for each approach. Every organization is different. Think of your company and what makes it unique. What do your day-to-day business operations look like? How much data are you managing? How fast is that data store growing? What’s your relative security posture and overall risk status? Your answers may be similar to other alike businesses, but ultimately they are uniquely yours. So do the smart thing and keep listening, keep researching, consult the experts, and formulate your own plan.

Defining the Cloud

The National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) produced an informative PDF defining cloud computing. It starts off with definitions of on-premises, hosted offerings and cloud storage, further breaking down what it defines as characteristics of a true cloud offering:

  • On-demand self-service
  • Broad network access
  • Resource pooling
  • Rapid elasticity
  • Measured service

Further, it describes the service models and types of cloud deployments including Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Finally, it defines the four deployment models, including Private cloud, Community cloud, Public cloud, and Hybrid cloud. (To review the document in its entirety, please visit the NIST website.)

Which to Choose?

There’s no shortage of resources—and opinions—if you’re in the planning stages of considering your move to the cloud. Cost, security, and controlling access often top the list of concerns when deciding on the balance between cloud storage and on-premises.

A post from states, “Cloud adoption is ticking upward at an ever-increasing rate, and businesses are taking advantage of the benefits that storing data and applications in off-premises environments can provide. In fact, according to recent research from Aberdeen Group, 70 percent of U.S. companies have invested in private cloud solutions, MSPMentor reported. In addition, RightScale’s State of the Cloud 2015 report found that 82 percent of businesses have a hybrid cloud strategy. However, there are some companies that still prefer to deploy their software solutions on-premises as opposed to the cloud. Both approaches offer their own unique advantages, but it may not be easy to distinguish which would be the best for certain types of organizations without the proper consideration.”

You can find several informed opinions if you’re still uncertain. For instance, TechMentor Orlando presenter J. Peter Bruzzese writes, “The debate between operating expense (aka opex, the cloud's approach) and capital expense (aka capex, the on-premises approach) is waged daily at companies. Although there are trade-offs no matter what a firm chooses, it's clear that opex is increasingly favored.”

Clearly the world is moving in that direction. You may be as well, but you have a handful of decisions to make first. These resources can help, but ultimately your situation and your needs are indeed unique.

Posted by Lafe Low on 11/03/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

5 In-Depth Live! 360 Speaker Q&As on Office 365, PowerShell, Java & More

Excitement is mounting for this year’s Live! 360 event in Orlando, December 5 – 9.

Just in case you're not all caught up, here’s a recap of all the Live! 360 Q&A coverage the 2016 speakers have received recently:

John K. Waters, App Dev Trends Co-Conference Chair, Interview with Keyote Speaker Reza Rahman

In March we announced that ADTmag is participating this year in the very popular Live! 360 conference, scheduled for December 5-9 at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. This multi-conference conference comprises Visual Studio Live!, SQL Server Live!, Office/SharePoint Live!, Modern Apps Live!, TechMentor and now App Dev Trends 2016. (We don't have the signature exclamation point in this event title, but we're just as excited!)

We're especially thrilled to announced our keynote speaker, Reza Rahman. As many know, Rahman has been one of the chief drivers behind the Java EE Guardians and an expanding effort to encourage Oracle to give enterprise Java the attention it deserves and to preserve the overall interests of the Java EE community.

Read the full story here:

Michael Remijan Q&A (App Dev Trends)

App Dev Trends/Live! 360 speaker Michael Remijan shares how these will revolutionize the Java collection process, shows how it will change your code and talks about common misconceptions.

Read the full story here:

Dan Usher and Scott Hoag Q&A (Office & SharePoint Live!)

Office & SharePoint Live! presenters Dan Usher and Scott Hoag discuss how you can simplify your life with automation.

Read the full story here:

Conference Co-Chair Don Jones Q&A (TechMentor)

Don Jones, TechMentor presenter and conference co-chair, discusses some of his observations on how people are using PowerShell, and how they could do a better job.

Read the full story here:

Vlad Catrinescu Q&A (Office & SharePoint Live!)

A Microsoft SharePoint MVP shares his insights on what PowerShell can do for you with Office 365.

Read the full story here:

Still much more to come and we hope to see you in Orlando!

Posted by Lafe Low on 10/27/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

3 of the Best Angular Books to Add to Your Developer Toolbox

While Angular has been around for a while, finding some good solid resources to support your Angular efforts can be a little tough.

Thankfully, Angular experts—some you may have heard of and some who may be new to you—have filled bookshelves across the world and the blogosphere with some excellent resources.

So to help you refine your skills with this framework, here are three of the best Angular books to include in your reading list:

1. Pro AngularJS, Adam Freeman

Intended for those who already have a working knowledge of JavaScript, HTML and CSS, Adam Freeman’s excellent title Pro AngularJS (from Apress) leaves virtually no Angular stone unturned. After introducing some of the more intermediate and advanced features in AngularJS, he dives into a thorough description of the MVC Pattern to separate logic, data and presentation code; creating robust web apps with AngularJS; extending HTML with declarative syntax; extending and customizing AngularJS; as well as testing, refining and deployment processes. One nice thing about Pro AngularJS is that it is platform agnostic. It covers a range of browsers throughout the text.

2. AngularJS Web Application Development Cookbook, Matt Frisbie

The AngularJS Web Application Development Cookbook (from Packt Publishing) by Matt Frisbie will get you cooking on your AngularJS-based web apps. The book is full of examples and descriptions. It will provide you with quick answers to your Angular questions, help you with problem solving as you develop apps with Angular, and provide you with plenty of easy to understand examples. Frisbie’s cookbook brings you recipes for architecting AngularJS applications designed to scale, writing robust test suites, creating application modules, syntax and browser tricks, and optimizing your AngularJS creations for maximum performance.

3. AngularJS UI Development, Amit Gharat

Another title from Packt focuses on interface design. AngularJS UI Development, written by Amit Gharat and Matthias Nehlsen, covers topics such as developing and using responsive layouts and powerful CSS3 frameworks (such as Twitter Bootstrap and Foundation) to design mobile-friendly applications, how to solve some of the common UI design problems, and ensuring your app is sufficiently dynamic by integrating RESTful APIs in AngularJS. This detailed book also delivers a thorough overview of CSS-responsive frameworks, various UI widgets, and Angular internals.

Additional Reading...

You can get a regular dose of Angular expertise by signing up for John Papa’s weekly Angular podcasts. Find him at Angular 2 seems to loom large in John Papa’s mind, as it does with many other Angular experts. Recent podcasts have covered Angular 2 in a .NET World, Upgrading from Angular 1.x to Angular 2, Angular 2 Final is Released, and NgModule. All these podcasts are listed like a table of contents, including the original air date. He also lists conferences at which he’ll be speaking and details of other content he is creating or has created. You can see him at Live! 360 in Orlando this December 5-9.

Check out any or all of these resources to hone your AngularJS skills!

Posted by Lafe Low on 10/10/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

3 DevOps Blogs Every Developer Should Follow

DevOps is all the rage, a new “buzzword” you hear quite a bit these days. Actually, it’s not really a new buzzword, or even a buzzword at all. It’s a carefully considered name for what has been an evolving practice that makes good sense.

DevOps is essentially an evolution of development processes like Agile. It’s a more thoughtful, composed way of developing and deploying applications; much of which depends on automation.

TechMentor co-chair Don Jones elaborated on his take on DevOps at the last TechMentor. "DevOps actually is real," says Jones. "It's not something you can buy. It doesn't come with a contract. It is a real concrete thing. It is something you can do."

Donovan Brown actually had to define DevOps during his interview with Microsoft. He must have defined it well, but he has now been working with Microsoft for several years now. When he spoke at a recent Visual Studio Live! held at Microsoft headquarters, he relayed his definition. "DevOps is a union of people, process and products to deliver continuous value to our customers," he says.

To continue navigating this evolving practice, here are three of the best DevOps blogs you should follow:

1. Donovan Brown's Blog

Besides his work with Microsoft, Donovan also runs a Devops blog, simply called Recent coverage on his blog includes how to stop wasting time during .NET Core builds, how to change the language mode of an unsaved file in Visual Studio code, and Visual Studio Team Server task types. His blog goes fairly deep and specific, but the breadth of coverage makes this one definitely worth reading on a regular basis.

One post explores a codedUI build validation test in TFS 2015 Integrated Release. In the course of researching this topic, Brown realized he needed to disable three security controls, including:

  • Disable the Privacy warning at Logon
  • Disable screensaver
  • Disable auto screen lock

He was able to bypass those by using some PowerShell scripts to modify the registry values of the BVT machine. “The Registry valued will be reverted on regular update by your companies Group Policies. So we just need to add a PowerShell task before Test Agent installation,” he writes.

2. Shobin Mathew’s Blog

Another good stop to learn more about DevOps, again with a focus on the “dev” side, is Shobin Mathew’s Microsoft ALM DevOps blog. This is a similarly technical, development-oriented blog that covers a range of technical specifics like TFS 2015 Integrated Release cross-domain deployment, Windows OS information using PowerShell, and Proxy Server in TFS: Configuration for dev environment and benefits.

3. Eric Anderson’s Blog

Yet another excellent DevOps resource for developers is Eric Anderson’s blog. He covers a range of high-level and nitty-gritty topics, including:

  • How to Install Ansible on Windows
  • How to cloud
  • Automate Everything
  • "DevOps Really….."

That last one is his definition of DevOps, which also focuses on automation:

“DevOps is not one thing. It’s a plethora of ideas, and practices that have revolutionized Operations and the Release Process. It’s a culture change. DevOps is using development practices and applying them to operations, then using those methods to automate everything. It starts to join both Operations and Development together, consider it as a hybrid, I mean it is DevOps, it’s the joining of Development and Operations. DevOps was created to empower developers to quickly integrate and build environments to test code, and allows the operations teams to quickly deploy and monitor applications just as fast as the developers and QA teams can approve it, thus leading to Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment.”

And there you have it—DevOps defined. What other DevOps blogs do you regularly follow? Comment and let us know!

Posted by Lafe Low on 10/03/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

Navigate Mobile, Cross-Device & Cloud Development at Modern Apps Live! in Orlando

Last but not least of our Live! 360 conference chair blog “take-overs” features Modern Apps Live!, the very successful single-track conference devised by Rockford Lhotka and presented in partnership with Magenic, where he currently serves as CTO.

I happily turn over this post to him to explain the intricacies of modern apps, the need for end-to-end training and other benefits of attending Modern Apps Live!:

Modern applications leverage the power of all client devices from phones to tablets to desktops, new intuitive user experiences, the cloud, and your local computing resources to provide end users with the richest and best experience possible. This type of app is so compelling, and yet so complex to build, that we thought it was worth a conference unto itself.

Modern app development brings a new set of challenges to software developers, designers, managers, architects, and team leads. Many of these apps target multiple client platforms and technologies, and rely on state-of-the-art, server-side platform capabilities. And gone are the days of "cowboy development." Users expect professional quality and performance in apps that are delivered on time with a regular cadence of updates and enhancements. This means we need to apply application lifecycle processes and tools effectively, plus embedded developer and acceptance testing, along with a solid DevOps process.

If all that isn't enough, there's an increasing recognition that the data generated by modern apps can be used in business intelligence, analysis, and reporting in ways never before imagined. Any modern app project should include BI and data analysis right from the start to ensure the data is gathered and stored in a way that can support these critical scenarios.

Modern Apps Live! is unlike any conference you've attended before. It consists of a single track containing sessions that build on each other to provide you with an end-to-end narrative covering all aspects of building modern apps using today's technologies. All of the Modern Apps Live! speakers have worked together as a team to bring you the highest quality content, such that each session builds on those that have gone before. This conference is almost more of a multi-day training session than a traditional conference.

I have personally worked with all of the Modern Apps Live! speakers to put together a series of sessions that bring all these concepts, tools and technologies together. So when you leave the conference you'll have a complete picture of what goes into building a modern app for iPhone, Android, Windows, and HTML5 devices that all interact with state-of-the-art backend services running in public or private clouds.

I also know that many of you wear multiple IT hats at the office, so I invite you to take advantage of the co-located technology tracks offered at Live! 360. This gives you an unprecedented opportunity to focus on not just Modern Apps, but also SQL Server, SharePoint, .NET development with Visual Studio, and even explore IT Pro content – all in a single venue.

There's nothing else like Modern Apps Live!; if you are a software architect, development manager, team lead, or senior developer, you owe it to yourself to attend this event!

Rockford Lhotka
Conference Chair
Modern Apps Live!

Posted by Lafe Low on 09/26/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

A NEW Conference on App Trends: Agile, DevOps, Big Data, and So Much More

John K. Waters leads the charge on App Dev Trends 2016 as part of Live! 360 this December. Waters is immersed in all things high-tech and is the editor-at-large for App Dev Trends is launching as the in-person extension of the magazine’s audience, bringing the trending topics featured daily to life later this year in Orlando. Why should you attend? John explains here:

What do Agile development practices, containerization, continuous integration, cloud computing, enterprise mobility, DevOps, and Big Data have in common? They’re all top-of-mind industry trends that are creating new challenges right now for enterprise software professionals.

That’s the focus of App Dev Trends 2016, an exciting new addition to the enormously popular Live! 360 conference, scheduled for December 5-9 at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal in Orlando, Florida. Our program adds another dimension to the larger event by focusing on the challenges facing the makers and maintainers of the purpose-designed software that drives organizations in virtually every industry in the world—in other words, enterprise software professionals.

We’ve assembled a powerful agenda for this conference, with sessions and workshops on a range of topics the readers of Application Development Trends have told us are most important to them. There’s also a first for this event: sessions on Java and JVM tools and techniques.

The sessions and workshops will be led by industry experts, analysts, and practitioners with deep knowledge and real-world experience. You’ll see examples and strategies, acquire skills, ask questions, get answers, and rub elbows with peers and pros facing the same challenges you face. And you’ll come away with insights and advice on trends that are already impacting your work and are certain to affect your future.

This is our first event, and I’m expecting to welcome a range of attendees, from down-in-the-trenches developers to team leaders and decision makers at just about every level.

Looking forward to seeing you at Live! 360 and App Dev Trends 2016!

John K. Waters
Chair, App Dev Trends 2016

Posted by Lafe Low on 09/19/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

Covering SharePoint On-Premises, Office 365 and More, Join Us at Office & SharePoint Live!

Whether you're a developer or IT Pro, training on SharePoint and Office 365 is essential to keep up with the business needs of almost every company out there. Andrew Connell and Matthew McDermott are taking over the post today to tell you why Office & SharePoint Live! should be your training of choice!

We are thrilled to invite you to Office & SharePoint Live!, an event that brings together the most informative and influential experts on Office 365 and SharePoint. This event shares no-hype, practical, independent perspectives about SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016 and Office 365.

The presenters and sessions we've selected to present at Office & SharePoint Live! in Orlando, Florida, on December 5-9 are best-in-class!

We'll be joined by colleagues whose expertise and talent are world-renowned, including Agnes Molnar, Dan Usher, Brian Alderman, Paul Schaeflein, Rob Windsor, Mark Rackley, and so many more than we could name here! All of the Office & SharePoint Live! speakers have been working with SharePoint 2013 and 2016 in the real world in both on-premises and Office 365 deployments. Together we bring broad perspectives on SharePoint that will enlighten your entire organization, from management and business users, to IT staff and developers.

We'll be focusing heavily on SharePoint and Office 365 from a developer and IT Pro perspective, as it's our goal to ensure your success if you choose to move forward quickly to this latest release of SharePoint both for customers who have on-premises deployments or who leverage the hosted solution offered by Microsoft: Office 365. If you're considering both, we have hybrid content for you as well!

We’ve also aligned the content at Office & SharePoint Live! with that of the many co-located technology tracks at Live! 360. This gives you an unprecedented opportunity to focus on not just SharePoint, but also SQL Server, Modern Applications, .NET development with Visual Studio, and more – all in a single venue.

We'd love to see you in Orlando this December for this independent Office and SharePoint event! You can learn more about Office & SharePoint Live! by visiting Take advantage of these incredible experts and their insightful sessions!

Best Wishes,

Andrew Connell
MVP, Independent Contractor, Instructor, Author
Andrew Connell, Inc.

Matthew McDermott
Founder and Director, Aptillon, Inc.

Office & SharePoint Live! Conference Co-Chairs

Posted by Lafe Low on 09/13/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

All Things Data: Reasons to Attend SQL Server Live!/Live! 360

Data seems to be on everyone’s mind these days, including how to harness it, protect it, and use it in the most effective way possible. That said, here are SQL Server gurus Don Jones and Andrew Brust with some insights on how SQL Server Live! can help you, and your company, lead the data race…

SQL Server continues to be a big deal for many organizations. And even as SQL Server itself moves into new versions, we continue to rely on a variety of versions to run all of our mission-critical line-of-business applications. It makes a DBA’s job messy, creates complications for developers, and fosters an overall environment of data chaos. But we’re here to help you reign in the crazy, make better use of your existing resources, and leverage new technologies as appropriate.

At SQL Server Live!, we’re continuing our focus on real-world, relevant content that you can use right away. From sessions designed for the “reluctant SQL Server admin,” to sessions designed for hardworking developers, through to performance optimization and even business intelligence and analytics, you’ll find it all. Whether you’re an administrator, developer, or curious about Analytics and Data Science, SQL Server Live! brings you the information you need: performance tuning, query design, BI architecture, and more.

We’ve also aligned the content at SQL Server Live! with that of the many co-located technology tracks at Live! 360. This gives you an unprecedented opportunity to focus not just on SQL Server, but also IT Pro content, Office & SharePoint, .NET development with Visual Studio, and cross-platform mobile development – all in a single venue.

Whether you need to dive deep into a particular technology, or hit a broad range of sessions that address your specific business and operational needs, you should find everything you need at Live! 360 Orlando.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Andrew J. Brust
Senior Director, Datameer

Don Jones
Curriculum Director for IT Pro Content

SQL Server Live! Conference Co-Chairs

Posted by Lafe Low on 09/06/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

Don Jones & Greg Shields Take Over: Why You Should Attend TechMentor/Live! 360

As a former editor of TechNet and Redmond Magazine, TechMentor is an event near and dear to my heart: no nonsense education, zero marketing speak and training on what you need to know NOW. To give you a better idea on what to expect, here are Conference Co-Chairs Don Jones and Greg Shields on why you should attend TechMentor/Live! 360

The end of another year approaches and with it the opportunity for another great week of TechMentor training. Co-located again this year with the Live! 360 conference, this TechMentor in Orlando is all about 2016 – Windows Server 2016, that is…

But that’s not all. This year’s TechMentor in Orlando spreads around the IT learning with an entire track on IT security and nearly an entire room dedicated to Windows PowerShell and DevOps. You’ll build a production-ready vSphere environment from the ground up. You’ll integrate Azure workloads into your network and your Active Directory. You’ll learn more about DirectAccess than you thought was possible. And, you’ll leave with some slick security tricks to protect yourself from the bad guys.

Whether your datacenter has a dozen servers or several thousand; whether they're centralized or distributed globally; whether they're physical or virtual; whether they're on-premises or deployed in the cloud; TechMentor offers the cutting-edge education designed to help you get the most from your current investment, while making smart decisions for future technology investments.

Not just for IT Pros, TechMentor’s a place for devs as well. TechMentor Orlando 2016 is again part of Live! 360, which means you’ll have access to five other conferences at no additional charge, including expanded content from SQL Server Live! and Office & SharePoint Live! With over 215 sessions, and 30 tracks to choose from, Live! 360 offers TechMentor attendees an incredible value, yet still intimate enough to ensure one-on-one access to speakers and experts.

Join us at the beautiful Loews Royal Pacific Resort, just steps away from Universal Studios Orlando, for a healthy mix of all-day workshops and 75-minute breakout sessions. We’ve rounded up some of our industry’s best and most experienced presenters that we guarantee you won’t want to miss.

We’ll see you in Orlando!

Don Jones
MVP, Curriculum Director for IT Pro Content

Greg Shields
MVP, vExpert
Author Evangelist

TechMentor Conference Co-Chairs

Posted by Lafe Low on 08/29/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

Reasons to Attend Live! 360 Orlando: A Message from the VSLive! Conference Co-Chairs

Why should you attend Visual Studio Live!/Live! 360 in Orlando this December 5 – 9, 2016? Trust me, I could go on and on about it, but why don’t I turn the reins over to our venerable conference co-chairs Andrew Brust, Rockford Lhotka and Brian Randell, and have them tell you why? Take it away, gents…

Life Development moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." – Ferris Bueller

This *slightly* altered quote from Ferris couldn’t be more appropriate when talking about the world of software development. It changes almost every day, with amazing new tools and technologies in the cloud, on mobile devices, the Web at large, and on operating systems from Windows to MacOS and Linux. In order to be a “wizard” at your craft, you need to have a good educational source that builds your skills.

We’re Andrew Brust, Rockford Lhotka, and Brian Randell, and as Conference Co-Chairs for Visual Studio Live! Orlando, we’d like to personally invite you to join us this December at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando, FL. We think there’s a great way to digest these changes and seize their collective opportunity, and that’s to hear about them directly from the finest expert speakers in the business.

We’ve also got coverage on technologies like Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 / .NET 4.6, the forthcoming Visual Studio “15”, Web API, Single Page Web Apps, Xamarin, and TypeScript. Then there’s our workshop content, covering DevOps and ALM, Cross-Platform Distributed Application Architecture, Service-Oriented Technologies, Angular 2, and Building Web Apps with Azure. These sessions and workshops drill deep into the new subjects you need to master and the fundamentals that are always important.

We’ve put together an amazing lineup of sessions on: ASP.NET Core, Web Client (HTML5, JavaScript, Angular, and more), Cross-Platform Mobile Development, ALM and Team Development, DevOps, Windows Client, Azure / Cloud Computing, Software Practices, and more.

Plus, Visual Studio Live! Orlando is once again a part of Live! 360, which means we’ve worked with the other conference chairs to ensure our content is aligned with the co-located technology tracks at Live! 360. This gives you the unique chance to explore SQL Server, Office and SharePoint, Modern Apps, and IT Pro content in addition to the leading-edge and relevant developer education you’ve come to expect from Visual Studio Live!

Microsoft and its developer technologies are poised to move into the future, and you’ve got to keep up with the changes. At such a pivotal time, Internet-based content isn’t enough. Find a way to get to Visual Studio Live! Orlando and get live content and interaction with independent experts. Your career deserves nothing less.

We hope to see you there!

Andrew Brust
Senior Director, Product Marketing and Evangelism, Datameer

Rockford Lhotka
CTO, Magenic

Brian A. Randell
Partner, MCW Technologies

Visual Studio Live! Conference Co-Chairs

Posted by Lafe Low on 08/23/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments


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