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Talking DevOps to Devs with Tim Warner

Your developers want to do some DevOps - what does it mean to you? Richard chats with Tim Warner about what operations needs to care about and learn when the organization wants to roll out software faster. DevOps is an umbrella term for a lot of different technical changes, but also procedural and culture changes too. Tim hits on the key points for operations folks, including understanding source control (and learning to value it), automating all the things, and being able to get to a known...


Making Email Better using OneDrive for Business with Peter Schmidt

After email, what's the next thing you want from Office 365? Peter Schmidt says its OneDrive for Business. Starting with the ability to get rid of file attachments in email and instead make the files links to OneDrive for Business - but it goes both ways. Peter talks about how Office 365 Flow can automate the process of moving incoming attachments into OneDrive for Business folders automatically. And then there's the new versioning and backup/restore features in OneDrive for Business. This...


Understanding Containers with Jennelle Crothers

Why should you care about containers? Richard chats with Jennelle Crothers about what container technology does for operations. Like virtualization before it, containers allow you to densify your infrastructure into fewer machines and VMs - and all container tech focuses on configuration-as-code. Containers make sense when you have services that are regularly updated or need to scale elastically. And they work on-premises as well as in the cloud. There are some tricky bits to containers,...


Exploring Microsoft Graph with Sahil Malik

What can Microsoft Graph do for you? Richard talks to Sahil Malik about his experiences working with Microsoft Graph - starting with rationalizing all the different versions of Graph that have come along in recent years. While largely they're back to a single version, there still are aspects that are more Active Directory oriented as opposed to broader mobile mindsets. But the issues of identity with users, devices that users use and the rights that applications have with those users and...


The Practice of System and Network Administration with Tom Limoncelli

What does it mean to be a System or Network Administrator? Richard talks to Tom Limoncelli about his experiences and book around the subject. Tom talks about how networking and sysadmin roles have evolved recently, where all the roles are being impacted by automation and DevOps practices - nobody is immune, nor should they want to be! The conversation dives into providing value to the organization, both in the form of keeping the employees productive, as well as safe and secure. It's not...


Be the Master with Don Jones

The challenge of hiring new people into the world of IT is getting harder every day - what does it take to grow your skilled staff? Richard talks with Don Jones about his book Be the Master, where Don focuses on the fact that there are plenty of apprentices out there, but not enough masters to teach them well. And the masters exist - it's just easy to forget that you know things that others don't know, and need to know. The conversation spans around where learning responsibilities lie -...


Debugging PowerShell with Josh Duffney

If you're writing PowerShell, you're writing code - now debug it! Richard chats with Josh Duffney about tools and techniques for debugging your PowerShell code. The conversation starts out with the admission that as PowerShell coders, you really are doing development work, just for sysadmin tasks. That means you need source control, testing, coding practices and hopefully, a continuous integration pipeline - DevOps all the things! Josh talks about how VSCode has made his life of debugging...


Cloud Security with Paul Keely

Modern security is complex - how can the cloud help? Richard chats with Paul Keely about his work with organizations helping to secure workstations and using the cloud to get insight into the kind of attacks going on and how to mitigate them. Paul talks about security starting with administrators, who are now the key vector to exploits in the modern cybersecurity age. Just Enough Administration, where there are individual accounts for each service that an admin uses and the accounts are...


Azure Data Factory with Tom Kerkhove

How do you ETL? Richard chats with Tom Kerkhove about Azure Data Factory, now previewing V2 features. We've had Extract-Transform-Load workflows since databases were first invented, but the concept was really formalized back in the data warehouse days. With the cloud, there are more tools, more data sources and more compute to enhance your ETL experiences. Tom talks about how V2 of Data Factory adds SQL Server Integration Service functionality so that you can put your SSIS packages...


Managing SQL Server using dbatools with Rob Sewell

Ready to manage SQL Server with PowerShell? Richard chats with Rob Sewell about dbatools, an open source effort to build an amazing set of PowerShell commands for SQL Server. Yes, Microsoft has a few PowerShell commands implemented, but when you see the dbatools set, you'll see what PowerShell can really do for you! Rob talks about the focus on migration for continuous integration purposes, upgrading from one version of SQL Server to another, even into the cloud. If you wanted to get to a...


The Intranet in 2018 with Susan Hanley

What's a company intranet look like in 2018? Richard chats with Susan Hanley about her work helping companies find value in their internal information management systems - after all, it's where you keep a lot of company value! The conversation starts out with a discussion around search, the bane of most intranet implementations. Sure people want Google, but do they really? The indexing system that Google relies on doesn't make sense in an internal website. Susan points out that today's...


Query Store and Automatic Tuning in SQL 2017 with Erin Stellato

SQL Server keeps getting smarter! Richard talks to Erin Stellato about Query Store and Automatic Tuning. First introduced in SQL Azure, these features showed up in SQL Server 2016 and improved substantially in 2017. Erin describes Query Store as a kind of black box for databases, similar to an aircraft, but you don't need to wait for a crash to value the data stored in it. Query Store is a real-time record of the queries happening in your database, along with the query plan and what caused...


Managing Customizations in SharePoint Online with Andrew Connell

SharePoint has never been more manageable! Richard chats with Andrew Connell about his experiences around using the latest programming models for SharePoint and how they stick to more standardized client-side development models that are easier to secure, audit and don't mess with your servers quite so much. The conversation starts out with a discussion around the Office 365 APIs and the programmability they bring to Office 365 as a whole, while also sticking to good secure standards - this...


Office 365 Hubs for Teamwork with Tony Redmond

How does Office 365 help teams collaborate? Richard chats with Tony Redmond about his insights into Microsoft's on-going effort to make Office 365 the most efficient place for people to work together. Tony talks about two primary hubs of team work - collaboration around email and collaboration around chat. The chat product is, of course, the new Office 365 Teams. The conversation dives into how different people like to collaborate in different ways, and that Office 365 has carved out...


Getting Your Data Ready for Analytics with Jen Stirrup

Your company is sold on the idea of data analytics, but is it ready for it? Richard talks to Jen Stirrup about her experiences getting organizations started with data analytics, which means really focusing on the quality of the data that a company is collecting. Jen discusses her process of figuring out how data is collected, how often it needs to be corrected and how much gets missed and stays incorrect inside the data stores. The conversation also explores the other locations of...


ReverseDSC with Nik Charlebois

Desired State Configuration now works boths ways! Richard talks to fellow Canadian Nik Charlebois, a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer, about his work building ReverseDSC. The open source tool is available in the PowerShell Gallery and opens the door to a ton of interesting possibilities. Nik talks about how his work as a PFE is made much easier when he can use ReverseDSC to create a copy of the configuration of a system he is trying to troubleshoot so that he can explore and experiment...


Making Work Visible with Dominica DeGrandis

How do you make your work visible to your team, your division, your entire organization? Richard talks to Dominica DeGrandis about her book 'Making Work Visible' and the challenges that IT folks have showing workloads and flow. The discussion turns to the Kanban board, both digital and physical. Dominica talks about methods for identifying work items, showing them flow and making it easy for everyone to see the huge scope of work the average IT team handles.


Office Macro Security with Karim El-Melhaoui

Office macros need security? Yes! Richard chats with Karim El-Melhaoui about the issues around Office macros. With default settings, VBA macros in the Office suite are incredibly powerful and are an effective malware vector. While Microsoft has some built-in capabilities to warn users about enabling macros, modern malware makers have been socially engineering users to bypass those protections. You can go heavy handed and disable macros with group policy, but what if you need them? Karim...


Microsoft Analytics Stack with Andrew Brust

Data analytics has evolved - have you kept up? Richard chats with Andrew Brust about the revolution taking place in data analytics in general and Microsoft efforts in the space specifically. Andrew talks about how tools like SQL Server OLAP Services renamed to become Analytics Services, and then moved into the cloud. Not that you need to be in the cloud to do analytics - there are plenty of on-premises tools as well, but it sure does help to be in the cloud. Data analytics workloads are...


SQL DevOps with Michael Upton

Can SQL Server be part of a DevOps practice? It has to be! While at Connect in New York, Richard sat down with Michael Upton to discuss the role of SQL Server in the DevOps practice and the tooling that can make your life easier. The conversation digs into the hard bit - not destroying data. Michael works at Red Gate, who have been building SQL Server data management tools for decades. And they know you can't afford to lose data, so the process of updating has to be done carefully. It can...


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