Azure MVP Award

It is no secret that I do a lot of work with Microsoft Azure, both professionally and personally. I’ve been involved in the platform in some manner since I first saw it at PDC08. I truly enjoy sharing my experiences with Azure with the community. I love the interaction with people. I love learning how others use Azure as well.

I’ve been honored the past 4 years to be recognized by Microsoft as an MVP for my work in the Microsoft Azure community. October 1st is my renewal date (based on when I was first awarded). Each October 1st I get a little nervous to see if I’ll be renewed.

Early today I received the email that I had been waiting for:

mvp 2014 email

I am again very honored and grateful to receive this award from Microsoft. Over the past several years, I’ve been fortunate to get to know many of the other Azure MVPs from all over the world – many of which I consider personal friends. It truly is a top-notch group!

Thank you!

What’s New with Windows Azure? Lots!! (July 2013)

Earlier this month I had the pleasure to present for the first time at the Pittsburgh .NET User Group.  The timing worked out great as Microsoft’s spring/summer conferences were wrapping up – TechEd North America, TechEd Europe, BUILD, and Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). There were a lot of exciting new Windows Azure features announced during this conferences.

My presentation was titled “What’s New with Windows Azure? Lots!!”. This was mostly a recap presentation – covering as many of the new Windows Azure updates as I could cram into about 90 minutes.

Speaking at the Pittsburgh .NET User Group was a lot of fun!  They have an excellent group and I hope to come back again.

Windows Azure MVP of the Year

One of the first things I do each morning after I wake up is check new emails on my phone (I know . . . geek).  Most of it is junk mail, but this morning one email stood out – “MVP of the Year Dinner”.  What is this?

“Congratulations on being awarded MVP Of The Year, based on your extraordinary community contributions in 2012! Thank you for your contributions in the forums, Connect, giving feedback, speaking, and all that you do.”

Wow!  I’m awake now!!

Words cannot express how honored and humbled I am to be awarded as Windows Azure MVP of the Year.  This is my third year as a Windows Azure MVP.  The Windows Azure MVPs are a fairly small and close group.  They’re some of the smartest, most passionate people I’ve had the pleasure to get to know.  To be honored in such a way by this group that I respect so much is very special.  I don’t know what else to say other than “Thank You”!

Actually, there are two Windows Azure MVPs of the Year.  Congratulations to Magnus Martensson!

Windows Azure at the Dayton IT Pro Camp

Yesterday (1/18/2012) I was able to give a Windows Azure presentation to a group (about 80) IT Pros at the Dayton IT Pro Camp.  I co-presented with Brian Prince, who is a buddy of mine and a Principle Cloud Evangelist for Microsoft.

This was the first time I’ve delivered a Windows Azure presentation to a group of IT Pros instead of developers/architects.  The delivery/messaging about cloud computing and Windows Azure was a little different than speaking to a group of developers.  We focused more on the importance of application management, working with the developers to build out the service model (roles, number of instances, protocols, ports, OS version, etc.).

Overall I felt the group seemed to really like what we had to say and we had several good questions during and after the presentation.  Often I work with application developers and architects.  It was really neat to get to be a part of an IT Pro focused event, and to talk with several of the attendees.

This was the first year of the Dayton IT Pro Camp.  I think the organizers did a great job getting the event going.  I hope they continue doing these!

Talking About Windows Azure at Cloud Connections

This week I will be at Cloud Connections in Las Vegas where I will have the privilege of speaking about some of the great things you can do with the Windows Azure platform.  I’m really excited about this conference.  The speaker lineup is top-notch!  Plus, following on the heals of MIX11 last week, I think there will be a lot of buzz around Windows Azure and Windows Phone 7.

I’ll be giving three sessions at Cloud Connections:

  • Windows Azure – What, Why and How
  • The Hybrid Windows Azure Application
  • Windows Phone 7 and Windows Azure – A Match Made in the Cloud

You can find the full session abstracts at and the full conference schedule at  Of course, be sure to visit the conference site for the latest updates.

I’ll be posting my slide decks and any sample code to my blog shortly after the conference.  Be sure to check back here for the latest updates.

I’ll also be hanging out throughout the conference at Microsoft’s Windows Azure booth in the expo hall.  Stop by, say “hi”, and we can chat all about Windows Azure!

I Talk with Dave Nielsen about Windows Azure

Recently I had the chance to speak with Dave Nielsen of CloudCamp fame about the benefits of using Windows Azure from a social media perspective.  I had a great time speaking with Dave.  You can view our conversation here, or just click the big play button in the video below.

My buddies Brian Prince, Mike Wood, and Rob Gillen also had some great conversations with Dave on topics such as increasing productivity, hybrid applications, supercomputers, and security.  There sure is a lot you can do with Windows Azure, so be sure to check out their videos for some great examples and ideas!

If you want to get started with Windows Azure, a great starting point would be with a free 30-day pass!  Get yours by clicking here and using the promo code MikeOnAzure.  It’s that easy!

Be sure to check out several of the other great videos at the Microsoft’s User Community channel on YouTube.

What’s Holding You Back?

It is no secret that I’m a huge proponent (some may say “fanboy”) of Windows Azure.  If you have spent any time talking to me over the last couple of years you know that I pretty much don’t shut up about Windows Azure.  If I had my druthers, I would put pretty much any application I could up “in the cloud” with Windows Azure.  But, I know not everybody shares the same love affair of Windows Azure as I do.  Heck, not every application is a fit either.

I’m working with two other Windows Azure MVPs, Mike Wood and Brent Stineman, to get gather feedback from the masses on what is holding people back from using Windows Azure (or related technologies such as SQL Azure or  Windows Azure AppFabric).  This feedback will be consolidated and presented to members of the Windows Azure product teams in Redmond at the 2011 MVP Summit later this month.  A survey is available at where you can provide your honest feedback on barriers you are facing when it comes to adopting Windows Azure.  Please be candid.  If there is a specific issue you can’t overcome or a feature that you must have before you can move to Windows Azure, please let us know.

This is going to be a fantastic opportunity to provide feedback to the teams at Microsoft that are responsible for building the Windows Azure product!  I’ve meet some of the people on the various Azure product teams – they are very passionate about their work and genuinely care what customers think of and how customers use Windows Azure.  Help me help you remove whatever barriers there may be for leveraging Windows Azure!

The survey can be found at

Windows Azure MVP

On Friday I was awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Windows Azure.  I feel extremely honored to be among the great group of professionals that are MVPs, and especially flattered to be included in the first group of MVPs for Windows Azure.

This honor would not have come about without the support of several key people and organizations.  First and foremost, a huge thanks is owed to my wonderful wife.  During the last year or so I’ve spent a lot of time working with and speaking about Windows Azure.  This necessitated a big time commitment, and my wife has always been very supportive of my passions.  Thank you.

I need to extend a personal thanks to Brian Prince.  Brian has been a great mentor in helping me become more involved in the development community.  Anybody who really knows me knows that I can be pretty shy.  Getting in front of people to give any sort of presentation was an act I would just not do.  Thanks to much advice and encouragement from Brian, I feel much more comfortable with giving presentations.  Brian has also provided great support when it came to helping me learn more about a real technology passion area of mine, cloud computing and Windows Azure.  Thank you.

I also need to thank my employer, Centric Consulting.  The management team and my coworkers have been very supportive of my efforts.  They have made a great investment in allowing me to develop my skill set in Windows Azure and to share my passion with the community.  I am definitely looking forward to working with Centric to continue working with Windows Azure.  Thank you.

Finally, I need to thank the community.  Thank you to the user groups that have allowed me to speak.  Thank you to the great members of those user groups that attended my presentations.  I have thoroughly enjoyed being involved with the community this year.  I am looking forward to another fun year!  Thank you.

Receiving the Microsoft MVP award for Windows Azure is a great honor.  I’m eager to continue working with the community and Windows Azure.  Thank you Microsoft!