Bigger, Bolder, Better! Join the Global Windows Azure Bootcamp on 29/03!

imageAfter last year’s success, a second more successful round of GWAB is en route. At the end of this month we’ll have about 26h of around the world bootcamps in more than 135 locations. Sheer Madness!!! (or Fricking awesome as @Noopman always says J ) This year will be even more special. Last year we spent about 9000 compute hours on rendering Windows Azure Security (read this as sharks with fricking lazers J) and therefor we joined forces with a charity this year to put some good use to the compute capacity. What’s it about ? well read this smaal excerpt from the GWAB Site ( )

The Global Windows Azure Boot Camp event will help advance this endeavor by hosting a globally distributed lab in which attendees of the event will deploy virtual machines in Windows Azure which will help analyze data needed for this research. We’re aiming at discovering how our body’s serum protein glycosylation works. We want to know how high blood sugar levels present in diabetes patients affect the complex sugar production systems required for our health and ability to fight disease. We want to prove the theory that when small changes in this process start occurring, the disease can progress and lead to Type 2 diabetes. The results from this work will not only help understand the human diabetic state at the molecular level but also lead the way for early detection of diabetes.

looking at that map with all the locations just dazzles my mind!


Having that said I hope you will either join us or even better .. organize your own location (if you aren’t doing so already). there’s even 2 locations in Belgium: one in Genk and another one in Kortrijk, see our Azug page for more info :—global-windows-azure-bootcamp-in-belgium

I’m proud of being part of the global organizer group next to these terrific gents:

Maarten Balliauw     Windows Azure MVP    @maartenballiauw

Magnus Mårtensson     Windows Azure MVP    @noopman

Mike Martin       Windows Azure MVP    @TechMike2kX

Alan Smith         Windows Azure MVP    @alansmith

Michael Wood         Windows Azure MVP     @mikewo

I hope March 29th will be as community filled for you as it will be for me!!!

Yours truly



Looking back at #azureconf 2013 … a story on Azure talks, bacon, ice-cream and broomsticks … #meetbe

042613_2220_Lookingback1.pngIt has been a fun and stress packed week. I’ve gotten a chance to go to the mothership: Microsoft Redmond to speak during Azureconf, an online conference on Windows Azure. There were only 8 speakers involved in the entire conference, and among those were 3 Belgians. For such a small country, we were really well showing our presence. Even better it was almost 50% of the Azug crew who were present there! Together with my buddies Kristof Rennen and Maarten Balliauw, we were treated as kings and got the chance to meet up with old friends. Good guys like Cory Fowler ( @SyntaxC4 )and Scott Klein (@SQLScott ). Unfortunately the other founding member of Azureconf wasn’t there, namely Brady Gaster ( @bradygaster ). You should follow these guys on twitter if you don’t already !! They organized the entire thing and guided us with wisdom and stress relieving tips. Brady, Cory and Scott : you guys rule and we owe a lot to you !!

The conference was opened by Scott “the Gu” Guthrie, speaking highly on the new IaaS GA, and generic Windows Azure Material.

Maarten (@maartenballiauw / had a great talk on Windows Azure Websites and also one on Myget. Kristof (@kristofrennen / had his session on real world architecture with mobile services, but the only difference with him was that he prerecorded his session the previous day. I myself had a basic talk on Media Services capabilities and how to use it through workflows and players for different platforms. Among the other speakers we had Vishwas Lele, Eric Boyd and Chris Woodruff, definitely not the lesser names in my humble opinion. I felt among gods. This was my first big talk as an MVP, and it even felt like a maiden voyage. But it went nicely in the end.

All the talks have been aired live, have been recorded during and can be found on the Channel 9 pages.

Direct links to the talks

It has also been a great platform of leverage for the upcoming Global Windows Azure Bootcamp event of 27th of April. They gave us all the forum we needed to make sure people would notice the event (so thanks again for that guys!).

Aside from having the Azureconf and speaking there, we had a great time around the Bellevue area and during the trip and travel itself. Our hosts provided us with a great hotel and on day one, we decided to go with an American breakfast. Potential cardiac issues aside, Maarten came up with a quote around bacon: “Everything tastes better with bacon. Except bacon. Bacon tastes better with honey.”

On that bombshell and on a filled stomach, we took off for some of the other big companies around Seattle: Boeing’s Future of Flight museum. While our taxi driver initially had no clue on where to take us and offered us to take a peek at a different museum (not elaborating), we got there. Impressive to see even a Boeing 747 looks small in the big factory hall those guys have. The taxi driver even came back for us and on the way to Bellevue we had a strange conversation (again, not elaborating but let’s say he had some biological facts on men and women to share).

Great thing to visit btw, the Boeing Factory that is, even I was allowed in J

But without Twitter and evidence gear J (that was a pretty expensive locker at that moment … )

After that, we had a quick peek around Best Buy to check for electronics and a quick peek around in a local beverage store that had endless shelves of wine and beer. And strange signs on the wall: “ID will be checked for everyone under thirty”. Good thing we had our eldest team member with us: Mike. Or dad, as we like to call him J

What better to end the day than with a beer? A beer with great company! Mark Brown joined us for a drink at Joey’s and when my friends ordered Total Domination from one of the waitresses, I could not help laughing out loud. Tried it myself and found out the Total Domination IPA by Ninkasi Breweries is pretty good beer.

On Monday, we headed over to the Channel 9 studios, using one of the 3000 shuttle busses driving around to get prepared for our talks, setting things up and doing some dry runs. Kristof was being pre-recorded already in the morning and could spend the rest of the event as a tourist … I mean relaxing. After an amazing tip from Panos, we found the stash of ice cream, and we had a few … well we had a LOT but then again who doesn’t like ice cream anyway?

At noon Cory had the great idea of having lunch, so we headed over to building 25 and had a “small’ bite, only 11 pieces of pizza to be exact, which seemed to be a funny thing for the others, no clue why. Have to admit we finished the complete pile of it. And we thought the Americans were the big eaters. After we got back, we went back to preparing our sessions … well basically eating more ice cream.

After a great day on campus, we went back to Bellevue to meet with fellow Windows Azure MVP Anton Staykov. We had a great dinner, great talks and a lot of fun. And because we didn’t have much food during the day, we had some more ice cream ;-p.

Not elaborating on the things that happened in the room afterwards, but when statements like “if you got an issue, you need a tissue” are being used, things are seriously wrong.

Getting up on Tuesday was a unique experience, one to cherish for the rest of our lives: Mike not being the most active guy of our gang J. Both Maarten and he were mentally getting ready for their sessions, while we headed over to campus using the first shuttle. We did our sessions (in an empty studio, no live audience) and ate some more ice cream. Those blueberry and grape popsicles are great!

Me prepping in the studio

Maarten going for his sixth Popsicle ….

Wednesday? Travel day. We found a ‘curb-side check-in”, in essence a check-in counter right outside the airport on the curb. Hence the name, probably. Let’s hope our bags make it to Amsterdam and this as not just a guy taking everyone’s luggage and handing out fake boarding passes.

It’s been a great couple of days, we had a lot of fun and are looking forward to go back! This post was written on the plane back, and that also came with a couple of nice sights :

PS: Kristof and Maarten seem to have hijacked my Surface while asleep and added the tale about our road trip. I decided to keep their fun anecdotes in.

PS2: Mike did not mean “while asleep”, instead he meant “while snoring” – Kristof and Maarten

PS3: If you ever fly to Seattle, then never fly Azug Air with these 2 “Swedish Cupboards” (look it up J ) as pilots ….

Or you might end up like me ….. with very bad seats J


Happy TechMike J

The event thing is strong in @azugbe #windowsazure #MEETBE

azure new2013 is just freash and sparkling and already Azug is proud to announce 2 sessions for the upcoming weeks!!!! And not just any sessions, but top notch content packed sessions by extra-ordinary (and some might even say extra-terrestrialJ) speakers:

and do note: we’ve only just begun , so keep an eye out on our website :

Another Countdown for MS Lovers 5-6-7 March 2013 !! #techdays2013 #techdays13 techdaysbe13 #MEETB

 As a MEET Member I’am proud to announce that next years Techdays will be held on 5, 6 and 7th Of March 2013. So block your calendars!!! And hope to see you all there!!

More news and details will be posted later on.

Belgian Launch Event for Windows Server 2012 and my talk on #windowsazure

On October 3 2012 Microsoft is hosting a full day on the launch for Windows Server 2012 , “the Cloud OS”. It’s going to be a day full packed on both Windows Server 2012 (of course) and it’s full cloud counterpart Windows Azure. Some of my co-Azug crew members (Kris van der Mast (@kvdm) and Kristof Rennen (@kristofrennen) will be delivering session throughout the day. I myself will also be delivering a session there on the Windows Azure Insights for the Enterprise IT Pro. I will go into more depth on what Windows Azure means for your normal operations.

More info can be found here : and here

This event will take place in Antwerp. Registering for the event can be done here :

Hope to see you there!!!

Fall is going to be a busy Community Season :-) … #windowsazure ( @azugbe + @sqlug )

I guess my fall will be all about Microsoft, the Belgian Community and Azure. It seems that AZUG is on a roll with plenty of events (and they haven’t even all been announced yet :-) ). Next to that I personally will get my share in having the chance to do some talks for community members and for Microsoft (more on that later in another blogpost).

What’s on the agenda:

2012-09-25 – AZUG event: Windows Azure Web Sites Deep Dive with Brady Gaster

Last June, Microsoft release an additional application model in Windows Azure: Windows Azure Web Sites. Brady Gaster, a technical evangelist Windows Azure, breathes Windows Azure Web Sites. Join us for a great time with a crazy American who’ll teach you Web Sites inside-out. Register now!

PS: We have a nerd dinner with Brady Gaster scheduled on September 24th, you can register for that one as well.

2012-09-27 – SQLUG event: An evening in the cloud: the old, the new and the big

The last couple of months have been very exciting times for Microsoft fans. With the release of the central flagship, SQL Server 2012, and the new and improved Cloud offering on Windows Azure, Microsoft managed to change the IT Landscape dramatically. During this talk we want to take you through all the SQL Server features in the Windows Azure Environment in either the full cloud spectrum or hybrid scenario’s. We’ll cover subjects like SQL Databases, IaaS, provisioning, integration, migration and touch some of the more computing topics in the Windows Azure when it comes to data. Going from the pure basics of all SQL related to the more advanced stuff you can do with this magnificent cloud platform. Register now!

2012-10-25 – AZUG event:Catching the long tail with SaaS and Windows Azure

We typically target large customers as it is much easier to build a cost-effective solution for them. What about the long tail in which a large number of smaller customers are? Ignore them? In this session, you’ll learn from Rainer Stropek, co-founder and CEO of the company that builds the award-winning SaaS solution “time cockpit” and Windows Azure MVP, to embrace The Long Tail using SaaS wand Windows Azure. Register now!

2012-11-21 – AZUG event:Over the hedge: what’s that bookstore doing?

You may have heard about this “other cloud” built by that online bookstore, Amazon. Unless you’re living under a rock, you probably have seen that they, too, have a lot to offer. Since knowing the others out there is the best way to know what you are missing (or they are missing), we’ve invited Jurg and Jasper from 9apps to come over and show us what’s over the hedge. Register now!

Hope to see you on one of these events!!!!