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A Word from Microsoft Canada

by Steve Syfuhs / March 19, 2013 11:59 PM

Earlier this week I was asked if I could help out the Canadian DPE Team at Microsoft by letting my readers know about some important information coming down the pipe. For those not in Canada you may not be interested, but still take a look because there’s a lot of great resources listed.

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The team at Microsoft Canada is focused on ensuring that they help set you up for success by providing the information and tools you need in order to get the most out of Microsoft based solutions at home and at work.

Twice a year, Microsoft sends out the Global Relationship Study (GRS for short). It’s a survey that Microsoft uses to collect your feedback and help inform their planning. If you receive emails from Microsoft, subscribe to their newsletters‚ or you’ve attended our any of their events you may receive the survey.

The important details:

  • Timing – March 4th to April 12th 2013
  • Sent From – “Microsoft Feedback”
  • Email Alias – “feedback@e–mail.microsoft.com
  • Subject Line – “Help Microsoft Focus on Customers and Partners”

Many of you already read the Microsoft Canada IT Pro team’s blogs‚ connect with them on LinkedIn and have attended their events in the last year or so. So you may already know that you’re their top priority. So they want to hear from you.

Pierre, Anthony and Mitch use the GRS results to shape what they do, how they do it and if it’s resonating with you. Tell them what you need to be the “go-to” guy (or gal). Tell them what you need to grow your career. They want you to be completely satisfied with Microsoft Canada.

This year, Pierre, Anthony and Mitch have delivered 30 IT Camps and counting across the country giving you the opportunity to get hands on and learn how to get the most value for your organization. They have a few more events planned this year so keep an eye on their plancast feed for events near you.

Based on your feedback the topics they’re planning to cover will include:

  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 2012
  • System Center 2012
  • Private Cloud
  • BYOD – Management and Security

That’s not all. They’ve heard you loud and clear so in addition to hands on events, they’re also delivering more technical content online via the IT Pro Connection Blog. Windows 8 continues to be a big area of focus for them. They covered a lot of great contentat launch and they’ve complimented that with new content like:

In addition to this, there are some valuable online resources you can use like Microsoft Virtual Academy, Microsoft’s no-cost online training portal. Or software evaluations (free trials) on TechNet that allow you to build your own labsto try out what you’ve learned.

Regardless of how you engage with the team at Microsoft Canada‚ you’d probably agree that they hear you. They’d also encourage you to continue to provide that great feedback. They thrive on it‚ they relish it‚ they wallow in it and most importantly of all‚ they action it. So please keep connecting with them and keep it coming! Pierre, Anthony and Mitch are listening.

Resources, Tools and Training

  • Tim Horton’s Gift Card Contest– We’re giving away 350 Tim Horton’s gift cards, all you have to do to qualify is download a free qualifying software evaluation (trial). Download all three for more chances to win, but hurry, the contest closes soon.*
  • Windows 8 Resource Guide- Download a printable, one-page guide to the top resources that will help you explore, plan for, deploy, manage, and support Windows 8 as part of your IT infrastructure.
  • Windows Server 2012 Evaluation – Get hands on with Windows Server 2012 and explore the scale and performance possibilities for your server virtualization.
  • Microsoft Support - Get help with products‚ specific errors‚ virus detection and removal and more.
  • Microsoft Licensing -Visit the Volume Licensing Portal today to ask questions about volume licensing‚ get a quote‚ activate a product or find the right program for your organization.

*No purchase necessary. Contest open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec. Contest closes April 11, 2013 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET. Three-Hundred-and-Fifty (350) prizes are available to be won: (i) $10 CDN Tim Horton’s gift card.  Skill-testing question required. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries. For full rules, including entry, eligibility requirements and complete prize description, review the full terms and Conditions.

Change of Scenery

by Steve Syfuhs / November 29, 2011 12:56 PM

Every once in a while you need to make a life-altering decision.

Last night I sent an email to the ObjectSharp team telling them I had resigned (I had spoken to the bosses in person prior).

Boy, talk about blunt, eh?

Every once in a while you are offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something pretty amazing. I’ve had three of these opportunities. The first was Woodbine Entertainment where I got my start in the Toronto development world. The second was ObjectSharp where I have been able to learn so much from some of the brightest minds in the industry. The third was two weeks ago in Vancouver.

Two weeks ago I was offered a position to lead development of a product for an ISV in BC.

Me? A leader? Wait. Huh?

Well okay, not quite. Cue the screeching cut-away-from-sappy noise.

So what's the deal? I'm not saying, yet. At this point I'm sure a few people could guess though. Smile

Suffice to say I'll be moving to BC at the end of the year. I'll be at ObjectSharp until December 16th and then will be moving right around the new year.

I'm not sure I can really describe how excited I am about this new position. I'll be working on an awesome product with an awesome group of people.

Of course, it's a little sad leaving ObjectSharp. They have a such a great team of people, and some of the smartest people in the industry.

So it should be an interesting experience.

Top Canadian Security Threats in 2010

by Steve Syfuhs / May 11, 2011 04:00 PM

The Microsoft Security Intelligence Report for 2010 was released not too long ago.  It is a report on the threat landscape seen across 600 million systems worldwide.

This report has a summary for quite a number of countries (170 and counting), and Canada is in the list.  Here are the stats they found:

Microsoft detected malware on 4.2 of every 1,000 computers scanned in Canada in 4Q10 (a CCM score of 4.2, compared to the 4Q10 average worldwide CCM of 8.7).

image

  • The most common category in Canada in 4Q10 was Adware, which affected 35.6 percent of all cleaned computers, down from 41.0 percent in 3Q10.
  • The second most common category in Canada in 4Q10 was Misc. Trojans, which affected 35.3 percent of all cleaned computers, up from 29.0 percent in 3Q10.
  • The third most common category in Canada in 4Q10 was Misc. Potentially Unwanted Software, which affected 26.3 percent of all cleaned computers, down from 26.1 percent in 3Q10.

Managing Identity in SharePoint

by Steve Syfuhs / October 14, 2010 04:00 PM

Yet another presentation on the docket!  I submitted an abstract to SharePoint Summit 2011 and they accepted!  I will be presenting on SharePoint and how it manages Identity.  More specifically, how SharePoint 2010 uses WIF to handle Claims based authentication and Federation.

Here are the details

Event: SharePoint Summit 2011, January 31st 2011 – February 2nd, 2011

When: 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. February 1st, 2011

Where: Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto

Abstract: Managing identities within an organization is relatively easy. However, as business changes, we need to be able to adapt quickly. Identity is something that often gets overlooked in adaptation. In this session we will discuss the Windows Identity Foundation and how SharePoint uses it to adapt easily to change.

Link: http://www.sharepointsummit2011.com/Toronto/conference_day2.htm#session_7_3

Putting the I Back into Infrastructure

by Steve Syfuhs / February 07, 2010 04:00 PM

Tonight at the IT Pro Toronto we did a pre-launch of the Infrastructure 2010 project.  Have you ever been in a position where you just don’t have a clear grasp of a concept or design?  It’s not fun.  As a result, CIPS Toronto, IT Pro Toronto, and TorontoSQL banded together to create a massive event to help make things a little more clear.  To give you a clearer understanding of how corporate networks work.  Perhaps to explain why some decisions are made, and why in retrospect, some are bad decisions.

Infrastructure 2010 is about teaching you everything there is to know about a state-of-the-art, best practices compliant, corporate intranet.  We will build, from the ground up, an entire infrastructure.  We will teach you how to build, from the ground up, an entire infrastructure.

Sessions are minimum 300 level, and content-rich.  Therefore:

i2010Proud[1]

Well, maybe.  (P.S. if you work for Microsoft, pretend you didn’t see that picture)

October 15th Evening SQL Server DBA Event: Disaster Recovery - Edwin Sarmiento, MVP for SQL Server

by Steve Syfuhs / October 13, 2009 04:00 PM

OttawaSQL.net

October 15th Evening SQL Server DBA Event: Disaster Recovery – Edwin Sarmiento, MVP for SQL Server

Speaker: Edwin M. Sarmiento, MVP for SQL Server

Date: Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Time: 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Venue: Microsoft Ottawa Office

RSVP: http://www.clicktoattend.com/?id=142063

Session 1 (6:00 PM to 7:10 PM):  Understanding and communicating business-orientated disaster recovery  concepts and objectives

So you have a database maintenance plan that does a backup of your databases and you’re pretty sure that it works fine. But is that really enough? Are you sure that you will be able to meet your service level agreements if and when disaster strikes? This session will explain the need for understanding and communicating business-orientated disaster recovery concepts and objectives to the business stakeholders. This will include defining your RPO and RTO and how it affects your disaster recovery plan.

Session 2 (7:20 to 8:30 PM):  Disaster Recovery for the Paranoid DBA

In the first session, much have been said about disaster recovery in general. In this session, we will look at bringing the concepts down to SQL Server. This session will focus on dealing with a recovery situation for a SQL Server 2005/2008 database, an instance or an entire server. Topics covered will be backup schemes, partial backups and piecemeal restores, page-level recovery and a thorough understanding of how to troubleshoot a "Suspect" database.

Edwin M. Sarmiento

Speaker Bio:

Edwin M. Sarmiento (MVP for SQL Server) works as a Senior SQL Server DBA/Systems Engineer for The Pythian Group in Ottawa, Canada. He is very passionate about technology but has interests in music, professional and organizational development, leadership and management matters when not working with databases. He lives up to his primary mission statement – "To help people grow and develop their full potential as God has planned for them.".

Refreshments:

Pizza and pop will be provided.

Note: No one will be admitted by building security after 5:55 PM, and the event will start promptly at 6:00 PM.

OttawaSQL.net is a community group of Ottawa area developers and IT professionals.  We share an interest in Microsoft’s data technologies especially:  SQL Server, SharePoint, PerformancePoint, Workflow Foundations, LINQ, ADO.NET and Entity Framework.

Pictures from Techdays and FailCamp in Toronto

by Steve Syfuhs / October 12, 2009 04:00 PM

After getting my camera back from Mitch Garvis after Techdays and FailCamp in Toronto, I decided to upload photos from the events, and to my surprise there were some pretty good shots.  Here is what I came back with:

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Presenting at Techdays 2009!

by Steve Syfuhs / July 15, 2009 04:00 PM

Still working out session details, but it looks like I will be presenting in Ottawa and Montreal for Techdays 2009.  I will be loitering around at the Toronto event soaking up all the techie-goodness, so come find me at any of the three events.  We can talk shop, shoot the breeze, or just mill about having a good time.

I promise I won’t embarrass anyone.  Except maybe myself.  But that’s a warning for all occasions.

Here are the dates of the events across Canada.  Buy your tickets before the early-bird deal runs out!

City Date Venue
VANCOUVER SEPTEMBER 14-15 Vancouver Convention Centre
TORONTO SEPTEMBER 29-30 Metro Toronto Convention Centre
HALIFAX NOVEMBER 2-3 World Trade & Convention Centre
CALGARY NOVEMBER 17-18 Calgary Stampede
MONTREAL DECEMBER 2-3 Mont-Royal Centre
OTTAWA DECEMBER 9-10 Hampton Inn & Convention Centre
WINNIPEG DECEMBER 15-16 Winnipeg Convention Centre

The Early Bird price is $299.  The regular Price is $599.

I will post more on the sessions I will be presenting at a later date when I get the full details.

See you there!

Poor Quebec, This is Terrible

by Steve Syfuhs / July 14, 2009 04:00 PM

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Microsoft certainly isn’t to blame here, it’s a law in Quebec that prevents contests from happening.  Better chance for me to win it though!

Techdays 2009 - VIP Pricing

by Steve Syfuhs / June 22, 2009 04:00 PM

As budgets get tighter, Tech·Days is the perfect way to get the Tech·Ed experience without the travel expense, with two days of skill-strengthening education to help you position yourself for success by:

  • Learning the technology—with a customizable agenda from over forty sessions across five technical tracks on both current technologies and new products, like Windows® 7 and Microsoft® Exchange 2010;
  • Connecting with Experts and Peers—with Birds-of-a-Feather lunches and the new Windows 7 Zone, you'll have lots of opportunities to share your ideas with those who know the products best; and
  • Apply what you learn—with a Learning Kit packed with products and resources so you can continue to grow your skills long after the event has finished.

Technologies discussed: Windows 7 Operating System, Windows Server® 2008 R2 operating system, Visual Studio® 2008 development system, Silverlight™ browser plug-in, Exchange 2010, Security/Management, and more.

If you want the VIP Discount use the promo code TD09Partner.

City Date Venue
VANCOUVER
TD09Partner
SEPTEMBER 14-15 Vancouver Convention Centre
TORONTO
TD09Partner
SEPTEMBER 29-30 Metro Toronto Convention Centre
HALIFAX
TD09Partner
NOVEMBER 2-3 World Trade & Convention Centre
CALGARY
TD09Partner
NOVEMBER 17-18 Calgary Stampede
MONTREAL
TD09Partner
DECEMBER 2-3 Mont-Royal Centre
OTTAWA
TD09Partner
DECEMBER 9-10 Hampton Inn & Convention Centre
WINNIPEG
TD09Partner
DECEMBER 15-16 Winnipeg Convention Centre

Early Bird: $299, Regular Price: $599

There is a good chance I will be presenting at one (or more) of these locations, so keep an eye out.  In the event that I don’t, I will definitely be enjoying the Toronto stop of the tour.  In either case, I will be there ready to learn, with a pocket-full of business cards.

Oh, and I’ll be leaving with a box/bag/shopping cart* of swag.

*Metaphorical shopping cart.  They are going to give away lots of awesome stuff.

// About

Steve is a renaissance kid when it comes to technology. He spends his time in the security stack.