70-534 Architecting Azure Solutions Event Summary   Recently updated !


Thought Leadership & Events

imageOn June 13-14, 2017 Microsoft put on an invite-only event for many of our customers.  This was scaled back to invite only as a trial and proof of concept.  Our attempt was to hone in on the technology education that these customers need to get their Architects, Developers and IT professional the understanding they need to migrate workloads to the cloud.  We chose to do this by teaching based on the Microsoft Certification requirements for the 70-534 Architecting Azure Solutions exam. We had an underlying theme of the exam content but we went even further to teach architecting in general, DevOps, micro-services and other important concepts that the Architect needs to know. This event was a resounding success.  With this successful pilot now done we will scrub through feedback, tweak the deliver and continually improve as we plan to deliver more of these in the next fiscal year. Socialization was: #70-534 @ITProGuru

The event was by invite only.  There was an incredibly high demand for this training. We had so many companies that wanted to send so many people that we almost immediately had to make some hard choices. We had to limit each company to only a few seats and we had to completely shut down registration after 4 hours as we had already hit more than 400% room capacity.  The challenges were continuing to mount. We now had confirmed registration well beyond our capacity.  To make room for the people that already got registration confirmations, we reserved another large room.  Then we set a schedule to have the speakers speak in one room then move to the next room to do the same presentation again.  We were running two events at the same time in two different rooms using the same content.  It was a great solution.  We still had another major problem. Many customers were very disappointed that they could not send more of their senior technical staff.  

We reached out to the Skype for Business team to see if they help us with streaming this content to other locations.  They stepped up to the plate bigtime. Greg Frank from the NYC team setup Skype for Business to create interactivity from the remote sites to allow for messages from other locations to be added to the full onsite experience.  Greg and the Skype for Business team also partnered with NELCO Media, to deliver a very high-quality rendering of the event to other locations. In the end, we had 15 different sites connected and participating remotely.  Much thanks and gratitude for Greg and his team for delivering a great solution to our monumental challenge.

Philip Nelson from NELCO came to setup and run a TriCaster professional recording and live stream the event.  This was a fabulous system.  I  am very impressed with the system and the professionalism of working with Philip Nelson and the Nelco Media crew.  They set up a couple different monitors so we could see what was being recorded as we were speaking.  They set up a couple different cameras to give different angles with the ability to zoom in to focus on the speaker or zoom out to capture the entire room.  They were also able to present the slides and screen shares for a super high-quality rendering.  Thanks to Philip, Nelco Media and the entire team for making this very important proof of concept delivery a high definition and professional event experience for all.

Now we had the logistics and support we needed to run and professionally produce the event. However, we still had to deliver great content in a professional and engaging way. We could not deliver the content until it was created.  This was by far the biggest pre-event challenge. A couple months before the event, I reached out to many Microsoft MVP’s and other Microsoft employees to drum up support for helping create the content and ultimately delivering it during event week. I was astonished at how fast most volunteered. I needed a bunch of people because there was a bunch of content (7 modules). 

#1 Design Azure Resource Manager (ARM) networking

#2 Secure resources

#3 Design an application storage and data access strategy

#4 Design advanced applications

#5 Design Azure Web and Mobile Apps 

#6 Design a management, monitoring, and business continuity strategy

#7 Architect an Azure Compute infrastructure

Each of these modules were massive. It would take an enormous amount of time to put together.  For this reason, we had two content creators for most sessions.   As an example Module 6 had the following sub-categories.

#6 Design a management, monitoring, and business continuity strategy

  1. Design a monitoring strategy
    • Identify the Microsoft products and services for monitoring Azure solutions
    • leverage the capabilities of Azure Operations Management Suite and Azure Application Insights for monitoring Azure solutions
    • leverage built-in Azure capabilities
    • identify third-party monitoring tools, including open source
    • describe Azure architecture constructs, such as availability sets and update domains, and how they impact a patching strategy
    • analyze logs by using the Azure Operations Management Suite
  2. Describe Azure business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) capabilities
    • Leverage the architectural capabilities of BC/DR
    • describe Hyper-V Replica and Azure Site Recovery (ASR)
    • describe use cases for Hyper-V Replica and ASR
  3. Design a disaster recovery strategy
    • Design and deploy Azure Backup and other Microsoft backup solutions for Azure
    • leverage use cases when StorSimple and System Center Data Protection Manager would be appropriate
    • design and deploy Azure Site Recovery
  4. Design Azure Automation and PowerShell workflows
    • Create a PowerShell script specific to Azure, automate tasks by using the Azure Operations Management Suite
  5. Describe the use cases for Azure Automation configuration
  6. Evaluate when to use:
    • Azure Automation
    • Chef
    • Puppet
    • PowerShell
    • Desired State Configuration (DSC)

For each of these modules & submodules, we needed content to teach everything the audience would need to know to architect solutions around this technology.  They needed to learn it well enough to pass the exam.  This was a tall order.  We ultimately found out that it was not possible to hit that target in a short event but we did want to hit that goal with other post-event content.  To make this magic happen we broke the content delivery down into several different types of content.  We created content for presentation which was the general understanding in how to architect these solutions.  We then added Exam Tips! slides to hyper-focus on what they would likely see on the exam.  These slides were color coded green so the student could read through them many times before taking the exam.  We also created many sample questions that were on build slides with the question first and the next click build would give the answer. 

In the real-world, you cannot become an architect without real experience.  To give the attendees this, we set aside much lab time to work through labs while the speakers helped with any questions that came up. We ended up with 48 different labs in the Lab Guide and another 20 sprinkled throughout the various presentations which will be copied to the lab guide post event.  All attendees were given homework to do more labs at home as well as additional homework/research that would be required post-event. 

It took a large team to pull off this event. 

I would like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to the entire team:

MVP, Community & Partner Support

  • Ben Day, MVP – Content Creation and Speaker
  • Bill Wilder, MVP – Content Creation and Speaker
  • Jason Haley, MVP – Content Creation and Speaker
  • Jim O’Neil, Community Leader  – Content Creation
  • Mike Corkery, Community Leader – Content Creation and Speaker
  • Phillip Nelson – Nelco Media (Partner) – Tricaster Professional Streaming and Recording
  • Steven Porter, RD – Content Creation and Speaker

Microsoft

  • Leadership
    • Laura Clayton McDonnell – Executive Sponsor
    • Steve Ramsay – Champion
    • Tara Webb – Champion
    • Greg Frank – Skype for Business / Video Production
    • Aviraj Ajgekar – Champion – Remote Site Lead
    • Susan Hinton – Master of Ceremonies Group 1
      • Peter Laudati – Master of Ceremonies Group 2
      • Logistics / Support
        • Marian Pereira
        • Ammara Talat (Projectline Services)
        • Mary Baker
        • Julie Henderson (Meeting Solutions Inc)
        • Tristan Gorringe
      • Content Creation & Speakers
        • Ian Philpot
        • Praveen Rawat
        • Mark Grimes
        • Mike Richter
        • Kevin Hillinger

      Direct Participant Feedback

      We got plenty of feedback.  Feedback on what was great as well as what could make it even better.  Here are some of the quotes from the event.

      What was great:

      • Sharing is caring, contribute to your community. Inspiration to go share be a leader in the community
      • This taught us what to do to progress in the certification track
      • Enough knowledge to go out and do what we need to do
      • Heads up on what we need to study
      • Better understanding of how the products work together
      • Links and resources to lots of resources and study materials.
      • Enormous amount of capabilities and material wrapped up into one great package
      • Use Cases and personal speaker stories were great
      • This is a great way to onramp into Azure
      • As a user group leader, I have been looking for an easy to create a program
        around teaching all the different aspects of Azure.  This format is
        perfect.  I can hold weekly training sessions to cover the content over
        time.
      • great set of content for learning about the exam.
      • Azure has given us a lot of opportunities to quickly stand up systems.  We can easily start small and ramp it up as needed.
      • Containers was an excellent talk.  I am glad you were able to add it at lunch.

      Making the event better:

      • The last session on “Being an Architect” was great, but it should be first to set the attendee mindset
      • You should present a really large case study, to show return on investment.
        Makes it easier to sell an idea to leadership.
      • Meetup for Azure Certification Group needed
      • Event should be longer, 3 days would be better 
      • Need to have online opportunities for those that do not prefer to commute to a live event
      • Practice test needed
      • Case Study Questions and format the entire event around this case studies would be useful
      • Free Practice Exams
      • It would be awesome if we could have a case study on migrating our workloads from on-premises to the cloud.
      • Case study examples should be folded into workshop. http://microsoft.com/casestudies
      • It would be great if you had some of your customers come to explain what they went through, beginning, middle and end.

      Interested in taking the exam?  Go Here https://aka.ms/70-534 

      Github Repo of all content https://github.com/dstolts/70-534 

      WP_20170613_11_23_04_ProWP_20170613_11_24_33_Pro

      More Pics coming soon…

      Interested in Signing up for the next event? 

      * Join the Meetup at http://meetup.com/AzureCert

      * Join Thought Leadership and Events Newsletter at http://ITProGuru.com/join

      1. If you want an event in your area suggest it on meetup.
      2. If you are a community group leader and want to run it for your community, contact the leader on meetup
      3. If you are a company that has 50 people or more that would attend, please suggest it on meetup or contact your account management team for a special request.  Partial remote attendance is an option.

      The schedule for the two different events/groups were as follows
















      70-534 Certification Jump Start Group
      1
      Architecting Azure Solutions
      Day 1 Tuesday June
      13th
      8:30 AM Registration, Breakfast and
      Networking
      Presentation includes 15 min Lab and
      Q & A
      Dur (Min) Speaker Radio City {6604}
      9:00 10 Laura Clayton McDonnell Executive Welcome
      9:10 10 Dan What to Expect; Q&A; Labs;
      Simulcast
      9:20 45 Ben Day
      Dan Stolts
      Design an application storage and data access strategy
      (5-10%) 
      10:05 15 Break  {No Lab Time / Confirm Open Lab Guides
      & Env}
      10:20 60 Mike Richter
      Mark Grimes
      Design Azure Resource Manager (ARM) networking
      (5-10%)
       
      11:20 60 Jason Haley Design Azure Web and Mobile Apps
      (5-10%)
       
      12:20 60 Labs/Lunch &
      Networking
      1:20 75 Steve Porter
      Bill Wilder
      Secure resources (20-25%)  
      2:35 75 Praveen
      Jim O’Neil
      Design advanced applications
      (20-25%)
      3:50 40 Hands-On Labs
      16:30 30 Networking and
      Social
      5:00 PM Safe Journey Home 🙂
      Content: https://github.com/dstolts/70-534         Socialize: #70-534
      @ITProGuru
      Day 2 Wednesday June
      14th
      8:30 AM Registration, Breakfast and
      Networking
      Presentation includes 15 min Lab and
      Q & A
      Dur (Min) Speaker Radio City {6604}
      9:00 20 Michael Corkery Exam Tips & Tricks 
      9:20 75 Mike Richter Architect an Azure Compute infrastructure + Containers
      (10-15%)
      10:35 15 Break/Labs
      10:50 75 Dan Stolts
      Ian Philpot
      Design a management, monitoring, and business
      continuity strategy (20-25%)
       
      12:05 60 Dan Stolts Containers and More… Working Lunch 
      13:05 20 Dan Stolts DevOps and Next Steps
      13:25 20 Audience Feedback & Tips Presentation Prep
      13:45 20 Tara Webb +Audience Presentations / Q & A
      14:05 155 Hands-On Labs
      16:30 30 Networking and
      Social
      5:00 PM Safe Journey Home 🙂
      Content: https://github.com/dstolts/70-534         Socialize: #70-534
      @ITProGuru

      Group 2















      70-534 Certification Jump Start Group
      2
      Architecting Azure Solutions
      Day 1 Tuesday June
      13th
      8:30 AM Registration, Breakfast and
      Networking
      Presentation includes 15 min Lab and
      Q & A
      Dur (Min) Speaker Winter Garden 5412
      8:45 10 Laura Clayton McDonnell  Welcome
      9:00 20 Peter What to Expect; Q&A; Labs
      9:20 45 Mike Richter
      Mark Grimes
      Design Azure Resource Manager (ARM) networking
      (5-10%)
       
      10:05 15 Break  {No Lab Time / Confirm Open Lab Guides
      & Env}
      10:20 60 Ben Day Design an application storage and data access strategy
      (5-10%) 
      11:20 60 Praveen
      Jim O’Neil
      Design advanced applications
      (20-25%)
      12:20 60 Labs / Lunch &
      Networking
      1:20 75 Mike Richter Architect an Azure Compute infrastructure + Containers
      (10-15%)
      2:35 75 Steve Porter
      Bill Wilder
      Secure resources (20-25%)  
      3:50 40 Hands-On Labs
      16:30 30 Networking and
      Social
      5:00 PM Safe Journey Home 🙂
      Content: https://github.com/dstolts/70-534         Socialize: #70-534
      @ITProGuru
      Day 2 Wednesday June
      14th
      8:30 AM Registration, Breakfast and
      Networking
      Presentation includes 15 min Lab and
      Q & A
      Dur (Min) Speaker Winter Garden 5412
      9:00 20 Dan Stolts DevOps and Next Steps
      9:20 75 Dan Stolts
      Ian Philpot
      Design a management, monitoring, and business
      continuity strategy (20-25%)
       
      10:35 15 Break/Labs
      10:50 75 Jason Haley Design Azure Web and Mobile Apps
      (5-10%)
       
      12:05 60 Dan Stolts Containers and More… Working Lunch 
      13:05 20 Michael Corkery Exam Tips & Tricks
      13:25 20 Audience Feedback & Tips Presentation Prep
      13:45 20 Tara Webb +Audience Presentations / Q & A
      14:05 155 Hands-On Labs
      16:30 30 Networking and
      Social
      5:00 PM Safe Journey Home 🙂
      Content: https://github.com/dstolts/70-534         Socialize: #70-534
      @ITProGuru