North East Bytes - Microsoft Technology Usergroup in the North East of England

Windows Server User Group–Online Meeting–Connecting On-Premise Applications with the Windows Azure Platform

The Windows Server User Group emailed us this morning to let us know about a great event which is running for IT Pros and we’re delighted to pass on the information:

Connecting On-Premise Applications with the Windows Azure Platform

With the all the interest in Microsoft Windows Azure, it’s natural to ask “what does that mean for IT Pros?”. There’s loads of information to help developers write applications for the cloud, but what about those of us who do infrastructure: servers, networks, and other such things?

One important element is integrating on and off-premise systems and, to do this, Microsoft has created Windows Azure Connect – a new Windows Azure service that enables customers to setup secure, IP-level network connectivity between their Windows Azure compute services and existing, on-premise resources. This allows Windows Azure applications to leverage and integrate with existing infrastructure investments in order to ease adoption of Azure in the enterprise..

It’s taken a long while to set up but the Windows Server User Group (WSUG) is running a Live Meeting on this topic (thanks to a lot of help from Phil Winstanley, ex-MVP and now native at Microsoft).

Our speaker will be Allan Naim, an Azure Architect Evangelist at Microsoft. Allan has more than 15 years of experience designing and building distributed middleware applications including both custom and off the shelf Enterprise Application Integration architectures and, on the evening of 22 March 2011 (starting at 19:00 GMT), he’ll spend an hour taking us through Windows Azure Connect.

Combined with the event that Mark Parris has organised for 6 April 2011 where one of the topics is Active Directory Federation Services (AD-FS), these two WSUG sessions should give Windows Server administrators a great opportunity to learn about integrating Windows Server and Windows Azure.

Register for the Azure Connect Live Meeting now. Why not register for the AD RMS and AD FS in-person event too?

NEBytes April 2011–Performance on the Web and Desktop

Don't Make Me Wait, Faster Websites 101

Gone are the days when we were willing to sit and wait five, ten, fifteen seconds for a webpage to load. We're all paying good money for lightning fast broadband connections but still often find ourselves frustrated with a site that takes an age to appear. Good news is there are plenty of techniques, tweaks and configurations we can apply to get the experience of browsing are site much like flicking through the pages of a magazine. Page speed doesn't just impact user experience. There are plenty of analytics metrics that could benefit from a boost while we're at it.

In this session I aim to:

● convince you speed matter to a number of stakeholders

● cover some best practises we can apply to our code and servers

● show you some tools to help you test the speed of your site and how to identify where to focus your efforts when your short on time.

Duncan McDougall is web application developer at Equator, a Glasgow based digital agency. He specialises in website performance optimisation and frequently blogs on the subject. Though mostly working in .Net he has helped improve the performance of websites on a number of setups.

To contact Duncan please visit his blog’s contactform or get in touch via Twitter @duncanmcdougall.

Windows Performance and Problem Troubleshooting Made Easy with Richard Diver

In this session Richard will share with you some of the most common Performance issues faced with
Windows servers, both Physical and Virtual. Richard will show you the key performance counters to
monitor along with their acceptable thresholds along with some other tools that can help with the
diagnosis of problems with applications running on Windows.

Richard has developed his career as an IT Pro over the last 11 years, 4 of them have been working directly for Microsoft in Belgium, UK and Australia. Richard has developed and reviewed several books and training courses on the topics of Windows Performance and Troubleshooting, the main highlights of his career have been presenting at Microsoft events and working with Mark Russinovich.

As promised Richard has very kindly provided his handout and slides for download:

Date: Wednesday 20th April 2011

Time: 18:30 – 21:00


The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

Pizza sponsored by Orchid Software


Register for NEBytes April 2011 - Performance on the Web and Desktop in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

NEBytes March 2011: Automation extravaganza

Computer, Earl Grey Tea, Hot - John Price

Ok, so this is a little more difficult to arrange with home automation, but controlling lights, heating, curtains and just about every other device in your house just by talking to it, is actually Science Fact! Take a tour around our automated house and see what’s possible with a little effort.

John’s background is in Point of sale for the retail sector, in particular petroleum. He has been working as a developer for as long as he can remember, in fact his first development job was at 15, whilst still at school!

John worked for 10 years at Wella GB as a developer developing systems for hairdressers before doing 4 years designing hardware for various platforms. John even had a hand in designing a 286 motherboard!

John then worked for Meggitt Petroleum Systems as a Technical Architect designing Point of Sale terminals and Back Office systems for major oil companies across the world. John says he has been lucky enough to visit 26 countries as diverse as South Africa and Japan doing this.

John has developed some desktop and enterprise level applications using an obscure 4GL called Omnis.

Since then he has been working with .NET since its inception and was part of the beta program for 1.0 and have built a web site in ASP.NET

Numerous projects later John has specialised in media devices for XP and XP embedded and media center, along with mobile applications for devices ranging from symbian hardware through Pocket PC to Windows Mobile 6.1, the Vista versions and some Windows 7.

John is also a pilot and is fortunate to have an aeroplane at Coventry airport, at the flying club. John can usually be found on the airfield most Saturdays either flying the 'plane if the weathers good, or flying the bar if its not!

PowerShell: Beyond the Blue Command Window - Jonathan Noble

When PowerShell first came along, a lot of people simply saw it as cmd.exe with a different background colour. Familiarity is a double-edged sword: it makes people comfortable, but it also breeds contempt. With the release of PowerShell v2, Microsoft added the scripting environment they really wanted to release from day 1, but PowerShell is running in many other places beyond the blue command window.

Join former PowerShell MVP Jonathan Noble on a tour of PowerShell hosts; from the basic shell, to SSIS and the web.



The event will be hosted in Room 120 of Claremont Tower (Building 32) at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map -

Register for NEBytes March 2011- Automation extravaganza  in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

ByteCast 9: Tri-Winning

Hello everyone, this month you have Jon and Ben discussing varying technology items including all sorts of win including Jons tip of the month - Problem Steps Recorder:

Get the file here: ByteCast 9: Tri-Winning

Note: I've changed the ID3 tag slightly as iTunes does naughty things when it imports them. The change should bring everything into line for iTunes and all other players.

(Don’t forget you can subscribe to NEBytes ByteCast via iTunes, or just follow the RSS feed in your favourite player: NEBytes ByteCast feed or NEBytes ByteCast feed for iTunes)