My Boss has brought his iPad! Consumer devices in corporate networks

There’s a new term in town – Consumerisation of IT. All of us who work in IT should care about this because it’s going to have a deep impact on the approach many of us have taken when deploying services to our organisations.

I don’t profess to be a thought leader on this topic, although I find it interesting that I have been dealing with the ‘problem’ here at Black Marble ever since we started up many moons ago. I may well post more about what we deliver in terms of services and solutions within the organisation later, but this article is intended to drive your attention to two important places.

The first is Simon May’s great article that briefly summarises some of the technology that’s already out there to help you embrace ‘unmanaged’ devices that want to access your services.

The second is to make you aware of the consumerisation-focused IT Camps that Simon May will be running, with the help of a few of the usual suspects (and myself). Simon’s plan is to take the same approach as we did at yesterday’s virtualisation camp – hand-on, grab the technology by the scruff of the neck and fasten together an example solution during the day. I’m really excited about this, because the area covers such a broad range of technologies, including Network Access Protection (NAP), Threat Management Gateway (TMG), Unified Access Gateway (UAG), Exchange, Forefront, System Centre and more. The first of those events is in Newcastle. Sadly I can’t make that one, but I will be at the Manchester event on May 9th. Take a look at the event series – there should be ones in a city near you. Register quick, though – they are filling fast.

IT Camp Leeds Roundup


Yesterday was great fun and I was really pleased to see so many Black Marble event regulars at the IT Camp. It was great to hear so many requests for more events like it in Leeds. We’re all keen to run more, but we need people to attend and give us feedback in order to be able to do that.

I hope those of you who were there took away useful knowledge from the event. Andy and Simon were very keen that it should not be a day of PowerPoint and canned demos and we certainly delivered that. Did we have technical issues that meant we had to change plans on the fly? Sure! Certainly nobody we spoke to seemed to mind. All of us from Black Marble thought the concept for the day – one of interaction, audience participation and trying to build systems on the fly – should be fun and we thought it was.

I believe that the TechNet UK folks were tweeting and posting links to some of the things we talked about yesterday but I thought it would do no harm to round some of them up here.

  • When we were talking about configuring remote management of hyper-v servers I mentioned HVRemote. This is a script written by John Howard that has been really useful for Andy and myself in the past. John’s blog has lots of really useful information about hyper-v and management, although he’s not posted for a while now.
  • Also a great source of information on hyper-v and virtualisation is Ben Armstrong (VPC-Guy).
  • The Virtualisation Team Blog is a good place for product info, announcements and knowledge.
  • Richard Fennell posts regularly on Lab Manager, which builds on Hyper-V and SCVMM to deliver great things for your dev and test teams. I thought either he or Andy had blogged about how we got Lab Manager 2010 working with a hyper-v cluster but it appears not. We’ll see if we can get something written up in that space.
  • Core Configurator  (currently at version 2.0) was something that was shown as a handy tool to control some of the settings on your Hyper-V server.
  • The Microsoft iSCSI Target is a free download. The Virtualisation Team blogged on it’s release.
  • For those of you who played with the Surface, we have some videos on YouTube of the Retail, Concierge and O7 game that were filmed at NRF 2012.

I’m really looking forward to other camps. Andy and Simon want to keep the hands-on approach so you can look forward to playing with an installed SCVMM solution in the follow-up virtualisation camp, and the consumerisation of IT camp should be wild as we try to cover how IT pros can deal with the variety of devices that our staff (and our bosses) want to use!

As always, the page of details about the events is here!

Hands-on Microsoft IT Camps–we’ll be there and you should too!

Andy and I are really pleased to be able to help our friends at Microsoft with their latest idea for engaging with IT Professionals. Next week (Tuesday 28th February) sees the first in a series of new IT Camps taking place in Leeds. The idea is to run a full day event that is very light on PowerPoint and heavy on the hands-on, roll up your sleeves and install things as a group.

You can find information about the series of camps online. The magnificent Simon May and Andrew Fryer from Microsoft will be leading the camps, with support from myself, Andy and a range of great IT Pro MVPs. For instance Jon Noble, PowerShell MVP and NEBytes organiser will be helping with the Newcastle event.

Tuesday’s camp is all about Virtualisation and promises to be both engaging and educational. You’ll also find Black Marble faces assisting with a Virtualisation camp in Manchester on April 25th and also in Manchester on May 9th where the subject will be on consumerisation of IT and how we can manage mobile and desktop devices securely.

See you there!