Monthly Archives: November 2011

November and December Azure Cloud Events in Boston Area

Are you interested in Cloud Computing generally, or specifically Cloud Computing using the Windows Azure Cloud Platform? Listed below are the upcoming Azure-related events in the Greater Boston area which you can attend in person and are offered usually FREE, but most that cost money are inexpensive.

Since this summary page is – by necessity – a point-in-time SNAPSHOT of what I see is going on, it will not necessarily be updated when event details change. So please always double-check with official event information!

I’ve attempted to list events of interest to the local Azure community – not just topics specific to the Windows Azure Cloud Platform. Know of any more cloud events of interest? Have any more information or corrections on the events listed? Please let everyone know about them by adding a comment.

Events are listed in the order in which they will occur.

November 2011 Events

1. Cloudy Mondays

  • when: Mon 14-Nov-2011, 5:00 – ?:?? PM
  • where: Small Business Development Center (note: NOT Venture Development Center!), 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA
    wifi: (not sure)
  • food: (not sure, though food and spirits were provided last time)
  • cost: FREE
  • what: Discuss Amazon’s cloud: launching projects on AWS, comparing AWS to other public clouds, etc. One speaker is Jason Haruska, Chief Architect at Backupify. Vikram Kumar, CTO and Founder of, will also be discussing how launched using AWS.
  • more info:
  • register:
  • twitter: (not sure)

2. Cloud Roundtable – Business in the Cloud –

  • when: Tue 15-Nov-2011, 3:00 – 5:30 PM (updated: start time is officially 3:00 PM)
  • where: Boston College Club, 100 Federal St., Boston, MA
  • wifi: (not sure)
  • food: (looks like cocktails and hors d’oeuvres towards the end)
  • cost: FREE
  • what: From the description on the web site: “The cloud is a fundamental paradigm shift from our current or past thinking about scalable architecture and there are security tradeoffs:  less control of data, new vulnerability classes, and compliance challenges.  However, if managed properly, these risks can be mitigated. This interactive seminar will discuss the challenges of cloud computing, demonstrate how to build a secure and redundant system, and touch upon real-world examples of cloud computing gone bad.”
  • more info:
  • register:
  • twitter: (not sure)

3. Boston Azure User Group meeting: Introduction to Cloud, Windows Azure, Azure Dev Tools

  • when: Thu 17-Nov-2011, 6:00 – 8:30 PM
  • where: Hosted at NERD Center, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA (directions)
  • wifi: Wireless Internet access will be available
  • food: Pizza and drinks will be provided
  • cost: FREE
  • what: Get ramped up on Cloud and Windows Azure – what is this cloud thing all about? How does the Windows Azure Cloud Platform fit in? And how can you get started using Visual Studio and the Windows Azure tools? Get all these questions answered in one night!
  • more info: See the Boston Azure cloud user group site for more info
  • register:
  • twitter: #bostonazure

December – 2011 Events

4. Azure is on the Road! December Road Trip…

At a variety of locations (far from Boston, but at least regional):

Registration Link Date Time
NCSU, Raleigh NC Mon, Dec. 5th, 2011 2 – 9 p.m.
Microsoft, Farmington CT Wed., Dec. 7th, 2011 2 – 9 p.m.
Microsoft, New York City Thur., Dec. 8th, 2011 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Microsoft, Malvern PA Mon., Dec. 12th, 2011 2 – 9 p.m.
Microsoft, Chevy Chase MD Wed., Dec. 14th, 2011 2 – 9 p.m.

5. Testing in the Cloud with Boston Web Performance Group

  • when: Tue 06-Dec-2011: 6:30-7:15 Eat pizza and meet other members, 7:15-8:15 Presentation, 8:15-9:00 Q&A, general socializing and more pizza eating
  • where: Wayfair Offices – 177 Huntington Ave, 177 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA (map) Come up to the 24th floor, call 802-522-6294 with issues
  • wifi: Wireless Internet access will be available
  • food: Pizza and drinks will be provided
  • cost: FREE
  • what: Speaker: Dan Bartow on Testing in the Cloud – description from event site: “Achieving real performance on the web begins with realistic testing and an understanding of the application and it’s infrastructure.  Testing realistically and for real results across web & mobile applications means leveraging the
    cloud.  Agile development processes, complex multi-tier architectures, and the potential for massive (and sudden) load all require a different approach than
    historical apps.  Come hear from Soasta, the makers of the CloudTest platform and CloudTest Lite, about their experiences and why companies need to change their expectations about what “testing” means. Dan Bartow is Vice President and CloudTest Evangelist at SOASTA, the leader
    in performance testing from the cloud. Prior to joining SOASTA he was Senior Manager of Engineering at Intuit, where his team was responsible for the speed and stability of TurboTax Online, the #1 rated, best-selling online tax software. Over the past decade he has been responsible for the speed and
    scalability of websites for such well-known brands as American Eagle Outfitters, AT&T, Best Buy, Finish Line, J.Crew, Neiman Marcus and Sony Online
    Entertainment, among others. Dan has set multiple industry precedents including launching the worlds largest stateful JBoss cluster and using over 2000 cloud computing cores to generate load against a live web site.  Dan is a frequent industry presenter and has spoken at leading testing and cloud computing
    conferences such as Software Test & Performance (STP), O’Reilly’s Web2.0 Expo, Amazon Web Services Road Show, and SYS-CON’s Cloud Computing Expo.” Visit the event web site to view the Cloud Testing Bill of Rights.
  • more info: See for more info
  • register:
  • twitter: @JonathanKlein

6. Boston Azure User Group December

7. Cloud Architecture Patterns at North Shore .NET User Group

8. Using Windows Azure to Build Cloud Enabled Windows Phone Apps at Microsoft DevBoston

  • when: Wed 14-Dec-2011, 6:00 – 8:30 (?) PM
  • where: Microsoft Corporation 201 Jones Road, Waltham, MA Hosted at NERD Center, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA (directions)
  • wifi: I don’t think so (given the location)
    food: (I am guessing there will be pizza, but not 100% sure, please check with the group organizers)
  • cost: FREE
  • what: “Speaker: John Garland This presentation will discuss how Windows Phone applications can be enriched by leveraging the power of the Cloud that is made available by Windows Azure. The Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone will be explored to show how to quickly tap into resources in the cloud for computation, storage, identity, and communication from within a Windows Phone application.”
  • more info:
  • register:
  • twitter: (not sure about the event, but John Garland can be found at!/search/dotnetgator)


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October Boston Azure Cloud User Group Meeting

First, let’s note that the October Boston Azure meeting marked our two-year anniversary!

I believe we are the oldest Windows Azure user group in the world, still going strong. Our first meeting was held in October 2009, less than a year after Windows Azure was announced at PDC 2008, and a few months before it went RTW for real (which was, I believe, January 2010).

Now, back to our Oct meeting. Here are links to a few topics mentioned:

Also, here is the slide deck from the main presentation – given by yours truly (that’s me, Bill Wilder) – called Big Ideas in Software Architecture (Cloud and Otherwise):

At the meeting we also discussed some topics for future meetings. Here is that list (okay, I actually can’t find the list – may have forgotten to save it – sorry – so going from memory here) — note this list is in no particular order:

  1. Introduction to Cloud, Azure, and developing for Windows Azure
  2. More hands-on with the platform
  3. Using languages, libraries, and software other than .NET/Microsoft – e.g., Java, Python, Node.js, NoSQL (MongoDB), …
  4. Idempotency – look at a more challenging case than a simple thumbnailer
  5. Security in the Cloud
  6. Comparing Cloud platforms
  7. Azure AppFabric topics: Service Bus, Caching, Access Control Service (can Curt come back?), …
  8. More architecture patterns

WHAT ARE OTHER TOPICS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE? Please leave a comment, email me, or suggest via twitter (me: @codingoutloud or to the community: @bostonazure).

Visiting Harvard – CSCI E-175 – Cloud Computing and Software

Just got back from Harvard where I teamed up with Jim O’Neil to talk about the Windows Azure Cloud Platform to the class CSCI E-175 Cloud Computing and Software as a Service. This was at the invitation of the Dr. Zoran B. Djordjevic – who also hosted us last year, and the year before that it was Jim and some guy named Chris.

Like last year, the class was engaged, asking tough and interesting questions… which is all the more impressive since this class meets on FRIDAY NIGHT. Must be a Harvard thing… Anyhow, we went from around 5:30 – 8:00… ON FRIDAY NIGHT. 🙂

Below are the resources I mentioned at the end of my talk, and the slide deck I used is here: Harvard-WhyAzureIsAwesome-Bill-Wilder-04-Nov-2011

Also, hope to see all of you at Boston Azure user group meetings! Feel free to contact me with any follow-up questions.

The slide deck Jim O’Neil used is here, plus here are a few action shots of Jim doing his thang:

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