In this episode we talk with Thomas Maurer who works as a Cloud Advocate in Microsoft. We talk about how Azure Stack helped his customer realize the value of Azure even when there were compliance need for the data not to leave the customer’s datacenters. Tom talks about how he keeps himself up to date with everything that’s happening in the Cloud world and his e-commerce website too.

Thomas’s journey on how he got to where he is today (01:44)

  • When he was starting off his career, he bet on Hyper-V v/s Active Directory because it was a niche technology then. He then focused on Hyper-V, System Center suite of products.
  • Hyper-V was great for a while, but he wanted to focus on the next big thing – which is Azure. He started on Azure from when it was called “Windows Azure”
  • We also discuss how cloud is constantly evolving based on customer’s feedback – Tom talks about his role as Cloud Advocate and how he bridges the gap between the engineering teams and the customers.

Interesting projects that Thomas has worked on (07:09)

  • Azure stack – A luxury product company wanted to leverage Azure and the global scale. However they had a requirement that pictures of new products couldn’t leave their datacenter – and this policy was just written in stone. Azure Stack (now called Azure Stack Hub) enabled them to run IaaS and PaaS using ARM templates using the same familiar CI/CD tools.
  • We also discuss Azure Arc how it enhances our hybrids story by extending Azure’s data services to on premise. With Microsoft – Hybrid was always in mind when we planned for any new features. We also talk about how Azure management plane – ARM APIs, RBAC and Azure Policies extends to on premise – using Azure ARC.

Thomas’s advice to anyone who is starting off in the Cloud Solution space (15:14)

  • MSLearn is the single go to place for anyone starting off in the Azure space.
  • You don’t need an Azure subscription, all you would need is a Microsoft account. This not only provides you with the theory and videos but also provides you with a sandbox Azure account where you can use it as a demo lab.
  • Apart from MSLearn, the Azure certification is a good path to verify your skills.
  • If you are already an architect Azure Architect Center, Cloud Adoption Framework and Migration Center are good places to start.

Thomas’s advice to keep himself abreast of all the changes happening in the cloud world (20:30)

  • Acceptance – “that you can’t possibly not know everything about everything. Have a T shaped learning methodology”
  • He spends his morning reading through RSS feeds – on what’s new, what was updated and announcements.
  • He follows Microsoft’s blogs, connects to the PG using twitter.
  • Tom likes to build stuff to learn. Once he builds it he explains it using a blog or presentation. This forces him to know a little more about the topic than what is required.

How to get in touch with Thomas



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