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Augmented Reality goes mainstream

July 2016 may go down in history as the month that Augmented Reality went mainstream. Augmented Reality’s embrace into the mainstream came from an unlikely source – a game called Pokémon Go. This game has been a huge boon to Nintendo who has seen its stock double since the release of the game. In this blog post we’ll discuss what Augmented Reality is, what Pokémon Go is, how the game works, positives and negatives to the game and more. What is Augmented Reality? Augmented Reality (AR) is “a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the

How do I get help from the technical community?

You are facing a technical problem but there doesn’t seem to be an answer. You need to reach out for help, but you don’t know where to start. There are a myriad of different approaches available to try to get help, which should you choose and why? (Forums, Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, books/articles, contacts such as MVP’s and other SME’s and more). Which ones will provide the quickest route to a correct answer? This blog post is to provide a quick summary of the options available and recommendations for how to get help from the technical community. Before you ask,

Applying automation and approvals to Twitter with Microsoft Flow

Recently Microsoft announced the release of their automation tool called Flow to assist with the constant of “Do More with Less”. For an introduction into Flow check this out. To get started with Flow check it out at: https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/. Automation is an area of interest for me so I decided to spend some time kicking the tires to see what Microsoft Flow can do. Overall, I’ve been impressed with what’s available at this point and I’ve found a couple of use-cases which I am getting benefit from Flow. There are a lot of pre-built Templates for Flow which you can

Using searches in OMS to identify what is assessed in the SQL assessment

Microsoft OMS provides an excellent best practices analyzer (SQL Assessment) for SQL server which is easy to install and quickly gain insights from for your SQL servers. The top level tile is shown below. This expands into a series of views which show the underlying recommendations based upon various top level areas (Security and Compliance, Availability and Business Continuity, Performance and Scalability, Upgrade, Migration and Deployment, Operations and Monitoring, Change and Configuration Management): Each of these in turn provide a detailed drill down with explanations of the recommendations including the suggested actions, prioritization guidance, affected objects, context and a link

Using the new View Designer in Microsoft OMS

Microsoft has made the “View Designer” now available in preview mode in OMS! What does this mean? This means that you can design your own tiles and visualizations which will plug into the top level view in OMS. I’ll show an example of what you can do with these to provide Server Health information in this blog post. To add the View Designer to your workspace, log into OMS and go to the settings and choose the Preview Features tab as shown below. Enable the View Designer option, and chose enable on the warning feature page. Once this is enabled

What do golf and baseball have in common with automation?

If you work in the Dallas or San Antonio IT industry and would like to learn more about automation, then here’s your chance to find out! Catapult Systems is hosting events next week in both San Antonio and Dallas to provide you with the chance to hear more about IT automation, to socialize over food and beverages, and to enjoy either golf or baseball. Join us at Top Golf in San Antonio on Monday the 25th: http://pages.catapultsystems.com/FY16H2-Launch-SanAntonio_LP-Registration.html Join us at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Dallas on Thursday the 28th: http://pages.catapultsystems.com/FY16H2-Launch-Dallas4.14_LP-Registration.html   Registration is limited, so sign up quickly if

Automation By Example with the Nest Thermostat

I am excited to launch a new series of blog posts and videos which will provide information on a variety of automation technologies and give my perspective from having worked with these technologies in my own life and home over a period of time. Technologies in this series will span home automation, personal automation and more (with a few surprises along the way if all goes according to plan). The goal for “By Example” posts like this are to give one geek’s personal experiences with a product or technology in as much of a step-by-step example as possible. Please note,

Don’t be the admin who cried Alarm!

Have you ever felt like you could be the boy who cried wolf when you are doing your daily work as an Operations Manager administrator? You know, that wonderful feeling when you need to go to another group with an alert (or a group of them) and you do not know if they will or will not care about what you are bringing to their attention? The alert may be critical to their job or it may be irrelevant and often it’s hard to tell the difference. If so, join Clint Wyckoff and I as we help to point towards

Using Power BI and OMS to visualize event and alert information

In the first blog post of this series we discussed how to visualize security information gathered into OMS through Power BI. In the second blog post we showed how performance information gathered into OMS can be visualized through Power BI. In this blog post we will show how you can visualize all event information gathered by OMS in Power BI. As it should be apparent by now, the formula and approach to get this data into Power BI is the same in each case. The steps are: Activate OMS (http://www.microsoft.com/oms) Add systems into your OMS (direct attached or through integration

Operations Manager and the psychic network

What in the world does Operations Manager have to do with the psychic network? Let me tell you about it…   I was on a client site several years ago and I was called into a meeting with a vendor. The vendor explained that they could send an email which Operations Manager could then respond to. I politely explained that Operations Manager does not take an email as a source of information and then I proceeded to explain options available which Operations Manager can use as a source of information. The vendor continued talking for a while and then said