Managing reliability means being available when things go wrong. But how do you make the on-call time productive? While at NDC in London, Richard talked to Lesley Cordero about her work with the New York Times on reliability management teams. Lesley talks about how putting regular sprint work into on-call time causes more problems than it solves - the quality of work suffers, and people get frustrated. Better to focus on preventative work, which is more contemplative. Even better to have an array of preventive efforts that can be worked on over time. The goal is to have fewer outages and more reliability, and that means being able to communicate reliability needs to leadership - document all the things!
Feb 28, 2023
Are you ready to move your organization to Windows 11? Richard talks to Michael Niehaus about the upcoming end of support for Windows 10 in 2025 and the pressure to get to Windows 11. Michael talks about how slow Windows 11 adoption has been, mainly because there hasn't been a significant reason to do so. But as of October 14, 2025, organizations will have to pay for long-term support - and it's cheaper to move to Windows 11. The conversation digs into how Microsoft seems to be updating Windows 11, deployment strategies, and the optimal ways to move your workforce to a new operating system.
Feb 21, 2023
How do you improve the security of your organization? Richard talks to Jess Dodson about the current security environment we're living in and what you can do to improve your security posture. Jess talks about how breaches happen and what you can do to detect them early before things get worse. The conversation dives into getting more resources - in most cases, improving security means having the time to work on preventative measures, like implementing multi-factor authentication, security information and event management, and setting up Just Enough Administration. And you need the time to review the activities in your network to let you stop a breach before it turns into something worse!
Feb 14, 2023
How about a free suite of over 500 tools for SQL Server best practices, administration, development, and migration? Richard talks to Rob Sewell about the ever-growing dbatools PowerShell module. While its origins are in migrating SQL Server databases from one environment (and version) to another, the range of capabilities is extensive. Rob talks about the power of repeatability when attempting to do these potentially complex tasks - which is best served by scripting. But why write the scripts when they already exist? The conversation also digs into learning as a DBA, including getting involved with conferences like SQLBits!
Feb 7, 2023
Are you ready to move your intranet into the cloud? Richard talks to Susan Hanley about her work helping organizations migrate intranets into Microsoft 365 Sharepoint Online. Susan talks about avoiding lift-and-shift implementations for intranets - or anything going to the cloud. Better to take what you have learned about your intranet and build a governance plan in M365 to migrate content piece by piece. The good news is most of your old SharePoint customizations are now built-in capabilities in SharePoint Online! The conversation also digs into building pages to replace documents and what should be searchable - an intranet migration is a great chance to build an even better intranet!
Jan 31, 2023
Do your applications need identities? Richard talks to Martin Ehrnst about how all Azure resources, including your applications, need an identity to function well in the Azure ecosystem. Martin talks about registering an application with Azure AD, a process that includes a manifest showing how it should be authenticated and what resources it needs. Then to the more confusing part - the service principals that show up as enterprise applications to provide access to the application within your tenant or even across tenants! The conversation goes further into managed identities and this emerging world of many-to-many identity relationships. Ultimately it's the most powerful way to deal with access rights, but that doesn't mean it's simple!
Jan 24, 2023
How is the DevOps movement evolving, and why should sysadmins care? Richard talks with April Edwards about how DevOps continues to grow with better tools and results! April talks about how often developers lead DevOps initiatives but that so much value comes from operations. The conversation digs into the tools that can facilitate deploying more frequently, measuring more accurately, and understanding how customers work. Everyone writes code these days, even if they aren't developers - and the DevOps cycle also applies there!
Jan 17, 2023
Have you used LAPS? Richard chats with Jeremy Moskowitz about the Windows Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS). Jeremy talks about how the Premier Field Engineers originally developed LAPS at Microsoft to deal with having different local administrator passwords on every workstation in an organization. The passwords change automatically regularly, and sysadmins can retrieve the password for a given machine using PowerShell and other tools. Today there is an updated version of LAPS that works with Azure Active Directory and provides more control over password changes and restrictions - you need this tool!
Jan 10, 2023
What are the new governance challenges in M365? Richard chats with Martina Grom about her ongoing work helping organizations provide governance over the growing surface area of Microsoft 365. Martina talks about the challenges around identity and multi-factor authentication and the improvements that Microsoft is making to MFA to make it easier for users to do the right thing. The conversation also turns to data loss prevention and the approaches to minimizing a company's legal exposure to data loss - starting with not storing data if you can avoid it! Martina also talks about the new challenges in governance with Power Apps, including the tools available to help sysadmins see what apps exist, how they touch data, and what privacy and security controls are in place. Governance is an ongoing effort!
Jan 3, 2023
It's the end of 2022, and time to reflect on the work coming up in the next year – what will it be like for SysAdmins in 2023? Richard flies solo for his annual year-in-review show, looking back on last year's predictions (including what he got wrong!) and projecting forward into 2023. Security continues to be a top priority, but the situation has evolved. Current economic conditions likely will impact your business – how does it affect your work? How will the cloud continue to evolve, and how can you take advantage of it? 2022 was another unusual year, and 2023 looks even more so – thanks for sticking with us!
Dec 27, 2022