My TechDays 2011 Bern slide deck

I attended a great TechDays event in Bern and I also had the great opportunity to take a talk.

The Recording of my session is available here.

The slide deck, as usual, can be download from by skydrive space here.

I also recall that my friend and colleague Benjamin Soulier had 2 talks. Here the links too:


ISACA Event–Cambridge Technology Partners

I just did with my great friend Benjamin a demo on Amazon EC2, Azure and O365 at the ISACA meeting sponsored by CTP.

The slide we used are available on my skydrive space here.


Partner of the Year

I am very pleased to announce that Cambridge is the 2011 Microsoft Partner of Year in the category Future of Productivity.


The award is in recognition of the outstanding work that has been done in Switzerland , in the delivery of Portal and Collaboration projects on top of Microsoft SharePoint

In particular Microsoft has rewarded the “SharePoint Business Accelerators” for Enterprise Social Collaboration as most innovative and leading edge solution of the year.

Congratulations to the delivery team (Alan, Charles, Bastienne, Fabrizio, Benjamin)  that make this possible!


TechDays 2011–Bern

The 21st October I’m more than glad to have the opportunity to run a session at the Switzerland Techdays in Bern about the customization of TFS (through plugin and eventing service) to allow the integration with external platforms (ticketing systems or ppm tools).

More details on the event agenda here: http://www.microsoft.com/switzerland/msdn/fr/techdays/agenda.aspx


Geneva SoftShake and other local events

Next week in Geneva it will take place the second edition of the Soft-Shake conference that I strongly recommend (…even though if I cannot attend since I’ll be in Anaheim for the SharePoint Conference).

We have 2 speeches here:

SoftShake is not the only upcoming event, since we’ve many initiatives around the cloud.

I’ll be directly involved in this ISACA session on Cloud computing and Swiss Market Trends where I will do with Ben a kind of Jam session on IaaS and PaaS.

Below the agenda:

18:00 Welcome and Greets
18:30 Swiss Market Trends in Cloud computing - Anees Qureshi, CTP Nyon
18: 50 Understanding the cloud computing better – Issues, Threats and solutions, with real life case analysis on various offerings
- Corrado Iorizzo, Senior Architect / Benjamin Soulier, Manager, CTP Nyon
19:50 Q and A Session
20:05 Networking Apero


Cambridge Technology Partners, Chemin de Precossy 27, Nyon.


TFS 2010 Web Access - Project Collections don’t showed

This morning I’ve lost a couple of hours with an enterprise customer with a very annoying problem.

  • We’re using different Project Collections to segregate permission and delegate administrations among different countries/departments/sand-boxed environments;
  • Since a couple of days, when I add a new Project Collection, it doesn’t showed on the Project Selection window of TFS Web Access


  • Indeed Visual Studio 2010 worked perfectly, showing all the expected Project Collections accordingly to the granted permissions.
  • After having checked (and forced) all TFS permissions, logs and web-configs what I did had just forcing an option on TFS Web Access web.config


  • I had to change the following option:
   1: <tfServers>

   2:  <!-- <add name="http://server:8080" /> 

   3: -->

   4: </tfServers>

  • First I removed the comment, forcing to connect to the TFS server DNS URL (http://tfs.mycompany.com/tfs)

  • This wasn’t working too so I forced Web Access to connect to a specific Project Collection URI (http://tfs.mycompany.com/tfs/oneofmyprojectcollection) and unexpectedly this worked!

    • I don’t know why but almost probably specifying a project collection uri force TFS to enumerate the root collection.

  • I’d like to remember that this option is used when you need to decouple TFS Web Access from TFS Application Tier, splitting the module on two different servers.

Balsamiq Templates Collection

Balsamiq is an excellent tool that I use to design application storyboards, mockups and functional specs, and I’ve to admit that since I’ve discovered it, I prefer it rather than Microsoft SketchFlow. It’s also interesting the company behind the product and the philosophy of the founder (…one of the few italian guys running a startup).

Anyway for whom is working with Balsamiq I’m landed on a must-link site providing for free additional templates that can be used to enrich the Balsamiq library to support different sketch style (as example SharePoint 2010 and iPad). Take a look to: http://mockupstogo.net/


Azure UG Switzerland – 23.09.2011

By enabling you to build, host and scale your applications in the Cloud, Windows Azure is the unifying factor coming for the enterprise.


If you missed the opportunity to attend the Build Conference in Anaheim, California, please joint us on Friday September 23rd, 9 to 12 AM, for a discovery tour of all the latest features and capabilities of the Microsoft Cloud Platform, a tour presented by Switzerland’s first Windows Azure MVP Benjamin Soulier.

Then you will hear about a real life experience presented by Mr. Adam Jones of The Global Fund.


Attendance is free, kindly register at:



Chemin de Précossy 27

Cambridge Technology Partners Office

1260 Nyon


Date: Friday September 23rd 2011

Time: 9AM to 12AM


09:00-09:30: Breakfast,

09:30-10:15: Session: Benjamin Soulier -

Technorati Tags:
All about new the features coming to Azure

10:15-10:30: Break

10:30-11:15: Session: A customer’s voice: Adam Jones from The Global Fund

11:15-12:00: Open discussion


SharePoint 2010 – NLB vs Hardware Load Balancer

In the last period, many times I was involved in discussions with customers regarding the adoption of the out-of-the-box Windows Server NLB (Network Load Balancer) or dedicated hardware solution (Cisco, F5, Coyote, etc.)

I’ve tried to summarize my mental pattern about this argument, in the table below (…well, I censored Duff & Donuts from my thoughts):





  • It’s cheaper (already available as part of Windows Server stack).
  • Rapid deployment and adoption:
    • SharePoint team doesn’t need to rely on the infrastructure team for the configuration;
    • No real technical expertise needed;
  • NLB works at socket level (TCP/UDP) and doesn’t provide any specific feature or optimization for http/https.
  • A dedicated NIC (network card) is strongly recommended.
  • Governance and Operations of NLB cluster could be tricky:
    • more people must be made aware of NLB configurations
  • Configuration could be tricky in presence of multicast traffic.
  • No caching capability is provided:
    • for http/https is expected to rely on Microsoft ISA or IAG;
  • No certificate management:
    • Certificate must be individually managed in IIS;
    • Some Governance is needed;
  • No compression capability:
    • for http/https is expected to rely on IIS 7.x
  • Technology is …antique, well not really an issue but NLB was created to balance COM+ application with NT4/OptionPack

Hardware Load Balancer

  • Improved Performance, https traffic is managed at hardware level;
  • Low latency during the switching in case of High-Availability configuration.
  • SSL and HTTPS configuration is managed internally, making it transparent to IIS/SharePoint configuration.
  • Caching capabilities if needed (don’t abuse of this).
  • High-Availability generally supports dependency rules on how to route packets in case of unavailability of specific servers/application tiers.
  • Support of protocol specific rules (http, https, etc.)
  • Support of Security Rules;
  • Technical Agnosticism, the tools can be used to balance Windows, Linux, Web Server, sockets, email servers.
  • Governance in the sense that there is a centralized point of management for all the needs regarding balancing, high-availability, security etc.
  • Expensive, for sure it something to be acquired and identifying the best solution won’t be easy ‘cause the huge amount of options in the market.
  • Learning Curve

Rules of Thumb

  • Use NLB if hardware load balancer is not available  and there are no plans on that (polite way to say no budget);
  • In the Intranet, if reverse proxy isn’t available (sometimes the hardware load balancer is available only for Internet traffic);
  • As Tactical Solution (as example for running stress test on your new project in a stage environment if the hardware solution is not available or cannot be used);
  • We can definitely state that a strategic solution must rely on hardware load balancer, a tactical solution could rely on a software NLB.


SharePoint Governance, ITIL and MOF 4.0

In these times I’m working for different customers in defining some models of SharePoint Governance modeling processes, planning strategies and defining maturity models in IT organizations to support a SharePoint Service Line being able to manage heterogeneous organization business departments:


I’ve to say that it’s a very interesting and quite challenging topic and I’m strongly leveraging the experience I’ve done in the last years where I’ve used ITIL v3 to support IT organizations in adopting an ALM strategy based on Team Foundation Server.

Here my personal quick annotation of useful resources regarding Services Frameworks.



MOF Team Blog Announcement

MOF IT Library

Get the Microsoft Operations Framework 4.0


Azure User Group Suisse – Moved to 16th February 2011

Technorati Tags: ,

Hi everyone, I’m very proud to re-announce the first Azure User Group Suisse Meeting that will be in held in Nyon on 16.02.2011 (I know it was originally planned for the 02 Feb), thanks to Cambridge Technology Partners that will provide the conference room and the technical infrastructure to run the meeting.

The Group Leader is my dear friend and great speaker Benjamin Soulier and we’ve decided to run this initiative together to have the opportunity to share ideas and experience for a technology we’re sure is going to drive the IT projects in the incoming years.

The idea is to import in Suisse the User Groups UK formula where communities and groups are largely spreaded with some common features:

  • Contents and Topics are directly chosen by group members;
  • Live events every 2-3 months in off-work hours (18,00-20,00)
    • 2 Sessions of 1 Hours
    • Final drink with networking and free sharing-experience

More information here

Event Manifesto

This year has been announced by numerous IT analysts as the year of Cloud Computing.
As a first initiative around Microsoft cloud technologies, you are invited to discover and get up to date with the next IT revolution.
The event is organized with the support of Cambridge Technology Partners that provides the conference room and the tec...hnical infrastructure to run the meeting and will consist of two great sessions, some networking and a final apero’.

Session 1 – Emmanuel Mesas - from Microsoft
We’re honored of having Microsoft with us that will take the first session about the cloud proposal and Microsoft vision.

Session 2 – Benjamin Soulier - A Lap Around Azure
This session will explain all what you need to start building your applications in the cloud.
What you need to know to start your projects in the cloud in an effective way.
The Goal of this session is understanding how to write code, test it locally & deploy and maintain your application in the Cloud

Call To Action:

I’m looking to speakers and Topics for the next events and obviously I am not necessarily looking for seasoned speakers. In fact the value that group bring to all of you is that you are part of community and if you want to share a good story to tell about real world implementation you can do that!

Why should you speak at Meetings:

  • To practice your public speaking abilities in a friendly environment
  • To promote your name and measure your technical skills
  • To have the opportunity to share your experiences for everyone benefits and viceversa

If you’re interested, please write to me: corrado.iorizzo [a--t] yahoo.co.uk or drop a comment on this blog.