Orin Thomas

IT Pro textbook author, Pluralsight author, Microsoft MVP & RD

Melbourne (VIC, Australia)

Orin Thomas is an MVP, a Microsoft Regional Director, an MCT, and has a string of Microsoft MCSE and MCITP certifications. He has written more than 3 dozen books for Microsoft Press on topics including Windows Server, Windows Client, Azure, System Center, Exchange Server, Security, and SQL Server. He is an author at PluralSight and is a candidate in the Doctor of Information Technology program at Charles Sturt University. He is a "Gooroo in residence at Gooroo".

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Articles by Orin

  1. Nano Server: Ahead of its time

    The promise of Windows Server 2016 Nano Server was that, rather than deploying the server equivalent of a swiss army knife into production, you could instead deploy a highly optimized workload specific scalpel.Built to specWith Nano Server you built the server for a specific task rather than deploying the server and adding roles and features later. This made the server more secure because it had a radically reduced attack surface over other Windows Server deployment options. Unused roles, such as...
  2. Is it still worth going to conferences?

    Many of today’s conferences put breakout sessions online in video format for free within a few days of the conference occurring. Given the relatively high cost of conference tickets, as well as the costs around travelling to the conference and accommodation at the event, it’s reasonable to ask yourself:“If I can get the breakout sessions in video format for free, is it worth attending the conference?”Downloading videos doesn’t mean you’ll watch themThere’s a big difference between downloading conference...
  3. Why aren’t some organization's systems being patched in a timely manner?

    The reality is more complex than a simple morality tale about lazy admins not following best practice and then receiving their comeuppance when the inevitable security event occurs. If you talk to people that work in organizations where patches aren’t applied and server and client operating systems are getting old enough to get a driver’s license, you’ll hear groans of frustration about the changes that they know should happen being deprioritized by people further up the chain.Non IT companies care...
  4. Why Microsoft Loves Linux

    Those that have been in the IT industry since the 1990’s were justifiably perplexed when Microsoft’s public pronouncements about Linux went from Linux possibly being carcinogenic around the turn of the century to full throated embrace a decade and a half later.Many of us, who in the 1990’s had professionally drunk Microsoft’s Windows NT Kool Aid and fought battles for homogeneous Redmondian operating system purity, were a little lost. Microsoft has made endless pronouncements about its adoration...
  5. Why Microsoft is so bullish about cloud, even though it’s only a fraction of total IT spend?

    It came as quite a surprise to me to read an reports, including this one from Gartner (http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3443517) , that indicated that cloud spending was at around 210 billion in 2016 out of a total IT spend of around 3.5 trillion dollars (http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3568917).Why was I surprised? Mostly because Microsoft seems to be relentlessly banging the drum about the future being all cloud and that on-premises IT was on a path to irrelevance and extinction. Listen to...
  6. No country for old IT Pros and Devs?

    My 14 year old son made an interesting observation the other day. When I asked him about possible future careers that he might be interested in, one that definitely wasn’t on the cards was IT. When I asked him about it he said that he wasn’t sure why anyone would choose a career from the outset where everything you learned became irrelevant so quickly and that if you weren’t constantly studying, you were likely to end up unemployed.Is IT a lifelong career?He also pointed out that as far as he could...
  7. The most important IT skill?

    Every year people publish lists of the hottest most in-demand IT skills. Some years it is new technologies like virtualization or containers, other years it’s understanding processes like ITIL or how to decipher compliance regulations.But there is a more important skill for IT Pros that transcends the hot technology of the moment or whatever the latest soft skills fad is.Do you know what it is?It’s the skill of being able to reliably solve complex problems.The trick to understand about reliably solving...
  8. Why is there never a recruiter around when you need one?

    A friend of mine recently complained that when he was looking to leave his previous job, he couldn’t get the attention of a recruiter. But that when he landed his current job at a well known prestigious company, he was overwhelmed with unsolicited recruiter interest trying to lure him away.It’s not that my friend suddenly developed an amazingly more comprehensive skill set in those short period of months. I have friends who have fantastic skillsets and who aren’t contacted at all by recruiters. I...
  9. Best way to force yourself to study for a certification exam is to schedule one

    Procrastination is the one of the biggest enemies of accomplishment. When it comes to scheduling and taking certification exams, I know people who have constantly let procrastination get the better of them.A ton of people have asked me for career advice over the year. I’ve mentioned that a good place to start to get traction is picking up a few certifications as a way of attesting to the skills they already have or to gain some structure when it comes to achieving skills they want.Many of these people...
  10. Grow your career by getting involved in user groups

    One of the things that I’ve noticed about successful people in the technology industry is that almost all of them in some way have been or are involved in their local user groups. A user groups is a collection of people that meet on a regular basis to hear lectures and swap information about a particular technology or platform.Not just enthusiasts, but fellow professionalsOne misconception that many people have is that user groups are just enthusiastic amateurs talking about technically simple topics....
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