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Welcome to contoso.se! My name is Anders Bengtsson and this is my blog about Azure infrastructure and system management. I am a senior engineer in the FastTrack for Azure team, part of Azure Engineering, at Microsoft.  Contoso.se has two main purposes, first as a platform to share information with the community and the second as a notebook for myself.

Everything you read here is my own personal opinion and any code is provided "AS-IS" with no warranties.

Anders Bengtsson

MVP awarded 2007,2008,2009,2010

My Books
Service Manager Unleashed
Service Manager Unleashed
Orchestrator Unleashed
Orchestrator 2012 Unleashed
Inside the Microsoft Operations Management Suite

Experts Live Europe

I will deliver a session at Experts Live Europe in Berlin, August 23-25. My session is “Lessons learned from Microsoft Premier Support – Manage and control your Azure resources” and  will show you how organizations manage and control their Microsoft Azure resources in real world situations 🙂

Experts Live Europe is one of Europe’s largest community conferences with an focus on Microsoft cloud, datacenter and workplace management. Top experts from around the world present discussion panels, ask-the-experts sessions and breakout sessions and cover the latest products, technologies and solutions. 

More info about the event and registration here.  See you there!

My Recorded Sessions from System Center Universe and TechEd

Channel 9 have published my sessions from TechEd Europe 2014 and System Center Universe Europe 2014.

  • TechEd Europe. In-Depth Introduction to Service Management Automation, link
  • System Center Universe. Advanced Orchestrator Runbook Authoring and Management, link
  • System Center Universe. Optimize Azure Virtual Machines for performance and availability, link

Check them out!

System Center Universe (SCU) 2014 Europe

Are you missing MMS? Missing a System Center event? Guess what! There is a “new” event for you, and it is both in the US, online and in Europe! System Center Universe is a community conference that is focused on systems management and virtualization topics such as cloud, datacenter and modern workplace management with Microsoft System Center, Microsoft Hyper-V and Microsoft Azure. The event is in Basel-Switzerland at September 17-19.

I will deliver two sessions at System Center Universe 2014 Europe together with Pete Zerger

  • Advanced Orchestrator Runbook Authoring and Management
  • Optimize Azure Virtual Machines for Performance and Availability: Step-by-Step

See you in Switzerland!


System Center Universe (Houston, TX, USA)

I will deliver a session at System Center Universe in Houston together with Pete Zerger

GET IN THE CENTER. Join us for the third annual System Center Universe, a one-day globally available technical event featuring Microsoft product gurus and community experts. This year’s event will include breakout sessions to allow for more topics and content!

The live event will be centered at the Hilton University of Houston, with a live-streaming broadcast for all virtual attendees. Don’t miss out on this cosmic experience of knowledge and community interaction.

Our session is named Master Class: Orchestrating Daily Tasks Like a Pro.

In this class, through live demonstration, you will learn the secrets to more effective process automation with System Center 2012 R2 in the context of two common enterprise use case scenarios. Professors Bengtsson and Zerger will share methods and strategies to answer some of the toughest challenges to enterprise automation

It will be a great mix of System Center, best practice, Swedish, English, lesson learned, demos, more demos and a lot of tips and trix.

Thanks Cameron for inviting me!

More info here


System Center Universe

At System Center Universe I will present two sessions together with Pete Zerger

  • Iron chef Cloud: The Sequel – Cooking Up Gourmet Automation Solutions with System Center and Server 2012 R2
  • 14 Tips and Tricks to bring your Orchestration Effort to the next level

It will be a mix of System Center R2, best practice, Swedish, English, lesson learned, demos, more demos and a lot of tips and trix.

See you there! :)

TechEd Follow up

I would like to start by saying THANK YOU to everyone that attended mine and Pete sessions and made them to top-15 sessions for the Modern Datacenter track at TechEd NA. If you did not attend TechEd or if you did and want to watch the session again you can find them at


  • Orchestrator Crash Course, link
  • Orchestrator Integration Packs, link

Microsoft Management Summit (MMS)

  •  Best Practices For Runbook Authoring and Managing Orchestrator, link

Nordic Infrastructure Conference (NIC)

  • Lessons-learned around runbook design, link
  • Busting the time wasters in your IT environment, link

MMS SD-B317 follow up

I would like to start by saying THANK YOU to all 625+ that attended mine and Pete session and made it to one of the top-10 sessions at MMS 2013 🙂 Based on the request in the evaluation form and requests after the session I will try to share all things shown in the session. Video of the session can be found here http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/MMS/2013/SD-B317 , and PowerPoint SD-B317_Bengtsson. Marnix Wolf made some good notes during the session http://thoughtsonopsmgr.blogspot.com/2013/04/mms-2013-best-practices-for.html

The Excel sheet we used during the session to estimate the Orchestrator database size can be found here, Estimate the Orchestrator database size.

I have written a set of runbooks that will check your other runbooks according to best practices, download the runbook validator here. The “runbook validator” will check most of the things that Pete and I talked about during our session.

The runbook we discussed during the BOF session is included in this BOFdemo export file.


Please post a comment if you have any more questions around what we showed and discussed in the session

Microsoft TechEd North America and TechEd Europe

At Microsoft TechEd North America and Microsoft TechEd Europé 2013 I will present

Microsoft System Center 2012 – Orchestrator Crash Course
Orchestrator 2012 is here! Are you finally going to learn the drag-drop-done way or will you continue with your moonshine scripts? No scripting experience needed, use Orchestrator as it is meant to be used to accomplish integration, automation, and orchestration across your systems. This session starts with planning and deployment of Orchestrator, we then move on to start integrate and build runbooks. We give you a fast track, and highlight best practices and pitfalls to avoid. Join this session to learn how to become the integration and automation hero in your organization.

Join this session to get a quick introduction of Orchestrator and how to use it in your IT environment. See you there! 🙂


SD-B317 Best Practices For Runbook Authoring and Managing Orchestrator @ MMS

At MMS 2013 I will present a session together with Pete Zerger

This session will cover how to author and organize runbooks created in Orchestrator so they can be easily reused, tested, and debugged. It will also cover some of the challenges customers face when managing the environment and best practices to follow.

During the session we will walk through the best practices and lessons learned around Orchestrator runbook design . We will highlight what works and pitfalls to avoid. Join this session to get ideas and tips how to get most out of Orchestrator and success with the automation in your datacenter.

See you there 🙂

Nordic Infrastructure Conference (NIC)

NIC is a premier event for all IT-professionals, offering broad technical education on Microsoft and 3. party products, tools and services. Our two day event will focus on deep-dives and practical knowledge on the most used products. More info about NIC here.

A couple of weeks ago I presented two sessions at NIC in Oslo, both sessions can be seen at the following links

  • Best practices and lessons-learned around runbook design, link
  • Busting the time wasters in your IT environment, link