When I was growing up and enjoying being a spotty teenager I could never settle on one favourite band.I finally compromised with two from completely opposite ends of the spectrum.
Both these bands gave me several important benefits as a teenager. First and most important they made each day a little bit easier to manage and left me feeling more productive and well balanced. Secondly they gave me kudos with my peer group for being so hip and trendy and up to date with modern music. Finally they did the job they were supposed to do, made damn good music and kept me entertained.
Let’s zoom forward around 33 years, to the modern day. I am now in a position where I have to choose my next favourite band. This choice is altogether more difficult.The market is full of Bands promising me the world. Full of hope and anticipation. I can be fitter, sleep better, keep in contact with the world. You name it these bands can do it.
For several years I have been on the cusp of something big in the personal fitness monitor space. I always held off, as a long distance runner I had always relied on my Garmin ForeRunner to map out distance, speed and heart rate for Marathons and training runs.
Now two unthinkable things have happened, I can no longer run long distances due to Doctors orders AND my trusty Garmin has given up the ghost and gone to that gadget drawer in the sky.
Yes, I am in the market for a more consumer based fitness tracker. But being an IT Pro, a gadget lover and a Technical Evangelist means that I will not put up with just any band.I made enquiries of my friends and colleagues who use all manner of bands.The one thing that kept coming back to me was the new Microsoft Band is just super cool, super- efficient and does everything it says on the tin.
The one big drawback is that it is not available in the UK yet and I have no real way of getting one in the short term. Unlike my MVP friends who all seem to have scored one at the MVP summit in November last year.One of my MVP friends came back with this quote.
“There are some things in this world that you just simply don’t appreciate. Especially until you have had a chance to experience the value of that thing and then when you own that thing, you simply can’t imagine what life was like before. This is how I feel about my Microsoft Band”
Powerful claims indeed. This got me thinking a band that simply does fitness stuff is useless to me, so what can the Microsoft Band do for me a humble IT pro, how can it make my working day shorter, my leisure time longer and still not lose me my job.
So I am going to put aside all the things that other bands do. Sleep tracking, step measuring etc. I want to know how I can use the band I am obviously going to buy to manage my Datacenter?
To do this I need to use some form of monitoring and alerting software for Servers, clients and other general IT stuff. Luckily with System Center 2012 R2 and specifically System Center Operations Manager (lovingly known as SCOM) I can make sure that anything that is happening or is likely to happen that will cause me a headache at work can immediately be transmitted to me. I can filter out various day to day events that are not critical and only receive the ones that matter through the use of VIP lists of email addresses.
So there I am, lying on the beach, wearing my band, watching some Microsoft Virtual Academy training videos on my trusty Lumia 1520 4G smartphone. Whilst sipping a tasty beverage.
Suddenly my Microsoft Band vibrates to tell me I have a VIP email from my SCOM server, I glance at the screen and using Quick Read on the band, I can see that there is a potential issue with one of my Microsoft Azure Website Front-end VM’s, which will also impact on one of my backend on-premises SQL Server VM’s. These run my e-commerce system which pays for me to lie on the beach in the first place.
This calls for drastic action. I stop watching the training video and switch to the Remote Desktop app on Windows Phone 8.1. From there I can remediate both virtual machines within 10 minutes, revert to the training video and continue with my Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred.
Not forgetting to ask Cortana to remind me to check the machines again in the morning.
How long into the future must we wait for such a scenario to become reality?
Well the answer is only until I get my hands on a Microsoft Band.
All of this is available NOW.
I can now roll over take a look at my Health app on the Lumia (or on Android or iPhone) and make sure that the UV rays are not too high or that my shares are doing what I want them to, or even if I have burned enough calories this week to have another drink. All from the band or the dashboard built into my app.
Decision made, money saved all I need is to get hold of that Band.
Who ever said the life of an IT pro was boring?
I just hope the Microsoft Band keeps going as long as my previous favourites have. I saw both Dr. Feelgood and Blondie at the Glastonbury Festival last year.