Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Microsoft’s Mobile-first, Cloud-first vision (part 1)

On Tuesday November 18th I attended Experts Live in Ede (NL). This event based on new Microsoft technology is held once a year. It was full house with almost 800 people listening to around 50 speakers divided over more then 40 sessions. Most of sessions and opening keynote was about Microsoft Azure technology. Let's have a look at my sessions attended and lessons learned!

I did 2 sessions on Microsoft Azure, 2 on Microsoft Intune, 1 one Azure RemoteApp and 1 on Windows 10 for Enterprise. The message was Mobile-first, Cloud-first in keynote and almost all sessions. It's about bringing all systems and applications to the cloud, and manage it from there! On-premises is definitely not hot anymore. Not on Directory Services, not on System Center, not on Exchange, not on SQL, not on management and monitoring. Time to start working from a new perspective, let go what is and move to the cloud ;)

As seen on the Azure footprint, Microsoft Azure is growing rapidly. At the moment there are 19 Azure datacenter regions open for business already. Numbers are changing fast (weekly), but just for overview I include some of them:
-New Azure customers a week: >10.000
-SQL databases in Azure: 1.200.000
-Storage objects: >30 trillion
-Active Directory (AD) users: 350 million
-AD authentications a week: >18 billion
Hyperscale: over 300 services spanning compute, storage and networking supporting a wide spectrum of workloads!

Microsoft Azure is booming business, changing fast with resources scaling up daily. Payment is done on resources used, not on VM's which are turned off. Microsoft released a new Azure portal preview which looks awesome to me. There is Azure Resource Manager to create deployment templates (for example: deploy SQL 2014 Always-On servers with a single template) and Azure Operational Insights for online monitoring. Furthermore there is Windows Azure Pack for managing Private clouds, Azure RemoteApp for global access to business applications, and Enterprise Mobility Suite for mobile management.

Last but not least there is Windows Phone Feature Pack for 8.x devices, which offers a richer policy set (and many more), Microsoft Identity Manager offers self-service identity management for users, and Azure AD Application Proxy offers access to on-premises applications from the cloud. Microsoft is doing a great job here! On both Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Intune you can start a 30-day trial to have a look at functionality. Just start it today and decide what it can do for your business/organization.

Some notes on Azure and RemoteApp:
-At the moment there are 19 Azure datacenter regions open for business this month (growing rapidly).
-Over 300 services spanning Compute, Storage and Networking supporting a wide spectrum of workloads!
-The new Azure portal is ready for role-based access and can be used for admins and view-only access now.
-New Azure G-family (Godzilla) systems are coming, with 32 cores, 448 GB RAM and 6,5 TB local SSD maximum!
-Azure RemoteApp offers applications on both Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, or Android. Applications runs on Windows Server in the Azure cloud, where they are easier to scale and update. Users can access the applications remotely from their Internet-connected device.
-With Windows 10 coming as One product family, One platform and One store, management is or can be done fully from the cloud.

I'm VERY excited about Microsoft’s Mobile-first, Cloud-first vision, and hope to be part of it very soon. Stay tuned for a next blogpost on new Microsoft Intune and Windows 10 features!

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