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Microsoft #Ignite 2016 – In Review by @DavidMDavis

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There was a lot of excitement recently at the Microsoft’s annual user conference – Ignite 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. With over 23,000 IT Pros in attendance from around the world, bigtime keynotes in the arena, and countless new innovations across a wide breath of products – it was a great show! In years passed it seemed that Microsoft’s lack of innovation had the software giant slowly dying in its own “blue screen of death” but that’s no more. Between their growing Azure cloud, new Windows 10 & 2016 operating systems, Office 365, and innovative Surface tablet – Microsoft has found their mojo.

Here’s what you missed at Microsoft Ignite 2016:

For those who couldn’t make the show, here are the new Microsoft announcements that you missed, broken up into two areas of focus – Azure and Windows Server 2016:

Microsoft Azure

  • The new Azure Monitor is in Public Preview – with the ability to bring in metrics from just about every Azure service or Azure VM (without installing anything additional in the Azure instances), the new Azure metrics (part of Monitor) is easy to use and beautiful.

1-microsoft-azure-monitor-public-preview

  • Azure Security Center Enhancements – the new features include integrated vulnerability assessment (in preview), expanded web application firewall, Azure storage security assessment (preview), and new threat detection.
  • Azure Stack, 2nd technical preview – the on-premises version of Azure that allows you to run your own private cloud using identical software to that of your private cloud. According to Microsoft’s Julia White, Microsoft’s view of hybrid cloud isn’t just connecting on and off premises – true hybrid cloud is running the same software stack both on and off premises.
  • Other announcements include Azure DNS General Availability (similar to the AWS Route 53 public DNS), Azure CLI 2.0 Preview, numerous new Azure networking announcements, and that Adobe will be moving their clouds to Microsoft Azure.

Windows Server 2016

  • Microsoft announced that Windows Server 2016 had moved to RTM and will be GA in October. System Center 2016 has also launched.
  • Windows Server 2016 offers numerous new virtualization features and the ability to run Docker containers. The full list of Windows Server 2016 new features is available here.

2-windows-server-2016

  • As part of the Windows Server 2016 launch, Microsoft is offering a free Windows Server 2016 Datacenter license to existing VMware customers. More information on this is available here.

If you’d like to watch the keynotes, you can do that here. Mark your calendar for Ignite 2017 in Orlando, Florida, September 25-29, 2017.

David’s Thoughts

My thinking on the Ignite 2016 announcements and the direction of Microsoft is that, when it comes to cloud, Microsoft might not have been the first public cloud nor are they most popular today but with most enterprises using their applications to do business and with Azure being just as easy to use as existing Windows applications – it’s no surprise that the adoption of Azure is rapidly increasing. AWS may be “for cutting edge SaaS startups” but Azure is the cloud for business – no matter whether you are a SMB or enterprise. When it comes to the VMware vs Microsoft battle, Microsoft seems more confident and aggressive than ever before. They can now run Docker containers, their virtualization features are good enough for most enterprises, they offer free Windows OS licenses when you use the datacenter edition. Now they are even offering free Windows 2016 Datacenter if you jump off VMware’s ship!

I was honored to be able to attend Ignite 2016 – these are exciting times for Microsoft customers, partners, and end users!

David Davis
david@actualtechmedia.com

Follow David on Twitter   David Davis is a partner at ActualTech Media. With over 20 years in enterprise technology, he has served as an IT Manager and has authored hundreds of papers, ebooks, and video training courses. He’s a 6 x vExpert, VCP, VCAP, & CCIE# 9369.

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