What We Learned at Microsoft Ignite 2015
Motifworks had a great experience in Chicago last week at the Microsoft Ignite Conference. We learned so much during an exciting week of announcements. Here are our key takeaways:
Azure Cloud is Positioned for the Enterprise
Instead of going after some of the newer companies and startups which made their competitor, AWS, so big, Microsoft sees more value in capturing the enterprise market.
Creating Consistent Experiences
This is a key objective of Azure, including across the cloud, on-premises, and with hybrid solutions. For companies with data-enabled product and services strategies, this is essential.
As Brad Anderson, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for cloud and enterprise said, “You’ve told us you want Azure — all of Azure — in your data centers. Azure Stack … is literally us giving you all of Azure to run in your data centers.” The Azure Stack brings the power of Azure into your datacenter. It gives you much more than Azure Pack and is not just a subset of Azure capabilities, but provides an extension of Azure itself.
The Azure Stack brings the capabilities of Azure to your private cloud, including a consistent Azure experience, along with the new Azure Portal that exists in the public Azure interface. Azure Stack delivers Azure-based IaaS and PaaS services in your datacenter, allowing you to further customize the services to meet the needs of your users.
Some main features of Azure Stack were announced:
- User access policy management system duplicated same as the on in Azure Portal
- Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) which is a very familiar concept to many Windows Server Admins
- Hyper-V Containers and Nano Server – Microsoft container technology
- Azure Service Fabric to build and deploy modern hyper-scale applications using micro-services
The Hybrid Cloud Makes Azure Trustworthy, Flexible and Integrated within your Datacenter
Microsoft’s new ExpressRoute premium offering provides global connectivity with ANY Azure region across the globe. The new ExpressRoute premium add-on also supports up to 10,000 routes. Both ExpressRoute and ExpressRoute premium will support connectivity to Office 365 including Skype for Business.
Microsoft announced the Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) to deliver heterogeneous management capabilities for any cloud. OMS allows enterprises to manage Azure or AWS, Windows Server or Linux, VMware or OpenStack using the all-in-one cloud IT management solution.
Several new networking services and capabilities in Azure were also announced, including
- Multiple Virtual IPs for cloud services
- User-defined routes and Port forwarding
- public preview of Azure DNS
- coexistence of Azure ExpressRoute and Site-to-Site VPN
- ability to move reserved IP addresses between services and Networking support for Azure Resource Manager
The Azure Cloud completes the Enterprise Cloud including IaaS, PaaS, Data/Blob Storage, Identity and Machine Learning. What makes Azure different than its competitors is Microsoft’s vision of the complete cloud. Microsoft has a great advantage with its Active Directory which is probably used by 90% of enterprises today. Active Directory along with Azure AD make the Microsoft Azure cloud complete, which other platforms like AWS and Google lack.