Wow what a couple of busy weeks! The looooong running RFP I’ve been working on with a bunch of folks finally went in. Designing and pricing a project to move over ten thousand VMs to Azure is an interesting challenge. That there is also substantial datacenter management and managed services involved as well required a large team and partners. We’ll find out soon whether we won this one or not, fingers crossed. In the meantime, this week I co-instructed an internal Azure training course and we put 80 Microsoft Services folks through a rigorous Azure make it real course where we challenge them with a very difficult scenario and break the class into teams of 8 – 10 people and make them create, implement, and demonstrated a design challenge in Azure. For this course it was a connected car scenario using IoT Hub and a bunch of other Azure services. The “infrastructure’ people, whom I represent, were responsible for the end to end dev/ops implementation (VSO, Git, ARM templates, DSC) as well as designing a monitoring solution. While we do a ton of pure infrastructure work, this course was designed to push infrastructure folks well outside their comfort zone. Mission accomplished there The reason is the changing nature of our projects in a cloud world.
As always there was a raft of interesting Azure (and Azure Stack!) announcements this week.
Today, Microsoft is delivering on the next phase of its hybrid cloud strategy with the first Technical Preview of Microsoft Azure Stack – the only hybrid cloud platform that is consistent with a leading public cloud. Born from Azure, Azure Stack helps organizations deliver Azure services from their own datacenter.
With Azure Stack, Microsoft is bringing proven innovation – including IaaS and higher level PaaS services – from hyper-scale datacenters to on-premises, enterprise-scale environments to meet customers’ business requirements.
Announcing the first Technical Preview of Microsoft Azure Stack
With Azure Stack, Microsoft is bringing proven innovation – including IaaS and higher level PaaS services – from hyper-scale datacenters to on-premises, enterprise-scale environments to meet customers’ business requirements. Announcing the first Technical Preview of Microsoft Azure Stack | Microsoft Azure Blog
And one more:
Microsoft Azure Stack Technical Preview is now available for download
Following up on our announcement earlier this week, the first Technical Preview of Azure Stack is now available for download!
Today, we’re also releasing a whitepaper providing more information on key Azure Stack concepts and capabilities that should help you gain a much richer understanding of our approach. Be sure to read it so you’re fully up to speed. Microsoft Azure Stack Technical Preview is now available for download | Microsoft Azure Blog
So the Azure Stack era begins… I’ve been struggling with this one to be honest. I used to be one of the leading experts on Hyper-V and private cloud IaaS. I still have a lot of depth there but have been in Azure land for a year or two now almost exclusively. There is a huge amount of new technology in WS 2016, SC 2016, and Azure Stack. Many things I wished I would have had when architecting solutions over the last couple years. I think Azure Stack is going to be very exciting for a lot of customers, but I do wonder how this will land as I’m starting to see more and more customers wanting to get out of the datacenter business entirely.
Cloud innovation for the year ahead: From infrastructure to innovation
We saw several trends accelerate in 2015 which address some of the barriers to adoption – for example, hybrid cloud solidified its place as the de facto model for managing applications and data across on-premises and cloud environments, at least for the foreseeable future. Other trends emerged in response to the unrelenting pace of application innovation driven by the cloud. For example, containerization became a popular way to build and deploy cloud applications more rapidly, and advanced services like machine learning, predictive analytics and the Internet of Things continued to drive business innovation. In short, the pace of the cloud continues to accelerate, and that will remain the case for the foreseeable future. Cloud innovation for the year ahead: From infrastructure to innovation
When Mark Russinovich speaks, you listen Some good insights in here. The focus on PaaS and Data is interesting. The class I helped teach this week was a great example, a very complex solution deployed without a single IaaS VM or traditional infrastructure.
Machine Learning in Azure Security Center
At Microsoft, we analyze 300 billion user authentications and check 200 billion emails for spam and malware monthly. We also have unprecedented visibility into cloud infrastructure choices, platforms and the activity therein. Such visibility has no precedent in the on-premises world.
Sounds great, right? But, how do you make sense of so much data and turn it into cyber security? Machine Learning in Azure Security Center
These scenarios where analytics across the entire cloud ecosystem are used to improve everyone’s cybersecurity are an example of what Marc mentioned in the previous article about security becoming a cloud enabler. When many companies don’t even know they’ve been hacked until months or years later, these types of proactive services can be business saving.
That’s it for this week, add a comment if you saw any other interesting announcements or posts.