There was a deluge of announcements that came out over the last week or so, covering everything from networking enhancements, security, architectural changes and declarative file deployment. What are the ones I feel will have the biggest impact on your life as an IT Pro? Here’s my Top 5.
- Azure Resource Manager now supports Compute, Storage, Networking and More. This will probably be your biggest change you will need to address. No longer are you going to have to have long PowerShell scripts to create your deployments of multiple machines, custom storage accounts or tricky networking rules. Now it’s all contained inside declarative json files that will allow you to use a single line of PowerShell code, referencing that file in order to build your Azure infrastructure in parallel. Technically this was announced at /build – but it was explained in more depth for the IT Pro audience during Microsoft Ignite. I did an interview with Mahesh Thiagarajan on the Channel 9 Live Stage during one of the breaks where I asked him what the impact would be for IT Pros.
- Bring the power of Azure into your Datacenter with “Microsoft Azure Stack”. Yup – you will be able to bring into your own datacenters much of the same code base as Azure. Remember those declarative files I described above? You can deploy those same templates to your own infrastructure when you’ve implemented Microsoft Azure Stack. You’ll get the same experience as the Azure Resource Manager that lets you create and manage applications using declarative templates, apply RBAC rules, and tag resources. I had Mark Russinovich and Jeffrey Snover on to talk about this concept:
- Just how small is too small? It’s never too small. It’s taken years to get Jeffrey Snover’s pet project to where it could be publically discussed just before /build. In my opinion, Nano Server stole the show at build – it blew people away. But it was kind of a tease. You had to have access to the bits. Well at Microsoft Ignite – you got them, and the instructions on how to build your own custom micro sized server operating system based on the public Tech Preview #2. My good friend Joey Snow sits down with Jeffrey on the CH9 interview stage.
- There were a slew of Azure networking announcements that took place, I’ll group them together here loosely. Things that caught my eye in the networking space? User Defined Routes gives you granular control of the traffic between machines and network infrastructure in your subscription and it’s hybrid connectivity (even ExpressRoute connected networks). ExpressRoute Premium offerings with unlimited access to OTHER azure regions as well as site-to-site VPN for failover scenarios. Lastly – with these changes comes the ability to support various3rd party software appliances to do things like Intrusion Detection, load balancing, custom handling, proxy and more… Want to know more details? Distinguishd Engineer Yousef Khalidi has you covered with his blog post.
- One thing that made a splash at the end of the keynote on day one was a new “IT Management as a Service” style offering called Operations Management Suite. It’s available to preview today and light it up on your on premises systems, cloud based systems, AWS servers or VMware servers – doesn’t matter where they are. It delivers inner peace and heterogeneous cloud management. Think of our years of management experience now put into a cloud services where you don’t have to maintain the underlying infrastructure. Once you sign up and deploy the agents – you will instantly start to get more insight into issues with your systems and guidance on how to resolve it. We had Pierre Roman talk with Joseph Chan – principal program manager about what it means to IT Pros who are used to on-premises System Center.
As you can see – I’ve only given you my five top announcements and cool things for IT pros. We captured a bunch of them on the CH9 live interview stage – I’ve posted the relevant videos here in this post – but there are many more. Some were live streamed during the event – but a number of them are exclusive to those who discover them on CH9.