Category: Azure

Microsoft Ignite 2019 Wrap

Another Microsoft Ignite Conference is in the books.  This year’s event, hosted in Orlando, Florida unleashed a treasure trove of announcements both big and small.  Just within the area of Azure there were 118 announcements queued up for last week in the Azure Updates listing with most (if not all) of the services in Preview this fall making their official transition to General Availability last week.

Announcements

Here are the five focus areas I noticed:

  • Hybrid
  • Data
  • AI
  • Security
  • Serverless

Hybrid

Arguably the biggest announcement of the conference may have been the Azure Arc service which provides organizations a consistent, single interface to govern and manage resources on-premises, using Azure Stack, in Azure, or other cloud platforms.  Should be a great service for organizations that still manage multiple local or collocation centers, in addition to cloud services on one or more platforms.

Data

There was a lot going on for data people starting with the official GA of SQL Server 2019 and the introduction of Azure Synapse, Microsoft’s new data warehousing and analytics tool that can leverage on-premises and cloud data sources in addition to ML to quickly create powerful new insights on your data.  You can find a detailed introduction by Rohan Kumar here:

Azure Synapse.png
Azure Synapse Analytics – image from Microsoft

Three other Azure SQL announcements I find interesting include:

AI

In addition to all of the great AI capabilities being leveraged by Azure services like the Azure Security Center and the Azure Synapse Analytics previously mentioned, I was introduced to a new service currently in preview within Cognitive Services called Anomaly Detector.  Anomaly Detector is a tool that makes it super easy for developers to feed it regular time-series data.  Over time the ML will determine what is normal and abnormal operations and provide rich analytics for proactively identifying and solving problems.  I already have a rich use case for this, so look for a detailed write up soon.

Security

Security and trust continue to be a big area of focus both for Microsoft and its customers.  I see a continued focus on trying to get consistency between on-premises and cloud resources to identify issues as well as new ways to easily remediate identified threats.

Here are four announcements with impact that I noticed:

Serverless

I continue to be super excited by all of the great work happening in the world of serverless computing at Microsoft.  Ignite brought three big announcements I was happy to see.

General Thoughts and Wrapup

As a cloud consultant and technology evangelist I always find conferences like Ignite valuable to help me get aligned with where Microsoft is going, where companies are, and where they are trying to go with their technology decisions.  It can be difficult to remember that consultants are often on the cutting edge solving new and challenging problems so we forget that we may be ahead of the pack.  The continued focus on hybrid operations reflects the reality of where organizations are.  It was interesting to see how many organizations are still in the early planning or adoption for their cloud journey.

If you are reading this and near the beginning of your cloud journey, I highly recommend taking a look at Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) information which can help speed up your adoption remove some of the guesswork early on.

It was a great time, I learned a lot, and had a lot of great conversations.  Any conference that leaves me energized and hungry to learn more is a great investment.  Looking forward to future events!

Azure Table Storage Primer

As companies continue to move to the cloud we are constantly finding new and better way to meeting requirements and deliver rock solid solutions.  Over the last year there is one area where my team has found some great capabilities that I believe are currently under utilized by SharePoint and Office 365 developers, and that is Azure Table Storage.  For those that are not familiar with it, Azure Table storage is a service within the Azure Storage group that stores structured NoSQL data.  It is incredibly fast, inexpensive, and NoSQL gives you the capability to store content with flexible datasets.  We have started to rely on this for both internal products as well as client consulting engagements.  Thanks to the technical leadership and innovation from Jake Dan Attis we have started to find a number of creative uses for the service, some of those solutions I’ll be blogging about over the next few months.

In the meantime, here is a good primer for Azure Storage:

Along with some great links for working with Azure Table Storage:

 

 

 

 

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