Microsofts annual conference Ignite has just ended in Orlando, Florida. It was around 30 000 people from all around the world attending. From Nethouse myself and my colleague Kristoffer Ardhage was the lucky ones to be able to be onsite and see all the new things first hand and also get some nice time in the sun before returning to a cold Sweden. Here you will get our view on this year’s highlights.
On Sunday it started with a pre-conference where you could spend the whole day on a specific topic and we were exploring “Securing the Modern Workplace with Microsoft 365”.
On Monday morning the entire conference started with a vision keynote by Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella. He focused on their vision on developing software that can empower everybody on the planet to be able to achieve more. They announced the “Open Data Initiative” that Microsoft have started together with Adobe and SAP. They also welcomed any other company to join. It basically handled about being able to share data between a heterogeneous world of systems and companies through standardized API’s.
It then opened up for over 1600 sessions through the rest of the week. As always there were an Expo hall where all the major suppliers were available and if that wasn’t enough you could do hands-on labs, meet with technical experts, network with other attendees etc.
The roadmap that Microsoft have been communicating for a couple years now continues Cloud, Cloud and some more Cloud. Well that’s not entirely true you could see a shift towards Hybrid-Cloud being a more accepted choice, at least for larger companies. One common thread throughout the week was Security. There are more and more breaches to security on both large and small companies (and coincidently Facebook at the same time published that 50 million accounts have been compromised in their service). The security in the modern IT-environment have moved from the perimeter to the identity. More and more services from Azure, Office 365, desktops, mobiles are giving the possibility to use Azure as their guardian for the identity. Services like Office 365 ATP, Windows desktop ATP, Azure ATP etc. are all exchanging information and using machine learning in the cloud to guard the end user for security breaches. It all looks very good and it definitely is a major step-up in security but it comes at a price, License cost. To be able to use all these security features you will need a Microsoft 365 E5 license (or a combination of Office 365 E5 + EMS E5). So, all you IT-Managers out there if there is one thing for the future, accept that you might need to spend more money on security proactively if you don’t want to publish a breach like Facebook.
For those that are not in the cloud yet, there were a lot of news as well. For instance, both Office 2019 and Windows Server 2019 are just launched. Exchange 2019, SharePoint 2019 and Skype for Business Server 2019 will be ready for GA later this year. Maybe not so many new features in these new versions but definitely worth the upgrade anyway, if not for the features so for security reasons and better possibilities to connect them as a hybrid.
In the other end many of you probably still run workloads on SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008. These will hit end of support by July 2019 and January 2020 respectively. This means no more updates to them, so it is time to plan the upgrade to newer versions. If no time to upgrade Microsoft is offering a possibility to extend support for 3 more years, if you move the workload to Azure!
To sum it up this was an exciting week and next years Ignite will also be at OCCC in Orlando, Florida. There is a new date though 4-8 of November. Hope to see you there!