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.
Here are the five focus areas I noticed:
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.
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:
Three other Azure SQL announcements I find interesting include:
- Azure SQL DB Serverless now GA
- Azure Cosmos DB Dev Experience Updates
- New Memory and Compute Optimized Hardware options for Azure SQL Database
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 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:
- Onboard On-Premises Servers to ASC
- Workflow Automation with Logic Apps
- Scan Container Images for Vulnerabilities in ASC
- Azure Bastion is now GA
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.
- Azure Functions Premium Plan is now GA
- PowerShell in Azure Functions is now GA – previously blogged Azure Automation Comparing Runbooks and Functions
- Azure SQL Database Serverless is now GA
- Durable Functions are now GA
- Azure Functions Integration with Monitor Logs is now in preview
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!