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Microsoft Ignite/Envision: Fueling Inspiration for the 4th Industrial Revolution, Part 2
Gordon McKenna, CTO, Public Cloud
Thursday, October 25, 2018

I attended Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida, from Sept. 24-28. Aside from Ignite, I also attend the inspiring invitation-only Envision event featuring special content for the C-Suite. In my previous post, I shared my thoughts on the transformative digital revolution that’s shaking just about every company in every market across the globe. Microsoft’s thought leadership in this area—helps shape the trajectory of Ensono’s role as an MSP.  

We have the pleasure of helping our clients take advantage of the right technology as they move into the public cloud; furthermore, as it stands, we’re consumers of the same technology. We use our first-hand experiences to provide cutting-edge solutions to our customers and help them embrace their unique digital transformations—and our work is tied closely with our partners’ innovations. So here, let’s take a closer look at the technology that was introduced at conference (I’ve never seen so many product releases at a single event!) and explore its alignment with Ensono’s goals.  

IoT

Microsoft showcased no less than 9 Internet of Things product enhancements at the conference, and we could not have been more motivated as we provide the cloud-based infrastructure that our customers need to collect and make sense of massive data sets that are inherently difficult to manage on-premise. We’re already rolling out Azure IoT Hub, which helps companies receive, register, process and scale up to millions of IoT devices.  But since there’s no use having devices without computing power, we expect to see an explosion of such devices with the launch of 5G next year. For those who haven’t heard of the forthcoming 5G networks that Telco’s will be rolling out next year, this will represent the single biggest leap in mobile wireless speed and quality. To put this in perspective, 4G LTE currently delivers transfer speeds of about one gigabit per second in terms of performance—an average HD Movie would take about an hour to load. 5G delivers 10 gigabits per second, so the same movie would literally be downloaded in seconds. 

Add to this significantly reduced latency, which means load times will be faster and you have the basis for an explosion in data-bearing and transmitting devices with lightning-speed data transfer. In my opinion, this stride forward in connecting devices to cloud and people to data and insights will signal one of the biggest advancements in cloud computing—and Microsoft are maneuvering themselves smartly to be the platform that this revolution will be connected to with their “Intelligent Cloud – Intelligent Edge” positioning.     

Azure Blueprints

As a service provider in public cloud, it’s important that we always deliver the most secure, compliant, well-managed and controlled platforms for our customers setting forth on their datacenter transformation journey—but it’s difficult to accomplish this at large scale. With the public preview for Azure Blueprints underway, we can look forward to a one-click solution for setting up preconfigured subscriptions that contain access controls, security, compliance polices, and resources. This will allow Ensono to further enhance our fully automated and fully managed Azure Cloud offering to deliver a slicker and more complete service to our clients as they expand their cloud footprint and start to innovate for the future.   

Cloud Governance

Microsoft continues to invest in governance services from Policy Management to Cost Management through to blueprints—this is an area that’s highly complementary to Ensono’ s work in cloud governance with our Cloud Management Platform, Hyper Cloud Platform (HCP). What’s most important to our clients implementing public cloud is that they can maintain full visibility into the cost of running business services in Azure while achieving peace of mind that their environments are controlled, standardized, and locked down from security perspective. Ultimately, Microsoft’s investments in this area will extend our cloud platforms capabilities, which in turn will impact the ease with which customers can deploy new business services whilst taking away the worry that services will be deployed without the right configuration, in the wrong place, or out of compliance.  

DevOps

Microsoft announced a number of new tech elements that will make the DevOps experience easier—part of the company’s recent efforts to promote innovation and help users operationalize IT in the cloud. Azure DevOps was the pick of the bunch for me, which is a whole new platform of joined-up DevOps tools and processes that really make DevOps very easy to do.   

With Git repositories for source control, Kanban boards to support your agile Scrum methodologies, tools for testing your apps and highly customizable dashboards—all topped off with a web experience that my grandma could use—this could really be the tool that makes operationalizing your IT around cloud much simpler. We will see. What I do know is we will definitely be incorporating these tools into our own quickly growing DevOps enablement practice so we can continue to make sure that we offer the right pace of innovation our cloud clients demand. 

As I said before, Ignite and Envision, amounted to what was easily one of the best conferences I’ve attended. I’m excited to bring the insights and updated products to our own IT environment as well as customers’.  

Our clients count on us to make sure they’re not wasting time on the wrong technology and always pushing their business and technical boundaries as far as they can to achieve a competitive advantage. My experience at this year’s Ignite and Envision conference reinforced my confidence that we’re collectively on the right track towards a very bright future.   

About the Author

Gordon is Ensono's CTO of Public Cloud. Gordon has been awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) 2018-2019, Cloud and Datacenter Management. He is one of the world's leading experts in Microsoft Cloud and Management Technologies, with over 22 years experience in Microsoft datacentre and cloud based technology from his early days as a management specialist with Mission Critical Software and NetIQ, and more recently as founder and owner of Cloud Transformation Specialist Inframon, an Ensono company. Gordon has been personally responsible for some of the largest implementations of System Center and Azure in EMEA and is one of the leading evangelists and industry thought leader for these technologies in the world, regularly presenting at global technology events such as Ignite, TechDays Online Microsoft Tech Summit as well as various other community and partner based events worldwide.