A Future of Choice and Collaboration at Microsoft Ignite 2017

Last week, thousands of IT professionals headed to Orlando for Microsoft Ignite, the annual conference dedicated to giving IT professionals and developers a preview of the new service offerings Microsoft is developing. As a longstanding Microsoft partner, we look forward to Microsoft Ignite every year. Read on to check out our top takeaways from this year’s conference.

Engineering Tomorrow’s Workplace

The new technologies Microsoft is integrating into its portfolio will prepare its customers for the “workplace of the future.” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during his Ignite keynote that the nature of work is “no longer about routine tasks. It’s about unlocking the creativity of your organization, and going beyond individual productivity to dynamic teams.” The Microsoft 365 software bundle, which includes Office 365 as well as device management and security capabilities, is a commitment to facilitating workplace collaboration. This software bundle acts as a “strategic digital asset” for enterprises looking to connect the knowledge held by individual employees.

This collaborative vision for modern workplaces is also the rationale behind the evolution of Microsoft Teams. During Ignite, Microsoft announced that their workplace communication app would replace Skype for Business in Office 365. With this announcement, Microsoft also shared that Microsoft Teams will be “getting new calling features such as call transfer, voicemail, and calling to and from external phone numbers.”

More Options

For Microsoft, the future doesn’t only mean more collaboration; it also means more choices for customers. Ignite attendees were introduced to the general availability of Azure Stack, which lets customers implement components of the Azure Cloud into their on-premises infrastructure. Enterprises now have even more options for embracing the cloud.

Microsoft also announced the general availability of SQL Server 2017. The latest release of Microsoft’s chief database will run on various versions of Linux, as well as Windows, and Docker Enterprise Edition containers.  In addition, the new managed database instance offerings of Azure SQL Database Instance was introduced into public preview.  Customers will now be able to maximize existing licenses with discounted rates on the new instances using a new Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL server.

The introduction of Azure Availability Zones allows for more options for resiliency and high availability.  Customers can architect solutions for their mission-critical applications with increased fault tolerance to potential data center related failures.  Availability Zones will have redundant power, cooling and networking and Microsoft will be offering increased 99.99% virtual machine uptime SLAs when generally available.

Finally, years ago, Microsoft incorporated machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities into their cloud platform. Back then, the service was strictly run on Microsoft Azure. At Ignite, Microsoft announced the next generation of Azure ML gives organizations options through three components: Azure ML Workbench, Azure ML Experimentation service, and Azure ML Model Manager service. These components give developers more versatility in their experimentation and fostering increased rates of innovation.

Microsoft’s focus on initiatives around increased choice and collaboration are precisely in line with our approach to the cloud. Here at Datapipe, we believe in providing our clients with the best cloud solution for them – whether that’s through on-premises infrastructure, the public cloud, or some combination of the two. We aim to handle the day-to-day IT operations for our clients so they can focus on what truly matters: strategy and innovation. We were excited to see these values reflected at this year’s Ignite and proud to partner with an organization that shares our perspective on the industry.

Datapipe has joined forces with Rackspace to create the world’s leader in multi-cloud managed services. Learn more about the acquisition here.

David Lucky is a Product Marketing leader at Rackspace for the Managed Public Cloud services group, a global business unit focused on delivering end-to-end digital transformation services on AWS, Azure, GCP and Alibaba. David came to Rackspace from Datapipe where as Director of Product Management for six years he led product development in building services to help enterprise clients leverage managed IT services to solve complex business challenges. David has unique insight into the latest product developments for private, public and hybrid cloud platforms and a keen understanding of industry trends and their impact on business development. He holds an engineering degree from Lehigh University and is based out of Jersey City, NJ. You can follow David on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/davidlucky and Twitter @Luckys_Blog.