This week I’m at Madrid attending TechEd, Europe. I’ll try to blog the important content I’ve learned this week to keep as a record for myself and to show to the outside world, what’s happening here in Madrid.
Keynote: First day of the TechEd, Europe keynote is kick started by Brad Anderson, Corporate vice president. The main theme of the overall TechEd looks like it’s going to revolve around 4 major areas.
- People centric IT
- Modern Application Development
- Data insight
- Cloud Data centres
People Centric IT
People centric IT is all about personalized experience for users, access data anywhere, Bring your Own Device (BYOD), security around BYOD challenges. BYOD is not just a privilege anymore and it’s more of a user right these days. The developments around Windows 8 is really focused on end users. Make them productive across all devices.
Some of the key announcements in the keynote started with
- Windows Server 2012 R2
- System Center 2012 R2
- Windows InTune
Microsoft is taking Cloud First approach. Things get hardened in the cloud first and bring it to on premise giving the advantage for customers, based on the lessons Microsoft learned in the cloud. There are some astonishing numbers presented by Brad
- Authenticated 265 billion authentication.
- 500 domains in cloud
- 50,000 network changes per day
Workplace Join, Work Folder demo by Adam Hall
Next Adam Hall presented some of the new capabilities in Windows 8.1.
He started off with a Surface connected to internet, went to enterprise SharePoint site, entered the credentials and received Access denied error.
He then navigated to “Workplace join” and Register the device, he taken advantage of the Multifactor authentication using phone. Once the device is joined to workplace, he then navigated to the corporate SharePoint site and this time it worked seamlessly.
Next he demonstrated the management capabilities with Windows Intune on users own device by navigating to Workplace turn and turn on management.
Once the device is “Workplace Join” the user will automatically get connected to Windows Intune cloud based management, get all wifi, VPN connection etc. Once connected the user can then install company apps directly from Corporate store.
He then introduced the new “Work Folder”: New synchronization service from Windows Server 2012 R2. Similar to SkyDrive. IT admin can apply policies, like if a document contains specific keywords like “vNext” dynamic rights managements will apply and the document will automatically get protected and synchronized with corporate storage.
Once you are done with the device and you wanted to remove all corporate information, all you need to do is go to “Workforce” manage and click “Leave”. All of the corporate data will be removed including the corporate apps you installed from the corporate store.
Enable modern business applications
The next core pillar of today’s keynote is about building modern business applications and how the tools are evolving to support it. Modern business applications development revolves around
- Rapid Lifecycle
- Multi Device
- Any Data, Any Size
- Secure and available
Aviva use case:
On stage a promotional video of “Aviva” (a UK based Insurance company) use case was demonstrated. Aviva built an app (Windows, Apple, Android) users installs that application on their phone, they can start the application and after driving for 200 miles they can send the data to Aviva, based on their driving style a custom quote will be provided. This is much more accurate than relying on historical data in predicting user driving style. They have taken advantage of various cloud services for this application.
Virtual Network, Azure Pricing Changes – Mark Russinovich
Next Mark Russinovich highlighted some of the new capabilities recently introduced in Azure Cloud.
- Virtual Network, connecting to on-premise network
- MSDN/Azure for Dev/Test
It’s very easy not to create bunch of virtual machines in the cloud, create a virtual network, connect all of them together and seamlessly connect them to on-premise network. All you need to do is login to Azure management portal, download the VPN package installer and execute it. Once done your local network will be able to connect to Azure network.
Mark also demonstrated how you can deploy a website from Visual studio directly into cloud VM and he also demonstrated how you can attach the debugger to W3WP process running on the cloud VM and do live debugging.
There are some important pricing announcements
- No charge for stopped VM’s
- Per minute billing
- Use your MSDN licenses for Development/Testing and take advantage of huge savings
Application Lifecycle management – Brian Keller
Next Brian Keller started to showcase some of the important changes that’s coming in Visual Studio and TFS. Visual Studio 2013 and TFS 2013 will be released end of this year. The main focus is on Agile for big teams, Team rooms – real time collaboration with other person in team using rooms. Can access rooms anytime, example you can visit previous room discussions and get information.
Load Test: Use cloud VM to do it and simulate 1000’s of users easily
Release management: Microsoft acquired INRelease for release management on top of Team foundation server
Unlock insights from any data
The third pillar of the talk is about getting insight into data and taking advantage of it.
Bwin use case: BWIN is a gaming company they were struggling with maximum of 15,000 concurrent request per second, they took advantage of the new SQL Server capabilities Hekaton and able to scale to 250,000 concurrent request per second.
The key announcement on the data side is “SQL Server 2014” technical preview.
Eron Kelly explained some of the core cloud focused capabilities that’s coming in SQL Server 2014. Example you can have DR SQL in the cloud and have things like “Always ON” failing over to the Cloud SQL. The in-memory OLTP engine Hekaton is writable in memory allowing high throughput read/write in memory. In past data is written to page, in-memory stores at individual rows, much better performance. In SQL Server 2014 hot stored procedures can be compiled to native code getting much better performance.
Excel Power View to analyse data by business users.
Dandy Weyn – BI Demo
Next Dandy presented some of the new functionalities introduced in Excel for data visualization. There are two important topics showcased
- GeoFlow, and
- Data Explorer
GeoFlow interrogates the data in the Excel spread sheet and plot the data in a globe. Allows you to drill down into the data in a visual map. They demonstrated it by taking all the TechEd attendees registration data and drill down into various countries, various designations etc.
Data Explorer: This is mainly used to work with unstructured data. Ex: Connect to HD-Insight, pull data, add additional dimension and visualize it. They pulled twitter data, converted to JSON added some location information and visualized it using GeoFlow.
Transform the datacentre
The fourth and final pillar of the keynote is the transformation of data centre’s to the cloud. Brad started off with a use case by Telefonica where there are consolidating over 50 data centre’s across the world into 27 using Windows Azure in the next 3 years.
Consistency across cloud and on-premise is the number one goal for Microsoft, you use same set of services and tools to manage both your on-premise and cloud assets. Tools like System Centre Operations manager are enhanced to reach this vision.
Windows Azure Goodness on-premise – Clare Henry
Next Clare demonstrated how customers can take advantage of the benefits that’s available in the cloud on premise. She demonstrated the Windows Azure management portal running on a consumer own domain (used Contoso as example), you can create VM’s, manage them, apply policies, have multiple versions of OS images pushed by IT admins etc. Same seamless experience using Windows Azure management portal, but this time it’s just on your own enterprise.
Brad also announced the recent announcement of Microsoft – Oracle partnership, which brings the following benefits to Microsoft customers
- Oracle license mobility to windows azure
- Java fully supported in WA
- Oracle to offer Oracle Linux on WA
Storage Improvements – Jeff Woolsey
As final part of the keynote Jeff Woolsey presented some of the storage improvement that’s been made to Windows Server 2012 R2. He demonstrated some of the capabilities around “Storage Spaces”, where you create storage pool with combination of normal and SSD disks and how the IO/sec is improved dramatically from 7447 IO/s to 124,000 IO/sec using the new “Storage Spaces”. He also demonstrated improvements made in live VHD migration and how the “Deduplication” improvements reduced the migration time drastically by using intelligent caching techniques in the wire. Finally he demonstrated Live migrating using RDMA with no CPU utilization. Customers can also take advanced of Azure Recovery services to replicate (Hyper-v Replica) to migrate VHD’s from one site to another site seamlessly.