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It’s all about Azure Stack!

 

I have been looking forward to Microsoft Ignite 2017 for some time. This year, I was on a mission to attend as many of the Azure Stack sessions as possible. Luckily, Azure Stack was easily one of the most talked about subjects this year, with close to 27 different sessions on the subject. I had a very full week planned out, but after getting stuck in the backwoods of British Columbia for 16 hours, I had some difficulties getting to the show. As such, I missed out entirely on Day 1, so my re-cap starts with Day 2.

 

I started out Day 2 of Ignite walking to the Expo in the Florida heat and humidity. I had never been this far south in all my travels before, so this was a unique experience. Living in the Pacific Northwest just does not prepare you for it.  It was like the Cretaceous period.

 

Even the grass was strange…

Azure Breakout Sessions

 

Productivity and Protection for your Employees, Partners, and Customers with Azure Active Directory

Once at the expo, I met up with fellow co-worker, Martin Booth (@mgbnet), and we attended a session led by Nasos Kladakis (@AKladakis) and Alex Simons (@Alex_A_Simons) covering all things Azure AD related. The session was pretty jam packed with content, as they covered new enhancements for conditional access, session control, Azure MFA, and MFA Server.  Third party MFA providers in Azure AD and Cloud app security integration for ALL your Azure AD Applications were covered as well. In addition to all of the content, Nasos and Alex also announced that ID Sync + Pass-though Authentication with Seamless SSO is now available. You can watch this session here.

 

Updating and Servicing Microsoft Azure Stack

After a short break, I continued the mission for Azure Stack sessions, and I attended this Breakout session ran by Justin Incarnato (@justininc). Easily a Level 300 session, this Breakout gave the nitty gritty of the hardware/software update process for Azure Stack, and I got a great ‘under the hood’ look at how the Azure Stack management system works. For a deep dive into what to expect from your OEM and Partners when updating and servicing Microsoft Azure Stack, you can watch this Breakout session here.

 

Digital Transformation with Microsoft Azure and Azure Stack

This Breakout session led by Jeffrey Snover (@jsnoverand Mark Russinovich (@markrussinovichwas a packed.  This session was standing room only, surprising everyone.

Azure Stack Breakout Session
Azure Stack Breakout Session
Azure Stack Breakout Session

This session was a highly informative of not just what Azure Stack is, but also what it’s not.  Jeff and Mark covered the Microsoft Ecosystem and Partners can work seamlessly as an all up solution with Azure Stack.  You can watch Jeff and Mark’s session here.

 

Microsoft Azure Stack Delivery and Operations Overview

Once I took a quick lunch at the common area, I headed off to this Breakout session led by Vijay Tewari (@vtango).

This session was a Level 200 all up on what to expect end to end on purchasing, deploying, and operating a new Azure Stack system. If you are thinking of purchasing or using Azure Stack, I recommend checking out the session here.

 

Operating Principles of Microsoft Azure Stack

I ended my day with one more Breakout Session, Operating principles of Microsoft Azure Stack.  This Level 300 session was led by Daniel Savage (@dsavageatms) and Charlie Satterfield (@chasat), and it offered a pretty good deep dive on the role of Azure Stack, as well as the best operational practices for Azure Stack. This was a good session for IT Pros, and it’s well worth the watch here.

The Expo Floor

The Expo floor was huge, and it was clear that Azure Stack was the focus product. All 4 of the major hardware vendors supporting Azure Stack were present – Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Cisco.  Each had a working, physical Azure Stack appliance to showcase, and it was really great to see these devices in person. I was able to get a hands on discussion with the vendors about the product, as we were able to discuss what the product was, how it worked, and what a potential customer would expect using the product. Having just come from Vijay’s session on this very subject, it was great to hear that all the vendors were on the same page, truly showing a proper partnership with Microsoft.

After my jam packed Day #2 schedule, I headed to the Expo Social Hour where Veeam (@veeam) was offering up some tasty beer.

And with that, my (first) day was complete!