Microsoft Ignite 2015: Day 1 Thoughts

3 minute read

This year I had the fantastic opportunity to attend Microsoft Ignite. My first Microsoft conference! However, it is not all that I thought it would be. Now, do not get me wrong. There is some awesome stuff going on, but there are some things I am thrilled with.

My first issue is that as a Server Engineer, I feel like I am taking the back seat in terms of content with a lot of the material focused on Windows 10. Now, before you start getting your pitchforks and hunting me down in the hallways, I understand why Microsoft is making the massive push.

Microsoft already dominates the server market and a lot of the back end infrastructure, and for many the desktop market as well. But not the entire end-user device segment. They are making massive pushing in technology in terms of getting end-users to use Windows 10 on not only desktop but on mobile devices first. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated as much in his keynote stating “Mobile First. Cloud-First.” Many times. Windows 10 has a lot of cool features, and what they are doing with the Surface, which I am using the newly released today Surface 3 to write this on, mobile devices and the integration between all of them is fantastic.

The concept of one OS to rule all devices is not new. Ubuntu started this trend several years ago with Unity. Which, in my opinion, the primary reason why it flopped for Ubuntu is simply because of market share dominance. Microsoft has the power to push this one device for all to the forefront of consumers, which is excellent. And as a consumer and a nerd, I love what they are doing. If everything that Microsoft is promising is true when Windows 10 mobile comes out, I may jump ship from Android to a Win10 mobile device next upgrade.

However, with that being said. As a Server Engineer, and with my intent to come to the conference to better myself as an IT Professional and bring value back to my business for sending me to ignite I must admit I was disappointed by Nadella’s keynote.

Sure he talked a great deal about cloud computing, but the focus on his cloud computing was it being the glue that brought all of the experiences that end users have on their multitude of devices together seamlessly from one device to another. Which is cool, but not what gets me paid. I’m sure my college that is the team lead for our Desktop Engineering team got a lot more value out of the keynote than I did.

Now there was some cool stuff that got perked my interest as a server engineer. The Azure Stack, which allows you to run the same bits within your own data center as what powers Azure in Microsoft Data Centers. And the Microsoft Operations Management Suite.

I find the Operations Management Suite interesting because the idea is you use it to manage your entire infrastructure. It does not matter if it is running on Azure, AWS, Linux, OpenStack or Windows Server on-prem. The Operations Management Suite allows you to have a single view within your infrastructure to see all of your assets and act on the data presented to you. I think it is some really cool stuff that has a lot of potentials to better your environment no matter what it is running.

Finally, my biggest disappointment out of Day 1 at Ignite was the evening keynote, titled “The Next Era of Computing: Seeing the Future Before It Happens.” I walked into this expecting to see new technology that will be coming from Microsoft in the next 5 or so years. However, instead of getting that I got a talk about Quantum computing, which while is fantastic and cool and if it works will revolutionize the way computing is done…. that is a technology that at best, is 15-20 years away. Once again cool stuff but nothing that as a Server Engineer gives me more value or knowledge to take back to the office and better my infrastructure or processes and provide more value to the business.

So overall, I thought Day 1 at Ignite was a wash. There was some bad, there was some good, and there was some Meh.