Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tech-Ed Berlin 2010 – Day Three

Man! Next time when this event takes place in Berlin I am going to use roller skates! The place (Berliner Messe) is really huge and one has to cover many miles per day when attending all scheduled sessions. Besides that it can be a maze as well so sometimes it feels like running around in circles when trying to locate the location for the next session. The locations are divided among many satellite buildings and on different floors so sometimes it is a challenge to find it. A good recipe is just to follow the rest of the herd and hoping they are about to attend the same session as I have planned :).
Picture taken from a satellite building on the first level.

But still it is worth every single minute. Wouldn’t want to miss this at all.

Session 01:
The first session I attended was all about the Hyper-V Cloud related to the Fast Track. What Fast Track means is that organizations are enabled by Microsoft (and its partners like HP, Dell and IBM) to deploy a Private Cloud, based on Hyper-V technology, rather fast and at low costs by using Reference Architecture.

But what is the difference between Public and Private Clouds? This picture tells it all:

It was very interesting to hear that 80% of today’s deployed servers are used for P. On the other hand the number of P. servers is staying flat while the numbers of V. servers is growing annually by 40%. So very soon physical servers will be outnumbered by their virtualized counterparts.

The next step in virtualization is the Cloud whereas the Cloud can be looked upon as an automated environment where the end-user (organizations) are able to provision themselves the number and type of VMs by using the Self Service Portal. As a matter of fact, Microsoft just released Self-Service Portal 2.0, to be found here. What a coincidence! :)

With the Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track Microsoft targets at three main fields of interest:

  1. Deployment speed;
  2. Reducing risk;
  3. Flexibility and the freedom of choice.


The rest of the session was all about the three Architectural Principles and drilled deeper into each of them:

Also some video’s were shown from partners like IBM (about the Compute architecture component), Dell (about the Network architecture component)  and HP (about the Storage architecture component). It was interesting to see how these partners approached it from their own angle and yet integrated totally with the big picture.

The best news (from the SC perspective) is that the SC Suite is tightly integrated in this whole picture. To make it more clear I have added the related SC products in this screen dump:

So SC is not going to disappear when the Cloud becomes standard. No way. It is there from the beginning and will (at least this is what I think will happen) grow more and more into the whole Online Service as a much required component.

Last but not least the three different types of Hyper-V Cloud offerings were shown. But of course, this can change overtime since Microsoft is getting up to steam and changing its Cloud Service offerings in order to serve the market as good as they can:

The session was really great and the speakers knew their stuff all right. So it was time spent well.

Before I went to the second session I had an appointment with Ryan O’Hara, Senior Director Product Management 'Management & Security' of Microsoft. We talked about many things like the Cloud and how the SC Suite relates to that. A good, interesting and inspiring conversation it was. Good to meet some of the people who are driving the SC Suite.

Session 02:
This session was inter-active and all about Windows Intune.  Also very interesting to see how monitoring of Windows 7 based clients can be monitored from the Cloud.

Session 03:
All about the Dynamic Datacenter. The best thing was that all the ‘big’ guys from Microsoft were present (Adam Hall, Jason Buffington, Brjann Brekkan, Jeff Wettlaufer, Kenon Owens and Sean Christensen), thus representing all products of the SC Suite.

Since this was an interactive session, the people could ask questions and get them answered. Had some good laughs as well since they made some good fun while seriously answering the questions from the public.

Session 04:
All about SCOM R2 and what’s new, presented by Justin Incarnato, the SCOM MVP Lead for Microsoft. So I had to be there! Other SCOM MVPs attended the session as well. Enjoyed it big time. Very good it was. He is a good speaker and knew how to capture the audience attention.

Again, the Cloud is COMING and happening. Nothing to get scared off, but the effort, energy, resources, time and money Microsoft puts into it are massive. And it will affect every piece of software that Microsoft produces, sooner or later. Already today some of the beta’s of the SC Suite are being affected and delivering good tooling in order to manage, monitor, provision and support the Cloud. Next year, H2, when these beta’s go RTM, they will certainly be Cloud enabled, or even Cloud enablers.

And as time passes by, this will only expand, integrate and develop further until such an extend that the SC Suite will become a set of components residing in the very basis of the Cloud. At least that is the way as I see it, or better, think will happen.

Along side it will come a time where monitoring of the company owned IT environments, like on-premise datacenters, can be run from the Cloud as well. So monitoring will become in the years to come SaaS (Software as a Service).

IT can be looked upon as an ever changing landscape. Sometimes many years passes by without any major landslides taking place. The Cloud can be compared with a series of earth quakes which will change that landscape in a huge manner. The way we ‘do’ IT today will change significantly where mobility, functionality and availability will be key. IT as a service, just like electricity today.

But that also took years in order to grow to a level as we know it today. Likewise with the Cloud. Office 365 looks great and has some good promises for the future but lacks some much required features which the on-premise versions do, like voice communication. And yet Office 365 is already powerful in its current shape and form. Joined with the dedicated efforts of Microsoft, Office 365, and other Cloud based services, will grow up quickly until it is hard to differentiate between the on-premise and Cloud versions.

Of course this will not happen in one giant leap but in steps, some small and others big. First companies will move toward a mixed model where some parts will be Cloud based and others on-premise like one or more privately owned or rented datacenter(s). As years go by and the Cloud evolves more and more, there will come a day which will resembles today’s world with P and V, where V is getting the upper hand. Instead of the P/V mix it will be the on-premise vs. the Cloud mix. Of course, the storage of sensitive data, like R&D results, will be kept alongside in on-premise locations.

It is evident that the Cloud is on top of Microsoft's agenda. Tech-Ed showcases this since it is all about the Cloud and I cannot imagine a single session here at Tech-Ed which does NOT mention the Cloud in any kind of way. I am glad to be able to attend this Tech-Ed since it shows that much is going on and there is a huge shift taking place.

The outcome is yet unknown which makes it even more exiting.

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