Key takeaways for #Consultants from #MSIgnite

Over the past two years Microsoft shifted its focus to deliver #CloudFirstMobileFirst Products to enterprise customers. All their product launches and announcements over past two weeks in #Build and #Ignite conferences resonates this strategy.

IMHO being a consultant working primarily on Microsoft technologies, I see this is the right time to evolve from Windows Active directory and start building against Windows Azure Active Directory as most of the advanced functionalities in core Microsoft products such as SharePoint 2016, Office 2016, Office 365, SQL server 2016 etc are targeted at WAAD as the premier identity provider to utilize Azure services such as Azure Storage, Azure service bus etc.

Here are some of the Key announcements and for more details download the videos from the links provided at end of this blog.

Product releases:
Microsoft announced release of several “2016” product lines which will hit General availability within next 12 months.
* SharePoint Server 2016
* Windows Server 2016
* SQL Server 2016
* System Center 2016
* Office 2016
* Windows 10

Azure Announcements:

Now Azure Resource Manager is the core component to create and manage all the Azure resources. Azure stack brings this Azure Resource Manager capabilities to on premise for building infrastructures based on Azure code base.
This will help the customers to build stage/test datacenters for UAT scenarios before migrating any workloads to Azure and also to build Azure ready infrastructures for future migration.

Azure site recovery evolved in to premier migration tool now supports direct migrations from VMWare to Azure or Hyper-V.

To manage DNS records using existing Azure Subscriptions.

Enables a number of Virtual Appliance scenarios such as ‘NAT’ing, ‘Application firewall’, ‘Bring your own gateway’, ‘Intrusion protection systems’ etc

Express routes can now co-exist with Site to Site VPN and express routes is supported for #Office365

#Operations Manager Suite
To monitor any cloud, including your datacenter, Azure, AWS, Windows Server, Linux, VMware, and OpenStack.


Office 365 Announcements:

Group managed at Office365 tenant level to ease the collaboration across every entity in Office 365 including Outlook and emails, Files and SharePoint, Messaging and Skype. All these information and interactions are surfaced in Delve using Office graph provides rich discoverability.

Real time co-authoring available on Office web apps are now extended to Office desktop clients.

New and improved tool to setup ADFS, Web Proxy, Dir sync from the same interface.

#Unified API
single API endpoint and a single authentication flow for Office 365 Apps and addins.

New community built tool to deploy Sites, Lists, Branding artifacts etc to SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2013 using CSOM and Rest interfaces

New migration API for high speed SharePoint on Prem to SharePoint Online migration utilizing Azure Storage.
Most of the ISV’s already support this.

Integration with #SWAY to enable rich site creation experiences
Video portal integrated with Azure Media Services

Easy Skype video meetings, skype broadcast, inetgration with hololens.

SharePoint 2016 Announcements

#Extended Boundaries
– Now SharePoint Content DB’s can be extended in TB’s.
– 100,000 site Collections Per Content DB’s
– List Items query threshold well beyond standard 5000 Items
– 10GB file uploads
– Indexing limitations pushed to 500 Million items

– Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 10, Windows Server 2016
– Role based install to simplify farm architectures
– User Services Role (Web Server)
– Robot services Role (App Server)
– Cache services Role (Distributed Cache)
– Special Services Role (ISV)
– Azure AD based authentication is supported to ease hybrid scenarios
– Zero downtime patching

#Cloud Search Service
– New Cloud Search service to unify SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online Indexes
– Delve Support On-Prem
– Cloud Search Service application for SharePoint 2013 editions

– Profile Sync uses Dir Sync technology instead of FIM OOB.
– External FIM can be integrated but OOB this is removed from UPS 2016

Publish Intranet sites externally using ADFS and WAAD. No need to implement external identity providers.

– Responsive NextGen Portals
– Hybrid SP2016/0365 sites enabled via WAAD
– Improved Page load, Document download, document upload performance
– Durable links – Renaming or Moving the documents will not change the links.

SQL Server Announcements:

#Architecture changes
– Support up to 12 TB RAM
– Major changes to SQL engine to support in memory transactions on top of row based transactions to improve the performance
– Support for JSON data format

#Hybrid tables
– Stretched databases – Hybrid databases which extends portion to tables to SQL Azure
– Always Encrypted – data is encrypted by the client drivers, and unencrypted data is never seen by SQL Server

Windows Server Announcements

#Nano Server
– Light weight OS to build highly scalable Micro services and Apps
– Purpose built OS designed to run #Docker based containers and Hyper-V
– #Devops friendly OS. Supports #PowerShellDSC and #Chef

– Improvements to Hyper-V and Storage capabilities
– First class PowerShell DSC to ease #Devops.

I thank Vlad Catrinescu for building the PowerShell scripts to download #MSIgnite and #Build Videos and links the provided below

#PowerShell to download #Build2015 Videos:

#PowerShell to download #MSIgnite Videos:

#Build2015 videos in #channel9:

#MsIgnite Videos in #Channel9: