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Microsoft Ignite 2019: Day 5 (Final Day!)

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That's a wrap! Microsoft Ignite 2019 is now complete, and it was such a great experience for me to learn more about Microsoft products and network with other attendees. I'll be posting a full wrap-up later with my final thoughts on the conference overall, but for now, here's the update on my final day at Microsoft Ignite.
Windows ♥ Linux The first session I attended today was about the version 2.0 release of Windows Subsystem for Linux, presented by Microsoft WSL Program Manager Craig Loewen and Software Engineer Sven Groot. Although I am not a Linux expert, I was very interested to see the latest updates on what Microsoft is doing to bring Linux into the Windows world. The three most interesting updates to me were the improved Linux virtual machine performance (resulting in faster startup times and more efficient memory usage), compatibility with Docker images, and the fact that the Linux kernel running WSL was completely designed in-house by Microsoft and receives updat…

Microsoft Ignite 2019: Day 4

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I just got back from Universal Studios where the annual Ignite Celebration party was held. It was my first time going to the park, and it was a real blast! I'm a little sad that we only have one more day of Ignite, but it has been so much fun so far.
Migrating to Server 2019
I began my day with a session by Rick Claus on migrating to Windows Server 2019. The session was primarily directed at administrators still running Server 2008 R2 in their environment (which we thankfully have migrated away from already), but it was very helpful information about migrating servers in general since we most likely will be moving to Server 2019 in our next big migration. The details about migrating domain controllers and maintaining the same IP address were great, but I was particularly impressed by the Storage Migration Services feature in Windows Admin Center that automates the process of moving file shares and the NetBIOS name from the old file server to the new one. Microsoft has really done…

Microsoft Ignite 2019: Day 3

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Day 3 of Microsoft Ignite is in the books, and it continues to be such an informative conference for me. While I do enjoy the community feel and more laid back nature of SpiceWorld, I have been learning so much more this week at Ignite than I have at any SpiceWorld I've attended previously. Here's some highlights from the sessions I attended this morning as well as some photos from The Hub where I spent most of my time this afternoon.

Azure Authentication
I began my morning with a sessions by John Craddock, Identity and Security Architect of XTSeminars Ltd Identity. It was arguably the best session I've attended at Microsoft Ignite so far. He covered the authentication process for Azure sign-on and the various ways that Azure synchronizes passwords with on-premises Active Directory. He also demonstrated Azure SSO and how it can be implemented in Windows 10 to provide auto sign-in via browser to Office 365 accounts. Since we have a growing number of mobile users in our off…

Microsoft Ignite 2019: Day 2

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I just got back from the second day of Microsoft Ignite, and it was another info-packed day with sessions on a variety of Microsoft products as well as great opportunities to meet people during meals and at the Windows Server Customer Appreciation Celebration in the evening. I can't believe it's only been two days after all the useful things I've been learning which I think will be applicable to my work.

Teams, Teams, Teams
I chose to focus mostly on a few of the Microsoft Teams sessions today since it is a platform that I think could be useful in our environment at work. Microsoft is heavily pushing Teams not only as an individual product, but as a component of the Office 365 ecosystem that integrates with their other cloud solutions. The first one I attended was by Microsoft Director of the Teams Customer Advocacy Group, Karuana Gatimu, about the top 10 best practices for adopting Teams in your organization. One of the things she stressed was the importance of IT collab…

Microsoft Ignite 2019: Day 1

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I'm here at Microsoft Ignite this week and am really excited to hear the new announcements for Windows Server and learn about Azure, Microsoft 365 (and Teams) and more! I'll be posting a daily update here with the highlights of the day and my personal experience.
Keynote

Satya Nadella opened the conference with a keynote at 9 AM that lasted a couple of hours and was full of announcements for a variety of Microsoft offerings including Azure Stack HCI, Microsoft 365, and Surface devices. The line to get into The Hub (where he was speaking) was full within a half hour of opening, so I opted to view the keynote from the ballroom where the Microsoft 365 keynote would be held after Nadella's speech. They started off with an Azure and Microsoft Teams-themed Jeopardy game with three Microsoft employees which kept the audience occupied while we were waiting for the keynote.

Then, Nadella's talk began promptly at 9 AM and included segments from various Microsoft employees for mo…

Three Steps to Successfully Implementing Change in IT

Leaders in the business world can typically be placed into one of two categories: innovators and maintainers. Innovators are those who are very forward thinking and always consider new ideas and methodologies to keep a business current and ahead of its competitors. Maintainers are those who respect the traditions and customs of an organization and are hesitant to implement change that would jeopardize them. When taken to their extremes, both leadership styles can be damaging to a company. So, what is the happy medium that allows IT Managers/Directors to make needed changes to infrastructure and policy while respecting the organization's cultural norms? Here are three steps from my experience to doing this successfully:

1. Determine if change is needed.
The most important thing to remember is that change should never be made for the sake of change. While it might sound exciting and innovative to migrate to a new product or platform, it may not be the right fit for that company. To c…

Cloud vs on-prem is no longer an either/or scenario

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"Fluffly Cloud 12"by CL0UDYDAY is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Cloud computing has become a standard in the industry with a wide range of solutions now being offered by large cash cows like AWS and Azure and many other smaller startup companies. However, recent data seems to indicate that some CIOs are having buyer's remorse. A survey by Nutanix, a cloud software company, found that a number of companies were migrating away from cloud back to on-premises solutions. One of the biggest reasons for this was that the long-term costs of operating a purely cloud environment were actually more expensive than an on-premises environment, even with the discounts that were offered by the cloud vendor.
This situation is not a huge surprise to me because on-premises hardware is a one-time capital expense (aside from support and utility costs) while cloud solutions require ongoing costs to maintain the subscription. Another potential difficulty with cloud arises when companies wish to mov…