Six Things I Learned at Microsoft Ignite 2017

21 Feb 2017

by Adrian Smith

It was a last-minute decision but I got to attend this year's Microsoft Ignite Conference on the Gold Coast, along with 2500 other IT professionals. For those who are not aware Ignite is the re-incarnation of the old Microsoft TechEd, the last one of which I attended in 2013.

So, this is what I took away from the four-and-a-half days of technical talks on everything Microsoft. Please bear in mind that I didn't attend any "developer" related sessions as I am no developer. My key interests were: Azure, Office 365 and on-premise servers.

1. Microsoft's shift from selling traditional operating systems to selling services continues. Only a handful of the 200+ technical sessions were related to Server 2016 even though it is a new product for Microsoft.

2. Security is huge! Snowden, Ashley Madison, Telstra and Cryptolocker all got mentioned. Areas to look at include Just in Time (JIT) and Just Enough Administration (JEA) -- the idea being most of the security breaches have come from inside organisations.

Find more on JIT and JEA in this article: Securing Privileged Access

3. Federations and AD Federation Services may be dead.... replaced by Pass-Through Authentication and Seamless Single Sign-on (currently in preview).

4. The cloud is king: The opening keynote session included an interview with a WA-based mining company which was driving a $4 billion saving by moving to the cloud.

5. Perth/WA is far more expensive than the Gold Coast (2 beers for $10)!

6. USB thumb drives are old technology... In previous years almost all of the exhibitors would be handing out USB drives as marketing material but this year not one could be seen. Drones, remote control cars, t-shirts and RFID blocking wallets were the order of the day.

Adrian Smith
Microsoft Certified Technical Instructor