Ignite Blog Series – Chapter 1 : Prologue

Wednesday , 5, October 2016 Leave a comment

Chapter 1: Prologue

Chapter 2: Shielded VMs

Chapter 3: Storage Replica

Chapter 4: Speaking at Ignite

Chapter 5: The True Value of Ignite

Chapter 6: The Parties

Chapter 7: Key Learnings

Chapter 8: Thoughts to the Future


Chapter 1


I spent last week with Senior Systems Engineer Craig Dalrymple at the Microsoft Ignite conference in Atlanta, one of the largest IT conferences in the world with 20,000+ attendees, which is around half the number of people who work on the Redmond campus.

A lot of times at conferences like these there’s a lot of hot air and future announcement designed to show thought leadership and keeping pace with competitors. Not so this year at Ignite, with the launch of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 scheduled for the same week (a one in four year event, basically an IT world cup), and Azure Stack technical preview 2 being released to the masses. These are hugely impactful products to the IT landscape, so it was vital we attend and immerse.

I was originally signed up as an attendee, but a few weeks before the conference I was asked by Dean Wells and Ned Pyle if I’d join them on stage to talk about their products – Shielded VMs, and Storage Replica respectively. After ploughing the last year and a half or so of my life into making sure that brightsolid could be among the first in the world to bring these and other valuable features to market at the launch of Windows Server 2016, naturally I said ‘hell yeah!’

We’ve hammered the bejesus out of Storage Replica and Shielded VMs along with the new SDN stack over the past year and a half or so, through various technical previews and engagements with Microsoft. We’ve worked fervently to operationalise and learn them intimately so that now, at general availability, we can immediately start bringing the value they represent to our customers. With Shielded VMs in particular, there’s a huge amount of preparation required to take it from installed to fully ready to sell to customers, and as that is knowledge that’s pretty unique to brightsolid, it was that aspect we focused that session on.

Beyond those speaking slots, the conference as a whole was a smorgasbord of knowledge, networking, and opportunity, and the energy and buzz running through the venue was palpable. What I’d like to do through this series of posts is capture some of that knowledge, enthusiasm, and energy, and send it on to those who couldn’t be there, because it is ridiculously and utterly infectious.

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