Licensing, Security And Pizza: Five Things I Learned At Microsoft Management Summit 2013

Our ongoing World Of Servers series hit Las Vegas last week and dosed up on Windows Server knowledge at the Microsoft Management summit. Here are five key lessons to take away from that event.

1. Azure: Security and spread

Lifting the veil on how security works on Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform reveals some carefully-considered and elaborate techniques to protect individual data. (The quick lesson? It’s not a good platform for launching a DDOS attack.) Other Azure sessions during the week reminded me that while Azure has ongoing expansion plans, there doesn’t seem much likelihood we’ll see an Australian data centre in the near future.

2. Virtualisation is good for pizza

The US parent company for pizza chain Domino’s has taken to virtualisation in a major way, using Hyper-V to manage a large proportion of its in-store ordering systems. Simpler support was a major factor in that decision, but I’d assume cheaper licensing deals also played a role.


3. Out-of-office: more hindrance than help?

Server experts can offer wisdom on other topics too. Enterprise strategy principal Eduardo Kassner advocates killing the out-of-office message, since the boundaries of the office are so fluid these days. But before you assume that means 24/7 email slavery, Kassner also suggests waiting at least half a day before replying to any message. After all, if people aren’t anticipating an instant response, the out-of-office message becomes irrelevant.


4. Drawing the lines around Linux and Unix management

Any modern management platform has to recognise that we live in a world where hardly anyone can claim to be a platform purist and only support a single kind of platform. What differs is the degree of support. System Center offers plenty of options for managing Unix systems, but when it comes to deploying them in a virtualised environment, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of demand — it’s Windows and Linux that dominate.


5. Check your licences carefully

It’s easy to roll out multiple system images quickly with a modern virtualisation platform. What’s not so easy is keeping track of the licences, but we’re promised improvements from Microsoft in that area. It’s also worth checking licence terms carefully if you’re considering Windows To Go.


In good news for hotel owners and bad news for my body clock, the next item on the World of Servers agenda sees me return to Las Vegas in a fortnight for Data Center World. The world of servers, it never stops turning . . .

Lifehacker’s World Of Servers sees me travelling to conferences around Australia and around the globe in search of fresh insights into how server and infrastructure deployment is changing in the cloud era. Last week, I was in Las Vegas for the Microsoft Management Summit 2013, looking for practical guidance on deploying and managing Windows servers.

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