As TechEd 2013 draws towards its close, our guest blogger David Klemke looks at how Azure will play an increasingly important role in backup and disaster recovery for smaller firms. Plus: David chats with PowerShell guru Don Jones about the future of admin and how to beef up your IT pro skills.
Tagged With windows server 2012
Much of the emphasis at TechEd North America 2013 this week has been on the new features coming in Windows Server 2012 R2. However, with the original Windows Server 2012 just nine months in the market, many businesses still aren't taking advantage of features that are already available. Here are 10 that are worth using in your Windows network deployment.
BitLocker encryption ensures that data doesn't fall into nefarious hands, but it can be a nuisance for users who forget passwords or administrators who want to push out updates to locked-down machines. One lesser-used feature of Windows Server 2012 can eliminate those pains by automatically entering BitLocker credentials when a device is connected to a corporate LAN.
At TechEd North America 2013, Microsoft revealed additional details about Windows 8.1 (AKA the impending update for its sometimes controversial operating system). While the additional tools and features are nothing to sniff at, they're probably not going to convince many Windows 8 critics to give the OS a try. So let's look towards the next update — as a Windows 7/XP user, what does Microsoft need to add that would make you a Win8 convert?
Once again, BYOD has been one of the hot topics at this year's TechEd conference. In this video Microsoft's director of product marketing Andrew Conway discusses some of the BYOD issues facing IT professionals and the steps they can take to effectively migrate to a people-centric IT environment.
Last night I tried some Louisiana fried chicken and went for a quick walk along the Mississippi River near Woldenberg Park. Retiring early for the evening I joined fellow competition winner Adam Webster for pre-conference breakfast at the convention centre. According to the TechEd kitchen so far over eighty-thousand pieces of bacon have been served. As I’ve contributed to that statistic, some serious dieting will need to follow my visit to New Orleans!
Microsoft's current private cloud strategy seems to be one that was designed with a lot of right hands not talking to the left ones. The services that most closely approach the cloud ideal (self service, elastic/dynamic resource provisioning) don't have a unifying vision behind them, even when they come under the same branch. Just look at the wild differences between the self service portals available in System Center Virtual Machine Manager (now deprecated, more on that in a sec), Service Manager and App Controller which all present wildly different views for the same underlying infrastructure. You could argue that they're designed with different purposes in mind and sure to an extent that's true but the fact is there's no overarching direction for them all to head towards. That is, until the Windows Azure Pack becomes generally available.
For me, today at TechEd North America 2013 has been all about mobile applications, the different toolsets that are used and the different platforms. I attended three sessions which looked at different aspects of coding, push notifications, authentication methods and the publishing of applications into the application store.
One of the minor benefits for attendees at TechEd North America 2013 has been the chance to purchase heavily-discounted Surface tablets. Yet while people have happily queued for up to three hours or more to get their hands on them, it seems some are doing so purely to then on-sell them for a profit.
GeoFlow is an Excel 2013 ad-on that lets you plot geographic and temporal data visually, analyze that data in 3D and create interactive tours to share with others. It also allows you to convert huge reams of data into an easily digestible and highly customisable form. At TechEd 2013 we were given a personal demonstration by Microsoft managing director for product management, Eron Kelly.
Day 2 of TechEd carried on from where yesterday left off. Jam-packed sessions, a lot of information to absorb and a crazy amount of walking. The convention centre itself is almost 1.75 miles long and with the entire centre housing TechEd this year there’s a lot of running around trying to get to sessions on time.
I was struck with something of a realisation this morning as I sat through MDC-B212, led by the amazingly talented Mark Russinovich. Whilst I might be overly excited by the direction Microsoft is taking, mostly because it vindicates my long held position that the future of the cloud is hybrid, the current reality is still very far away from what I believe is the ultimate end game. More importantly however I was approaching the idea with the naivety that all admins get when flashy technology comes their way, forgetting the legacy environments that are what keeping all us IT professionals employed. With that in mind I set about to find out what solutions are not only available today but also those that provide easy migration paths; solutions that actually have a chance of being implemented.