This year, I again had the great opportunity to go to Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, Florida.
I was not sure I was going to make it due to this horrible flu me and my wife caught a week before but as soon as I told my body that I might miss a Microsoft conference, my immune system kicked in and I was good to fly. But my sincere apologies to everyone at the technological keynote who had to endure my post-flu coughs while playing Jeopardy.
Now, I am going to quickly go over some of the really exciting announcements that came out of Azure that personally excite me and are of a great value to my customers.
Azure Bastion GA: Azure Bastion is now GA. wohooooo. All the Cloud engineers who have had to create Jump Boxes and work through them and hearing terms such “Can I kick you off” (2 is the max number of active sessions on a windows server with no terminal licenses) should be celebrating. An awesome feature that one of my customers is currently implementing. You can access Virtual machines through your Portal, no need to rdp or ssh.
Might do a more detailed post on it later.
Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets: I was working on a major project this year that involved VMSS. To say the least, I was quite disappointed with how outdated it kinda seemed. It seemed like it was stuck back in time and Microsoft had forgot all about it but I got the chance to talk to some great people at Microsoft who own the Product and said that that is about to change moving forward. Expect to see amazing things in the future, let me throw a big buzzword in here. AI with VMSS. oh yes!!!
As for the new features that have already been released, you can now set what order the VMs can be decommissioned in, you can set the upgrade policy through the portal (no more getting lost in powershell to just set it to a rolling deployment) and more great things.
Azure MySQL: Nothing really was announced for MySQL at Ignite, but I had to mention it since it has really improved over the last few months and is quickly catching up to Azure SQL with features like read-replica’s and active geo-replications coming in.
Microsoft Edge: The new Chromium based Edge might be live by January 2020. As someone who has been using the preview version, let me tell you this, you will love it. You can do everything that Chrome does with like 30% the memory Chrome takes. Really excited for this.
WSL2: oh its coming ladies and gentlemen. Imaging running a docker container on wsl on your windows OS on a surface. Mind Blowing!!!! They are talking about sometime mid-year 2020 for GA.
Azure Arc: The biggest announcement out of Ignite 2019. Its Microsoft answer to Google Anthos and AWS Outposts. Sadly, I have no customers that I can get them excited about this. There were lots of announcements related to AKS in general. My aim for 2020 is to work with Containers and Kubernetes on a more Enterprise level.
For a complete list, take a look at this pdf: https://news.microsoft.com/wp-content/uploads/prod/sites/563/2019/11/Ignite-2019-Book-of-News.pdf
Well you must all be like well Hammad, Ignite had free Certification exams this year, were you able to get one or were you too sick? Well I did not get one but got TWO!!!!.
Oh yeah, I was able to complete the AZ-400 and got the Azure Devops Expert designation and also did AZ-500 and got the Azure Security Engineer designation. Really loved both exams. AZ-500 had a lab portion so that was just awesome.
There were also handing out the actual badges, really cool!
All-in-all it was a great event as expected by Microsoft. Lots of fun things all around, got to have some really interesting conversations with leaders at Microsoft and seems like this is still the start for Microsoft. They are truly embracing their mission to Empower every person and Organization on the planet to achieve more.
The biggest company in the world is just getting started.