Fresh from Florida - Highlights from Microsoft Ignite 2018.

Microsoft Ignite—a conference for IT implementers, enterprise developers and data specialists—took place in Orlando at the end of September. The five-day insight event into the IT of the future was personally opened by CEO Sataya Nadella. And of course, Bechtle was there too, alongside Niels Ophey, who presented five major technologies in his review.

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Microsoft Windows Server 2019.


Windows Server 2019 has been generally available since the start of October and is the latest long-term service channel, boasting five years’ support and an additional five years’ extended support. The other bi-annual Windows Server updates are aimed mainly at customers who use Windows Server together with containers and micro service architectures and want to be right up-to-date.


Windows Server 2019 establishes a bridge between the on-premise and Microsoft Azure worlds even better than its predecessor. The new technology simplifies a VPN connection between a network in Azure and Windows Server 2019. What’s more, on-premise servers can also be directly incorporated into the site-recovery scenario in just a few steps.


Windows Server 2019 also offers a considerable amount of security enhancements, the operating system being especially suited to hyper converged infrastructures (HCI). This is reflected, above all, in the latest version of the Windows Admin Centre (version 1809). For a start, it features management of a complete hyper converged infrastructure, and there is also a central management point for all Windows Servers in an enterprise.


Microsoft SQL 2019 (preview).


In addition to the known developments with SLQ Server 2017 with relation to simple and operating system-independent deployment of SQL servers, Microsoft has shifted the focus of SQL Server 2019 onto big data features. Data can now be transferred into Spark or Hadoop file systems, saved and analysed. In addition, connector database systems like Teradata, Oracle or MongoDB can be directly retrieved from SQL Server 2019. Microsoft is thus consistently continuing along its chosen path: forcing open data silos, as most companies know them, and simplifying data use.


Windows Virtual Desktop.


The new Windows Virtual Desktop offers the option to deliver a virtualised Windows desktop (with Office, etc.) via Azure. Windows Virtual Desktop is also the only cloud-based service that offers a multi-user Windows 10, is optimised for Office 365 Pro Plus, and includes free extended Windows 7 security updates. Customer can also operate their “old” Windows 7 desktops for three more years in Windows Virtual Desktop while supplying their client operating systems with security updates. With Windows Virtual Desktop, customers can implement and scale Windows clients on Azure in next to no time, with integrated security and compliance. The service offers all sizes of virtual machines, thereby also encompassing the graphic intensive Azure VMs. A preview version of the Virtual Desktop has been announced for the end of 2018.


Cloud Edge.


Microsoft has also made or at least announced a lot of progress in this area. With the new version, an Azure stack can be expanded to up to 16 nodes, whereas up until now, customers had to be content with a maximum of 12. In addition, technologies like Event Hub, BlockChain and Azure Container Services are now integrated into Azure Stack,  making the Edge Cloud even more powerful and your hybrid architectures more consistent.


Microsoft is also providing a public preview of Azure Sphere. This product is a comprehensive solution for setting up devices that have to be controlled via secure, linked micro controllers. The solution offers security—from secure micro controllers to a turnkey cloud solution.


Microservice architectures.


At Ignite, new or updated technologies were presented that facilitate mapping of event-driven architectures in Azure. Example Azure functions: This is an option in serverless computing, published in version 2.0. Key updates include durable functions—short pieces of code that both perform logic and save its status. This makes it possible to map a workflow with Azure Functions when it’s not possible with logic apps. Another key building block in these types of architectures is data storage. Microsoft has handed over its multi master functions to the non-relational database Cosmos DB, meaning that more geographically dispersed database instances for read and write processes can be used simultaneously.


Niels Ophey

Principal Consultant Microsoft Solutions

Bechtle Logistik und Service GmbH




Published on Oct 10, 2018.