Microsoft Inspire is Microsoft’s annual conference focused on the Microsoft Partners. Every year, this is the first major event of Microsoft’s fiscal year, and Microsoft uses this event to set the priorities for the upcoming fiscal year as well as announce the newest innovations. With that in mind, this event has always been viewed as a business focused, forward looking event, and this year did not disappoint.
Microsoft Inspire took place in Las Vegas, NV this past week. Las Vegas is hot in July, but there isn’t much humidity, which makes the weather tolerable. The other benefit of Las Vegas is that there is always plenty of convention space and most of the attendees didn’t even have to go outside to move between the events and their hotel rooms.
As far as new innovations on the horizon, here are a few that stand out to me:
Microsoft has released their HTML5 based RDP client, Microsoft refers to it as their web client. Now instead of opening the RDP client, all your interaction with your RDS infrastructure can be from within a web browser. That’s the good part, but for now, using the web client will not allow you to access resources on your local computer like file storage or printers. We have been testing this web client and for end users that do not need access to local resources, this does provide a nice experience. Once users log into the website, they are not prompted for credentials (again) when they start the published resources.
RDmi continues to progress. Remote Desktop modern infrastructure (RDmi) is Microsoft’s approach to optimizing the RDS infrastructure in Azure to take better advantage of Azure’s elastic nature. Rest assured that we have been keeping a close eye on this capability and the benefits that this can bring to our customers. When it’s truly ready, we will have a migration plan for our installed base.
Azure Firewall is a stateful firewall solution as a service. It gives you the ability to leverage a full firewall within Azure without having to build your own firewall infrastructure. Azure Firewall is a highly available and scalable resource managed by Azure.
Azure Virtual WAN allows customers to leverage Azure as a central hub connecting multiple remote offices together. Traditionally customers would build and maintain their own virtual network infrastructures to connect multiple offices together. Azure Virtual WAN provides these private WAN capabilities all hosted natively in Azure. You can use Azure as your virtual network infrastructure as well as your computer infrastructure.
Azure Data Box is a storage appliance that allows customers to move large amounts of data to and from Azure by shipping the device to and from Azure to save on bandwidth consumption. Sometimes it’s faster and less expensive to ship data to Azure via common carriers like FedEx as opposed to trying to upload terabytes of data.
Microsoft has released a free version of Microsoft Teams. Teams is Microsoft’s goal to create a single collaborative platform, where you have access to your documents, discussions, and even conferencing. They have continued to integrate Skype for Business into the platform to continue to provide more functionality from a single platform. As Microsoft Teams users, we look forward to the continued integration.
Microsoft continues to focus energy and resources on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. We are still just scratching the surface, and there are plenty of opportunities for both partners and customers to leverage these capabilities for things like predictive analytics. It’s one thing to gather data, but it takes it to a completely different level when you can leverage that data for not only the historical value, but also use the data to predict future business direction.