Monday, November 08, 2010 9:47 PM Mikael Sand

TechEd keynote and my key takeaways

Keynote stage

The whole keynote can be found at:

Brad Anderson was the keynote speaker but as it was played he more or less served as a master of ceremonies and brought other people on stage to showcase or demo the products. He did manage to go maybe two minutes before mentioning the buzz-word of the day: cloud. Of course the talk was going to be about the cloud but it was a bit of a let down after the pre-show demoed Kinect on three giant screens.

If there really is a key take away from the speak it is that cloud is coming regardless of if you or your customers like it or not. Microsoft and a lot of other companies bet the farm on this technology so they are really going to make us like it and use it. And, why not really? It really is a thing for the future and a good way forward. They are starting to focus more on platform as a service.

As an integration specialist the things that attracted my attention the most is that Windows Azure now comes with more flavours, one of them being reporting. Azure has grown beyond a point that you cannot call yourself an Azure specialist without having to specify the sub technology. As some projects already have proved that some of the heavier lifting in an integration solution, like complicated transformation, can be moved to the cloud we will soon see a future where the whole integration lives in the cloud. On that note it’s sad that there aren’t that many sessions about Azure at TechEd.

The key to all cloud hosting is virtualisation and there were some really cool new stuff that Microsoft showcased. One helped to setup and manage private clouds within an organisation and also how to manage the load from these applications. They also boasted that they have partnerships with six server manufacturers to support this cloud implementation technology. These six manufacturers deliver about 80% of the world’s servers. In my opinion there really is no technical excuse for a larger company not to have a private cloud.

The future also combines SSAS versions of Office, which in this incarnation is called Office 365, and stuff like RemoteFX. The things I’ve seen so far is very good. RemoteFX enables server hosted rich clients. This moves the cpu and gpu work to the server and the client can be very thin. They showed a client that measured about 15*15*4 cm and was completely solid state. Yet the desktop was, for lack of a better word, normal. A future where Microsoft hosts the whole desktop in Azure is not that far away.

There was also a thing about Windows mobile 7 and it seems to me that if you can develop using Silverlight you will have no problem developing for Windows Phone. Go ahead and try it.

One slide in particular that caught my attention, and it was about platforms as a service versus traditional platforms and it really shows what the benefits are going into the coming five years.

Platform today Platforms as a Service
You manage server, VM, network, storage, app You manage the app.
Patch, service release new version Maintained for you
Assembly required Ready-made services
Custom, inconsistent Standardised
Plan for peak load On-demand scale
Build to avoid and recover from failure Build to expect and withstand failure

If it isn’t clear that virtualization and software/platform as a service is the way forward for us who are working with Microsoft, then you might be without a job or at least an interesting one.

Post show glass of wine

Tomorrow the real fun starts.

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