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Reflections from Microsoft Ignite 2019

It has been a few days here at the conference. As usual, the range of sessions is like a giant smorgasbord and it is not easy to choose between the goodies on offer and sometimes the content of a session is completely different from what you have read into the menu. That's not to say the content itself is bad, just that you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, and with the time cut from the old 75 minutes to 45 it's not exactly easy to switch sessions, you have to take a tour of the exhibition and find an interesting supplier or ask Microsoft some tricky questions. Overall, the quality of the sessions is, as usual, very good and the 45-minute sessions provide greater pace and focus - good.

More about Sentinel

In the last post we were pretty sure that the buzz-word of the week would be MFA and Security Center, we were right on target. Many sessions are related to Security in one way or another and then it ends up in the Azure Security Center and the new analysis/reporting tool SENTINEL. Sentinel collects logs from services and products that generate security logs. Using multiple logs from multiple systems, correlation analysis is done and out comes the result in the form of suspicious incidents. Note that the service is not limited to logs from cloud services, they can just as easily come from data centre firewalls.

Hybrid, Hybrid, Hybrid

In the last post we also talked about products like Azure Arc and Azure Synapse that take hybrid to new levels, we also mentioned Project Cortex and Machine Teaching as examples of services that empower the Microsoft mission "Empower every user..". We have now also been introduced to the Endpoint manager that manages the Intune - ConfigManager hybrid. Hybrid, Hybrid, Hybrid...but it's still a bit different, governance, control and policies are suddenly emanating from Azure.

A new paradigm shift?

We brought with us the mindset that the local data centre is at the centre but that consumption continues to move towards cloud services like Azure. It may be that what we are seeing and hearing about at Ignite right now is Microsoft's way of pushing through the paradigm shift required for us to complete the 4th Industrial Revolution:

Accept that the cloud is at the centre and that your data centre is managed and controlled by the cloud.

This idea is perhaps as difficult to grasp as the idea that the Sun and not the Earth is at the centre was a few centuries ago.

Arguments that this is indeed a paradigm shift are drawn from what we have seen so far

  • The cloud controls local resources => Azure Arc controls resources in your data center
  • The cloud controls endpoints => Azure Endpoint Manager can control the config manager
  • The cloud analyses and reports local security incidents => Azure Sentinel
  • One cloud controls other cloud services => Azure Arc can control resources in both AWS and Google

Three new services is of course a poor basis for claiming a paradigm shift, but it is an undeniable fact that the new services above are new, revolutionary and based on Azure as a control-plane, i.e. all governance, policies and resource management is based on Azure.

One thing is for sure, the paradigm shift is coming, accept it if you want to be disruptive, ignore it and be disrupted.

It's exciting now!!