I’m here at the TE NA keynote, the 20th anniversary of TE and a sold-out show, and am very excited to the week ahead.

Opening the keynote was Satya Nadella, President of Server and Tools at Microsoft. Satya talked to ‘reinvention’ and ‘generational shifts’ that are taking the modern data center and modern apps to a new and exciting direction for IT “within the era of connected devices and continued services.”

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A key point that Satya hit on in the opening of the keynote were key tenets of the modern data center were

  • Scalable and elastic;
  • Always up, always on;
  • Shared resources; and
  • Automated and self services

Centering on Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1, the keynote focused on some of the great new features that are included within these two technologies. Within the demos were some interesting tests on performance, hardware capacity, expansion on SSD and CPU capabilities, and storage capabilities. Also discussed was the fact that networking has been much improved with secure mutli-tenancy. Most impactful for me, though, was to see the integration across System center 2012, Windows Server and Windows Azure; being able to move VHDs from on-premises to the cloud is critical to the Hybrid IT story and for moving workloads across boundaries to not only optimize costs but also manage assets, applications and services. The following slide shows a set of key pivots that bring together the modern datacenter with Windows Azure and Service Providers; that is, identity, virtualization, management, and development.

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Another very exciting part of the keynote was the continued momentum building around the Windows Azure Virtual Machine (IAAS) functionality. I blogged on this late last week, and at TechEd it was great to see this new feature-set showcased through Aflac—a leading insurance provider—who built a fully functional SharePoint farm on Windows Azure. You can see some screenshots below where Mark Russinovich walked through the SharePoint farm in the new Windows Azure portal and how System Center 2012 enables you to migrate VHDs that you’ve built and are managed within an on-premises data center to Windows Azure.

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The result of this was walking through the Aflac experience (through the migration of the SharePoint farm) to Windows Azure—so SharePoint FIS supported on the IAAS functionality. Very, very cool. This opens up a tremendous amount of potential for SharePoint and Azure—which I’ll address later this week on my session.

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The keynote reinforced the key tenets of the cloud, which can be seen below in the following slide; that is, the four key characteristics of Windows Azure and arguably the wider cloud.

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Of course, not Windows Azure call-out wouldn’t be complete without a Scottgu demo. In the keynote, he created an MVC4 app which he then deployed to Windows Azure—for some real-time audience participation. Below, you can see the creation of the application using the MVC4 Mobile project template using the Windows Azure tools in Visual Studio.

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Scott then created a new Windows Azure web site using the portal, deployed the application and then also integrated it with TFS—very cool.

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You can see here where Scott has deployed the mobile app and the audience is now providing messages that are being brokered by the Windows Azure Service Bus. Some funny comments, but good spirited and interesting demo that directly tied together some very interesting and compelling aspects of cloud and mobile development as well as ALM tied into cloud development.

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Jason Zander also provided some interesting commentary around improvements to Visual Studio 2012 (yeah, color is back as reflected in the screenshot below).

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Jason then built an cross-platform application, where in one instance he showed the application on an iPad.

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Near the end of the keynote, the IW Big Data functionality was reinforced through a Twitter demo that provided a deep analysis of Tweet data to understand why people were going to certain movies. This is very cool functionality because it can bring together technologies like Hadoop on Windows Azure, SharePoint, PowerPivot, and Power View—all to provide deeper-level analyses of data for the masses.

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Overall, some pretty interesting stuff today around the capabilities of the “cloud operating system.” I really liked how Windows Server, System Center and Windows Azure came together in this keynote. I also really liked the increasing capabilities that we’re seeing in the Windows Azure offerings—this is truly an exciting time for the cloud and Microsoft with the new IAAS offerings and the increasing capabilities being built into the PAAS offerings.

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Now on to the rest of TechEd!

Enjoy the week.

Steve
@redmondhockey