Last week our Technical Director attended Microsoft Ignite 2016 in Atlanta to keep up to date on the latest developments from Microsoft and the technology industry. Matt writes about his experience below and why we attend events such as these.
“Microsoft Ignite for the past 2 years has become a fundamental part of our internal training process and for shaping the direction of the company. You might think that a trip to the US seems like good fun however with 26 hours of seminars to attend during the week it’s a lot of information to take in and a beer was very welcome at the end of each day before getting an early night!
Microsoft Ignite brings together I.T. pros from all over North America and Europe to share knowledge and keep up to date on the latest developments not just from Microsoft but the technology industry in general.
A number of people that haven’t attended before tend to think of Ignite as a Microsoft brainwashing event so I think it’s important to note that the sessions are conducted not just by Microsoft’s own employees but MVP’s and partners which provides several different perspectives on the way the industry is changing. The event also contains a large expo floor to discuss problems and try out new products outside of the formal sessions to get even more perspectives on the way the industry is changing.
The week started with 2 keynotes spanning 3 hours, 1 including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, which can be found here and displayed a number of developing technologies such as Microsoft Hololens and Cortana. Exciting technologies indeed, however probably still a few years away from some real uptake.
After the keynotes a welcome drinks reception is held within the Expo hall which was the first insight to the new technologies that partners were bringing this year and the first chance to get into good detail on some upcoming projects with the MVP’s.
The week then continues with 3 days of seminars on the whole fleet of Microsoft products ranging from service orientated technologies such as CRM, Exchange and SQL to infrastructure technologies, this year most notably Azure Stack and Storage Spaces Direct, were of particular interest for me.
Although every evening there are several Vendor parties to go to as well as the Microsoft Certified Professional party, this year was really all too tiring for me to even think about going to a party in the evening except for Thursday night when the official attendee celebration is held. This is an extraordinary night that Microsoft put on and always amazes me the lengths that they go to in order to make it a night to remember. What I like about the celebration is that they incorporate local music, food and drinks ensuring that local trades benefit from the conference being in town which deserves a round of applause in itself.
I must admit I didn’t drink too much myself at the attendee celebration however going into the final morning of sessions on Friday there was certainly less enthusiasm from attendees than previous days! I’d like to say it was the thought of people going home however the final speakers made good light of it and had some ‘swag’ to get them awake.
With the mention of ‘swag’ this is one of the hot topics of the event. As an attendee you receive a rucksack, water bottle and cable pouch at the beginning of the week however on my first day to the expo hall in about 30 minutes I was offered several t-shirts, mobile power packs, beer cosies and much more. Some people seem to think the more the better and I even heard of one person packing hand luggage only as he picks up the free t-shirts during the week to wear instead. Myself, I picked up a couple of t-shirts for the on-going DIY projects I have at home and a couple of charging cables that always come in use but the left I rest to the swag hunters.
Lastly on a summary of my takeaway from the event and what it means for VooServers – our main focus at VooServers for the past few years has been around innovating new high-availability and failover services and some of the key sessions that I attended relating to these technologies are going to help us to develop our HA services even further. Over the next few weeks myself and the team will be releasing a number of articles on both old and new technologies from the event that are important to our clients and to developing the future infrastructure requirements for us to deliver highly resilient services on.
Check back soon for further details from myself and the team!”
By Matt Parkinson on October 6th, 2016