In case you don't already know about MMS, this isn't a show for tech wimps. It's for IT managers who love things like System Center Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 and User State Migration Tookit 5.0. But it's also a place where some of Microsoft's higher-level messaging around Windows Server, System Center and Windows Azure occasionally bubble up.
Two of the sessions from the online MMS catalog piqued my interest because of their focus on getting enterprise users to see Windows Azure as YOUR datacenter."
WS-B331 Windows Azure and Active Directory Speaker(s): David Tesar Track(s): Windows Server & Azure Infrastructure Session Type: Breakout Session Product(s): Active Directory, Windows Azure In this session you will learn how to plan, deploy and manage Active Directory within Windows Azure. Windows Azure is YOUR datacenter. Deploying Active Directory within your cloud is a key part of enabling LOB applications to work.
WS-B333 Windows Azure in the Enterprise Speaker(s): Karri Alexion-Tiernan, Venkat Gattamneni Track(s): Windows Server & Azure Infrastructure Session Type: Breakout Session Product(s): Windows Azure In this session, you will discover how you can make Windows Azure YOUR datacenter. From compute and storage on demand, to messaging and identity services, come and see how you can power your enterprise today with Windows Azure.
I haven't heard Microsoft make this pitch in this way before. Sure, the company has been encouraging corporate customers to go the Azure route, by onboarding their existing apps using the still-in-preview Azure virtual machines and/or by writing new applications that take advantage of Windows Azure's platform-as-a-service capabilities. (This is in addition to encouraging developers of all stripes, including mobile developers, to write apps that connect to the Azure cloud.)
But telling enterprise customers that Windows Azure, which is hosted by Microsoft in its own datacenters, to consider Azure THEIR datacenter is new. (New to me, at least.)
Tap into "the power of big data" by pairing Azure Websites with HDInsight, so as to mine data, generate business analytics and make adjustments
Integrate with on-premises Windows Servers; Linux servers; System Center; data services for SQL, No SQL; .Net, Java, Node.js, Python . (However, speaking of integration, the Azure team hasn't said anything lately about what's going on with its various Azure networking services -- including Windows Azure Connect, a k a "Sydney" and Windows Azure Virtual Network, a k a "Brooklyn." But maybe those will exit preview in the coming weeks/months, along with the aforementioned Virtual Machines for Linux and Windows Server.)
Test services and apps quickly by using Windows Server/Linux Server virtual images (though this capability, as I've noted before, is still in preview right now).
One other MMS session that I found interesting: Windows RT in the Enterprise. Yes, Microsoft is still maintaining that Windows RT devices aren't just for consumers. And no, no one should expect to see Outlook RT debut there. It's coming. Not yet, though....