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Mitch Irsfeld

TechNet Flash, Volume 14, Issue 13 - June 20, 2012
TechNet Flash Editor's Note from Mitch Irsfeld

TechEd: Beyond the Keynotes and into the Cloud

For the first time since previewing Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 and the new Windows Azure improvements, Microsoft pulled it all together at TechEd 2012 in Orlando and detailed how it will facilitate the new world of connected devices and continuous services.

Day One focused on Windows Server 2012, with Server and Tools Business President Satya Nadella orchestrating a demo-heavy keynote that showcased the cloud-optimized server OS and Windows Azure, now updated with new services and features to deliver infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service capabilities. Nadella showed how they complement each other with consistent development, management and identity, making it easier to create, migrate, deploy and manage applications across public, private and hybrid clouds. Check out his blog for insight on what he terms the "Era of the Cloud OS."

What is a cloud-optimized operating system? Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Jeffrey Snover dropped by the Channel 9 set at TechEd to answer that question and more in his conversation with Joey Snow about Engineering Windows Server 2012.

For a rundown of what's new in Windows Azure, see the Channel 9 interview from TechEd, Inside Windows Azure with Mark Russinovich. The Microsoft Technical Fellow discusses the latest capabilities of Windows Azure, including virtual machines, IaaS, networking, and more.

Speaking of the cloud, attendees were shown how the next release of Windows Intune includes expanded mobile device management and adds people-centric management capabilities and upgrade rights to the latest version of Windows.

For the developers in the audience, Microsoft announced the public preview of Team Foundation Service. TFS is an application lifecycle management tool hosted on Windows Azure, featuring collaboration tools, a code repository, and reporting and traceability tools to help teams more effectively manage software development. Attendees also learned that Microsoft LightSwitch, the easy-to-use development tool for quickly building applications, will now render HTML5. Integrating HTML5 into LightSwitch will enable developers using the tool to target any device or platform supporting HTML5.

On Day Two, the focus shifted toward Windows 8 with Corporate Vice President for Windows Web Services Antoine Leblond showing another side of Windows 8. While the discussion to date has naturally centered on more consumer-oriented features, Leblond showed in his keynote why Windows 8 is "enterprise-ready by design."

To augment the Windows 8 Release Preview in an enterprise environment, there are now updates to several MDOP products, which enable organizations to virtualize, manage and restore data, applications and users' experiences. Here's a quick rundown on those releases:

The beta for Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) 2.0 is now available to protect data with BitLocker and BitLocker to Go by using Windows 8 support to simplify the provisioning process, monitoring and enforcing compliance. MBAM 2.0 can help reduce the cost of managing an encrypted environment by integrating with existing management systems and allowing users to support themselves with a self-service recovery portal.

The Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM) 4.0 Service Pack 1 beta and release candidate for the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 8 were also released providing support for Windows 8 Release Preview.

Also announced, the second beta for User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) will be available by the end of the month. UE-V is designed to give individuals the ability to change their device and keep their experience without reconfiguring applications or settings in Windows 7 or Windows 8. New features in the second beta include roaming system settings between Windows 7 and Windows 8; support for additional operating system settings, like Start menu, Taskbar, and folder options; Group Policy support to ensure agent configuration consistency; and the roaming and sync of settings between Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10.

Dell was on hand at TechEd to announce its pre-engineered virtualization platform, the vStart 1000. Available in July 2012, the vStart 1000 employs Dell's Compellent SAN storage, Dell Force10 networking and its PowerEdge blade servers. As a Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track solution, the platform is Microsoft Private Cloud-validated.

Thanks for reading,

Mitch Irsfeld
Editor, TechNet Flash

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