Ignite 2017 - What Did Microsoft Announce?

Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2017
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By Jack Lewis
Microsoft Technical Consultant


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Microsoft recently held their annual Ignite event in Orlando. This is their annual technology showcase, with presentations, hands-on labs and expert sessions. Well worth a visit if you work with Microsoft tech (well, that's just about everyone then!). If you couldn't make it this year, we have summarised the main announcements:

1. Multi-geo capabilities in Office 365, for SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business and Exchange Online.

This allows you to instantiate services closer to end-users and allows IT to enforce policies (such as the ability to share documents) at a regional level.

2) Project Honolulu.

A new modern web interface for managing Windows Server, all delivered via a touch-friendly HTML5 interface.

3) Windows 10 co-management with Azure AD & on-premises AD.

Devices running the Fall (we assume they mean Autumn!) Creators' edition of Windows 10 can be joined to both the on-premises AD, and managed with SCCM, and also Azure AD, and managed with Intune – this reduces the friction organisations have been struggling with when attempting to adopt the Modern IT management approach and increases the functionality and control organisations have over their devices.

4) AutoPilot improvements.

This includes the ability to do an on-premises AD join (via some witchcraft VPN pushed down via Intune!), the ability to enroll automatically into the co-management solution, and integration with a bunch of OEMs to reduce the amount of effort IT has to put into adding devices to the AutoPilot portal.

5) Cloud App Security, Conditional Access and Azure Information Protection integration.

These allow organisations to control access into cloud services from unmanaged devices by restricting what can be done inside cloud apps. For example, an unmanaged device cannot download a confidential document (that has been marked using AIP) from SalesForce, but they can perform other less risky tasks within SalesForce.

6) Pass-Through Authentication is now GA.

It has been around in Preview for a while but is now available. PTA simplifies Hybrid-AD setups, allowing organisations to keep passwords on-premises, yet still provides SSO into cloud services that are federated with Azure AD.

7) RDS modernisation.

RDS has been modernised to take advantage of Azure by making the most of modern authentication, access and scalability.

8) Teams and Skype are joining forces.

Skype's not disappearing overnight, but over time it will be subsumed into Teams, which will be Microsoft's primary collaboration tool. Read more about this update here.

9) AZURE STACK is shipping at last.

Through Microsoft's OEM partners HPE, Dell Technologies and Lenovo.

10) Azure File Sync was announced.

This enables you to tier data from on premises file servers into Azure Files. Think of it as a bit like StorSimple – without the box!

11) Microsoft are working on a programme language for Quantum Computing.

The lanuage uses topological qubits. You might need to google that one. Sorry, I mean Bing, of course!

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If you need help understanding what these announcements mean for your organisation, please get in touch with your Softcat account manager and ask for a conversation with one of our technologists!

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