Microsoft Ignite 2017 Debrief

A More Agile World, the Launch of Teams, and Using Azure Stack
Erick Burgess

My colleagues Russ Elsner, Maureen Cannon, and I attended Microsoft Ignite early last month and want to provide our reactions. Specifically, we want to share what it means for our customers from a business perspective.

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The Rise of the Agile Development Process

Microsoft announced their shift away from a big software release every three to four years to small releases every six months. These iterative releases will then feed into a big, block release every few years. That is the long-life version of these smaller updates.

While this will be a challenge for the rest of us as we test compatibility, and offer support for these frequent releases, it is a signal that agile is the new norm. When a giant like Microsoft (once forerunner of the multi-year release cycle) adjusts its schedule, it is time for all software developers to rethink resource allocation and development structure.

What is the best move forward? ScienceLogic noticed this shift pushed down from cloud vendors, so we made the change years ago and have advice to share.

ScienceLogic supports a hyper-agile environment and commits to multiple releases per year. We identified the importance of separating our platform from our PowerPacks. We do quarterly platform releases that change architecture, but our PowerPack delivery is asynchronous. We can update PowerPacks weekly if needed without making our customers change the underlying product architecture. We deliver an average of 150+ updates per year. The de-connection of smaller updates and underlying architecture is vital in this agile world and something we recommend all software developers adopt.

Migration from On-Prem to Cloud and Office 365

This year’s Ignite event focused on promoting use of Microsoft Office 365 Teams. Think of it as a more competitive product to something like Slack.

It’s integrated with Skype for Business, but we expect Teams to be the brand moving forward. The on-premises version of Skype for Business will have a 2019 release. This is meant to support those who cannot support cloud content yet. However, it will not follow the new model of frequent releases as it isn’t an area of high investment.

We see an opportunity here for MSPs. Services coming in from Office 365 or other vendor-hosted cloud elements are possible adds to a managed service portfolio. The key is for MSPs to be on a platform that integrates with both on-prem and cloud. This hybrid approach is something ScienceLogic embraces and our solution supports that shift between on-prem and cloud.

New Opportunities with Azure Stack

In September, Microsoft delivered new Azure Stack capabilities. Customers now have a way to develop on-prem and move to the cloud without reworking applications or migrating content to what is necessary for a different hypervisor. You can run your own Azure platform inside your datacenter for seamless flexibility.

This is a new piece of private cloud to monitor. We are seeing some of our MSP customers already getting in early on Azure Stack to provide holistic monitoring across the Azure ecosystem including Azure Classic, ARM, and Stack.

How to Make These Updates Work for You

The market is changing, and you have to be prepared for the shift. Microsoft technology dominates the core IT infrastructure of almost every enterprise. That is why ScienceLogic monitors everything from operating systems to applications to services—in the cloud, hosted, or on-premises. Our experts are here to answer your questions as you prepare for the changes ahead.

Learn more about our Microsoft capabilities here.

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