Tuesday, 14 February 2017 16:17

Microsoft Azure Cloud is for everyone: Guthrie


Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s executive vice-president, Cloud & Enterprise, gave the opening keynote at Microsoft Ignite on the Gold Coast to more than 2500 of Australia’s leading IT professionals emerging and professional developers, digital architects, technology experts, media, and analysts.

He gave his vision of the journey to the cloud. Following is a tightly edited version of his keynote speech.

"The cloud represents a generational shift in computing – it is happening right now. Every organisation is looking for a strategy for how they go from where they are today to take advantage of what the cloud offers.

"Organisations will look to build new applications that enable them to better engage with their employees and customers. They are going to take advantage of the new data and intelligence technology like machine learning, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, IoT and more, to unlock new insights from that data and enable intelligent action from it.

"They need to ensure these solutions are delivered securely and managed holistically. It is really the combination of these different scenarios that enables organisations to be agiler, to lower their costs, and really differentiate themselves in their overall market.

"So, – better solutions. The Microsoft cloud is a global cloud, scaled out over the world. We now have 38 unique Azure regions, twice the number of locations as AWS and Google combined, enabling business to run your applications and solutions closer to customers and employees than ever before and compete in even more geographic markets.

"Microsoft Cloud and on-premise hybrid cloud is optimised for both start-ups, organisations, and government. We understand the critical requirements of things like certification, data sovereignty, security, and privacy. The Microsoft Cloud today has more compliant certifications than any other cloud vendor out there.

"Hybrid cloud is not just a trend or buzzword. It's really the reality that every business faces today and that's why Microsoft has invested in hybrid consistency across the entire technology stack, from productivity and business applications to identity directories to management and security, to data and application platforms and infrastructure. 90% of the largest 500 companies are running their business using Microsoft Cloud.

"Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. It is the core capability upon which all our Microsoft Cloud services are built. You can use Azure for just infrastructure and take advantage of it for base compute, for virtual networking, storage and run almost any system you want on top, whether it's a .NET system, Java, SAP, running on Linux or Windows. Azure is open, and flexible. And supports the ability for you to target multiple devices, use multiple operating systems, programs, frameworks, languages and tools.

"With the new .NET Core runtime environment with the ideal characteristics to be deployed within a Docker container. With Windows Server 2016, you can now deploy Docker container-based applications and take advantage of some of the Docker built-in management capabilities that shipped as part of the release. With Visual Studio 2017 we now provide an integrated development experience that makes it easy to develop and test Docker-based containers on your local development system. And you can now, in fact, enable any .NET based application, be it a .NET Core application for one built for the full .NET framework to run in a Docker-based container and bet ‑‑ get a rich local development and debugging experience with it."

Guthrie used examples from global brands like Adobe, BMW, GE, Rolls Royce and Boeing that are hinging their digital transformation initiatives around Azure.

He highlighted three Australian companies.

Woolworths is one of the country’s largest businesses; Woolworths Online is a significant business in its own right. To ensure online shoppers are always supported Woolworths has moved the service into Azure – it’s leveraging Azure’s multi-region cloud in Australia to ensure maximum uptime and availability for customers today. Christmas 2016 was its busiest season ever and it ran without a hitch.

Aussie disrupted our mortgage market. But it still wants to disrupt, to transform and to create the best experience it can for its customers. Today Aussie’s a cloud-based business, running its systems in Azure so that brokers can get anywhere anytime access to information as they travel around to meet customers.

Gruntify was born to solve management problems around civic issues. Developed in Azure, a native app lets field workers upload reports in real-time to an Azure cloud-hosted data management portal. This online portal manages, maps and actions incoming data and schedules clean-up crews.

That’s just the start of it because Gruntify at its core is a cloud-based smart data collection and collaboration platform that can be deployed for all sorts of applications

"I have talked a lot about Azure and some of the services we have. There's a lot more than I can cover in a single talk. Throughout this week, you will see great courses on Office 365, on using enterprise mobility and security to secure and manage all of this holistically, the great things happening in SQL and data analytics and some of the great things you can do with Power BI," Guthrie concluded.

Microsoft Ignite  is being held from 14-17 February.

MS Ignite Guthrie

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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