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What To Expect from Microsoft at TechEd

Will Microsoft's final TechEd conference this week in Barcelona go out with a bang? We'll have a better sense of that over the next two days as the company reveals the next set of deliverables for the datacenter and the cloud. Microsoft has kept a tight lid on what's planned but we should be on the lookout for info pertaining to the next versions of Windows Server, System Center and Hyper-V, along with how Microsoft sees containers helping advance virtualization and cloud interoperability.

In case you missed it, this week's TechEd, the twice-yearly conference Microsoft has held for nearly two decades, will be the last. Instead, Microsoft said earlier this month it will hold a broader conference for IT pros and developers called Ignite to be held in Chicago during the first week of May. Ignite will effectively envelope TechEd, SharePoint and Exchange.

Given the company's statements about faster release cycles, if officials don't reveal what's planned for the next releases of Windows Server, System Center and the so-called "Cloud OS" tools that enable it to provide an Azure-like infrastructure within the datacenter, partner cloud services and its own public cloud, I'd be quite surprised.

If you caught wind of presentations made last week by CEO Satya Nadella and Scott Guthrie, EVP of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise group, it was clear that besides some noteworthy announcements, they were clearly aimed at priming the pump for future announcements. For example Microsoft announced the Azure Marketplace, where ISV partners can develop virtual images designed to accelerate the use of Azure as a platform. Also revealed, the Azure G-series of virtual powered by the latest Intel Xeon processors that Guthrie claimed will be the largest VMs available in the public cloud -- at least for now. Guthrie claimed that the new VMS provide twice the memory of the largest Amazon cloud machine.

As Microsoft steps up its moves into containerization with the recent announcement that it's working with Docker to create Docker containers for Windows Server, it will be interesting to hear how that will play into the next release of the server operating system. It will also be interesting to learn to what extent Microsoft will emphasize capabilities in Windows Server and Azure that offer more automation as the company moves to build on the evolving software-defined datacenter.

The opening keynote is tomorrow, when we'll find out how much Microsoft intends disclose what's next for its core enterprise datacenter and cloud platforms. I'd be surprised and disappointed if it wasn't substantive.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 10/27/2014 at 3:17 PM


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