Microsoft ‘Ignites’ Tech Initiatives

We’ve all grown along with Microsoft, starting with its DOS operating system and moving through Windows and its many reiterations and the package of Word, Excel and other apps that evolved into Office 365. It’s fair to say the company and its products are entrenched in our daily lives, like it or not. At the Ignite technical conference, they showed how they’re digging deeper.

Delivering the keynote at this year’s Ignite conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella highlighted the company’s latest product and service launches, including new tools and services for the Azure cloud platform. Most of you are familiar with Azure because we’ve built your backup services on it. We’ll talk more about Azure and backup services in Azure – Always at Work in the Background, but Nadella’s talk showed how all the technology is tying together to ultimately give you more computing power.

“We want every organization to be a digital software company. And that means you all need to have the capabilities to be able to turn every organization into a digital company,” Nadella said. “In fact, our goal is to commoditize digital tech. We don’t want it to be just the province of a few companies in the West Coast of the United States or the East Coast of China…we want every company out there to be a tech company in its own right.”

Let that sink in. Whether you are a small business, a home-based business or a family user, Microsoft wants to treat you as a digital company. We can trace our path to this point from the time that Microsoft opened Office 365, OneDrive and Azure to the smaller users. It’s enabled all of us to share in the technological advances made possible by the economies of scale – and it will only get better.

Nadella touted the introduction of Azure Arc as the beginning of a new era in hybrid computing. Boiled down to simple terms, hybrid computing allows data and applications to be shared across public and private cloud environments – server systems. It will, in turn, enable companies – and you, eventually – to switch seamlessly between private servers used for sensitive operations and public servers for less sensitive operations. That will add speed and ultimately let you pay only for the service you need. Nobody will need to build systems to handle spikes in operations because the hybrid system will handle the supply-and-demand needs of users. Everyone will benefit from flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiencies with the lowest possible risk of data exposure. Azure Arc will be enhanced by open-source projects that will allow developers to build and deploy more power applications.

With the introduction of Azure Synapse, Microsoft will offer data warehousing and big-data analytics, using cloud-native memory hierarchy and storage hierarchy to redefine the rules around analytic workloads. It will bring together two separate categories, data warehousing and big data – in ways that integrate analytics systems. Eventually, this capability should filter down to smaller users who need it on an affordable scale.

Two other products that caught our eye are:

  • Project Cortex is an AI (artificial intelligence) initiative that works with Office 365 to classify and categorize content, such as documents and email, to gain greater knowledge within their context. It is expected to be generally available during the first half of 2020.
  • Project Silica will use quartz glass as a storage device. The company is collaborating with Warner Bros., who stored the original 1978 “Superman” on a piece of glass approximately the size of a coaster. Project Silica uses laser optics to encode data in glass and then uses machine-learning algorithms to decode the data. It’s said to be incredibly durable.

As time goes on, we may be able to incorporate some or all these advances into your technology or business operations. Some of these advances may involve new computers, services or networks to help you take advantage of the benefits that apply to you. We can help you plan for these and other developments. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to talk about where your business is heading and how we can plan for the most efficient acquisition and deployment of suitable systems.