Microsoft Cloud and Hosting Summit 2016

Last week Atmosera executives spoke at a number of events on topics ranging from Security & Compliance, DevOps in the Cloud using Chef, and Hybrid Azure deployments anywhere in the world. One of the more significant conferences was the 2016 Microsoft Worldwide Cloud and Hosting Summit held in Bellevue, Washington. This week long summit is an invitation only event where a select number of Microsoft partners gather to network and hear from Microsoft’s leadership about the status of programs and technologies while previewing new initiatives in the coming Microsoft fiscal year. The 2016 Summit included 397 partners from 40 countries with 33% identified as Hosting Providers, 25% as Managed Service Providers (MSPs), 12% as Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), and the rest representing Systems Integrators, Network Service Providers (NSPs), Resellers, and Outsources.

Atmosera was highlighted throughout the event as a key global Azure partner. Jon Thomsen was one of seven CEOs who joined the stage with Aziz Benmalek, Microsoft’s Vice President of Worldwide Cloud & Hosting Services, during his opening keynote which kicked-off the Summit. Icebreaker, an Atmosera customer and a global producer of exceptional outdoor and lifestyle clothing, was the first of four case studies featured at the conference. In addition, Icebreaker’s Global Head of IT, Suzy Clarke, traveled from New Zealand to share her views on how Azure, in partnership with Atmosera, is helping transform how her company leverages business intelligence and data analytics across the globe.

The summit provided compelling themes on the Microsoft value. Most important were the real-life examples of how Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) partners such as Atmosera, were delivering a unified hybrid, private cloud (Microsoft Cloud Platform) / public cloud solution that transformed how their customers engaged with their business and end customers. It was really interesting to hear how companies around the world like Atmosera are architecting integrated private/public Azure solutions and how these solutions bring about change and value. It was positive to hear and see that Microsoft’s vision of private cloud connected to public cloud is actually in the market, solving real world problems.

Additionally, Mark Russinovich, the CTO of Azure, delivered an insightful keynote where he focused on the transformation from infrastructure to innovation. Mark highlighted six key differentiators with a clear focus on AWS:

1. PaaS takes center stage: The speed to innovate and disrupt is increasing therefore the time to value is decreasing. Deployments are faster and PaaS allows for improved options as to how one enters a market. The key is the level of control over configurations which allows the ability to stand up environments such as a SQL Databases in seconds and not days.

2. Data: The cloud makes it possible to keep all data and no longer have to choose what to store. The cloud also delivers the processing power to ask: “what is going to happen?” and “what should be done about it?”

3. Hybrid becomes reality: Microsoft’s direction is to deliver the same experience on public and private clouds. Microsoft believes multiple deployment models, from on-premise to multiple public clouds, will prevail for a long time. Microsoft is enhancing the capabilities to help manage what is already deployed in a private environment while also taking advantage of Azure, including the ability to use other SaaS applications via plug-ins.

4. Agile development models: Today most deployments follow a classic three tier architecture which is slow to adapt to changing needs. Microsoft is focused on elastic models and cloud native applications using containers to avoid typical infrastructure problems. This does require the ability to orchestrate containers and modularization to break up applications and move faster. This is where Microsoft’s Microservices platform becomes so powerful and compelling. It also helps avoid lock in with support for Docker to envelop its own services and flexible development choices including Linux and Java. Microsoft is committed to creating solutions which can run anywhere, even AWS.

5. Security becomes a true enabler: Over the past three years there has been a key change in the perception about the security of the public cloud. With more visibility, control and understanding, the public cloud is being used more and more as a secure, compliant environment. Microsoft is continuing to deliver new capabilities for holistic security where identity + devices + apps and infrastructure + data offer much better control, security and compliance.

6. Easiest to manage multi-cloud: The commitment to a hybrid reality along with Microsoft’s Azure Stack for private cloud makes it possible to have consistency across private cloud, Azure and other public clouds.

Overall it was a fantastic week with a lot of traction for Atmosera at a number of events. The Microsoft Worldwide Cloud and Hosting Summit emphasized that with the ability to leverage private Azure with public Azure, the Microservices of PaaS wrapped into a secure, flexible environment. As a front runner leveraging Microsoft’s cloud portfolio, Atmosera is well positioned to service customers in ways that best suit their strategic business goals.

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