I organised an AzureCon viewing party tonight in Hertfordshire, with great team support from Team Awesome over at Cloudamour.
We watched a total of four keynotes, running back to back for almost four hours. The keynotes were all awesome and I’ve blogged some learnings here.
First up, was Scott Guthrie (t), igniting the keynotes and kicking off the event with the journey to the intelligent cloud. I missed some of this piece because I was welcoming guests as they arrived, making introductions and so on. If you want to see the video, you can catch Scott Guthrie here on Channel 9. The thrust of Scott’s session was about cloud energising business and technical leaders worldwide turn the digital disruption into their advantage. Scott led customers who used cloud to enable their business to break new ground, and share their best practices in using some of the latest Microsoft innovations in enabling their journey to the cloud.
My personal favourite part of this piece was seeing the inspirational Lara Rubbelke (t) up on stage. Lara is inspirational and she’s generous with her time, supporting SQLFamily members. Lara explained the SQL Data Warehouse very clearly in terms of its simplicity to set up, and it’s relevance to the business. I liked her piece because she talked tech and business equally and that’s hard. It’s something I find that I have to do in my role every day; basically, wearing different hats, and it’s not easy to accomplish. Lara achieves this with ease and I recommend that you watch her segment, which is about 32 minutes into the video She also makes you think about how this could be relevant in your environment and that is an important takeaway.
In Lara’s words, using the technology is a ‘zero risk’ decision which allows you to scale up, scale down as you need. We don’t need to move our data, it just works, thereby offering immediate ROI, visualised in PowerBI.
Next up was Bill Staples (t) the CVP for the Azure App Platform, and the focus here was in growing and expanding
businesses using Azure as a base for apps.
Since apps are so personal and based around customers’ experience, they can help accelerate their business transformation and driving rapid results which are customer-centric.
Bill had some pretty interesting case studies and you can find them over on his keynote session, which is over at Channel 9.
Next up, the session I’d looked forward to the most: T.K. Rengarajan (t), CVP Data Platform. Ranga talked about IoT – the Internet of Things with *your* things. As with IoT, there was a focus on Stream Processing and Predictive Analytics. How can we use that data properly? How can we use it for prescriptive analytics i.e. what can I do? What should I do? We should be able to drive intent on it, to derive intelligent action. Here are some use cases:
- Rockwell use it to manage gas dispensers.
- Ford are embedding IoT sensors in their cars, going forward.
- ThyssenKrup – leading elevator manufacturer. Track the health of their elevators’ health, around the globe. Optimise the service experience before it breaks down.
They have the ability to optimise their service experience in predicting failure before the elevator breaks down. Now, that’s predictive analytics in action, using Azure as a base!
- IoT Starts with your things
- Provide connectivity to both existing and new devices
- Facilitate new insights by garnessing power of untapped data
- Preconfigured Solutions
- Workflow Automation
- Device Connectivity
- Command and control
- Fully managed system for analytics. Analyse Data of any size, shape and speed
- Productive day one
- Build on open standards – YARN
- the ones with unstructured data
- u-sql ETL script
- Unstructured TSV in Data Lake store to structured tables in data lake store
- including JSON expansion and filtering
- Data lake can support both structured and unstructured data
- Its easy to submit a job, and there is even a slider for parallelism! We can slide up to 1000 levels of parallelism. Ranga asked people to submit a name. I like ‘Pixie Dust Slider’ because it’s sprinkling magic on your data, but I don’t think Microsoft marketing would ever go for that!
- We can see that U-SQL looks very similar to standard SQL
- We can make references in .NET
- One of our columns is a JSON object, but with data lake, we can take a function to extract out that column and work with it.
- The different jobs are broken down.
Finally, we moved on to Jason Zander (t) to talk about cloud infrastructure. More pixie dust to make it happen! Here’s a summary:
- 24 azure regions, more than Google and AWS combined. Welcome India #Azure data centers!
- Enough fibre to wrap around the globe, 56 times.
- 1.4 million miles of fiber in the DCs
- ExpressRoute – for Azure. Speeds of up to 10 Gigabits per second. 21 ExpressRoute locations worldwide, including London.