Tag Archives: cloud

#Build 2017 – some exciting things

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I just finished watching the #Build 2017 keynote and I am really excited by all the new things that were announced in this occasion. There were so many cool things that at the end I started to forget those mentioned at the beginning. That’s why I thought of writing a //build 2017 keynote summary, to serve more for me remembering all the things that I need to keep up with during the next year.

One of the coolest thing is the new Azure Cosmos DB offering. Azure Cosmos DB is Microsoft’s globally distributed, multi-model database. With the click of a button, Azure Cosmos DB enables you to elastically and independently scale throughput and storage across any number of Azure’s geographic regions. It offers throughput, latency, availability, and consistency guarantees with comprehensive service level agreements (SLAs), something no other database service can offer. What this means is that you have a database where you can store documents, tables, graph data and many more in the same place and use really any DB API to access all the data in nearly real time.

Just to stay in the same database area, the announcement of Azure database for MySql was also a nice surprise. Basically, you get a MySql database as a service, without the need to take care of patching infrastructures and so on.

Further, Microsoft announced at //build 2017 the new Azure IoT Edge, a technology that’s meant to extend “the intelligence — and other benefits — of cloud computing to edge devices.” It’s a cross-platform run time that runs on both Windows and Linux, and it will work on devices that are smaller than a Raspberry Pi. This will solve a lot of problems in IoT scenarios with really small devices, since this new features enables a more straight forward communication between Azure and devices.

Next, the announcement of the new Azure Portal App for iOs and Android, together with the built in full featured Bash shell in the Azure Portal was also a very intriguing announcement. First, the mobile app is not available on Windows 10 mobile devices (I know, there are few of them out there, but still….) and second, the first integrated shell is a Bash shell, not PowerShell (PowerShell will come “some time” in the future). On the other side, this underlines once more the heavy open source approach that Microsoft is showing during last years.

The remote debugging of production web apps using Visual Studio 2017 without any downtime was also a great thing to watch.

Let’s go to the AI part. I was already fairly familiar with Microsoft Cognitive Services, but the announcement of the custom vision API was really exciting. This enables developers to easily train their own vision machine learning models, providing the necessary training data. This really starts to look more and more like democratized AI, which should enable developers to build more and more intelligent applications.

The PowerPoint Translator was also a fairly cool demo, but for me it was not necessarily something new since exactly the same thing was showcased two years ago at the Build conference, but back then it was a Skype extension, called Skype translator. These two are fairly similar.

A final observation: almost all demos were made from MacOS laptops and iPhones.

Watching the //Build 2017 keynote was a very good time investment. I still dream to attend this conference in person at some time 🙂

There is no cloud!

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These days I saw on social media a lot of IT guys sharing with joy and great passion photos with “There is no cloud. It’s just someone else’s computer”. I also saw a lot of discussions and guys bragging with this motto, showing that they really mean it, that the cloud is bullshit and that every reasonable IT guy would resonate with this idea, that managers are kind of dumb pushing for the cloud and so on. Now, I fully support freedom of expression, but I would still want to say a few words on this topic.

First of all, technically all these people are right. The cloud is only someone else’s computer. But, in my opinion, the real problem with this attitude is not the technical part, but all the misconceptions and hostility that lies beneath these words. Disqualifying all IT guys that don’t share the same opinion on cloud computing is, first of all, a sign for the lack of common sense. But I wouldn’t like to dwell on this, right now.

The first argument I would like to bring forward is that the cloud is not something that evolved artificially. It’s exactly the other way around. The cloud is just the IT response to today’s world, to today’s economy, to today’s morals. We live in a service oriented world and almost all people nowadays prefer to consume service and not own products. That’s why we lease cars, we shop online, we order pizza instead of baking and so on. Companies, on their side, need to adapt to today’s needs and nowadays people need new services and products right away. Continue reading

Office 365 si administrarea automatizata prin Windows PowerShell

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Office 365 este o suita de instrumente ce sunt fundamentale pentru productivitatea oricarui business. Datorita scalabilitatii specifice serviciilor cloud, am aratat ca Office 365 este deopotriva un serviciu extrem de utill atat pentru companiile mici si mijlocii, cat si pentru companiile mari. Fie ca vorbim de Exchange Online, Sharepoint Online, Lync Online sau de gestionarea identitatii cibernetice a utilizatorilor, toate aceste lucruri se pot face din interfata grafica a serviciului.

Apare insa o oarecare problema atunci cand trebuie sa administram un numar mai mare de utilizatori. Chiar la inceput, sa spunem ca trebuie sa cream 150 de utilizatori in Office 365 si sa le acordam licentele necesare pentru ca acestia sa se poata loga si folosi serviciile puse la dispozitie. Sa creezi 150 de utilizatori din interfata grafica nu e neaparat o placere, intrucat necesita destul de mult timp, iar task-ul este repetitiv si devine plictisitor.  Continue reading

Despre cloud si costul insuccesului

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Despre cloud se poate vorbi mult, iar parerile celor implicati sunt cat se poate de diversificate. O intrebare revine, insa, constant, mai ales din partea celo mai sceptici: De ce sa ma folosesc de cloud? Evident, la aceasta intrebare raspunsurile pot fi foarte multe si ele vor depinde mereu de creativitatea celui care se angajeaza sa raspunda. Se vorbeste despre costuri reduse, despre backup, despre failover, despre controlul datelor.

Dar se vorbeste foarte putin despre costul insuccesului. Fie ca suntem intr-o companie mare sau, mai ales, un startup, orice idee buna aduce dupa sine o serie de costuri pentru implementare. Intr-o viziune traditionala asupra IT-ului implementarea unei idei inseamna si costuri uriase. Cand vorbesc despre costuri “uriase” relationez automat costurile cu puterea financiara. In cazul companiilor mari, scalabilitatea este principalul generator de cost. Pentru un start up costurile sunt uriase in raport cu finantarile de care start up-ul beneficiaza.  Continue reading

Henkel a migrat 40.000 de utilizatori catre Office 365

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Avantajele serviciilor cloud sunt din ce în ce mai evidente, mai ales pentru companiile mari, astfel încât acestea renunță tot mai des (parțial sau total) la infrastructura IT „convențională” pentru a se îndrepta către cloud. Unul dintre ultimele exemple elocvente este Henkel, companie care a stabilit un oarecare record de migrare și a reușit să transfere către Office 365 40.000 de utilizatori în doar 5 luni.

În ultima perioadă, Henkel a acordat o atenție deosebită modernizării infrastructurii IT. Unul dintre eforturi a fost acela de a trece toți utilizatorii pe sisteme de operare Windows 7. Odată ce acest pas a fost făcut, următorul a avut în vedere îmbunătățirea și modernizarea infrastructurii IT vitale pentru productivitatea angajaților. Nevoia unui sistem de messaging la cele mai înalte standarde, o platformă de colaborare în timp real între angajați, un serviciu de conferencing modern și ușor de utilizat și, nu în ultimul rând, suita de aplicații Office au fost punctele focale. Luând toate aceste în considerare, Henkel a ales definitiv Office 365. Continue reading