Microsoft showcased a range of new updates to its enterprise cloud platforms and solutions at its first Ignite Conference, which opened on 4 May in Chicago, Illinois, US.
The company launched Microsoft Azure Stack, which is designed to help companies capitalise on the next-generation hybrid cloud. Bringing both infrastructure and platform-as-a-service capabilities to customers’ data centres, Azure Stack allows IT teams to blend enterprise applications with modern distributed applications and services while maintaining centralised oversight.
Microsoft also showcased System Center 2016, which offers new provisioning, monitoring and automation capabilities, as well as the updated SQL Server 2016 database and analytics platform, which will launch in preview this summer.
SQL Server 2016 offers new features such as enhanced security and encryption technologies, built-in advanced analytics with the R language, PolyBase and mobile business intelligence for on-premises data. In addition, the new Stretch Database capability, an industry first, enables customers to access historical data by stretching their data to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.
Meanwhile, enhanced in-memory technologies and real-time operational analytics using In-Memory OLTP will enable customers to benefit from a combination of real-time operational analytics and fast transactional performance.
“As the foundation of our end-to-end data platform, with this release of SQL Server we continue to make it easier for customers to maximise data dividends,” said T.K. Ranga Rengarajan, corporate vice president of Data Platform, Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft, in a blog post. “With SQL Server 2016 you can capture, transform, and analyse any data, of any size, at any scale, in its native format – using the tools, languages and frameworks you know and want in a trusted environment on-premises and in the cloud.”
To help customers better manage hybrid cloud environments, Microsoft also launched Operations Management Suite (OMS). The cloud-based solution extends System Center capabilities for management across almost any hybrid cloud, including Azure and third-party clouds such as Amazon Web Services, Windows Server, Linux, VMware or OpenStack. Over the next year, Microsoft also plans to add functionality for cloud-based patching, inventory, alerting, container management and more.
Other solutions launched in technical preview included Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016, the updated versions of Microsoft’s application platform and management solutions. Also available in preview is Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics, which helps IT teams to identify security breaches and threats using behavioural analysis and machine learning.
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