An indispensable part of Microsoft’s cloud portfolio, Azure is the stepping stone for thousands of businesses towards their cloud first vision. Held on March 18 and 19 in Pune, India, the 2015 Microsoft Azure Conference was the perfect point where Microsoft India could discuss the vision, strategy, business values, offerings and technical details of Azure to help customers and partners, transform their business in the mobile-first, cloud-first world. With 6 full day tracks and 65 sessions, the conference included an exciting mix of deeply technical talks and hands-on experiences were delivered by our Speakers supported by interactive conversations with the audience. Some of the exciting highlights are included below and I also recommend heading over to the recent post from Sarvashrestha Paliwal
to check out even more!
Community Roundtable on Openness
Mark Hill hosted an Open source developer community roundtable to introduce the attendees to Microsoft’s “Openness” strategy stressing upon open source being integral to Microsoft’s vision and outlined customer’s freedom of choice for their application platform needs. He also outlined what Microsoft does to contribute to standards, to on-board more open source workloads on Azure & to collaborate better with the open source community. The Open source community appreciated the connect with Mark and for the great insights provided during the discussion.
Business Decision Maker Tracks
Debuting at the conference was a specialized engagements for the Business decision makers which included Chief Financial Officers, Chief Product Officers, Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Human Resources Officers with peer to peer connect in each track. With topics ranging from “Financial models for new age technologies” and “Evolution of the CPO as a value creator” to “Analytics driven enterprise” and “Digital transformation of HR”- the topics covered a range of subjects describing transformation of core pillars of any business in the cloud first, mobile first world.
Main Technical Tracks
Content spanned across Compute, Networking, Data Services & App Services as part of the main technical tracks. Hot topics such as Building Trust in the Cloud, Enterprise Mobility, Docker containers in Azure, Linux and Open Source workloads on Azure, Migrating databases to the cloud, Big Data and Machine Learning and IoT drew a lot of attention. Discussion around Azure Vs. AWS drew in the lot discussion amongst the audience and served as a myth busters on Azure’s capability and established Azure as the platform of choice for Cloud Solutions.
No form of learning is better than getting your hands dirty with technology by practicing things yourself. The conference boasted of 10 Hands-on-labs where participants were made to go thru pre-defined set of procedures to get common tasks done, supervised and proctored by experts in that areas. E.g. include deploying Linux and LAMP Stack solutions on Azure, Migrating an on premise database to SQL Azure, using notification hubs and application insights.
Designing for the cloud requires a significant mind-set shift from the traditional architectural patterns. Chalk talks at the conference were designed to walk the audience thru real case studies and scenarios for solutions in the cloud. From AWS -> Azure Migration, Hybrid Cloud scenarios to DevOps on Azure with Docker, the chalk talks brought about intense discussions between the participants who shared their experiences, best practices and tips for success.
Internet of Things : First ever IoT Showcase in India
The IOT competition and solution showcase, the power of Azure for Big-data, middleware and backend services was on display for the world to see. About 175 entries were received and evaluated, of which 30 solutions were chosen who were given IoT Kits develop their solutions. 5 of these solutions were presented with awards in front of about 1500 people in-person and 55,000 virtual users.
The Azure Night
At this All-Night hackathon about ~170 Azure features across 37 services
were demonstrated by experts, followed by active Q&A with the 150+ audience. In addition, about 9 solutions were built thru the night which were presented to the audience the next morning. All Attendees left with certificates on being “Azure Ready
” and plenty of goodies! In addition, we launched a bunch of exciting initiatives – such as the cloud training programs – Azure Vidyapeeth and GuruVarta
, that will up-skill partners to help 10,000 SMBs across 250 cities to move to the cloud.
Glimpses from the Conference
145 Hackers attend the Azure Night 170 Azure features demo-ed and 9 solutions built
4:30 AM : The hackers were attentive all night Packed room in the App-track
Business Tracks with ~130 attendees Packed larger halls for compute and data
Hands-on-labs proctored by experts Showcase area at the conference Overall, it has been a really great couple months preparing for the conference and then executing it over two days. The huge success of the conference coupled with Microsoft’s offer of providing local datacenters, is a massive leap for the domestic cloud industry. The conference was a step towards making the digital Indian customer experience a huge game-changer with Microsoft leading the adoption to cloud. If you have any ideas or other areas we should innovate, please shout! Aditee Rele @aditeerele