MS Ignite 2017: Top 5 Sessions

Microsoft Ignite kicks off on Monday, and I can’t wait for another year of immersion in all of the enterprise technologies that Microsoft has to offer.  If you are still struggling to sort through the 1500+ sessions available, let me persuade you to check out my top 5 anticipated sessions for the week.

#1

Session: Inside Exchange Online (BRK4029)
Presenter(s): Matt Gossage, Ananth Sundararaj
Time: Monday 2:15p – 3:30p

The scale at which Microsoft is able to manage the millions of mailboxes in Exchange Online is astounding.  I’m excited to take a look behind the curtain to see how Microsoft runs Exchange Online.

#1a (Yes, 1a…”My top 6″ doesn’t sound as good)

Session: Inside Microsoft Azure datacenter hardware and software architecture (BRK3203)
Presenter(s): Mark Russinovich
Time: Tuesday 4:00p – 5:15p

I am stoked to get a deeper look into the architecture behind Azure datacenters.  Mark is a legendary speaker (no this isn’t a paid endorsement)  and is the CTO for Microsoft Azure.  This session is sure to be packed with attendees and awesome details.

#2

Session: Plan your UC refresh correctly: Skype for Business on-premises vNext (BRK2035)
Presenter(s): Daniel Strader, Paul Cannon
Time: Tuesday 10:45a – 12:00p

A few weeks ago, Microsoft seemed to leak news that Teams will be replacing Skype for Business.  They quickly pulled the post, but Ignite would be the ideal time to announce such a major shift in the UC landscape.  I am interested to hear what the future of Skype looks like as we prepare for vNext and where Teams fits in the picture.

#3

Session: Saying goodbye to passwords (BRK2017)
Presenter(s): Alex Simons, Manini Roy
Time: Tuesday 12:45p – 1:30p

Let’s face it, passwords are a pain in the ass for both users and IT.  There are multiple sessions this week about replacing traditional passwords with other solutions such as Windows Hello or the Microsoft Authenticator app.  I am already using Authenticator for some of my personal accounts and the experience has been fantastic.  I am looking forward to seeing how Microsoft transitions these technologies to the enterprise.

#4

Session: Top 10 ways to make hackers excited: All about the shortcuts not worth taking (BRK3307)
Presenter(s): Paula Januszkiewicz
Time: Thursday 4:00p – 5:15p

This is another session that is guaranteed to be standing room only because Paula is one of the most popular speakers and for good reason.  Paula always has great tips on how you can protect you and your company from a security nightmare.

#5

Session: Servicing Windows 10 in the real world (BRK2436)
Presenter(s): Mikael Nystrom, Johan Arwidmark
Time: Friday 12:30p – 1:45p

Windows as a service has completely changed the way IT maintains the desktop environment.  I have had good luck using Configuration Manager to deploy Windows 10 updates, but am always curious about successful ways that have worked for others.  Plus, I don’t know if there is a better group to end the week than Johan and Mikael (aka The Deployment Bunny).

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