I Have Joined Innofactor

As I posted before, I finished my previous job with MicroWarehouse before Christmas. On January 3rd, I joined Innofactor.

Who Are Innofactor?

Innofactor is an IT consulting and services company that operates in the Nordic countries: Finland (HQ), Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. If you attend conferences or user groups, then there’s a good chance you’ve seen some of their employees speaking; Innofactor has a number of MVPs on their books including (but not limited to) Damian Flynn (also Irish), Olav Tvedt, Alexander Rodland, and Stefan Shorling. Quite simply, Innofactor is the A-Game in the Nordic countries, if not Europe.

I’ve known of Innofactor for quite a while. Lumagate was the company I knew first, but they were acquired by the Finnish company in 2016. My first contact with Lumagate was through Kristian Nese, now a part of AzureCAT in Microsoft. Kristian was the technical reviewer of Private Cloud Computing which I co-wrote (I did a tiny part) with other MVPs, including Damian Flynn. Damian joined Innofactor a few years ago – I’ve known Damian since he first became a Hyper-V MVP many moons ago. More often than not, we are roommates at the MVP summit. I got to know Olav through bringing him to Ireland to run EMS training for MicroWarehouse’s customers. It’s through these connections, and eventually meeting some of the other MVPs that I got to know what Innofactor is and wants to do.

My Role

My title is Principal Consultant, but I’m doing more than just project work. I don’t want to discuss that publicly yet … it’s a strategic thing 🙂 I’ll say this: the project work I have done so far has been quite cool, and the other thing I’m doing gives me an opportunity to work with great people across the Nordic countries. I’ve had a lot of meetings in my first 7 working days and we’ve figured out a lot of stuff that I thought might have taken weeks or months.

I am not moving to Norway. In fact, I spent a few days over the Christmas holidays working on my home office. It’s not finished yet – I want to put in a new desk and do a little bit more painting, but it’s getting there. Yes; I am working from home – the commute is wicked tough 😉 Almost all of my communications and collaboration is done through Microsoft Teams, something one of the directors pushed out before I joined. I was skeptical at first but it works well. And because the work we do is in The Cloud, we can do it from anywhere.

I said Innofactor was the A-Game. If you’ve seen any of the consultants present, then you know what I’m talking about. The conversations that I’m having on a daily basis are all state-of-the-art. What lies ahead of me will be both challenging and amazing.

Culture Difference

I have worked for American, German and Irish companies, including corporates, finance, and startup/small/medium businesses. My last employed, MicroWarehouse, was very flexible – the MD is very supportive of staff and deals with family issues in a thoughtful manner. But I have never experienced anything like working for a Norwegian company – maybe it’s an Innofactor thing, maybe it’s a Nordic or Scandinavian thing, I don’t know. But they take life-work (notice the order) balance very seriously. There is work, but most of your time is life. Don’t get me wrong, work has to be done and it has to be done well, but there is no doubt in your communications that no one is expecting 18 hour days.

Working from home has huge advantages, especially when you combine it with flexitime. I start work at 8 am most days, earlier on Fridays, and I’m able to finish earlier. I have more time at home with my family, I am here in case something needs to be delivered or done at the house (very useful last week when a new heating furnace was required in an emergency), and I can use my flexitime to deal with things for the kids like dental appointments, sports, or events. It really is life changing.

A hard part of working from home is being disciplined. It is so easy to say “I’ll work in the sitting room and stick on the TV for background noise”. Next thing you know, you’re binge-watching Netflix! I’ve heard home workers offer all kinds of solutions. Some get dressed for work, get in their car, drive around the block and then start work in their home! I think the most important thing to do is to create a workplace.

The small (box) room in our house was set up as an office when we moved in. It required some work over the holidays, but I tidied it up and got it ship-shape for the new job. This is where I work – nowhere else. When I come in here, the door shuts behind me and I am in work mode. I even use a “work laptop”, not my personal PC. That virtual line puts me in work mode. And it works – after 7 working days, today was actually the first time I’ve ever logged into Facebook on this machine.

Future

The scale of work and types of customers that I am working with are very different than I did over the previous 7 years. Customers are bigger, and they are what we in MicroWarehouse called “end customers”, not partners/resellers. This means I’ll have new things/scenarios to talk about. Already, I’ve got some new talks ideas floating around my head 🙂

Leaving MicroWarehouse

It’s with great sadness that I am announcing that this is my last day at MicroWarehouse, a company that I have enjoyed working with for over 7 years.

I joined MWH in 2011. My role was to work with Irish Microsoft partners, mostly in the small/medium business space, to grow the System Center business. My work with Hyper-V was a gateway to System Center and, at first, this worked … until Microsoft changed the licensing of System Center & enterprise agreements which killed that business for us.

Nearly 5 years ago my role changed from on-premises to The Cloud, when Microsoft asked us to take the lead on growing Azure business in the breadth market. I logged into Azure for the first time and started learning– for 9 months before I spoke to my first customer. And I’ve been learning every day since because that is the nature of Azure.

The great thing about working for MicroWarehouse was the people. The company has a family feel about it. We are literally thrown out of the office if we’re still in the building at 17:45! And the MD gives out to us for answering email at night! The company had my back when I went through some bad times, giving me time off to deal with things. I can even say that MWH changed my life, because one day this new hire sat at the desk beside me, and eventually married me 😊

The staff in MWH are the very best at what they do. The sales team totally know their stuff, and no one can match them. Any little tricks I know about licensing come from Rob, Angela, and Nicole. Our core sales team knows every little nook and cranny – you want to know about Surface or it’s accessories then they know the lot. The accounts and logistics team are all over everything – they sort out so many problems in Microsoft that customers could never comprehend – they’re the ninjas behind the scenes. And, of course, there’s the Marketing team; every time I’ve been speaking at an MWH event, training course or webinar, they’re the ones running things.

In short, if you are a Microsoft partner operating in Ireland, Northern or Republic of, then there’s no better choice than MicroWarehouse as your distributor or CSP Indirect. We’ve gone up against the best the UK has to offer and they are no match – there’s a reason we crushed the competition! Even though my time here is ending, I hope that MWH continues to thrive.

I’ve also made lots of friends in the Microsoft and MS partner world. My job was to engage with partners and that’s what I did … a lot. I’ve met some impressive people over the years and I’ve learned a lot from our customers too. I’m going to miss that.

I don’t view my departure as me leaving MWH. I didn’t look to leave, I never entered any job hunting process. I was really happy here. Instead, I’m going to something … I’ll share that soon.

Thank you MicroWarehouse. I’ve had an amazing time.

My New Intel NUC PC

I recently purchased an Intel NUC, NUC8i7HNK, to use as my home office PC. Here’s a little bit of information about my experience.

Need To Upgrade

I’ve been using a HP micro-tower for around 6-7 years as my home office PC. It was an i5 with 16 GB RAM, originally purchased as part of a pair to use as a lab kit when I started writing Mastering Hyper-V 2012 R2. After that book, I re-purposed the machine as my home PC and it’s been where many of my articles were written and where I work when I work from home.

When Microsoft introduced a workaround security fix for Meltdown/Spectre I noticed the slowdown quite a bit. Over the year, the PC has just felt slower and slower. I don’t do anything that unusual with it, I don’t use it for development, it’s not running Hyper-V – Office, Chrome, Visio, and VS Code are my main tools of the trade. The machine is 6-7 years old, so it was time to upgrade.

Options

Some will ask “wasn’t the Surface Studio the perfect choice?”. No, not for me. The price is crazy, the Studio 1 needs a hard disk replacement, the Studio 2 isn’t available yet, and I need a nice dual monitor supply and I don’t like working with mismatched monitors – Microsoft doesn’t make additional matching monitors for the Studio.

I did look at Dell/Lenovo/HP but nothing there suited me. Some were too lower spec. Some had the spec but a Surface-like price to go with them. I considered home-builds. Most of the PC’s I have owned have been either home-built or customised. But I don’t have time for that malarkey. I looked at custom-builds but they are expensive options for gamers – I don’t have time to play the X-Box games that I already have.

At work, we use Intel NUCs for our training room. They’re small, high spec, and have an acceptable price. So that’s what I went for.

NUC8i7HNK

One of my colleagues showed me some of the new 8th generation NUC models and I opted for the NUC8i7HNK (Amazon USA / Amazon UK). A machine with an i7, Radeon graphics instead of the usual Intel HD, USB C and Thunderbolt, TPM 2.0 (not listed on the Intel site, I found), and oodles of ports. Here’s the front:

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And here’s the back:

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Look at that: 2 x HDMI, 2 x mini-DP, USB C, 6 x USB 3.0, 2 x Ethernet, and there’s the Radeon graphics, speaker, built-in mic, and more. It supports 2 x M.2/NVMe disks and 2 x DIMM slots for up to 32 GB RAM.

The machine is quite tidy and small. It comes with a plate allowing you to mount it to the back of a monitor – if the monitor supports mounting.

My Machine

The NUC kits come built, but you have to add your disk and RAM. I went with:

  • Adata SX6000 M.2 SSD, capable of up to 1000 MB/S read and 800 MB/S write.
  • 2 x Adata DDR4 2400 8 GB RAM

I installed Windows 10 1809 in no time, added the half dozen or so required Windows updates, and installed Office 365 from the cloud. A quick blast of Ninite and I had most of the extra bits that I needed. In terms of data, all of my docs are is either in OneDrive or Office 365 so there was no data migration. My media (movies & photos) are on a pair of USB 3.0 drives configured with Storage Spaces so all I’ll have to do is move the drives over. To be honest, the biggest thing I have to do is buy a pair of video cables to replace my old ones!

Going with a smaller machine will clear up a lot of space from under my desk, and help reduce some of the clutter – there’s a lot of clutter to clear!

Cloud Camp 2018 – It’s A Wrap!

Yesterday, Cloud Camp 2018, run by MicroWarehouse and sponsored by Microsoft Surface and Veeam, ran in the Dublin Convention Centre here in Ireland. 4 tracks, 20 (mostly MVP) sessions, 2 keynotes, and hundreds of satisfied attendees. It was great fun – but we’re all a little tired today Smile

Photo by Gregor Reimling

The message of the day was “change” and that was what I talked about in the opening keynote. In nature, change is inevitable. In IT, you cannot accept change, you’re pushed aside. Business pressure, security & compliance needs, and the speed of cloud make change happen faster than ever. And that’s why we had 20 expert-lead breakout sessions covering Azure IaaS, Azure PaaS, productivity, security, management & governance, Windows Server 2019 and hybrid cloud solutions. The conference ended with renowned Microsoft-watchers Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott discussing what the corporation has been up to and their experiences in covering the Redmond giant.

We had a lot of fun yesterday. Everything ran quite smoothly – credit to John & Glenn in MWH and Hanover Communications.

After the conference, Paul & Mary Jo hosted their Windows Weekly podcast from Dogpatch Labs in the IFSC.

And then we had a small after party in Urban Brewing next door, where one or two beverages might have been consumed until the wee hours of the morning Smile

Picture by Gerald Versluis

Thank you to:

  • MicroWarehouse for running this event – Rory for OK-ing it and the team for promoting it.
  • John and Glenn who ran the logistics and made it so smooth
  • Hanover Communications for the PR work
  • All the breakout speakers who travelled from around Ireland/Europe to share their knowledge and experience
  • Kartik who travelled from India to share what Azure Backup are up to
  • Paul & Mary Jo for travelling from the USA to spend some time with us
  • Alex at TWiT for make sure things worked well with the podcast
  • Everyone who attended and made this event possible!

A Twitter competition with the #CloudCamp18 tag was run – a winner will be selected (after the dust settles) for a shiny new Surface Go. At one point the #CloudCamp18 tag was trending #3 for tweets in Dublin. Now I wonder what will happen with #CloudCamp19?

Generation 2 Virtual Machines Make Their First Public Appearance in Microsoft Azure

Microsoft has revealed that the new preview series of confidential computing virtual machines, the DC-Series, which went into public preview overnight are based on Generation 2 (Gen 2) Hyper-V virtual machines. This is the first time that a non-Generation 1 (Gen 1) VM has been available in Azure.

Note that ASR allows you to migrate/replicate Generation 2 machines into Azure by converting them into Generation 1 at the time of failover.

These confidential compute VMs use hardware features of the Intel chipset to provide secure enclaves to isolate the processing of sensitive data.

The creation process for a DC-Series is a little different than usual – you have to look for Confidential Compute VM Deployment in the Marketplace and then you work through a (legacy blade-based) customised deployment that is not as complete as a normal virtual machine deployment. In the end a machine appears.

I’ve taken a screenshot from a normal Azure VM including a view of Device Manager from Windows Server 2016 with the OS disk.

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Note that both the OS disk and the Temp Drive are IDE drives on a Virtual HD ATA controller. This is typical a Generation 1 virtual machine. Also note the IDE/ATA controller?

Now have a look at a DC-Series machine:

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Note how the OS disk and the Temp Drive are listed as Microsoft Virtual Disk on SCSI controllers? Ah – definitely a Generation 2 virtual machine! Also do you see the IDE/ATA controller is missing from the device listing? If you expand System Devices you will find that the list is much smaller. For example, the Hyper-V S3 Cap PCI bus video controller (explained here by Didier Van Hoye) of Generation 1 is gone.

Did you Find This Post Useful?

If you found this information useful, then imagine what 2 days of training might mean to you. I’m delivering a 2-day course in Frankfurt on December 3-4, teaching newbies and experienced Azure admins about Azure Infrastructure. There’ll be lots of in-depth information, covering the foundations, best practices, troubleshooting, and advanced configurations. You can learn more here.

Windows Server 2019 Did Not RTM – And Why That Matters

I will start this article by saying there is a lot in Windows Server 2019 to like. There are good reasons to want to upgrade to it or deploy it – if I was still in the on-premises server business I would have been downloading the bits as soon as they were shared.

As you probably know Microsoft has changed the way that they develop software. It’s done in sprints and the goal is to produce software and get it into the hands of customers quickly. It doesn’t matter if it’s Azure, Office 365, Windows 10, or Windows Server, the aim is the same.

This release of Windows Server is the very first to go through this process. When Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Server 2019 on October 2nd, they shared those bits with everyone at the same time. Everyone – including hardware manufacturers. There was no “release to manufacturing” or RTM.

In the past, Microsoft would do something like this:

  1. Microsoft: Finish core development.
  2. Microsoft: RTM – share the bits privately with the manufacturers.
  3. Microsoft: Continue quality work on the bits.
  4. Manufacturing: Test & update drivers, firmware, and software.
  5. Microsoft & Manufacturing: Test & certify hardware, drivers & firmware for the Windows Server Catalog, aka the hardware compatibility list or HCL.
  6. Microsoft: 1-3 months after RTM, announce general availability or GA
  7. Microsoft: Immediately release a quality update via Windows Update

This year, Microsoft has gone straight to step 6 from the above to get the bits out to the application layer as quickly as possible. The OEMs got the bits the same day that you could have. This means that the Windows Server Catalog, the official listing of all certified hardware, is pretty empty. When I looked on the morning of Oct 3, there was not even an entry for Windows Server 2019 on it! Today (October 4th) there are a handful of certified components and 1 server from an OEM I don’t know:

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So my advice is, sure, go ahead and download the bits to see what Microsoft has done. Try out the new pieces and see what they offer. But hold off on production deployments until your hardware appears on this list.

I want to be clear here – I am not bashing anyone. I want you to have a QUALITY Windows Server experience. Too often in the past, I have seen people blame Windows/Hyper-V for issues when the issues were caused by components – maybe some of you remember the year of blue screens that Emulex caused for blade server customers running Windows Server 2012 R2 because of bad handling of VMQ in their converged NICs driver & firmware?

In fact, if you try out the software-defined features, Network Controller and Storage Spaces Direct (S2D), you will be told that you can’t try them out without opening a free support call to get a registry key – which someone will eventually share online. This is because those teams realize how dependent they are on hardware/driver/firmware quality and don’t want you judging their work by the problems of the hardware. The S2D team things the first wave of certified “WSSD” hardware will start arriving in January.

Note: VMware, etc, should be considered as hardware. Don’t go assuming that Windows Server 2019 is certified on it yet – wait for word from your hypervisor’s manufacturer.

Why would Microsoft do this? They want to get their software into application developers hands as quickly as possible. Container images based on Windows Server will be smaller than ever before – but they’re probably on the semi-annual channel so WS2019 doesn’t mean much to them. Really, this is for people running Windows Server in a cloud to get them the best application platform there is. Don’t start the conspiracy theories – if Microsoft had done the above process then none of us would be seeing any bits maybe until January! What they’ve effectively done is accelerate public availability while the Windows Server Catalog gets populated.

Have fun playing with the new bits, but be careful!

Microsoft Ignite 2018: Implement Cloud Backup & Disaster Recovery At Scale in Azure

Speakers: Trinadh Kotturu, Senthuran Sivananthan, & Rochak Mittal

Site Recovery At Scale

Senthuran Sivananthan

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Real Solutions for Real Problems

Customer example: Finastra.

  1. BCP process: Define RPO/RTO. Document DR failover triggers and approvals.
  2. Access control: Assign clear roles and ownership. Levarage ASR built-in roles for RBAC. Different RS vault for different BU/tenants. They deployed 1 RSV per app to do this.
  3. Plan your DR site: Leveraged region pairs – useful for matching GRS replication of storage. Site connectivity needs to be planned. Pick the primary/secondary regions to align service availability and quota availability – change the quotas now, not later when you invoke the BCP.
  4. Monitor: Monitor replication health. Track configuration changes in environment – might affect recovery plans or require replication changes.
  5. DR drills: Periodically do test failovers.

Journey to Scale

  • Automation: Do things at scale
  • Azure Policy: Ensure protection
  • Reporting: Holistic view and application breakdown
  • Pre- & Post- Scripts: Lower RTO as much as possible and eliminate human error

Demos – ASR

Rochak for demos of recent features. Azure Policies coming soon.

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Will assess if VMs are being replicated or not and display non-compliance.

Expanding the monitoring solution.

Demo – Azure Backup & Azure Policy

Trinadh creates an Azure Policy and assigns it to a subscription. He picks the Azure Backup policy definition. He selects a resource group of the vault, selects the vault, and selects the backup policy from the vault. The result is that any VM within the scope of the policy will automatically be backed up to the selected RSV with the selected policy.

Azure Backup & Security

Supports Azure Disk Encryption. KEK and BEK are backed up automatically.

AES 256 protects the backup blobs.

Compliance

  • HIPAA
  • ISO
  • CSA
  • GDPR
  • PCI-DSS
  • Many more

Built-in Roles

Cumulative:

  • Backup reader – see only
  • Backup Operator: Enable backup & restore
  • Backup contributor: Policy management and Delete-Stop Backup

Protect the Roles

PIM can be used to guard the roles – protect against rogue admins.

  • JIT access
  • MFA
  • Multi-user approval

Data Security

  • PIN protection for critical actions, e.g. delete
  • Alert: Notification on critical actions
  • Recovery: Data kept for 14 days after delete. Working on blob soft delete

Backup Center Demo

Being built at the moment. Starting with VMs now but will include all backup items eventually.

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All RSVs in the tenant (doh!) managed in a central place.

Aimed at the large enterprise.

They also have Log Analytics monitoring if you like that sort of thing. I’m not a fan of LA – I much prefer Azure Monitor.

Reporting using Power BI

Trinadh demos a Power BI reporting solution that unifies backup data from multiple tenants into a single report.

Microsoft Ignite–Building Enterprise Grade Applications With Azure Networking’s Delivery Suite

Speakers: Daniel Grickholm & Amit Srivastava

I arrived late to this session after talking to some product group people in the expo hall.

Application Gateway Demo

We see the number of instances dynamically increase and cool down – I think there was an app on Kubernetes in the background.

Application Gateway

Application gateway ingress controller for AKS v2.

  • Attach WAG to AKS clusters.
  • Load balance from the Internet to pods
  • Supports features of K8s ingress resource – TLS, multisite and path-based

Demo: we see a K8s containers app published via the WAG. The backend pool is shown – IPs of containers. Deleting the app in K8s removes the backend pool registration from the WAG (this fails in the demo).

Web Application Firewall

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Demo – WAF

App behind a firewall with no exclusion parameters. Backend pool is a simple PHP application. Second firewall is using the same backend VM as a backend pool – a scan exclusion is set up to ignore any field which matches a “comments” string. The second one allows a comment post, the other one does not.

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Get performance closer to the customer. Runs in edge sites, not the azure data centers.

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Once you hit an edge site via front door, you are on the Azure WAN.

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ADN = application delivery network

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Big focus on SLA HA and performance. Built for Office.

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5 years old and mature.

Can work in conjunction with WAG, even if there is some overlap, e.g. SSL termination.

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What will be in the next demo:

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Has an app for USA in Central US. Another for UK deployed in UK South. Shows the front door creation – Name/resource group, Configuration screen during creation is a bit different for Azure. Create a global CName and session affinity in fron end hosts. Create backends – app service, gateways, etc. You can set up host headers for custom domains, priority, port translation, priority for failover, weight for load balancing. You can add health probes to the backend pools, to a URL path, HTTP/S, and set the interval. Finally you create a routing rule; this maps frontend hosts to backend pools. You can set if it should be HTTP and/or HTTPS.

Skips to one he created earlier. When he browses the two apps that are in it, he is sent to the closest instance – in central US. You can set up  rules to block certain countries.

You can implement rate limiting and policies for fairness.

You can implement URL rewrites to map to a different path on the web servers.

This is like traffic manager + WAG combined at the edges of the Azure WAN.

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Front Door load balances between regions. WAG load balances inside the region – that’s why they work together.

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Microsoft Ignite 2018: Office in Virtual Desktop Environments

Speakers: Gama Aguilar-Gamez & Sandeep Patnik

Goal: Make Office 365 Pro Plus a first class experience in virtualized environments.

Windows Virtual Desktop

  • The only mutli-user Windows 10 experience – note that this is RDmi and it also supports session hosts.
  • Optimized for Office 365 Pro Plus
  • Deploy and scale in minutes

Windows 10 Enterprise Multi-User

  • Scalable multi-user modern Windows user experience with Windows 10 Enterprise security
  • Windows 10
  • Multiple users
  • Win32, UWP
  • Office 365 Po Plus
  • Semi-Annual Channel

This is a middle ground between RDSH on Windows Server and VDI on Windows 10.

Demo

The presentation is actually being run from a WVD VM in the cloud. PowerPoint is a published application – we can see the little glyph in the taskbar icon.

User Profile Disks

High performance persistence of cached user profile data across all Office 365 apps and services.

  • Outlook OST/PST files – will be improved for GA of WVD. Support for UNC paths
  • OneDrive sync roots
  • OneNote notebook cache

Improving Outlook Start Up

  • Virtual environment friendly default settings
  • Sync Inbox before calendar for faster startup experience
  • Admin option to reduce calendar sync window
  • Reduce the number of folders that are synced by default
  • Windows Desktop Search is no per-user

See Exchange Account Settings to configure how much past email should be synced

Windows Desktop Search

  • Enables the full Outlook search experience that users expect
  • Per user index files are stored in the user profile for each roaming
  • No impact to CPU usage at steady state, minimal impact at sign in

With 100 users in a machine signing in simultaneously, enabling Windows Search has a 0.02% impact on the CPU.

Demo

Desktop of the remote machine is stretched across multiple displays – this demo is with a published desktop hosted in Windows 10 multi-user. Windows Desktop search is enabled. Instant search results in Outlook. OneDrive sync is working in a non-persistent machine – fully functional enabling the full collaboration experience in O365. Selective Sync works here too. Sync is cloud-cloud so the performance is awesome. In Task Manager, we see 3 users signed into a single Windows 10 VM via RDS.

OneDrive

  • Co-authoring and collaborative capabilities in wXP, powered by OneDrive.
  • OneDrive sync will run in non-persistent environments
  • Files on-demand capabilities
  • Automatically populate something

Support

  • Search products stay in sync with each other
  • Office 365 Pro Plus will always be supported with Win 10 SAC
  • Office 365 Pro Plus won Windows Server 2016 will be supported through October 2025

Best Practices

Outlook:

  • The OST file should be stored on local storage.
  • Outlook deployed with the primary mailbox in cached echange mode with the OST file stored on network storage, and an aggressive archiving strategy to an online archive mailbox
  • Outlook deploy in cached exchange mode with slider set to one month.

Office 365:

  • Licensing token roaming: Office 365 Pro-Plus 1704 or newer. You can configure the licensing token to roam with the users profile or be location on a shared folder on the network. This especially helpful  for non persistent VDI scenarios.
  • SSO recommended. We recommend using SSO for good and consistent user experience. SSO reduces how often the users are prompted to sign in for activation. With SSO configured, Office activates with the credentials the user uses to sign into Windows if the user is also licensed for O365 Pro Plus.
  • If you don’t use SSO, consider using roaming profiles.

Preview

Sign up: https://aka.ms/wvdpreview

Public preview later 2018.

GA early 2019.

Q&A

If you want to use RDSH on Windows Server 2019 then Office 365 Pro Plus is not supported. You would have to use persistent Office 2019 so you get a lesser product. The alternatives are RDSH on Windows Server 2016 or Windows 10 Multi User (Azure). 

Widows 10 Multi User is only available in Azure via Windows Virtual Desktop.

A lot of the above optimization, such as search indexing, rely on the user having a persistent profile on the latest version of Windows 10. So if that profile is a roaming profile or a UPD, then this works, in RDS or on physical,

Microsoft Ignite 2018–Functions Deep Dive

Functions v2.0 GA

  • New functions quick starts by language
  • Updated runtime built on .NET Core 2.1
  • .Net functions loading changes
  • New extensibility model
  • Run code form a package
  • Tooling updates: CLI, Visual Studio and VS Code
  • Durable functions GA

Differences From v1.0

There is a long list online:

  • Moved from .Net Framework 4.7.1 to .NET Core 2.1
  • Added assembly violation
  • Supports more Node.js
  • Languages are external to the host
  • Supports webhooks as triggers
  • Single language per function app instead of multiple
  • Use just application insights for observing code performance

Binding and Integrations

  • SDK functions: HTTP/Timer
  • Storage
  • Service Bus
  • Event Hubs
  • Cosmos DB
  • Event Grid
  • And more

And then lots of bullet point to explain architecture that didn’t really explain it. A picture tells a thousand words.