#MSIgnite 2018 : Unlocking the Possibilities!


Last week, September 24-28 I attended the Microsoft Ignite Conference. Ignite is a Microsoft conference that targeted towards the tech community – DevOps and System Administrators – and runs in parallel to the Envision conference targeted towards the business leaders.

The message from Ignite was clear: 2018 is the year of cloud migrations and digital transformation. It started with a very modest keynote from Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Satya talked about unlocking the possibilities of the Cloud, which aligned very well with the Microsoft’s mission statement of “Empowering people and organizations across the globe to achieve more”.

The show was less about product announcements and more about empowering clients. Sayta talked about ‘AI for Humanitarian Action’ and solving global challenges. He has clearly transformed Microsoft, and his book Hit Refresh – The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone continues to be a top seller at the Ignite Microsoft Store.

Virtual Ignite 2018

From those of you who could not attend it in person, these links are a great way to catch up.

  1. Streaming videos of Keynote and all sessions
  2. Ignite Announcements
  1. Ignite Book of News

Proud Moment for Navisite

It was truly a proud moment for Navisite to see our very own Umang Chhibber presenting at the Ignite Expo Theater. Umang captivated the audience with his session Lessons Learned – VMware to Azure Migrations.  It was a completely full session with lot of engaging conversations. Congratulations Umang!


Ignite was a week full of learning and connecting.  The seeds of Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) were planted on the floors of the various Microsoft booths, and the concept is no longer just for the cloud giants and hyper-sclalers, but is slowly starting to catch on like wildfire throughout the industry.

I was excited try out all the new things in the lab and designing, architecting and sharing the best practices and ideas, and carry those forward as we design the solutions for the Navisite clients. As a first time attendee, I was religiously following the newbie tips – from wearing comfortable shoes, to picking up the badge at the airport. However, there was nothing like experiencing the magnitude of the event with 30,000+ attendees and vendors from all over the globe and learning!

There was a large ecosystem of vendors and every vendor being creative about raffles and swags to attract the crowd towards their booth.

Key Takeaways

Ignite offered a host of new and exciting features in infrastructure, networking and Office 365  in public preview:

  1. Azure Infrastructure
    Azure Ultra SSD Managed Disks public preview
    Azure Virtual WAN general availability
    Azure Front Door Service preview
    Azure Firewall general availability
    Azure ExpressRoute Direct public preview
    Azure ExpressRoute Global Reach public preview
    New Azure DDoS Protection Standard features
    Microsoft Learn and role-based Microsoft Certifications
  2. Security
    Password-free sign-in for thousands of apps
  3. Data
    SQL Server 2019 public preview
    Azure Cosmos DB Multi-master general availability
    Azure SQL Database intelligent features
  4. Microsoft Office 365
    Microsoft Teams integrates new Yammer and SharePoint features
    LinkedIn integration with Outlook and Office apps
    Secure Score Updates
    Integrated Microsoft 365 admin center
    Unified search across Microsoft 365
    AI to Power Meetings in Teams

My favorite part:

While I felt there were lots of great sessions, I have to say if I were to pick a favorite, it was a session Inside Azure Data Center Architecture by Mark Russinovich, the CTO of Azure. The session was packed with 10+ live demos and lot of technology humor. Mark is a very inspirational speaker, mentor and role model for a lot of us in technology industry.  Mark talked about the Azure’s data center architecture and network and storage architecture to deliver ultra-low latency and high throughput.

Check out the conversation with Mark Russinovich on Channel 9 Live…

A Conversation with Azure CTO, Mark Russinovich – Channel 9 Live


Lastly, it was great to catch up with my colleagues, industry experts and clients that I had worked with over the years, but hadn’t previously had the opportunity to meet in person.

Note: I’d like to thank my colleagues Javid Azadzoi and Adrian Clayburn for their input on the blog.

Nehali Neogi

Nehali Neogi

Principal Cloud Architect at Navisite
Nehali Neogi is a Principal Cloud Architect at Navisite, leading many of their global initiatives on building the next generation of hybrid cloud services. She enjoys designing and architecting reliable and highly available solutions for Navisite’s clients. She is a Cisco, VMware NSX and Azure certified Cloud Architect leading Hybrid Cloud offerings. Her interests are cloud technologies, Software Defined Networking, full stack engineering, and realizing the transition to DevOps and system Automation.Nehali holds an Expert Level Certification in VMware NSX(VCIX-NV) and Microsoft Certified Azure Cloud Architect.She holds Masters in Computer Engineering from UMass, Lowell.
Nehali Neogi