Standing on the shoulders of giants

“If I have seen further it has been by standing on the shoulders of giants” – Sir Isaac Newton

This was the theme for the Microsoft Teched keynote for 2012. It was a call to IT pros and developers to take advantage of one of the biggest technology releases from Microsoft in history. The 2012/2013 product releases offer a massively scalable cloud enabled platform and suite of applications that allows people to collaborate more effectively than ever.

Standing on the shoulders of giants like Microsoft has allowed Generation-e to deliver amazing business and even personal outcomes to our customers. The products and technologies coming within the next six months will allow us take this to the next level.

Here’s a few of the product feature highlights that have stood out for me so far at TechEd 2012:

Lync 2013

Probably the most interesting user experience feature of Lync 2013 is the new meeting experience. Lync meetings can have up to 1000 participants in them and participants will be able see up to 5 concurrent participants with live video. The remaining participants can be represented by high resolution photos. Participants will now have the ability to join the meeting experience from a web browser with full audio and video.

On the back end there have been some great changes that make high availability even easier and cheaper with architecture changes and support for SQL mirroring.

Windows Server 2012

Windows Sever 2012 and Hyper-V brings a massively scalable operating system designed do deliver cloud services. It has leapfrogged it’s competition in terms of virtualisation, scalability, and manageability. Features like “shared-nothing” live migration of virtual machines allow organisations to seamlessly move live servers between disparate infrastructure without the need for expensive shared storage systems. This means I can now move servers from on premise servers to private or public cloud services as demand increases.

Exchange 2013

Exchange 2013 has had a consolidation of server roles and is now even easier to scale out using Microsofts “brick” architecture. There are now simply two exchange server roles and no need for layer 7 load balancers for high availability. Information store performance has been further improved with a 97% improvement in IOPS compared to Exchange 2003.

Further integration between Lync 2013 and Exchange 2013 now allows the exchange information store to be used for things like high resolution photos and IM archiving that is integrated in to its legal hold and e-discovery capabilities.