Monday, December 30, 2013

Join with me in the IT Journey into the Past 2013...

It’s now time for all of us to step in to the New Year a head and to take a look the past events occurred this year at a glance. This year 2013 is quite significant than the past as we found many remarkable changes in our IT Environment and many new Technologies was innovated and reached to a unimaginable state and more new products released to the market which are even more robust that its predecessors and major enhancements made to the existing ones and most of all we can say this year is the year of enlightenment for the future of IT, where it showed us how the upcoming growth is projected with the current enhancements and Market strategy towards the future.

There are many events occurred in this year and it’s tough that we can recall all of them at once, so I decided to bring out few vital events occurred in the field of IT so far this year and how it changed the Market altogether and went far and beyond our imagination.

Let’s begin our Journey to the past…

Cloud Computing on the move…

Compared to any other year 2013 is the Era of Cloud Computing as far as I can see with my personal experience, This year most Organizations adopted Cloud Computing to their existing IT infrastructure some even started to provide their own hosting services to other consumers and major Organizations re-designed their products to support the Cloud and new learning opportunities are developed for getting adequate knowledge on this platform and IT folks already made aware on this and now started to dig more on to this from their current technology and even started do cross plat-form training in various new domains, with this I can say the next year we will have more domain experts for Cloud than the current state.

Prepare yourself for Hybrid…

In continuation with the above topic now Organizations and Administrators need to learn and evaluate more on Hybrid Cloud Architecture where in we have the great option of extending our IT Infrastructure to the Cloud and manage both the Cloud and On premises Environment seamlessly . As with my earlier post where I referred the Gartner’s prediction that by end 2017 we will have most of the Organizations will be using Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure.

Significantly, Microsoft, VMWare, Citrix , Amazon etc., and more Open source Cloud providers have designed their products in such a way where in they not only support the traditional Public or Private Cloud Infrastructure and they will the flexibility of supporting Hybrid Cloud environment and even recommend this deployment method in various instances.

New Product releases and enhancements this year at a glance...

There are many products released last year and the earlier version of the products were enhanced to the core with major innovations this year to provide rich design, deployment, Administration and User Experience than ever before.

I may not be completely covering the entire enhancements as I get a chance to know and work with only few of them under my expertise and providing them here for your reference and you can look out in the internet to see the complete list appropriately, Apologize If I miss out something.

I will begin with my Technology Exchange Server and Lync Server, this year was quite significant as we have more major enhancements made to Exchange Server 2013 and Lync Server 2013 products along with its companion products like SharePoint 2013 and Office Suite which forms a tight integration with each other and provide a enhanced experience for users when they use all of these Technologies in their IT infrastructure either On premises or with Cloud which is eventually Office 365 .

Also I myself worked with Microsoft team for the Wave 15 Service Upgrade to the Major Environment I support and gained rich knowledge and Experience during this process and identified new issues and product bugs and work together and resolved with Microsoft team and you could refer my earlier posts over this experience as I updated them under O365 section whenever I gained a new Experience and also this year O365 support is quite good in performing their role in terms of support and innovations of providing new features to the end users and complete Organizations IT requirement with their product line like BI support, EOP, OWA web access for Mobile devices, Email security enhancements like encrypted email much more which you can review at the Office 365 Technology blog as well as my Blog under the O365 Section

One more point to add is the new deployment feature of Office Suite which is no longer rely only on the traditional installation mechanism and the new Click to run deployment on installing the product in minutes and continue to use products during the installation currently in place and also Office on demand or some key futures to consider.

Now let’s take look at the Microsoft Cloud OS Windows Server 2012 and R2 release of this product which is the base for the Microsoft strong Cloud infrastructure as well as most of the Organizations started to evaluate and upgrading their Server Infrastructure to include this product and get the great benefits out of it. Along with this we have the major Companion for building the Cloud Infrastructure which is our System Center 2012 R2 products and now Microsoft team is concentrating more on this part and even free Training and Certifications vouchers are available from Microsoft Virtual Academy. And finally we have our Microsoft Cloud platform Windows Azure which now tops the market with its flexible capabilities and most Organizations now evaluate Azure as never before and Microsoft team enhanced this platform to the core where in now it provides major support like extending your IT On premises IT Infrastructure to cloud and easily provides Cloud storage and integration with BI and Big data products which meets the Organization’s IT forecasting and also provide strong Security features which makes it a favorable one among other competitors.

Along with this Microsoft other Technology vendors like VMWare enhanced their products like VMware Vcenter , VMware Horizon Suite, VCloud Suite and few other with more innovations and great features which are strong competitors with other virtualization vendors in providing various services like ITaas, Daas, Caas, and tradional Paas, Saas, Iaas etc., moving IT Infrastructure to the next level, significantly Citrix released their major desktop virtualization product Xen Desktop 7 and compete in the Market along with above vendors and to challenge these three major Vendors Open source products like Rackspace , Open Stack, Cloud Stack etc are gaining momentum to join the race and all of these are now running behind none other than our Amazon with its AWS which is now tops the Cloud computing market and now even more enhancements made to AWS like the new AWS workspace for providing VDI solutions to the end users to compete with other established vendors and with all this being said this year we had more innovations done on various product line in comparison with one another to meet the Organization requirement not only in terms of cost and also with various enhanced benefits and eventually it mandates the need of Architects and Administrators to know more on all of these product line and evaluate them and choose the best for their Infrastructure , we can see more enhancements next year with the past happenings this year as the proverb goes “Coming events cast their shadows before”.

New Guys on the floor…

In continuation with our Technological innovative discussions we should not leave other major players who changed our current IT infrastructure and eventually assisted in preparing for the future like Software Defined Networking, Network Virtualization, Orchestration, Consumerization, Mobility (BYOD) and few other enhancements which gained more momentum this year and promoted by Major vendors in their Architecture and adopted by various Major Organizations in the IT industry.

I got some opportunity to attend few major live and virtual events this year on these topics and got more information on these and amazed how new Technologies are brought in to the existing environment and how they typically assist the Organizations in meeting their goal with reduced cost and High availability of services both internal and external in a secure way and form the basis of how robust IT can be and how it will be in the mere future.

Education Opportunities Broadened….

Unlike the past years where you need to spend more money for learning new Technologies now Major IT vendors made their product learning more flexible where you can learn most of them for free through On line virtual events and boot camps and to add our own renowned IT experts started to dig more in to the Technology and provide free On line training events and boot camps and share their technological blogs to readers in a more efficient way and these are not restricted to one Technology and you have more available outside and I wrote most of my blog posts referring to those in this year for your visibility and personally gained more knowledge and expertise this year in my entire IT carrier, hope this would be the same for you.

Few major ones are Microsoft Virtual Academy, Ignite events, VMWare webcasts, Netcom Learning and much more to add up.

Innovation is the key for changes and this year it is even more robust and now opportunities for IT folks is broadened where they can share their own innovations to the product group of major IT Vendors and most of them are considered and changes were made to the existing product line which makes people like us even more happy and take more initiative in bringing new changes to the market, You can refer my blogs where I pointed few of the innovative ideas shared by experts and through various public forums which made more significant changes to the existing IT infrastructure in different product lines.

With this being said the upcoming year will be even more good than the present state where most of will have the opportunity to explore and know more on the new Technologies and also share the experience with others as I always follow “Knowledge is meant to be shared”.

Flashback of Events in 2013

Major storms that hit IT this year…

As there is good there is always bad to accompany it and we can call the part not really bad at all times as some of them may be caused in order to make upcoming changes to the IT industry, and it is always good to recall them, I am covering few of them which I came across and as always there are many that are left over and need to be explored further with the available resources.

NSA Snooping is the first one that comes to my mind which is found out this year and raised a huge storm in the IT industry where our Information security was found to be at risk and major Organizations were at stake due to this Security threat and started to raise their voices on this topic and started to made their corporate security more tighten than ever before.

Review all related articles from Redmond Magazine here to know more on this till date.

Next is the End of support for various products in this year and also in the early next year which made most of the Organizations to revamp their IT infrastructure and raised a red flag to them to move to the newer technology at the earliest to stay up to date which eventually makes them to spend some huge amount on the new Technology and manual Administration work though Automation is available it is not the key player always during major changes.

End of support of Windows XP early next April and Windows Server 2003 in the mid of next year are few of the best examples.

Next one is the Discontinuation of MCM, MCSM, MCA certifications by Microsoft team which caused a huge disappointment across Microsoft IT folks and experts who spend lot of their effort to reach this ladder and many articles , personal blog posts and forums were flooded on this showing the disappointment in a broader picture which made Microsoft under pressure.

Last but not least, One more thing to point out is the fear spread among the IT industry about the Job security and their Future carrier in IT when major Organizations adopted Cloud computing and the word Cloud is everywhere and most of the Products were revamped to support Cloud and major Vendors shifted their concentration more on their Cloud side at one stage many folks who I personally know and even me was under a illusion whether will there be future for On premise IT or do you need myself to adopt the cloud and move on. As with me most of you would have had this dilemma and there were many discussions happened in the Industry by Various Experts and different product lines and concluded there will be still On premises and the dependency of Cloud will be high in mere future but there will not be a stage where there is only cloud and it is always good for us to welcome the new technology and know more on it as much as possible and even try to work with it when an opportunity approaches you now or in mere future which make you even more stronger than your current state and provides adequate power to face the new challenges as end of the day “Everything which is  called new is some one’s innovation and all skills are learn-able”.

Other Notable events...

Microsoft Lync 2013 has achieved JITC certification for Voice, Video, and IM and Presence under the category of Unified Capabilities Collaboration Platform (UCCP) from Department of Defense which allows the DOD employees to use Microsoft Lync 2013 to connect to information network which added more value to Lync and Microsoft Team. And with the current status of Lync we can even say in mere future our traditional PBX system can be replaced with Lync.

Microsoft Acquired Nokia and Skype this year which made them to begin their establishment in to the Mobile Market, Cisco Acquired Insieme Networks major ACI provider this year and VMWare acquired Nicira to strengthen their SDN solution.

Announcement of Steve Ballmer's retirement is a significant event and now Microsoft team is on the move to search for their Next CEO and we will hear more updates on this soon early next year.

Hope this review is quite good to recollect some great happenings this year and I thank all my readers personally who made read and share my blog from the day I started blogging till date and would request you to do the same as always and I will bring new rich contents as I come across for you and will share the joy together.. See you Next year… :)

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