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Microsoft Ignite 2021 – Book of News

The Microsoft Ignite Book of News has been launched now, with the latest updates and news from across the Microsoft Stack, including Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, Power Platform, Dynamics and the Security Stack.

The link to the Book of News is here- Microsoft Ignite 2021 Book of News

Although only managed to have a brief look through, the key pieces I have pulled out of this are:

Azure

  • Azure Automanage
    • New capabilities available around rebootless security patching
    • Support for Major Linux Distributions now in Preview
  • Azure Backup
    • GA of Backup Center, allowing for an aggregated view across subscriptions, locations, resource groups, vaults and tenants (via Lighthouse)
  • Azure Migrate
    • Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework – Added best practice guidance on adopting a hybrid and multicloud approach
    • Azure Migrate – New capabilities
      • Ability to discover and assess SQL Servers and databases within the Azure Migrate Portal
      • App containerisation tool with support for ASP.NET and Java web apps, providing assistance to migrate to containers in AKS (Azure Kubernetes Service)
  • Azure Mixed Reality
    • Microsoft Mesh – This is the showcase announcement from MS Ignite, Mesh provides collaborative experiences with a feeling of presence. This could be a game changer when it comes Mixed Reality and the ability to connect across a number of different devices, including HoloLens 2.
  • Windows Virtual Desktop
    • Apart from the general updates around deployment tools, security enhancements and integration with Microsoft Teams, the main announcement is around Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop now being Generally Available.

Microsoft 365

  • Microsoft Teams
    • Teams Connect, this is a very welcome change, creating the ability the create shared channels for deep collaboration between external parties, such as Customers, Partners or suppliers. The shared channel allows users just to add an external party to a shared channel rather than the whole team, with the shared channel appearing in the users primary Teams tenant, therefore making this convenient. Currently in Private Preview, but can’t wait for this to go GA later in the year.
    • Meeting Controls
      • Invite-Only meeting controls: This ensures that only the intended participants are able to join meetings, providing more controls for more sensitive meetings.
      • Disable Video: This provides the control to disable users video to limit potential disruptions.
    • Teams MultiGeo Support
      • Following MultiGeo Support for both Exchange and SharePoint, MS Teams is the next on the list to get the capabilities, allowing for Multinational organisations greater control of the location fo their data. Enabling the ability to comply to regularitory and compliance standards
    • Webinar Support
      • The Microsoft Teams app can now support interactive customer webinars for up to 1,000 attendees. But support includes custom registration. On top of this the ability to scale up 10,000 view only broadcast experience. In addition to this Webinars can now be delivered as part of a Dynamics 365 Marketing Campaigns, with the ability to export contacts directly in to Dynamics 365 to enable engagement before, during and after events.
  • Universal Print
    • Finally another big one for me is general availability of Universal Print. With Universal Print eliminating the need for Print Servers or installing print drivers and provides simple and secure printing for Zero Trust environments.

Security and Identity

  • Azure Sentinel
    • Shared incidents, schema and user experiences between Microsoft 365 Defender and Azure Sentinel
    • New built-in security orchestration automated response (SOAR) playbooks
    • Forrester Research has named Microsoft Azure Sentinel as a “Leader” in the Forrester Wave™: Security Analytics Platform Providers, Q4 2020.
  • Microsoft 365 Defender
    • Defender for Endpoint and O365 now use an intergated portal to enable the ability to investigate and remediate threats. This is to build on an aim to create the most integrated XDR Solution.
  • Azure Active Directory
    • AD FS activity and insights report – This is designed to provide insights into identifying which applications are capable of being transitioned to Azure AD. Checking compatability, issues and providing guidance on how to migrate to Azure AD.
    • Secure Hybrid Access Integrations – This enables admins to connect and protect their legacy applications, such as non-HTTP, LDAP and SSH apps, to Azure AD
    • Passwordless Authentication – Another big one to finally go GA.
      • With the added feature of Temporary Access Pass entering Public Preview . This provides the ability for a time limited code to be used for setup and recovery of a passwordless credential.

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