I'm still digging out from a great week at TechEd 2014 and have much to share. Over the next few days, I'll dig deep into some of the announcements communicated during the weeklong event, and also delve into actual attendee feedback. From an attendee perspective, the week was challenging to say the least, but I'll talk about that in another post.

To start off this week's conversation, though, I wanted to give a good overview of the announcements made by Brad Anderson and others during the keynote and through press briefings. Many in attendance and watching from afar, noticed that there was very little announced regarding on-premises products, but instead, Microsoft focused heavily on its Public Cloud offering. I'll deal with that in a future post, and offer some hope for those companies (the majority) that will still be working primarily on-premises for the next 5-8 years.

Here's what was announced at TechEd 2014:

  • Hybrid cloud: From partnerships that provide more secure ways to connect to the cloud to enhanced cloud computing, networking, and storage advancements, Microsoft announced a number of services to provide the 'connective tissue' between on-premises investments and the public cloud.
    • Private connections to the cloud. Available on the first day of TechEd 2014, Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute enables customers to create private connections between Azure and on-premises environments. Through alliances with providers such as AT&T, BT, Equinix, Level 3, SingTel, TelecityGroup, Verizon, and Zadara Storage, ExpressRoute offers enterprises new options for embracing the cloud, including fast speeds, security and reliability features, and low latency.
    • Radically simplified cloud storage. Available in preview, Microsoft Azure Files streamlines cloud storage by enabling a single file share from multiple virtual machines, helping save customers time and money.
    • Enterprise-grade performance and networking. Microsoft also announced the availability of compute-intensive virtual machine sizes, in-region and cross-region virtual networking connections, and reserved IP addresses. Together, these advancements help customers architect, deploy and manage global-scale services.
    • API management. Available in preview on the first day of TechEd 2014, Azure API Management lets customers improve interdepartmental information sharing and create new business models by exposing APIs through the cloud.
  • Protecting cloud investments: Microsoft broadened its efforts to keep data safe in the cloud with expanded data loss prevention, an antimalware agent for Azure, and enhanced disaster recovery and encryption technologies.
    • Enhanced disaster recovery. Available in preview in June 2014, Microsoft Azure Site Recovery, formerly Hyper-V Recovery Manager, enables enhanced, cost-effective disaster recovery in the cloud. With this new capability, customers can replicate and recover virtual machines and services to Azure in the event of an outage at their primary datacenter.
    • New anti-malware. Microsoft Antimalware for Azure, available now in preview, offers customers the ability to install an anti-malware agent for both cloud services and virtual machines. In addition, Microsoft announced solutions with cloud security partners Symantec and Trend Micro that integrate with Azure virtual machines.
    • Enhanced encryption technologies. Beginning in July, Microsoft will begin to deploy new encryption technology for Microsoft Office 365 business customers, ensuring that every file stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business is encrypted with its own key for highly secure content storage.
    • Expanded data loss prevention. Starting in June, existing Data Loss Prevention capabilities available in Exchange will now expand to include documents stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business for Office 365 E3 enterprise customers. Data Loss Prevention helps prevent the sharing of sensitive content inside and outside an organization.
  • Mobile productivity: To address the growing need for mobile device management, Microsoft announced services that will deliver protected mobile productivity across phones, and help end users stay productive on the go.
    • Office mobile app management with Windows Intune. Later this year, Intune and Office 365 will deliver mobile productivity across Office for iPad, iPhone and Android phones including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook Web App. Part of the Enterprise Mobility Suite, Intune will also deliver a tool to help customers manage existing iOS and Android line-of-business apps.
    • Microsoft Azure RemoteApp. Available in preview, Azure RemoteApp helps companies give mobile employees access to Windows applications across a range of devices. Combining Microsoft’s powerful Remote Desktop Services capabilities with the scale and cost-efficiencies of Microsoft Azure, RemoteApp will help end users stay productive on the go and enable IT to easily scale and meet customer needs.
  • Developing for mobile-first/cloud-first: Microsoft announced new tooling and updates that help enterprise developers embrace development opportunities for next-gen cloud and mobile apps, including an early preview of the next version of ASP.NET, Visual Studio tooling for the Apache Cordova platform and integration points for Visual Studio Online.
    • Optimized .NET for the cloud. Microsoft shared a preview of the next version of ASP.NET, a streamlined framework and runtime that enables developers to optimize cloud and server workloads with maximum agility and performance. ASP.NET vNext will be a new Microsoft contribution to the .NET Foundation as an open source project.  
    • Advanced mobile development. Microsoft announced a preview of Visual Studio tooling for the Apache Cordova platform, allowing developers to easily build multidevice hybrid applications using their HTML and JavaScript skills. Visual Studio developers can now build Windows, iOS and Android native applications with .NET and Xamarin or hybrid applications with Apache Cordova. Microsoft also released Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RTM including support for universal Windows apps.
    • Agile software development. Today, Microsoft extended Visual Studio Online, the cloud-based application lifecycle management offering, by releasing a set of APIs and service hooks that integrate with third-party services. The new APIs make it easier for organizations to adopt Visual Studio Online without abandoning the tools they’re using today.