TechEd 2014 Europe Keynote Recap - What is new?

Are you following the announcements at TechEd 2014? Unfortunately I have been unable to attend in person this year due to a new family member, but I'm still following and watching the sessions at TechEd live thanks to Channel9.

Tuesday (Oct 28 2014) was the first day of the conference, so things kicked off with the Keynote. The keynote recording is already available over on Channel9. However, if you don't want to sit through 3 hours of talking, here is a quick recap of the major announcements:

Windows 10

New features in Windows 10 were announced for standard users, power-users and enterprises. From the tone and fee of the presentation, I would say that Microsoft is pushing hard for the enterprise to ensure that adoption will be smooth. Overall the presentation was good especially if was your first brush with Windows 10. However, for a Windows Insider, like myself, there wasn't much to go with and Joe Belfiore did little to re-ignite the enthousiasm. The demos around the new UI improvements, enhanced Start Menu, virtual desktops and Command prompt were succesful and did highlight some of the big changes that we are due to see in the new version. I expected more, but then again I always expect more. On a final note, I have to say kudos to Microsoft for being so forward thinking and for giving everyone (not just devs) access at such an early stage and remember that it’s still early days.


A lot of new features and services were announced coverting both PaaS and IaaS. The overall feeling is that Azure and the Cloud is integral to Microsoft's growth and that things are definitely moving towards the cloud with more and more services becoming available.

  • New G Series Virtual Machines optimized for heavy workloads. Can have up to 32 CPUs with up to 448GB of RAM and 6.5TB of SSD storage. If this doesn't impress you, then you are dead to me wow!
  • Premium Storage can now support up to 32TB of storage and with more than 60K IOPS as demoed during the keynote. For comparison, classic storage offers 4K IOPS.
  • Azure Operational Insights which is a new insights dashboard for managing resources
  • Storage Replica is another cool new service that provide storage agnostic replication. Since it is storage agnostic, it can target different storage types (data level, server level, cluster level). Yes, you can replicate a whole cluster across a different datacenter for high availability etc. The demo also proved that this new service is a breeze to setup
  • Windows Azure Pack is a collection of Azure technologies that integrates with System Center and Windows Server to help provide a self-service portal for managing services such as websites, Virtual Machines, and Service Bus. It is a portal for administrators to manage resource clouds; scalable web hosting; and more.
  • Azure Cloud System (CPS) or how Microsoft likes to call it "Cloud-in-a-box". CPS is delivered locally to your company's premises and can be attached to the internal network to provide cost and effort effective extensibility and scaleability.
  • Linux Core OS with Docker Azure now supports Docker. There is also a new Windows Docker client application to manage your containers from the comfort of your Windows box (server or client)
  • Express Route for Azure is a two circuit (for failover) for connecting your local datacenter to 18 worldwide Azure datacenter locations for high speed operations.

These are some exciting times. What has been your favorite part of TechEd 2014? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S Make sure you follow me on Twitter @christosmatskas for more up-to-date news, articles and tips.

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