Ignite Conference Focuses on “Remote Everything,” Security and Compliance

By Paul Wismar on October 9, 2020

Ignite, Microsoft’s yearly technical conference, took place September 22nd – 24th and there were many announcements, feature updates and exciting breakout sessions presented. Despite the all-digital, condensed format, the conference delivered a quality experience full of technology and information which will prove instrumental in developing solutions for customers.


Predictably, all things cloud took center stage. Azure and Microsoft 365 served as foundations for thematic talks around multi-cloud, hybrid and edge. Microsoft continues to expand beyond its own ecosystem of products and solutions, integrating and supporting other platforms, products and vendors. Security, compliance and “remote everything” were highlighted widely across the sessions and presentations. What follows are some of the more impactful and noteworthy announcements, as well as links to additional information around those topics.


Microsoft Defender

Microsoft is announcing new features that extend its threat protection portfolio and is unifying solutions across Microsoft 365 security and Azure security to deliver the most comprehensive extended detection and response (XDR) on the market. Microsoft Defender, now inclusive of Microsoft 365 Defender and Azure Defender, prevents, detects and responds to threats across identities, endpoints, applications, email, infrastructure and multi-cloud platforms and self-heals affected assets.

Additional information here and here


Azure Arc

Azure Arc extends Azure management to infrastructure resources such as Windows and Linux Servers, SQL Servers and Kubernetes clusters running across on-premises datacenters, multi-cloud and edge. Azure Arc also enables deployment of Azure data services, such as Azure SQL Managed Instance and Azure PostgreSQL Hyperscale, on any infrastructure of choice.


Azure Arc-enabled servers is generally available for Windows and Linux Servers for production workloads. This includes inventory, organization and governance where customers can tag their servers, organize in hierarchies, search from a single location and set guardrails on server configurations through Azure Policy. Customers can also leverage Azure management capabilities like Azure Security Center, Azure Monitor or Update Management to further modernize their management practices from a single control plane. Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes and Azure Arc-enabled SQL Server is currently in public preview.

Additional information here


Azure Stack Hub/HCI/Edge

Azure Stack is a portfolio of products that extend Azure services and capabilities to your environment of choice—from the datacenter to edge locations and remote offices. The portfolio enables hybrid and edge computing applications to be built, deployed, and run consistently across location boundaries, providing choice and flexibility to address your diverse workloads.

New Edge appliances here        

GPUs on Hub here        

Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) on HCI here


Compliance Manager

The new Compliance Manager offers a vast library of assessments for expanded regulatory coverage, built-in automation to detect tenant settings and step-by-step guidance for intuitive compliance management. Compliance Manager translates complex regulatory requirements to specific controls, and through compliance scores provides a quantifiable measure of compliance. Generally available today, the new Compliance Manager brings together the existing Compliance Manager and Compliance Score solutions in the Microsoft 365 compliance center.

Now, with the ability to access a library of more than 150 out-of-the-box and scalable assessments in Compliance Manager, customers can address industry- and region-specific requirements, while also meeting multiple requirements through a single action.

Customers also have compliance needs that extend beyond Microsoft 365 that may be unique. The flexibility of custom assessments allows customers to extend compliance management beyond Microsoft 365 to meet their specific compliance needs.

Additional information here


Azure Migrate

Migrating your datacenter to the cloud is more simplified than ever with new Azure Migrate features generally available today. Customers can perform a comprehensive discovery and assessment of their estate, including agentless software inventory and dependency mapping. Then, they can migrate workloads at scale, including added support for Availability Zone and UEFI migrations.

The Azure Migration Program recently expanded support for Windows Virtual Desktop to help companies enable a secure, remote desktop experience from virtually anywhere, and to help simplify their journey to the cloud. Azure Migration Program also announced support for ASP.NET web applications to help customers reduce cost and simplify app management by migrating on-premises .NET web apps to Microsoft’s fully managed App Service and Azure SQL offerings.

Additionally, FastTrack for Azure recently expanded to support Windows Virtual Desktop to accelerate deployments. FastTrack for Azure is a program that helps customers rapidly and effectively design and deploy cloud solutions. It includes tailored guidance from Azure engineers that uses proven practices and architectural guides.

Additional information here


Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)

With Windows Virtual Desktop, customers can enable secure, remote work quickly and cost-effectively with the best virtual Windows 10 experience. With recent updates, Microsoft further simplified the deployment experience and included support for Microsoft Teams audio/video (A/V redirect).

Additional information here


Industry Cloud

Microsoft is announcing that the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare will be generally available at the end of October 2020. The comprehensive cloud enables healthcare customers and partners to deliver better experiences, insights and care to people worldwide. With the Cloud for Healthcare, organizations can engage with patients in more proactive ways with patients and give caregivers tools to improve workflow efficiency, streamline collaboration and connect data across existing sources to turn insight into action.

This new industry-specific cloud computing platform brings together new and existing healthcare capabilities and a common data model for healthcare into a single source of information to ensure consistency across applications for seamless integration and better interoperability. Healthcare organizations will be able to tailor applications to support their existing processes and investments. The Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare’s architecture scales to meet current and future needs, while also supporting compliance with GDPR, HIPAA, HITRUST and other regulatory frameworks via built-in data governance and privacy capabilities.

Additional Information here


Microsoft Teams

Security, compliance, integration, connectors, Power Platform, templates, new devices, calling, break out rooms, walkie talkie, hundreds of features – as the center of M365 and remote work, there was an overabundance of Teams news at Ignite!

Additional information here


All the Ignite 2020 news here!

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