News

Microsoft Tech Summit 2019: Cloud computing it’s what’s trending

News
Emerging Technologies
Quebec
May 8, 2019

On March 27th, a number of experts from Québec City attended the 2019 Microsoft Tech Summit. It was crystal clear which technology is trending, so clear in fact that even the Québec Government has stepped up to the plate: cloud computing is much more than a space where you can house IT solutions. Now more than ever, one must adapt to these new technologies to avoid becoming obsolete.

Written by Simon Coutu

The opening address focused less on the technology and more on the philosophy one should adopt in order to survive in the marketplace.  What is the take-away?  Firstly, several IT professions are in danger of extinction, for instance that of the database administrator (DBA).  They will need to adapt to the new realities of the marketplace and should consider retooling their expertise in data management and modeling, assets of a data architect.  Secondly, as the IT field is very vast and varied, it is important not to limit oneself by specializing in only one field of expertise but rather to develop skills suited to a range of technologies.   

All the lectures were well attended; you can find the accompanying presentations using this link: accompanying presentations.

Of the number of lectures attended by our team, two were especially noteworthy: Datacenter Migration and Containers.

Datacenter Migration

At the moment, the imminent end of mainstream tech support for SQL Server 2008, in July 2019, is driving Lift & Shift (moving Virtual Machines (VMs) to the Cloud). Migrating the VMs to Azure Data Box will extend support for another 3 years. It goes without saying that migrating a significant quantity of data takes a lot of time if we use a traditional method such as transferring through the Internet.  One of the proposed solutions was Azure Data Box, the equivalent of a network attached storage (NAS) server.  The device is transported to your datacenter where you can set it up using the local web UI; you copy the data from your servers to the device and then you ship the device back to Microsoft.  Thereafter, you can access your content via the Azure Data Box portal.

One Lift & Shift in and of itself will not result in substantial cost savings; however, with an integrated approach to datacenter migration, you will reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).  After Lift & Shift, it is recommended to migrate towards cloud-native solutions, bearing in mind that not every instance lends itself to this kind of migration path.  It is important that on-site personnel be well trained so the new solutions will also be the optimal ones.  Cost savings will materialize only once the development of several cloud-native functionalities (functions without servers, containers, / etc…) are completed and the original virtual machines (VMs) are shed.

Containers

Microsoft provides several free hands-on learning modules regarding containers.  It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about the most sought-after cutting-edge technologies and at minimal cost. 

Microservices-based development is very popular these days, due in large part to its numerous advantages:

  • It allows the work to be divided more effectively which means having more complementary development teams on the same project
  • They are by definition loosely coupled (learn more about loose coupling), this allows for the speed of development to be a function of the component you’re developing and eliminates the heavy interdependence of work teams
  • Once deployed, it’s much easier to adjust the performance of a microservice than that of a monolithic functionality

However, it should be recognized that microservices development requires greater effort during initial deployment and that monitoring microservices can rapidly become problematic if not planned carefully. 

Even though the development of microservices can be done without containers, their implementation would be greatly facilitated with the use of containers.  Actually, it minimizes the challenges related to initial deployment.   

The main take-away from this conference? Consider adopting a different approach to Web and mobile development by switching to a design method known as Built to Fail, which recognizes there will be unexpected errors associated with software development.  One of the tips was to conceive of the design in such a way that when an issue arises, it will not have an impact on users and, the system would right itself without human intervention. 

Please don't hesitate to contact us for additional information.