Cool stuff from a day at Microsoft

Went to Microsoft’s offices at Victoria on Tuesday for the annual RSC London technical meet up event to see what’s in the pipeline and also see what everyone else is up to in education IT around London. Came away with some interesting ideas and the day reminded me why I like working in IT 🙂

Had an interesting session on cloud computing and discussions around the Azure platform and how it might fit into our plans. Was good to see some firm definitions of the different levels of cloud services, will see if I can put the Powerpoint slides up once we get them sent through.

Was hoping to find out a bit more about what’s happening with Office 365 but nothing new to report on that front 😦 Looks like it’s still a case of wait and see for the next few months, licensing still looks to be somewhat up in the air which is a shame as our Campus (soon to be EES) comes up soon and it would’ve been good to roll Office 365 in at the same time.

Raised the question about the Moodle plugin again, still looks like it’s not going to be updated anytime soon but we can still hope!

Another interesting discussion point on the menu was desktop virtualisation in all its current guises; general consensus seems to be that no single technology will provide a solution and you have to mix and match to get the right blend for your organisation.

Take your pick from…

  • virtualise your applications with App-V to allow quick distribution and easier manageability
  • use classic Terminal Services for high user density
  • use VDI for 1:1 user environments

Again some handy slides as part of the presentation deck about understand your user base and a link to a free VDI planning tool from Quest, will update the post with the link when I have it handy…

The talk of VDI showed up the barriers we’re all getting used to seeing; prohibitive upfront costs for storage and server capacity. Kaviza popped up in the conversations a couple of times as it eliminates some of those issues, have a look at their site and see what you think…

Things could get very interesting since Citrix bought a stake in Kaviza, definitely one to keep an eye on in the coming months I think.

Think that’s enough for this post, there’s also the small matter of the space bar needing whack-a-mole levels of force to make it work (posting this from an Internet Cafe terminal) so will come back tomorrow and write a part 2 with more updates

  • Windows Phone 7, can it really take on Android and Apple?
  • System Center suite updates
  • Cool stuff for the classroom, hidden gems Microsoft are giving away to education

All this and a rather random Moodle metaphor coming soon to a blog near you! 


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