A new future arrives for IT Professionals

 Gavin Payne is a principal architect for Coeo, a SQL Server and Azure professional services company, and a Microsoft Certified Architect and Microsoft Certified Master. His role is to guide and lead organisations through data platform transformation and cloud adoption programmes.


Over the last few years, we have seen a constant flood of digital innovation appear around us. New technologies have changed the way people live or work, whether they’re a consumer, software developer or business user. Now it’s the turn of IT Professionals to have their world upgraded.

PaaS platforms arrive on-premises

Most developers know that the innovation relevant to them is now cloud focused, yet reality often holds them back from using it. Whether their reasons are right or wrong, some organisations are just not ready to use public cloud services yet. We will increasingly see this be less of a problem.

The arrival of Windows Server 2016 and the Microsoft Azure Stack will bring a Microsoft Platform as a Service environment to on-premises data centres. No longer will private clouds be just about operating virtual machines. Instead, they’ll also provide web and application PaaS services to run alongside traditional server workloads, all of which can be deployed using the Azure Resource Manager. Consistent services and APIs for managing on-premises and public Azure platforms will allow a single DevOps style deployment to work regardless of its destination. Infrastructure as Code will firmly arrive in next year’s on-premises data centres.

However, the Microsoft Azure Stack still needs deploying and operating. Even the most streamlined of on-premises solutions require IT Professionals to be familiar with their design principles, installation and maintenance. As developers consider adopting on-premises PaaS solutions, their IT Professional relations need to be ready to host them.


Build once, run anywhere with containers

Windows Server 2016 brings Microsoft container technology to on-premises data centres. The developers dream of “build once, run anywhere” gets one-step closer. Whether they intend for 1 or 10 containers to be deployed – or an auto-scaling solution – the infrastructure containers used still needs sizing, securing and provisioning. Coupled with the arrival of Nano Server, developers may still create on-premise solutions, but in 2016 they’ll begin using the next generation of cloud deployment technologies. Once again, IT Professionals need to be ready to deploy, configure and operate these next generation application environments. 

Containers and micro operating systems are the next generation of virtualisation and operating system technology. Designed primarily for the GUI-less world of DevOps and Infrastructure as Code, IT Professionals will need to be able to integrate their own processes with development processes. Organisations will want everyone to help them get nearer to the dream of having a single platform-to-code deployment process.


And that’s not all

As well as new application-platform-centric capabilities, Microsoft is refreshing its heavyweight on-premises SQL Server and SharePoint products. The 2016 releases will provide organisations with new technical and end-user on-premises capabilities, but also help bring Azure public cloud services one step nearer. Stretching content across private and public clouds becomes a wizard based reality, encrypting data in a cloud on your terms becomes possible and a new generation of management tools ready for the hybrid cloud become available. IT Professionals with certifications in these product areas will need to start thinking about upgrading them.

2016 is when a new future arrives for IT professionals!



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