IT Innovators: Inspiring the Solution to Your Next Critical IT Challenge

IT Innovators: Inspiring the Solution to Your Next Critical IT Challenge

In the IT world, innovation is the name of the game—whether it’s innovating new technologies for storage and networking, new ways to make IT energy efficient, or improved techniques for keeping a company’s IT network, servers and security systems in optimal health. All innovation is critical to improving the IT ecosystem and it can sometimes come from the unlikeliest of sources.

That’s what IT Innovators is all about; helping to spark your imagination with new ideas and opportunities for improving your networks and storage capability—regardless of whether you are an IT administrator, enterprise developer, manager, or systems architect. By profiling a range of IT professionals overcoming their own unique challenges, and keeping you up-to-date with the latest events and news from the IT world, we hope to inspire your next great innovation.

That’s also the goal of the upcoming Microsoft Ignite event, scheduled for May 4-8 at the McCormick Place South Hall in Chicago, Illinois. Billed as the largest and most comprehensive Microsoft technology event, it promises to “challenge what you know, reveal new opportunities and spark innovation,” while also providing insight into where technology is headed.

The event is sold out, but the good news for IT professionals everywhere is that you can join in online and easily view everything from a live streamed pre-show and keynotes to over 600 on-demand sessions. The sessions will be available online just 24 hours after they’ve presented live and accessing them is as simple as creating an account at

For IT professionals interested in storage, some of the more interesting sessions you might want to check out include:

  • Platform Vision & Strategy (4 of 7): Storage Overview, May 5. This session is intended for IT decision makers at all levels, and will provide an overview on the vision and strategy for the Microsoft Azure, System Center, Windows Server and Azure Pack solutions.

  • Enabling Private Cloud Storage Using Servers with Local Disks, May 7. This session will cover advances in Microsoft Software Defined Storage that enable service providers to build Scale-Out File Servers using Storage Spaces with shared nothing DAS hardware.

  • Exploring Storage Replica in Windows Server vNext, May 7. This session will discuss the new Windows Server Storage Replica feature. Included in the discussion will be scenarios, architecture, requirements, and demos, as well as a look at the use of Storage Replica in cluster-to-cluster and non-clustered scenarios.

  • Spaces-Based, Software-Defined Storage: Design and Configuration Best Practices, May 6. This session will delve into the nuances and complexities of spaces-based SDS design. It is designed to empower IT influencers and implementers to successfully design, deploy and configure a storage solution based completely on Windows Server 2012 R2 and proven best practices.

  • Hyper-V Storage Performance with Storage Quality of Service, May 6. This session is intended to show attendees how to monitor storage performance from a customer, Hyper-V, and storage administrator’s viewpoint.

  • StorSimple: Extending Your Datacenter into Microsoft Azure with Hybrid Cloud Storage, May 5. StorSimple provides a hybrid cloud storage solution with a hybrid storage array in the on-premises datacenter that seamlessly extends storage capabilities to the cloud. This session will detail the implementation and functionality of that solution.

There’s also some exciting network-related sessions to check out:

  • Platform Vision & Strategy (3 of 7): Networking Overview, May 5. This session is intended for IT decision makers at all levels, and will provide an overview on the vision and strategy for the Microsoft System Center solutions. If you want to understand Microsoft's SDN story, this session is for you.

  • UC SDN: The Future of Networking, May 5. This session will examine how Software Defined Networking (SDN) and NFV is revolutionizing the networking industry and look at the standardization of a new paradigm pioneered by Skype for Business that’s called UC SDN; an innovation that lowers TCO while improving end-user experience through visibility, control, automation, and agility.

  • Testing and Monitoring CDNs for Performance, May 6. This session will provide guidance on how to test different Content Delivery Systems (CDNs) when evaluating vendors, and how to monitor them in production scenarios.

  • Secure Access to Enterprise Networks and VPN Platform Enhancements, May 7. This session will provide an overview of the Windows 8.1 and vNext investment in the enterprise space (where the use of personal (mobile) devices is on the rise), both as an inclusive platform for VPN partners as well as a complete VPN solution for Enterprises and Consumers.

  • Deploying Hyper-V Network Virtualization, May 6. This session will show attendees how to quickly make their own Hyper-V Network virtualization environment and link it to real networks with NVGRE gateways.

  • Deploying a Scalable Virtual Edge for Hybrid Connectivity with External Networks, May 6. This session is designed to show IT influencers and implementers how to set up a private cloud that seamlessly interfaces with a public cloud or any other private cloud—and provides seamless workload mobility.

Granted, these highlighted sessions are just the tip of the iceberg, but they should give you a good sense of what Microsoft Ignite will offer. If that spark of innovation is what you’re after, than this is one event you can’t miss. Also, be sure and check back with IT Innovator regularly for the latest information from the IT sector and new profiles on some of the industry’s most interesting professionals and the challenges they’ve overcome.

This blog about storage and networking is sponsored by Microsoft.

Cheryl J. Ajluni is a freelance writer and editor based in California. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Wireless Systems Design and served as the EDA/Advanced Technology editor for Electronic Design for over 10 years. She is also a published book author and patented engineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online publications. Contact her at [email protected] with your comments or story ideas.




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