Dave Fuller on Microsoft Ignite 2016

ignite-team

This Wednesday, Dave Fuller kicks off a new webinar series, SCCM is Great: But is it holding back your Win10 Migration plans? (12 PM EDT / 5 PM BST | October 5, 2016). Plus, he just got back from Microsoft Ignite in Atlanta. We took half an hour out of his busy schedule to chat to him about both…

Thomas McGrath: What do you think the main hot topic was at this year’s Ignite?

Dave Fuller: A lot of the sessions I attended were about organizations adopting the cloud and adopting mobile device management for Windows 10. So, being able to ship out a device from a manufacturer to a user: they take it out the box, enroll it in Azure AD, and have the Windows 10 provisioning package applied to it through Intune.

However, while perhaps that’s a goal for several years down the line, a lot of organizations are simply not ready to provide that kind of service to the users. While there’s a lot of future visionary stuff there, there’s a lot of organizations struggling with the older technologies, and trying to get to Windows 10 that way.

In other words, Configuration Manager is going nowhere?

While there’s obviously a drive from Microsoft to move people towards Azure AD and Intune, Configuration Manager is still a big part of enterprise systems management. There’s currently about 150 million devices being managed by Configuration Manager, 42 million on the current branch. 17 million of those 42 million are on the current branch 1606, which has only been on general availability for a couple of months. This shows that customers are adopting it in very large numbers.

What were the main topics of conversation at the 1E booth?

The theme of our booth was around Windows 10 migration, so there was a lot of interest in our ability to automate the switch from BIOS to UEFI, and in the whole underlying process: the ability to make sure the user’s data is preserved, and that they get the applications back on, that kind of thing.

We spoke to a lot of attendees challenged by distributed environments – for example, we were talking to one that was working for an organization where they franchise out their business, with new locations that need to be managed centrally. Being able to manage those using Nomad, rather than having to put out infrastructure, makes this a hell of a lot easier to manage and implement.

Most of the people we were talking to were in the planning phase for their Windows 10 migration – the majority were expecting to start it early next year.

You’ll be kicking off 1E’s new webinar series this week (SCCM is Great: But is it holding back your Win10 Migration plans?) – did anything at Ignite influence your planning for it?

There was a great session by Michael Niehaus, talking specifically about the challenge of quality updates – what we used to call service updates – and feature upgrades, and the need for considering peer to peer technologies, because the volume of content you’re distributing.

We tend to think about feature upgrades being the big thing because those are 3½GB with each upgrade. But you’re only doing those once or twice a year to your whole estate. If you look at the 1511 quality updates, the monthly updates, they’re now more than 1GB. What that means is that over a 12-month period a Windows 10 device is going to get 12GBs worth of updates through the quality update process.

You’ve got to consider the impact those updates are going to have on your network. That’s why Michael’s session went through the peer-to-peer options – and we’ll be covering those in our webinar this week.

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