Microsoft Ignite Day 5

The last day of Microsoft Ignite came and went!  Wow what an experience. My brain is so packed with new information and concepts that I think it will take me a few weeks just to process and sort it properly. I'm not even sure what to start on when I get home!  Well, probably the lawn, that thing isn't go to mow itself.  Read past the break for notes from the last day and final thoughts.

My first session on day 5 was all about writing resources and modules for PowerShell DSC. It was almost as if the final session of the day 4 never stopped. The presenter ran through a quick overview of how IT and scripting has evolved over the last 20 years.  He took us through a VBScript to create an SMB share, then the same thing in PowerShell, and then DSC. The amount of lines of code to do the same thing became shorter and shorter with each iteration, while the power to do things consistently and repeatably grew. Using DSC requires having the right resources for the job, and Microsoft gives you the power to create your own DSC resources. There is even a module you can use for creating those resources called xDSCResourceDesigner. That module has cmdlets to create DSC parameters and resources, including creating the MOF file and resource skeleton file you can use to write the necessary Get, Set, and Test functions. You can also leverage the new class feature in PowerShell 5 to create a new resource. A resource is made up of parameters and functions, which oddly enough is precisely what a class is composed of as well!

Once you have written a resource, you can publish it to an online repository so that others can gain the benefit of your hard work.  PowerShell and DSC have vibrant communities, and if you are interested you can engage them to learn and then contribute.

My second session of the day was another Microsoft Exchange Experts Unplugged, this time with MVPs, primarily dealing with exchange online and hybrid configurations. The MVPs reinforced a lot of what I already knew, but if you are looking for answers to some common questions then this would be a good session to watch.  If they ever post the session video, you could even see me ask a question about Journaling in Office 365.

And that was it for sessions!

I'll need to take some time and reflect on the conference and all the things I learned over the course of the week, but here are the things that stuck with me.

1. Azure Stack is going to be a force to reckon with
2. Azure Resource Manager with templates is awesome
3. DevOps is an emerging technology that Microsoft is embracing wholeheartedly
4. Containers and Nano server are part of that strategy
5. Exchange 2016 wants you to simplify, simplify, simplify
6. Automation, automation, automation (Think Chef, ARM, DSC, etc.)

Those are the big ones that I will be thinking about and preparing for in the coming months. More posts are sure to follow in this vein.

Thanks for reading!

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