SysAdmin Day 2012 - the brightest future yet

Today is the 13th annual Systems Administrator Appreciation Day and what a portentious number that 13 has turned out to be.

Happy SysAdmin Day everybody!

Yes, you guessed it, Office 20THIRTEEN, SharePoint20THIRTEEN, Exchange 20THIRTEEN in fact, just about every major Microsoft product has a massive launch planned for either the next few months or early in 2013.

Last week, Microsoft announced the availability of Office 2013 Preview, a public beta of their new Office product.

One of the key things they have done in recent years was integrate various teams into one single product group that focusses on Office.

So Office 2013 Preview has been released, what about the various bits of server technology?

Last week also saw the release of some information about SharePoint 2013 Preview and we finally got some information about what is available in Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Preview.

In a blog post on the 23rd of July, Rajesh Jha, Corporate Vice President, Exchange, laid out a number of the key new benefits that have been built into the platform.

  • Reduced costs by optimizing for next generation of hardware With further IOPS reductions and optimizing for multiple databases per volume, Exchange can now support up to 8TB disks.
  • Significantly reduced operational overhead for high availability Automatic configuration, more cmdlets and auomatic recovery all aim to reduce the amoutn of time spent on management tasks.
  • Decrease the amount of time spent managing your system while maintaining control The Exchange Administration Center (EAC) is a single easy to use web-based admin interface that can be tailored to present only role required functions and workflows in conjunction with Roles Based Access Control.
  • Automatically protect Exchange availability from surges in traffic Exchange will stop working on non-interactive jobs if the workload gets too high! This could be a life saver for cash strapped orgs not wanting to over spec their designs.
  • New and improved DLP features, in-place eDiscovery across SharePoint and Exchange, Site Mailboxes bringing SharePoint and Exchange closer together and much more....
Read his blog post for the full listing.

Figure 5

The point is that it is a very good time to be a Systems Administrator.

Not only are you going to be eyeball deep in investigating new technologies, applying for budgets and managing existing systems, but you are going to have to start fielding questiuons from your user base about "touch" based OS's and applications!

To me, this single user experience story of Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 and the Metro interface is the most exciting thing I have seen in a long while.

It is going to take a long time for these technologies to properly assert themselves into the enterprise workspace but  you will find yourself being called on to solve all manner of NEW AND EXCITING problems!

Over the past year, the big buzzwords have become "Consumerization of IT" and "BYOD" and as Sysadmins we are being tasked with finding solutions to the problem of connecting users' personal and non-secured devices without compromising security.

As Windows 8 and the mobile and tablet versions start making their way into your environments, I think you are going to have some serious fun figuring out how to lock corporate applications down. How to deploy a "Walled Garden App Store" that will allow you to disseminate discreet applications into a secured "hub" within the phone, tablet or desktop.

Add to that, Microsoft has finally created a Linux like "Live" drive - "Windows to go". I have already had great fun with that, testing apps and letting my son play all the web based java games his little heart can handle, all without compromising ANY of the security of my work laptop. That's one basic use case, I have already thought of many - and that's just me. Couple a Windows to go drive with a corporate supplied slate and we can do away with laptops! Leave a few desktops floating about the office for those workers on the move and hey presto, thin client technology with full clients!

So start honing your skills in end user device management because a whole new world of exciting stuff is coming your way...

Again, from all of us at Mimecast - have a great Sysadmin day everybody, we know you're worth it and we celebrate your contribution to society today!

Have a beer, cup of coffee, slice of pizza or lemon and sesame sorbet - whatever you want to celebrate who you are - you deserve it!