Microsoft Ignite 2021 Live Blog: Partner Updates

Microsoft Ignite 2021, a virtual conference that starts March 2, is expected to include plenty of Microsoft 365 and Azure cloud updates for software developers, IT managers and security professionals.

Track this Microsoft Ignite 2021 live blog from ChannelE2E for ongoing updates from the virtual conference -- even before it starts. The chatter so far includes...

13. Endpoint Detection & Response: OpenText EnCase Endpoint Security is now certified on Microsoft Azure. Moreover, the full OpenText EnCase product suite is now available on the Azure marketplace for enterprise security, digital investigations, and law enforcement customers, OpenText says.

12. Azure Performance Management: Redis Labs announced the general availability of Redis Enterprise-powered tiers on Azure Cache for Redis. The result: Customers can "more effectively optimize for low-latency data access in their most critical applications," Redis says.

11. IoT Networking: Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) company, has unveiled Aruba IoT Transport for Azure, a service that enables IoT devices connected to Aruba access points (APs) and controllers to bi-directionally communicate with the Azure IoT Hub. Also, Aruba introduced the Aruba Central cloud management platform hosted on Azure, bringing more than 1 million devices already under management, to Azure.

10. Microsoft Mixed Reality Platform: The company announced Microsoft Mesh. The platform, built on Microsoft Azure, enables developers to "build immersive, multiuser, cross-platform mixed reality apps," the software giant says. Customers can "leverage Mesh to enhance virtual meetings, conduct virtual design sessions, assist remotely better, learn together virtually, host virtual social gatherings and meet-ups," the company adds.

9. Microsoft Teams Updates: Multiple news upates, which involve:

  • Microsoft Teams Enhancements
  • Microsoft Teams will offer these sessions focused on hybrid workplace, new Teams innovations, secure collaboration, and how to host Webinars on Teams.
  • Poly Studio P15 Video Bar is now Teams-certified, and the Poly Studio P21 Meeting Display is the first Microsoft-certified monitor, Poly says..
  • BlueJeans by Verizon, a business-focused video conferencing service, has enhanced its BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams solution (BlueJeans Gateway). The gateway "gives organizations the ability to extend their Microsoft Teams collaboration capabilities—regardless of where employees are located," Verizon asserts. Also, Microsoft named Verizon as an early launch partner for their new Operator Connect platform.

8. LinkedIn Gig Marketplace: LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, is developing a freelancer marketplace to rival Rivaling Upwork, Fiverr, The Information reports. The new service, called Marketplaces, aims to let 740 million LinkedIn users find and book freelancers, The Information says. It's unclear if Microsoft will mention the marketplace during Ignite 2021.

7. Database Performance Management: SolarWinds will  preview its expanding suite of database performance management solutions. SolarWinds Head Geeks Thomas LaRock and Kevin Kline are expected to lead the conversation.

6. Data Protection: Cohesity will showcase its data protection capabilities for Microsoft 365 and Azure.

5. Cloud Migration Tools: OpenText will demo the OpenText Migrate tool, which helps partners and customers migrate I/O and data-intensive workloads to Azure.

4. COVID-19 Vaccination Scheduling Software Bugs: Microsoft's cloud-based software for scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations continue to suffer hiccups across multiple municipalities. Iowa, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., have experienced a range of software issues that frustrated users -- including Captcha response tests not working, error messages saying the service was unavailable and web page crashes, Bloomberg reports. The question: Will Microsoft address the issues during comments at the conference? We'll be listening...

3. Microsoft Active Directory & Azure Directory Security: Multiple updates involving:

  • The Microsoft directory services faced criticism during the SolarWinds security hearings last week in Washington, D.C. The big question: Will Microsoft offer any additional comment about the security of its directory services -- beyond a push to get customers fulling to the cloud? We'll be watching and listening for clues.
  • Attivo Networks has expanded its Active Directory protection suite of products with a new way to discover and remediate exposures in Active Directory (AD) that could lead to breaches, the company says.
  • Infocyte, a provider of  endpoint detection and incident response services, has unveiled a Microsoft 365 Security Module. The solution inspects, hardens and monitors Microsoft 365 environments for mid-market customers and Infocyte partners, the company says.
  • Azure Cloud Security - Part Two: Silverfort, a member of the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA), has introduced a new offering that "enables organizations to consolidate Identity and Access Management for all their devices, applications and environments on Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)."

2. Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Mixed Reality Technical Fellow Alex Kipman will describe the company's Mixed Reality strategy during a keynote on March 2. Ahead of the show, Microsoft described how organizes and businesses such as Lockheed Martin, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Mercedes-Benz USA already use HoloLens 2 in mixed reality use-cases.

1. Share Your Microsoft Ignite 2021 News: Email me the details -- [email protected]. We'll potentially mention your company developments as part of our Microsoft Ignite 2021 coverage.

Blog initially published February 28, 2021. Updated regularly thereafter with Microsoft Ignite 2021 news and related developments. 

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.