Microsoft Build 2014 Developer Conference Transcript – Day 2 (Full)

This year, Build 2014, an annual developer conference held by Microsoft, was held at Moscone Center in San Francisco from April 2 to April 4, 2014. Here is the Day 2 full keynote presentation of Build 2014 conference. 


Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Scott Guthrie.

Scott Guthrie – EVP, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to day two of Build.

We now live in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. Yesterday, we talked about some of the great innovations we’re doing to enable you to build awesome client and devices experiences. Today, I’m going continue that conversation and talk about how you can power those experiences using the cloud.

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform and enables you to move faster and do more. A little over 18 months ago here in San Francisco, we talked about our new strategy with Azure and our new approach, a strategy that enables me to use both infrastructure as a service and platform as a service capabilities together, a strategy that enables developers to use the best of the Windows ecosystem and the best of the Linux ecosystem together, and one that delivers unparalleled developer productivity and enables you to build great applications and services that work with every device. Since then, we’ve been hard at work fulfilling that promise.

Last year was a major year for Azure. We shipped more than 300 significant new features and releases. 2014 is going to be even bigger. In fact, this morning during the keynote, we had more than 44 new announcements and services that we’re going to be launching. It’s going to be a busy morning.

Beyond just features, though, we’ve also been hard at work expanding the footprint of Azure around the world. The green circles you see on the slide here represent Azure regions, which are clusters of datacenters close together, and where you can go ahead and run your application code.

Just last week, we opened two new regions, one in Shanghai and one in Beijing. Today, we’re the only global, major cloud provider that operates in mainland China. And by the end of the year, we’ll have more than 16 public regions available around the world, enabling you to run your applications closer to your customers than ever before.

As we’ve seen our features and footprint expand, we’ve seen our adoption of Azure dramatically grow. More than 57 percent of the Fortune 500 companies are now deployed on Azure. Customers run more than 250,000 public-facing websites on Azure, and we now host more than 1 million SQL databases on Azure.

More than 20 trillion objects are now stored in the Azure storage system. We have more than 300 million users, many of them — most of them, actually, enterprise users, registered with Azure Active Directory, and we process now more than 13 billion authentications per week.

We have now more than 1 million developers registered with our Visual Studio Online service, which is a new service we launched just last November.

Let’s go beyond the big numbers, though, and look at some of the great experiences that have recently launched and are using the full power of Azure and the cloud.

Titanfall was one of the most eagerly anticipated games of the year, and had a very successful launch a few weeks ago. “Titanfall” delivers an unparalleled multiplayer gaming experience, powered using Azure.

Let’s see a video of it in action, and hear what the developers who built it have to say.

[Video Presentation]

One of the key bets the developers of “Titanfall” made was for all game sessions on the cloud. In fact, you can’t play the game without the cloud, and that bet really paid off.

As you heard in the video, it enables much, much richer gaming experiences. Much richer AI experiences. And the ability to tune and adapt the game as more users use it.

To give you a taste of the scale, “Titanfall” had more than 100,000 virtual machines deployed and running on Azure on launch day. Which is sort of an unparalleled size in terms of a game launch experience, and the reviews of the game have been absolutely phenomenal.

Another amazing experience that recently launched and was powered using Azure was the Sochi Olympics delivered by NBC Sports.

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NBC used Azure to stream all of the games both live and on demand to both Web and mobile devices. This was the first large-scale live event that was delivered entirely in the cloud with all of the streaming and encoding happening using Azure.

Traditionally, with live encoding, you typically run in an on-premises environment because it’s so latency dependent. With the Sochi Olympics, Azure enabled NBC to not only live encode in the cloud, but also do it across multiple Azure regions to deliver high-availability redundancy.

More than 100 million people watched the online experience, and more than 2.1 million viewers alone watched it concurrently during the U.S. versus Canada men’s hockey match, a new world record for online HD streaming.

[Video Presentation]

I’m really excited to invite Rick Cordella, who is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of NBC Sports Digital, on stage to talk with us a little bit about the experience and what it meant.

So the first question I had, can you tell us a little bit about what the Olympics means to NBC?

Rick Cordella – SVP and General Manager, NBC Sports Digital

It’s huge. I mean, even looking at that video right there, I’m taken back to a month ago and how special it is, what it means to the athletes. But what it means to NBC is big. It’s enormous for our company. Steve Burke, our CEO, calls it the heart and soul of the company. And if you consider how much content NBC, how many events NBC is connected to, that’s a pretty bold statement.

Six months out, we actually take our peacock icon and adorn it with the Olympic rings. So for every piece of content that appears on the NBC broadcast network, the Olympic rings are present. It’s big for our company.

Scott Guthrie – EVP, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group

Can you talk a little bit about the elastic scale and how the cloud is kind of key to enabling it?

Rick Cordella – SVP and General Manager, NBC Sports Digital

Sure. You mentioned that semifinal game between the U.S. and Canada that Friday afternoon. To be able to scale to that massive amount of volume is enormous. Setting records. You go from a curling match may have just one stream going on, to over 30 concurrent streams.

And then, oh, by the way, you have five EPL games happening at the same time, a PGA tour tournament that’s happening, and you really need that planning to go into place as we scale out across 2,000-plus events with the NBC sports group.

Scott Guthrie – EVP, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group

Can you talk just a little bit in terms of — clearly, it’s a big deal for NBC. How critical is it to have an enterprise-grade platform deliver it?

Rick Cordella – SVP and General Manager, NBC Sports Digital

The company bets about $1 billion on the Olympics each time it goes off. And we have 17 days to recoup that investment. Needless to say, there is no safety net when it comes to putting this content out there for America to enjoy. We need to make sure that content is out there, that it’s quality, that our advertisers and advertisements are being delivered to it. There really is no going back if something goes wrong.

Scott Guthrie – EVP, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group

Cool, I’m glad it went well.

Rick Cordella – SVP and General Manager, NBC Sports Digital

Yeah. No, I mean, Azure — honestly, I know I’m speaking here, but Azure really played a critical role in this happening. It’s not as if you can just pick a company out there that has a product that you don’t trust to pull off an event of this magnitude. These are the largest digital events that any company pulls off. And we’re really happy that we worked closely with Microsoft Azure this time around.

Scott Guthrie – EVP, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group

Great. Thanks, Rick.

Rick Cordella – SVP and General Manager, NBC Sports Digital

Thanks, Scott.

Scott Guthrie – EVP, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group

So we’ve talked at a high level about what you could do with Azure. Let’s now dive into specifics.

One of the things that makes Azure unique is its rich set of infrastructure as a service and platform as a service capabilities and how it enables developers to leverage these features together to build great applications that can support any device.

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Let’s go ahead and look at some of the great new enhancements we’re releasing this week in each of these different categories.

First up, let’s look at some of the improvements we’re making with our infrastructure features and some of the great things we’re enabling with virtual machines.

Azure enables you to run both Windows and Linux virtual machines in the cloud. You can run them as stand-alone servers, or join them together to a virtual network, including one that you can optionally bridge to an on-premises networking environment.

This week, we’re making it even easier for developers to create and manage virtual machines in Visual Studio without having to leave the VS IDE: You can now create, destroy, manage and debug any number of VMs in the cloud.

Prior to today, it was possible to create reusable VM image templates, but you had to write scripts and manually attach things like storage drives to them. Today, we’re releasing support that makes it super-easy to capture images that can contain any number of storage drives. Once you have this image, you can then very easily take it and create any number of VM instances from it, really fast, and really easy.

Starting today, you can also now easily configure VM images using popular frameworks like Puppet, Chef, and our own PowerShell and VSD tools. These tools enable you to avoid having to create and manage lots of separate VM images. Instead, you can define common settings and functionality using modules that can cut across every type of VM you use.

You can also create modules that define role-specific behavior, and all these modules can be checked into source control and they can also then be deployed to a Puppet Master or Chef server.

And one of the things we’re doing this week is making it incredibly easy within Azure to basically spin up a server farm and be able to automatically deploy, provision and manage all of these machines using these popular tools.

What I want to do here is invite Mark Russinovich on stage to actually show off how you can use all this functionality and some of the cool things you can now do with it. Here’s Mark.

Mark Russinovich – Microsoft Technical Fellow in Windows Azure

I thought we were going to wear black today, Scott.

Scott Guthrie – EVP, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group


Mark Russinovich – Microsoft Technical Fellow in Windows Azure

Oh, well. Morning, everybody. So let’s get started. I’m going to show you how easy it is to create a virtual machine from inside of Visual Studio here by going to the Server Explorer, going down to virtual machines, right clicking, and then you can see a new menu item there, create virtual machine.

Clicking it launches a wizard experience that looks a lot like the portals wizard experience, but I’m doing it right from here inside of Visual Studio. First step, take a subscription to deploy into. Second step, take an operating system image. I’m, of course, going to pick the best one on this list, the latest version of 2012 R2.

Then I pick a virtual machine name. So I’ll give it a nice, unique name here. Provision a user account to log into the machine if I need to. Either create a new cloud service, or deploy into an existing cloud service. I’ll go ahead and pick an existing one. And then pick a storage account, into which the operating system disk gets created. I’m going to, again, pick an existing storage account.

Press next. And the final step would be to configure any network ports that I want to open up on the machine. But I’m good with the default, so I’ll just press “create” and let it launch. In a few minutes, we’ll have a virtual machine ready to go.

But that wouldn’t be that cool if that’s all you could do from Visual Studio is just create and delete virtual machines.

What’s even better is that you can also debug your virtual machines right from inside of Visual Studio from your desktop.