Let’s Talk About Active Directory’s Future

AD turns 17 this year. That’s a long darn time for a directory service, and you might wonder how much life it’s got left in it. Oh, I don’t mean as in, “Windows Server 2018 is going to eliminate AD!!!!” No. Whatever happens with AD will be an evolution, not a revolution. And I’m not even sure Microsoft has a firm marching plan on this – I think they’re kind of playing it by ear.

But it’s fun to look at what they’re doing, and guess where they might go next.

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Microsoft’s Appliance Play

As you all know by now (I hope), Microsoft’s Azure Stack, the “run some of the Azure Portal on-prem and use it to manage in-cloud and on-prem resources” solution, is only available as, essentially, an appliance. You have to buy it from OEMs like Dell or HP, and it comes preinstalled on select hardware. It’s a sealed OS – you can’t install your own drivers, your own management agents, and so on. You can’t even really mess with it’s patch application schedule.

This is a new approach for Microsoft. It isn’t going to be the last time they do it.

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Add Diversity to Your Career

Ever invest money? Like, even a 401(k) or something? What’s the first piece of advice you’re usually given by investment people?

Diversify.

The idea in finance is that, if one part of your portfolio sucks at the moment, you kind of want it balanced with something that doesn’t suck. So you invest a bit in domestic, a bit in international. A bit in stocks, a bit in bonds. That kind of thing.

Investing solely in one kind of thing creates what’s called a homogeneous portfolio, and it’s typically a bad idea. The same applies to your career.

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The Midlife IT Career Crisis

Orin Thomas recently told me that the average IT Pro, in the Microsoft world, is 43 years old. Makes some sense; younger kids tend to be attracted to younger companies, and younger companies are largely deploying Linux for their big dot-com-startup projects (which is why Microsoft ❤️ Linux all of a sudden). So there are fewer young people getting into Microsoft-centric IT Ops.

And so we’re having a midlife career crisis.

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