The Confidential Cloud

Azure Confidential Computing“Encryption of data in transit?”

Check!

“Encryption of data at rest?”

Yessir!

“Encryption of data while it’s in use?”

Huh?!

That last one might stump you as well, but Microsoft actually announced a new capability today in Azure, called Azure Confidential Computing.

“Put simply, confidential computing offers a protection that to date has been missing from public clouds, encryption of data while in use. This means that data can be processed in the cloud with the assurance that it is always under customer control.”

This is pretty huge.  The technology involves trusted “enclaves”, or TEEs (Trusted Execution Environments), utilizing either a “Virtual Secure Mode” in the OS, or Intel®  SGX, that Microsoft has been using in Azure on their own infrastructure.  Additionally this is what supports the security of their recent blockchain efforts (Coco Framework), and the just-announced improvements to their “Always Encrypted” capabilities of SQL Server and Azure SQL Database that also operate on data that is secured, even when in use.

Microsoft is making this technology available now for testing.  If you’re interested in signing up for the early-access preview, CLICK HERE.

And of course, read the full announcement (written by none other than Mark Russinovich), HERE.

“Full of I.T.” Blog Content Imported

Not that it’s extremely compelling or super timely anymore, but I managed to import the content from my old Full of I.T. blog to this new blog.  Thanks, WordPress, for making it so easy!

MigrationYou’ll find that some formatting is messed up, some links are in place of previously embedded video windows, etc.  I may go through and clean up the last year or two; which I confess, really wasn’t as much as I had posted in the earlier years.  But it’s nice not to lose that content. 

“Kevin – Is it Microsoft property?”

I suppose it is.  If anyone asks, any content prior to September 5, 2017 is theirs.  It’s just also on my site now.  Smile with tongue out

What do I want?

happy_employeeThis question seems simple enough, but in one very interesting sense it is something that I haven’t had to answer for myself in a long time.  I’ve generally been very happy in most important aspects of my life.  But now that I’ve been un-employeed for 4 days (no, I won’t start whining.. I’m still one very blessed guy), and I’ve talked to a couple of recruiters, this question really is a key one; at least in the context of my next job.

“So, what about your previous job did you like?”

Really, a lot.  It was technically challenging, and therefore technically rewarding.  It had me learning and stretching my brain every single day, and I enjoyed being on the bleeding edge of computer/server/cloud/development technology.  I’d be very happy if my next role and my next company allowed me that kind of continuing growth and challenge. 

I also liked the fact that I could be passionate about the company and their mission as a whole.  “…to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more” is not just words at Microsoft.  I hope my next company – small or large – is able to have a similarly stated mission. 

But if I combine the brain stretching with the passion, it was really those two things combined.  I could learn, and then teach.  I could master, and then expound upon why this or that technology or service was worthwhile for others to get to know more about, because it will be good for them.  For their company.  It would ultimately “empower” them to “achieve more”.  And I get to get paid to do that?  Awesome! 

“What else?”

Well.. I liked working with many and varied customers.  I love the excitement of presenting and demonstrating technology to a large group.  I actually enjoyed most aspects of travel.  And, if I’m being honest, I love the flexibility that working out of my home office gave me. 

“Um, yeah.  Sure.  Who wouldn’t love that?  Anything else?”

Oh, the people.  Definitely the people.  From the day I started at Microsoft, I was impressed by the quality of the people working there.  They’re smart, sure.. but more importantly they are emotionally mature; particularly in areas that matter most when working together as a team.  It might be hard to determine during an interview process, but that is the sort of thing I’ll be watching for before I sign on to my next company.

And sure, the pay and benefits were outstanding.  But the fact that it took me this long to mention it should be a good indication of how big a priority the pay is to me.  I’m quite guilty of taking it for granted, actually.  I just loved the job.

“So Kevin.. is there anything about your previous job that you didn’t like?”

Well.. no, not really.  Sure there were certain aspects or subjective measurements or priority directions that I didn’t always agree with, but over-all they didn’t cause me to not love what was doing.  (Anything more specific will have to be asked in person. Smile)

So, as I start the process of considering who is next to benefit from my skills (heh), I really do need to take some time to assess where I’ve been, what I want, and where I want to go.  Like I had with Microsoft, I want my next job to be my last one before retiring, and I know that with my background, experience, and skills, I’m a good enough “catch” that I shouldn’t have to compromise.  (Power of positive thought and all that.. Smile

Thanks for bearing with this rambling post, and allowing me to take the beginnings of this self-evaluation process “out-loud”.  Ultimately, the goal is, as James Whittaker says time-and-time again, to “do epic shit”.  So that’s what I’m going to (continue to) do.

Yep.. that's me.

It’s been a long time…

I wonder how this will work?  I’m a complete WordPress newbie.. and I’m trying to set up a new, semi-compelling blog; one that will bring people back and not scare them away.

Back in the day (as recently as last week) I was a top blogger at Microsoft on my “Full of I.T.” blog.  For all I know (or care), that content is still there (and rightly the property of Microsoft).  But it’s all old stuff, and I don’t care about bringing it over here.  Nope, this is a new start for me and for you and our “blogship” (Blog + Friendship = “Blogship”.. I just made that up. No charge.)

So.. this is just my first attempt/test post using Open LiveWriter.

Update: It worked.  🙂

Update #2: I imported all the stuff from the TechNet blog.  Cool!

Full of I.T.
Kevin is Full of IT

12 Years being Full of I.T.

Full of I.T. is TWELVE!

That’s right!  This blog is 12 years old today!

Yep.  12 years ago today I entered my very first blog post.  And in the years that followed, it was a pleasure to bring the latest-news, technical resources, and sometimes just silly tech stuff to your browser of choice.

I know I haven’t been around much lately.  Priorities and “scorecards” have meant that I haven’t had as much time to create the fabulous content that many of you have been enjoying for 12 years now.   But that’s going to change really soon.  We’ve got a lot to talk about!  Keep watching this space.

In the meantime, if you would like other ways to check up on what’s happing in Kevin’s Microsoft IT and DevOpsy world, here are a few:

I’d say, “Here’s to another 12!”, but in all honesty, I hope to be retired long before then.

But don’t worry.  I will make sure you all know where to find my “Full of L.T.” blog.  (L.T. of course being “Leisure Time”)

Hey! I know this guy!

Ch9: Is the PC industry as we know it dead?

Watch this revealing video to learn how Lenovo sees the state of the PC industry. From Windows 10 adoption, to the Internet of Things, Lenovo brings a unique point of view. We also get to take a look at some of the new devices and interesting form factors that Lenovo is bringing to market.

https://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/OEMTV/OEM1647/player

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About Lenovo

We make the technology that powers the world’s best ideas. We are fueled by innovation. And we support awesome people doing …awesome things. Together, we hope to make the world a better, more interesting, more connected place. We are Lenovo, and we are For Those Who Do.

For more information please visit http://www.lenovo.com