Back from Tech-Ed IT Pro 2008

Sorry for the dead-silence this past week...between meetings and parties and certification tests and working and talking....it was a busy time at Tech-Ed.

(One of my editors is peeved at me - I missed a chapter deadline too!) :-(

So, I'm just going to ramble on here for a bit...

Lots of folks say that Orlando in June is just "too hot". I guess that depends on where you are coming from. I flew down from virginia, and I think that it was cooler in Orlando than it was in Virginia - of course, Virginia was going through a "heat wave". But I found Orlando quite comfortable for the entire week.

However - when I was doing my daily run (ok, it's a jog - I about three and a half miles a day and it takes me 45 minutes - you can figure out that I'm slow!) - there is no question that the humidity was higher. I always sweat - but not quite so much as I did there!

On Monday night, I met with an editor from O'Reilly Media plus a whole bunch of Active Directory folks - collectively "Team A/D" for O'Reilly (those that were present at Tech-Ed anyway). I'm doing tech.review on a couple of A/D books these days. There were some old faces and some new faces - a really good time with a bunch of geeks. Speaking of geeks - expect to hear about GEEC '09 this week from those fine folks at NetPro who bring you DEC (Directory Experts Conference).

Tech-Ed itself ran Tuesday through Friday. I won't bore you with what you've probably already read elsewhere.

But, as expected, Windows 2008 was big news, IIS 7.0, and SQL 2008. Nothing surprising there. Hyper-V of course.

I spent a lot of time talking about deployments, upgrades, and migrations with lots of customers. I think the message behind read-only DCs and server-core has confused a bunch of folks; as has the "story" behind Hyper-V. Many people thought that with server-core coming that they HAD to use it. And lots of folks didn't understand that server-core doesn't support the .NET Framework (and thus it doesn't support PowerShell or the .NET extensions to IIS 7.0!).

Most folks also didn't understand that Hyper-V doesn't do much by itself - it takes an OS to layer on top of it. oh! And NT 4.0 is NOT supported on Hyper-V. That doesn't mean it doesn't work - but it isn't supported (ok ok - NT 4 isn't officially supported anyway - but this means that the Hyper-V folks have not "qualified" NT 4.0 to work properly on Hyper-V - if you want that, you have to stay with Virtual Server 2005).

During one of my talks about upgrade/migration, I went through the entire set of domain functional levels, forest functional levels, Exchange functional levels, and how Outlook functionality was impacted. My head hurt by the time I was done with that talk. It is downright confusing by this point.

I was able to meet and talk with the folks from AppAssure, who have a killer product in their Replay for Exchange. I hope to talk more about that in the future.

I met with the VP from Wiley/Sybex who signed me up for the book I'm working on right now. Unfortunately, I was never able to connect with my current editor for the book. :-(

I also had the fine fortune to be able to meet with Tony Davis of the Simple-Talk online journal. I hope to be able to start doing some work with him soon.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet with any of my contacts with Penton Media (the Windows IT Pro/Outlook IT Pro) folks, and Diane from EMO wasn't able to come to Tech-Ed this year.

There were lots of new products and lots of old products. I was shocked to see Syncsort. For no reason whatsoever, really. I can just remember using them in my mainframe days, over 20 years ago....they are still alive and well. I didn't know they had made the transition to client/server.

I took six certification tests while I was there. They offer Tech-Ed attendees a discount for taking tests onsite: $50 per test. So instead of $750 for those tests, I only paid $300. I wasn't able to schedule the final one I need: 70-620 (Vista) because of scheduling conflicts but once I take that one (week after next, I think), I'll also finish up the two Windows Server 2008 MCITP certifications. I'm already "MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator", those two will add "MCITP: Enterprise Administrator" and "MCITP: Server Administrator".

I'm looking forward to the class-work for the Microsoft Certified Master programs. I hope they will fit in the budget of a self-employed consultant! (Check here if you haven't heard about the Master's programs: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/master/products/default.mspx#EZ).

After the conference I hung around Orlando for a couple of extra days just to relax. It was a good time. I look forward to it next year.

Enough rambling for today. I best go try to bill a few hours tonight to help pay for this trip!

Until next time...

As always, if there are items you would like me to talk about, please drop me a line and let me know!

Published Monday, June 16, 2008 1:19 PM by michael
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