I spend the last two days of Tech Ed 2010 doing break out sessions and Inter Active Sessions. Only one Inter Active Session was a complete disaster as the guy handling it had no clue, it looked more like a bar discussion, not for lack of the public trying to get it going. One breakout session on SCVMM vNext was a mess due to the speaker not showing up and the improvising that caused. But on the whole the sessions were good. John Craddock confirmed once more he is a great scholar. The SCVMM team managed their message well. The info on Lync was good and useful but I do find the explanation about getting the configuration data out of Active Directory a bit weak as the same can be said for Exchange. If they go that way the entire dream of using Active Directory for leveraging applications goes down the drain. The other thing that I found a bit negative about Lync is the focus on large enterprises for high availability. Smaller ones need that as well. And small to USA standards is medium over here in Europe
I also really enjoyed the Clustering interactive session. I almost wanted to start speaking on the subject my self but I could refrain myself .
The statement that the Exchange team no longer recommends Windows NLB is no surprise and was welcomed by most. But in retrospect, that’s a public secret put into words. They talk more about WNLB in their docs but never recommend it over hardware NLB, they just never really discussed the latter, probably because the hardware configuration is vendor specific. There is some info available on what needs to be done on the Exchange side when you opt for hardware load balancing and it’s a bit more involved.
The networking aspect of the conference was a success. I’ve had long technical and conceptual talks with the Windows (clustering), Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager teams. Those hours providing feedback, conveying wishes and concerns and learning how they look at certain issues were very interesting. The most new info on future releases was on SCVMM vNext. Things like managing the fabric (storage,network, cluster), library management, deployment and WSUS/Maintenance Mode integration for automated patching if the hosts are cool. I’m looking forward to the public betas. They could not talk about any items in Windows clustering /NLB or Hyper-V vNext. I also signed up for an Office365 beta account. We’ll have to see when one becomes available.
The developers I know that came along came away with the sobering confirmation of what they already knew about agile, project managers and time based planning of implementation versus releases. Now how will they communicate this back home. Food for taught, I bet!
Then there are the rumors. There was one about Tech Ed changing back to the time frame it was running until 2005, in the summer. This lead to the rumor that this would be the last Tech Ed Europe. I don’t think so, I guess that it’s probably the last one in Berlin for now, but not the last one in Europe. The following rumor was that due to the timing the 2011 Tech Ed in Europe would be skipped as summer 2011 would be to soon. We’ll have to wait and see. If so, I’m eyeballing Microsoft Management Summit & Tech Ed North America in the USA.
Speaking of the USA, if you look at the money Microsoft throws against Tech Ed North America and PDC than this year the European Tech Ed really stood out as being a bit “poor”. In the end no one goes to a conference for a bag, freebies or swag. But the atmosphere at the outset of a conference determines how the mood is starting the event and this year they messed that up. By the end of the week that was mostly forgotten. I do think however Microsoft needs to manage and guard the quality of the sessions. This is very important, it should not become a marketing/managerial types event. Tech Ed = Technical Education and that education should be of a high level. The combination of that with high quality architectural and conceptual sessions is value for money. As already said above, something they did very well this year was providing lots of quality interaction and networking opportunities with MVP’s, Microsoft personnel and partners. That is awesome and I hope they keep working at that.
If you went to the conference I hope you had a good Tech Ed. if you didn’t make it you can enjoy loads of sessions here: Tech Ed Europe 2010 Online Sessions