TechEd 2008 – Day 2

Sessions for the day:

  • SVR52-TCCL Top Ten Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering Enhancements over Windows Server 2003 Clustering, Based on Best Practices

    Who comes up with these names? It is a title, not an abstract. I don’t care for the interactive theatre sessions as much. The rooms are too small, the displays are too small, and the sound is usually so so. The session was overflowing with people, but managed to grab a seat when the guy next to me abruptly left. Clustering definitely looks easier in 2008, especially when adding drives to a cluster. No more taking nodes up and down. We’re not using clustering much, but when we do, I’ll want to make sure we’re on 2008 for those systems.

  • MGT359 Advanced Operating System Deployment with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager: Provisioning Your Windows Deployment with Microsoft Deployment (BDD) (Part 4 of 4)

    Whew, an even longer name than the previous session. This was an excellent session. I wanted to go to parts 1-3, but they were all back to back and didn’t want to spend the first couple days on only one topic. My main interest was in the customization and scripting portion anyway. Ive been hesitant to move from BDD2007 to MDT since BDD is working for us. There are enough good features though, that I probably need to work on that this summer.

  • OFC362 Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007: Administrative Architecture, Deployment, and Operations Fundamentals (Part 1 of 2)

    We’re just starting to move to SharePoint at work, so thought this would be a good session. It didn’t disappoint. The banter on stage seemed a bit forced, but a lot of good content. There wasn’t a lot that was new, but a good overview of how SharePoint can be architected and the implications of selecting one model or the other.

  • OFC363 Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007: Administrative Architecture, Deployment, and Operations Fundamentals (Part 2 of 2)

    Once you’ve devoted the time to part 1, you may as well hang around and stay for part 2. Another good session. The banter was less forced and didn’t seem so intentionally injected. Mainly a continuation of the previous session, building on the concepts in more depth.

Nothing grabbed me in the later sessions, so I headed over to the Hands-on Lab area. Worked on:

  • MGT50-HOL Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2007: Protecting Microsoft Exchange Server
  • MGT50-HOL Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2007: Protecting Microsoft SQL Server

    These sessions were pretty basic, but a nice walk through on DPM with these apps. We’re moving to DPM this summer, and I’m really looking forward to it. very functional and easy to use. Less expensive too.

  • MGT61-HOL Introduction to System Center Configuration manager 2007

    We’re still on SMS 2003 at the moment, but I’ve been planning to upgrade to SCCM for a while now. Just never seem to have the time. Yet another summer project.

I returned to the hotel to drop off my bag and get cleaned up before the evening events. Microsoft and Dell were hosting a higher ed reception over at the Westin. At first I thought I was going to need to take a cab, but quickly realized it was right behind the OCCC. So I rode the bus back to the convention center and walked all the way around the building and down Universal, getting in the door just before It started to rain. I left my umbrella in the room, so I couldn’t have timed it any better.

They were serving pizza, very tasty and more of a meal than the Expo reception the night before. Talked with some folks from William and Mary, Microsoft, and another school that escapes me at the moment. Stayed here around an hour before catching a cab over to CityWalk for the Double-Take Cluster-Funk party at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. I don’t use the product, but had read good things about last year’s party so I had signed up. The cab ride over was more than I expected, but at the Westin, you get these really nice SUV taxis, same as at the Rosen Shingle Creek. Cheaper than renting a car, so not a problem.

For food they had sushi, coconut chicken, and conch fritters. The chicken was good, the conch was disappointing, and I stayed away from the sushi. Grabbed a seat at one of the bars and camped out. Spent the rest of the evening there talking with some folks from a shipping company. Didn’t leave until around midnight, much late than I had planned. Cab ride back was less than half what I paid to get down there.