TechEd 2008 – Day 3

Sessions for Day 3:

  • CLI358 Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP): Managing GPOs with Advanced Group Policy Management

    Yet another piece of MDOP that we haven’t implemented yet. I like the auditing and ability to report on GPOS especially the differences report that highlights what has changed form one GPO to another. Adding it to the list for the summer.

  • VIR450 Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP): Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 (Formerly SoftGrid), Sequencing Deep Dive

    Excellent session that went into detail on what is happening behind the scenes when you sequence an app using SoftGrid or App-V as they now refer to it. One item that was new to me was when the presenter talked about the machine used for sequencing. He mentioned that you want the machine to be as close to your normal system as possible including apps that are installed. Has to do with differences how the system handles new files and files that already exist. So if you normally have Office installed, you should install Office. This is opposite what you do if you are packaging applications for installation since they always say to have as clean a system as possible. Need to do some more digging to see specifically what best practices are for sequencing so I can setup an image for that purpose.

  • UNC 361 Going Big! Deploying Large Mailboxes with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 without Breaking the Bank

    This was a disappointing session. The presentation itself was OK, but I was expecting more technical info on how best to support large mailboxes. Instead it was primarily about determining the costs per mailbox using different sizes and disk configurations. Basically showed that for very large mailboxes (2 GB), SATA drives actually offer a good per mailbox cost. Because you need so many, you have plenty of spindles for IO and the lower costs compensates for the large number of drives you have.

  • CLI361 The Top Five Things You Have to Know When Migrating User State with Windows User State Migration Tool 3.0

    I’ve always avoided using USMT in our environment. We use roaming profiles and tell people to save files to their home folder on the network, so the need to migrate state is pretty low. If it could reliably move applications, it might be a different story. There a few things where settings are per machine, such as ODBC settings and such that might make sense to move that way, or searching for files stored on the local drive. Might have someone play around with it and see what it can do for us.

I headed back to the hotel after the last session to drop off my bag and pack for the trip home on Friday. I knew I’d be at the Attendee Party at Universal Studios late that night, and I was going to want to pack afterwards. That didn’t take too long, so I headed down the manager’s reception before going to wait for the bus to the park. Since the lines for the buses are usually pretty long, I started the line at least half hour early. I wanted to make sure I was on the first bus. As we passed other hotels, the lines of people were stretching all the way from I Drive back to the hotel lobby, so it was going to take several buses to clear out those lines. With a park like Universal Studios, getting there early and getting there six or seven buses later makes a big difference in how long you wait for the rides.

They handed out ponchos as we arrived at the park, but thankfully we didn’t need them, unlike last year. No rain at all all evening. I had been sitting next to someone from Amarillo who was also there alone, so we hung out and hit the rides together. Of all the attractions, the new Simpsons ride was the best. I believe this replaced the old Back to the Future ride which was never one of my favorites. Too bumpy and jarring. The Simpsons ride is a similar concept with a simulator in fornt of a large screen, but they’ve done a much better job integrating the motion of the ride vehicle with the screen. The premise is you are at Krusty the Clown’s amusement park, Krustyland, on a new ride with the Simpsons. Sideshow Bob has escaped from prison and is coming to kill the Simpsons and whoever is with them (that’s you). You definitely feel like you’re in their world. A lot of digs at Disney rides such as Captain Dinosaur’s Pirate Rip-off Ride (which looks just like Pirates of the Caribbean except with dinosaurs as pirates) and the Haunted Condo (instead of the Haunted Mansion). Probably should have gone on that a second time. Headed back to the hotel around 11:30.