TechEd 2008 – Day 4

I realized I left off on the next to last day of TechEd. I doubt anyone really cares that much, but figured I’d wrap this up. Sessions for the final day:

  • SEC375 A Hacker’s Diary: Why I can Hack Your Passwords and How You Can Stop Me

    This session by Marcus Murray of TrueSec was a highlight. Entertaining, informative, and frightening all at the same time. If you didn’t walk away from this one concerned about password security in your environment, you’re either very good or in denial. Wish I had attended his wireless security session. Turns out in addition to being a security expert, he is also a world-class tae-kwon-do athlete. Hunter French has a post about this.

  • MGT371 Application Virtualization Management: The Enterprise of the Future System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 and Microsoft SoftGrid

    This session highlighted the new capabilities that will be available when App-V 4.5 is used with SCCM R2. Because app packages can be streamed from Distribution Points now, you don’t need the App-V server. Downside is that it takes longer for apps to show up on the clients because the SCCM client refresh cycle is slower than the App-V client. They highlighted the pros and cons of local app delivery vs. app streaming, but didn’t indicate whether it can figure out for itself which to use. I’m hoping I don’t need two sets of advertisements, one for laptops and one for desktops.

  • SVR379 Planning for Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services Using the New Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides

    This was the first time I was made aware of the Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides. You can find them online at: These guides are fairly short and walk you through the different design decisions you nee to make when implementing the various technologies. They don’t make the decision for you, but since knowing the questions to ask and decisions to be made is half the battle, these guides should be quite useful.

I spent the rest of my time at TechEd in the Hands-on Labs. I worked on the following labs:

  • CLI55-HOL Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP): Recovering PCs with the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset
  • CLI59-HOL Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP): Implementing Microsoft System Center Desktop Error Monitoring
  • IDA51-HOL Microsoft Identity Lifecycle Manager 2

We’ve been using the predecessor to the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DART), back from before Microsoft owned the product. Haven’t ever made time to setup DART, but it looks like they’ve made some improvements, so definitely need to get this in the hands of my techs.

I don’t use ILM currently, and odds are never will since account provisioning/deprovisioning will be moving the central IT at the University next year (Yay!), but thought I’d check out the beta of ILM 2. Huge improvements all around. Nice SharePoint-like portal for account activities and configuration of ILM. It looks much easier to setup all the processes that might have required writing actual code in the current product. And they brought password reset back!

After finishing up the labs, it was time to head to the airport. I took advantage of the option to check my bags at the convention center, so I didn’t need to deal with luggage on the bus. I found a reference to an online form to pre-register for the bag service, so the fee was only $5.

At the airport, folks were watching the monitors which were covering the news of Tim Russert’s death. I was a big fan of him and was stunned when the CNN breaking news text message came across my phone while I was working on the labs. Election coverage won’t be the same without him.

The flight home was uneventful. Waiting for luggage at Lambert was as excruciating as it always is. Now I need to download the slide decks for the sessions I wasn’t able to attend. I’ll probably wind up getting too busy and will just wait for the DVDs to arrive, but it doesn’t hurt to be ambitious.

I’m looking forward to going to LA for TechEd next year. Hopefully they will add Monday back to the conference not be so stingy with the snacks. I dinged them pretty hard on both items in the post-show survey. Hopefully it will make a difference. On the plus side, they did a nice job with the bag.