TechEd Europe 2010 - Day 1


Early Bird Gets the Worm

TechEd Europe 2010 kicked off today in Berlin, Germany.  My brain decided the conference needed to start at 4:45am Berlin time Monday and there was no convincing it to go back to sleep.  I think that’s like 9:45pm Sunday Dallas time. I knew right then I wasn’t going to last the entire day and into the reception that evening but there was no use fighting it.  So I got up and piddled around getting read for the day ahead.

I met some of the TechNet and MSDN team for breakfast at the Kempinski and enjoyed a nice breakfast buffet.  The buffet was pretty elaborate and I took advantage.  They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Although the buffet was fab, I’m not sure breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  A good German beer at the end of the day is a strong competitor.

Meetings and Pre-conference Training

Microsoft’s Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) team, along with a number of other Microsoft organizations held a summit that started at 8:30am.  Normally I wouldn’t mind participating in the meeting but unfortunately there was a schedule conflict.  The all day Windows 7 Deployment workshop was taking place at the same time downstairs. 

I’d much rather see what Jeremy Chapman, Michael Niehaus, Chris Jackson, Steve Campbell and the other presenters are going to be up to in the workshop, so I grabbed a coffee and headed down. 

The “Experience a REAL Windows 7 Deployment” session was very good and provided coverage on the Microsoft Deployment ToolKit, MAP, ACT, SCCM, application compatibility, gotchas, and a host of other topics.  I took my video camera and shot a little over 30 minutes of video throughout the first 4-5 hours of the session, but my hotel connection is pitifully slow so I may not publish anything until I get home.

It’s funny, Jeremy Chapman indicated right up front that this session was going to be real so it’s likely we’ll see some issues and need to troubleshoot.  He was right.  Grin.

IMG_0814During the lunch break, the Ethernet switch all of the machines were on took an error of some sort.  I actually think someone accidentally kicked the power switch on the multitap. 

Regardless of how the error occurred, the MDT task sequence aborted with the red screen of fail.  In this case, that meant all of the user state had already been backed up and the previous OS had been wiped.  Since the task sequence had already aborted, it was time for some quick troubleshooting.

Michael Niehaus (pictured at right) walked everyone through the manual steps to install a new OS and recover the user state.  The first order of business was making sure we actually had the user state stored off.  You have to be very careful here not to use another task sequence that going to wipe the drive.

I didn’t see a camera crew in back recording the session in video form, but I’m sure there will be an audio recording.  Like many of our tools, you can watch these sessions over and over but until you actually roll up your sleeves and try the tools for yourself, you won’t know how easy it is to use them.  This session did a great job of providing the view of those tools to get you started.

TechEd Europe Conference Keynote

In the afternoon, TechEd Europe 2010 was officially opened with a keynote by Microsoft’s Brad Anderson.

At last month’s PDC10 Microsoft announced enhancements to its Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering, the Windows Azure Platform. Today, Microsoft provided more information about how its comprehensive cloud strategy - spanning the public and private cloud - can help organizations meet their unique business needs. While PaaS represents the future of cloud computing, many organizations today require high levels of control or customization within their own IT environments. 

Microsoft’s approach to the cloud includes Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), so customers and partners can build private cloud solutions on top of their existing datacenter investments. Windows Server, Hyper-V, and System Center comprise fully integrated server, virtualization, and management solutions.  And today, the company announced Hyper-V Cloud, a set of programs and initiatives that help customers and partners deploy private clouds on their own terms. The programs include:

  • Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track: For customers who need some level of customization, but also want to reduce risk and speed deployment, reference architectures can provide the perfect balance. Microsoft is collaborating with Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP IBM and NEC to deliver a broad choice of pre-defined, validated configurations for private cloud deployments—comprising compute, storage, networking resources, virtualization, and management software. These six partners collectively represent more than 80% share of the world’s server market.
  • In addition, HP and Microsoft are announcing jointly developed HP Cloud Foundation for Hyper-V, a reference architecture that combines HP BladeSystem Matrix and Microsoft System Center with Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V. This solution is part of Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track, and one result of the expanded partnership we announced together earlier this year. HP also will offer HP CloudStart for Microsoft, private cloud services that simplify and speed private cloud deployments using HP Cloud Foundation for Microsoft Hyper-V. To find out more, read blog posts by Dell, HP and NEC, and see Hitachi’s press release.
  • Hyper-V Cloud Service Provider Program: More than 70 service providers around the world offer infrastructure as a finished, fully-hosted service built on Microsoft’s technology. This option delivers the fastest, most cost-effective implementation for cloud services, both private and public. Service providers include: Korean Internet Data Center; Fasthosts (UK, US); Agarik (France); Hostway Corporation (US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Romania).
  • Hyper-V Cloud Deployment Guides: For customers who want to build their own private clouds on top of existing infrastructure investments, we are now offering tools and guidance based on expertise developed during hundreds of Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) customer engagements over the past few years. This element of the Hyper-V Cloud program optimizes for the highest levels of flexibility, control, and customization.
  • Hyper-V Cloud Accelerate: To tie it all together, Microsoft is making significant investments to help customers and partners fund assessments, proofs-of-concept, and production deployments. These services will be delivered by MCS and pre-qualified members of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN).

In addition, Microsoft also announced:

  • General availability of System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self Service Portal 2.0 (first announced at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July), a freely downloadable, partner-extensible solution that makes it easier for customers to pool, allocate, and manage their compute, storage, and network resources. A key element of a private cloud infrastructure, this solution is built on top of Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2.
  • Availability of Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 Release Candidate , which helps improve endpoint protection across client and server infrastructure. Built on System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Forefront Endpoint Protection allows customers to use their existing client management infrastructure to deploy and manage desktop security. Forefront Endpoint Protection will release to manufacturing by the end of 2010.