Last week I attended my very first TechEd, TechEd Europe to be precise and what an experience it was. This is my personal experience and a global overview of my interests that I have seen this week. TechEd Europe was a great mix of getting input for projects I am working on and to get a grip on what to expect the next couple of months.
Day one started with a keynote presented by Brad Anderson and Jason Zander, with a lot of information about Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft’s perception on private, public and hybrid clouds. And what cool new features are waiting for us. Probably the most impressive demo was where they showed 1.000.000 iops on one single virtual machine. Also the copy of a 10gb file that was finished in about 10 seconds on an odx (Offloaded Data Transfer) storage solution was really cool.
Watch the day one keynote over here: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Europe/2012/KEY01
Day two there was another keynote, this time presented by Antoine Leblond it was more about Windows 8, applications and some developer stuff. Beside the new Windows 8 metro interface and the demo’s it is not only optimized for touch experience but you can do fine with keyboard and mouse, I really liked the demo of Windows to Go. A complete Windows 8 installation on an usb device, boot from the usb but use the hardware of the desktop it is put in.
Watch the day two keynote over here: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Europe/2012/KEY02
Beside both keynotes there were over 300 breakout sessions, exam crams, workshops, hands-on labs and a TechExpo with a lot of partners showing their products and services. There were also a lot of Microsoft product manager talk with you about their products and answer your questions.
The enormous amount of session made it really hard to decide which session to attend, because on every timeframe there was more than one interesting session. Luckily al session are recorded so we can watch them on a later moment. All sessions can be found here: http://channel9.msdn.com/events/TechEd/Europe/2012/
Because of my job, projects and interests most sessions I attended were about Windows Server, Hyper-V, Virtual Machine Manager and Exchange Server. Of course not all sessions reached the expectations, but there are some sessions I really enjoyed.
Although you think you know a lot about Exchange 2010 the “Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP2 Tips & Tricks” session by Scott Schnoll showed there is always place for some new information. There was also an announcement for the new version 1.5 of the Remote Activity Analyzer tool, which can be tested over here: Remote Connectivity Analyzer.
The “What’s New in Active Directory in Windows Server 2012” by Samuel Devasahayam and Ulf B. Simon-Weidner was probably one of my favorites. Because of all the new features in virtualization world the other new features in Windows server 2012 don’t get that much attention, but also here there are a lot of new features waiting for us. Another thing I liked about this session is the deep dive they did on some material I didn’t expect this at all.
Two other great sessions I would like to mention, because these are two new features I really like and I think they have great potential. First the “Enabling Disaster Recovery for Hyper-V Workloads Using Hyper-V Replica” session by Vijay Tandra Sistla and Mike van de Merwe, the solution by creating a replica of your Virtual Machine on another server local or in another location (datacenter) gives great opportunities for disaster recovery solutions.
Second “Building Flexible Hyper-V Environments Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Live Migration and Live Storage Migration” by Ben Armstrong because of the possibility of migrating a Virtual Machine from one physical server with direct attached storage to another physical server with direct attached storage only connected by an Ethernet cable without any downtime is brilliant. Or even better as Ben Armstrong said, I did it over wireless ethernet so there is no physical connection at all. Of course this will also work for cluster to cluster, standalone to cluster and vice versa. Think of the flexibility you have with this feature.
If you think these are the new features, you are wrong there were dozens of other cool new ones like, Windows Server 2012 Dynamic Access Control, SMB 3.0, Hyper-V Network Virtualization, Bare metal deployment of Hyper-V hosts via Virtual Machine Manager 2012, and so on and so on.
Beside all the great sessions and loads of technical information I also really liked the talks with other it professionals and to meet the people you normally only know via twitter or blog posts.
Another personal highlight for me was the achievement of the new MCSE Private Cloud certification, via the possibility to do some free and discounted exams on the TechEd site.
To end with a quote by Brad Anderson on the keynote on day one; there are a lot of opportunities. “Don’t follow, LEAD!”