Throwback Thursday: Sessions from TechEd Houston

Today is my final installment of highlights from TechEd Houston! Below are some of my session picks from the last day of the conference.

  • TWC: Hacker’s Perspective on Your Windows Infrastructure: Mandatory Check List (DCIM-B366)
  • Windows 8 Security Internals (WIN-B350)
  • Real-World Windows 8.1 Deployment Note from the Field (WIN-B358)
  • Providing SaaS Single Sign-on with Microsoft Azure Active Directory (PCIT-B326)
  • Delivering Disaster Recovery Solutions Using Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure (DCIM-B421)
  • How IPv6 Impacts Private Cloud Deployments (DCIM-B373)
  • Windows Server 2003 End of Life Migration Planning for Your Workloads (DCIM-B376)
  • Upgrading Active Directory the Safe Way: Using Virtualization Technologies (PCIT-B341)
For my lists of sessions from the other days, you can find them here: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Learn Something Today from TechEd Houston

Since today is Wednesday, I’m bringing you a selection of session from Day 3 of TechEd Houston which was also a Wednesday.

  • Introduction to Microsoft Azure Automation (DCIM-B347)
  • Data Protection in Microsoft Azure (DCIM-B387)
  • How to Rapidly Design and Deploy an Active Directory Federation Services Farm: The Do’s and Don’ts (PCIT-B324)
  • Leveraging Your On-Premises Directory Infrastructure to Manage Your Microsoft Azure Active Directory Identities (DCIM-B301)
  • Mark Russinovich and Mark Minasi on Cloud Computing (DCIM-B386)
  • Deploying and Managing Work Folders (PCIT-B322)
  • Windows To Go: Deployment, Support for BYOD, and What IT Pros Need to Know (WIN-B342)
  • The Agile End-to-End Story for Developers and IT Professionals (DCIM-B358)
  • TWC: How You Can Hack-Proof Your Clients and Servers in a Day (DCIM-B372)

As you can see, Wednesday was a busy day at TechEd and I since I was working down in the Windows Client area on the expo floor I still have a lot of these to watch!

More From TechEd – Tuesday Sessions

It’s Tuesday, so a perfect time to flashback to some sessions that looked interesting to me from Day 2 of  TechEd 2014. These are all available on Channel 9.

  • Effortless Migration from VMware to Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V (DCIM-B412)
  • Best Practices for Integrating On-Premise Datacenters with Microsoft Azure IaaS (DCIM-B330)
  • Security and Microsoft Azure IaaS (DCIM-B385)
  • TWC: Data Privacy and Protection in the Cloud (OFC-B233)
  • Group Policy: Notes from the Field – Tips, Tricks and Troubleshooting (WIN-B328)
  • TWC: Social Engineering: Manipulations, Targeted Attacks, and IT Security (PCIT-B319)

Go forth and learn something today!


Today starts off Day 2 of TechEd!  Yesterday, I spent a lot of time working in the Microsoft Solutions area (MSE) talking about Windows and Mobility.  You can find me in the “Device Bar” today and I’ll also be at the “Ask the Experts” event this evening.

So great announcements came out during the keynote yesterday.  I can’t wait to get started with Azure Files and the new site-to-site VPN tunnels between Azure VNets.  Also, being able to deploy Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 clients to Azure for testing and development is a great addition.

While I’m here at TechEd, my fellow colleagues have been busy blogging about what’s been going on as well.  Check out some posts below:

Don’t forget, even if you aren’t here in person you can still stream a lot of great TechEd content from ch9!

Tis the Season… Conference Season!

I admit it, I’m a bit of a conference junkie.  I love attending events, listening to interesting keynotes or panel speakers, passing through the expo areas and chatting with other IT Professionals.
There are only so many weeks in the year though and my calendar is starting to fill up with some promising events.

CITE Conference (April) –  Okay, well, you just missed this one. The last day is today. I attended it yesterday and thought it was a great conference around Consumerization of IT and Mobility in the Enterprise. I highly recommend looking for it next year. Visit their website to keep track of them via all the popular social mediums.

TechEd 2014 (May) – There is a special place in my heart for TechEd… this will be my 10th year attending and you’ll be able to find me in the Windows Client booth area.

TechDays SF (June) – Brought to you by PacITPros and hosted in the Microsoft SF office, this two day event is like a mini-TechEd bringing you similar caliber speakers talking about all the current topics.  Registration is currrently open.

Dev/IT Connections (Sept) – I was able to speak at this event in 2013, but won’t be able to attend this year.  Still, it’s a great event and I hope to be able to attend in 2015. Plus everyone needs a reason to visit Vegas, right?

That’s just a short list… Do you have any conferences you love that I should try to check out?

TechEd 2014 Content Catalog is Live!

TechEd North America is fast approaching (May 12-15th) and if you know me, you know I’ve been a fan of this conference for many, many years.  One of the best ways to make sure the event is enjoyable for everyone is by indicating the sessions you are interested in using the Course Catalog and building your schedule.  This gives the conference organizers an idea of the popularly of topics and speakers so the room are assigned to support the number of attendees or they can schedule repeats.  No one likes being turned away at the door or standing in the back for 75 minutes.

I took a quick look at the catalog today and here is my short list of sessions I’d want to attend. These are either topics I think are interesting and more importantly, speakers who I’ve seen before or know personally and I know they know their stuff. (I was going to include the course descriptions, but it was going to make this post WAY too long… click to be take to the catalog for more information.)

Water Bottles? What to do? What to do?

I was doing a little New Year house cleaning and realized I have way more reusable water bottles collected from conferences over the years than I can really use. I doubt there is a market for used water bottles, so I haven’t figured out what to do with all of them, but I did have an idea that would be great for future conference planners. (You heard it here first!)

Instead of giving out NEW bottles at every event, like TechEd, invite attendees to bring a previous conference water bottle and when they show it at registration, they get an entry into a special drawing for something cool.

Maybe give bonus entries for bringing a bottle from a competing conference or one that shows you are a committed alumni – 3 years prior or older maybe?

Speaking of conferences, are you attending TechEd 2014 in Texas? Registration is open!  Any other conferences on your calendar?

That Sinking "TechEd" Feeling…

Turns out, even though I not at TechEd in New Orleans, I still am experiencing that sinking feeling in my stomach, reminding me that once again I probably have too many new things to learn and probably not enough time to learn them!

There have been a lot of great announcements coming out of the conference so far and it’s only half over.  Here are some highlights I recommend you check out:

  • On the Springboard Series Blog – What’s New for the Enterprise with Windows 8.1 by Stephen Rose.  Lots of new features to help make Windows 8 easier to support in your enterprise.
  • TechEd Keynote – Get a quick overview of everything on the horizon from Microsoft.
  • Transform the Datacenter – Jeffery Snover and Jeff Wollsey cover the 3 different ways you can use Microsoft technology to support datacenter operations in the cloud, on-premise or in hybrid forms.

And if you REALLY don’t know where to begin, click here and see a list of available presentations sorted by the most views.

Happy learning!

TechEd 2013 Is Just Around the Corner!

One of my most favorite IT Pro conferences is Microsoft TechEd.  This year would have been my 10th TechEd to attend in a row, but alas, I have a conflict and won’t be there this year.  Still, I wanted to mention a few things you might want to check out if YOU are going to be there.

  • If it’s your first time attending, you want to be sure to grab some sessions from some historically popular speakers. You can’t go wrong making sure that Jeffrey Snover, Greg Shields, Mark Russinovich, Mark Minasi, Stephen Rose, Paula Januszkiewicz, J. Peter Bruzzese, and Chris Henley are on your schedule.  Or at least a few of them. 🙂
  • Don’t forget to check out the great TechEd Primer on the Springboard Series Blog
  • Sometimes it can get overwhelming to sit in breakout session after breakout session. Don’t overlook the smaller venue Birds-of-a-Feather topics where the conversations can be more intimate and detail oriented.
  • If you are in certification mode, exams are 50% off!
  • Are you a woman in technology?  Do you know a woman in technology? Enjoy a sit-down lunch served while listening to a panel discussion at the Women in Technology Luncheon.  Support your female colleagues and beat the lunch line – win, win!
  • If it’s not your first time attending and you think you have the “stuff” to present at a future TechEd, don’t hesitate to participate in Speaker Idol. Hosted by Richard Campbell from RunAs Radio, you can win an all expenses paid speaking slot at the next TechEd.  The only rule is that you can’t have presented a TechEd breakout session in the past. 
  • What to make connections that last longer than a week? Don’t forget about the Community Resource Zone where you learn about resources to expand your professional network beyond the reach of the conference or your office walls.

No matter how you schedule your week, you won’t leave New Orleans disappointed.  You’ll have learned a few things, made a few new contacts and be geared up to start some new projects in the office.  If nothing else, don’t forget to come back and tell me what I missed!

TechEd 2012 Session Recap

As is likely with many of you, when I return from a conference that has taken me out of the office for more than a day or so, I have plenty of email and tasks to catch up with.  Now that I have a little bit of wiggle room, it’s time to try to watch all the sessions I missed at TechEd.

There is one little problem when you are mostly an IT generalist and attend a multi-track conference event.  You simply can’t be everywhere you want to be.  I’m so glad that sessions from TechEd are available after the conference for review, otherwise I’d miss out on some great stuff.

Here are some highlights of some of the sessions I attended or viewed so far:

EXL304 An Inside View of Microsoft Exchange 2010 SP2 – I listened to this yesterday and it highlights all the new features in SP2. Most are geared toward either multi-site or multi-tenant needs, but GAL segmentation might be useful for smaller organizations too, depending on your business needs. There are also over 600 bug fixes!

VIR317 Lessons from the Field: 22 VDI and RDS Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid – a lively session with more RDS than VDI mistakes, particularly geared toward farms with more than one RDS Host.

SIA312 What’s New in Active Directory in Windows Server 2012 – A great summary of some of the cool AD features that come with Server 2012, particularly support for virtualized domain controllers while avoiding issues like USN Rollback.

WCL324 IPv6 Bootcamp: Get Up to Speed Quickly – IPv6 is here and if you are running Windows 7, you’ve already deployed it.  So don’t forget to spend a little time becoming more “in the know” about what’s probably already on your network.

And my to-do list of sessions to watch later!
  • SIA402 – How to (un)Destroy Your Active Directory: Reloaded
  • WSV321 – Windows PowerShell Crash Course
  • SIA300 – Ten Deadly Sins of Administrators about Windows Security
  • VIR308 – What’s New in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, Part 1
  • VIR309 – What’s New in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, Part 2

 I didn’t provide links to each session, but you can find them at MyTechEd or on MSDN’s Channel 9.