Day 4 and 5 of TechReady were action packed, I didn’t even have time to post yesterday. I skipped the first session timeslot on Thurs to prepare for the double session I was presenting with Citrix. The double session format basically allocates two sessions (3 hours) to one topic letting you get into a lot more detail. The session went very well and the feedback surveys so far have been very positive. We spent the first half of the session describing the Microsoft+Citrix VDI solution and its components. The second half was filled with demos of the solution with different types of clients accessing VDI sessions and walkthroughs of the administrator consoles.

After my session and some internal meetings, I attended a session on Microsoft’s Dynamic Datacenter Toolkit. I haven’t had much time to explore this yet but will be focusing on that a lot in the next couple months. For an example of a hosting partner using this solution, check out and their MaxV solution.

Finally on Day 4 I attended a session on the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) improvements in Windows Server 2008 R2, particularly the built-in VDI solution. I’ve been so focused on the Microsoft+Citrix solution that I haven’t had time to dig into the Microsoft in-box solution. This is being positioned toward branch and or lower complexity environments while the Microsoft+Citrix solution is targeted toward large or higher complexity implementations. The improvements to RDP and Hyper-V are the real enablers for the VDI scenarios in R2.

Day 5 opened with multiple demos of Office 2010 and Office Web Applications which are really going to open up completely new scenarios for rich collaboration. Next was a keynote from my favorite Microsoft executive, Bob Muglia, head of the Server and Tools Business. Bob covered improvements in Windows, Hyper-V, SharePoint, SQL. The thing TechReady is best for is stepping back and seeing the scope of this release of software we are going to have this year and the solid advancement in capability and features on almost all fronts simultaneously.

After taking care of some logistical items, I attended a session on Hyper-V security. Not much new info in that one, basically there is good security guidance for Hyper-V in the Windows Server 2008 Security Guide as well as the Hyper-V Resource kit. Finally, I attended a session on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 branch office infrastructure. This covered the new Branch Cache feature which can substantially reduce bandwidth utilization in branches by caching content as well as other new features and improvements to SMB, DFS, etc.

All in all, TechReady9 was a great time. I’ve still got a list of sessions that I want to see that is longer than the list of sessions that I actually saw! I’m glad they were all recorded…

Tomorrow and Sunday I’ll be teaching a 2-day VDI class along with some MCS and Citrix colleagues. Should be a good class, the students will learn about and set up the entire Microsoft+Citrix VDI solution over the course of the two days. Then finally on Monday I will head home after almost two and half weeks on the mothership!

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