We are half-way through Launch Week ... and things are continuing to stay exciting.

The booth is continually swamped - and while this will sound bias, it is one the busiest booths in the Microsoft pavilion.  Yeah, I know that's like saying that my kid was the best actor in the school play.  Yes, I am bias.  But I also can count - two customers in this booth, one customer in that booth, four customers in my booth.  Sometimes, your kid really is the best actor in the play.  And at IT Forum, DPM's booth really is one of the busiest in the Microsoft pavilion that I saw. 

But that makes sense, if you think about it:

If you are a SQL Server specialist at IT Forum, you went by the SQL areas - learned new stuff about SQL Server 2008 and BI, and you also came by the DPM booth to pick up the "How to protect SQL Server with DPM" datasheet or whitepaper.  We have a technical breakout session on that topic that DBA's would have heard about already, and there is a Hands-On Lab with the same specialization, as well.  FYI, we've put a lot of effort into helping empower SQL Server DBA's to be successful doing their own backups with DPM - so there are lots of good resources at:

www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/DPM/workloads/SQL.mspx

If you are an Exchange expert at IT Forum, you went by the Exchange area ... and then picked up DPM's "How to protect Exchange Server with DPM" datasheet or whitepaper.  This one especially, since we also did a breakout on that topic today.  PS, yes, we have lots of good resources for Exchange admin's doing their own backups too, at:

www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/DPM/workloads/EXCHANGE.mspx

If you are a Windows Server administrator, DPM has a story for you. 

If you are a SharePoint person, DPM is absolutely the right way to back it up. 

If you are a Virtualization person, DPM is the right way to back those up and we have sessions on that topic too. 

If you are a security specialist, no anti-virus / firewall (proactive) solution is complete without a reactive backup/recovery mechanism, so you came by DPM as well. 

And if you are a systems management person, you came by most of the System Center booths which includes DPM.  No matter what server infrastructure component that you are interested in, you likely went there in there in the Microsoft area - and then DPM's booth, too. 

So yes, at IT Forum, reasonably and logically speaking ... my kid was the best in the school play.

 

MGT317 - How to protect Exchange Server with Data Protection Manager 2007 - technical breakout session

This class really rocked although it had the potential not to.  You see, every night after the conference is over, I have to move my demonstration hardware from one classroom to the next.  So, last night, I moved my equipment over and spun up everything (see day-0 blog for a description of my demo gear).  The demo really needs to run well in advance so that we have lots of recovery points to demonstrate.  The session before mine finished early, so when I came up to the podium in my relaxed and prepared way, I found that someone after me had unplugged my demo servers for their own.  

A twisted rationale of "Do unto others as you would have them do done unto you" rang through my head.  Obviously, they were modeling that golden rule and had demonstrated that they in fact wanted me to unplug their gear.  They had done it to me and I should just follow their example, right?!?  (Sorry, you can tell I am still bitter).

So, I began finding extra power plugs and spinning up the hosts. Then the DC.  Then the Exchange servers.  Then the other workloads.  And finally the DPM server.  I always show multiple workloads being protected.  Except for the very largest of corporations, almost every administrator manages more than one platform.  And besides, it makes the demo more fun for me. 

I also queued up a PowerPoint screenshot-demo deck just in case.  When you hard-kill a complete VPC domain, you run lots of risk of something not coming up again on the first try - and I wasn't going to get a chance to troubleshoot.  Literally, I was two slides into to session PowerPoint presentation before the green lights clicked on the demo and I knew whether I would be showing live machines or not.  PS> TechEd deep-tech audiences hate non-demo sessions.  It's too close to marketing.

FYI, I did an early version of this material as a webcast during the beta program, which you can watch at:

On-demand Webcast - How to protect Exchange Server with DPM 2007 beta

The session and demo went fine - we taught around 220 people - and in fact, it was one of the highest rated sessions for the day. 

 

SRV401 - Windows Server 2008 Deep-Dive for File Services and Storage

I didn't actually teach this class - but i attended it since after this week, those will also be topics in my job function. 

As I might have mentioned in the past, my team is the Windows Storage Solutions team, which includes DPM, but also Storage Server, WUDSS and even parts of the Windows Server file workload.  We merged teams together back in July, but I have tried to stay focused on DPM  until we launched.  After this week, I will take on the content/ technical readiness for those functions as well.  So, I attended Ralf Schnell's session.  I used to be a Microsoft MVP in Storage, so I thought I understood all of the file/storage capabilities from Win2003.  But in looking at Win2008, there is obviously lots of cool new things that I get to start evangelizing next year.

 

There were some other sessions, booth duty, partner meetings, etc.  And then I moved my demo hardware from today's classroom to tomorrow's.  That proctor knows about today's snafu and she promises to watch out for my gear.  But as for today's DPM launch blog, that is it.

 

Final score for Day 3

Woke up at 6:30 - onsite from 8A through 8P - a great dinner with my friends from Dell, who this week announced a series of Dell Data Protection Appliances, with DPM 2007 pre-installed on Windows Storage Server / Dell NX1950's (more on that in separate blogs in the future). 

Add in a great technical breakout session with good scores and lots of attendees.  We returned from dinner by 11:30P and I worked on tomorrow's PowerPoint presentation until 2AM.