As we come into the home stretch, I have three speaking engagements today and three more tomorrow.

When asked why I don't share these with other speakers, my answer is two-fold:

1) I came to Microsoft 23 months ago for DPM2007, so I want to put my own fingerprints all over this event.  That may not be entirely logical or even wholly prudent, but it's honest.

2) Pragmatically, we sign up for these events many months in advance, but only just finished doing the airlifts and training of other teams to the degree that I would ask one to give a conference session.  But they are wired now.

So either way, IT Forum 2007 is the last show that I will do this much speaking - including 2 keynote demo setups, 1 keynote demo, 2 technical breakout sessions, 2 instructor-led lab's, and 4 open Q&A sessions. 

In 2008, I will share the privilege with the folks that I have been working with over the past several weeks to get them ready to evangelize and sell DPM - namely our Storage TS community and the TechNet IT Pro Evangelists that are all scattered around the world and are all very excited (and knowledgeable) about DPM 2007.

 

MGT01-ILL - How to protect Exchange Server with DPM 2007 - Instructor Led Lab

If you haven't done an ILL at a Microsoft event - you really should. 

  • It makes a thorough product demonstration even better, because you get to see the instructor do it, you try it, and then you experiment afterwards.
  • You get to your hands-on lab while also shouting out questions and hearing deep answers, and hearing the answers to questions that you haven't thought of yet.

Admittedly, the DPM ILL wasn't my favorite of the DPM events this week.  The manual needs a refresh and we will be putting in more depth for some additional exercises.  This is the last major event where the DPM software isn't in flux.  For MMS 2007 (March), we were doing lab's against early pre-Beta 2.  For Tech-Ed, we were doing beta 2 that had literally just shipped.  For IT Forum, the images had just gotten upgraded from RC to RTM.  So now, with the demo VPC's stabilized, I promise to provide a richer manual for self-study and lab exercises.  The class was fine, scoring around 7 of 9, which isn't bad - but usually DPM scores are much higher than the average, so I recognize we need to do more.

 

MGT315 - How to protect SQL Server with DPM 2007 - technical breakout session

I love this class - because SQL DBA's understand why DPM is so cool - even more than some other segments.  It was slightly smaller than I hoped, with only a little over a hundred folks - but I was competing with lots of new SQL Server 2008 sessions, so I totally understand. 

If you were unable to watch this session (or not at IT Forum), we recorded this class at the last US Tech-Ed. 

TechEd session - How to protect SQL Server with DPM 2007

The slides this time were a little prettier, and I added a comparison of 3rd party SQL Compressed Backup mechanisms to DPM that I had blogged last month

Comparing DPM 2007 to 3rd party compressed DB backup methods

But otherwise, this was the same session - and it turned out really well.  My demonstration gear is already protecting both SQL Server 2005 and 2008 (CTP), as well as SharePoint, which is usually relevant for SQL audiences.  And the session scored really, really well - 8.2 out of 9.  Likely my best contribution for the week.

 

MGT05-IS - Ask us anything about Data Protection - open Q&A

For this session, I teamed up with my friend and colleague, Karandeep Anand.  Karan has been my single best resource since I joined Microsoft 23 months ago - and who I learn from before I speak on DPM.  He's also been my Q&A backup for my deepest sessions over the past two years and is a true, golden asset to Microsoft around DPM and backup, in general.  I still learn something solid - every time he and I do a session together.

We covered Bare Metal Recovery and PowerShell scripting, quite a bit.  Plus every other possible permutation of what you could do with DPM.

 

Final Score for Day 4

This was a personally challenging day - with an interactive lab, a deep-dive session and an open Q&A.  My brain is truly mush.  Up by 7AM (five hours of sleep) - onsite from 8:30A until 8P.  Tonight's dinner was with my friends from Equalogic, who have some great iSCSI solutions that pair very nicely with DPM 2007.  They also announced their DPM solutions this week.  Back at my hotel by 11P and after some more PowerPoint and a little email, in bed by 1AM.

We trained around 200 folks - and are starting to see some familiar faces.  It's exciting to see that with the final release of the product, there are customers who are attending multiple DPM sessions as one of their intentional tracks of study at an event.