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Dear TechEd Diary,
This entry is several days over-due, but I hope you’ll understand. Towards the end of the conference the schedule is tight, and the exhaustion is real. So I thought rather than taking time out of my day on Thursday or Friday I’d just take in and enjoy the rest of the week and finish up my diary writings after I’ve had a little rest.
On Thursday (Day 4) I skipped the first session of the day.
Oh.. give me a break. I needed a little extra sleep after the IT Pro Community Party at the Hughes Hangar on Wednesday night. (see photos below) I did get to the conference in time (or so I thought) for “TWC: Malware Hunting with Mark Russinovich and the Sysinternals Tools” (DCIM-B368), but even though I was there 20 minutes before the start, the room was “full” and people were waiting outside to get in. So instead, I decided to head down to the Hands On Labs, where I re-visited my past life as a Developer and walked through a lab showing me what’s new in the latest version of Visual Studio.
After lunch I attended “Case of the Unexplained: Troubleshooting with Mark Russinovich” (WIN-B354). This time I got there 40 minutes early and managed to get a good seat. The room was full soon after.) This was the 2014 version of Mark’s popular session that he’s done for many years now, where he shows off the System Internals tools and how they were used to solve strange workstation and server issues.
And.. I confess… I skipped the last session of the day and went back to my hotel. The weather, which through most of the week was very unseasonably cool, was finally warm enough in Houston to enjoy a little time poolside.
Following a lovely Chinese dinner (we highly recommend the China Garden) with my coworker Jennelle Crothers and MVP and author Ed Horley, the evening party at Minute Maid Park was fun. Lots of food and drink, and live music stationed around the perimeter. The Dueling Piano Bar took tips to allow our friend Don Donais to play drums on a few songs. And the group “The Spazmatics” were a fun 80’s-tribute band. After the main party was over, several of us went to Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar for more entertainment.
Friday was a sleep-in day, followed by leisurely packing, heading to the airport, and sharing a plane home with several of my Minneapolis friends.
“So what’s next, Kevin?”
I’m glad you asked. I’m going to be planning, facilitating, and participating in a series of blog articles entitled “TechEd 2014 Favorites”, in which I and my coworkers who attended the event will document some of the important announcements and our favorite moments from TechEd 2014. Watch this blog for more details coming very soon.
I’ll leave you, dear TechEd diary, with some photos taken at the events described above.
DJ Joey Snow cranking out the tunes at the IT Pro Community Party
My west coast coworker (and newbie on the team) Jessica DeVita, Simon May, and Ed Lieberman.
Mark Russinovich explaining the unexplainable
The drawing at the Adaptiva booth for a Harley Davidson motorcycle. I didn’t win.
The little 3’ deep pool shared by the Courtyard and Residence Inn. It was empty when I got there, but he chairs filled up soon after. I guess I’m a trend-setter.
Minute Maid Park on the walk over.
Entertainment at the party.
Hmm.. Odd that nobody is in the salad bar line.
View of the field and main stage
Don Donais rocking out with the pianos at the dueling piano bar.
Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar
See you next year!!
Well diary, if you ever had any doubts about “the cloud”, they should have been eased a bit if you attended or watched the live stream of Mark Russinovich and Mark Minasi’s “Mark and Mark” cloud discussion this morning. Besides being entertaining, it was very informative. It’s always great to hear the opinions of someone as important as Mark Russinovich is to Microsoft, and to the industry we serve. And it’s a good look under the hood of not only what we’re doing now, but there are hints of what’s coming. And to me, it’s very exciting.
The session, if your interested, is DCIM-B386 – “Mark Russinovich and Mark Minasi on Cloud Computing”. At the time of this writing, the recording isn’t yet available. But it will be soon.
The talk took the form of an informal interview, with Mark asking Mark the questions.
Mark Minasi asked Mark Russinovich the questions concerning Microsoft and cloud services and often drilling specifically into Microsoft Azure. On Azure, they discussed new capabilities, the amazing scale that Microsoft has (Did you know that last year Microsoft purchased 17% of the world’s servers for their datacenters?) as well as topics of security and data privacy. It’s well worth a (re)view.
“What else did you learn about today?”
I learned more about the fundamentals of some of the new networking capabilities in Microsoft Azure. Session: DCIM-B305, “What’s New in Microsoft Azure Networking”. They did a good job of summarizing the many new capabilities, such as site-to-site VPN, multi-site VPN, reserved static public IP addresses, and more. The demos showed that some of the configuration isn’t quite as straightforward as they’d like it to be; but it’s a great start, and definitely something I’m looking forward to playing with (and blogging about) some more.
The other highlight of the day was another Mark Russinovich presentation: DCIM-B306, “Public Cloud Security: Surviving in a Hostile Multi-Tenant Environment”. Mark does a “Top 10” based on the Cloud Security Alliance “Notorious Nine: Cloud Computing Threats”, and gives his impressions on the realities of the list’s items from Microsoft’s perspective. It’s an eye-opener, for sure.
Those two last sessions’ recordings aren’t available yet. I’ll update this post with links when they’re available.
“What did you do for fun last night?”
Ah.. fun? Who has time for fun?
Yep. Last night’s meal was courtesy of the “Ask the Experts” event. Later, Veeam threw a very fun party (I am a sucker for good live music.) And the TechEd Jam Session was also in full-swing at the House of Blues, though I didn’t spend much time there. ($11 for a tall can of Miller Lite?! I don’t think so.)
Tonight I’ll be attending a party thrown at Lucky Strike by Nimble Storage, and then I’m heading over to the Hughes Hangar for the “Windows IT Pro Community Party” (Sponsored by Springboard Series on TechNet).
Here are some photos from last night and earlier today.
Now.. off to the parties!
My day 2 started much as my day 1 did.
Sure, if there is such a thing as “too much fun”, I came close to it. But even though last night’s Exhibit Hall Reception and the later “MCP Celebration” party at Howl at the Moon was a lot of fun, I managed to get home before midnight. Plus, there’s not much to do in the area around my hotel.. so that’s another reason to call it a night.
Today I kicked off the day with a very good session on migration strategies for moving from VMware to Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization. (Session DCIM-B412, in case you’d like to view the recording). I have to give these guys credit for doing an excellent job delivering topics that are sometimes confusing in a very easy-to-understand way.
Right now, as I type this, I’m waiting for the next session to start. (“Best Practices Integrating On-Premises Datacenters with Azure IaaS” – DCIM-B330)
I haven’t decided upon what I want to learn this afternoon. I’ve got 3 potential good topics at 1:30pm, 5 at 3:15pm, and 2 at 5pm to choose from. And no matter what I pick, I bet the words “Mobile” and/or Cloud” will be used frequently.
“So, what’s the vibe been this year?”
A lot of the people I’ve talked to are very impressed and very excited about the transition to a “Mobile First / Cloud First” focus. Some are still apprehensive, but I think they all understand how important it is for their businesses. In particular the support we’re adding for management of all of the most popular devices is well-received. And the improvements to Windows Azure are causing many to consider using it as an extension of their datacenters.
To close out this blog post, here is some photo-evidence from last night…
Lots of people gathering lots of swag
I really want to win this!
I don’t care so much about winning this.
Howl at the Moon for the MCP party
Other more incriminating photos have been withheld to protect the not-so-innocent.
Here’s a quick post with some of my photos so far. Trying out a neat photo album feature by just dragging multiple photos into Windows LiveWriter.
Included are a couple of shots from the Krewe Meet-n-Greet last night, and random shots of people and food.
Now I’m off to another session…
It’s the day before TechEd, which leads to my 3rd favorite week of the year (just behind Christmas/New Year and Easter/Holy week). My flight appears to be on-time. The day here in Minneapolis will be a good one, weather-wise. It will be nice in Houston, too. I haven’t packed much yet, but a quick hour of playing today’s game #1: “Which old conference or funny t-shirts best represent who I am?” is going to be playing out very soon.
Last night and early this morning I suffered through all the tweets and Facebook messages from friends in #theKrewe. These are the folks who arrived a day or two earlier than I could and have already had dinners and parties and (I’m assuming) far too many drinks. Oh, how I wish I were there already! But not to worry. I’ll catch up with (and to) them this evening.
Later today I’ll be playing another favorite TechEd travel game: Spot the Geek. At the gate and on the plane, I’ll notice other funny-or-geeky t-shirts or old conference bags or other tech-logo’d apparel. And I’ll settle in comfortably, noting, “yes.. these are my people!” I’d say hello and talk to one of them, but I’m way too introverted for that. (True!)
I’ll land in Houston later (defying death again), wait for my t-shirt-carrying luggage, and check social media (or just look around) to see if someone else is around that might want to share a taxi downtown. I’ll check in to my hotel, drop my bags, and if there’s time I’ll head out to the convention center to register and take a few photos. (Yes, dear TechEd diary, I’ll share them with you.) This year I’m not taking my Canon or my Sony; relying instead on my new kick-a** Lumia 1020 for all photos and videos. I even got the camera-grip / spare battery power thing for extra comfort and extra usage. Rock-n-Roll.
“What’s on the agenda for the evening?”
Tonight is the “Krewe Meet-n-Greet” at the House of Blues. This leads to playing today’s game #3: “What was your name again?” I’m horrible with names. I really do need to work on that.
But more importantly, which t-shirt should I wear to the party?
Oh.. PS – Happy Mother’s Day.