So a week today, on March 16th 2009, we start three MCM Programs - all at the same time. It's a busy week this week getting it all ready. Here's what's going on... for my program at least...
Krishna our lab manager is provisioning all our servers and other pieces of equipment so everyone is ready to go a week today. Each student gets a server to him or herself. For Exchange these all have 32Gb of RAM and a shed load of disk. I'll admit I'm still using Windows 2003 and Virtual Server R2 for my labs, whereas some of the other guys use Hyper-V, but it works great for Exchange and given we need to rebuild for E14 six months from now, I'm leaving it as it is rather than spending the time changing it all now.
I'm busy making sure all last minute logistical pieces are in place, making sure everyone is ready to attend, instructors are prepared, their travel is booked, their hair is cut etc, but I'm also checking the lab environments out to make sure all is well. And it is, well, some 2008 VM's need re-activating but I know Krishna will help me out with that (the labs are isolated so he needs to go move some cables around). So we're all good there. Later this week I also need to focus on my materials a bit too, I teach CAS during week 1 and I just need to update some decks, roll in some new stuff (I have updates from last week to put in, to say this is hot off the press is an understatement) and make sure I can stand in front of the class for two days or so and talk about namespace planning, certificates, proxy, redirection, load balancing, Outlook Anywhere, ISA etc etc etc.
I have a class of 16 attending on Monday, that's unlikely to change this late in the day, and that's a great number to have. 9 of those are from partner companies or are independant consultants, 7 of those are from Microsoft itself. We have people from all over the world coming to take part in this 3 week Exchange brainwashing and love-in exercise.
If you are one of those 16 and are reading this now, a few last minute words of advice from me to you....;
(P.S. Added this later - it snowed today in Redmond. Bring something warm to wear and some good shoes too I suggest! :-) )
I give you three weeks, Greg, to get that weather cleared up before I show. It is going to be 80 degrees here today, and I don't like snow... You want instructors that aren't happy?
I do indeed want you to be happy, and so do the candidates, although they don't know it yet... so I'll be sure to order the 80 degree heatwave just prior to your arrival... consider it done. :-)
I can still see snow today though... the view from my window here is amazing. If you like snow that is....
For the new group, re-read points 1,2,3 and 6.
And JC knows.. He was one of those I quoted on the EHLO blog I wrote at http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2008/11/26/450184.aspx
You are? Boy, do we have something for you! ...Sit back, relax, drink some coffee (or whatever keeps you up), and enjoy a not-so-short reading list for your program of choice...
Well point #1 is overrated I can always sleep next year LOL. 3:45am and still in the office completing point #2 so I can do #3. See you all on monday.