Microsoft TechEd Day #3

Good Morning Day #3!

Today marks the halfway point of TechEd North America 2010.  I’m not sure whether to be glad or upset that it’s almost over.  The amount of knowledge I’ve gained from presentations and fellow TechEd attendees has been outstanding.  However, there is such a thing as information overload and I don’t want to lose any of the experience simply because I’m trying to cram as much into my brain as humanly possible.

I started my day off today with session MGT311 – SCOM 2007 R2: Service Levels, Reports, Dashboards, Report Authoring, and More.  I’ve been using OM since the days of MOM 2005 and I’m fairly familiar with SCOM 2007 so only a few nuggets of wisdom to take away from this session.  The presenter was very knowledgeable so the takeaways I got from the session were most helpful.

My second session of the day was SIA320 – Forefront Endpoint Protection.  This session was also really well done.  The presenters showed off the next version of Forefront Client Security (now known as Forefront Endpoint Protection) which is due to be released later this year, as well as Forefront Threat Management Gateway.  I’m no expert in ISA but from what I saw in TMG, it looks pretty solid.  The new endpoint security software is also now based off System Center Configuration Manager which makes sense.  The great part about using SCCM is that it will integrate with existing SCCM deployments.  That means no more stand alone MOM 2005 strictly for anti-virus control!  I’m excited to take part in the public beta later in July.

Lunch was not as great as yesterday but quick and painless as usual.  I had the opportunity to chat with a fellow systems admin about the Microsoft products he was using in his shop.  Half the experience of this conference is getting a chance to share “war stories” of product implementations and seeing how others overcame issues.  It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one out there running into issues.

My after lunch session was WSV306 – DirectAccess Configuration, Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices by Rand Morimoto.  This is my choice for best session of the day.  I may be slightly biased because I came into this session looking for exactly what Morimoto was going to present on but his “to the point” agenda and fantastic demonstrations made this session pure gold.  I walked away with all my pre-conference questions regarding DirectAccess answered and I didn’t have to raise my hand once.  I can’t wait to get back to the office to… Oh geez… FAIL

As I mentioned earlier, my brain is starting to fill up and I didn’t really see any formal sessions in the afternoon that grabbed my attention so I decided to give the hands on labs a go around.  I chose MGT02-HOL which dealt with authoring management packs for SCOM.  I wasn’t very impressed with the course content but the virtual machines were adequate and the area was staffed with knowledgeable Microsoft staff to help if I got stuck on something.  I’m thinking maybe that particular course may not have been the best hands on lab to take so I may give this another shot later on this week.

After my lab, I stopped for a bit to watch the Channel9 folks live on the air.  To be honest I’ve never really watched Channel9 but I might check it out after watching for a few minutes today.

Before I left for the day, I stopped back over in the exhibitor hall to chat briefly with a few vendors I had interest in.  It was a lot easier to chat with these folks when the hall wasn’t packed with people looking to grab as much free stuff as they could squeeze out.  I like swag like the next guy but at some point you just run out of space for all the little trinkets and t-shirts.

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