TechEd 2008

TechEd 2008 North America started off officially Tuesday this week, with more than 9000 attendees. I have accumulated all my TechEd drafts into this one post.

Monday was pre-conference day. I attended the pre-conference session “Unified Communication: Labfest 2007”, it was a one-day lab marathon, in which Lee Benjamin (Exchange MVP) went through seven Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) and Exchange Server 2007 SP1 presentations and labs. Unfortunately there weren’t much new to the labs, especially not if you’ve attended the Exchange pre-conference session at last year’s TechEd and/or have some experience with both products.

Tuesday morning Bob Muglia (Senior VP of Server and Tools Business) kicked off this year’s TechEd. The main topics of this years keynote was:

  • Identity Management – the new version of Identity Lifecycle Manager 2 (ILM) has gone in public beta beta3) and a demo of ILM 2 was shown.
  • Microsoft Virtualization, covering Hyper-V, which is currently ahead of release schedule and it will proberly be release this summer and the new Kidaro technology, which is a cool new technology from a company Microsoft has bought, that enables the publication of certain applications running within a Virtual PC on the local PC.
  • Microsoft Online, a new set of online hosted services, actually just hosted services, presented in new and a more intuitive way and with the ability of easily synchronizing accounts with the internal AD.
  • SQL Server 2008, it’s now in RC0 and the new compressing feature of SQL server was demo’ed

No major news was really presented at this years keynote, although some of topics and products are certainly quite interesting.

See the full Keynote here and here the official TechEd website.

Here’s just some of the sessions I attened at TechEd:

  • Notes from the Field: Implementing a Military Grade Security Access Solution by Marcus Murray (and the wolf)
  • Privacy: The Why, What, and How by Steve Riley
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Sizing and Performance: Navigating the 64-bit Waters by Steve Tramack
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Storage Deep Dive by Ross Smith
  • DNS 2008 Style: How Name Resolution Changes in Windows Server 2008 Infrastructures by Mark Minasi
  • Analyzing Questionable Network Applications by Laura Chappell
  • Network Forensics: Reconnaissance and Attack Traffic Patterns by Laura Chappell
  • Panel Discussion on Security Threats and the Impact on Today’s IT
  • Identifying Compromised Hosts by Laura Chappell
  • Windows Security Boundaries by Mark Russinovich
  • Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP1 by Brent Alinger
  • Advanced Troubleshooting Strategies for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 by Scott Schnoll
  • It’s the 21st Century: Time to Throw Away Your Medieval Gateways by Steve Riley

My sessions this year was mostly concentrated around security and this year’s favorite speakers were:

  • Mark Minasi
  • Laura Chappell
  • Steve Riley

The most entertaining session was the lunch panel discussion with Mark Minasi, Marcus Murray, Laura Chappell, Steve Riley and Mark Russinovich.

Some of the more interesting announcements at TechEd this year was:

  • Exchange plug-in for Windows Backup on Windows Server 2008, since the standard backup in Windows Server 2008 doesn’t do Exchange backups out of the box, a plug-in has been announced and it is scheduled for release this summer.
  • Hyper-V will support disks larger than 2 TB.
  • A new certification from Microsoft – Microsoft Certified Master, a level below the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) – read more at the Learning site.

For everyone who attended TechEd 2008 this year all the presentations are available at the TechEd CommNet. Next year’s TechEd (North America) will be in Los Angeles in May 2009.