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TechEd day 4

June 7, 2007

One more day down – one more to go.  It was a pretty good day in all.  The biggest thing for me was that I won a Microsoft Zune from the Microsoft TechNet Webcasts/Podcasts group.  And because I was actually standing at the booth when my name was drawn (multi-day drawing from everyone who registered at their station) I got two bonus prizes: a Zune Home Kit to dock the device and hook it up to my home stereo, and a Zune Car Kit (car charger and FM transmitter).  YAY ME! 

I’m loading the device right now, so I’ll let you know what I think later.  30GB should hold all the music I have on my laptop right now, which is most of our library.  I’ll have to put some videos on there to watch on the plane!

I also attended a session presented by Laura Chappell entitled “The Network is Slow”: Identifying the Cause of Slow Network Communications.  Check out Laura’s site at www.wiresharku.com.  Laura is fun and engaging, and if you ever have a chance to see her.  She teaches about analyzing network traffic in a way that my wife would understand.  Great session!

Other sessions today included three sessions on Exchange Server 2007.  The first was on storage design, and the presenter was not very good.  He had the wrong room number so was late getting going, and was very flustered … he never really settled in.

The third session of the day was on high availability on Exchange 2007 and E2K7 SP1.  LOTS of new information about features and enhancements coming with SP1, and demos of a number of HA scenarios.  The audience was really into the session and there was a lot of applause.  SP1 features a new feature called Standby Cluster Replication.

SCR can work ON TOP of CCR or LCR or a regular stand-alone server to ship logs to a third server and have the content replayed there. The SRC replica DOES NOT use Windows Cluster Service, so there are no dependencies on network subnets, etc. The activation of the other server is manual and you’ll need to rehome mailboxes to the other server name, but you can pre-script that re-homing with PowerShell and just have someone run it when the big rock falls from the sky. This gives you SITE RESILIANCE from Exchange without a nasty cluster configuration that’s geographically stretched. WOOHOO!!!

The fourth session was also about Exchange 2007 disaster recovery scenarios, and how to leverage all the different design options based on your business needs and requirements.  Sounds bland, but it was another great session.

The day finished off with a trip over to Universal Studios Orlando to, as it turns out, get rained on, have a decent chicken and ribs dinner, and then walk around with the thousands of other TechEd attendees.  Myself and a couple other guys from Ascentium didn’t stick around – not our cup of tea to wait in long lines for stuff.  I’m VERY glad my family didn’t come out to go to this with me … they wanted $109 for 4 hours in the park (with open bar and free food).  No way was it worth the $$.

Tomorrow is the last day.  I’ve really enjoyed this trip, but I miss my family.  It will be good to head home on Saturday.

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