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TechEd day 5

June 8, 2007

Whew.  Maybe I can start getting more sleep now that TechEd is done.  Oh wait, no, I have to meet my ride to the airport tomorrow morning at 5:30a.

The first session today was about the new Server Core platform for Windows Server 2008.  Essentially they’ve stripped out all of the UI and superfluous apps and tools from Windows and created a lean and mean OS for specific “workloads” (Microsoft’s new term for what a server is used for).  A Server Core installation is managed via standard remote MMC tools, or via command line on the box itself.  The workloads Server Core is used for include a domain controller, file server, print server, basic web server (no .NET), or virtualization server (Hypervisor).  It’s going to be a bit of a change to get used to administering these boxes, but I like the concept.

Next I attended another discussion on Microsoft’s Virtualization platform.  THIS is the session I was expecting to see on the first day.  There was a fair bit of content overlap, but we actually got some good technical information on Windows Server 2008 Virtualization and had a nice Q&A session.  I feel better about what’s coming with Windows Server 2008’s Hypervisor, but if I had to deploy a production environment right now it would be tough for me to not do use VMware ESX.

I finished off my conference sessions the way I began, with a security talk by Steve Riley.  This one was about securing mobile devices (laptops).  Steve spent a lot of time talking about BitLocker in Windows Vista, which utilizes special chips in newer laptops called TPM modules.  I won’t get too technical, but Steve did a great job of explaining how all this works.  I might even be tempted to try it sometime … though I’d need to wipe my laptop to do it as BitLocker needs a disk partition that’s outside your OS to keep unencrypted for some types of application installers.  The official recommendation is 1.5GB of space, though according to Steve he hasn’t had any issues with a volume only 55MB.

And that was that.  I hung out with Will Strye from our Portland office this afternoon & evening.  We walked across the way to Downtown Disney and saw a movie (Oceans Thirteen – liked it). 

After we got out we hung out by the lake for a couple minutes and were treated to a view of the Space Shuttle Atlantis lifting off from Kennedy Space Center 45 miles east.  WOW.  Awe inspiring.  Goose bump moment.  We were too far away to see the shuttle, but we saw a long trail of fire and the smoke trail from the rockets.  We watched it through rocket separation and until we couldn’t see the glow of the main engines anymore.  I’ll remember that forever.  Will try to get some pictures posted from Will’s phone soon.  A couple guys from Ascentium drove out to the coast this afternoon so I’ll get some pics from them too.  šŸ™‚

Well, time to pack!

TechEd 2007 – OUT!

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