TechEd 2011: Day 1 Review and Random Photos

The Georgia World Congress Center

Whew, TechEd Day 1 is in the bag!  And speaking of which, here’s what the TechEd bag looks like.

TechEd 2011 Bag
Yesterday was a day to get registered, meet up with other people, and get bearings on the conference center.  After that, I was able to take in a game at Turner Field where the Braves beat the Phillies 3-2.


The evening ended with an epic Meet-n-Greet party with The Krewe at STATS bar in Atlanta.  A terrific time was had by all.  We had about 150 people show up, including old and new members of The Krewe.  It was a great time!

The Krewe Meet-N-Greet Party
Day 1 of TechEd Atlanta started with the keynote address at 9AM with Robert Wahbe, Corporate Vice President of Server and Tools, and Jason Zander, Corporate Vice President of Visual Studio.  As usual, the first hour was devoted to IT Pros and the second for developers.  And as expected, we heard how wonderful life is going to be when we move into the cloud.  As one person tweeted about 15 minutes into the keynote, “Drinking game is cancelled. If I took a drink every time keynote speaker said ‘cloud,’ I’d be dead by now.”

We followed up the keynote with a brief visit to the vendor area and a not so brief trip to the food area (aka, Tennessee, because it’s so far away from everything).  As we entered the food area, the wait staff started applauding and cheering us to have a great lunch.  It was like being in a parade.  Very surreal.

My first session was with Laura Chappell on “Wiretapping 101: Catching Evidence on the Network.”  It was a good session and was highly technical and entertaining.  Laura is great, but she needs some Ritalin.

I followed that up with my first Exchange session, “What’s New in Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP2: Featuring GAL Segmentation.”  We learned that SP2 will be released in the second half of this calendar year.  It will have over 500 bug fixes and include some knew features which require schema changes.  OWA Mini will be like a completely rewritten OMA for text-based browsers.  GAL segmentation allows you to have more than one Global Address List in the organization.  Users assigned the GAL policy 1 will only see users in that policy, and users assigned GAL policy 2 will only see their users.  There are quite a few caveats about this feature, like it doesn’t work for Mac clients.  It’s still early in the development cycle, so we’ll have to see how it pans out.

They will also have a fix for CAS redirection when a user signs into OWA from a less optimal site.  Rather than logging in and getting a link that says to use a different CAS, and then having to log in again on that CAS, the first CAS will automatically pass credentials to the second CAS.

From 6-9PM was the vendor reception party, where there was mass consumption of food and drink while collecting large amounts of SWAG.  Personally, I wasn’t too impressed with the food (bland/cold) and there wasn’t much in the way of SWAG.  No biggie, that’s not what I’m here for.  It was good hanging out with my friends.

Tomorrow I’ll be up bright and early, attending mostly Exchange and Lync sessions.

Here are some random photos from the day:

Welcome to TechEd 2011

The Alumni Lounge

The vendor area is being setup on Saturday

The $5 cell phone charger.  The free one is on the left.

Centennial Olympic Park

Me at Turner Field to watch the Braves

Our TechEd Krewe buttons

Me and Scott Ladewig at our special Blogger Hub area in the Connect Zone