“speaking 2.0” at Microsoft TechEd today

I’m speaking today about “The Evolution of Active Directory Recovery” at TechEd 2012 US (SIA319, 1pm in Hall N310). The session will also be streamed.

I had a great idea, and I’m looking forward to see how it’s working. And I haven’t seen this before Winking smile:

I’ll be taking questions using Twitter.

If you are in the audience (in the hall or online) and you have any questions, just twitter them using the hashtag #TESIA319 – this enables me to follow up with the answers either in the session, or if we are short on time or have to many sessions I’m following up afterwards. This also enables attendees who are not sitting close to a Microphone, who are watching the streamed version or who feel more comfortable writing than speaking to ask their questions.

Two simple rules: use the #TESIA319 hashtag – I will not monitor anything else during the session, and please ask questions in the areas I’ve covered, so that we can try avoiding to have questions which are covered in the next slides.

Looking forward to the session and hopefully seeing you there!

Ulf B. Simon-Weidner

Speaking engagements

I’m currently getting ready for some speaking engagements:

Tuesday next week (Sept 21st) I’m proud to moderate the Windows Infrastructure Track of the IIR IT-Admin Tech Talk. In this track we are covering not only the operating system related technologies, but also Cloud, Office 365, Sharepoint and Exchange. I’ll also present two sessions myself there:

13 Years Active Directory
an overview of previous and future scenarios

I will cover various design considerations, misunderstandings of early designs, whether corporate infrastructures have adjusted or should be adjusted. At the end we will take a look into challenges for future designs, on-premises and in the cloud.

Who am I in the cloud?

In this session I will talk about challenges and opportunities of cloud computing in general and Office 365 in special: Does cloud mean sunshine for the CIO and rain for the Admin? Which skills are needed? What is the long-term strategy for cloud computing in your enterprise?

The IT-Admin TechTalk will be in Frankfurt and is in German language.

Also the next international conference is coming up. The Experts Conference Europe will also be in Frankfurt in October this year. It is about half a year after TEC USA in Las Vegas. TEC is known to be the best and high-skilled conference when it comes to Directory Services, and has expanded over the years beyond the AD and FIM tracks to also cover Exchange, Sharepoint and Cloud technologies in different tracks. TEC is attracting the most high-skilled speakers, Microsoft values the conference so much that they send more Program Managers and Developers of the product groups to TEC than to their own IT-Pro Conference TechEd. Additionally TechEd EU will not happen this year, so maybe you are able to convince your boss. Las Vegas has been a great success, lots of interesting sessions, a lot of community interaction, and I’m very much looking forward to Frankfurt. This conference is in English.

At The Experts Conference I will speak three sessions, but will post details later when the agenda is done.


“Active Directory” SPECIAL EDITION of the IT-Administrator published


MVP Florian Frommherz and I wrote a Special Edition of the IT-Administrator: almost 180 pages which provide in-depth information about Active Directory. We are discussing the Evolution of AD, Domain and Forest Strategies, Understanding the Domain/Forest Levels, LDAP Backgrounds and Application Performance testing, AD and DNS, AD Backup and Recovery, Background Information about the AD Recycle Bin, Virtualization of DCs, Replication Across Firewalls, RODCs, Delegation and MSAs, Fine Grained Password Policies and many more.
We are very happy with the result: a huge amount of in-depth information for any AD Admin or Consultant.

Sorry – just in German for now. But an interesting read.

If you got it, feel free to provide feedback!



Preparing for TechEd Europe



TechEd Europe will be in Berlin next week, and I’m looking forward delivering three sessions there:

  • SIA301-IS – Under the Hood: What Really Happens During Critical Active Directory Operations
    Wednesday Nov 10, 9:00 – 10:00 AM
    Thursday Nov 11, 4:30 – 5:30 PM

    Come and discuss critical Active Directory-Operations.
    Are you fully aware what “critical” operations in AD really do? In this interactive session we will talk about those operations, understanding what they are doing and how to distinguish whether operations are critical to your environment or not. Ulf has been working in the field for more than 13 years, and has a lot of notes and examples to share. We will talk about how to approach challenges, and study scenarios that show how other companies managed the associated risks and prepared for rollbacks. We have some common scenarios for everyone but please bring your own questions as well, as we want this talk to be as interactive as possible.

    Since this is an interactive session don’t forget that they “live” from discussing opinions in the audience, so the repeat will be different.

  • SIA306 – A Dozen Years AD – Discuss Previous and Future Design Decisions
    Thursday Nov 11, 2:30 – 3:30 PM

    Active Directory has evolved over the years, along with security recommendations and best practices. But has our corporate design changed that much? Is it required? What should we change, and what should we retain? Ulf B. Simon-Weidner is a long standing, internationally recognized expert in Active Directory, and in this session he will discuss Active Directory Designs of the past, present and future.

My Value of TechEd

The last day of TechEd Europe has started. It’s been great as usual. I was satisfied about my sessions, I’m satisfied about other sessions I’ve seen. However – what’s my value of TechEd?

  1. TechEd is inspiring: always when you are put together with a clever bunch of folks, it’s inspiring to talk about technologies, there possibilities as well as what’s lacking, and get a lot of good ideas.
  2. TechEd is networking: hard to keep up with all the people you know or you should know, but TechEd is one of the major places where you get so many people who work with the same technologies and share the same interests. Great place to keep in contact and meet new people – only bad thing that it’s to short [;)]
  3. TechEd is geeky: Couple years ago I was complaining that they didn’t have and real 400-Level Sessions at TechEd for IT-Professionals. Then I was able to deliver 400-Level sessions over the years (“A Directory Services Geek’s View on …”), mostly at TechEd EMEA but also at TechEd US. I’m glad to see that especially TechEd Europe is providing in-depth content to IT-Pros (this was actually one thing we’ve heard complains at TechEd US this year, however not at Europe! Hope this still improves). It’s fun to prepare those sessions, it’s fun delivering them, great to get the feedback and great to hear afterwards how happy the attendees are about not getting a marketing session.
  4. TechEd is broadening horizons: Especially when talking with attendees in the Technical Learning Center or after my sessions, or in the evening at parties, it’s broadening my horizons when they are asking questions, tell me about their scenarios and ideas. Even when working as consultant with many companies, I only get to meet a certain amount of customers. However at TechEd I’m meeting so many people every day, so many different scenarios, it’s just great to broaden my horizons and my knowledge!
  5. TechEd is knowledge: Breakout Sessions, Interactive Sessions, Technical Learning Center (Ask the Experts), Hands on Labs, … and about almost all Microsoft technologies – there is only one place where you can lean so much in different ways
  6. TechEd is community: MVPs, MCTs, CLIP, Microsoft employees, colleagues, friends, people who share the same interests, …

… there are lots of more points …

I’m doing multiple conferences a year, and TechEd is boosting knowledge in Microsoft technologies! I love it! To bad it’s the last day today, however I’m also looking forward going home and enjoying the weekend.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are finished

Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 were RTMd yesterday (June 22nd). Products are finished now, the code won’t be changed and the preparations for making them available via Download as well as producing the DVDs has started. Read the announcements on the official blogs: 

The products will be available soon, depending on which channels:


  • MSDN/Technet: W7 Aug 6, R2 Aug 14
  • Partner Network: W7 Aug 16, R2 Aug 19
  • Action Pack: Aug 23 (W7 & R2)
  • Volume Licensing (SA): W7 Aug 7, R2 Aug 19

The Evaluation-Version of Windows Server 2008 will be available on August 20th on the following page:http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/try-it.aspx

Win7 will be available in stores Oktober 22nd, R2 on September 14th. The pre-order of Win7 is already running for a couple weeks.

Windows 7 will only be available in English on the Dates above, additional languages will follow early October. WS08R2 will be available in a couple languages such as English, German, Spanish,… and additional languages will be made available later in September.


I’m very excited to get the final version of both products, I’ve loved and used them in Production using the Release Candidate and can’t wait to install the final version instead! Congrats Microsoft!!! What a release!

IT-Administrator in Heidelberg

I’m writing for the German magazine IT-Administrator. Recently they’ve published an series about Windows Server 2008 and another about Active Directory-Recovery (in Windows Server 2008), and in August they’ll publish an article about Hyper-V from me.

Recently they’ve asked me if I could present a half-day Workshop in Heidelberg. Last Thursday we did this, and the day was exciting and interesting. A lot of good questions, a very interested audience, and I really enjoyed being there. Here are two pictures (and no – I wasn’t just sitting around – for some reason they took the pictures while I was demoing AD-Snapshots):

P1000044 (2) P1000046 P1000048

Back to live

I haven’t blogged in a while. A long while. I’ve been through major changes in my live. Readjusting. Reloading. Sometimes you need to reevaluate things, in technology and in live. Being stable doesn’t equal avoiding changes. I’ve recently heard a statement “nobody will grant you that things get better when you make changes, but to make things better you have to make changes”. Very true. And – that’s in live and technology – I even believe that avoiding changes make things worse. Sometimes you even benefit from small changes. E.g. at our company we made things better by introducing a single Windows Server 2008 last year. And we had users and admins who had a big benefit. Re-evaluation is good, and changes … changes are being alive.

But this here is about technology. So let me make a small update on what’s going on with me in this field.

After the Directory Experts Conference in Chicago I was working back home, then went to the MVP-Summit in Seattle and it was great so see so many MVPs and folks from the Directory Services Product Group again. I really enjoyed it. Currently I’m preparing for two events: Microsoft TechEd USA for IT-Pros (yes – they followed the example from Europe and split the Developers and IT-Pros in two different weeks – however I enjoyed how it was before). At TechEd which will be in Orlando (again, been there last year, and a then two years before) I’ll present 3 sessions and two interactive ones. So five slots in two days (I’m only scheduled in on Wednesday and Thursdays), this will be quite funny [;)]. I’m looking forward to it. I’m sad I had to decline the developer-week, but I can’t take two weeks of vacation just speaking at two different TechEds. Would love to, but someone has to pay for my living. And I feel I really need vacation this year, I deserved it, believe me, but currently I’m unable to go on vacation.

Another thing I’m getting ready for is a whole day Workshop with the IT-Administrator, we’ll cover Windows Server 2008 and nothing else. I’m looking forward to it, and I was told that there are many people signing up for it.

So exciting events to come soon, and I actually have a couple ideas (some already finished) about new technical blog entries, so stay tuned. I’ll promise the next one will be technical and coming in a few days [;)].


P.S.: Thanks for listening – I can’t remember how many times I said this in the recent past and probably didn’t say it often enough.

Impressions of the Directory Experts Conference

Today is day one of the Directory Experts Conference in Chicago. So far the conference has been very good – but that was as expected. I had one session today right before lunch, “A Directory Services Geek’s View on Active Directory Recovery in Windows Server 2008”. Went quite well, however the power-plug on stage was switched off so my machine decided to go into sleep-mode during the presentation. For some reason this session is attracting Laptop-issues, during the Launch in Frankfurt the virtual machine decided to “unexpectedly shutdown”. Things happen, that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?

CIMG0031  CIMG0037  CIMG0039

HEROS happen {here}

For the past three days I was at the Microsoft Launch Event Germany, the first and as we were told biggest (by the number of attendees) Launch for Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008. I did three presentations:

  • Active Directory-Domänendienste in Windows Server 2008
    (Active Directory-Domainservices in WS2k8)
  • Erfahrungen eines Directory Services-Experten mit Sicherheit und Delegation im Active Directory
    (A Directory Services-Geek’s View on Access Control Entries)
  • Erfahrungen eines Directory Services-Experten mit Active Directory-Recovery mit Windows Server 2008
    (A Directory Services Geek’s View on Active Directory-Recovery in Windows Server 2008)

The event was very good and very successful as far as I can see. There were minor issues, e.g. on the first day it wasn’t that clear which sessions are in which rooms, and the acoustic was pretty bad in some of the rooms since you were able to hear the other speakers of the other rooms as well (luckily two of my presentations were in the good rooms), but over all I was very satisfied. A lot of good and experienced speakers, interested and interesting attendees with good questions and suggestion, a great event. Overall there were about 7500 people in Frankfurt attending this event.

I’ve also got a view good ideas for some new blog-posts, so stay tuned.

And now it’s time to get ready for the Directory Experts Conference 2008 in Chicago in the first week of March. I’ll also present there the “Directory Services Geek’s View on Active Directory-Recovery in Windows Server 2008” session.