Archive for the 'Communities' Category

TechEd EU 2006 in Barcelona

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

So … TechEd was just great – I can not describe it in other words.

As I wrote in a prior post I had some sessions to take care of at TechEd. So after we arrived in Barcelona we first had a dinner with the MCT-Community which we really enjoyed. There are so many MCTs out there who are so dedicated to their “passion” (and job) that it’s always a pleasure to meet everyone and enjoy geek-talking. After the conference started I still wanted to adjust the demos of my session to show some new stuff. Unfortunately I made a small mistake (if you have dual-boot with Vista RC2 and XP try to avoid hibernating – especially if you have a laptop vendor which does provide very bad drivers) so I had some harddisk corruption on my Laptop. Did I mention that the PPTs and the demos were all supposed to run from my laptop (the XP-Part)? So I had some joy in fixing my Laptop on the road without the CDs, however I managed to get it up and running again (before it went right into a bluescreen after the bootmanager) – some files in XP were still corrupt (and they are currently still corrupt – didn’t had the time to reinstall and I’m only using the Vista-Installation anyways). Learned it the hard way – do not hibernate with shared disks.

So after I was sure that at least Powerpoint and VPC are back and running I was adjusting my demos. The rest of the time of the first days (there wasn’t much as you can assume) I spent in the Ask-the-Experts-Area and answered questions in the Longhorn Booth. This is one of my favorite things at those conferences – you get so much insight of many issues within multiple companies, and how attendees (mis)understand the products. This also gives me ideas which points we have to outline in talks and blogs, apart from enjoying to helping the attendees.

On Wednesday I had the first of two Chalk-&-Talks with Karmal Janardhan (Group Program Manager in the Active Directory Program Group). The concept of Chalk-&-Talks is a mixture between Ask-the-Experts and Breakout Sessions. You have many attendees in a session room, you are not supposed to use Powerpoint (a few slides to help the discussion getting started or outlining examples are accepted) and you are discussing technologies with the attendees. We did a Chalk-&-Talk on “Active Directory and DNS in Longhorn”. It was just great. Kamal is so deep into the planning and features of the technology, and I was able to contribute with my practical experience. We both enjoyed the session, and according to the discussion and feedback afterwards the attendees enjoyed it as well. I don’t think there was another session where you could get a better knowledge topic. OK – maybe Kamals Breakout Session which covered the same topic – but I even think we were able to explain it better in the Chalk-&-Talk due to the discussion format of the session. We had the last session-slot of the day and the room was crowded. There were people leaving because there was no more space. Afterwards in the Hotels Lounge some other speaker was complaining that the last session of the day was empty in many sessions and the attendees were supposedly already off partying, but I know where they were [;)].

On Thursday afternoon I had my own session: “A Directory Services Geek’s View on Access Control Entries (ACE)”. Since I just had a few minutes between the session prior to me I decided to use a longer break before to connect my laptop to   power at the speakers desk and get it up and running, so that the session before allows the power ma"A Directory Services Geeks View on Access Control Entries (ACE)" at TechEd EUnagement-drivers to “adjust”. Otherwise the time to start up as well as the performance would be questionable. This was a good decision – I didn’t had any issues with performance, the session and demos went very well (OK – I was a bit nervous because I still didn’t trust my recovered laptop). I love this session, since I was always missing Geek-Level content at TechEds, so I was happy to present it. There were a lot of interested attendees, feedback was great (e.g. “You can improve the conference by doing more sessions like this.”, and “excellent session – best one I have been to so far” on a Thursday afternoon). There were many interesting questions right after the session, but at some point we got bounced so that the next session was able to start. However I went right back into the Ask-the-Expert-Area and had some lengthy discussion about the topic with some attendees. Very interesting talks – so we continued until we were told that the exhibition area is closing and we are to leave.

On Friday Kamal and I repeated our Chalk-&-Talk about “Active Directory and DNS in Longhorn” right in the morning. We had slightly less attendees (probably partying the night before, or everyone was in our first session) but the discussion was still very good. Kamal is impressive – at her own session she got a comment like “how comes a little girl tells all geek’s in here how technology really works” [;)]. After the Chalk-&-Talk we went to the Ask-the-Experts-Area, and I didn’t leave until the conference was over. There were so many interesting questions. Actually some attendees were coming up to me with their “List of Questions” they made up during the week, so I was answering .. answering .. answering … (I call it the “streaming answering mode” now [;)]). 

However – what a great week – everytime again!

Directory Experts Conference and Book success

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

OK – is not having their database under control lately – they are fairly unable to update book descriptions and authors, and the statistics are going up and down. However, we got word from our publisher that the Windows Server 2003 – Die Expertentipps book is selling very well, and yesterday we had place 8th in the top IT-Bestsellers. We also had some comments. Fairly positive about the content, however a couple typos. While I’m really sorry about this, I’m also a bit concerned since we figured that many of those went in after our last review. However – the publisher is taking care of this and nobody blaming us (so far).

The planning of the Directory Experts Conference started and I’ve found something very funny related to it today. If you just pretend to be a Active Directory-Expert (and can’t make it to DEC), you are able to get your own Rubber Chicken (actually a cheap copy) at the animal toys department of some stores.

I found the rubber chicken on the shelves of a German department store today, so you are free to pretend being at DEC [1].


[1] Careful – real Directory Experts know the difference.

TechEd EU and what else is keeping me busy

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

I just recognized – I didn’t post anything for a month. This is awful! Currently I’m very busy at my daytime-job (turns out it’s not just daytime lately – just to much to work). And currently defines as this year (almost). However – I do a lot of interesting work – so that’s fine. There are also a couple other things which suck up my spare time [;)]

And I also got the word from the organizers of TechEd EU that I’ll be speaking there – look forward to my session

IAM402: A Directory Services Geek’s View On Access Control Entries (ACE)

You have already deployed Active Directory, but still a lot of domain administrators? You want to increase security, decrease the risk of administration gone awry and offload daily tasks to delegated admins? In this session you will learn how Access Control works in Active Directory, notes from the field about implementing role based administration and how to figure out what to delegate. Additionally we will drill down on implementing delegation using scripts and share details on what to delegate. After this session you’ll be able to design and implement role-based administration in your infrastructure.

TechEd EU will be in Barcelona this year in November – Microsoft has joined their major European Conferences TechEd and IT-Forum into one Conference with two parts – for IT-Pros and for Developers. Both of them will be in November. And I haven’t updated the session description yet – but I plan on including some changes in Longhorn. This session is pretty interesting – after delivering it at the Directory Experts Conference in Las Vegas earlier this year where about 500 Directory Experts were attending I had a lot of interesting conversations with attendees afterwards. Now I’m able to deliver this session in Europe as well – I’m looking forward to it.

Publications: Article and Book

Monday, June 19th, 2006
My next Article was published in the June Edition of the IT-Administrator. In Informationsmekka Internet I explained how to use old and new Internet Technologies such as newsgroups, blogging, tagging, podcasts and seach engines to increase your “Who-knows-what”- or Knowledge-Network to the Internet.
I also received the first paper-copy of my new book, which was mentioned in my prior blog-entry Finished, Exhausted, Done!

Finished, Exhausted, Done!

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006
I just finished the finalizing work on my next book, which I wrote with a couple other Windows Server MVPs. We are providing tipps and tricks around Windows Server 2003 (including R2). The book is for MS-Press Germany, and I expect it in the stores pretty soon since the publishing process is very well done at MS-Press. Actually it has been available for pre-ordering on a couple online-bookstores for a couple month now.
Here it is at Amazon Germany:
Windows Server 2003 – Die Expertentipps
I’m kind of tired and exhausted now since I had to do all the finalizations, however I’m glad I’m done, all reviews are in and I only need to wait for publishing. Now I’ll have some time to relax, go to the gym again, meet friends, enjoy the weather, and do some other stuff I wanted to do for ages but haven’t had time this year yet.

Directory Experts Conference

Friday, April 7th, 2006
I just arrived back from the Directory Experts Conference in Las Vegas (last weekend, times have been busy, jetlag has been bad) and it was a blast. The venue hotel – Green Valley Resort and Spa – was very comfortable and nice to support the event.
Saturday I arrived late and was immediately sucked into helping Gil Kirkpatrick and Guido Grillenmeier to prepare the environment for the preconference (Active Directory Desaster Recovery Workshop) on Sunday. It was quite fun, since a couple MVPs got together there to help, and we haven’t seen for a while.
Sunday we went early to check that everything was prepared for the preconf, and there was still some work for us to do – while the presentation part started. Guido took a great picture of us doing minor adjustments in the front row to get everything started up (loads of Virtual Servers to support the 130+ attendees of the preconf).
MVPs preparing the preconference infrastructure
Couple MVPs preparing the Virtual Machines running on Virtual Server in the morning of the preconference.
From left to right: Jorge del Amaido Pinto, Dean Wells, Ulf B. Simon-Weidner, Joe Richards
On Monday I had my first session “Untangling Microsoft’s Directory Services“. I introduced all DS-technologies, showed some Customer and common scenarios, and was talking about the whens and hows and whys about schema extensions. I was pretty satisfied – the session went well and there were a lot of attendees very interested in the topic.
On Tuesday I had my second session, “A Directory Services Geeks view on Access Control Entries“. I spoke about the basics of security descriptors and how to program against them, what tools are provided, how to figure out what to delegate, how to implement delegated roles both – technically and more important, politically – best practices and also what to take care of when extending administrative interfaces. Also the session had a lot of demos I did well without burning something to satisfy the demo-god in advance.
Wednesday (when I finally survived jetlag) there was the last day of the conference, and the first day for me to partially relax since I did not have any more sessions or duties during the conference. This evening we first went to dinner with the DS-Productgroup (thanks Stuart – we really enjoyed it) and then we went into the Bellagio (well known from “Oceans 11”). However since Gil (the conference founder and organizator) and a couple of the speakers went together we ended up within minutes into the lounge of a bar and were basically lying around totally exhausted.
The week has been a blast – the speakers and the attendees were directory services experts and we had a lot of very interesting conversations. I received a lot of interesting and good feedback from attendees, and know that I was delivering the right topics which apparently were valuable to a lot of people. Netpro did a great job organizing the event, and they were great hosts (thanks Stella, Christine and everyone else involved). Microsofts DS-Productgroups was coming with a whole crowed (most of them well known from previous events) and all of them were very active participating and did really care about customer ideas and feedback. Thanks to Stuart Kwan (Director of Program Management of Identity and Access Management) who was attending himself, delivering the keynote and enabled a lot of his group to attend. There were also a lot of other MVPs either attending or speaking, and I only heard great feedback about each of the sessions which were delivered by MVPs.
I really liked that event, and think this is the event to be at next year again.
If you want to look at the bios of the people I just wrote about check the DEC-Website/Bios.
If you attended my sessions – I really value feedback either as comment to this post or via my contact form on this blog. And if you attended my ACE-Session, check the URL I provided in the slide deck after this weekends since the promised scripts and examples will be available on Monday 10th.

Three MOC-Courses for Windows Server 2003 R2 available

Friday, April 7th, 2006
I’ve recently seen that the three MOC-Courses (MOC = Microsoft Official Curriculum) around Windows Server 2003 R2 technologies have been released.
I did the technical reviews of those MOC-Courses and I’m really satisfied with them. The first one is a two-day class which will show you how to use Windows Server 2003 R2 to support your needs in Branch-Office scenarios, the second course (one day) will teach you the new features about Storage and SAN-Management, and the last one will teach you how to implement a Active Directory Federation Services Relationship internally or with your business partners.
The course does not only increase your experience by a lot of hands on labs, but also teaches you how to design your infrastructure and provides a lot of examples which command lines you can use to administer or implement the features. 

Great Book on Active Directory in store

Saturday, February 4th, 2006
Last Week I got a complimentary copy of Joe Richards and Robbie Allens new release of “Active Directory”. Among others I was technically reviewing this book, and honestly I was looking forward to the book in the stores. They’ve done a great job: the 3rd edition of the book is even valuable for people who already got the 2nd edition. They’ve added a lot of content, three new chapters, cover ADAM, WS2k3 SP1, R2, and as always a lot of background information plus scripting samples. There are not that many books about AD I’d recommend, but this one definitely.
Read Joe’s coverage about his book here:
Footnote: No – I did not receive any money reviewing this book or writing in here about it. I wanted it to become even better, and I’m writing about my opinion here. This is not a advertising, just a comment what I like.

New Article published and reawarded as MVP

Thursday, January 5th, 2006
I’ve just received the January Edition of the German magazine IT-Administrator containing my third article about Windows Server 2003 R2. The article “Verbesserte Verwaltung” (= Improved Management) covers the new File Server Resource Management with Quota Management, Filescreening and Reports and the Hardware Management (ws-management is included in R2.
I’ve also got the message that I’ve been re-awarded as Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Windows Server – Directory Services for another year. I’m very happy about this, I love the MVP-Program, the communities, Windows Server and especially Directory Services, so I’m glad that my contribution to the communities is appreciated at Microsoft.

Happy New Year

Saturday, December 31st, 2005
2005 is almost over, what a year! Last year I said 2005 will become a great year in the IT, and I think we were able to see the turnaround in the industry, and will be able to expect more in 2006.
Tonight at 23:59:60 I will have a sip to cheer 2005, a year which definitively deserved an extra second.
So HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone!