Finished, Exhausted, Done!

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:
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

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

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. 

New Article published and reawarded as MVP

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

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!

Directory Experts Conference 2006 in Las Vegas

Presented by NetPro, and sponsored in part by Microsoft and Centrify, the Directory Experts Conference (DEC) is the only international event focused on advancing the skills of the most experienced Active Directory and MIIS administrators.

DEC 2006 will be held March 26-29, 2006, at the Green Valley Ranch Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will provide advanced education on key Microsoft Identity and Access Management (IAM) technologies. For the first time ever, the conference will also include dedicated “Masters” tracks for highly experienced users.

I will be presenting two sessions: In “Untangling Microsoft’s Directory Services” I will provide a full overview over Microsofts Directory Service Products, especially when to use which ones, and in “A Directory Services Geek’s view on Access Control Entries” I will cover how access control entries work in Active Directory to delegate control, how to figure out what to delegate and how to implement those delegations.

Thanks to NetPro and especially their CTO Gil Kirkpatrick for founding and organizing this event for the fifth time and for the opportunity to present two of my favorite sessions.

New Article released: Windows Server 2003 R2 – Branch Office Features

I just got the December-Release of the German magazine IT-Administrator with my next article about R2. I’m covering some Branch Office Features like the new Distributed Filesystem (DFS), DFS-Replication and Printer Management in this Article. The german Title is Windows Server 2003 R2: Verteilte Daten für Filialen.

The Working Network

Last week I’ve been at IT-Forum, and besides other stuff I made some marketing about The Working Network. It’s a very interesting Project – basically we are trying to establish a network of trust about certain Microsoft Technologies, e.g. Blogs which cover Vista, Blogs which cover Windows Server, and so on, and try to create a single point where you can get OPML-Files (a “collection” of RSS-Feeds) about the technology. The same applies to Websites. Using tagging technologies such as enables you to “mark” (aka “tag”) valuable Sites and mark them as valuable source for certain technologies. You and other users can profit from the collection of Sites marked by others.
So basically those technologies could be referred to as providing a meta-community or collection of valuable sources.
I’m working on a way how to provide quick feedback for sites you find valuable – especially blogs – about Windows Server in general and Directory Services specifically. However IT-Forum and other stuff have prevented me from putting the amount of work into the project which it deserves. So until I can provide a more elegant way let me know if you have any interesting blogs or sites you prefer for those technologies by using the Contact Form on my WebLog.
Blogs which are valuable for either the “Windows Server” or “Directory Services” technologies (or any other technologies which are in scope of the project) will make it into the OPML-o-Matter application where you are able to select your technologies of interest together and receive a OPML-File you can import into your favorite RSS-Reader.
I’ll publish a collection about Blogs and Sites as well as soon as I’ve got some together.
Look at The Working Network for more information, e.g. look at the Channel 9 Video and the links in the getting started section to the left of the site.

New Article published on Windows Server 2003 R2: ADFS and ADAM

I just received the November Edition of the German magazine IT-Administrator. In the article “Neues im Verzeichnisdienst” (News in Directory Services) I cover some of the new components in the Directory Services Area of Windows Server 2003 R2, especially Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) and Active Directory/Application Mode (ADAM).
This is the first of three articles covering R2, stay tuned 😉

IT-Forum 2005 in Barcelona

I’ve registered for IT-Forum in Barcelona, and I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be in the Ask-the-Experts-Area again, probably some Windows Server, Directory Services or R2 related booth. I loved to be able to have a lot of interesting talks at those events in the past, and can’t wait for IT-Forum to start.