After years of trying to get a place, I’m lucky enough to be spending the coming week at the premier Microsoft conference for Dev’s and IT Pro’s this side of the Atlantic- TechEd Europe 2014. It’s Europe’s largest annual tech conference and there’s a lot of content on offer- over 600 sessions to choose from during the week. Whilst I’m not going to see all of them, I’m hoping to spend the week absorbing as much information as possible.
As an exercise in both sharing information and also to aid my personal retention I’m planning to produce a brief and structured summary to accompany my no-doubt copious notes. I’ve chosen for simplicity to summarise each session in five bullet points- you can call them “takeaways” if you must. I’m also hoping to publish some or all of these highlights to this blog, so keep your eyes peeled!
So, to get me started and make sure I can count to 5, what do I want to achieve this week?
- Server. Learn more about Windows Server generally. Mainly from an onsite perspective but acknowledging the existence of the fluffy white elephant in the room called “Cloud”.
- SCOM. Go hands-on with Systems Centre Operations Manager. One of my projects this year is to overhaul our service monitoring and reporting setup and this may be a key part.
- Visual Studio, ASP.NET. Keeping up with the changes and opportunities in the dev side of my DevOps IT life.
- PowerShell. I’m hoping to both firm up and expand my existing knowledge here. I see PowerShell as a key technology in Windows Server management.
- Connections. Even in the run up to the event I’ve increased my interactions with other IT Pro’s through social media. In-person events are great for establishing these links.
2014 is my first time at Tech-Ed Europe
TechEd Europe kicks off here- as I said in my previous post, I’m going to try and get 5 key points from each session I attend. We’ll see how that goes, but I should be able to keep it up for the first session!
The Keynote kicked off the Barcelona event with not one, but two Corporate Vice Presidents. Jason Zander, Microsoft Corporate VP of Azure and Joe Belfiore- his counterpart in the PC, Tablet and Phone arena.
- Some cool new UI features in Windows 10. The Ctrl-C/V copy and paste from the command prompt got a round of applause, but I also really appreciated the new multi-monitor snapping feature- now windows will snap to the join in my monitors.
- Another Windows 10 feature was the ability to optionally switch between tablet and desktop modes when detaching a keyboard- optimising the interface not only for the right device at the right time but also to the users preference.
- Conditional Access to Corporate Resources. The new features to secure data- authorising apps via policy to ensure that corporate documents cannot be opened in non managed apps was great- especially where the feature also works in copy and paste- no more pasting that company credit card number on Twitter 🙂
- The 2FA sign on to Windows ten was demoed, using a mobile phone connected via bluetooth to log in. Looks good, but I’d like to see how this works with the variety of devices we use.
- There’s some big ol’ VMs available in Azure now. 32 core, 448GB RAM and 6.5TB SSDs.
There was loads more, and as expected my notes were extensive, a good start to the week.
DBI-B220 – Introduction to SQL Server Management for the Non-DBA
A very interesting and entertaining session to round off Tuesday. This covered the things IT Pros need to do when they need to run SQL Server- backups, restores, checking for corruption, and more.
Here are my 5 key points from the session. This was definitely one of those sessions which I could have listed many more from!
- Keep the number of TempDB files down. 8 is a good number, and set growth to 1GB increments
- Corruption Will Happen. Check for it. Deal with it.
- Backup regularly. Try a daily full backup and transactional backups every 10-15 minutes for starters.
- Good Indexing can speed up your queries. Too much slows down your iNSERT/UPDATE/DELETE tasks
- Keep your statistics up to date
DBI-B220 Talk at Tech-Ed Europe 2014.
FDN03 – Optimizing Your Datacenter with Windows Server, System Center, and Microsoft Azure
Another big session that generated loads of notes in my OneNote and here are my Five Highlights..
- CPS- The Azure-in-your-datacentre offering. This takes all the best practice and lessons learned to provide an optimised on-premise cloud.
- CPS has a single point of support- Microsoft. No multi-vendor issues.
- Everything can be software defined these days. Network controllers, load balancers, storage……
- 20% of Azure workloads are Linux
- There’s no such thing as a happy storage customer- they always want more/faster
A session on deployment options for Windows 10 with Michael Niehaus from Microsoft. Here’s my top 5 notes:
- New in Windows 10 is the end of the requirement for wipe and reload in the enterprise and introduces the possibility of doing a managed in-place upgrade in a corporate environment.
- There’s good compatibility between Windows 7/8 and Windows 10- if your hardware and apps run in Windows today you’ll probably be fine in Windows 10 (the noted exception was 64-bit Windows on a Pentium D, but that must be a decade old configuration).
- Enterprise Mode in Internet Explorer 11 is allowing companies with IE8-specific apps to migrate to a modern browser.
- Three deployment choices are offered- Wipe and Load, In Place Upgrade (mentioned in 1.) and finally Provisioning which transforms a Windows 10 device into an enterprise managed one- perfect for CYOD solutions and especially in the mobile device sphere.
- The Upgrade option, which can be provided through a simple task sequence driven option in SCCM Software Centre, also includes a rollback option- if something goes wrong then the previous OS will be restored.
Windows 10 Deployment Options