TechEd Europe 2012: Day 2 & 3

Hey, it’s me again with a quick overview of my experiences of the second and third TechEd Europe day!

Day 2

Keynote 2: I missed the second keynote due to a late night out the previous night. I did manage to catch the end of it tough, and it was primarily about Windows 8 and the new metro-style app development. Windows-to-go was a nice demo: basically a live-cd of Windows 8, tailored to suit an office worker with all apps and settings necessary to perform his tasks.

Deployment & Infrastructure overview of ConfigMgr 2012: a nice refresh on the new topology of ConfigMgr! Some basic stuff in summary:

New in SP1:

  • A standalone primary site can now be attached to a CAS (this wasn’t possible in RTM)

What’s new in OpsMgr 2012: again a nice refresh (I call it ‘knowledge revalidation Winking smile‘) of the new possibilities in Operations Manager:

New in SP1:

  • Support for Ubuntu and CentOS (I got a lot of requests for this)
  • Global Service Monitor (basically you can perform synthetic web transactions from various Azure datacenters), which is free in your System Center license

Testimony of an early SC2012 adopter, Lionbridge: nice reference case presented by Nigel Cain and Damian Flynn. It basically was a summary of how they approached their SC2012-projects, and what the outcome was on both business and technical accounts. Very useful session if you have to setup projects yourself from time to time!

Application Monitoring in Operations Manager 2012: one of my must-follow sessions on the list. I really wanted to know how the Java-bit worked in APM. I got my answers, and learned an extra thing or two. Basically, Microsoft has created a Java-webservice (BeanSpy) that interfaces with a management interface built-in in J2EE and this service is then queried by the Operations Manager agent. All Java Application servers are supported on both Linux and Windows btw! However, don’t expect the in-code troubleshooting abilities you have with .NET.

Windows Azure for the IT pro: I originally wanted to go to a cloud-automation session, but got delayed by a nice demonstration at the Savision-booth. So I went to a nearby session about Azure. It was pretty informative actually: it gave me a summary of what services Azure can offer and what impact it has for IT Administrators. Nice stuff!

The evening event was ambitious: the whole Amsterdam Arena was converted in a live euro-cup screen exclusively for the TechEd attendees! Although the game could have been better, the atmosphere and catering was great!

Day 3

Have OpsMgr work for you: I made my colleague skip breakfast for this as I hoped to see some ‘better together’ scenario’s between OpsMgr and Orchestrator. Alas, it was a very basic session introducing the principles of alert-management. Although it provided some good tips on how to conduct training on this, it didn’t spark my interest that much.

ConfigMgr 2012, migrate from 2007: a rehash of what I saw on the last SCUG System Center day, but it was nice to hear the migration procedure again. I believe this and next year will produce a lot of these migration projects, and getting your information from the product team themselves is very handy. See for all documentation concerning migration.

OpsMgr management pack authoring: I recently obtained a lot of experience in this area. I am a developer-hobbyist and getting my hands dirty with the extension capabilities of OpsMgr is heavenly Smile. This session confirmed some of my instincts about certain functions in the management packs, and deepened my insight. The speaker, Mickey Gousset, kept the session interesting from start to finish. Definitely one of the better sessions I had so far.

All OpsMgr documentation (including Operations and Authoring) here:

Skills and knowledge necessary to operate System Center 2012: another session by Nigel Cain and  Damian Flynn. This time it dealt with what was necessary to establish a proper cloud-concept. It was more generic in comparison with the previous testimony session, and good high-level content. As a technical guy, this kind of sessions help me establish the bigger picture of my work.

What’s new in App-V 5.0: I doubted between this and a session about upgrading Service Manager and Orchestrator, but I didn’t choose wrong in my opinion. I sparsely handled some projects with App-V, and while I lacked prolonged experience, I certainly knew some of the issues with 4.6: the lack of integration between both AppV packages and the native Operating System. Version 5.0 will allow you to create integrations across virtual applications and isolation boundaries, while still separating the application layer from the OS. The overall management is greatly simplified as well: no more q-drive, a new web-GUI and so on. More info:

– App management in ConfigMgr 2012: initially another ‘knowledge revalidation’ session, but when they broke out the App-V 5.0 demo things really got interesting. The new appmodel combined with App-V resembles the future of Application Lifecycle Management in my opinion, and will greatly simplify the management of it. More info about the application model: http://blogs.t

Tomorrow is the last TechEd day, expect an update on this in the coming week! I will also try to provide all session downloads of those that I attended when they become publically available!

Stay tuned!

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