TechEd 2014 is Coming: What You Should Know

Industry professionals have been uniting at this event for over 20 years to learn and see what new solutions are being developed out of the Microsoft camp at TechEd 2014.  This is the first year Microsoft has merged the Microsoft Management Summit, or MMS, and TechEd. Now, I have been to MMS before but this year will be my first TechEd, so I am excited about seeing both the IT side and the developer side of what is shaping the industry trends.

From the IT side I am always looking for what is new with Virtualization and, of course, what is new with Windows and Windows Server.  With virtualization there has to be some talk about Cloud, and then how to manage all of this, so I cannot wait to see what is new with the System Center suite. Hyper-V is maturing as a hypervisor with every version that comes out. I know some are going to say it is far behind the others, but who is to say the others are right. If virtualization is in your datacenter, odds are you have more than one Hypervisor, whether for test and dev work, private cloud setup with bursting or public clouds. The tools to manage, monitor and maintain these environments are growing too. I can remember back to the MMS 2013 event when Brad Anderson demo’d the management of an iPhone. Everyone in the room was on the edge of their seat, but this is the world we are in with IT today. BYOD with System Center managing the device, Cloud and Windows Azure, and the all-important hypervisor with Hyper-V, and I think Microsoft is going to show us how they are going to charge ahead in all of these areas at this year’s event.

On the developer side, I am going to be looking at any new tools Microsoft has in the works.  How can I forget about how .NET is moving more into the cloud and the new enablement of HTML5 apps. Everyone needs new tools, whether they are bought or made, we need great tools in our toolbox. I have built many tools over the years for all kinds of different reasons and in many different ways, so I am excited to see the new offerings around .NET and cloud APIs, as well as how we tie this all back to the mobile with Windows Phone / Tablet.

But, as with any conference, the people are one of the best reasons to attend.  I get the opportunity to interact in both hands-on and instructor-led labs, as well as sitting in and learning from some great people in the hundreds of technical sessions.  This will also be my first event since joining CommVault, so I am excited to be a part of the team and seeing what everyone has to offer.

My Must-See Sessions at TechEd 2014

There are several different tracks this year, and this is my breakdown to help you navigate the lists:

  • (DBI) – Data Platform and Business Intelligence = technical skills in the development, support, and implementation of Microsoft Business Intelligence and analytical solutions
  • (DCIM) – Datacenter and Infrastructure Management = for the IT Pro that lives in the datacenter. Get concepts on cloud, Windows Server, System Center, Azure, deployment, management, and more. I will be spending a lot of time in these sessions as you can see from my list below.
  • (DEV) – Developer Platform and Tools = all developer, all the time.
  • (OFC) – Office Servers and Services = Microsoft Office related server, services and clients into one. Products covered include: Office 365, Office client apps, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Visio, Yammer, and Microsoft Lync.
  • (PCIT) – People-Centric IT = all things BYOD and VDI
  • (WIN) – Windows, Phone and Devices = understand the capabilities that Windows and Windows Phone devices have to offer, and how to deploy and manage them in organizations large and small, while securely integrating them within their existing Microsoft infrastructure.

Here is my top five must go-to sessions that I must attend otherwise-my-trip-to-Houston-is-a-total-bust list:

  • DEV-B227 Anyone Can Build a SharePoint Application with Microsoft Access (Because I love Access)
  • DCIM-B380 What’s New in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V (Duh, new Hyper-V stuff!)
  • DCIM-B291 Windows and Microsoft Azure Centric Data Management (Did someone say CommVault)
  • DCIM-B354 Failover Clustering: What’s New in Windows Server 2012 R2 (I gotta know what’s new … right?)
  • DCIM-B365 Understanding Hyper-V Network Virtualization: Demo Extravaganza (Because everyone likes a demo)

Below are a few other sessions that I have broken out into Office related and Data Center related.

  • OFC-B233 TWC: Data Privacy and Protection in the Cloud
  • OFC-B272 Microsoft Office 365 for IT Professionals
  • OFC-B324 Preserve, Delete, and Archive in Microsoft Office
  • DCIM-B394 Virtualizing the Last Mile: Leveraging the Benefits of Virtualizing Infrastructure Workloads
  • DCIM-B346 Best Practices for Deploying Tiered Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 R2
  • DCIM-B387 Data Protection in Microsoft Azure
  • DCIM-B386 Mark Russinovich and Mark Minasi on Cloud Computing
  • DCIM-B356 Running Linux and FreeBSD on Windows Server Hyper-V: What You Need to Know
  • DCIM-B371 Protect Large Scale Private Clouds with Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager
  • DCIM-B373 How IPv6 Impacts Private Cloud Deployments

What about other fun stuff?

Tuesday, May 13 – 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM – Jam Sessions, House of Blues (Sponsored by CommVault)
Wednesday, May 14 – 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM TechExpo Happy Hour, TechExpo Hall
Thursday, May 15 – 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM – Attendee Closing Party, Minute Maid Park

You have to visit the TechExpo too.  This is your chance to see the latest from over 200 vendors and talk with people about their solutions and products.  This is also a great time to pick-up some cool swag so bring an empty bag and have fun, oh and don’t forget to stop by the CommVault booth #401 and say Hi!

So not everyone attending TechEd is from Texas , so here are some things you might want to do or see in Houston while you are there.

  • If you like the NBA the Houston Rockets are in the Playoffs. If they get past Portland and go on to the Western Conference Semi-finals they could be playing that week, so check for more info.
  • Houston Astros Major League Baseball (They will be playing the Texas Rangers on May 12, 13, & 14th at Home, which is right next to the convention center.)
  • Downtown Aquarium, Houston
  • USS Texas at San Jacinto State Park
  • NASA – Johnson Space Center
  • If you still want more ideas, you can check out Trip Advisor for a list of to-do’s in the Houston area

Also, if you are looking for ways to get around here are a few links you may consider:

I also heard there is going to be a Microsoft Store onsite … I wonder what my budget is going to be? …. HONEY !!!

See you in a few weeks …