Friday, April 19, 2013

MMS 2013 - Day 4 and Wrap Up

Admittedly I'm a little belated with this post (Vegas does that to you when you spend a week there!), however it's worth wrapping up what we did for the final days at the Microsoft Management Summit 2013 (MMS) over in the Mandalay Bay Resort, LV last week and giving people some references to the sessions that we attended.

The Sessions

Day 4 (Thursday) was another jam packed day of back-to-back sessions that kicked off with Microsoft's Vlad Joanovic presenting a session called "WS-B318 Manage and Monitor Your Windows Azure Usage From System Center 2012 SP1". In this session, Vlad walked through some scenario's about how to best use System Center 2012 SP1 to monitor and manage your Azure workloads from on-premise. Admirably, Vlad ran nearly all his demo's directly from Azure and thankfully on the day, he didn't get hit with the internet connectivity problems that were prevalent and an unfortunate feature of MMS 2013 throughout the week. As a side note to that though, it's a credit to Vlad's presentation skills that 6 minutes into his session, the fire alarm starting going off in the building and even with the automated voiceover alert from the fire alarm and the strobe lights too, he just kept on ploughing through without even a pause!

Check out this session on Channel 9 from here:

At 10:15, myself and Damian Flynn attended the "IM-B203 Building UI Add–Ins For System Center 2012 SP1 Virtual Machine Manager" session delivered by Microsoft's Jonobie Ford. This was an interesting presentation that delved into the 'not too widely known' world of SCVMM 2012 console add-ins. The demo showed a neat use case for example add-ins for Cisco UCS and HP Insight Control. This add-in delivered integration of Cisco UCS and HP Insight Control directly into the SCVMM 2012 console. As the company I work for are a HP partner, the latter example was definitely of interest and something that I think we can definitely look at deploying as a value-add to our customers.

Have a look at the session here:

Podcasting Again

Before the next session kicked off at 12:00 PM, I took a walk over to the Expo Hall where the vendors where located and came across Dan Kregor and his cronies recording another version of the Inside Podcast Network. Before I knew it, I had a microphone in front of me and I was joining in the discussion and banter with well known System Center guru's David Allen, Matthew Long, Mickey Gousett, Cameron FullerChristian Booth and Mike Resseler. We had so much fun on there that I ended up missing the next session and heading straight into lunch instead!

Check out all three of the MMS 2013 IPN podcasts here:

Back to the Sessions

The penultimate session of the day for me was to attend "AM-B306 DevOps: Azure Monitoring & Authoring Updates for Operations Manager 2012 SP1" delivered by Microsoft's Daniele Muscetta, Marcin Jastrzebski and Brian Wren. These guys are at the pinnacle of SCOM management pack authoring and even though I'd already seen several 'DevOps' sessions during the week, I had to attend this one to see them do their thing. In this session, we were treated to a demo of the new Management Pack for Azure Fabric. This MP is a massive improvement on the older Azure one and should fill the gap nicely for those of you looking to dip your toe into Azure monitoring over the coming months. I particularly like the new Distributed Application template that comes out-of-the-box with this MP. We also had a run through on using the Visual Studio Authoring Extensions (VSAE) to author SCOM management packs and this again was interesting as it's the engine that Microsoft is pushing us to as the main authoring tool for SCOM - no more Authoring Console like in SCOM 2007.

Have a look at the full session here:

At 16:30, I attended what was to be my final session of MMS 2013. With so little sessions available the next day (Friday) and minimal time left in Vegas before we went home, we had made a decision to use the Friday for sightseeing and shopping. This session was titled "IM-B310 Troubleshooting Common System Center 2012 SP1 Virtual Machine Manager Issues" and was presented by Microsoft's John Messec , Amit Virmani, Kurt Scherer and Madhu Jujare. Here, they covered different troubleshooting scenarios and walked us through such things as ETW tracing, and troubleshooting Software Defined Networking (SDN).

Check it out here:

The MMS 2013 Closing Party

On Thursday night, we had the MMS 2013 closing party which was held in XS Night Club at the Wynn Resort and Casino. The venue for this event was really nice and we set ourselves up nicely outside beside the pool bar early in the evening.

With this years venue and last years one being held in the Paris Hotel and Casino, Microsoft have really raised the bar in terms of closing parties. Let's hope that they keep this standard up for any future System Center conferences as most people I spoke to that attended said they had a great time.

Final Day Sightseeing

A trip to Las Vegas is never complete without doing a bit of sightseeing and as mentioned earlier, we chose to not attend any of the sessions on the Friday (there were only sessions up until 11am) and instead go sightseeing. Myself, my Irish buddy John McCabe (Microsoft Senior PFE), his boss José and Didier Van Hoye (Virtual Machine MVP and Storage legend!) all headed to downtown Vegas to check out the Stratosphere Hotel. This is one of the highest points in town and a must-visit spot for picture taking.

We then hit the Cheesecake Factory in the massive Caesars Palace Hotel for some dinner

Before then walking/trekking up the strip to check out the dancing water fountains of the Bellagio - another truly amazing sight of Vegas

Finally, our last stop of the week was back at Rí Rá Irish Bar in the Mandalay Bay for a well deserved one of these...

Wrapping up the week and in reflection, out of the three MMS conferences that I've attended, this one was by far my favourite and hopefully (fingers crossed) we might have another one next year!

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