TechEd 2012: Day 1

First day of the conference proper and we are, to use a Microsoft term; superexcited.

First item of business was the keynote delivered by Brad Anderson and a few others. Much attention was given to the upcoming launch of Windows Server 2012 and the new System Center 2012 Suite. Microsoft has a great story here and I’m having trouble seeing other companies with the same capabilities.

Next for me was Mark Russinovich’s Introduction to Windows Azure Virtual Machines (AZR208). This is a really interesting new capability of Azure, which also puts Microsoft in the IaaS market (previously Azure was only PaaS). Mark delivered a great talk as always. The man’s knowledge is impressive.

During lunch we caught Mark Russinovich and Scott Guthries live chat about Windows Azure. Questions were put to the panel via Twitter. That was really cool. I even got some of my own questions answered!.

Hacking sessions are always fun so after lunch I went to see Paula Januszkiewicz’ talk entitled “Crouching Admin, Hidden Hacker; Technologies for Hiding and Detecting Traces (SIA301)”. This was a huge let down as Paula just kept repeating old, well known security axioms like “Have a dedicated admin account” and “Don’t log on to workstations with your admin user”. Very boring and disappointing. As far as I could tell she didn’t cover any of the stuff the title of her talk indicated. Paula’s demo of Stuxnet, if you can call letting your VM become infected, failed, but that was due to the recently discovered deactivation feature of Stuxnet, although we did not know this at the time.

The last session of the day was SIA205 Running Active Directory on Windows Azure Virtual Machines. The talk was delivered by Samuel Devasahayam from the Directory Services team. Sam was a great guy and covered all the stuff you need to know before you deploy AD on Azure VMs. We met Sam later outside the conference center and had a nice chat.

Looking forward to tomorrow!

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