Virtualfat attends MMS2011

Last week I was in Las Vegas at the Microsoft Management Summit learning about innovation, best practices and troubleshooting systems management technologies.

MMS has been by far the best Microsoft event I have attended and the best overall since I was working a stand selling Virtual Reality headsets demoing DukeNukem in the late 90’s.  Let me say MMS came pretty close.

But why so good? – Community!

Building up to the event a lot of advice for new attendees is posted out on community sites, yes free advice about goings on, where to find cheaper hotels, maps, transport details the weather and useful travel accessorise.  Thanks for the advice.

A great community atmosphere generated by everyone there.

What else? Software!

There certainly was a lot going on.  Lots of announcements, lots of first public glimpses etc..

Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of the Management and Security Division at Microsoft gave two great keynote speeches, these set the tone for the conference and summarized the efforts being made to deliver enhancements to mature technology and innovative new products to help simplify our jobs.

This product roadmap shows just how much is going on in the System Center teams:


It was great to have all those sessions to attend that back up those keynotes.  I mentioned about private cloud before, the techs here and it’s time to learn it and use it.

You can watch the keynotes over on the home page for the conference –

What else? Customers!

Throughout the days and nights I managed meet many staff from companies in differing industries, it was great to listen and share best practices with fellow customers be they in house admins or System Center consultants.  One thing I will say, from the one guy with 100 user to another with 150,000 endpoints we are all bitterly complaining about the cost of bandwidth.  Looks like Telco’s are making absolutely sure they are the bottleneck these days!  Notice how so many have their own clouds and offer greater bandwidth for less if you signup for their services!  Rant!


What else? Meeting the experts!

I managed to meet several industry experts and Microsoft staff whom I know of from twitter, blogging or reading their books & articles, that’s is part of what MMS is about.  I spent a few great evenings with a storage/cluster/hyper-v expert and apart from having fun learnt more than I would have in a course.

One System Center expert even pointed out how much younger I look than my online Avatar, bonus.

What else? Partners & Parties!

So many amazing partners with great products, I always stand in the queue ready to be looked at like a lunatic with a silly question, no such thing right? I got about half the vendor answers I could get and to be fair everyone who could not answer my questions gave me their contact card.

I didn’t really get to many vendor parties as I wanted to make sure I could make the 45 minute journey to the hotel by 8ish each day. Besides, with the Jetlag I managed to sleep once every couple of days.  But one a night for about an hour or so to talk to customers.

What else? Labs!

Instructor led labs, loads of hand on labs and a post conference DVD with all the sessions I could not get to.  What’s more the labs are available online for 6 months for a mere $250.  I think I’ll take that option.

Out of interest I read the Virtualisation teams blog post last year on how they powered the labs, this year its even more impressive, great work….  Read it here.

And finally? Feedback!

Microsoft made an effort here, as stated in the Keynote, this software giant listens on many levels and wants to know what they doing right and wrong and what there not doing that we want.

I spoke to many staff who answered my questions and acknowledged my input no matter how trivial.  A great thing about the sessions was finding experts and product teams and who could would chime in to give in depth answers to tough questions, nobody was getting rushed out the door at the end of sessions so plenty of question time (at least in all of mine).

One team I did manage to meet looking for feedback was the content team.  They take feedback on how we want consume content and any also will take product feedback.  I think that’s great and I hope others take time to make their thoughts heard.

So that’s my thoughts on the event itself, there is no question that scores of the people I have worked with would have thoroughly enjoyed this.  Next up will be my notes and thoughts on those announcements.  I’ve installed two products so far…

Thanks to all, see you next year I hope. 

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Posted on March 31, 2011 at 2:51 pm by Ronnie · Permalink
In: Events, Virtual Machine Manager, Virtualization