Sunday, November 21, 2004 4:57 PM bart

Back from IT Forum

As you probably noticed, I didn't find the time to do extensive posting on my blog during the event. So let me write some comments now, back at home. IT (Forum) was just great. Although I'm primarily focusing on development, the IT folks world is also a very exciting one and it's a great aid to get some insights in their minds too (which is important as a developer, for example to have some clue about manageability, DBA tasks, etc). Let's go over some day-to-day log:


  • Arrived at Copenhagen about 9:30 PM (had a nice flight with SN), arrived in the hotel at 10:00 PM
  • Discovered my tiny but functional hotel room; the television has 69 channels of which approx 60 display "snow"; so I went out for a little walk around the city


  • Arrived at the event venue; the subway net is very good (a metro every 5 minutes or so) and modern (metros don't have drivers anymore @ Copenhagen; cool metro stations, at least when compared with the Belgian ones)
  • Visited my ATE booth for Virtual Server 2005, setup was okay (which wasn't the case at TechEd this summer unfortunately) so we could take a jumpstart later that day without having to worry about the config of the machines (because of that reason, I missed the keynote at TechEd)
  • So I went to the keynote to hear Bill Gates talking about the "magic moments in software"; but first a magician came up to warm up the 3500 attendeed
  • Sessions that day:
    • Microsoft Identity Management Strategy and Roadmap (covered MIIS and AD/AM stuff, but rather general talk)
    • Security Policies? Ugh, Just Give me a Firewall (great session btw, as always the case with SteRiley's talks)


Serious stuff first:

  • No ATE for me today, so I went to Hans Verbeeck's session on CLR integration in SQL Server 2005. Nice session to hear the worries of DBAs on this field. It was - however - a difficult decision for me to go to Hans' session instead of Rafal Lukawiecki's session on Digital Trust Foundation. But since Hans' session had level 300 (Rafal's one only level 200) I chose for HansVB's talk.
  • Scaling up to 64-bit Windows was my second session that day. Unfortunately a little too much HP-focuses, but it gave me a good overview of Intel's Itanium (2) architecture versus x64 and AMD Opteron.
  • "Privacy in the Digital World" by SteRiley was a level 200 series (although HansVB was talking again on SQL Server 2005 XML in the Database during that timeslot I chose for Steve this time; sorry Hans). The main reason was that I had been working with XPath, XQuery, XML Web Services, etc stuff in SQL 2005 already the week before and I reviewed the slides on-line already. Btw, it was a difficult decision for that timeslot since there was an interesting talk (first of two) on Active Directory Object and Attribute Security. I guess I'll review that on the post-conference DVD later.
  • I joined the panel discussion on the SQL Server Roadmap during lunch (so I missed lunch for the second day in row in favor of two portions of salty chips :-)). Some great questions from the audience and great answers of the panel (e.g. "Will Exchange use SQL Server"; I won't repeat the answer over here now)
  • Next, I went to Allen Stewart's talk on Virtual Server 2005 (Technical Overview) to learn something more about VSMT and to know the general message of the team in order to answer the ATE booth questions (in order to deliver a uniform story towards the customers).
  • 4:30 PM, session about W2K3 SP1 (primarily focused on security enhancements)
  • Last but not least, I went to the talk of Euan Garden on SQL Server 2005 A-Z (although level 200, but the second part of "AD Object and Attribute Security" required to be attending the first part of the session ealier, so I decided for Euan's talk). It was almost the same content as on TechEd 2003 (where the "Yukon A-Z" was rather confidential, the ppts never made it on the DVD or on the net; I remember that the session back then was plenty of people and some guys on the first rows decided to take a photo of every slide; luckily this was not the case now). The same timeslot a Kimberly Tripp session was held, but I made TechEd 2004 earlier this year my "Tripp event", so I decided not to Tripp again :-). However, I'll be reviewing these sessions later on the post-conf DVD.

That evening the Benelux party was held in the heart of the city (Rosie McGee's) and of course I was attending that party. Not much Belgians I knew, except for Philippe Lemmens (Microsoft EMEA) and Gerd De Bruycker (Microsoft EMEA), but still I enjoyed the party (learned to know new people).


The day of the big IT Forum party (which I'll not be posting about, since others certainly will do). Beside of that there was of course the content itself and the ATE booth from 11 AM to 2 PM). It was also the one and only day I went out to the dining hall for a full meal (well-prepared salmon).

The sessions:

  • Arrived a little late, so I took some food to the session room (although prohibited, I found a door to the session room that did not mention the fact that food and drinks were not allowed in the session rooms :-)). I went to Don Vilen's session on SQL Server 2000 Security first, which was pretty intersting. Originally I planned for another 64-bit session but since I didn't really like the first one I saw, I decided to choose for SQL Server 2000 Security instead.
  • Since I was on ATE I missed an interesting session on WinPE :-(. However, I'm reviewing it now at home.
  • In the afternoon, the big Cheese (Andrew Cheeseman) was giving a session on ISA 2004, which was my choice. The "big cheese" (as he calls himself) is always interesting, no comment required.
  • TCP/IP for Security Administrators (SteRiley) was great as well
  • Implementing PKI in the Enterprise was boring (sorry for the speaker) but maybe it was due to the IT Forum party that was waiting for us...


Attended sessions on WUS, a part of Cheeseman's classic talk on "How we built the IT Forum IT infrastructure" (but needed to leavy to start up the ATE booth again), "Encryption in Detail" (Lukawiecki) and Gert Drapers' session on "Why is SQL Server Waiting?" (since I missed a part of that earlier on the SQL Server Days in Brussels and it was pretty heavy level 400; but now I have the feeling I got the message). Last but not least I visited Copenhagen somewhat more (I did this on Tuesday night as well quite late), so I went to Tivoli but unfortunately most restaurants were full (all because of reservations) so I ended up in Mc Donalds and took a little dessert of two maxi Twixes later :-).


Left Copenhagen at 11:45 (had to wait very long at the airport because of the message "Wait for gate" on the screens - I hate this message) after a great week full of IT power. | Digg It | Technorati | Blinklist | Furl | reddit | DotNetKicks

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# re: Back from IT Forum

Friday, December 03, 2004 5:37 AM by bart

You should upload your pictures of IT Forum 2004 to your MSN space! :-)