Started out the day skipping breakfast, didn’t get to bed until almost 2AM and my first session started at 8AM. This session was focused on Exchange 2010 Roles Based Access Control (RBAC). This new feature allows organizations to delegate out access to Exchange objects and tasks to control Who can to What to Whom. This type of delegation was first provided by Mission Critical Software in 1995 for Windows NT 4.0. I worked for MCS, which later became NetIQ and is now Attachmate, and was the product manager for Directory and Resource Administrator (DRA). DRA provide this rules based access control over NT\AD objects starting in 2000. At that time Microsoft, and NetIQ competitors, attacked DRA as being a proxy solution that was bad. I find it very ironic it took Microsoft 10 years to finally implement the more logical solution for administration, roles based access. Anyways, this is a very powerful feature since it lets Exchange admins delegate out rights to Exchange objects and then limit what actions\cmdlets they can execute against those objects without setting complex ACLs or changing the AD structure to meet the administration needs, for the most part. Now if it only had a GUI, all delegation must be managed from PowerShell currently. The session covered the basic of RBAC but when it was time for the demo it was DOA L
Next I went to an Exchange 2010 exams prep session on 70-662 and 70-663. I need to get my 2010 certification so I figured it won’t hurt to pick up any additional tips. Here are the key ones: 1) Take your time, mark unknown questions and move on, look for new features in the answers. 2) Understand syntax and order of PowerShell commands, not as many on test as 2007 version. 3) You must have hands on time with 2010 if you want to pass, especially the 70-663 example. 4) Go thru the practice test. The speaker, who said he has taken over 70 exams, said the 70-663 is the hardest exam he has taken to date. After this session I signed up to take the 70-662 exam, all examples are 50% off with a free 2nd chance if taken at TechEd. So I figure it was worth a shot, I haven’t had too much hands on time with 2010 yet but think I know enough to pass the exam. I’ll find out Thursday at 5ish when I finish it.
Update: 6/10/10 4:07PM: Passed the test, got a 700 which is the minimum pass score. Given that I haven’t studied or done much in production with 2010 I’m glad I passed. But this is the lowest I’ve ever gotten on a MCP test.
Microsoft had setup a luncheon with the MVPs so went to that. Almost all of the material that was covered was under very strict NDA, but there is some stuff published currently. I went to the Windows Server ITPro room. Windows 2008 R2 SP1 was covered, blog post on topic by Oliver Rist on this. The key new features are dynamic memory (blog post on topic by Jeff Woolsey), like pagesharing in ESX\vShere, and RemoteFX (blog post on topic by Max Herrmann). RemoteFX allows remote render of graphics and highly preformat video\graphic over an RDP session. The next topic was the future strategy of SMB\SBS solutions, highly under NDA so no details yet. Then Windows Intune, which is hosted management of Windows security and updates. This is currently in beta, but the beta is full, and is focused on helping businesses secure and manage their workstations via cloud services provided from Microsoft. These services include management of updates, anti-malware, monitoring, remote assistances, HW & SF inventory, and setting of security policies. This is going to be huge for small shops that don’t have their own IT staff since it will allow them to offload one of the most critical management task of a Windows PC; keeping it secure and updated. Finally System Center futures was discussed, also highly under DNA.
After the MVP luncheon I had Microsoft booth duty again for a couple of hours. Once this was over I went back to the hotel, feel asleep by mistake for ~45 minutes, and then headed to the Exchange & OCS MVP reception. The reception was at the Crescent City Brewhouse and some of the members of the OCS & Exchange product team, our MVP lead, and about eight Exchange MVP and unknown about of OCS MVPs were there. I know I’ve said it before, but Microsoft really goes all out for their MVPs. It’s a true honor to be an Exchange MVP! Since I slept though when I was going to eat and the food basically appetizers I had to go get dinner after the reception.
So after leaving the brewhouse Pat, Brian, & Mellissa and I headed out to get some food. I talked them into going to Coop’s, which was a bit of a walk away. When we got their the line was outside the door a ways. I hadn’t thought about it but Coop’s is busiest from ~7 – 9PM and it was about 8:30 when we got there. So we went to a place I haven’t been to in years and all four of us were disappointed in the food L After this we went our separate ways and I pinged an old IT contact from Atlanta. We met up and headed to Frenchman St in search of music and beer, which I knew would be very easy to find. There were about six places with live music at this hour, around midnight, and we checked each of them out and ended up at Masion’s listen to a jazz\rock\blues band until the place closed down around 1ish. On the way back to the hotel I started getting some e-mails from Bethany so sent her a txt and chatted with her for about an hour when I got back to the hotel.
Another good day in NOLA was over