Community Day 2011; Impression from an IT-Pro

It has been too long since I’ve written a post on this blog. On top of that some people have shown their appreciation when I wrote a post on some events I’ve attended in the past. How many more reasons does one need to do it all over again?

The event I attended today is called Community Day (the 5th edition already) and given the name it won’t come as a surprise that it’s basically a gathering of most of the Belgian ICT user groups.

Opening Keynote

We started off in the biggest room reserved for the event with a fun movie the @ComDayBe team made in Leuven. They were basically asking some random people which versions of windows and office they were using and whether they knew what Cloud Computing is all about.

Session: What if disaster strikes – Failover clustering explained

ComDayBe2011-001I have worked in an operational team that supported multiple fail-over clusters so I’m familiar with most of the concepts, except for the “Dependency Report” that  is. I did have the impression that there was some mix-up between shared storage and Majority Node Set (MNS) clusters though.

It was also stated that deploying such a cluster is pretty straight forward. That might be true from a technical point of view, but it’s an entirely different story if you have to start dealing with server, network and storage teams. Additionally, It has proven difficult to ensure people are using the correct network name to connect to their database or application.

Session: Communication Enabled Business Processes using Lync 2010

ComDayBe2011-002Next up was the first of 2 sessions of the community I’m most involved with myself; Pro-Exchange. Johan Delimon showed us some demos and examples of applications that are build on top of the Lync client or server APIs and Exchange Web Services (EWS).



IT-Pro Chalk Talk

ComDayBe2011-006ComDayBe2011-004My colleague @MVanHorenbeeck used all his credits during this interactive Q&A session. Hence we mostly discussed about “the cloud”:

    • Cloud vs. Jobs
    • Cloud vs. Security
    • Cloud vs. Monitoring (both SLA & security)
    • ADFS not feasible for small companies

On a side note; this VIP room was really nice. I can certainly see my self watching a movie in this environment. Lots of leg room! No that I have such a long legs, but I’m not very good at sitting still for a longer periods of time. Ask my wife ;-)

Sponsor Presentation: From Box to Solution in one session with the HP/Microsoft Business Decision and Messaging Appliances

ComDayBe2011-008ComDayBe2011-009ComDayBe2011-010We kicked of the afternoon with a session hosted by sponsor HP. They talked about joint effort from Microsoft and HP in combining their technologies. The result is a kind of purposely built appliance. Apert from 3 SQL server related appliances there’s also one related to Exchange Server; the E5000 Messaging System. Obviously I was more interested in the latter.

Some notes:

    • load balancer required (read: not included)
    • meant for SMB; the entry-level model supports about 500 mbx of 1GB while the largest one supports 3000 users of 2,5GB
    • HA out-of-the-box; no active component which is not redundant, but then again both servers are still in the same rack/data center.

It certainly looks interesting at first sight. We will need to investigate and compare prices to decide whether this could be a useful for our customers.

Session: Roll-out and Manage Multi-Platform Mobile Devices using some simple tools… and Exchange 2010

ComDayBe2011-012Second Pro-Exchange session of the day. Wim Borgers kicked of with a bit of history on the evolution of the smart phone platform and discussed some of the issues with managing lots of mobile devices with different operating systems, versions and makes.

Ruben Nauwelaers took care of the second part and discussed what can be done when using native Exchange 2010 features and/or some 3rd party tools:

  • Apple Push notifications services
  • SCCM
  • Exchange Server 2010
  • iPhone Configuration Utility

Session: Operations Manager 2012 Overview

ComDayBe2011-014 A bit unfortunate, but only 6 people showed up for the SCOM session. We were kindly invited by @AlexVerkinderen to come and sit on the first row, which results in huge slides. Anyway my notes for this session read:

  • SCOM 2007 Management Packs will be compatible with SCOM 2012
  • New functionality will require deploying “feature packs” thus allowing customers to upgrade their monitoring infrastructure without to big of an impact.
  • SCOM vs. cloud
  • An MP for monitoring Azure already exists.
  • Project Concero will allow monitoring of infrastructure deployed in the cloud and on premise
  • Root Management Server (RMS) is replaced with a peer-to-peer architecture of management servers
  • In depth network monitoring and SNMP v3

We ran out of time and didn’t get to see the entire presentation. I’m certainly interested to see the remainder of it, be it with or without a Duvel.



We ended the evening with some, mainly developer oriented, price draws. I quickly returned home to put the kids to bed, but not before doing some sight-seeing around the construction works in Vilvoorde.

Note: I hope the mango update for Windows Phone 7 comes quickly because not being able to turn of the shutter sound is getting annoying, especially for the other people in the room…


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Pro-Exchange / Pro-Lync / Pro-Office365

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