This year’s Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas, NV started off with more excitement than I’m sure the everyone was hoping for

In addition to a rare morning thunderstorm on the Las Vegas Strip (insert your own “cloud” jokes here), the convention center was hit with an Internet outage right before Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson was to take the stage for the keynote. You can see where this would cause some alarm since all the demos were live and running from remote data centers. Ultimately, this only caused a delay of slightly over 20 minutes while the issues were resolved then the keynote was able to start.

As far as keynotes go, the 2013 MMS keynote, Cloud Optimize Your Business with Microsoft Management Solutions, didn’t offer many surprises. The two biggest themes were Microsoft cloud services (Azure, Office 365, InTune, etc.), consumerization of IT, the number of Microsoft customers moving from VMware to Hyper-V for their virtualization… err… private cloud needs. If you’re interested in watching the full keynote:

Here are a few of the high points and interesting facts:

  • “Microsoft workloads – SQL, SharePoint, Exchange – run best on the Microsoft operating system, on the Microsoft hypervisor, on the Microsoft cloud.” – Brad Anderson
  • More than 20% of businesses worldwide are using Office 365.
  • There are 420,000 unique domains in Azure AD.
  • Azure AD has handled 200 billion authentications since it was made available.
  • Microsoft announced their participation in Open Daylight: an open source framework for software defined networking.
  • 99% of SQL workloads can be virtualized now.
  • Microsoft demoed Storsimple (acquired last year) a product that lets you transparently use both local and cloud-based storage.

No products announcements were made, but attendees were encouraged to either come in person or tune in to TechEd in June to “the next wave of investments that we’ve been making in the server and tools business.”

I found picking sessions for MMS just as hard as picking sessions for TechEd last year. Since Microsoft knows you can’t be in two places at once, many of the breakout sessions are available online in video form along with the PowerPoint files. There’s no way I can possibly cover every session, but here are a few I enjoyed that I hope you can also find useful:

Advanced Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Update 1 Customizations presented by Johan Arwidmark and Mikael Nystrom. Individually, Johan and Mikael are both awesome speakers… so, if you get the chance to see them co-present, you’re in for a treat and will definitely learn something you didn’t know. In this session, they discuss a number of things you can do to customize your MDT deployment including creating rules in CustomSessings.ini, using a database with MDT, and using System Center Orchestrator runbooks.

Windows 8 Security Internals by Chris Jackson. In this session, Chris Jackson goes deep into the security internals of Windows 8 including tokens/elevated tokens, integrity levels, User Interface Privilege Isolation and how they relate to desktop and Windows 8 Metro/Modern apps.

Orchestrator Best Practices: Lessons Learned at Cargill by Vaughn Nerdahl. In this session, Vaughn Nerdahl from Cargill discussed some of the things his organization has learned using System Center Orchestrator. Topics covered included error handling, sanitizing runbooks when moving them between test and production servers, documenting runbooks with Visio, and decisions you should make when designing runbooks.

Becoming a Windows Intune Administrator: A Real-World Perspective by Erdal Ozkaya. In this session, Erdal Ozkaya discussing using Intune for managing both PC’s, tablets, and phones. Topics covered include setting up Intune, adding users, deploying software, and general administration.


Keynote Demo Deconstruction

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MMS 2013 Session Videos


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