We’ve just wrapped up the Exchange 2010 Maestro seminar in San Diego and everyone is making their way home after a pretty exhausting three days. Wednesday was particularly tough with an early start at 8am finishing up with a presentation from Binary Tree, one of our sponsors, at 6:10pm before drinks at 6:30pm. Binary Tree spoke about their new E2E Complete product, which helps administrators automate migrations to Exchange 2010. They have plans to upgrade the product to handle migrations to Office 365, which seems like a pretty good idea to me.
HP, another of our sponsors, brought in an HP E5000 messaging system for attendees to examine. The solidity of the equipment impressed as did the concept of an appliance that delivered a “DAG in a box” but was also flexible enough to be customized to meet specific requirements. After all, the E5000 is a pair of Exchange 2010 servers that can be modified from the basic layout once the systems are installed. For example, while HP has configured the various models of the E5000 to handle different mailbox loads, a fair amount of headroom has been included as well, so it’s reasonable to assume that you could load more mailboxes on the servers, especially if they used intermittently.
San Diego is a nice place to hold a training event. People like coming here because the weather is usually good, there’s a wide range of hotels to stay in, and there’s the famous Gaslight District to chill in after training shuts down every night. Our seminar was held in the Manchester Hyatt, a place that I’d stayed at several times before for other events. The view from my room on the 31st floor was pretty special, even if Thursday’s was somewhat spoilt by a sea fog that rolled over the Naval Air Station and San Diego airport.
The hotel did a good job of keeping us all happy as the facilities were excellent (lunches on a sunny terrace were fully appreciated), the AV worked, and the wireless network stayed up for the entire event. While some of these points may seem petty, you’d be surprised just how many seemingly top-class hotels can’t provide reliable AV and network services for events like this, so it was good to be at a place that could.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Paul Robichaux had to return home early and left us on Wednesday afternoon. The value of having a strong team of MVPs staffing the seminar was proven when Brian Desmond stepped in to deliver Paul’s session on the Exchange 2010 transport system. Of course, Brian isn’t an Exchange MVP as he earned his MVP status as an Active Directory guru, but he knows his stuff about Exchange too. He’s also a wizard with Office when it comes to creating labels for spices in the kitchen, as evident in this post.
Once again we had problems keeping to our schedule. All of our noble aspirations that we would observe the time slots laid down in the agenda went out the window, mostly because our audience was so engaged that they came up with many interesting questions that simply had to be investigated and explained! It’s hard for the audience to sit through some 21 hours of presentation over three days and also participate in some workshops so we’ll have to review the agenda again before we present our next event in Greenwich, CT in October.
Friday sees me taking United to Chicago to join up with the Aer Lingus flight to Dublin. It’s at times like this when I regret the loss of the direct flights from San Francisco and LAX to Dublin that Aer Lingus ceased in 2009. It seems like Ireland could do with a direct connection to the US west coast, but what do I know about airline scheduling and flight planning?