Myself and Damian Flynn headed over to the Expo at 07:30 on the Monday morning and the place was buzzing with activity. We had an opportunity to catch up with some old friends and also to get a quick glimpse of the room where the Keynote was going to be held.
Travis Wright (formerly of Microsoft but just very recently announced as Partner, Director of Product Management with Cireson) kicked off with an excellent keynote called "Cloud and Me - BFFs!" - where he spoke about how the boundaries between cloud and on-premise computing were being slowly broken down and merged to deliver a unified service back to the business - much in the same way as organizations consume electricity without having to think about it's delivery as a service.
After the keynote, it was time for me to get ready as I had the pleasure of being asked to co-present a session called "SCVMM Networking: From Zero to Hero in Two Hours" with Damian Flynn, Thomas Maurer and Michel Luescher. The session went really well and we had an excellent attendance with audience members willing and ready to have their brains melted with some of the Level 400 content that was being presented throughout!
After our sessions, I had a chance to attend some of the other presentations and one that stuck out for me that day was Cameron Fuller's - "Operations Manager Evolution: Taking Your Environment to the Next Level with Operations Manager". Every time I hear Cameron present, I learn a new tip or trick for SCOM.
When Day 1 was over, we had a networking party that evening with more than enough free drinks and food to keep everyone happy!
It was great meeting other members of the System Center community here and talking tech over a few beers!
On Day 2, I had my own slot presenting a session on "What's New in System Center 2012 R2 - Operations Manager?"
I had a great turnout for the session and all-in-all, it went pretty well (I think!). The 'Demo Gods' were kind to me and there was some great interaction and questions from the audience. Hopefully people gained a better understanding of what's coming for this new release of SCOM in the next few weeks.
You can download the recording from here (it's a large file so right-click and 'Save As' is best):
What's new in System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2? (EN) - Kevin Greene
Later that afternoon, Maarten Goet (OpsLogix) had organised a really fun "Microsoft & MVP ask-the-experts" session which he co-presented with Cameron Fuller. The guys had put together a number of 'Trivial Pursuit' type questions based on System Center that pitched the audience against the 'Experts' and I think it's fair to say, that just about everyone attending that session (presenters included), learnt something new and interesting!
To close out the event, at the end of Day 2, Cireson hosted a great closing party in the Kornhauskeller restaurant where everyone had more than their fair share of drinks and food (again!).
The irony wasn't lost on some of us that during the few days we were over there, it was announced that the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) was going to be cancelled. I'd attended MMS for the past three years and it was certainly a conference you looked forward to going to each year (and no, it wasn't just because it was hosted in Las Vegas!)
If there was ever going to be an event that can fill the void left for a System Center conference such as MMS, then it's my belief (along with a growing number of other System Center community members) that SCU is it. Built for the Community, by the Community. Its name alone attracts the best of the best of presenters and each year it's held, it gets bigger and bigger.
You can get access to all the slide decks and video recordings of SCU DACH from the official website here: http://www.systemcenteruniverse.ch/
System Center Universe kicks off again in on January 30th 2014 in Houston, Texas and there will be another European event towards the end of next year too. Stay tuned to http://www.systemcenteruniverse.com/ for all the info!