Deploying Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office System with Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) Vista (Part 1)

It looks like MS has finally realized there are operations that want to deploy desktops in as streamlined a method as possible and aren’t the hulking behemoths of OEMs or very large corporate customers.

They are planning on making the Business Desktop Deployment solutions available to all, along with WinPE in the initial Vista release.

The sessions in general were good overviews of the process for install and deployment of Vista and/or Office 2007. The average deployment will have to change:

  • are you using administrative install points for Office and not Local Install Source? Get ready to learn about LIS.
  • Are you using multicast today? Hope your vendor catches up and releases an add on to Windows Deployment Services, the replacement to RIS, to support it
  • Are you using RIS? You should be, it seems
  • Did you know about the Desktop Deployment resources that are already available?

Exchange Server 2003 Best Practices from Microsoft IT

There were some great pointers in the session, though very few of them apply to an environment where you have fewer total mailboxes (~600) than MS puts on each cluster node (~4000).

I did get a bit of a relaxation moment at the beginning when the presenter asked how many people were still running Exchange 5.5, I’d say ~5% of the room raised their hands. We need to get off of it, but we’re not the last guy running it. Nobody was willing to admit they were still running Exchange 5.0, though I can’t imagine anyone is.

Many of these sessions are going to be best re-digested later once the conference DVDs show up.

Oh, and at lunch today they had Diet Mt Dew, YAY!

Server and Domain Isolation

Server and Domain Isolation with IPSec is something to look at, MS Consulting is supporting it and starting, in the next few weeks, an engagement program to help set it up. I’d like to see them try to define our network in 3 weeks…

I can definitely see some potential applications for Housing, but the chances for a deployment anytime soon are slim.

Also, I’ve got the Vista beta running in VMWare Workstation, looks cool, but really hard to tell in the limited time I had last night and between sessions today.

Active Directory Security Monitoring with MOM

Good session in general, though it disappoints me to no end that an MS MVP was pushing 2 3rd party tools to do security event collection with Microsoft Operations Manager. If MS was truly security minded, security event collection wouldn’t require individual admins to write regexs to identify and decode cryptic event details, there would be a team in Redmond that writes, tests and publishes everything you need to monitor security.

The 2 tools are MP Studio from Silect and Secure Vantage‘s Control Management Pack.

Of course, any evaluation of MOM requires that we be using it first, not something we’re doing now.

I’m sitting through an Exchange 2003 Clustering session now, not that I think Housing will ever need it, but there isn’t much else during this timeslot that I can imagine being needed.


The flight to Boston was smooth, my bag beat me here. They got on the 10:xx am flight and I got on the 11:45 flight. I’m always generous with connecting flights, you just never know coming out of CMI.

Got to Logan International, walked outside looking for the standard “Airport Shuttle” stand, got hit up by someone in a random shuttle for transportation. He had my hotel name on the side window of the van, so it looked good. After loading up a couple more, he was asking someone on the sidewalk where they were headed, got something not on the side of the van…Up walked a Transit Authority cop, took the drivers tag and told him “If I see you on airport property again, I’m having you arrested”. That didn’t sound good. But, he got me and the 3 other passengers to our hotels just fine. Hopefully his returning passengers didn’t get him arrested.

The Boston area isn’t striking me as a good place to hold a convention, there are no hotels near the convention center. The shuttle service is about as good as can be expected with the terrible traffic that comes from a Sunday afternoon Red Sox game.

Check-in at the convention center was smooth as silk and now the nerds are grazing and queuing, waiting for the Sunday night keynote that starts in 35 min….

I think I’ll go grab another water, some more healthy snack food and join in the waiting.