Thursday, May 19, 2011

4th Annual UC Roundtable

The 4th Annual UC Roundtable was a great success!  About 40 TechEd attendees who RSVP'd joined me, the Exchange Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) team, F5 Networks and the Exchange product group for an entertaining evening at the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta.

F5 sponsored the event and provided a carving station, macaroni and cheese martinis (which were awesome), and a full bar.  Everyone seemed to have a great time.  Thank you very much, F5 Networks!

At the Roundtable I was able to let everyone know that F5 is about to release there BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) Virtual Edition (VE) for Hyper-V!  It's in RC now and should RTM in about two weeks.  BIG-IP LTM VE allows you to virtualize your load balancers using the same highly configurable and scalable application found on on the BIG-IP applicance.  I highly recommend that you check out the free 90-day trial download when it's available.  They already have a BIG-IP LTM VE for VMware avaialble.  It's great to use for your Exchange or Lync test lab.

Among the attendees were three gentlemen from the University of Illinois, who are in the middle of a 30,000+ Exchange 2010 migration and Lync deployment.  They are going to replace over 34,000 copper phones with Lync soft phones and centralize their Exchange deployment.  Interestingly, they are using the same Exchange storage model that Microsoft uses internally -- JBOD for database/log storage (70% DB / 30% Logs on 2TB SATA drives) running on Dell 610 and 710 servers.  They will be consolidating 30+ mailbox servers down to nine, including lagged databases.  Cool stuff!

Being a larger number of people this year, we broke up into smaller groups where we shared war stories, questions, and laughs.  It was good to see the MCMs and Exchange team mingle and interact with everyone.  That was a lot of talent and experience in one location!

Great conversations at the UC Roundtable

Michael Bender, Aubrey Moren, and Chris Haaker

Lars Eber, Scott Feltmann, Scott Ladewig, Claudia Perez, Sandip Vashi, David Carr, and myself

Me with the guys from the University of Illinois - Devin Gengelbach, Brent Tuggle, and Kevin Bird

Our hosts - The F5 Team!

Me and David Bjurman-Birr, head of the Exchange MCM Program
Next year TechEd will be in Orlando, FL on June 11-14, 2012.  I hope you can make it! 7:24 AM