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Live! 360 Day 1 and Day 2 TechMentor vs Tech Ed

Live! 360 Day 1 and Day 2

Live! 360 activities unofficially started on Sunday, November 17th at Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. Early registration opened and a group was formed for the Dine-A-Round event at Universal’s City Walk. The Dine Around began at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville for appetizers and drinks. From there, groups split up based on interest. I joined […]

TechMentor vs Tech Ed

On Twitter, @bbnetman asked this question: “How does TechEd differ from TechMentor?” I attended Tech Ed back in 2007 and 2008, but I have never been to TechMentor. I was afraid to reply in a tweet and send a wrong answer, so I decided to do a little research. First of all, Tech Ed is […]

Hello Blog. It’s Me.

OK, I am back. Again.

When I started this blog, I had a lot more opportunities to write. As what happens with many people, life gets busier. I started this blog working in an academic environment and always connected to the internet. Now, I am in a data center with no personal access to the internet. Things have changed, but my desire to keep this blog and make it useful has not gone away.

So, once again, I am going to try to post on a regular basis – at least once a week. I have some book reviews that I have been wanting to complete and I want to finish some articles on Microsoft Certification that I have been working on. Also, Microsoft TechEd is coming back to Orlando and I have been picked to work as a guide in the Hands On Lab (HOL) area. It is my first time and I am looking forward to helping and meeting all the attendees that will be coming to the lab. The HOL is one of my favorite features of TechEd, so it is exciting to be a part of it.

I am also going to try posting short entries here and there during the day. I have always felt that my posts needed to be articles. However, my Windows Phone has a Word Press application that I think would work really well for posting shorter blog entries. If you come back and read some of them, let me know if you find them useful or not.

I will also have some product news coming up. As you know I have been selling CBT Nuggets here on Look for a new product offering as well.

Please bookmark this blog or sign up for RSS or email. And thank you for stopping by.

CBT Nuggets Discount Has Expired

I am sorry to announce that the CBT Nuggets discount that I have been offering through my site has expired. Thank you for all of the many people that have bought CBT Nuggets through my site over the many years,

I will still offer CBT Nuggets through my site as well as other products to help you with your IT Certification. Please check back with ITCertPro in the near future. I am back and looking forward to connect with more ITCertPros in the new year.

This year, Tech Ed is back in Orlando and I hope to be there. Also TechMentor is meeting on the Microsoft Campus this year. will be your place for news on these events plus product and book reviews to help with your certification goals.

Thank you for visiting and see you soon.


Tech Ed North America 2011 Kicks Off


Here is a press release from Microsoft regarding Tech Ed North America 2011:

Tech•Ed North America kicked off today in Atlanta, Georgia with a keynote from Corporate Vice Presidents Robert Wahbe and Jason Zander.  They discussed the company’s investments in the cloud and showcased how Microsoft developer solutions will help organizations increase productivity.

News Highlights Include:

  • Exchange Virtualization Made Easy: Additional supported hypervisor scenarios for virtualized Exchange Server 2010, including Unified Messaging were announced today.  This combines Exchange’s high availability solutions, Database Availability Groups (DAGs) with hypervisor based clustering and failover solutions. 
  • Updated Exchange Server 2010 Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) program: Announced today, The Exchange Server 2010 MCM program allows Exchange Server 2010 experts to achieve MCM certification at a lower cost and with more flexibility by removing the barriers of travel and training time investment.  For more information, please visit the Microsoft News Center.
  • New Features coming to Windows Phone 7: New business features for mobile workers will be delivered in the next update of Windows Phone (code named ‘Mango’) to enable even greater productivity. Some of the forthcoming features being announced at TechEd 2011 including search enhancements in Outlook Mobile, out-of-the-box support for Office 365, and the new Lync mobile app.
  • New License Mobility program: New license mobility options will become available on July 1, 2011 through Microsoft Volume License agreements with an active Software Assurance benefit were announced today.  The new options will provide customers with the flexibility to deploy application services on-premises or through hosted service providers in the cloud. 
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V support for Linux-based CentOS: Window Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V will support for Linux-based CentOS to provide customers who run mixed-environments consisting of Linux and Windows. Visit Openness@Microsoft to read about Microsoft’s keynote at the Open Source Business Conference today.

New Management Tools Align Development with Operations

And MUCH, MUCH more! The full TechEd North America Press Release can be found here, but be sure to check out the Fact Sheet for additional news.

Keep up on TechEd news and activities online via the Virtual Press Room and TechEd Online where you can watch the keynote, and experience all-day streaming coverage and live interviews. Finally, follow the buzz in the Twittersphere using the hashtag #MSTechEd.

TechMentor vs Tech Ed

On Twitter, @bbnetman asked this question:

“How does TechEd differ from TechMentor?”

I attended Tech Ed back in 2007 and 2008, but I have never been to TechMentor. I was afraid to reply in a tweet and send a wrong answer, so I decided to do a little research.

First of all, Tech Ed is Microsoft’s premier annual conference. It is not only held in North America, but also in Europe, India, the Middle East, Africa, Japan, Latin America, China, New Zealand and Australia. And, for the most part, it is run by Microsoft. I met a lot of Microsoft employees by going to Tech Ed. I also got to hang around with fellow MCT’s in the MCT lounge.

TechMentor is run independently from Microsoft by 1105 Media, Inc. which also publishes magazines and web sites such as Redmond Magazine, TechNet Magazine, and Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine Online. TechMentor is held twice a year – Orlando in the Spring and Las Vegas in the Fall. Since TechMentor is run independently from Microsoft, you may get to see some non-Microsoft content. For example, at TechMentor, Greg Shields, the conference chairman, is teaching several sessions on VMware. But, there will also be Microsoft employees leading sessions, such as MS Principal Technology Architect Laura Hunter and MS Senior Evangelist Yung Chou.

One other difference that I am looking forward to seeing at TechMentor is size. At Tech Ed, there are thousands of people. When Tech Ed is held in Orlando, it is held at the Orange County Convention Center, which has two very large convention centers. Tech Ed takes up one of those convention centers. The vendor area is almost a small city by itself. Lots of vendor swag to carry home, too. Tech Ed is so big, Microsoft is able to reserve a whole Universal Studios theme park for the conference party. (That was pre-Harry Potter, of course Smile)

I am expecting TechMentor to have a smaller group, numbering in the hundreds. It is being held at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, and not at the largest convention center in the county. This means that the sessions will also have smaller groups where you can get your questions answered. One of the TechMentor activities that I am looking forward to happens on Tuesday night. Dine Around Dinner is where attendees will break up into small groups and meet at a restaurant within walking distance for dinner. It will definitely be an atmosphere for networking.

So, having not attended a TechMentor conference yet, those were the differences that I could come up with. Since I live in the Orlando area, I like that TechMentor is held here every year. However, I cannot say that one is better than the other. I thoroughly enjoyed the times I had at Tech Ed. But I am also looking forward to experiencing TechMentor next week.

TechMentor Orlando 2011 is Next Week

TechMentor Orlando 2011 is Next Week

TechMentor Orlando 2011 is almost here (March 14-18 ). To get ready for my first TechMentor, I am looking at the sessions more closely to choose which ones to attend.

For the first three days, there is a PowerShell Boot Camp taught by Don Jones and sponsored by Sapien Technologies. Don has authored several books on PowerShell and is finishing up on his soon to be released book, “Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches” Don has also created several videos for CBT Nuggets including Windows PowerShell On-the-Job Training Series and Windows PowerShell V2 — Advanced and New Capabilities, This boot camp requires a special registration, but it looks like it should be good.

I won’t be able to attend the boot camp, but I am looking forward to PowerShell presentations by Jeff Hicks. Jeff is a Microsoft MVP, author and speaker. In fact, he and Don Jones co-authored “Windows PowerShell 2.0: TFM”. Jeff is presenting three sessions on PowerShell: PowerShell Scripting Best Practices, Top 10 Active Directory Tasks with PowerShell and Getting Started with PowerCLI and VMware. As a Server Administrator, I definitely want to attend the Best Practices and Active Directory sessions. My toughest decision so far has been with the scheduling of the PowerShell Best Practices session. Mark Minasi is presenting “The Secrets of Technical Talks: How to Explain Tech Without Tucking ” at the same time. I enjoy any chance to improve my speaking skills, but I want to learn PowerShell! Decisions, decisions, decisions! I should be able to attend other sessions by Mark Minasi, especially the session on Windows Power Tools Treasury: Best of the Power Tools.

Whether he knows it or not, James Conrad is responsible for helping me upgrade my MCSE Windows Server 2000 to MCSE Windows Server 2003. James helped me through his CBT Nuggets videos on the topic. Currently, James is the Lead Recruiter and Instructor for CBT Nuggets. In the past, he has worked with Microsoft on their certification program. For me, seeing James at TechMentor is like going to see a favorite band in concert. After watching several of James’ recordings, I will get to see him perform live. Can his live performance match his recorded performance? I will get to see him first hand. James’ teaching style is very personal. As part of his videos, it is not uncommon for him to share his personal photos to illustrate a point. James is teaching four sessions and I am looking forward to “Using Free Tools to Control who Gets on your LAN. It’s More than Just Security!

For you Exchange Admins, J. Peter Bruzzese will be presenting five sessions on Exchange. I have watched some of the training for Exchange 2010 that Bruzzese created for TrainSignal and it is incredible! I know enough about Exchange to know that it is a difficult topic to master. It seems that every system administrator skill that you have must come together for one product (skills like Windows Server, DNS, database, PowerShell, and Exchange specifics). However, when Bruzzese explains Exchange in his videos, it looks so easy. And it looks easy because Bruzzese has a gift for not only understanding Exchange, but also how to teach it. If you are an Exchange Administrator, you owe it to yourself to attend TechMentor just to attend Bruzzese’s sessions. He is also presenting a Pre Conference tutorial on Four Hours of the Very Best Windows 7 Tips, Tricks, and Tools on Earth. In addition to being a TrainSignal instructor, J. Peter Bruzzese is also co-founder of Clip Training. Also, joining Bruzzese for the session “Capacity Management for Exchange: Lessons from the Field” will be Jay Paul Gundotra, founder and CEO of ENow, who has worked with Exchange since version 4.

I think that I will be spending a lot of time in HP Master Consultant Bruce Mackenzie-Low’s sessions. I am especially looking forward to taking his pre conference tutorial on Windows Crashes and Hangs: Simple Steps in Finding Every Root Cause. I believe this session may have the biggest impact on my current job as a Server Administrator.

In addition to looking forward to the instructors, I am also looking forward to the venue at Disney’s Yacht Club. Having stayed at Disney before and being a Disney World Annual Passholder, I can tell you that it will be a lot of fun. Disney’s Yacht Club is located close to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. If you are attending TechMentor and are bringing your family, they will love it. The Yacht club has its own beach and the pool is beautiful! Transportation is available to take you to any of the Disney theme parks or to Downtown Disney for late night entertainment and shopping. You can even catch a ride to check out other Disney hotels. You will find the staff at Disney’s Yacht Club very friendly and helpful.

I am looking forward to going to TechMentor next week! How about you?

Registration continues through Friday, March 11th. Save $400 on a full conference registration by using discount code UGTM6. First time conference attendees will receive a $400 discount off the five day conference.