Well after a long night it was rough getting up for the first session. I will say that there were MUCH fewer people at breakfast today than yesterday. Of course who needs breakfast after a 10:00 Filet Mignon dinner at Shulas:)
I sat through the presentation on deploying blade servers for Metaframe infrastructures. Pretty solid discussion. The presenter seemed to have good understanding of the complexities and challenges surrounding implementations on Blades. The engineer spread discussion across IBM, HP and dell so not very biased. There was a very good presentation of IBM's Tivoli software for blade servers intelligently allocating servers, and resources as demand grew. Great interweaving of the "On Demand Infrastructure".
For the first time I was able to sit through what boiled down to a panel discussion with the representative Product Architects. This was a great forum for meeting with the gents in charge of product direction and making comments/suggestions. Unfortunately some people took it as either a venue to vent, or try and get tech support answers. The good majority of people in the room were able to stay on track.
One annoying feature was the Marketing representative who was serving as moderator took the easy legal response to any questions about new products, and features trying to squash talk. You could see, and sometimes hear that the architects were more than willing to and often did speak of features. These are their babies so it was a nice contrast.
The Architects were pretty accessible and open to answering questions, and looking for input for features after the talk. I personally was looking for better drilldown reports in RM without using Crystal, and it was well received.
I had the chance to eat lunch with a certain developer from the Redmond office whose sole responsibility is "Concept" products. Just think about this guy gets to develop pilot projects that may never even make it to reality. I believe they are called "Visionaries". We had some great discussions of current products under development. Don't worry legal nothing was revealed that I will share. Most of it was in the Tech center for testing anyway.
The "Securing your DMZ" presentation was fairly low level but it was nice to hear that in CSG 2.0 you can now employ all components on one box, essentially being able to bind CSG to one address on port 443, and IIS/WI to another address on 443. While not an ideal deployment my customers have been looking for it since CSG 1.0. Why should I ask my customer with 2 MF servers to deploy an equal # of CSG Servers.
I was very excited to see the 3 hour "Policies and profiles" presentation. I was however disappointed by the content. It was a solid overview of the use of policies and profiles that I would recommend for anyone, but being labeled as a "Advanced" class I was hoping to be hit with more on Hybrid profiles and other advanced issues.