I got this “guest post” from Rod, whom I invited down to step up and present a session at EnergizeIT. He had “put up his hand” to say he was interested in helping out last time he came down to meet with the team so I took him up on it.
Here’s his post.
I recently had the pleasure of attending and presenting at EnergizeIT '06 in Toronto. Leading up to the event a lot of people asked me why I would fly to Toronto to give a presentation to an estimated crowd of 100 people in the virtualization breakout session? Well aside from the fact that Microsoft picked up the tab I have a lot of good reasons. They are the same reasons I got involved with the Winnipeg IT Pro User Group, the same reason why I run thelazyadmin.com and pay for the majority out of my own pocket. I am passionate about the technologies.
First off, I am a geek, I love technology and I get passionate about it. I love to talk about a technology and all the things that I can see it doing for me, things that it does do for me and sharing ideas and experiences others have with the same technology. Sharing my experiences with someone and seeing them get excited about it is pretty cool. I love it when I get an email from a reader of thelazyadmin.com saying thanks and that one of my articles helped them. What is really cool is seeing that same thing in person. I have given a few presentations to the Winnipeg IT Pro User Group and those were a blast. When Rick asked me to present at EnergizeIT I said sure, now that I have been there I will be begging to come back next year.
At EnergizeIT, Rick also volunteered my services to Allen Stewart, a virtualization Program Manager from Redmond, to help him in the virtualization keynote. I had built a 2 node cluster and installed Virtual Server 2005 R2 and my plan was to do a planned fail-over in the afternoon break-out sessions. After talking with Allen we decided to do an unplanned fail-over during his keynote. When he called me up on stage I was excited and definitely nervous. With a crowd of 1200+ looking at me and anticipating the demo I was about to give, nervous is probably not the best word to describe it. I got up on stage and the adrenaline kicked in and as soon as I remembered my password, things started flowing. We showed the virtual machine running on Node 1 and showed Cluster Administrator with all the resources on Node 1. I then walked to the rack and pulled the power cord from Node 1. By the time I got up back to the podium the services had failed over and the VM was started on Node 2. Afterwards I had a number of people track me down and ask about the cluster and how to configure it. The general consensus was "Cool, I didn't know you could cluster Virtual Server and I've never seen a cluster fail-over".
The afternoon break-outs went well, but there always seems to be a person or two that you see in the group with the glazed look and you know they didn't quite understand what I meant or how the technology could help them. It was great when they came up at the end to ask questions. Between my break-out sessions I had a short informal Q and A session in the hallway and the coolest thing happened. As I was answering their questions I could see the look in their face when all of a sudden they got it. Once they got it, seeing the excitement and hearing them say "I can't wait to get home and try this" (everyone got a copy of Virtual Server 2005 R2) was one of the best feelings and I will not forget it.
So what's the point of this post, the moral of this story? Get involved in your local IT community. It starts at the grassroots with blogs, user groups, forums or wherever you can share your passion for technology. Trust me when I say the payback is worth more than any paycheck you will ever get at work!! Get out there, get passionate, get involved and get your geek on!!!
P.S. I did some blogging leading up to and during the event including some audio blogging by phone. You can read those posts at http://blog.dortoh.ca/index.php?/categories/11-EnergizeIT-06
MVP Windows Server - Directory Services