TechDays 2011: Security, Identity and Management…Oh Yeah!

TechDays is THE conference for technical training in Canada and it’ll be hitting these cities on these dates:

  • October 25-26: Toronto
  • November 15-16: Vancouver
  • November 29-30: Montreal

This year I’m putting together the speakers and sessions for the security, identity and management track. It’s going to be great – we’ve got a number of really good, in-depth sessions. Below is a sneak peak at the sessions as well as a video recording of my intro to the track.

Don’t delay – get your registration in as the conference is filling up fast. Early bird pricing of $399.99 is available for Toronto until October 11, after that it’ll cost $799.99. Early bird pricing for Vancouver is available until October 25 and for Montreal, until November 8. I hope to see you there!


The ongoing task of managing and securing infrastructure is of key importance to the IT professional, both in the datacenter and on the client. Helping to ensure users are properly authenticated to access corporate resources whether on premise, across the Internet, or in the Cloud, are vitally important to helping to secure the resources of an organization. Here you will learn how to leverage Active Directory and tools in Windows Server 2008 R2 to provide a foundation for a security enhanced and well-managed infrastructure. You will also learn how to extend the built-in capabilities of the Microsoft platform with Microsoft System Center and Microsoft Forefront to help manage and help secure your heterogeneous environment and help you sleep better at night. You will see how the full set of Microsoft tools and technologies provide a robust solution to deploy and manage your datacenter, as well as how to help secure your organization from external and internal threats. You will also learn how to implement key technologies to monitor your infrastructure, and use automation to help increase availability at the same time.

MGT207 - Overview of Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012

The next version of Opalis will be known as System Center Orchestrator. In this session, we cover the new capabilities that Orchestrator will bring to the System Center integration, orchestration and automation solutions, and how these align to the Microsoft Private Cloud offerings.

Session Lead: Islam Gomaa
Cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal
Technologies: Microsoft System Center

MGT272 – What’s New in System Center Configuration Manager 2012

System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2012 incrementally builds on the strengths of SCCM 2007 and adds entirely new functionality. This session will highlight both the improved features and the new functionality introduced in SCCM 2012 such as user centric management, Configuration Settings Remediation, Software Center & Application Catalog, Collection based settings, etc. Learn how to take advantage of the improved and new features of SCCM 2012 in your organization by attending this session.

Proposed by Colin Smith
Cities: Toronto, Montreal
Technologies: Microsoft System Center

MGT302 - Get Out of Dodge: Migrating to Windows Server 2008 R2 x64

You can't wait any longer. Your infrastructure is still clinging to the 2003 x86 server architecture but with every day that goes by, you worry more and more that the other shoe will drop. You know you have to bite the bullet and get these critical services over to more modern hardware paired with the current supported revisions of the server platform. These are the services that keep the lights on, the servers running and most importantly: the users happy! This demo-intensive session covers how to migrate essential services like DHCP, DNS, File/Print, Certificate Services and more. If you or your customers are stuck in the x86 migration frontier - show them the path to x64 2008 R2 nirvana.

Session Lead: Rick Claus
Cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal
Technologies: Windows Server 2008 R2: Server Management, Windows Server 2008 R2: Active Directory

MGT303 - Diagnosing the Diseases of DNS

Network troubleshooters soon learn that the first place to look when the network stops working is DNS... and soon after that, they learn that the in-the-box DNS troubleshooting tool, nslookup, is a pretty basic answer. So if keeping DNS working is part of your job, don't miss this "beyond the basics" DNS troubleshooting session originally created by Mark Minasi. We start with "dig," the nslookup replacement that is a must-know for DNS techies. Then we see how to give your troubled DNS queries a thorough workup with Network Monitor (even if you've never used Netmon), where you'll be able to find out why those dynamic updates aren't happening. From there, get the scoop on "EDNS," a feature of DNS servers since 2003 that has been blamed - wrongly - for a host of DNS ills. After that, see how to take your DNS system's pulse with DNSLint, a free, not-to-be-missed utility. Then see how to understand what those DNS logs are REALLY saying. Attend this talk and you'll soon be known as "Doctor DNS!"

Session Lead: Rick Claus
Cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal
Technologies: Windows Server 2008 R2: Server Management, Windows Server 2008 R2: Active Directory

MGT310 - Helping to Protect the Microsoft EndPoint

Effective endpoint security is implemented using 3 golden rules 1) Run Anti-virus software, 2) Keep your system patched and 3) Use a personal firewall. This session will show how to use Microsoft Forefront, SCCM/WSUS and other Microsoft tools to implement these 3 rules for Microsoft Windows-based systems.

Session Lead: Stewart Cawthray
Cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal
Technologies: Microsoft Forefront, Microsoft System Center

MGT373 – Managing SharePoint Using System Center

Helping to ensure that your SharePoint Farm infrastructure is running smoothly is one of the most important areas that an administrator of SharePoint is concerned with. In this session you will learn how Microsoft System Center can be configured to assist you in helping to keep your SharePoint-based infrastructure running well. You will find out how to tune alerts according to configuration and internal governance policies, help to increase overall service levels, as well as proactively manage incidents using the family of System Center products.

Session Lead: Jason Kaczor
Cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal
Technologies: Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft System Center

MGT374 - System Center in the Data Center - Putting Together the Puzzle

This session will take you through a full life cycle at a Data Center. The process will start with a request for a new server from a business unit that comes into System Center Service Manager. The Web Server is deployed into the environment using System Center Configuration Manager. It’s a hit and the site is over loaded with web requests. System Center Operations Manager sends an alert on the situation. The Data Center operator gets the alert and decides to allow additional Web Servers. The Site Goes Dark…..Critical outage. A new alert comes into the Data Center operator and he chooses to allow a full Disaster Recovery Plan to execute to a backup data center with a click of a single button. Once again the site is up and running. In this session you will see how the System Center Suite of products integrates and executes automated processes in the Data center environment. This will be a very active demo-filled session that you don’t want to miss.

Session Leads: Islam Gomaa and William Bressette
Cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal
Technologies: Microsoft System Center

MGT375 – Helping to Secure your Wireless Network with 802.1x and Active Directory

Wireless networks are in use in almost every business and every home, yet many suffer from security vulnerabilities that are easily protected. In this session you will learn how you can help lock down your wireless network and integrate Active Directory to control and manage access to your wireless network thereby helping to keep unauthorized connections and users out.

Session Lead: Todd Lamothe
Cities: Toronto, Montreal
Technologies: Identity & Access Management, Windows Server 2008 R2: Active Directory

MGT377 - Leveraging Legacy Systems with Windows PowerShell

There is a misconceived notion that moving to Windows PowerShell to administer your IT infrastructure means a rebuild approach, in other words - dropping the old for the new. In this session you will learn how you can easily use PowerShell to not only work with and manage Legacy systems but also help improve your experience in maintaining them. Want to find out how – come to this session.

Session Lead: Sean Kearney
Cities: Toronto
Technologies: Windows Server 2008 R2: Server Management

MGT378 - SAM and IT Asset Management using Microsoft System Center

The implementation of Software Asset Management (SAM) and IT Asset Management (ITAM) is a means of helping to drive down IT costs, reducing security and compliance risk, and improving operational efficiency. This presentation describes how highly effective SAM and ITAM programs are delivered and supported using the powerful capabilities of Microsoft System Center. You’ll see how different capabilities of the System Center family of products, including Service Manager, Configuration Manager, Operations Manager and Orchestrator/Opalis are combined with technology partner solutions to provide visibility and control of hardware and software through the full asset life cycle, to minimize asset expenditure and to help maintain software license compliance. The solution shows how existing infrastructure, volume agreements and suite licenses, and expertise can be leveraged for rapid, highly cost-effective program implementation.

Session Lead: Gord Watts
Cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal
Technologies: Microsoft System Center

Pretty awesome, eh? So go register now before it’s sold out!

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