For the last week, I've been at Tech.Ed 2006 in Boston. Tech.Ed is one of Microsoft's largest technical conferences, and is run in a number of locations around the world. The Boston event had over 11,000 attendees.

Ken's Tech.Ed 2006 Badge

IIS was strongly represented in the Web Server/Development track. There were plenty of sessions on new features and changes coming with IIS 7.0 including:

  • IIS 7.0 End to End Overview (Chris Adams)
  • IIS 7.0 Web Application Administration (Alexis Eller)
  • IIS 7.0 Web Request Tracing and Diagnostics (Henry Seiler)
  • IIS 7.0 Building Custom Web Server Extensions (Thomas Deml)
  • IIS 7.0 New Delegation and Configuration Features (Oscar Omar Garza Santos)
    • Casey Jacobs and Jeff Stucky from the Microsoft.com operations team came and spoke about Microsoft's public facing web infrastructure, and provided an update on new technologies deployed at ms.com, including SQL Server 2005, IIS 7.0 and the transition to 64bit Windows.

      Fellow MVP Scott Forsyth (of ORCSWeb) presented a well received session on Effective Web Farm Management utilizing Windows NLB and IIS 6.0. During his presentation, Scott built fault-tolerant web and content servers, demonstrating all the various things that needed to be configured (both web and .NET related). In a dramatic finale, Scott turned off a VPC to show instantaneous failover in both his web server and content server.

      I was also privileged in being allowed to present a session, on monitoring Web Applications with MOM 2005. I've presented at Tech.Ed previously (in Australia), but Tech.Ed in the USA is in a separate league. There is so much competition, and so much more pressure to deliver a great presentation. In any case, the presentation went well, everything (demos etc) worked, and I managed to stay inside the time limit. The session was well received, with the scores well above average. Eric Woersching has a more detailed write-up on the IIS 7.0 Blog site.

      Here are some photos I took during Tech.Ed of the IIS-related sessions (click for larger images):

      Casey Jacobs and Jeff Stucky presenting
      Casey Jacobs and Jeff Stucky present "IIS and Microsoft.com Operations: Leveraging Microsoft Solutions for High Availability Web Platforms"
      Alexis Eller presenting
      Alexis Eller presents "IIS 7: An In-Depth Look into Web Application Administration"
      Alexis Eller presenting
      Alexis Eller presents "IIS 7: An In-Depth Look into Web Application Administration"
      Henry Seiler presenting
      Henry Seiler presents "IIS 7: Under the Hood for Web Request Tracing and Diagnostics"

      Tech.Ed itself was huge. There were more than 1050 breakout sessions, hands on labs and chalk-talks. There were Birds of a Feather sessions, and meetings for various interest groups. There was a huge attendee party at Fenwey Park (where the Boston Red Sox play), as well as a few more private parties and events (there were a couple for MVPs and Influencers). To get an idea of the scale of the main exhibit and tech-center, here are some more photos:

      Expo Hall 1
      The main Expo hall. On the left is the Red Technical Centre (Server Technologies), on the right is the start of the exhibitors section. Towards the back are the Green (Windows) and Blue (Web, SQL and BI) technical centres.
      Expo Hall 2
      The main Expo hall. The Green (Windows) and Blue (Web/SQL/BI) Technical Learning Centres
      Expo Hall 4
      The main Expo hall. Part of the exhibition centre. Unfortunately most of the stands are blocked by the large banner.

      And now Tech.Ed is over. The last session I attended was one of the best: Steve Riley presenting on new system integrity features in Windows Vista. I fly out back to Australia in a few hours, and look forward now to Tech.Ed Australia in Sydney. If you're going to be there, please say Hello!